Monday, May 31, 2010

Part Time

This week I officially go part time with Young Life. I haven't worked just one part time job since high school. I usually worked two because I like to work. The past four years has been so great as the Regional Administrator. I've learned more about serving and about grace. I do enjoy working in an office. The great thing about my job is I get the best of both worlds. On one hand I get to work in an office by myself (mostly) and task master. I love having a list of things to do and seeing it dwindle down. I love helping other staff with things they don't get or can't do. Okay, it borders on pride sometimes. But in those spaces God shows up. On the other hand I get to work with people. And for the most part I like people. I really like YL staff people. I love working for Young Life and I am so so thankful that I get to keep doing it in a part time capacity. Plus I get to work alongside my friend, Amanda. This is teaching me how to ask for help and rely on others. Thanks God for not giving up on me.

It will feel a little weird working part time, but I'm excited because I get to be home 2 days with Charis. She'll still come to the office with me until the fall when she goes to "daycare" part time. I think I'm going to open a center for parents who work part time. And by part time I mean more than 4 hours a day. But, you take what you can get. She'll go 3 days a week for 4 hours and that will give me a good chunk of time without her at the office. The rest of the time she'll be learning to crawl and play within the walls of our office.

I am so thankful to keep doing what I'm doing. The arrogant part of me believes I can do just as much and just as well in my new PT capacity. Oh, how God will have a hay day with that. But, I do have Amanda to not only help me at work, but to keep me humble. God always knows what I need when he gives me friends.

Stay tuned for some updates on how the PT is going. Oh, and I did just finish working for the Census for the month as an Enumerator. That's a whole other post.

and here's a little lovey for you

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I heart deals!

I love a good deal. I love when you go to the check out and something rings up even cheaper than you had expected. Oh, that gets me jazzed. I love garage sales and consignment sales. I love sale racks. I love thrift stores. To be honest, it's all I can afford. But I love them anyway.

Recently, I was really wanting an Ergo Baby Carrier. I love our Moby Wrap, but I wanted something a little more convenient. I posted my want on Facebook in hopes to find one. These carriers are like a Subaru, you can't find them used. Even on e-bay they are $50 bucks. (normally, $110). I wanted if free or cheap. Anyway, facebook was not a success. But. Yes, but. I went my Once Upon a Child to look for bibs. I took a chance and checked the carriers, and there hanging on the rack between snuglis was an Ergo Baby Carrier! I think I even said something out loud as I looked around to make sure no one was around, like this was a trick. As I searched for the price tag I see two beautiful numbers..a 1 and an 8. This carrier was for sale for only 18 bucks!! Unbelievable! This was such a great find. I was so stoked to find this $100 plus item (that I really wanted) for less than 20 bucks. Amazing.
I heart good deals.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Doula and The Farm

The first birth I was a part of was on August 28, 1997 when my sweet nephew Isaiah was born. My sister didn't care who was in the room and all I had to prepare me was what I'd seen on t.v. and some old pictures of my new self. I remember getting to the hospital and wondering where the doctor was. Napping. Oh, yes, of course. That makes perfect sense, right? Then, when it came to pushing, I found myself holding a leg. What?! I was wondering where the sheet was separating her upper body from her lower body so we could stay on the upper body side. Apparently, no such thing. When Isaiah came out I was flooded and overwhelmed. I had just witnessed the most incredible thing ever. Almost 3 months later I got to do it again when my best friend, Chaille, gave birth to her first son, Jackson. I was changed by these 2 births.

