Monday, April 29, 2013

Increasing the Flock

Literally. That isn't a pregnant metaphor. Over the weekend we got 3 baby chicks to add to our 2 full grown egg laying (well, in theory) ladies. I can't exactly pinpoint when it was that I decided backyard chickens were something I wanted, but I can say that for me, there is no going back. Getting chickens has been such a fun experience. They truly make our house a home, and I never get tired of looking out the kitchen window and seeing the ladies picking at grass or chasing bugs around.

Two years ago, we got 5 baby chicks, raised them in a giant tupperware storage bin, aka, brooder. I bought a book, consulted with some friends, and took the plunge. The first few days were harrowing to say the least. If I didn't hear any peeps for awhile, I would run into the laundry room, only to see all of them flat out on their faces asleep. Likewise, if I heard one peeping loudly a whole bunch I would run in there, check the temperature, and talk to them. Luckily, we did not have any issues raising the little ones, except for one turning out to be a rooster, which we just gave to a friend with land.

Our four ladies began laying eggs nearly 4 months to the date after getting them, and we enjoyed their bounty for well over a year before the raccoon incident. Six months ago, we lost 2 of our chickens to neighborhood raccoons. Luckily we never heard a sound in the middle of the night, and my husband noticed what had happened right away and cleaned up the feathers strewn about so I was none the wiser until two days later, when he told me. Since the raccoon incident, the two remaining ladies have been a nice team, but no eggs have been laid. We think they might have been traumatized. :(

A few weeks ago I noticed the feed store started advertising chicks, and I got really excited. The hubs said he would dig out all the brooding stuff (feeder, waterer, heat lamp, tupperware, etc.) and get it all ready so we could pick up some chicks. We also needed chicken feed for the older girls, so we decided to just make one trip to the store. Last Thursday was supposed to be the day, but when I arrived home, I found a BBQ going on taking advantage of our rare 70 degree day. In the PNW, you just can't take those days for granted. So, on Saturday, the hubs bolted up out of bed and exclaimed we were out of chicken feed. I was like, "ok, we'll go on Wednesday." I needed a few days to mentally prepare, and we needed to round up all the stuff. "No, there's no time like the present." We had about 1.5 hours until hubs had to be at work, so we rushed out of the house and to the feed store. We picked up our feed and 3 new chicks. When we got home, we frantically ran around getting everything together. I washed out the big bin in the tub, the hubs found the heat lamp (the most important thing) and the feeder, etc. We set up the bin with some pine chips, turned on the heat lamp, put the new ladies in their home, and called it good. The hubs left for work a few minutes late, and I realized I hadn't eaten anything yet. I still was distracted by getting the girls settled in, so forgot about it. After about 30 minutes, I checked the temperature in the brooder to make sure it was at 90 degrees, and could raise or lower the lamp if needed. Temperature was good, girls were sleeping, and I went on about my Saturday.

After doing a few chores, I went to stick my head in the laundry room, and I noticed before I got there that it was not glowing red. I walked in and the heat light was out. Explative, explative, explative. The hubs was at work, I had no car, and I needed to keep the chicks warm. I immediately thought of the hardware store 2 miles away at the bottom of a huge hill, and called them to see if they had chicken supplies/specifically a heat bulb. They did. Meanwhile, I somehow found an old 60w incandescent bulb in our house, which is nuts because we switched to flourecents years ago, and put that in the lamp and lowered it a bit. I ran around getting all my bike stuff ready to bike down to the hardware store and also to give it a few minutes to see if the regular light bulb would be a temporary fix. The regular bulb, albeit bright was providing sufficient heat and the chicks didn't seem to mind. I hopped on my bike and coasted down to the store, picked up the bulb, and then got ready to bike the 2 miles back uphill. It was then I realized I still hadn't eaten. Oh, well. Gotta save the chicks! The round trip journey took me about 40 minutes, and a major crisis was averted!

