Friday, September 28, 2007

3 Weeks Old

Josie is three weeks old today and I thought I'd share a photo of her in a adorable hand-me-down shirt from a friend. I think she'll actually outgrow it very soon so I was happy to have cool enough weather to put her in long sleeves. She's over 10 lbs now from our crazy scale. I haven't measured her (she was about 19 inches at birth), but she seems longer. I appreciate everything we've been given and I am so thankful to have such wonderful people in our community.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Diapers, We Don't Need No Stinkin' Diapers or Changing Tables Are For Wusses

or is it "wooses" or "woozles" (too much A. A. Milne).

On to the regularly scheduled post...
First, for those of you with smelly diaper pails (oh, come now, you know who you are), I have the sweet, sweet solution. It came to me in a dream...not really, but it was a fun surprise. Rob bought some Rice Dream Horchata (that is so fun to say, say it again "Horchata"...sounds like a Latin dance craze) the other day as a treat for me (I tell myself this since I drank it all myself **rubbing hands together greedily and smiling**). Well, a few hours later I am changing Josie's peed in diaper and I can't help myself I have to sniff it (no I'm not some perv, I don't usually sniff my baby's diapers). I call Parker in to take a whiff (he is such a trusting little soul) and he agrees. I can't wait for Rob to get home to tell him the news (yes, I need to get out of the house and get a life!). The diaper smelled like.....wait for it....cinnamon. Yes, folks, I kid you not. It made me think of French Toast it was so sweet smelling. Sooooooo, all you have to do is buy a case of, say it again, Horchata, and nurse your child and you too can have the sweetest smelling diaper pail in town (next to mine...actual mileage may vary and you may have to drink an entire container by yourself to manage this feat, but it is worth it...really).

If anyone out there is still reading, I am a baby gear snob. I know, hard to be-lieve, but it is true. Not the Chicago baby gear snob (now I'm dissin' my favorite Midwestern city) mind you. I don't give a hoot about the most expensive whathaveyou designer baby gear thingy. I am talking a different (here again I think I'm better than other baby gear snobs...who the heck do I think I am) kind of snob. I am a minimalist. I don't need a stroller (I do, however, need every baby carrier known to woman, but that is another post), I don't need a crib, I don't need a changing table...well I didn't for two children. Now I sell changing tables and told myself that I really needed to try it out. I hate selling things I haven't actually used myself. Well, we fell in love. All of us. It is one cool changing table. It cradles her in much so that she will fall asleep on it or stay asleep as the case may be. It is nice on my back to have a place high enough to change her, yes, I'm getting old. Even Rob, who could care less about such things and is more of a minimalist than I am, had to say how much he liked the changing table the other day. We are now officially wusses, wooses, and or woozles...with a really cool, environmentally-friendly, expensive changing table. Yehaw!

Product Review:

The other day Rob was going to work late so he didn't go in at his usual time, two out of three kids were asleep and the one which was up was content playing so I took this time to do something fun and shopping by myself. I actually ran into a friend who was also sans child at the store. I hardly knew what to do without the kids. I had time to think about what I was buying without all the questions and without someone wanting something. I almost had a panic attack. Instead, I bought stuff I wouldn't have bought with the kids. Crazy, I know, but I bought several convenience foods that I would have said no to if the kids were with me. One such product was a new Amy's Kitchen frozen food marketed to kids. It was the Kids Meals Baked Ziti. I could hardly wait for the kids to try it. They loved it, except for the vegan cheese which they scraped off since they grew up not eating cheese it is a weird thing to them. I like the fact that there is broccoli and both kids ate it all. I begged a bite off Parker and it was darn good. A couple little thumbs up for these, but we won't be buying them often due to price, but once in a while works.

