Sunday, June 30, 2013

My Birth Story Told in Photos. Part II.

I love how you can see the clock in several of these pictures. Juliette Anala was born at 3 pm, after I had Labored for two hours at the Birth Center.

My first Labor lasted 20 hours. My lovely Midwife had said Labor for most second-time Mamas typically last half the time of their first Birth. Mine lasted for 5 hours. I think the Dates helped.

I have written about before the importance of having a Doula. I think the photos below really show just how much my Doula helped. Gwen kept me focused and knew EXACTLY what to say when I felt like the pain was too much too bear.

Whenever a friend asks, I always tell her that I think the #1 best thing you can do to prepare for Labor is hire a Doula. This is ESPECIALLY true, if you are planning a Hospital Birth. My husband and I took a 13 week Child-birth class, during my first Pregnancy. Our Bradley Class readied us as much as we could be readied and was very helpful. But, honestly, I don't think I could have had an un-medicated Birth without my Doula.

I think some of my favorite photos are the ones of Papa Bear and I in the bathroom. When I really began to push in earnest, my Midwife suggested that I sit on the toilet for a bit. Conveniently, my waters broke soon after I sat down. We heard this amazing pop. I had thought the baby might be born in the Caul, since my Labor had progressed so quickly without my waters breaking. She had other plans.

Here is Part II of my Birth Story told in photos. You can see Part I right here.

Friday, June 28, 2013

My Birth Story Told in Photos. Part I.

Here is my Birth Story told in photos. No worries. I promised my husband, discrete photos only. No nipples, no genitalia.

Why am I sharing such a personal thing? Because, I feel like in the Media, Birth is often portrayed with much Fear and Negativity. Birth doesn't have to be a terrifying, awful experience. It can be Relaxed and Joyful.

Was this Birth fun? Nope. Did I have a Pain-free, Organismic Birth? Hell, no. But, more power to those who do. It was A LOT of hard, hard work. Having an "Un-medicated Birth" is the most physically difficult thing I have ever done. But, also one of the most Empowering.

I felt Strong. I felt Loved. And, I knew I could do it!

I have so many amazing photos taken by my talented and generous friend, Erin, that I will be breaking this up into Four parts.

And, yes, that is how I looked on the way to the Birth Center. My husband told me there were many gawkers during the drive.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

What To Do With The Worst Chocolate Cake Ever

I tried. I really did. But, I'm just not a Baker.
I made a Chocolate Birthday Cake using the recipe I had posted here. I wanted to do something special for Papa Bear's Birthday (almost a month ago). But, I had just had the baby and was not up to doing anything grand. So, Nye-Nye and I made the Cake.
My Sissy was visiting. Neither she, nor I could finish our pieces. We all agreed that it was the most driest, most awful Chocolate Cake, we had ever tasted. It was so dry, I had a coughing fit that lasted 10 minutes. But, my Sweet husband was a trooper and finished his!
This is what happened with the rest of the Cake...


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

15 Fun Things To Do With Kids This Summer

Summer time in the City. So much to do and so little time. As much as I complain about living in this area, there is an overwhelming amount of interesting stuff going on (especially during this time of year). I have made a list of the Top 15 Things I Want to do with My Girls this Summer. Here it is...

1. The Puppet Company's Tiny Tots Program at Glen Echo

2. Cabin John's Miniature Train

3. Clemyjontri (simply the BEST playground I've ever seen)

4. The Building Zone at the National Building Museum

5. Brookside's Wings of Fancy Exhibit (a Greenhouse full of butterflies)

6. National Children's Museum at National Harbor

7. Jammin Java's Tot Rock

8. Mondays at Port Discovery

9. Mount Vernon Nights at the Workhouse Art Center (free concerts on Saturday evenings)

10. Claude Moore Colonial Farm's Summer Market Fair

11. Lee District's Sprayground

12. Barcroft Center's Playgroup

13. National Zoo

14. Cat in the Hat (the play) at Glen Echo

15. Tiny Tot Nature Program at Gulf Branch and Long Branch Nature Centers

Monday, June 24, 2013

Port Discovery Play Date Mondays

There are so many amazing places to take children to in the DC/MD/NOVA area. Port Discovery is near the top of my list. It is a truly phenomenal Children's Museum and is well worth the drive to Baltimore, if you live in DC or NOVA.