Biking up that hill made me really appreciate my body and all its capable of. Sadly, there have been times in my life that this little mishap would have been much more difficult (even impossible?) due to how out of shape I've been. In the past, I might have just started calling friends to drive me rather than immediately just hopping on my bike. It was a good reminder that the time I spend everyday at the gym is worth it, because you never know when you are going to need a little endurance to save 3 lives. :)

Friday, April 26, 2013

Prego Dreams

Pregnant dreams are crazy. I've been enjoying these vivid stories pretty much since before I knew knew that I was pregnant- it was one of the many little things that tipped me off. Last night was particularly funny/memorable to me.

The husband and I were at the Facebook headquarters for some reason, I think maybe just as tourists because in my dream the building was this crazy enclosed atrium with a food court. We were sitting in the food court, and I looked over and saw "The Facebook Cafe" written in all the FB colors and fonts and stuff. After I bit, I noticed everyone coming away from the cafe with hotdogs. This made me really want a hotdog. So the hubs and I went up to the counter and were looking at the menu. I declared I wanted a FB hotdog (that was the menu name) and apparently they were special somehow. The hubs told me "no." He said I could not have a hotdog while pregnant. I looked at the other menu items, and the only other thing on the menu was waffles. Hotdogs and waffles. I didn't want a waffle because I haven't been wanting any sweets lately.

I proceeded to throw a fit in front of my husband, to which he reached out, touched my stomach and told me to calm down. "We can go outside to the waterfront and get whatever you want." So then we walked outside to some brick facaded waterfront in some undeterminable city searching for a more appropriate restaurant for a pregnant woman.

This dream cracks me up. But most memorable is how easily and completely my husband was able to calm me in the midst of my "me pregnant want food" fit. Also, who knew that FB was so into hotdogs and waffles?

Lately our workouts at CrossFit have been on the short side, but involving heavy lifting. One particular trainer is very keen on "adding a little bonus" to whatever the written workout is, so we go in there thinking that we are going to be doing one thing, and then at the end the trainer announces MORE stuff we have to do. I have a love/hate relationship with this type of training. I like to know what I'm getting into ahead of time, yet at the same time, its good for me to be pushed outside of my comfort zone. I'm still trying to do as much as possible at the gym, just using lower weights then I might normally use, and taking more frequent breaks. I was pretty excited yesterday to accidentally hit a PR with my military press. I certainly wasn't trying for a PR, but looking back over my notes, the last time I tried for a 5 rep max military press, I got 75#, and yesterday I did 80# for 5!
I gotta keep the arm strength up for carrying around the little squirt.

Monday, April 22, 2013


In my last post, I touched on the subject of wanting a natural, unmedicated birth. I do want to clear up some possible confusion- just because that is the birth that I want, it doesn't mean that is the birth I'm going to get, nor does that mean that is the only birth I'll be happy with. I understand things happen. I understand that as soon as you make a plan, the universe laughs at you. The most important thing is that we have a healthy baby, and that I survive the experience well enough to care for a newborn. Bottom line.

To clarify, my ideal situation is to have a natural birth. There are some steps I have taken towards this path, such as choosing a midwife instead of going with my OB/GYN and expressing interest in a birthing center rather than a hospital. A lot of the other factors that come into play in whether or not I have an unmedicated birth are yet to be determined. The best thing I can do for myself is to eat nutrious foods, exercise, sleep well, and listen to my body. That way, I know I will have done everything in my power to get the birth that I want. Everything else will just happen the way its supposed to happen.

Moving on, I think its been awhile since I've listed some pet peeves. Maybe its just because I'm pregnant right now and feeling whaleish, but #1 on my current list is "Boudoir Photos." I keep seeing these crop up on various blogs, and in my Facebook feed from friends who have done them "and its so empowering!" Gag. Look, let me tell you something. The last thing your husband/fiance/boyfriend/whatever wants is half naked pictures of you making duck face thinking its sexy. You know why? They already have you. They get to see you naked all the time. WTF are they going to do with pictures of you? I'll tell you what they're NOT going to do with them. They are not going to stash them in their underwear drawer and pull them out when they miss you to engage in some "me" time if you get what I mean. There is a WHOLE internet full of women they haven't seen naked yet that will do the trick. Another thing? They aren't going to be showing them to their friends. So, back to my original point. Why would they want that, and what are they going to do with them after looking at them once? Exactly. However, if you blog about your "Boudoir" session and tell me that you just took the pictures so you could look at yourself in print over and over and picture that is how you look everytime you're with your sig-other, that's something I can believe. Or if you are delusional enough to believe that your husband pulls those out to look at when he wants some five-finger action, go on ahead. Be empowered, you are so naughty!

