Monday, April 30, 2012

Introducing Eleanor Jean!

Easter Sunday: Big and incomfortable
Friday the 13th: After only 8 hours of active labor and only 2 hours at the birthcenter, Eleanor arrives.
Two weeks later: Awesome friend wants to practice photography. Aren't they cute!
Birth stats: Born 6:44am April 13th Weight: 9 lbs 8 oz Length: 21.75 inches Head: 13 inches Birth: complete natural and drug free For those that are interested, I do plan on posting a birth story when I get it written.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Musings of a Pregnant Mom: Home birth vs. Hospital birth

Today I was reading an article online about a home birth advocate who died during childbirth. Being the glutton for punishment that I am, I decided to read the comments below the article and, of course, they made me mad. So mad that even though I am not one to post comments where they can be dragged through the mud, I need to get my thoughts out there before I go insane.

First and formost, I have absolutely no problems with home births. Also, with some qualifications, I have no problems with those who chose to have their babies in the hospital. But it really gets me when people say that those who chose a home birth are uninformed and endagering their lives as well as the lives of their children. So here is my response to those people.

Yes, it is important to be informed when making a decision regarding the birth of your child. And yes, those that have tragic experiences with home birth may have been uninformed, but not in the way that you think. Those who have hospital births may be just as poorly informed as those home birth moms. When choosing where and with whom you want to have your baby, the most important thing about which you should be well informed is your health care provider. There are good doctors and not so good doctors. There are good midwives and not so good midwives. Whatever kind of birth experience you choose, you must be well informed on the person overseeing your birth.

When choosing a midwife, you need to know their record. How long have they been attending births? What is their maternal/infant mortality rate? What is their hospital transfer rate? Are they licensed? Can you get references from previous birth moms who have used their services? Is the midwife sensitive to your needs and concerns? What is your midwife's plan if something seems to be wrong? In my opinion, you need to find a midwife who meets your needs and desires as well as being careful to observe warning signs and get you the care you need before it is too late.

While those in the medical field stress how important it is to be informed when it comes to our care, how many future moms do you know that know anything about their OBs and hospitals? Just like for midwives, moms need to closely examine their OBs and the hospitals they work at. How long have they been practicing? What is their maternal/infant mortality rate? What is their cesarean rate? Are interventions like Pitocin, episiotomies, forceps, epidurals etc routine or are they only used when necessary? Do they talk to you about the risks of each procedure before they perform it? Are they sensitive to your needs and concerns? Do they involve you in the decision process or do they just tell you what is going to happen? Just because you are giving birth in a hospital does not mean that everything is going to be safe and perfect. However, by choosing a good provider, you can minimize your risks just like you would by choosing a good midwife for a home birth.

Now, what have I chosen for my next birth experience? I am going with a group of midwives that operate a birth center. My main midwife has a fabulous track record (25 years worth) and the birth center as a whole has amazing stats
(ie very low hopital transfers, very low cesarean rate and no maternal/infant mortality). I feel very comfortable with the care that I receive there and know that they will get me the help that I need if warning signs appear. I do NOT feel like I am uninformed and while I am not choosing to have a home birth (they suduced me with talks of massages and meals brought in to me which I would not get at home), these same midwives do attend home births and I would feel comfortable having them attend any future home births I might plan.

Ok, I'll step down from the soap box now. Have a great day!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Welcome to Jackson Acres!

I'd like to be the first to welcome you to our new home.

That's right! We are buying a home! And not just any home....

Our new residence includes the following:
2.13 acres (Can you hear chickens?)
partially unfinished basement
well established apple trees (and a few nuts. No, I'm not talking about us.)
grape, raspberry and blackberry vines
black walnut tree just begging for a tree house
hardwood floors
roomy kitchen

We really are buying our dream home. Because I'm too tired to do much else, here are some pictures for your enjoyment.

Karl took some vidoes as well, but they are too long to post here. I'll see what I can do.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

We have a job!

After just a few months of unemployment, we have received a job offer (two actually) and have accepted one. What a great feeling it is to know that in a month Hubby will be earning an actual income. Even better, we don't have to move. Since his job will be 15 minutes from where we currently live, we'll continue to live with my sister until we save enough for a nice down payment.


