Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Celebrating a decade of motherhood...

Yes, we are alive....I let my feelings of self consciousness get in the way of writing....when it's been so long since I last wrote...I shan't dwell on it tho. 


It's been interesting how cold it has been this year. I think about how in 'The Long Winter', the very old native man told Ingalls and the towns folk that this was the beginning of a very cold cycle of winters. I wonder if we are entering a similar cycle.


As I write, our Fisher wood stove crackles at the other end of the room. I told my mom recently, that for all the years she dreamed of having a wood stove/cook stove in our home growing up....I am certain we had no idea of how much work it is. Cutting, splitting, carrying, stocking....But I guess that is the unfolding realization of every homesteader. The work it took to survive, for the early homesteaders, and tribes living of the wilderness and land, is almost unfathomable.


And yet, with each little homestead step, it sends such waves of joy of accomplishment.

On the subject of joy, my content, chubby baby Shilo is now five months. Oh, why are they all so eager to grow up?

It was a revelation to me the other day that it has now been one decade of motherhood for me, one decade of babies, toddlers, preschoolers and children....which means a decade of teenagers!!! Hahaha - I can't even imagine that. I just hope and pray that they love each other jealously and are the best comrades to each other.

 For now, I watch....watch the families, of whom the adult children have excellent camaraderie, compassion, faith, honesty and an attractive humility.  How can I grow that in my home?


 A snobby proud mama moment for me was when one of my children at age 8 had said, "Who's Dora?"...and then the 5 and 3 year old at that time, chimed in, "Ya, who's Dora?" Meanwhile, I was shocked, with a tinge of waldorf-parent-satisfaction, that they were not attached to the trendy characters.

I'm told that during Waldorf School interviews it is strongly recommended that the families allow their children a modest to minimal amount of mainstream media.


There are so many excellent stories, rich characters, plots, adventures, with noble themes amongst literature, classics, Scripture, and fairy tales, etc. My proud mommy moment this week happened during a play that my oldest three (9,6 and 4yrs) had created. It was about a knight on a brave and treacherous quest for some precious treasure. He met an old wise lady, a fairy, and a princess, on his way, until he at last found the treasure; a piece of paper, and on it was written, 'LOVE'. And the narrator announced, 'because the greatest treasure of all is Love!' Where did they get that, I do not know, I had expected a treasure of gold and silver, or a million bucks or something. Although, all those folk and fairy tales always reiterate bravery, honesty, wholesomeness, integrity and humility, well, and of course, Love!


I really do enjoy taking the time to blog. Many days I'm overwhelmed by the day to day tasks in front of me. And being out of the groove of it, insecurity creeps up....thanks for visiting - I know in the case of this read it's a bit of a one way conversation - but I look forward to reading your commentaries and hope to reply back to you or visit your corner of the internet, with my coffee in hand.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

God's Glory in Babies and Calendula


Dearest Long Lost Blog,

Days have grown shorter and shorter, both with the season changing, less and less sunlight and family changes and growth.

This summer we watched things grow...delighted, that with our move 7 hrs north of Winnipeg, we've gained 10 more days worth of summer sunlight hours. It was strange watching the sun set between 11pm and midnight. Of course now, it's much darker, and also strange to see the sun set on a steep angle.


Yes, besides watching plants, vegetables, herbs and the above Indian Calendula grow...we watched our baby grow. The seventh little member of the family, and fifth baby, was eagerly and impatiently waited and longed for.

After receiving prenatal care here from a local obstetrician, it became more and more apparent to me that I earnestly desired to birth the way I want to birth. This may seem presumptuous to some, especially in the case of emergency. But it is totally acceptable to have this view in the case of a low risk pregnancy where unfolding events stay low risk....if that makes any sense?

(Us at 41.5 weeks at the beginning of September)

 I traveled back to our home city with the 4 children at 38.5wks to await baby's arrival to birth at The Birth center with my wonderful midwives who've supported me with each birth. 

And we waited....and waited....Papa, my Hubby, joined us when  I was 41 wks...if I had been home up north I know I would have really felt the pressure to be induced then. Being overdue is challenging at the best of times...and I've been overdue with most of mine...but the pressure was so much more intense, not being home, everyone around me...waiting...life on hold. Life's challenges always offer a chance to grow in character...Haha, never tell a hormonal, overdue pregnant women that! But it is definitely true in hind's sight.



