8 months pregnant!

3 09 2011

We have a rather unusual living situation here. Picture a large 1940-s farmhouse set on 8 acres, partially wooded. In the back we have the orchard with a trail leading down to the tree line, which houses a small (polluted) creek and pond. In the house, we have 6 bedrooms, which house Mr. Ewe and I, our “landlord” “T”, a world-travelling aquaponics system builder, “M”, and then my closest friend “C” and her partner, “P”.

My midwife is 30 minutes away, and has a lovely birthing suite that I used almost exactly 9 years ago. We have had several house meetings with our roommates to make sure they were comfortable with my need to have a homebirth. Lucky for us, everyone is on board. T will probably shut himself up in his room (we don’t see him for days at a time anyhow), M will be out of town, C will be my and Mr. Ewe’s labor assistant, and “P” will be doing an imitation of “T”, but in his own bedroom. I probably won’t call the midwife until the last minute as I really just want her here if something goes bad and to sign off on the birth.

I am planning on letting C and P know when I go into labor because they are going to start making homemade chicken noodle soup (with homemade noodles!) for our first post-baby meal. Mr. Ewe is in charge of getting the fire nice and hot, putting stones into the crock pot for hot stone massage, and making my placenta smoothie as MY first post-baby meal (we’ve been collecting wild fruit all summer just for this smoothie).

I plan on walking around outside a lot, visiting with the goats a little, sitting on my birth ball, and possible ending up in the bathtub if I feel called to do so. We decided on not getting a birth tub just because I remember from last time I coped better with pacing than with water.

I am so excited for our newest housemate to arrive next month. I’ve been having some spotting and somewhat regular “contractions” for a couple weeks now, so the house has all but put me on bedrest, as no one is ready for the baby to come yet. I’ll be letting the midwife know at next week’s appointment what’s going on in case I really do need to be on bedrest. It’s nice having so many people around us that are just as excited and nervous for the baby as Mr. Ewe and I are. It’s also nice being put on light-duty and house rest and knowing that the chores will still get done.

I think right now, some of the things I am most excited about are eating some placenta to see how that helps with PPD, and getting breastfeeding right this time. I really am looking forward to having a breastfeeding relationship with my child that doesn’t hurt me and frustrate both of us.

 

The last few weeks have been so busy here! We have been working like mad to get our newest housemates moved in, get the house ready for fall/winter, get the animals ready for fall/winter, plus I have had an insane urge to nest.

For starters, when C and P arrived, we (everyone else but me, really) had to empty out our basement. This house has been a rental for a large number of years, and has accumulated a lot of left behind, unwanted junk as people have moved on. As these things piled up, storage space got smaller and smaller for the people still living here. It finally came to a head when we realized that we had new tenants: rats. The cats had done what they could, but the rats had too many hiding places and ways in/out that the cats couldn’t get to. The rats had to go. And going they are. As stuff gets removed to the driveway for sorting we are finding nests, entries and cat toys (dead rats) all over the place.

Seeing everyone else cleaning the basement led me to clean out my bedroom. It is on the NE corner of the house, and is therefore quite dark most of the year… especially in winter. The previous user of this space had painted it this godawful pastel puke mint green color with brown trim. I couldn’t take living in a pastel mint green room anymore. So C and I broke out the paint I had brought with me from my old apartment and re-did my walls. Now they are a rich deep purple and egg-yolk orange. I had Mr. Ewe hang a bunch of shelves after the paint cured, and got all of my stuff out of my dresser and onto shelving. I also got everything I have for Bean so far on shelves. In one corner right next to my side of the bed, I set up a nice Ikea chair I got from the thrift store a year ago. The chair is right next to a window and underneath Bean’s shelves. It’s my new nursing corner for when I want to get out of bed, but don’t want to leave the bedroom. I absolutely love my “new” bedroom!

We still need one more wall’s worth of shelves for Mr. Ewe so we can sell his dresser, and one wall of book cases so we can unpack the last of our boxes. The last thing I want to do to my room is to hang fabric on the ceiling to muffle sound. We are directly beneath M’s room, and when she is home, I don’t want to interrupt her sleep with a crying baby, if possible.

And the last thing I really want to get done before Bean comes (besides about 10,000 sewing and knitting projects) is to get the animals ready for winter. We need some sort of a mobile pen for them to go in during the day for rotational grazing, the goat pen itself needs to be expanded about 75%, and we need a more permanent and stable barn for the animals to sleep in. Right now they are in a lean-to type shack, and the “barn” is really just some 4×4’s sticking up from the ground. Yesterday we got the pen bedded with 8 cubic yards of fir mulch that we had delivered for free. I think the plan is to deep bed the barn and pen through the winter, and then clean it out to the garden in the spring as compost.

I will have pictures hopefully soon, as soon as I figure out which box my camera ended up in when I cleaned out my room to paint.

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Be careful what you wish for!

6 05 2011

AKA: Affirmations work when you do them and believe in them.!!

I have been trying pretty hard to stay upbeat this Spring. This has been the darkest, coldest, rainiest Spring-ter I can remember in Seattle. Since I have been making sure I take all my vitamins, including 5,000iu of Vitamin D and 50 mg of Iron everyday to combat my low Vitamin D levels and anemia I have been feeling better… less cold and tired, more energy to get out of the house and do things.

Money of course is as tight as ever, but I have been doing things to not focus quite so much on that. I have been working on my personal development, and one of the things that has been really important to me has been to do daily affirmations. I have made myself a dream/wish/affirmation journal that I am only allowed to write positive things in. I keep a regular journal too, but I find I use it mostly to vent and to unscramble my thoughts by putting them on paper to look at. Not really all that uplifting, hence the dream journal.

