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Friday, May 25, 2012

Diorama Time = New Shoes for Mommy

I planned on writing a spectacularly hilarious post today--or at least a moderately funny one--but my two weeks of child and house neglect have caught up with me.

Okay, make that three weeks.

All right, fine. It's been a few years.

But I'm using this Memorial Weekend to make up for it. I am actually going to participate in the creation of the much procrastinated first grade leopard report + diorama, the third grade city report + float (shoe-box size, thank goodness), and the fifth grade state report + poster. There will also be some bathroom and bedroom cleaning going on because they all smell worse than outhouses and I miss my floor. Plus there's some gardening to do too. I'm pretty sure I have some food plants amongst those weeds. At least I vaguely remember planting some.

But first there's some shoe shopping to be done. Because we're fresh out of shoe boxes and we've got those two dioramas that are due Tuesday morning bright and early. What other choice do I have? I mean, how else do you make a diorama? Everyone knows the basic ingredient is a shoe box. And stores don't just give those things out willy-nilly without any shoes in them. So I'm willing to sacrifice for my children by purchasing new shoes for myself.

I know, right? I should definitely be named Mother-of-the-Year.

And Girl 3 has her diorama shopping list all ready, so this project should be super easy.

Before I run off to Nordstrom (okay, I'll probably have to settle for Target since we've got to find a stupid plastic leopard anyway because I'm not going the clay route again like we did with Girl 2's fennic fox) I'm going to help a sister out. A sister who came bearing a six pack of Diet Coke, a bag of limes, and a dozen bundtinis* in my darkest hour when I was too tired to think and just wanted to punch my computer in the face rather than do anymore manuscript fixing.

So for my awesome friend Carrie Maxfield--who sadly does not have a blog of her own--I am posting this link to a photography give away contest:

Amazing giveaway for photographers or anyone interested in photography.  All expenses paid, 2 day trip, to be mentored by Andee Tate of Crave Photography.  Plus lots of other free goodies from 10 other venders.  Go to her blog to check it out and enter.  Or, just check out her work to get inspired or motivated by her creative photos!  Go to

I went to the blog and her pictures are pretty fantastic, so you may want to check it out yourself. In the meantime, I'll be back next week with a post about another awesome friend, Sheridan, you remember her--she of the no bra--whose book was just published. And I think you're gonna like it.

Now I'd better get on that whole shoe shopping thing. I've got a lot to do this weekend, so there's no time to waste.

* If you don't know what a bundtini is I feel sad for you because you must not have a Nothing Bundt Cakes in your neighborhood where you can buy delicous big bundt cakes, yummy littler bundt cakes (bundtlettes), and deliciously yummy baby bundt cakes (bundtinis)--because everything is more delicious when it's baby sized. Except for actual children.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Labor Pains

Writing a book is--seriously--like having a baby.

It takes a long time to cook up and there's really a lot of puking involved in the process (though it's vomiting of words as opposed to food). When you finally get it out you think the hard part is over.

But it's not. Not even close.

Then there's all the molding and refining. And back talk. My manuscript was almost as sassy--not in a good way--as my eleven year old. "Why would you even write that?" was it's favorite catch phrase, followed by, "Stop it. Just stop it."

You know what would have made the whole book writing thing easier? A Plan. I mean, A Better Plan. One that I actually stuck to. But that's not really how I operate when it comes to doing things for the first time. I kinda just do it really poorly and painfully, then decide to listen to the advice of more experienced people my second go around.

Like the first time I gave birth. I went into it with no more plan than thinking  I'll give that natural childbirth thing a try and see how it works out.

Four days and one C-section later I had learned my lesson. Make a plan and get a doula.

Like my friend Mama M who can garden, recycle, and not buy things like nobody's business. She already has her Birth Plan typed up and ready to go. And she's not due til August. August people! I haven't even planned what I'm going to wear today (though I think we've all got a pretty good idea).

But you've got to read this thing because it is hilarious.

Mama M.’s Birth Preferences
Below are my wishes for delivering an organic, all-natural, locally-made baby
(thanks in advance for helping me create the Patchouli Fest I’ve been dreaming of)

Mother: Mama M (blood type: O-negative)
Father: Mr. M.
Doula: Hattie Engel

  1. Nurse Preference: I’d love to work with a nurse who has a positive attitude towards natural childbirth or at least one who thinks I’m cute.
  2. Medical Procedures: I’d like to avoid any medical intervention where possible (including, but not limited to, Pitocin, IV, and epidural, but excluding liposuction and boob jobs – let me stress that these two are welcome procedures: C-cup and perky please). If medical intervention becomes necessary, I’d like to talk about alternatives and consequences and have some private time for discussion with my husband and doula.
  3. Induction: If induction becomes necessary, I’d like to start with non-medical methods (i.e. changing positions, walking, squatting, nipple stimulation, aerobics videos with Richard Simmons, etc.) and only use Pitocin if these don’t work.
  4. Monitoring:  I’d like to avoid any non-critical monitoring and also to avoid non-critical vaginal exams (if you do examine my vagina, please don’t criticize it).
  5. Free Movement: During labor, I’d like the ability to walk freely, use the shower, squat, kneel, or engage in interpretive dance to align my chakras.  
  6. Liquid and food:  For hydration and strength, I’d like access to clear liquids and small snacks that I’ve brought with me with the exception of vodka gimlets – don’t give me access to those.
  7. Quiet time: I’d like staff to be quiet and calm for maximum relaxation.  I want to be the only one screaming.
  8. Umbilical chord: I’d like to let it stay attached until the pulsing is complete.
  9. Baby on chest: I’d like the baby to be placed on my chest asap after birth and medical procedures on baby to wait until I say I’m ready for them.
  10. Circumcision: I’d like the baby circumcised if it’s a boy.  If it’s a girl, can you come up with some other form of retribution for the trouble she put me through?

Note for treats: Please also enjoy these organic vegan brownies (they are organic except for the Betty Crocker brownie mix and vegan except for the eggs and 2 cups of butter).

See what I mean? I did not think of any of these things the first time around. But let me tell you, I learned from experience--which sadly seems to be the only way I learn. With Baby #2 I had my best friend/doula by my side (who also happens to by Mama M's sister), my husband, a better doctor and a plan.

And four hours plus one epidural later, boom, I had myself a baby. So. Much. Easier.*

So my advice, whether writing, birthing, or what ever...

Make a plan, man.

Make. A. Plan.

* The fact that Girl 1 will pretty much say no to anything unless she's given a detailed plan and plenty of warning while Girl 2 pretty much just goes with the flow and is up for anything may also have had something to do with the amount of hell they put me through to get here.  And the amount of hell they currently put me through.