My poor garden was left to fend for itself. I was grateful for a few good friends that went a picked! One even froze some for me, what a Peach! Over due, and a garden overgrown. Yes, that's the almost 2 year old getting lost in the Swiss Chard.

But Shilo's birth really was the birth of my dreams. The little life plunging out of me, into the water, catching him, pulling up to me...only my hands...only me and him in the water...another story for another time.


 (Shilo and I, a few hours after birth, resting)

We were eager to get back, and find our new norm. Those first couple of weeks were interesting...the newborn is the easy part usually, right? It's the older 4...adjusting their own new levels of responsibility...them adjusting to mama dividing her time a little more. This is a quandary. Juggling my hours and minutes amongst my 5 and all the other homemaking, does not necessarily mean I cannot give one on one attention to each child. Some parents of 1.5 children have tried to tell me that it is too difficult to give children the adequate attention when there is more than a couple. The beauty in homeschooling...and not over committing to 1000 extracurriculars...the beauty in not always sending children off to play, but absorbing them in life's tasks, right next to you...is that they are close to you....Toys are over rated...sorry, I've probably said that 100 times in previous blog posts. Darn the toy industry, children just want to be with people, adults, their parents.

  Back on topic....

So, those sweet early days were spent nursing and reading together....ya, mostly that. And then there was some harvest to deal with. Five gallons of apples did not go far. 8 pies, and a little apple sauce. And with meals with other families those are disappearing fast.


My girlfriend says that having babies is like wine. It betters with age. Some might argue this. Maybe I just get amnesia...yes, I think I do...Am I suppose to clean the chord stub, again? Just kidding.
Yes, the little miracle is something sweet. And I'm that bee, attracted to my honey of a Shilo Joshua, born at 42 weeks at 11:59pm on his mama's birthday, September 4th. 7 lbs 5 oz.



And with the recent festivities of our Canadian Thanksgiving...I remind myself, I have much to be grateful for.

 Happy Thanksgiving Week!
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Friday, June 21, 2013

Garden, garden, garden....


Growing, growing, growing....
A season of growth for us. Another baby, due in August...Some 'littles' are not looking so little anymore. And our very first OWN garden, after 4-6 years of garden sharing.



 There is nothing wrong with garden sharing. We've quite enjoyed it the past 7-8 years. 
An excellent remedy when you either don't own your yard, or live in an apt. Of  which we had experienced both over the last 10 yrs. We started with a community garden plots, and potted herbs, moved to sharing a large garden 20min out of the city, to raised beds in my mom's yard, to our finally our own this year.



Our new garden had not been cultivated in two years. So we know we may very well have the battle of the weeds! Currently I'm looking for a few bales of local hay to help us in the fight.

This year we mail ordered (online) our seeds from the Heritage Harvest Seed company located in the south parts of our province. Happy to receive heirloom, non GMO'd seeds!



Presently there is not too much to see. Our growing season starts a lot later, being close to the 54th parallel in the north: Planting was the last wk of may, first 2 weeks of June.But things are starting to pop out. Someone gave us some raspberry plants, and we are working on a mud play area, to help contain the littlest ones while the plants are tender...complete with the start of our bean fort in the "mud kitchen", as kids call it.


I feel a little like we have bitten off more than we can chew with a 31' by 34' garden as our first, and expecting baby number five just before the harvest season begins. Ready, Fire, Aim, right?


Isn't that how it is, it all happens at once!  I'm imagining newborn in tow, with four little; runners, helpers, helping bring in the harvest, drying the tomatoes, canning, freezing, chopping, simmering...


It's a good thing that Waldorf Inspired homeschooling is all about just this; having the children, pick, chop, stir, sort....



(Our river; the Carrot River).

These days, I have to admit, I'm tired, 31 weeks pregnant....my alarm goes off at either 5:30am or 6am, so that I can get that.....



Reprieve,


Breath,


 Exercise,


Prayer,



 and Meditate before the house is a buzz with my early risers.....