#2 on current pet peeve list- heartburn. WTF is up with pregnancy heartburn? Ok, so extra progresterone makes my esophageal sphincter (chuckle) relax or whatever. It sucks. I'm over it.

And...lastly, #3. Painting your ring finger a different nail color/pattern whatever. I don't know how or why that started, but its annoying. Just stop.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

No. Maybe. Yes.

For the longest time, I could not picture myself having a child or being a mom. I never had that motherly instinct or desire, and was frankly just not interested in kids at all. I never 'got' them, they never 'got' me. I could go on and on about how annoying they seemed to me, or how I couldn't see how people I knew wanted to go down that road, but I think you get the idea. I'm not a kid person. Dogs on the other hand- that's a different story. I get dogs.

When I met my husband, I believe we went through all the cursory newly dating questions, marriage, property ownership, kids, pets, etc. I remember him picturing himself with kids. At the time I didn't express my views on children, but over the years I think he figured out pretty quick that I had zero maternal instinct, and eventually it became kind of understood that kids might not be in the future. That never stopped the hubs from making googly faces at random babies in public, or dressing up our dog in clothes for the elements. Eventually he would make statements about not wanting children, citing how expensive they are, or overpopulation, or crying fits.

I had my own list of reasons that I told myself were why I didn't want children- I just didn't think I'd be a good mother. Not having a kid is so much easier than having a kid. Once you have a kid, everything becomes about them. I didn't want to deal with gaining a lot of weight, then having to lose it. I was worried about the effects of motherhood on my career.

Two years ago, as I was just changing my lifestyle around, eating nutrient dense foods and performing functional exercise, suddenly other elements of my life took on more simplistic thinking, which made me realize that eating "paleo" was not just about diet, it was an entire lifestyle of choices that just made sense. I got a recommendation from a friend to watch a movie titled "The Business of Being Born." I watched the movie, and all of a sudden, childbirth made so much sense to me. Especially having a natural child birth. I became so interested in the idea of a healthy pregnancy, a natural unmedicated birth with a midwife instead of being in a hospital, and then rasing a child to eat the same way I had be re-learning to eat.

I began discussing these ideas with the hubby, and at first he was confused. It was sort of turning his world upside down, after coming to grips with a no kid future. We would have a few informal "if we had a kid" talks, but these were sometimes months apart. I was still thinking about a natural childbirth, and how I might be depriving myself of one of the greatest experiences on earth by not having a family. I started to get sentimental about holidays, and how fun it might be to share everything with a young kid, as if seeing the world with fresh eyes all over again.

After our wedding, it seemed as though there were a flood of newly pregnant friends. That certainly increased our interest in making the leap ourselves, as well as my desire to not be on hormonal birth control anymore. We decided that we'd take our chances and see what happens. For some reason, I thought we would have a tough time getting pregnant. I had no basis for this except my duration on birth control, I just figured my hormones were all out of whack and it would take awile to normalize. I did some reading on natural ways to balance hormones after being on birth control for awhile, and surprise surprise the number one recommendation was diet. Rid your cabinets of processed food, ditch the flour and sugar, and eat real food. Well, I already did that, so I followed a few other tips- supplementing my diet with fermented cod liver oil and pro-biotics. Less than 2 months after quitting the pill, we were pregnant.

I'm excited now as most of my fears of having a kid have been replaced with all the things we will get to do. I'm no longer worried about my life changing or the direction my career will take because I know growing my family will be worth it. I'm confident that we can raise a baby and child that will be just right for us. We are trying not to get too far ahead of ourselves with planning and things, because we don't know what the future holds. I'm just trying to take each day as it comes and enjoy this incredible experience.