May I Introduce...

Bodhi Grayson Ek, 8 pounds, 4.8 ounces, born last Thursday morning at 8:08am. Bodhi, because it's an awesome name, and Grayson, my mother's maiden name. (And while we're talking names, Ek is my husband's name, which is Swedish for Oak.)

He's perfect and looks so. much. like his brother, it's incredible. (Oddly, he sort of resembles this guy to me.)

He's only five days old, but I can already see some personality differences between the two boys. Bodhi is easier to calm and soothe and he sleeps better than Burl did, perhaps because I'm more comfortable as a mother this time around. He's in heaven at my breast and has hardly left these past five days, which is heaven to me as well.

I know I promised a birth story from Burl's birth. Some things are still so private, but I will share a little. I delivered Burl by C-section, after 36 hours of labor. This of course was not in my birth plan and not how I imagined giving birth. Bodhi entered this world very similarly, although I had hoped for a VBAC.

I'm healing remarkably well and fast. And all that uncertainty and worry about repeating a bond and love? Totally out the window. I am smitten! Perhaps even more so now than the first time around.


I'm So Emotional

Beware, the following are the emotional ramblings of a very, very pregnant mama.

I know it's time for this babe to come soon, because I'm an emotional wreck. I've been here before, I remember breaking down in the shower a day or two before I had Burl, and just feeling so sad that my whole world was about to change. I remember feeling so melancholy and sad that my relationship with my husband was going to change. That my dogs were not going to be my number one any longer. I remember doubting our decision to have a child and wondering if we made the right choice; Why did we make this choice???

Of course all of that changed as soon as I had Burl, and this incredible bond instantly occurred between me and my new babe. And I was right, things are very different between Alex and I now. Our love is still just as strong, but now we don't fall asleep next to each other. We fall asleep with this perfect little boy, half him half me, that we created together laying between us. We lay there, with the moon light on our faces and stare at each other and the perfect little boy who lays between us, and we feel nothing but bliss.

I'm having similar thoughts now as I approach this birth. Did Alex and I make the right decision to have another child? How in the world is it possible to recreate a bond and relationship so strong and magnetic as I have with Burl? How is it possible to love again the way I love Burl? This strange little being in my tummy is still so foreign, so abstract, I just can not imagine repeating what I have with Burl.

I'm so very sad and weepy to think that Burl's little world is about to be turned upside down. A large part of me wants to just deliver this babe, nurse him when he needs it, then hand him off to Alex to care for so I can continue to give Burl my all. Burl really is my everything. And I'm feeling very somber that everything is about to change between us.

I've been trying desperately to savor these last moments I have alone with Burl. Truth is though, he has been so difficult the last month or so. So ornery and defiant and frustrating, and sometimes downright mean to me. It's been difficult and I have not be able to enjoy him as of late. I've been wanting to send him away to any relative willing to take him for the day. It's been challenging, in my emotional-charged condition, to keep my patience with him, especially when he's constantly telling me to "Go Away! I don't like you, Mommy!" and throwing things at me, and doing everything opposite that I ask of him, then the next second wanting me to hold him and cuddle him.

I don't think I'll look back on this time fondly, yet I know these stages Burl is going through are completely age-appropriate. He's maturing, yet he still needs so much tenderness from me. He still needs and depends on me for everything, yet he wants to stretch his boundaries, and he gets frustrated. He wants to be "a big boy", but still needs me to snuggle him and hug him and reconnect with him many, many times throughout the day. He sees the habits of the older kids across the street and wants to be like them. Yet he still wants to be my "Baby Kitty". No doubt, he is dealing with very frustrating, conflicting emotions. And when he needs to speak out, I'm the one there to take it. And he absolutely needs me to be patient with him during his emotional ups and downs.

I don't cry often. But I've had big, wet tears running down my cheeks for a couple hours. And I know I'll go to bed tonight with a headache. But at least I'll have my little Baby Kitty to cuddle to take some of the sting away.


The Air Is Changing

Autumn is coming. While driving today, Burl asked me why all the leaves were starting to fall and blow all over the roads. He also told me earlier that he loves to here the wind blow the wind chimes outside our window. Mother Nature can't hide her changes from an observant 3 year old.

