Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Feeling Normal Again

Katie Rose is now one month old.  What a month it has been!  But I realized today that I feel as if she's always been here.  She's our irreplacable little girl.  And it's just the way God meant it to be.

Blogging has been way at the bottom of my list of priorities this past month.  Okay, okay, that's usually where it is anyway. So here are some backlogged Baptism photos:
May 5:  The best moment of her life, and she sleeps through it.
Parents and godparents, our dear friends Katie and Chuckie.

(The rest of the pictures are more current.)  I'm grateful that I am feeling healthy again, enough to really enjoy having two children.  Most of the time, anyway. :)  There are still moments of not being sure of how to handle the active toddler while being stuck on the couch nursing for the fifth time this morning, but those are already becoming surprisingly routine.  And so not the end of the world.  He's already used to hearing, "Wait until the baby is finished eating."  We're reading a lot more books and learning the virtues of patience and putting someone else's needs first.  I suppose the old saying is true, that everything unknown is taken for wonderful. Actually it's a Latin phrase, I believe beginning with "Ignotus," and all a cursory Google gives me is Harry Potter fan fiction about Ignotus Peverell.  If anyone knows the phrase I'd be much obliged.

So to get it out of the way:  Why I was on bedrest for ten days of the last thirty.  Firstly, crazy bleeding after delivery left me very weak.  Then retained placenta caused more crazy bleeding.  That appears to have been resolved by Methergen, without need for surgery.  Lastly, the nastiest case of mastitis of my motherhood career to date. More drugs appear to have done their job.

It's amazing to me just how quickly the "normal" feeling is coming back, given all the above medical drama and all the soothsaying out there about how hard it is adjusting to two children.  Don't misunderstand me, I'm not saying it's easy!  Certainly not!  It's just that the feeling of dread I had about the first few days after my mother left town and my husband went back to work is definitely gone now.  I'm starting to settle back into a routine, by which I mean there's a very real possibility of having dinner ready and a load of laundry put away, with plenty of playtime and outside time for everyone.  I wish I hadn't worried so much about the adjustment part.  I'm confident it will feel completely normal soon.

Meanwhile, I'm just enjoying the ride.  Thank you for all your prayers for my recovery.  It also helps to have had so many generous friends to help with meals and childcare in the beginning, so I could regain my health to tackle Level 2 of motherhood.  We are just so blessed all around!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Marketing Self-Sufficiency

There’s no denying that more and more people are interested in doing things like growing vegetables and raising chickens in their backyard, reducing their energy usage, and playing with fire so they can tell their wives they’re working on alternative fuel sources.  And most of them, like my husband and me, are total wannabes.  May as well face the facts. Last year we mostly grew weeds.   We’re not moving out to the weed farm anytime soon.

The raised bed is now (mostly) planted.  Pole beans are in the very back.  Peppers and tomatoes will fill in the middle.

BUT.  But, you will never see us purchasing cedar raised bed kits or “authentic vintage” copper garden tools.  I’m seeing so many unnecessary products being sold through mass retailers to the self-sufficiency wannabes it’s laughable.  Does nobody else see the irony here?  Self-sufficiency is all about using what you have and buying less.  It’s the antithesis of the mass retail chain.  

Most ludicrous was an antique French washtub being marketed as a planter.  Of course it was very expensive.  Apparently people are willing to spend hundreds of dollars to look like they’re cool using old junk.  But not just any old junk!  French junk!  It’s silly.  
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The marketing of “vintage” has been going on for quite some time now.  A lot of people are nostalgic for “the good old days” without ever having known them.  That sort of unfulfilled, ill-defined void in people’s souls is exactly what marketers look for.  
Last year's unmanagably massive space. Ryan's going to experiment with "The Three Sisters" (corn, beans, and squash) as companion plantings once the weeds under the plastic cook a little longer.
They also exploit our desire to see ourselves as a certain image.  We all want to be the cool kids.  And right now all the cool kids are growing tomatoes.  What they don’t want you to know is the ones actually doing it are more likely to be using old sour cream containers than their hydroponics for dummies kit.

You can’t buy self-sufficiency at Williams-Sonoma or Lowes.  It can only be bought in what my dad calls “sweat equity.”  Our consumer culture is really, really bad at it.  So far I’ve been bad at it, too.  But it’s good for the soul.  
More like mammoth popsicle stick.

The thing about vegetable gardens and such is that they require you to stick with it consistently, if you want anything edible out of them.  They don’t care how fancy your set-up is.  If you don’t put in the work, you won’t get results.  Mother Nature doesn’t negotiate, regardless of extenuating circumstances (We just had a baby, it’s just too hot out, whatever.).

All the actual plants are in our front yard. I got impatient waiting for the raised bed to be ready.

I’ve done enough to know, however, that even modest successes are extremely rewarding.  Stick with it! 

I’m definitely pep-talking myself here.  If it helps you at all, dear reader, great!  And I must confess I was agog over a dehydrator I saw in the Williams-Sonoma catalog.  Maybe to reward myself when I have enough produce to require drying it for winter…
Thank goodness for mesclun mix.  If the world falls apart, we'll probably have to live on mesclun.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

A Rose is a Rose is a Rose

It is "Kathryn Rose" after all.  After all of our debating back and forth and finally settling on "Kathryn Grace" in the event of a girl-child.  When she was born we kept calling her "Katie Rose" and then correcting ourselves.  Eventually we gave up.  She couldn't be anything other than Katie Rose.  She looked like a little rose when she was born, all soft and pink with that adorable little pouty rosebud of a mouth.  She still does.  Apparently the consensus of family and friends favored "Rose" all along, anyway.  Her patroness is still Our Lady, under the title of Mystical Rose/Our Lady of the Rosary, so I don't think She minded our last-minute change.  :-)

After two weeks, Katie Rose and I are ready for the internet again.  This time we were delayed by an irrascible router, general postpartum adjustments, and an ongoing adventure with retained placenta.  Now I am on bedrest from said adventure, so I'll be free for blogging in the next couple of days if all goes well.  Pray for my husband and me.  All I have to do is stay in bed and wait and see what happens.  Ryan has to do what I usually do!  Now the little girl needs to be changed and nursed, so I'll leave you with that fascinating cliffhanger.

Katie Rose

Kathryn Rose
Born April 27, 2012
2:04 a.m.
7 lbs. 11 oz. 20"