Tuesday, April 23, 2013

For Asya Rose

Yesterday I read an article about a study which showed a 97% chance of telling the sex of your baby by 6 weeks. After reading it I compared Asya's ultrasounds (which the last one we had done she was 10 weeks) and Aleks' from 8 weeks and according to the study I now have pretty good proof that Asya would have been a girl, which we all knew in our hearts to be true. I thought that it would make me sad but it didn't. Yesterday was the 7 week anniversary of her birth. I finally went back and did the math. 7 weeks. If she had been born alive (well it would have been a miracle and impossible but had she) she would be 7 weeks old now. Had she not died within me we would be 22 weeks now (well almost.. 21 and a half). As spring comes though and the warm days run together and I watch our garden thrive, and most of all her roses thrive, I feel oddly ok. I think about all the things I would have taught my daughter, would she have had my eyes, would she have a stubborn temper like me, would she have her father's musical ability? Would she and her brother look just alike? Last night Hubby told me he decided to scrap the names River and Rory. We had actually chosen the name Asya Rose partly because we had wanted to use those names again. Asya would have been River Anne had she lived, somehow though I agree... Asya Rose was never really a River. So we have decided to not name any future child we have River or Rory. My response to that was not as disappointed as I thought I would have been. Especially now ( and I pointed this out last night), that we have had two children with A R names, Aleksandr Robert and Asya Rose. We also have had two children who ended up with VERY Russian first names. I would be ok with another A R name and a Russian one at that. Though really naming babies and even thinking about future babies is still a ways off. For now I am going to live my life being the best Mommy I can be to Aleks and in honor of Asya.
If I could talk to her, say a few things to her it would be this. "I love you so much sweet angel baby. You were not a miscarriage, or a fetus, or a mistake that we should erase or get over and then try again. You will not be forgotten and when we finally add a brother or sister to our family they too will know your name. You were our baby and you died, you are lost but not forgotten. Your brother loved you more than you could know and still loves you. We all wish you could have stayed here with us but we will see you someday and we love you."

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Great Lakes Brewing Company: A Fantastic Beer that Helps Clean the Earth!

The other day a friend brought me over a beer that used coffee and chocolate in it's flavoring. One sip and I was sold. It was the best beer I have ever tasted and believe me Hubby and I have really snooty beer taste. The beer was called Edmund Fitzgerald and was made by Great Lakes Brewing Company. As I read the label though I saw that they use no chemicals pr preservatives in the brewing of their beers. That intrigued me. I was even happier when I read that they worked to help clean up Lake Erie. So I told Hubby about this beer and he went out tonight and got us their tester pack. You get to try 4 of their best Gold Medal Winning Beers. We haven't tried any of the others yet but I hope they are all just as amazing. So as I sipped another delicious Edmund Fitzgerald I checked out their website and was even more excited about this beer. According to their website they only use organically grown ingredients, grown on their own tiny farms. Their delivery trucks run on alternative fuels like vegetable oil, and they recycle EVERYTHING they use in the process of making their beer. They even reuse their beers that can't be sold because they aren't perfect to make soap, soup, sausages...etc. This is one amazingly sustainable beer company. I am in love. I have found a new beer that not only knocks my taste buds socks off but helps take care of our beautiful Earth. Buy Great Lakes Beer!

Green Mommy Garden Update

I thought with all the gardening tips I have been doing I would at least do a post on my own garden. Bug and I have been hard at work preparing the garden for this year. This year we are going to grow/ have planted garlic, onions (2 varieties), chives, thyme, basil, lavender, chamomile, mint, strawberries, peppers (3 varieties), peas, green beans, dill, sunflowers, daisies, marigolds, other flowers... I forgot which ones, tomatoes (2 varieties), cherry tomatoes, potatoes, aloe, roses, eggplant, squash (3 varieties), gourds, zucchini  beets, cilantro, ... I think that is it.. not sure. Here is a pic of everything happily growing in my hallway and window seat waiting for June. 

Today Bug and I woke up to a sunny blue sky and temperatures around 50 degrees so we decided to get the garden prepped. We emptied the compost bin into the wheelbarrow and spread half into the garden bed and half into the stump bed. 
These are now ready for planting once it gets warm enough to do so. I also took apart all the fencing and repaired it, bent it back into shape and fixed any holes. You can see in the pic above how nice and straight it looks. Then I got out all our garden decor and checked out my daylillies.

Then I went into the backyard to work on our yard decor for around our patio table and flower gardens. I finished the lanterns that I had started a few weeks back. I used food coloring and white glue to paint glass mason jars to look like beach glass. I then attached them to the last piece of Bug's old crib and viola! a beautiful lantern holder to light up our patio table at night.