It wouldn't be for many years that I'd learn what a Doula is. In short, it's a "non-medical birth assistant." For hundreds and hundreds of years women have given birth surrounded by women. Doulas are an advocate, a resource, and above all a support for a mom and dad. I started looking into becoming a Doula and got quickly overwhelmed. Which organization should I train under? Should I get certified? How will I market myself? How will I get clients? and so on. I decided to check it out in early 2009. Then I got pregnant myself. I knew I wanted a Doula. Most Doulas help women who want to birth naturally, but I think Doulas are useful no matter how you birth. Anyway, I finally settled on an organization and went to my first Doula training workshop this past weekend at a place called The Farm. Whoa does this place have history! They've been birthing babies at the farm for many many years under the care of midwives. Secretly, I wanted to do my training here b/c I wanted to visit The Farm. (one thing we loved about this place is they call it "intentional community.")

the Chia Hut
It's called this b/c it's made from all natural materials including wheat. before they could apply the plaster the wheat sprouted and it looked like a Chia pet. it was like indoor camping. loved it. and Charis slept beautifully.

My training is through Birthing From Within. I settled here b/c I like a few things about them: 1. they seek to collaborate with the medical field, not against it. (oftentimes the natural birth movement and medical field are like oil & water)
2. they provide childbirth classes that are creative, interactive, and very educational
3. they are solution-focused, not problem-focused

For the 3 days of training it felt a little like when my church did Barnabas Training (Counseling). It's about getting to the reason behind things to help find a solution. There are "roles" people fall into that cause them to react or respond a certain way. I mean- that's the simplest way I can put it. It was very informative and counseling-esq.

I loved the women I met on this weekend. Some were practicing Doulas, a few were midwives, many were nurses, and some were like me. What motivated most of us, was our own births. The birth stories varied: traumatic cesareans then a VBAC, completely medical, or at home. I loved the common interest of the group. We would sit around the table for hours sharing stories and learning from each other. It was really great. I was encouraged and affirmed by my new friends. This community is way different than my community here at home.

a few of the women i got to hang out with

My hope is to keep praying about this and see what God wants to do with it in my life. I will also begin networking with folks in my community, it will be important for me to find a community. I hope to help educate and support women. All we have to go on about birth is what we've seen in our culture (mostly t.v.). It's really a jacked up view of birth. Yes, it's hard. Yes, it's painful. Yes, it is unpredictable. It's also beautiful and unique. (if you're looking for a Doula, or know someone who is, call me! serious.)

us at the farm Ecovillage

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Legit pics

My sweet and amazing friend, Jen, and her incredible husband, Chris, took some legit pictures for Charis Root's half birthday. We had a special guest photographer, Laurel Upton.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Half-Birthday...Charis is 6 months

Yes, I can't believe Charis is already SIX months old. 6 months feels like such a milestone. She's no longer the sweet itty bitty. Now she's a growing lovey who likes kisses from her mommy and daddy. I continue to love watching the way my husband is a daddy to her. He seriously has no shame in the way he sings to her, talks to her, acts silly, or when he's "gonna get the baby." We are having a blast being her mommy and daddy. I'm constantly blown away that this is for real, I'm a mama; and a mama to the most beautiful and sweetest little lady. She is such a delight. I was praying the other day and just feel like even though she was a surprise, she has made our lives and our family better. Plus she is such an easy baby. I feel like God hasn't given us more than we can handle. for now. :)

she just looks scrumptious in this hat
Let's see what she's been up to lately:
- She's a mover! When she's on her tummy (which she loves) she will scoot around to a 180 and 360. I noticed the other day she puts a toy to the side then scoots around to facing it.

cuddling with daddy
- She's sitting up. Officially. She started about 3 weeks ago doing it with a little support. Now we'll prop her up with her toys and she plays along. She also likes to lean over to eat her toes. Adam doesn't think it should count until she can go from laying down to sitting up. :)

she loves her toes sitting like a big girl!
- We had a good check up with the d-r yesterday. She's 14 lbs 6 oz and 25 3/4 inches long. Not that I really get the percentages, she's 25% weight (small, just like her mama), 50% in height, and 50-75% in head circumference (a big brain b/c she's smart like her daddy).

