Today’s musings

1. I SO want these made for my birthday!

Flamingos are my absolute FAVORITE bird. In fact, during the warmer months, YES, I have a few plastic pink flamingos decorating my front yard. They are just adorable. They make me smile. 🙂 Wonder if my little 11 year old baker daughter could make these… hmm…

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2. This article: http://life.ca/blog/mindful-learning/

Though I don’t adhere completely to the Unschooling movement, I do agree with many of the ideas they promote. Mindful learning. Life learning. Relax. Enjoy kids where they are developmentally right now. Lots of learning is in fact occurring during play. As a parent, model being a “lover of learning”– kids will follow suit. Learning happens as a by-product of living. Don’t over-commit to activities (either for ourselves or the kids). Look after/make time for ourselves in order to avoid burnout.

Just a really good article.

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3. Silly pranks.

We had friends over for the evening yesterday and our oldest daughter made brownies for dessert. Get it? Brown-E’s? LOL. They seemed to appreciate our humor.

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4. Drawings from a child in the Sunday morning class I teach at church.

The church we attend recently opened. It has been an incredible blessing to our entire family!!! A couple times a month I help teach the elementary grades class. One of the first weeks we were open, this adorable little Kindergarten girl came into my classroom. She was super quiet and reserved. Hardly said a word. She was wearing a pink t-shirt with the Eiffel Tower on it. Being a Francophile, I began telling her how much I loved her shirt. She still didn’t say much. But as the Sunday’s keep rolling by and I keep spending time with her in class, she has truly come out of her shell and has been kinda like my little buddy. This past Sunday, she gave these pictures for me to “take home and hang in your kitchen”. Melt.my.heart. She is just the sweetest thing. And you can bet these two pics are hanging in my kitchen right now! It’s just such an encouragement. I love being able to make an impact for Christ with these precious little kids!

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5. I love chocolate. Yes, yes I do!

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6. On the topic of chocolate…

We didn’t have real brownies for dessert (LOL), but we did have chocolate cake with homemade chocolate frosting. Be still my heart. My 11 year old daughter who loves to bake make these for us and our company. It was wonderful.

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7. My homemade chili… aka “Mezzo Farte”.

For anyone with music training, you’ll appreciate the name of my chili. 🙂 Back when I was in High School, our choir had a chili cook-off competition. I won 3rd place for my chili, Mezzo Farte, with many a snicker to boot. It’s a family favorite and super easy to make. We always love our chili poured over rice, basmati is best. Try it and let me know what you think!

Mezza Farte Chili
-saute one onion in a drizzle of olive oil, until golden brown
-add 1/2 lb of ground beef, cook well, drain any excess oil
-add the following: 1 large can (46 oz) of tomato juice, 2 (16 oz) cans of kidney beans (drained), 1 T + 2 t chili powder, 1 t salt, & 1/2 t ground black pepper
-stir well, bring to a boil, drop to a simmer for 1-2 hrs or until thick, stir occasionally
-doubles perfectly!

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Savoring the ordinary, enjoying the here and now…

~Momma Duck

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Today’s Adventures

  1.  Got to go to a Chamber of Commerce donut & coffee breakfast with my hubby this AM. I’m not much of a sweets fan, but there is this one type of donut at this shop we were at that has truly won my heart. It’s some sort of sugary twisty loaf of awesomeness. It was also fun hanging out with the local business men & women that I’ve been building relationships with through the years. Absolutely great people in our community!

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  2. My 11 year old daughter took the cardboard hand grippy thing off my to-go coffee cup from breakfast and turned it into a Harry Potter magnet for the fridge. So far she’s got Gryffindor & Slytherin one done. It’s actually one magnet– just flip it. But she found a flat, round magnet lying around the house and glue-gunned it between these two cardboard cut-outs of the house letters she drew and voila, a super-cute magnet! I love her and all her creativity! Gonna boldly wear that on our fridge!


3. Yoga with Adriene this afternoon. She’s got a new 30 day series entitled “TRUE” on YouTube and it’s just a lovely practice. Today I completed Day 14- LISTEN. Been enjoying it immensely. I’ve been doing at-home yoga practice for the last couple of years and I find it very fun, challenging, cathartic, and imaginative. It almost makes me feel like a kid again, uninhibited and free. It helps center me, calm me, and get me focused. While I’m on the mat, the rest of the world sorta falls to the wayside… and it’s just me. The practice is guided, but I can (and do) most definitely veer off the trail to “find what feels good”. It’s helped me deal with anxiety and depression. It helps me to find my breath and my thoughts. I truly love yoga.

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4. About two weeks ago, the new church that we’ve started to attend presented this song by For King and Country: “It’s not over yet”. It’s been on my mind and heart every.day.since. I have struggled for the past 4-5 years with depression, anxiety, and panic. Just this past winter, I have been finally overcoming so many hang-ups and fears and hurdles. It’s been a quiet season of growth and maturation and FREEDOM… Such spiritual victories! This song has become my anthem! I hope it’s a blessing to you as well!!! Keep on fighting. It’s not over yet!