Yes, I'm still full with baby.


A Stroll Through Wallingford

A Friday evening post for you. I'm sitting at home, alone with all the windows open and feeling this late-summer breeze. I woke up to fog this morning, which burned off before I woke up from a nap at 2pm. My father-in-law took Burl for the day, and I've been doing house work and getting out a few last minute orders.

Labor could be starting any day now. But this little one feels pretty content right where he is. Burl stayed in until 42 weeks, I'm now at 39 weeks, so I think I still have some time.

Last week Burl and I visited my sister in Wallingford, about 20 miles south. Here are some pictures from our little walk.

Happy weekend, my friends!


Seed To Seed

Hi friends! I'm guest blogging over at ::tend:: today. I share some of my thoughts on the art, hobby and necessity of saving seeds. You can find the post here.



Sense of Smell

Typically I have nothing to do with anything toxic in my home. I use vinegar, baking soda and herbal concoctions to clean my home. This pregnancy though, has done some strange things to my since of smell. During my first trimester, I had to temporarily close my shop because the smell of anything natural, any herb, any essential oil, nauseated me.

And now, anything toxic or dangerous to breathe is all I would like to smell. The tire department at the hardware store, gasoline, fumy plastic toys, the fertilizer and weed killer isle at the nursery, the tar on the pier at the shore. Bleach! All Intoxicating.

I'd love to bathe in bleach right now and smell it all day long, wherever I go. Really any harsh, toxic, dangerous cleansing agent I would like to just pour all over my house and inhale. Burl and I have been spending many of our days swimming at the Lynnwood Rec Center, and the smell of the chlorinated water is heaven to me. I don't want to rinse off when we leave.

I know I'm certainly not in my right frame of mind. I tell you these things for two reasons:

1. Will this last?? I don't remember having this with Burl. I hope it to go away after the birth.

2. I'll let you in on a little sneak peak. I have two new essential oil blends to add to my shop. I've been working on them for a couple years, but I don't dare introduce them now. I hope/ plan to have them available in the shop mid-September when my healthy, normal sense of smell returns.

Along those lines, I've also been working on some other fun additions for the shop; which include some items from the sea and items from my garden. I'm getting pretty excited for the upcoming months!

Happy Monday, my friends!


Henna Belly

Same song, second verse.

My sweet little sister came to spend the day with Burl and I yesterday to do her magic on my belly. It was her first henna painting, didn't she do great? I did my own henna job when I was pregnant with Burl, and it's much, much easier having someone do if for you!

I made my own paste this time using these directions from Zenith Supplies where I purchase a lot of the supplies for my shop. I'd make some changes the next time around, mostly I'd filter the tea through a coffee filter before adding it to the henna to make sure the paste wasn't too clumpy. We had a hard time with clumps coming through the tip of the applicator bottle. It smelled wonderful though with the combination of essential oils, cloves, coffee grounds, black tea and black walnut. Next time I will probably leave out the ground cloves, they irritated my skin.

Happy Friday, friends! Wishing you a lovely weekend.


Change is a Comin'

I feel an autumnal change in the air lately. I love the feel of it, it means my favorite time of year is just around the corner.

I had a surprise on Sunday when I thought my water had broke...at church. It threw me for a loop. At 37 weeks, I'm full term enough to deliver this baby any day now, but I didn't expect things to start happening this early. I delivered Burl 2 weeks late, so I've been expecting the same process and thought I had plenty of time to get things ready. But it seems this little one may come earlier than 2 weeks late. I'm not prepared, I'd like him to grow just a bit more before he arrives. I'll be spending the next few days preparing my home, washing diapers, hanging them to sun dry, and some other smaller preparations. In my heart, I feel like I still have a couple weeks before the birth.

I haven't done so yet, but I think I may share Burl's birth story sometime this week. It's been very private and close to my heart. But I think I'm ready to share.

Happy Tuesday, Friends.


