Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Spring Break!

Though it might seem like it
not everything is about my pregnancy
it's just I've had to keep quiet all my emotions, hopes and fears for so long
now that we've finally gone public
I have a lot to say

But day to day life, aside from eating every two hours and
all the unavoidable body/natural things that remind me I am pregnant every moment
My thoughts are more focused on the here and now
the immediate
and last week was all about G

He was on Spring Break
and it was my week
I always feel so lucky to have him with me on vacation weeks
I used to work, a lot and a lot of crazy hours
when G was on Spring Break, I was groggy or running to work
or hectic and could not focus on him
last week was about me and my little guy
which does remind me how lucky I am
to have the time to spend and to have a little boy
he's on the brink of  little boy to teen
and I don't want to miss a second or let things slip by
I could get babysitters when he's with me and do adult type activities
but time passes quickly and I don't want to miss or lose these moments for an adult moment
I could have anytime

G had a doctor appointment that, at the last minute
I was able to get
it was very important and superseded everything else
Otherwise, I considered taking him off on a mini get away
just me and him
but this appointment was too important to wait and schedule later
so we found as many fun things to do at home as we could
We took a trip to the library and ice cream parlor
We had the first bonfire of many
Visited the batting cages, where G quickly realized he was rusty.  But after a little bit, was able to hit pretty well
Enjoyed a late night trip to the theater to watch the new Captain America movie.  It felt a little naughty because it was a school night, so that made it even more fun.  Chris and G surprised me Friday night by running to the store, renting Frozen and buying ingredients for banana splits.  On Sat we played putt putt and Sunday went to a BBQ. 

It was a great week.  I feel so lucky to have the freedom I do to really enjoy this time with him!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


Since my last post about being pregnant, I've had a few people ask me about
the great ground beef aversion
No, I did not suddenly wake up and out of nowhere hate ground beef
I am and always have been very picky about meat
very picky
I could easily be a vegetarian
in fact,  I was for a period
My Mother recalls me being high chair young and refusing to eat meat
instead, only eating fruits and vegetables 
I refused to eat: ground beef browned and mixed into anything, bacon, ham, pepperoni, ribs, hot chicken on cold salad...the list of meat aversions starting very young goes on and on

Back in college my roommate was a nursing student
she was furious at the amount of food I consumed and my ability to stay thin
So frustrated, in fact, that she told her nutrition Professor
and the Professor assured her there was a reason
For a week, she had to mark down everything she ate and everything I ate
and compare calories and fat
What she found at the end made her angry
but proved a valuable point
even as college students
even eating at the same places our consumption was very different
when we ordered pizza, she got pepperoni
I got mushroom
I could eat more slices and still get less fat/calories because of the pepporoni
when we went to Taco Bell
I only ate bean burritos
she got soft taco supremes
My natural distaste for meat was the secret
oh and my complete and total aversion to milk.   hate milk, always have and will not touch the stuff
my roommate loved milk, drank a lot of it and thought it meant she was healthy
her nutrition instructor said she was getting excessive amounts of fat and calories that I wasn't because
I drank water instead of milk

That natural distaste continued
I cannot stand bacon, unless it is used as flavoring
I hate roast beef most of the time
and I still don't like ground beef browned and mixed into anything
no hamburger helper for me, no added meat into spaghetti sauce
none of that.  I could, until becoming pregnant eat hamburgers, meatloaf, and sometimes chili
but mostly, I'd rather do without
now that I am pregnant No Thanks!
Mostly all I want is chicken and fish and both in very, very small amounts

So, my stomach turning from ground beef isn't new
it's just bigger

With both my sons, pregnancy caused me to pick up bad eating habits
I suddenly started to love hot dogs while pregnant with my oldest
and mayo with my youngest
both foods that I would not touch before pregnancy
but the habit continued after pregnancy
This pregnancy?
I'm turning into the healthiest eater ever
my cravings include greens, asparagus, copious amounts of cottage cheese, and fruit
Oh sure, I want ice cream and candy occasionally
but if I had to pick dinner...
well I did last night

 Chris ate beef stronganoff
 and had the fruit as a side
I was in Heaven just eating the fruit.
Today, all I can think about are salad greens and broccoli oh, and collard greens
now, some might worry that I'm not getting enough nutrients if I'm eating fresh fruit for dinner
what about protein?!
Not to worry...I eat all day everyday
including in the middle of the night
and I get my protein from a variety of places
just not high fat, low value ground beef

Monday, April 14, 2014

Reverb 14: April Showers

April Showers Bring May Flowers | We've had a long, wet, cold winter here and we're ready for spring.  Show us a photo of your "April showers" and tell us all about it.

The Polar Vortex passed.  We are in the midst of April showers.  Obviously, I am pregnant, as is the ground, as will be the animals.  Nature's rebirth is all around.  And, when you set your ear to the Earth and really listen, you become attune to the work that needs to be done.  You let the cycles take control and walk with the breeze instead of against it.  

For our lifestyle, that means watching for and knowing the timing, not being oblivious to subtle changes in weather.  We want to be as dependent on ourselves as possible.  So noting the change in temps is important.  Giving control to Mother Nature, and really listening to her, means not having to purchase things we can get on our own from the land. 
When my backyard started to melt during the day, but refroze at night in a disgusting display of winter's last stand, we tapped our maple tree.  The timing was right, although to the naked eye the world looked muddy, cold and gross.  The abundance has been pretty amazing.  Gallons and gallons of sap are being cooked down as we speak.  And when you consider that a quart of maple syrup goes for about $20, we are feeling rather luxurious thanks to Mother Nature.

The last photo is syrup, nearly ready after cooking on our little sugar shack outdoor stove all day.  It needs to be cooked a little longer and the little chunks of sugar that form on top have to be captured by running it through cheese cloth.  But, once the process is complete, we will have enough maple syrup to last the year and to be given away. 

While some were wasting away in misery while the Polar Vortex growled at the door, Chris and I were busy.  Our seed catalog arrived during one of the most brutal winter storms I have ever seen.  We use Victory Heirloom Seeds   We like the fact that they are a small, family owned business, that they are heirloom and not genetically modified, and their customer service is exemplary.  Last year we accidentally forgot to order one kind of seed and ordered too many of another.  Without so much as a grumble, they swapped out our order and sent us what we wanted.  The selection is huge and their standards match with ours. 

We took stock as Michigan experienced blizzard conditions and placed our order.  While the non-gardeners of the world sat dormant inside, we were anticipating the change.  Our grow station was born, complete with lights and a gentle method for watering delicate seeds. 
The brutality raged on, but inside spring appeared

The new, larger garden has been plotted.  The compost pile has been worked over by the chickens and nature is taking it's course.   Lettuce and spinach will be in the ground this week as they both taste better being exposed to cold. 

April showers here, is making sure the hopes and dreams for the summer are achieved.  It is setting into motion, prepping, and working toward the goal of harvest.  Much of the prep work has been done: orders placed, seeds planted, garden plotted, and sap collected. 

I love April Showers.  Some may hate it.  But to those of us listening to Mother Nature, trusting in her wisdom, it is a much needed season.  Much of the work is unnoticed and only viewed in the summer when the garden is in full bloom.  But we have been prepping for this moment for months.