Veggie Way: Amber teething necklaces and a contest

Veggie Way: Amber teething necklaces and a contest

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

This Vegetarian American Life

Okay, so I am the LAST to know that Ira Glass, host of my favorite radio show "This American Life" is veg. How did I miss this? I have been living in my own little TV-free vegan cave for years apparently. I found out from because Lindy Loo had a question about what famous veg*n would people most want to make out with (I said Michael Franti and maybe Dennis K., I know big surprise). Someone said Ira Glass and I had to find out if it was true. A quick internet search brought me to the YouTube of Ira on the David Letterman Show talking about it. I've been to Karen Davis' house in Maryland where United Poultry Concerns is located and I can totally see Karen getting through to Ira. See, you just never know what is going to effect people.

(Parker's drawings of a chickens.)

My mom grew up on a farm (actually my dad did too) and she always hated the chickens because she had to go in early in the morning and take their eggs and they would peck her. I took her to Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary where I used to volunteer when I lived in Maryland and she met the chickens there. She had to admit they had personalities and many were sweet and loving. George, a rooster I will never forget would lay in my lap while I pet him to sleep. I was in love with a black hen named Iris who laid reddish eggs. She was beautiful. I was always amazed when groups of city kids from DC would come out the sanctuary and how holding a chicken in their hands made them smile and how sweet and gentle they would be with these amazing creatures. I think the chickens made the biggest impression on many of them.

Most of the chickens at the sanctuary, when I was volunteering there, were from farms and a few from school hatching projects. Many had been in very tough situations prior to coming to PSAS and they were still friendly. They all have personalities.

Anyway, I love you even more now, Ira.

Lorax Lament

We live near a small neighborhood park with beautiful old trees and we have some very old trees on our lot as well. It really makes a difference in our lives. I know it might sound silly, but just looking at the trees makes me feel good. During my labor with Josie, I would look out our bedroom window at the trees in the park and get this inner peace.

Earlier this year, a few of the older trees in the park were cut down by the park service because they were seen as a threat of falling onto the play ground equipment. The boys and I watched as they cut down these trees and then tried to count the rings. It was sad even when they planted new trees to replace those trees which were older than my father and possibly my grandfather. The boys were excited to see the way they dealt with the trees, but also perplexed since they know chopping down trees is not good in most cases. Yes, they grew up having the Lorax read to them and they can recite much of it by heart.

Well, yesterday we also lost the tree in our front yard. We called the city about the tree because Rob noticed it was sick. The city tree guy (technical name) decided the tree was sick enough to remove and since it was on "city property", they came and chopped it down. I know it was probably for the best, but it doesn't make it easier. To make matters worse, this tree gave us quite a bit of shade in the summer and the city decided it didn't need to be replaced. I feel like our house is naked now. We are going to look into the rules and see if we can replace it ourselves. We plan on re-landscaping our entire property with mostly native plant next spring.

The top picture is Dema in the park near our house. The other three are of our tree coming down. Can you believe the amount of wood chips they made from just our one tree. They took it to the park to put on the playground. Now we just have a stump for the Lorax to wag his finger at us from.

We will have to plant some trees next spring. I love the thought of planting a tree which will be here long after I'm gone. Such is the cycle of life.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Southern Cookin'

My husband is from The South, an area that I never really thought about much until I met him, but once we connected I realized I'd had a special place in my heart for Southern men all my life. I am about as un-Southern a woman as you are likely to find, but I have come to enjoy some things (not the heat) about the part of the country south of the Mason-Dixon line.