All in all our garden is coming along great! It was a wonderful day full of sun, dirt, and compost, and crafting! Spring is here and I am very happy.

Organic Gardening Tip 6: Windchimes

Your garden needs to be an oasis, not just for you but for the bees and birds that will help pollinate your plants. Planting colorful flowers, having a water feature and most of all wind chimes can help create this. Wind chimes and water features can help create soft sounds which help drown out the harshness of city or suburban life. If you are lucky enough to be gardening in the country, then lucky you. I live on the main street of town, and though it is a small town it is busy enough. My yard is a constant barrage of noise and sirens. So there you go. Simple tip but help keep noise down and you will see hummingbirds, butterflies and bees abound.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Organic Gardening Tip 5: Food You Can "Recycle".

There are many foods that you can grow at home from either seeds or stalks taken right from your grocery store food items. This sort of recycling doesn't start out organic but the food you grow from these will at least be healthier as it will no longer be treated with chemicals and pesticides. So far in my research and trial on my own I have compiled a list of the following foods. Onions, Celery, Lemons, Oranges, Grapefruit, Avocados, Garlic, and Leaks.
Garlic, Onions and leaks are pretty easy. Just soak them in water until they sprout and then plant them sprout side up. I decided today to plant some that I had found actually.
I had left garlic I bought from the store so long that it had all sprouted on it's own.
I then later found a red onion that I had thrown in the compost, that instead of decaying had instead sprouted. I went to fertilize the garden beds and when I dumped the compost in I saw this whole onion with several sprouts growing out of it. I was so excited! So I planted it.

For instructions to grow an avocado plant check out this. It shows you step by step instructions.

I tried out growing celery this week as well. You just chop the end off the bunch and sit it in water until it begins to sprout. I will update mine but so far this is how it looks.
For lemons, oranges and grapefruit you just snip the seeds out of their protective coats and soak them in water until they start to show roots. Then place them on top of a pot filled with soil and place pebbles on top. The results are a small lemon plant that smells like lemons. I don't think it will produce fruit but it smells good. I am going to be trying this this week. I found the instructions here.
So here you go.. have fun and if you have other foods you have grown from the grocery store produce let me know. I know you can also do potatoes but I haven't tried it yet... I plan to grow them this summer.

More Mommy Confessions

So I decided after spending time with some parents of friends of Bug's all older than me by at least 6 or 7 years, and all with pretty respectable careers, and found myself comparing lives with them and trying to not feel ashamed or young, that I was going to make a list of ten things I am ashamed of or wish I did better and ten things I am proud of as a Mom. I really think that it could be fun to see how many other parents who you may feel have it all together might be thinking they wished they were you... I think we all have something we do great.

Things I wish I was better at as a Mom:
1. Laundry. OH LORD! Our laundry pile and yes its a pile not a hamper in our bathroom is massive and we often have clean clothes stack in piles waiting to be put away. I inherited my mother's hatred of laundry. I would rather do dishes, scrub the bathroom, do absolutely anything rather than laundry. I only like it in the summer because I can hang it on the line.
2. My bedroom is always a mess. I work so hard trying to juggle everything else that when I do clean I get to the livingroom, bathroom, etc and never my bedroom. But I am getting to it.
3. I do not have a career or even a job I love. I am not impressive and despite achieving a degree, something I am very proud of, in most circles my degree is worth as much as toilet paper. Actually toilet paper is at least useful. A 4 yr degree in Biology is worthless and no one cares. Science people don't care because I don't have a doctorate and the rest of the world doesn't care because science is boring.
4. I lost my baby. I know I know.. not my fault... but it is hard to shake the feeling that I somehow caused it.
5. We don't own a home. The last of my things I wanted to do before 30 was buy a home... and now... sadly that isn't even on the horizon. I wonder if we would have owned one by now if it weren't for the housing collapse.. but honestly probably not. I think we are scared to try.
6. I only have one kid. I feel that most Moms don't consider you a Mom until you have at least 2 kids. They look down on Moms with one because one kid is easy. However since I am "Mom" to over 30 kids everyday I feel I know a bit about more than one child.
7. I am not sophisticated and honestly I am downright awkward in social scenarios. I just never know how to act, what to say.... I am still the loser kid.
8. I don't have the money to ever give Bug the good things in life.
9. I am just not a good housekeeper (sensing a theme?) I just suck at it. I always feel like I have better things to do. A hat to crochet, a garden to weed, a kid to fly a kite with.... Won't the floor be messy still tomorrow?
10. I am not pretty or thin. I know I know... Who is right? I will tell you who...So many of the older Moms, who waited until 35 or so to have kids are all thin, sporty, gorgeous, put together... I am just none of those things. I feel like maybe they have the right idea.. build a career, be super fit and gorgeous, have a great house.. then have your kids.