But a turn about the garden, perennial bed and by the river with my coffee made from freshly ground whole beans helps.....Yes, yes I know I need to be drinking, rather that Raspberry leaf tea these days...I'm thinking it's better these days as an afternoon tea on ice...because, frankly, nothing beats that cup of coffee with heavy cream in the morning.

::Thanks to Soule Mama, for her inspiring post; this week in my garden. And thanks to any of you who have taken the time to read my garden post.

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Tea Partying

Thanks Tammy for the nudge! 


I am definitely not a birthday party planner like some of my dear friends like Kelly and her themed parties like Narnia or Princess parties....although we did have some fun with our Little House party....


Baby #3 just turned 4 last week. And so we partied, with tea, strawberry shortcakes, homemade sugar free dark chocolate truffles.....


.....shabby chic bunting, bubble blowing, silk parachute throwing....


 It was a sweet afternoon, and that wasn't just the eats that made it sweet. We are still the new family on the gravel road block, and so we didn't have the option of inviting a rowdy bunch of pretty little heads.....


That was quickly remedied by the honorary Aunties who attended and one little friend, Maggie....


 Maggie's Mama, Auntie Donna, made these sweet Birthday cupcakes.....


Our sweet Elousia, now 4, shares tea with Maggie on a real china....


Big sister Selah was such a great help preparing and cleaning up...


We thought the Aunties would prefer some of our Purple Tomato starters in egg shells as party favors rather than treat bags.....


It is possible to have a sweet party, without disney, without plastic, without mass produced candy....



Relaxing....enjoyed by Mama....and my dollies....


Speaking of dollies....we found "Summer" from Peek & Loo Etsy store, a practice doll, perfect for us. She has not left Elousia's side since Saturday afternoon.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Homebirths in Manitoba

 No where near the end....but baby is on the brain....and place of birth is on my brain....

Something is going on with our Manitoba midwives, and I don't know what it is. Yes, it is evident that there is a MAJOR shortage and everyone knows it. But there are many midwives waiting, ready to pay for the Manitoba licensing exam (with Midwifery training from other countries)....but something has it all on hold!?

I have heard that BC controls MB midwifery licensing - I don't know anything of course - I'm just a client who catches 3rd party gossip.

(From our 3rd homebirth, Elousia's birth)

Something is up! I wonder....clients of midwives generally are cost saving on the medical system. Less cesareans happen, less drugs, less intervention, and even less days in the hospital = lower costs. BUT does the medical system want that? As life saving as the medical system is, anyone who has done their research also knows that it is also a business! 


(Elousia, almost 4 years ago)
 
Two of my friends who each have had 4 or more homebirths in manitoba were recently refused midwifery care. This is unbelievable. One chose unassisted.

I am baffled. I was always under the understanding that clients whose plan was to have baby at home, were first priority. I'm sorry if this sounds unkind to those who've chosen hospital. It's definitely not meant to be.  Home or hospital, folks choose for the same reason, fear, faith, comfort zone, beliefs. "You are brave to have your baby at home!" and "You are brave to have your baby in the hospital!"

The thing is, with the midwifery shortage, there will be a rise in private midwifery and it is already starting. It's almost as hard to find one of these as it is raw milk :)

(Elousia, today)

I know it is a rude suggestion that there is some conspiracy, some high power in the medical system trying to squash out midwifery. But in the possible attempts to do this, it's just forcing some to choose unassisted. In a Saskatchewan community where the Cesarean rate is 80% (absolutely abominable) - *I am not against Cesareans in emergency - they save women and baby's lives every day*. I am against unnecessary, control that some medical staff have used and abused in the case of an 80% rate in one town! Research indicates a link between a woman's birth experiences and postpartum depression. Isn't it something that the medicalization of birth is relatively new in our history? *Again I'm more than aware that this has saved lives. I do wonder if it's a pretty equal statistic that they have also caused as much unnecessary intervention?

(Israel, 16 months this month, while Mama 17 wks pregnant)


It's not that often, in recent years, that I use my blog to vent - and so in that case, I am so sorry!

We, mothers, are looking for answers. We are responsible mothers, trying to choose what's best for our families, our babies and ourselves.


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