I bought "Cookin' Southern Vegetarian" Style by Ann Jackson years ago to find things to cook for Rob's dad when he came to visit. I don't think we've actually cooked anything from this Stock photocookbook for his dad, but my dad loves the food we've made from it and this is one of my favorite comfort food meals. It is not healthy, but it will fill you up. This is the "Fried Chicken" Tofu and Gravy from the book, my mashed potatoes, and Rob's collards. We both excel at different things in the kitchen. I can make the fried tofu, but Rob is better at it while I'm much better at mashed potatoes. Rob grew up on collards where I didn't learn to eat them until I started visiting his grandmother and I instantly fell in love with collards. I don't know how to cook them though. I'm better at pasta sauce, Rob makes better rice and get the idea. Anyway, I used a little too much of the potato cooking water this time for the potatoes, but they were fine and everyone ate so much there were no left-overs. The collards and the potatoes were from yesterday's Farmer's Market which makes everything even better. Oh and we used our new salad spinner we picked up at the kitchen store near the Farmer's Market. I can't believe we've never had one and Rob thought I was silly buying it, but he had to admit it worked like a charm for the collards.

Josie went to her first beer fest/chili cook-off yesterday (to be fair it was the boys' first as well). Don't know why everyone was looking at us funny with a 2 week old babe tied to me via Storchenwiege wrap while we were standing in line for beer. :-) Don't freak, I wasn't drinking and Rob only had a couple before we said to heck with the lines and walked to a nearby Thai restaurant. Another first for Josie...her first dinner at restaurant. She ate her usual (breastmilk, of course) and Parker held her when she wasn't busy nursing. It took FOREVER to get our food, even though it was not busy. The kids ate a ton and the couple next to us actually commented on how well behaved our children were (Dema was getting tired and bored and struck up a conversation with them). Poor Josie obviously doesn't get enough lobe from her brothers. Not! I barely get a chance to hold her unless she is nursing or needs a diaper change and Parker even begs to change her diaper at times. This is why you will not see any pictures of me or Rob holding Josie. She loves the attention.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Bonus Meal and Dessert a la Parker

We had a bonus meal brought over from a friend in our natural parenting group. Parker and the rest of us really enjoyed it, but Dema fell asleep before dinner so we saved some left-overs. The recipe is from called Whole Wheat Pasta with Roasted Vegetables and Olives. Rob added a tad more balsamic vinegar, but I thought it was perfect. All Parker could say was "Mmm, this is really good." with his mouth full. He has been big into pasta salads lately. I will make this in the future. Again, I can't say enough how much we appreciate all the food.

Parker made this "Strawberry, Banana, Orange Cream" (we'll have to work on the names he gives his creations) and he took a picture and asked that I add it to the blog. He highly recommends it. Basically, it is frozen strawberries, bananas, and Soy Delicious Twisted Vanilla Orange. We went to a birthday party recently and I didn't bring the boys anything vegan for them (it was at a park and they were more interested in playing anyway until Dema all the sudden was starving and luckily one of the other moms had some grapes and was sweet to share them) so I promised I would buy some vegan ice cream. They forgot about the dessert that night, but Parker remembered it while getting out the frozen strawberries. The vegan ice cream is actually very close to Dreamsicle of Rob and my pre-vegan childhoods. Not bad for a once in a while treat.

Josie is awake more and more, but I tend to take pictures of her while she's sleeping. Here she is hanging out on our porch, soaking in some rays on the hotter than normal September days we've been having. I miss the fall weather! 90's in September remind me of global warming, but that is a post for another day. But, while I'm on the topic of food and environment, I'll share this link to No War No Warming from the Organic Consumers Association. We've supported OCA for a while, although I don't agree with their stance on everything I feel they are a worthwhile organization. I am happy to finally see the anti-war movement make a connection with environmental issues.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Today our food train came to a really yummy end with pumpkin muffins this morning. Just what the kids needed since they are playing outside non-stop and need something quick to keep their energy up (I swear they would play until they starved to death if I didn't remind them to eat). I hope we have some left for Rob when he gets home from work. Aren't the little ones adorable?!