Things I am proud of as a Mom:
1. I can make anything!!!!! No I really mean it, be it a new recipe or a craft I have never tried, or a dress I see in a catalog. If I want it I can make it. I can reproduce absolutely anything. I have never tried something I couldn't master. I may not be the best at it but I will try it. I will do it.
2. I garden. I grow all the organic food we eat, I grow it with my own two hands, I dig deep in the dirt and produce gorgeous food for my family to eat. I can, jam, jelly, pickle, and make sure my family eats well all year.
3. I do have a biology degree. I FOUGHT for it too! I spent so much time working so hard, and even though the rest of the world doesn't care I DO!
4. I have time for Bug. Almost all the time whenever he needs me I am there to do anything he wants. We flew a kite the other night five minutes after I walked in the door after work. I was exhausted but hey ... let's go fly a kite.
5. I care about the planet, and write this blog. I try to make the world a better place not just for me, or Bug but for other people as well.
6. I breastfed for 9 months. I know it's not much but I did it and I plan to breastfeed our second kid if we ever have one for longer.
7. I cloth diapered, and not only that but helped bring hundreds of other Moms to cloth diapering.
8. I decorate our home with love and life and laughter. Anything we need or that could make our home nicer and more happy I make with my own two hands.
9. I have dance parties with Bug in the kitchen while we cook dinner.
10. My Bug says I am the best Mommy in the world... and really his opinion is what counts.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Organic Gardening Tip 4: Best Organic Fertilizers

So when you are organic gardening the first thing you wonder is what can I use as fertilizers?
Well the answers go from the extreme and hard to find such as bat guano and seabird poop, to the more logical dried seaweed, to the simple and easy like compost, fish guts, a raw egg, or even urine. I have tried all of these (except the guano). The main ones I use in my garden are compost and urine. They just work the best. I add the compost in the spring mixing a huge amount into each garden bed. Then after that I water once a week with urine water. (For more details on that I will refer you to the post I did last spring on the topic). For us this has worked great. The only exception being that roses do not respond well to urine. For my roses I use fish. It works great. Happy gardening.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Organic Gardening Tip #3: Marigolds

Are deer and rabbits a big problem in your garden? The solution is a simple one. Plant marigolds around your garden. The pungent odor helps detract certain insects such as aphids but also deer, rabbits and some other pest type mammals. They just don't like the smell, color or taste of these stinky flowers. Marigolds are also useful in other ways too. They can be used in topical remedies for things such as chicken pox. I wrote about this before last summer. So plant some marigolds. Not only are they pretty but they are very very helpful!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Organic Gardening Tip #2

This is probably the easiest and simplest tip there is. The number 1 biggest organic pest control is: Soapy water! I am often surprised how few people know this simple fact. The soapy water disrupts cell membranes on some insects and dissolve the protective wax coating on others. Insects may die from asphyxiation or from water loss. What is even better though is unlike pesticides the soapy water doesn't get into the drinking water, harm humans, other animals, or even cause long term harm to the insect population. It is a very effective form of pest control. Happy Spraying!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Earth Month Organic Gardening Tip 1: Saving Water

Now last year we had a drought. A really bad one. It wiped out crops and decimated most people's gardens. Ours survived if you remember because we saved our bath water every day and watered the garden with it. We normally save our rain water but what use is that if there is no rain. So the tip I am going to share with you today is one I found on pinterest and am excited to try this year. You can build slow releasing water spikes out of recycled water bottles. Like the picture shown you simply cut off the bottle of the bottle and drill a hole or two into the cap on the top. Then bury the inverted bottle or bottles (if it's throughout your garden) in the soil in between crops and when you water your garden the bottles will also fill up and slowly release water should you say forget a day or the summer drought is really awful. The extra water in your garden won't just evaporate into the soil it will slowly continue to water the plants, flowers and crops you worked so hard to plant. I am going to do this this year and I will be excited to let you all know how well it worked. Have a great day and until tomorrow... live green.

Earth Day is Fast Approaching

Sadly in light of the fact that it has become hard to even successfully navigate my own day to day life, I have not been as devoted to the blog lately as I had hoped. Earth Day is by far one of my favorite Holidays and I usually take the entire month to celebrate it. However those posts are all still here on this blog if you would like to read them.
What I have been doing though is living Earth Day in a big way. I have been working on making Bug some shirts from dollar store t-shirts and recycled cloth and fabric. I have been making wreaths and floral arrangements for our doors with old baskets. We have been getting the compost ready to start spreading it over the garden for a new year of crops. We have been getting ready for the 4th annual Green Mommy Earth Day Garbage Walk, which provided the weather is good will be April 20th. We have been hand making cleaning products, soaps, and lotions. We have been planting seeds and getting the seedlings ready to be planted outside in a few weeks. We went to a book fair and bought 4 bags of used books to recycle them into our home for good reading. So I guess you can say we have been so busy living Earth Month, that I haven't had time to write about it.
So in an attempt to salvage the last week before Earth Day I will do this. Each Day this week I will post a new Organic Gardening tip or idea to help get your gardens off to a great start this year. Enjoy.

