23 October 2009

To all you nursing mamas

I just finished reading The Birth House, by Ami Mckay (thanks Ilene for the recommendation), which was a good read except for the fact that I think it diverged a bit too much from the birth stories that it promised to tell. The few birth stories it shared were fascinating and I love, loved all the references to the natural remedies used in the older days.

In the story, Miss B is the resident midwife and healer of sorts in the small Nova Scotia village who has a vast knowledge of herbal tinctures for use by women in every stage of their "courses". Her willow book is an encyclopedia of remedies like:
  • rubbing dill seed oil on a colicky child's belly
  • sage to help with afterbirth pains, but careful! it dries up milk. brew sage tea when weaning a babe
  • brew mother's heart with babyberry bark to make a tea to stop excessive bleeding
Being a nursing mama myself right now, I was most interested with the references to the galactagogues: natural agents which promote the secretion and flow of breast milk. I discovered this tea which includes a combination of three galactagogues--fennel, anise and coriander, and have been drinking it daily. It is surprisingly delicious, soothing and promoting healthy lactation for this little chubster:

21 October 2009


Whether the actual h1n1 virus really did invade our house is yet to be known; I'm assuming it did on the basis of the high fevers, bad coughs, and congestion that have manifest themselves in my boys for going on 4 days now. This thing is really quite bad.

I did what the CDC requested and kept them home from school, and it has been an interesting week to say the least. James, who has a pretty great immune system and didn't miss a single day last year has now missed three in a row and might even miss the whole week. Jeff mentioned today that the school district attendance numbers have been so wonky that they can't even use them to calculate statistics like they normally do.

I'll say I have never administered so much ibuprofen, tylenol and squirts of anti-bacterial gel in my years as a parent. But surprisingly, having three boys quarantined at home has been calmer, and less stressful than I expected at the beginning of the week when I realized the normal schedule was going to be thrown out the window. I'm sure it is just because they have very little energy to fight with me or each other.

Even stranger than how calm I've been is how the littlest Fuller appears, so far, to be immune to this thing. He's been a bit grumpier and more whiny than usual, but the things that appear to make him grumpy and sleeping bad are not the things that are making the other two grumpy and sleeping bad.

Here's to hoping that this is our one and only rendezvous with the swine and that the youngest and oldests in the family never get it.

11 October 2009

Three things. . .

. . .that completely overwhelm me:

1) the constant clutter of daily living, including, but not limited to: cooking, eating, getting the mail, wearing clothes and sleeping in beds
2) switching out my children's summer and winter clothes and trying to keep all the sizes organized for next year's use
3)the lack of freedom to buy on a whim that comes along with living on a tight budget

. . .that I really love:

1) cooking more soup and comfort food for dinner on cool fall nights
2) college football games every Saturday
3) the peace-of-mind that comes along with making that tight budget really work each month

07 October 2009

What are you making?

When I find myself at the cutting counter, the employees will often ask, "what are you making?" I want to work at a fabric store just so I can ask that very question. I would love to hear what projects people are creating in their heads and piecing together in their sewing rooms.

Sometimes I think I hear creative juices bubbling as women read the pattern books or browse and handle the prints and textures on the fabric aisles. I get a litle giddy when I'm among seamstresses; I always just want to glean a tidbit or two about their technique.

If you ever want to make my day, just ask me what I'm working on--but then again, I might talk too long about it. So as long as you're willing to tell me what project you have in your head or on the cutting table, we could sit and talk about it all day.

It is also for this reason that I want to work at a grocery store. It is, in my opinion, another place where creative juices bubble in the minds of the aisle browsers. If I was a grocery checker I would pose the same question over and over to my customers, "what are you making with all these ingredients?" I also know that 75 percent of them would stare at me blankly with nary an answer to that, because they know that they will be asking themselves that question at dinnertime tomorrow when they realize that nothing they bought will actually make a meal.

So, in case you were wondering, at the moment I am working on a meatball gnocchi for dinner and a diaper bag for my sis-in-law. Thanks for asking.

05 October 2009

Little Artists

So I have discovered that encouraging the budding artists in my house can be a messy endeavor.

If I had a nickel for each time I almost stepped or sat on this:
I would be a very rich woman by now. (I promise I didn't stage that photo)

But I've also discovered that these are the kind of messes I don't mind cleaning up, stepping over or pushing to the side because of the creations and creativity that result.