Pumpkin Muffins
2 cups sugar
2/3 cup oil
2 cups pumpkin
2/3 cup water
2 eggs worth of flax egg replacer goo
2 eggs worth of baking powder "eggs" (1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 1/2 Tablespoon oil and 1 1/2 Tablespoon water = 1 egg)
2 cups whole wheat flower
2 cups flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/4 teaspoon salt

grease pan with dairy-free "butter" stick

We also had some excellent roasted veggies brought over (I love all the colors and can never get enough veggies). We finished up the produce our friend brought from the farmer's market and I couldn't help taking a picture of the "watermelon bones", as my non-vegan dad would call them. They look so pretty and Dema was in heaven eating all the watermelon. The boys are playing with the homemade play dough they received today. No wonder they want to have another baby.

When I had Parker and Dema I turned down offers from people for food. I had various reasons, not wanting people to go to any trouble, not wanting to ask or receive any "help", thinking it would be too much of a pain for people to cook vegan or that they would cook something non-vegan accidentally, etc. This time, I decided it is good to take help when offered. I like being able to do something for others and I'm sure other people feel the same way. I also decided it was a good lesson for the kids. It had a fun side effect of making Josie's birth seem like a party to the boys and they also loved trying what people made and they commented more than once how nice everyone has been to us. I think it is good for them to see community at times that are "positive" as well as when things are tough. Parker asked me if I said thank you to everyone.

Thanks to everyone! We are so lucky to have you all in our I hope I can get the right pots and pans back to all of you!

Josie update: She had her first shower today. She seemed to enjoy it. I don't know why we waited so long. The boys had showers in there first week. Maybe because I have such great helpers so I didn't have to take her in the shower with me. Anyway, I like to start with showers instead of baths and get them used to it. The boys have always liked showers and I think it is because they started when they were young. She is pooping a lot more, but most of the time in the toilet since she is pretty obvious. Peeing is another story. She pees all the time and I never know when it will be.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Music Sweet Music and the Food Train

As I've already mentioned we've had people very generously giving us food since Josie was born. My natural parenting group calls it a food train. It is strange, every time I think of "food train" the "Love Train" song by the O'Jays goes through my head. Speaking of songs sticking in your head. The same parenting group was discussing the song "White and Nerdy" which is a take-off from the song "Riding Dirty". I was watching the YouTube video of the "Ridin' Dirty" song with the kids out of the room and of course Dema ran in because he is a HUGE rap music fan. He actually loves all music, but two of his first words were "Michael Franti" and he seems to have rhythm the rest of the family just does not possess. Anyway, he loves "Riding Dirty" and sings it all the time now (he just knows the "chorus" and doesn't watch the video so settle down). He was playing in the neighbor's sandbox yesterday and my dad was over and I had to explain what the song meant. I sort of dread Dema's teenage years.
Anyway I'm supposed to be talking about has been great and all the food is so yummy and unfortunately my pictures don't do it justice. Most of the time, I am trying to take a picture as my family is already consuming the food. The first picture has two dishes from different people. On the left is coconut rice (raisins) with mango curry (mango, cashews, potatoes) on top and the item on the left is a couscous dish with beans, onions and corn. Both great and surprisingly good together. The next picture has a black bean soup from a friend (it was perfect timing!) with black beans, carrots, corn, onions, and spices. The Bearitos chips and roasted red pepper hummus on the side. Rob made the Spicy Red Pepper Hummus from for a party we all went to on Saturday and the garlic he used was so strong he didn't add the hot sauce or harrisa and did add another can of chickpeas to cut the garlic taste. We love garlic, but this was strong! It went over great at the party, but I don't think Josie is a huge garlic fan so I'll have to refrain from over indulging in garlic. Rob also made the famous Seitan O'Greatness from PPK. It is great and Rob swears it was really easy. We'll be making a bunch of this.