- Baby girl is super curious. She's constantly looking around at things and when we give her something new she loves to explore it. Still loves to be outside looking at the trees and following the sounds.

she loves my water bottle and drinking water
- She has crazy good hearing (seriously like her daddy). If there is ever a sound, her head whips around to its direction, even if it's out of the room she's in.

reading daddy's favorite book
- She ate her first real food. We started with avocado. Adam and I have been looking forward to this day for a while. We sat her in her big high chair and she was digging the food right away. It's like she's been waiting for it. mmmmmmmmm yummy avocado.

fresh avocado! no stranger to a spoon

figuring out how to swallow wanting some more!
- Recently in her bath she sat on the "sit up side" like a big girl while she got bathed. She loves the bath and is super content when she's in it.

- No teeth yet even though anything you give her goes in her mouth. And the moment she's fussy, people say she's teething. Luckily she doesn't need them to eat yet.

is it weird that she likes to watch herself on the camera?
- Something funny happened. As you can tell from the age pictures she's discovered the index card and likes to eat it. Yummy paper. I recently put a new toy in her crib (with the paper tag still attached). When i got her after her nap there was wet paper everywhere. I got a little freaked out thinking of what "could have" happened, but I don't like to live in the "could haves." Anyway, 2 days later her "first solid" poo of paper was discovered. And b/c I'm a good first mom, it's happened again. I had to keep her entertained at work and index cards were the only thing that worked.

eating the paper

I am loving being her mama. Recently I've really been caught off guard by this fact...this is my daughter. It's crazy. And wonderful at the same time. Gosh I have so much to write about what this has done to me, but this post is long enough. Just enjoy the pics of our sweet little lady, Charis Root.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

the Harvest is Plenty

It seems these days that eating local, fresh, organic, whole foods is the "in" thing to do. And I'm glad. Reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle a while ago really opened my eyes to our nation's food problem. Eating local and in season can be tricky and expensive. Eating organic is definitely costly. The most affordable food is highly processed. This was evident in this year's Food, Inc. and this season's Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. All this is attributing to our health. We've become accustomed to sugary, fatty and processed food.

Although the problem seems really big, I do think there are ways we can make changes, even if they are small ones. One way to "tackle" this problem for us has been to join a CSA. Community Supported Agriculture is a way for us (consumers) to get local and seasonal food directly from the farmer. Pretty cool stuff. It can be costly, but I think it works out in the wash. Last year the CSA we signed up with struggled and by mid to late summer it was clear we wouldn't finish the summer. I figured that is the gamble with a CSA. You take a risk and are in it with the farmer. This past January New Town Farms were giving out 15 CSA. This CSA is highly coveted and in demand. I've been on the waiting list a couple years. It turns out that I got one!! Not sure how, but I must have been online at the right time. Sammy, the farmer, said hundreds of folks emailed in for those 15. I am so excited to be a part of this CSA. Yeah, it might be cool to eat local, but I love the fact that I'm supporting real people; a real farm, a real farmer and his family. I know where my veggies are coming from this summer. It may be a challenge, but we are up to it. This week we got our first harvest and it was abundant. Luckily I'm sharing it with a friend, which helps with the cost and all the food not to go to waste. I'm really excited that Charis will get to experience some yummy fresh and local vegetables as her first foods. Oh, and the cool thing about this is we get the food within hours of it being harvested. Here are a couple pics of the goods we got this week

turnips, bok choy, radishes, spinach,
greens, lettuces, and arugula

i didn't know radishes could be purple,
white & pink

A couple great sites I've been enjoying lately on eating local and/or whole foods are Charlotte Tailgate Market (soon to be Atherton Market), Happy Foody, Local Harvest, HEAB. Once there you can go down the rabbit trail of eating whole foods, local, in season, organic, or whatever you desire! Here are some farms we've supported by buying local, grass fed beef or pork: Proffitt Farms, Grateful Growers, Underwood Family Farm to name a few, but there are tons in our area.
It can be totally overwhelming, but we are taking small steps.

and a post isn't a post without a little happiness