We have a membership there, so I was thrilled to hear that this Summer during July and August NO CAMP GROUPS are allowed. Perfect.

There is a wonderful area called Tot Trails for babies and toddlers. Its a safe, interesting space to let your little one crawl or run around (plus there is a nifty sandbox...see the photo above).

Wonders of Water includes raincoats and water shoes for your child to borrow. What kid doesn't ADORE water play?

I can't wait to take my girls this Summer.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

My Current Bucket List

Every time I start a new journal I write down a new "Bucket List."It's interesting to see how it changes every few months, depending on what is interesting me at that moment.

Here are a few things from my Current Bucket List...

1. Walk the Camino
2. Write and finish a Novel
3. Successfully complete National Novel Writing Month
4. Make a Stain-glass window
5. WWOOF on a farm
6. Learn how to make goat cheese
7. Visit India
8. Build a Herbal Spiral
9. Make a Pair of Wedding Rings with Papa Bear
10. Work my way through The 4-Hour Chef
11. Go to Burning Man
12. Spend the night in a Yurt
13. Make a Cob Oven
14. Take my girls to Prince Edward Island (after reading Anne of Green Gables to them)
15. Drive a Model T through Yosemite
16. Take a TRE Workshop
17. Take a Tintype
18. Help build a house
19. Take a class from a Cobbler and make my own shoes
20. Make a quilt
21. Become a certified Yoga Instructor
22. Visit the Buddhist Temple in Poolesville

Friday, June 21, 2013

Mount Vernon. Thank Goodness for Mrs. Field's and Digital Cameras.

I was planning on taking the girls to River Farm, yesterday, on my first solo jaunt with both of them. But, when I tried to turn off of GW Parkway and onto the road that leads to River Farm, there was a construction worker blocking the road. They were repaving the area and weren't allowing traffic.
I immediately decided to drive on to Mount Vernon.
I did this forgetting that I hadn't packed a stroller for Nye-Nye.
If you have ever been to Mount Vernon, you know visiting entails a LOT of walking, especially if you are two years old. Even the parking lot is far away.
Mount Vernon doesn't allow outside food, so there went the picnic I planned. We ate in the car instead.
I popped Anala in the Moby and off we went on our Little Adventure. Nye-Nye was a trooper. My strategy for avoiding a massive melt-down (where I would have to carry both girls plus a bag) was to keep the visit as short as possible.
We headed to the animals and then back. This took an hour and a half.
She was having a good time and didn't want to leave, so I bribed her with a chocolate cookie from Mrs. Field's. It worked beautifully. I let her take photos on the walk back, during which told me frequently, "I need a break." After each little rest, I reminded about the cookie waiting for her at the "restaurant."
When we got to the Food Court, I let her carry the cookie in the little brown bag to the cashier and then outside. We walked a bit and then I let her sit on the bench to eat half the cookie. I took the other half and told her she could eat it when we got to the car.
I was terrified the entire time that she would throw a tantrum because she was too tired. But, she was amazing! We walked at least 1 1/2 miles.
Anala slept in the entire time.
All in all it was a positive experience. Below are some photos. I love the photo of the trees. They're so gorgeous. Doesn't the photo feel so timeless?





Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Roles Will Soon Be Reversed

Right now Big Sissher can't get enough of Baby Sissher. At 6 1/2 weeks, Baby Sissher isn't so sure of this sister thing, yet. Sometimes she is in danger of being smothered by too much Love. Before we know it, I'm sure the baby will be desperately crawling after her sister and the roles will be reversed.
Nye-Nye frequently points to her lap and says "Me hold. Me hold." After less than 10 seconds, she will then declare, "All done. All done" and will want the baby off her lap. She spends much of the day touching the baby's face and trying to cuddle with her.
On a side note, I can't believe how fast the baby is losing her hair (way faster than her sister coming soon comparing photos of the girls). We love our Little Old Man Baby.




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