Today Josie is 10 days old! I can't believe we ever lived without her. Parker has her in his arms every spare second and barely lets me nurse her before asking to hold her again. He doesn't like to be spit up on, but he takes it very well. He helps with diaper changing, but doesn't feel comfortable doing it by himself yet. Dema's job is to kiss Josie at every opportunity. He likes to hold her, but not for too long. We've been spending as much time as possible outside enjoying this beautiful weather. If it weren't for all the mosquitoes it would be perfect. They are out even in the daytime and poor Dema is covered with bites. I don't think to put the repellent on during the day, but I might have to. So far Josie has been spared from the blood suckers. Josie is still sleeping and nursing all the time, just what she is supposed to be doing. She does have blue eyes...I was wrong. I thought they looked brown, but they must have just been really dark blue. We'll see if they stay blue. The boys both have blue and they want her to have blue eyes too. They also want her to walk and talk soon. They will have to wait awhile. Josie has the longest fingers and toes. People have said that means she'll be tall (toes) or a pianist (fingers). Coming from Rob and me, I doubt she'll be tall, but we'll try her on the piano.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Adventures in Diapering and More Food

We cloth diaper (I know, big surprise since I sell them) and for each of the kids I've tried different diapers in the never ending search of the "perfect" diaper (I also consider it research for the business or so I tell my husband). People are always asking what diapers we like the best and how many they need, etc. We've found several we like and have used for all three now, but different diapers work better at different stages. As I mentioned in a previous post we also practice EC (have to some degree with each of the kids). Rob was not looking forward to diapering so he was all about ECing full time this go around, but with older siblings who want to hold the baby all the time it makes sense for our family to have diapers too. Anyway, for Josie so far I really like the small gDiaper covers with the Starter KitgDiaper insert (not cloth, but a "flushable" diaper that has Cradle to Cradle certification, but since Josie doesn't poop much we end up composting most of the them instead of flushing which is even better for the environment) or with a cloth diaper insert. I really like the Organic Cotton Sherpa Newborn Prefolds and Organic Caboose Diaper Doublers (great for newborn diapers) to put in the covers. My other favorite covers are small Organic Caboose Organic Cotton Diaper Covers and small Organic Caboose Eco-Fleece Diaper Covers. Most of the time, since again Josie is not a big pooper yet like the other kids were, I can reuse the covers all day or a couple days. When we go out I use the small Rumpsters and when I know no one else will be holding her I put her in the small or medium All Together Fitted Unbleached Cotton Diaper. I love seeing the little diapers hanging on the clothes line. So far, we've been fine with 4 Rumpsters, one of each of the covers, a bag of small gDiaper inserts, 3 organic cotton sherpa newborn prefolds, and 3 Organic Caboose diaper doublers. We've done a load of diapers after 3 days and we change her as soon as she is wet.

Since most of you probably don't care at all about diapers and hopefully just thinking about them doesn't make you loose any interest in food. We've had some really good meals brought over by friends in a local natural parenting group I've been a part of for seven years. Most of the families are not veg, but everyone is so nice to cook to our needs. We loved the roasted veggies, green beans, cannellini bean dip with bread and pita chips. I don't know why we don't roast veggies more often, but this donated dinner and the cool weather makes us want add roasted veggies into our fall dinner routine. We used to make these roasted veggie fajitas all the time and then got out of the habit. The bean dip: cannellini beans, garlic, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, and sea salt. Herb baguette: flour, rapadura, yeast, basil, oregano, thyme, garlic, sea salt, and water. Green Beans: green beans, garlic, Earth Balance buttery stick spread, soy sauce, water, and salt. Roasted Veggies: potatoes, carrots, onions, olive oil, sea salt, and pepper.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I really like fall. I don't think I've appreciated fall so much until this year. There is nothing like the first few cool days and cooler nights after a long hot summer. This really is a great time to have a new baby. I'm a baby carrier addict and love babywearing and the weather lately has been wonderful for snuggling a new baby next to you. The kids love to be outside and we've been enjoying the parks and our porch.