Garden 2011

cilantro gone to seed

Remember all that talk about keeping my garden simple this year? Hogwash. While I was in the depths of my first trimester, just when I should have been starting my seeds indoors, I had zero desire to be thinking about or planning my garden. But then somewhere in April around 20 weeks, when the haze and nausea lifted, I found myself planting seed after seed in the soil. I had renewed energy and desire to grow food for my family. The nurturing instinct for my family kicked in and I planted vegetable after vegetable, with the hopes of having enough of several varieties to last us all year.


As expected, the fatigue and lack of energy, not to mention the sheer difficulty of getting around because of my full-bellied state, have returned and it's become more difficult to accomplish much in the garden. But things are growing and much is taking care of itself.


I'm hoping that come harvest time, I really will have this new babe attached to me on the outside, as I think this will be a much easier state to maneuver around the garden. For now though, things are pretty much tending to themselves, with a little bit of help from Burl and I to keep them hydrated.


Growing full speed in our garden: Carrots! Lots of them! (5 varieties I believe). Several varieties of tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, potatoes, sugar snap peas, more squash and pumpkins than I kept track of, and herbs! Oh the herbs! My new little herb garden I planted has flourished like you wouldn't believe! I'm up to my ears in basil, chamomile, stevia, peppermint, parsley, and many more.

blue hubbard squash

In the coming weeks, I'll keep you posted on the crops I'm able to reap from this year's garden. Have a nice weekend, my friends.


Thrift Store Shopping Tips

I love shopping at thrift stores! I believe that shopping second hand is one of the most ethical ways of making purchases. Items that people no longer want, things that would otherwise end up in our landfills are able to find new purpose and new homes.

My mom took my sisters and I thrifting when we were younger, and I always hated it back then. The smell of the stores was difficult for me to get past. But as I've grown older, and now have to actually pay for my own things, I've been able to move past the smell and really learn to love thrift store shopping.

Aside from food, I purchase at least 90% of my families belongings second hand. I'd like to share some of my shopping tips with you today.

1. Go often. The most important tip I can give. Don't expect to find great deals in just one visit. Many times when I go I don't find anything worth purchasing. But the stores are constantly putting out new merchandise, so it's important to go often.

2. The more often you go, the more you'll learn which stores carry what you're looking for. I know the thrift store closest to my house rarely has clothing that I would buy, so I usually don't even bother looking through their clothing racks. But they always have furniture, kitchenware and other household items, so I know to always check those isles.
Also, the more often you go, you'll start to learn the layout of the stores and you can quickly run through the store to sift through the junk and find the treasures.

3. Have an ongoing list of things you need. For example, right now I'm looking for a new garbage can to keep under our kitchen sink. I don't need it right away, so I can just keep looking until I find one second hand. I have other things like that that I'm looking for, so I keep a list as to not forget something I may need at home.

4. Have a price limit. For example, if you're looking for a sweater, go into the store with a $7 limit. If you find a nice sweater priced for $12, pass on it. This helps to not make frivolous purchases.
Some stores have outrageous prices that I'm not willing to pay. Part of me feels like I shouldn't complain about the price, since it all goes to charity. But when it comes down to it, I'm not rich and really, they're trying to sell other peoples garbage, which really should not be overpriced.

5. I rarely pay the full price the stores are asking for. Most stores have specific discount days and coupons they give out. Learn when and what those are. Here, the Goodwill has a certain color of tag that they discount during the week and on weekends. I shop the Goodwill on those days. Value Village will give you a 20% discount coupon when you make a donation. I never buy at Value Village unless I have one of those coupons. Sometimes I'll drag my dad along, since he's able to get a senior discount.

6. Make friends with the employees. If you're nice, and support your local thrift stores, they appreciate it and may do favors for you. If I find an item that doesn't have a price tag on it, the employees usually give it to me for a good price, since they know who I am and know that I support their store.

7. Set limits. This one I'm still learning. Don't buy something just because it's a good deal. I bought a Le Crueset frying pan several months back that I just didn't need. It was a good deal, so I bought it. It sat and sat in my closet and I just re-donated it back to the same store. This happens to me a lot if I'm not careful. I try to only buy things that I really need.

I'm sure there are plenty of other tips out there. If you have a thrift store shopping tip to share, would you please leave it in the comments for us to read?

Happy Thursday, Friends!