Well, yesterday (wow, was it really just yesterday?) I wrote down 2 whole pages of affirmations that I plan on making on making flash card versions of to hang all over my bedroom walls. It started out that I was going to work on my birth affirmations for when I go into labor with Bean, and ended up being anything I thought would make my life better in general.

Well, after writing all these affirmations out, I really felt that I should do something proactive for my life. We have this giant property that we can do pretty much whatever we want on. It is over 7 acres, half of it is wooded with a pond and stream, we have a fruit orchard, a raspberry bed, nettles and blackberries and salmon berries all over the place. The grass is getting so tall that I lost my dog in it. In other words, paradise is getting overgrown.

So I take these daily walks around the property looking at slugs and thinking, “Someday I will have ducks to eat these slugs.” I look at all the spiders everywhere and think “Someday I will have chickens to eat these spiders, and then I will have delicious fresh eggs to eat.” I look at the tall tall grass and think “Someday I will have sheep, and they will eat this grass and then I will get beautiful wool.” And then I look at all these blackberries and nettles (literally acres) and think “Someday I will have goats to eat these blackberries and nettles, and then I will have milk to make things with and drink.”

Yesterday morning, I decided that I want someday to be now. I can wish and dream all I want, but action is what makes things happen. I watched a neighbors goat die of loneliness and decided that there are a lot of animals on small backyard and hobby farms that people don’t want or don’t want to take care of and don’t want to go out of their way to find homes for.

So I posted an ad on Craigslist. I basically said “I am not a rescue or a non-profit, but I have a lot of space, a big heart, and would love to help you out by taking your unwanted animals. In exchange you get to help me out.” Honestly, I was expecting a bunch of leftover roosters and bunnies from Easter, maybe an old goat or sheep that has special needs or is just plain lonely.

Instead I won the lottery. I had a woman call me needing help rehoming a herd of dairy goats as she was leaving town next Wednesday (this was on a Thursday) and could I help?

I slept on it to make sure that I wasn’t being selfish for wanting this when our finances are so tight. But when I woke up, I realized that a free working dairy herd is a hard thing to pass up, as it is a form of revenue for our new little farm. I told Mr. Ewe that we could sell off whatever goats we decide we don’t want to keep after we’ve had them a week or two, and use the money to stock up on bags of COB, bales of straw and hay, and to pick up some seaweed meal and dolomite and diatomaceous earth to make our little herd happy and healthy.

We set to work right away designing a simple three-sided goat shed out of the wind and rain, decided where to put it, and began clearing and leveling the land. Tomorrow I get to drive down and look at the goats and pick up goat supplies, and Mr. Ewe is going to stay home with his best good friend and one of our roommates and they are going to finish building the shed and putting in a fence. Hopefully on Sunday I will be able to take delivery of them and have things all ready for my new goat mamas and babies.

In regards to how I feel about affirmations now, I will quote a line from one of my favorite movies ever (The Jerk) “Jeeze, this shit really works.”

And now pics, cause it really did happen. :)





Almost Made It

14 02 2011

Yesterday, work on the rv started promptly at 10am. M set to work taking all the batteries out and cleaning all the terminals with a baking soda slurry, then toothpaste, and finally vaseline. As he was doing that, I was taking advantage of a break in the rain to RainX all the windows (mostly to remove the moss).
After about 8 hours of diligent work, M had everything cleaned, lubed and polished. We put some gas in the engine and she started right up, and started charging the batteries right away.
We got in took her for a test ride around the block and felt good about the 20 mile drive home.
So we loaded everything up properly, M got in the other car to follow me, and we headed towards the I-5. We stopped at a gas station by the heavily congested (at 8pm on a Sunday night!) Freeway for a quart of oil and some gas.
Good news: the gas tank doesn’t leak. Bad news: for the quart of oil we put in, 1/4cup leaked out immediately. We are hemmoraghing oil. We turned around and headed right back to the seller’s house for the night.
There is no way we are driving a rv 20 miles in stop and go traffic with an engine that can’t keep oil in it.
There is a lining to this cloud though… the guy at the auto parts store has seen a lot of olderdodge engines like ours, and a common problem they have is with an old, leaky oil valve. It should be easy to replace, and only cost about $10.





Its been a long time

11 02 2011

image

Just found this awesome wordpress app for my Android. Hopefully I can stay updated here on a more regular basis.

The man and I just bought our first home together! Its a 1978 Chevy Cabana motorhome. It looks like crap. It’s been sitting in a driveway for 3 years collecting mildew and ssssslime all over the outside. It is 27 feet long, with shag carpet on the inside.

I have no clue what to do with a motorhome. We have a steep learning curve ahead of us, but I am sick of renting crappy sub-standard housing from slum lords. As a woman working an entry-level job that doesn’t pay enough I also have poor credit due to years of neglect. These factors combine to a point where I am stuck in a cycle of pretty much being poor.

I see that the only way out of this for me is to take matters into my own hands. So I started by convincing my husband to quit the apartments and live in an rv. We are doing this to cut our costs so we can focus on taking a class each per quarter and turning the dream of owning a business into a reality.

If anyone out there reads this, consider it a letter of application. I am applying for a long-term place to park our rv while we go to school and start our business. Free would be the best price, but we would be willing to exchange services for rent.

I am a gardener, doula, child birth educator, nutritionist. I can exchange yard work, veggies from the garden, child care help building cob projects, livestock care etc.

My husband is a carpenter, welder and chef by trade. He is willing to trade construction work, handyman services, veggies from the garden, welding, and cooking services.

  








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