We've already had so many friends stop by and drop off food for us. It is really nice and very much appreciated. Our friend Jenny who is always thoughtful went to the farmer's market this weekend and picked up several items which we've been enjoying all week. The cantaloupe being one of our favorites and we might have her pick out all our melons from now on. It was probably the best one we've had in a long time. We enjoyed it with vegan French Toast (made with bread from our other thoughtful friends who were so smart to bring our favorite bread and sandwich fixings, nuts, homemade salsa, etc.) and Dema ate quite a bit in big handfuls. Our neighbors brought over this yummy bean casserole dish with different refried beans, whole beans, onions, tomatoes, avocados, etc. with chips (nice treat).

Here is Josie in her Svan bouncy seat. I've never been a big bouncy seat person, but I sell these so I wanted to try them out and they are very nice. It is handy on the rare occasions when someone is not begging to hold her like while we are all eating dinner. She is showing more and more personality, she cues quite well so ECing (elimination communication) is going nicely, she's been to her first meeting with me and nursed/slept through it, had her first pediatrician visit (he checked her heart and she's perfect), had her first visit to the local health food store, she doesn't like the car seat unless her brothers are back there with her, and so far she loves to be carried. I still think her eyes look more brown than blue, but we'll see. That is it for the Josie update.

Monday, September 10, 2007

The Dark Side of Dr. Sears and Business is Business

I promise the last post about labor (probably). I was talking about Josie's birth with a neighbor yesterday and remembered some details I left out. Those of you with children probably know about Dr. Sears, especially if you are into "attachment parenting". He has a book which we've owned for four years now call "Baby on the Way". It looked innocent enough and the book was nice to read to Parker before Dema's birth and has always been one the boys enjoyed even when I wasn't pregnant. Yet, such a sweet and simple book which innocently mentions "mommy's belly squeezes" for contractions during labor can have a dark side. Ah, what a cute way to explain labor...or not. So, during this pregnancy Parker has been on my belly since he found out I was pregnant and talking to the baby, hugging the baby, singing to the baby, counting to the get the picture...wherever the baby is (at the time my belly) he was. So he has been there for many a Braxton Hicks contraction and many a kick, listening to the heart beat with a borrowed fetal scope, measuring, etc. During the BHs he would say something about belly squeezes and that the baby was wanting to come out and I would smile at the sweetness. Then I'm actually in labor, the time he has patiently waited for and he sees me going through contractions..."real" ones now and he wants to help so he is wrapped around my middle while I'm in the hallway giving my belly a "squeeze" to help. Now friends, I don't know how you like to labor, but I don't really liked to be touched during a contraction and especially getting a big squeeze from a strong and overzealous seven year old is not my idea of fun. I fought the urge to throw my first born across the room and actually explained to him very quietly that the book was wrong and belly squeezes was not a good description afterall and that you can't believe everything you read...and oh, please don't touch mom's belly again until you see an actual baby...thanks.

I hear all the time comments about homebirth and why would I choose to birth at home and all that. There are many reasons and some day I may post about them, but one of the nice things about birthing at home when you have a home business is that you don't have to close. In between giving birth to Josie and birthing the placenta, I received a call on my cell from a customer. She was about an hour from our town and needed to buy an Ergo baby carrier for a baby shower the next day. As I stopped trying to push the placenta out and I was looking at the disgust in my husband's face (not because of the placenta, but because I was talking business with a customer at this very moment in time) I said of course an hour would be perfect, what color Ergo did she need and we take check, credit card, cash, and paypal. See you soon. When the customer showed up, Rob went downstairs to talk care of the sale and just had to tell the poor woman that I had just given birth a couple hours before. She hurried out with the Ergo and I'm pretty sure he scared her away for any repeat business. We are always open.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Josephine Marie

It turns out yesterday was an excellent day to have a baby. Although, he would have been happy with a boy, Rob finally has the baby girl he always wanted. Parker was also hoping for a girl and since we only had a girl name picked out it all works out well.

