Tuesday, August 09, 2011

What a nice combination of genetic materials you have there!

Where does the time go? I can't believe my newborn is a month old already! Walter Felix Chapman was born July 3rd, 2011 weighing 8 lbs, 14 oz at 20 inches long. Our labor together took about 30 hours and was started quite dramatically by my water breaking on my massage therapists table!

I didn't know what to expect from labor, despite taking a birth class and reading many books on the subject. All the research added up to the fact that you really don't know until you're in it.  For me it was something I was able to do one contraction at a time.  Trying not to think of the hours stretching in to days. Working through the back labor I was so very much hoping to avoid altogether. Spending lots of time in the tub. Laughing inside at some of the crazy noises I was making. Feeling utterly secure in the team I had chosen to be in the birth room. Being so very thankful when it was over.  We're all very glad he's here.  My gratitude to Jesse and Amanda for helping me bring him in to this world is immense. I will never forget the hours they spent laboring with me.

This month has really flown by, but it wouldn't have been half as easy without all the support we've received from friends and family. This is a time when people really reach out and I can only begin to say thank you to all the people who've knitted blankets, prepared a meal or stopped by to visit. As much as I love the little guy, he isn't a great conversationalist (yet) and it's really great to have people come over. I can see how parenting can be isolating and I feel lucky that I have quite a network to tap into when needed. Or as his Great-Grandma Stella said: Walter's lucky already. Lucky to have such warm family and caring friends. I know because I'm lucky too.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Happy Mothers Day!

This is my Mom in 1981 with me and my sister in Guam. 

Since my Mom was traveling this Mothers Day I spent the day at a Birth Fair and lecture by one of the most revered midwives in the U.S., Ina May Gaskin.  It was a lovely, enlightening way to spend the day. 

Being on the verge of motherhood myself, I'm not sure I've ever appreciated my own Mother more.  She was the Girl Scout leader, the classroom assistant, the maker of Halloween costumes, and so much more.  I hope I can follow in her example.  I love you Mom!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

It's On


Just 3 years ago we had a little chant to welcome in the New Year. It went something like this:

We won't procreate in '08!

And we didn't. But then a few years passed and we decided we would.


So far so good. We are open to name suggestions. Although I have my secret favorites. Shhh.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

A Year with Chickens

So cute
It seems like yesterday they were just cute little chicks. I was able to fit all 3 in my hand at once!  Raising them in the house was an interesting experience, I'm not sure if I'll repeat it or not this spring when I add to our little flock.  Being able to see them grow every day was amazing, but they need a lot of care and the house is empty most of the day.

chickens in the kitchen! noooo

Eventually they were large enough that we definitely didn't want them in the house. Man they poop a lot!  But they still liked to wander in when the weather was warm enough for me to leave the back door open. We'd named them Zizou, Oksana and Sarah.

First egg!

I was pretty excited when the first egg finally came! It was brown and warm and perfect. Hearing the hens lay for the first time was an eye opening experience, I'd thought they were being attacked!

NY 037

I could hardly wait to eat that first egg. When I cracked it open I saw it was a double yolk! I considered that lucky. Even if both of them barely added up to one of my grocery store eggs, the yolks were a much brighter shade of orange. You can see the comparison above. They were delicious!


The chickens even played a part in the scavenger hunt this year. We got points for "picture with a barnyard animal."  Thanks to Sarah!

Unfortunately it wasn't all rosy pictures and fresh eggs. We lost Oksana, the one I named, to a raccoon attack  late at night a few months ago. They took her right out of her coop, after a heavy rain the boards were loosened, they pried them open with their tiny hands and pulled her out.  It was a shock to wake up in the morning to a trail of feathers and 2 confused chickens. Eventually the neighbors let us know they'd found her in their yard. The raccoons had drained her blood but left her mostly intact. I thanked her for her short life with us, shed a few tears and let her go.

I definitely felt I had fallen down on my part of the bargain. We had a tacit agreement that she would provide me with eggs and entertainment while I would feed her and keep her from harm. With that in mind we began construction of a bigger, better, hopefully more raccoon-proof coop.  As a birthday present to me I was able to get my Dad and Jesse to pitch in.

Chicken Palace

It took awhile, as none of us are particularly handy. Dad had all the power tools and kept mysteriously taking them home with him, making it slow going on our end without him. But it's done and it's huge! I don't feel like this picture even does it justice, but I insisted Jesse be in it to demonstrate scale. We call it the chicken Palace. Come Spring we hope to add three chickens or so to the ladies. A proper flock with more eggs please!