Monday, January 3, 2011

Not your usual "Dinner in a Pumpkin"

Have any of you been intrigued by the idea of dinner in a pumpkin? I have. I think it is a wonderful idea, despite the fact that all the stuffed pumpkins I had experienced were, ummm, interesting: too much sugar, too much ground beef, cream of mushroom soup, and all sorts of other processed food options. Since I'm all for healthy, homemade, whole foods, I decided to come up with my own recipe. I was amazed at how easy it was to come up with a delicious recipe that met all my requirements, and now you can be amazed too!

Not your usual dinner in a pumpkin
1 5 LB Winter Squash
1 cup Quinoa
1 cup Onion , chopped
3 cloves Garlic , minced
1 cup Mushrooms , sliced
2 cups Vegetable broth
4 cups Kale , finely chopped
1 cup Meat , such as browned sausage or ground beef, cooked chicken, or whatever you have on hand
4 leaves Sage, finely minced

Start with an eating squash (not a jack-o-lantern pumpkin). I've used amber cup and kabocha squashes with amazing results. Cut a lid out of the top like a jack-o-lantern and scrape out all the seeds and strings. Lightly salt inside the pumpkin and set aside.

In a small saucepan heat a small amount of vegetable oil or butter and add the onions and garlic. Cook them until translucent and tender. Add the mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the sage, quinoa, and veggie broth and cook until the water is mostly gone. Add the kale and stir in. If desired, stir in the meat and then put the whole mixture into the cavity of the pumpkin.

Place a small piece of foil over the opening and replace the lid of the pumpkin. Put the squash on a cookie sheet or in an oven safe dish and bake for 1.5 to 2 hours, or when the squash can be easily pierced with a fork.

Remove whole pumpkin to a serving dish. Make sure to scrape the sides of the pumpkin as you serve so you get all that yummy squash!

Some notes:
You can use brown rice or a mix of brown rice and quinoa. If you use a mix, add the brown rice first, let it cook for about ten minutes, and then add the quinoa.

The meat is optional. This dish can be a very tasty vegetarian or vegan meal.

If you don't like kale, I'm sorry. But if you really must replace it with something else, know that kale works because it takes some cooking to get it tender. Whatever you use will need to be similar so you don't end up with vegetable mush. If you haven't tried kale, you should! It doesn't have a strong, "aquired taste" flavor, tastes fabulous with garlic, and is so healthy.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Jack should have been a baker

This is the butter that I made.


This is the dough that was rolled in thin layers
With the butter that I made.


These are the pastries baked from the dough
That was rolled in thin layers
With the butter that I made.


These are the layers found in the pastries (243 of them, baby!)
That were baked from the dough
That was rolled in thin layers
With the butter that I made.


These are the children devouring the layers (all 243 of them!)
That were found in the pastries
That were baked from the dough
That was rolled in thin layers
With the butter that I made.

By the way, I love this book.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Musings of a Food Crazed Weirdo: The Best Food Website

When it comes to blogs/websites/etc, if you want to me to be a follower you have got to be pretty special. If don't know you, you have got to be extra, extra special. And if you are a website dedicated to food, well, let's just say I'm picky.

Because I am so picky, I just have to share my newest favorite food website that I happened to stumble upon just a few months ago. And for something to beat Epicurious, that is saying something. I would highly recommend it, especially for recipes for those obscure veggies. We just can't get enough of this kale recipe and there are so many other recipes I can't wait to try.

But it isn't just the recipes! I love their articles. OK, sure, they are a little heavy on the local food, non-industrial food thing, but I like that. I like good honest food without fillers etc (I noticed my heaving whipping cream had added skim milk, oils, and a thickener. How is that cream?). It is amazing how much more control you have over what you eat when you start with the basics. I discovered that it is possible to make your own baking powder after my newest sister-in-law mentioned that commercial baking powder has cornstarch, to which she is allergic. I've tried it (1 part baking soda, 2 parts cream of tartar) and it works well. And I control what goes into my food.

Enough of that soapbox, I do really like Culinate. Check it out. You just might like it too.