The picture above is the last picture of my pregnant belly between contractions around 9:30am (the one below is during a contraction and I'm shushing Rob). We had a friend (she just started a photography business) take maternity pictures 13 days before Josie came into the world and you can see them here. I started contracting (not the Braxton Hicks contractions I've had for a while) when I woke up and when I noticed they were somewhat consistent, I went to tell Rob in the boys' room around 6am. Rob asked if he should take the day off and eventually we decided that was best. I had Rob start writing down the timing of the contractions around 8:30am (mostly to give him something to do). I called my sister Karen around 9:15am since I figured it wasn't going to be the quick labor I had with Dema (3 hours from water breaking to birth) and the kids might want someone to play with. She was great and brought me some Vitamin Water too for me to drink between contractions and later went out for almonds for me to eat. The boys were in and out throughout the labor and really great.

This labor was different in many ways because the contractions were more in my back for a lot of the time and they would come close and farther and then one on top of another. I was also kind of antsy. I would pace the hallway, sit on the bed, get in the pool (Rob filled it up around 10am), get out of the pool, pace, etc. With Dema once I was in the pool, I never got out. I was more distracted and less focused this birth. My mucus plug came out around noon and after a while I asked Rob to check how dilated I was (big joke because what does he know about this, but what the heck it gave us something to do). He said about 1cm and I thought "You have GOT to be kidding!" What does he know! Then he looked it up on the computer and said he was pretty! You just don't tell a laboring woman she is only 1cm when it has already been hours...even if it is true. Around 12:45pm I was in the pool and felt a little "pushy" and I knew it wasn't a head and out came the bag of waters...weird. It is like birthing a water balloon. Since I was in the pool it didn't break. We called a friend who has several kids of her own and knows a lot about birth and she reassured Rob that was okay. We'd just never experienced it like this before and Rob was pretty nervous from the start so this made him feel at ease. I stayed in the pool for the rest of the labor and pushed her head out around 1:30pm. I had to tell Rob and call the kids and my sister in the room. Rob took great pictures of Dema's birth, but this time I had to remind him to get the camera. It seemed like a long time between pushing out her head and the body and then I picked her up and nursed her. She was pretty purple and had vernix and there was more blood than with Dema's birth. I kept looking to make sure I was right and she was a girl. I've just never had a girl before. Dema kept looking too and asked if she was going to turn into a boy when she got bigger.

My sweet friend Alicia came over maybe 10 or 15 minutes after Josie was born and sat with me for the TWO freaking hours before I birthed the placenta. What is up with that? Same happened with Dema's birth. Josie's cord was shorter so it was kind of tough to maneuver until we were able to cut the cord (I didn't want to cut it before the placenta came out). Dema clamped the cord, but let Parker do the cutting since he has done it before (took three cuts with the scissors we had). Dema was amazed by the cord cutting and still is talking about it. He was very worried it might have hurt his little sister. My dad came over too and helped weigh Josie on our kitchen scale. We think she weighs about 7lbs. 12oz., but it was kind of a funny scale so we could be off. Dad also took the towels home to dry them since it ended up raining yesterday and looks like it will for a while so line drying wasn't going to happen. Rob buried the placenta yesterday (we still have Dema's in our freezer since we didn't want to bury it at our old house...we knew we weren't staying there long-term) so we'll have to think of something to plant on the spot. People have commented on the amount of pink in the pictures. It is ironic since we aren't big into gender colors (Parker's first "big bike" was pink) that Josie is already brimming in pink, but I sell bamboo baby clothes and so when she needs something I send the kids into the inventory to pick something out and they keep coming back with the pink. I am very nervous about having a girl. I know what to do with boys, but girls is a whole new world. The testosterone level in the house did get a little high at times so maybe Josie will help even this out.