“It’s Not Over Yet”

They are inside your head
You got a voice that says
You won’t get past this one
You won’t win your freedom

It’s like a constant war
And you want to settle that score
But you’re bruised and beaten
And you feel defeated

This goes out to the heaviest heart

[Chorus:]
Oh, to everyone who’s hit their limit
It’s not over yet
It’s not over ye-et
And even when you think you’re finished
It’s not over yet
It’s not over ye-et
Keep on fighting
Out of the dark
Into the light
It’s not over
Hope is rising
Never give in
Never give up
It’s not over

Yea-et-et, whoa
Yea-et-et, whoa

Oh, game set match
It’s time to put it in your past, oh
Feel the winter leavin’
It’s redemption season
Long live the young at heart (Here we are)
Cheers to a brand new start (Here we are)
We’re revived and breathing
To live a life of freedom

[Chorus:]
Oh, to everyone who’s hit their limit
It’s not over yet
It’s not over ye-et
And even when you think you’re finished
It’s not over yet
It’s not over ye-et
Keep on fighting
Out of the dark
Into the light
It’s not over
Hope is rising
Never give in
Never give up
It’s not over

Life is a race we run
So run till the race is won
Don’t you ever give up (Here we are)
Oh no never give up (Here we are)
Life is a race we run
So run till the race is won
Don’t you ever give up (Here we are)
We will never give up (Here we are)

[Chorus:]
Oh, to everyone who’s hit their limit
And even when you think you’re finished
It’s not over yet
Oh, to everyone who’s hit their limit
It’s not over yet
It’s not over ye-et
And even when you think you’re finished
It’s not over yet
It’s not over ye-et
Keep on fighting
Out of the dark
Into the light
It’s not over
Hope is rising
Never give in
Never give up
It’s not over

Yea-et-et, whoa
Yea-et-et, whoa
Yea-et-et, whoa
Yea-et-et, whoa

Run Wild. Live Free. Love Strong.

Being Spoiled

We were recently gifted from a family member a free trial of meals from Blue Apron. Up until this past month, I’d never heard of this company. How that happened, I do not know. Because now that I have been made aware of it, I see BA everywhere (as scroll through my Facebook feed, as I navigate through the internet, etc).

Basically, you pick out the meals that interest you (we chose our meals from the vegetarian menu), and they ship them right to your door. Since our trial included 2 meals this week, they packed everything we’d need for those two meals into one (very insulated) box: herbs/spices, cheeses, canned and/or fresh vegetables, noodles, etc. And the recipe cards (which were extremely detailed, but super simple to follow). You still have to wash and cut the vegetables, shred the cheese, and cook everything yourself. But all of the ingredients are pre-measured and pre-packaged for ease and simplicity. One meal is exactly enough for two people.

From start to finish, our meal took 30 minutes to prepare.

Here’s our Bucatini with Tomato Sauce from dinner last night:

 

 

What was truly fun (besides savoring this dish!) was working alongside my hubby in the kitchen and cooking together. We’d both had a looooong day and just needed to do something to refresh our spirits. I love how food can do that.

Our BA shipment had come in just that morning, so we were eager to have a go at that first meal. The kids had already eaten their supper earlier and were quietly enjoying their evening. Perfect time to spend some quality time in the kitchen. In fact, we had a couple of little helpers (and tasters) join us in the kitchen: our 11 and 1 year old daughters.

Here’s what the recipe card (& nutrition facts) looks like:

 

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It was just a meal, but it was also fun and light and happy and simple. Just what was needed to cap off the day.

And, by the way, dinner was delightful.

I truly feel pampered by having these BA meals delivered to us. So very thankful for this yummy gift. Looking forward to preparing our next dish (potato tacos)!

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Birth Story (Part 2)

At this point, I was entering into Transition. The “not so fun” phase.

I will just throw out pieces of what I remember. Some of it may be a little out of order, but I’ll do my best.

-I chose to labor in black gym shorts & a black tank top. (Right after the baby is born, the midwife immediately places the baby on my chest. Figured black would be the easiest to clean later.)
-every time a contraction came, I just kept thinking to myself, “open… everything open so Ivy can freely pass”. And the Scriptures that kept coming to mind were: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” and “when I am weak, then I am strong”. Christ would give me the strength to do this. He will make a way.
-when the Transition Phase seemed to go on too long, the midwife did an internal exam to see if I was fully dilated– yep, I was!
-the midwife (accidentally? purposefully?) ruptured the sac and there was a HUGE gush of fluid. I remember everyone going “whoa, that’s a lot of fluid!” I asked if that was ok and was assured it was fine. I was confused because I SWEAR my sac ruptured earlier. It was explained to me that there are apparently (2) layers to the sac and what burst earlier in the day was the outer sac. My midwife obviously got the main sac.
-when she ruptured the sac, the contractions got crazy intense!
-I knew it was time to push. I was fully dilated and Ivy’s head was only (2) knuckles length away from coming out.
-Crazy thing is, I never got the desire to push/bear down. The midwife and her assistant tried getting me into *so* many positions– but nothing felt right/good. All I was doing for a good chunk of time was simply riding out the contractions. This happened to me one other time, with my second birth (Master War Bird). I was fully dilated but had no desire to push. I was SO tired I just gave up. My son’s head was so close to coming out that they couldn’t/wouldn’t do a c-section. They ended up using a suction cup thing to pull him out. He had a nice banana-shaped head. *wink* Part of my exhaustion with that birth was due to the hospital not letting me eat or drink for hours on end. But with Ivy’s birth (as with all my home births) I was freely allowed and encouraged to eat and drink. So I had the stamina to push– just didn’t have the desire to.
-Fiiiiiiinally we found a good birthing position. My hubby sat on the footrest and I sat on a birthing stool in front of him, between his legs. From there, hubby could easily hold me. The midwife sat Indian-style in front of me. I put my feet on her knees, wrapped my arms around her neck, and when a contraction came I was to pull her head toward me and push, moan, groan, etc with all my might. Let’s just say I made a lot of noise and I felt bad later for my midwife’s poor ear drums.

