Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Twirly Girl

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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: My Baby's Baby Bump

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mama's Hands: A Poem

Here's a little poem I wrote a ways back about how beautiful a mother's hands are and how many tasks they complete each day.  Enjoy!

Mama's Hands
Hands that help, that touch, that serve.
Hands with wrinkles, dimples and curves.

Small hands, big hands, plain and extraordinary hands.

Bony hands, chubby hands, hands that show age so young or so grand.

Hands that lift, support and hold.

Hands that build, that clean, that do tasks untold.

Hands that cover,

Hands that cool,

Hands that warm,

Hands that have amazing ability to transform.

Hands that create,

Hands that applaud,

Hands that protect,

and hands that make what's wrong correct.

Hands that move slow,

Hands that move fast.

Hands with scars that tell stories of the past.

Hands that work hard,

Hands that take rests.

Hands that repeat and repeat,

The same daily quests.

Hands that shield,

Hands that teach,

Hands that wipe away tears with a gentle reach.

Hands that heal,

                     that encourage,
                               that hope,
                                          that speak beauty,
                                                       that inspire,
                                                                 that believe.

Hands that without shame,

Complete one of the most important tasks in our world:

To unconditionally love and teach little hands to do the same.

Copyright Genevieve Rostad 2011 

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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Choosing Who Will Be at the Birth of My Child

I've said it before and I'm saying it again now: in spite of having a blog where I deal out the intricacies of my life so thousands of strangers all around the world can read them, I really am a private person. :) I'm pretty calculated and think through things (or talk).  Nearly every decision of mediocre importance takes contemplation.  

The choice of who to have present at the birth of my second child is big decision for me, because I am fairly guarded. 

For some people, it's easy to invite all grandparents, aunts, uncles and close friends to take part in different parts of the birth.  That's NOT me!  In fact, I think most women who labor naturally want a quiet, dark space, with only their most trusted within reach.  

If it's up to me, I don't want to see anyone for about 24 hours after the birth and I want to just rest with my baby!  I didn't have that with India (Daddy was a little too excited and couldn't wait to show off his baby girl), and I didn't even take a nap until India was about 10 days old!  That's not happening again, even the husband agrees as he saw what it did to me. 

With India, my first, I knew I wanted a doula.  I interviewed a couple of doulas and settled immediately with a great gal, who was just starting up her doula business.  I had peace as soon as we started talking that this was the person, besides my husband and midwife, who was going to be present at the birth of our child.  I decided fairly early in pregnancy to go with her.  India's birth went great and I was thankful for everything she did for us!

I discovered that during India's labor and birth, I relied heavily on my husband.  Leaning on him, looking to him, and holding his hand while I listened to his comforting voice.  I could get away without anyone else there if he was by my side constantly. 

But if he needed a break, or had to do something, I was all over my doula.  I've learned I need secondary support there, just for additional reassurance, support and strength.

So who do I pick?

A doula?  We can't really afford one right now but I did have a great experience with my doula.  I know they are completely underpaid and their work is invaluable.

A friend or family member?  Maybe.  Can they be confidential and are they willing to support my birth choices?  Will our relationship remain intact if I tell them 'no' or I change my mind and want them to skip out on something?

Just a photographer?  Then rely on my midwife or a nurse if my husband has to step out for a bit?

No one?  That could work.  It is a beautiful, intimate moment, so just my husband's presence sounds good.  But then he doesn't get much of a break and has to be husband, dad, and photographer.

In spite of many unknowns, there are a few things I do know!

Whoever will be present at this birth must:

~Show confidentiality.  Remember, I'm a private person and naturally untrusting...  If I even smell the slightest hint that this person would share with others any details of my life or events that happen during this labor and birth without my consent, they're X'ed off my list immediately.  With my doula with India, we didn't know each other but I could tell she wasn't going to gossip or share with anyone.  To me, that was her most valuable asset.  Knowing someone is trustworthy means the world to me.

~Be natural-minded.  Yes, birth can be a great teaching opportunity, but I'm not up to being the guinea pig in this situation.  I thought about letting some people in that don't have kids yet (my first doula didn't), as long as they are helpful with my choices.  I need and want someone there who will support my decision to labor naturally, without interventions, for as long as it takes.  For those of you who have been there, you know the doubts that can enter your mind, so having someone who has the same goals and supports your intentions is critical.

~They need to be able to use a camera.  Sounds funny, but they do!  I don't need a photographer or someone with a fancy camera, they just need to be able to point and shoot when baby is born.  

Here I am, entering my third trimester and I haven't picked anyone to be a part of this momentous experience.  It is a big deal to me.  This child will only be physically born one time - there are no do-overs and although I don't expect perfection, I do want to look back with fondness (as I do with India's birth) on one of the greatest days of my life.

Our little family less than 10 minutes after India was born!

How did you decide who was present at the birth of your children?  What supportive qualities were important to you as you made that choice?

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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: A Serious Moment



Thursday, May 3, 2012

Guest Post: DIY Homemade Tahini

As an avid DIYer I know that when spring arrives I’m often busy working on a number of house remodeling and freelance projects like interior and exterior painting. Several years ago around this time I realized I needed to eat more nutritionally while on the job and stumbled upon tahini, one of the world’s healthiest foods.

A pasty substance used as a staple from North Africa to China tahini is composed of ground sesame seeds and became a great supplement to my diet.

Finished Tahini

It’s a good source of antioxidants, copper and iron, and its high levels of calcium and protein make it ideal for vegetarians and vegans.

While I am neither I don’t only use it as a sauce to sprinkle on meat and chicken but often utilize it as the main ingredient in salad dressing, have been known to mix it with rice and fish, and when the recipe calls I even put it in cookies!
Still, the best way to eat tahini is with some fresh baked bread and olive oil and although it could be bought pre-made I’d recommend mixing it yourself. The process isn’t difficult and only takes a few minutes from start to finish. The biggest problem you’ll run into is deciding if you like it creamier or thicker.

Because it’s so easy to make, I suggest doing some trial runs to see what works best for you. I used to like it saucy yet after having dinner at a friend’s where she made it thick I actually started pouring it out of the container and dabbing in the raw paste with my fingers.

So if you’re interested in trying out tahini but not sure where to start here’s a little guide for your adventure:

1.      Purchase tahini paste, preferably an organic brand, and gather the following items.

•       A container that holds at least four cups (you probably won’t make this much just for yourself but the deeper dish helps when mixing) and a mixing spoon.
•       1 lemon
•       2 cups of water
•       Salt
•       1 cup of fresh parsley and/or coriander (optional)

2.      Start small and pour 1 cup of tahini into the bowl. I don’t focus on the measuring part so much so don’t be afraid if you eyeball it and drop in a little more or a little less.

3.      Squeeze half the lemon pouring the juice minus any seeds on the tahini paste and mix together vigorously.

Once you start mixing and the paste expands it gets creamy and the type of desired consistency becomes clearer. The more liquid you drop in the creamier it will be. Also consider whether to add in the other half of lemon. Doing so makes it tarter as opposed to pouring in water which will tone it down. Either way it’s all about experimentation and personal expression so take your time and find a good balance.

4.      Once you’ve come to some sort of conclusion regarding consistency mix in salt a little bit at a time tasting as you go.

5.      Finally, after the actual tahini is ready to eat an optional step is to add chopped parsley or coriander. Doing so changes the texture slightly but provides further flavor to the overall experience.

Jakob Barry is a home improvement journalist for He blogs for pros across the U.S. like Lemon Grove, CA, painters and Portland, OR, Garage Door