The boys adore their new sister and Parker is an amazing help. Parker is seven and a half (the same age difference between me and my older sister) and very responsible. Parker talks to her all the time teaching her about everything. Right now he is explaining beds to her and clothing. Dema is 3 years and four months old and loves her and has really stepped up to the fact that he is not the baby anymore. He is really sweet about her. Most of the time he is really gentle and loves to "pet" her, but only holds her for a short time. He loves to watch her nurse. She is a great nurser. All my kids have been champion nursers so I didn't expect any different from her and she took to it right away and my milk was in pretty much immediately so she is happy with a full tummy. She loves to be kissed and I swear she smiles when you kiss her neck. She found her thumb and is happy to suck it...neither of the boys did this.

We have the best friends, family, and neighbors. When Dema was born our washer broke down (we cloth diaper) and our next door neighbor then (Joann) was so wonderful helping us out with laundry and our friend Judy convinced a repair man to come and fix it that day. For this birth we had our neighbor Vicky (the kids adore her) come ask the kids over to swim in her pool. Although Dema fell asleep and didn't make get to go, it was great for Parker. Our neighbors Scott and Deborah were so willing to have the boys over and Deborah's mom ended up playing with the boys at their house in the afternoon. This way the boys had some time to play outside and Rob and I had time to be with Josie without any interruption. Thanks to everyone who helped out and called, emailed, etc.

We love Josie so much already and are so happy she is here!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Good Day to Have a Baby?

We'll see. Both of my other labors started with my water breaking and that hasn't happened yet. Of course, this one has been very different from the start so that shouldn't surprise me. I've had 5 minute apart contractions for an hour at least so it might possibly be today. I don't feel ready as far as the house in concerned, but the kids would be so happy to meet the baby and Rob would have the weekend so there are worse days.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Pancakes and Soba Noodles

Yesterday I made pancakes while Rob made some hash browns, but I didn't take pictures because our neighbor, Scott, stopped by to go on a bike ride with Rob and I didn't want to look like a total freak taking pictures of food. I don't make pancakes very often and I'm not sure why, but these were so good the kids asked me to make them again this morning. I used the recipe for Fluffy Pancakes (and they are!) in Vegan Family Favorites. They aren't your healthiest pancakes so I probably won't make them often, but Parker topped his with blueberries and I added flax seed oil to the syrup and they ate some vegan yogurt with them so I felt a tiny bit better. This morning I couldn't find the canola oil (the recipe calls for vegetable oil) so I had to use olive oil. The kids didn't mind at all, but it is a little too strong a taste for me.

I ate leftovers from last night for breakfast instead of the pancakes. We went over to our neighbor's house (same one who went riding with Rob) for dinner and we took some sauted kale and I made more Cappellini in Fresh Tomato Sauce. This time I used soba noodles because we were going to make another recipe from Vegan Family Favorites called Broccoli Soba with Peanut-Pumpkin Sauce which I really like, but my sister, Karen, brought us some tomatoes the other day and they really needed to be used. I think the soba noodles over-power the fresh tomato sauce so I'd stick with cappellini next time. I added broccoli and shredded carrots and I would definitely do that again. Our neighbor made a very nice dish with veggies, tofu, rice, and Thai peanut sauce. It was nice to get together and food was very good.

We actually are so incredibly lucky to have so many non-vegan friends who are vegan-friendly. We've eaten over at someone's house three times this week and none of the friends were vegan (one vegetarian), but it is always fun and the food is great. Rob took a new dish from The New Vegan Cookbook (sorry no picture, but the actual cookbook has a very nice pic of it) which was very good called Slow-Baked Cannellini with Olives, Escarole, and Gremolata. Now you know why I don't cook from the this cookbook very often. I find the long recipe names intimidating and anything that says "slow" makes me think I won't get it done in time for supper. I'm so glad Rob has none of my issues about this and I'm enjoying his experiments.

Hope everyone had a wonderful day off. (You did have a day off didn't you??? It is Labor Day after all.) Rob was hoping I'd go into labor myself this weekend since he just started a new job and actually taking time off might be tough when the baby is born, but no sign of going into labor soon.