Birthing stool

The stool looked kinda like this.

birth

-the whole time I was pushing, I just kept thinking “only 2 knuckles… only 2 knuckles… I can do this…”
-pushing was SO HARD. Neither did I have the desire to push, but I also didn’t have the ab strength to appropriately push her out. This pregnancy I struggled with diastasis recti:

diastasis-recti

-I found out afterward that having D.R. can make pushing very difficult because the ab and pelvic floor muscles used to push correctly are very weak. That explains a TON because pushing was BY FAR the hardest most unpleasant part of my whole birth experience. Even thinking back on it makes me cringe.
-I remember crying out, “this hurts so bad” and the midwife responding, “honey, the only way to make the pain stop is to get this baby out. So PUSH.”
-2 knuckles… 2 knuckles…
-the midwife used lubrication jelly on her hand to gently massage and stretch the opening so the baby’s head could more easily pass
-FINALLY, with one more giant push, Ivy’s head came out. One more push, and her shoulders and the rest of her body came out.
-RELIEF
-Ivy was caught by the midwife, lightly wrapped in a receiving blanket, and placed in my lap & arms
-for some reason, my body was shivering and shaking
-I hate to admit this, but birth was SO HARD that when Ivy was born, I did not have that giant wash of connection/mommy high. All I was thinking was, “it’s OVER! It’s finally OVER!” I mean, I held her and loved on her. But I felt disconnected at first.
-we waited until the cord stopped pulsating, the midwife’s assistant clamped it off and hubby cut the cord. Soon after that, the placenta was birthed.
-the midwife inspected the cord and placenta. She gave hubby and I and my mom a bit of education about it all. Man… it’s a nasty looking organ… but it’s absolutely fascinating what it did for Ivy and I and how it worked. Everything looked great!
-I got wrapped up in blue absorbancy pads and I slowly walked upstairs to take an herbal bath with Ivy. (Not sure who had the baby at this point.) The herbs help heal the perineum area and dry up the baby’s cord.

 

herbal bath

Purchased from www.inhishands.com

-my mom went upstairs to help me with the bath. I think everyone else was downstairs cleaning up the birth mess.
-my mom and I noticed I was bleeding quite a bit in the tub. I hurried up and nursed Ivy one side while in the tub. After nursing, my mom got her out of the tub, wrapped her in a towel and took her downstairs to be weighed and measured by the midwife. My mom came back upstairs and helped me out of the tub.
-I went back downstairs and sat on the couch for a while. Nursed Ivy on the other side. So many cramps. Ouch.
-I still had a lot of discomfort “down there” and I could literally feel gushes of blood. The midwife super wrapped me up good and helped me waddle to the bathroom. Once seated on the toilet, she pushed on tummy and palpitated my uterus. There was a LOT of blood… and clots… it kinda freaked me out. Thankfully I was not getting lightheaded or dizzy or anything. I remember bleeding a lot with my last baby (Miss Pebbles) and had to be given a suppository medication of some sort. Thankfully with all the palpitations between her and hubby every time I went to the bathroom, the clots and heavy bleeding leveled off. And thankfully I didn’t need any medication to stop the bleeding.
-I also began drinking liquid chlorophyll right away. Two bottles down over the weekend! Not exactly sure how it works, but it helps a LOT with bleeding and getting that managed. Nature’s Sunshine is my favorite brand. And it tastes good! Like liquid mint gum.

Capture
-so we got the bleeding regulated and the living room/birth mess got all cleaned up. At this time, it was probably 2a-ish? The midwife left. My mom was tired too so she retired upstairs to sleep. Hubby and I were too wound up to sleep so we watched a little tv before heading off to bed ourselves.

Well.. that’s about it concerning Ivy’s birth story. I suppose if I forgot anything, I will add it later. Probably should pick my hubby & mom’s brains for more details. Like I said, things got a little hazy for me. They’d remember more.

So glad our little lady is here and is now a part of the family. She is seriously the sweetest little thing. ❤❤❤❤ A true blessing from God. Fearfully and wonderfully made for sure!

Oh, and after a few nursings, bonding DEF took place between Ivy and I. 😍😍😍

Hmmm… and I suppose I should come up with a nickname for her like I did the other kids… I like “Miss Little Lamb”.