Monday, April 8, 2013

April Already?

So I realized today that it is already April 8th! Wow. So I need to get on the ball and write up some awesome blog posts for everyone. I haven't done that yet but I do have some ideas, so instead why don't you enjoy some pics of seedlings growing. We started our garden for this year in the last few weeks and already we have some awesome growth. I am very excited for another summer of organic harvest.
Part of why I don't have any posts ready though was I was hard at work on a Mama Birthing Doll that I am donating as a prize for the GCDC. I think she came out really well. I made her very Green and springy, ready for Earth Day.


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

5 weeks.... and still not done.

So on February 28th, when we were just a tad under 14 weeks along with our beautiful baby we lost her. She died around 11 weeks but we didn't know. It will have been 5 weeks since that day this Thursday. We would have been 19 weeks along. I until yesterday was under the impression that everything was going well, that I had passed everything and the very light bleeding I was still experiencing was normal. I had had to have a TV ultrasound Friday night and assumed since my doctor had not called it all looked fine and normal.. in a few weeks I would have a normal cycle and then when we felt ready we could TTC again.
Then yesterday I was at work playing on the floor with a few kids and coughed. That is normal I have a cold, what was not normal was the gush I felt. At first I thought.. "Oh no I peed myself." So I ran to the bathroom and sat down. What I saw was not pee. It was blood... a lot of blood ......too much. I knew something was wrong. I started feeling woozy. I soaked 3 pads in 20 mins. I went to my boss who had me call my doctor. As it turned out my ultrasound on Friday had shown I was retaining tissue. I did not know what that would mean exactly except that it could trigger hemorrhaging and I was pretty sure given the quick amount of blood loss and my lightheadedness that I was hemorrhaging. My doctor told me to keep an eye on the bleeding and if it didn't lighten up or got worse to go the ER. Then she said she wanted to see me this morning. The bleeding did lighten up a bit but in the 8 hrs of work I soaked 8 pads. I spent the day at work woozy and confused. Kids would ask me questions and it would take a few seconds for my brain to register and answer.
So this morning we went in. I got the joy of a pelvic, then another TV ultrasound (less awful this time partly because it was a woman and partly because I knew what was coming), then we went home and waited. After the doctor got the results she called and told us to fill the prescription for the same MC pills I had taken before (the day I gave birth to Asya). So I missed a full day of work, just finished taking the pills (it is a long process you have to let them dissolve in each cheek in your mouth.... yuck!), and now I wait.. to see if and how much tissue and blood still has to come out and hope that 1. this ends this horrific ordeal and 2. that I do not hemorrhage.
On the plus side, my doctor was so much nicer and more helpful the last few times we have gone. I am wondering if the shock of how to deal with a patient who lost her baby was why they seemed so cold. I myself have been dealing with what I call a mass exodus of friends and family. It seems that a lot of people have gotten really quiet around me either online or in everyday life. Everyone seems to be awkward and weird around me these days... as though I am made of glass. Which I suppose in a way I am. I am always just a bubbling cauldron under the surface. I really do not know what I could say to explain to anyone who hasn't gone through this what it is like... I have nothing. Except read this and other posts I have written. If any of my readers have a friend or family member who has lost a baby before birth or after for that matter, and you are not sure what you can say or do around them or for them... give them something with their babies name on it, give them a hug... hugs work miracles, make them dinner, listen to them cry, or do something nice for them to let them know you care. Do not tell them it was God's plan, tell them it was just something that happened, do not tell them that heaven needed an angel, and worst of all do not stay quiet around them, do not shut off from their lives and treat them like they have a disease. Loss and grief is not a disease. I had a lot of friends and family who sent flowers, brought us dinner, sent me messages of hope, talked to me, held me while I cried, and hugged and hugged. I also had a lot who disappeared. I don't like the second ones much anymore.
So I leave you now... these drugs work fast.. and I am thinking I should relocate to my bed but in closing I will share something I was given that touched my heart so much. There is a woman who runs a page called "Footprints Within" on FB. She hand crochets little hearts with your baby's name on them and tiny footprints. She does all this for free for mothers who lost a child or miscarry. It so touched me that she would do this for me. There are truly kind people in this world, if you know one give them a hug.

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