Woke up crying. Here is my puffy face:
Agreed to do a cooking demonstration at a local birth center next Thursday night . . . just one day shy of my due date. I felt a little anxious about it so I decided to meditate. You can see how that went.
Discussed my birth plan with a woman while standing underneath a sloth.
Ran to catch a train . . . and missed it. My husband wishes he had video. I understand, I am 39 weeks pregnant!
Watched as Daddypotamus singlehandedly broke the Dallas Aquarium’s elevator. It refused to reopen when he stuck his hand in, so he pried it open and broke it.You should have seen the look on his face when he saw a crowd of women with strollers trying to get to the third floor.
Drank coffee and ate semi-toxic food in a restaurant. I can’t remember how long it’s been!
Found out that KellyMom shared my guest post on Facebook!
Fell in love with my little Katiepotamus all over again.
Went to bed smiling. It was an amazing time with my two favorite people. It may be our last big outing as a trio and we loved every minute (except for the train part and the time that Daniel helped Katie use the restroom outdoors).Read More »
I can’t thank you enough for all your kind words yesterday. People say you shouldn’t give advice to those going through a difficult time. They say you should just listen. I say they don’t know YOU!
From practical stuff like the Home Depot gift card incentive to offers to help and words of understanding and encouragement, I was overwhelmed by your love. So here’s the update:
I am officially in nesting mode. Our amazing friends Jim Bob and Cindy stopped by and helped us move our king-sized bed (which we’ve been storing in the garage) into our teeny tiny bedroom. Our little co-sleeping family has been cramped for way too long. Since it’s at most three weeks until we have another little one in the co-sleeper beside us it makes sense that we at least stop waking each other up in the night. That will be the baby’s job.
Also, we had a showing yesterday. The realtor commented that our house was beautifully updated but that the rooms were too small. Eeek!!! Did I mention that we also moved our queen bed into one of the secondary bedrooms as a backup for when I need to be up with the baby? People thought they looked small before, so what will they think now? Do any of you know any optical illusions for making a room look bigger? Seriously, I’m really asking. Alexa??? Anyone???
I had hoped to plan several special times with our little girl in the weeks before the birth, but more often than not she has been shuffled around between family members as we prep for showings, negotiate, sign paperwork, etc. This Saturday we hope to ride the train to Dallas for a day at the Aquarium and whatever else we can drum up. Any suggestions for great stuff to do in Dallas with a toddler?
Babypotamus isn’t showing any signs of warming up for birth yet, so next week I’m planning to do the giveaway I mentioned. See you then!Read More »
Today I was planning to announce an awesome giveaway . . . probably my favorite so far. Unfortunately, our buyer backed out yesterday and I am a mess.
My midwife will be here soon for my 39 week checkup. She’ll ask me how I’m doing, and I won’t lie. I’m shutting down emotionally. I am doing exactly what I did during Katie’s birth. I am doing what my husband and I have worked so hard to avoid . . . retreating within.
Even with all that’s going on I still really, really wanted to give this surprise away because I love ya’ll and so many of you need/want it. It’s just that I am struggling to breathe. It sounds silly, I know, but it’s not just about where we live. It’s that I feel powerless. Yesterday I saw a headline about something going on in the Congo. It was so disturbing I couldn’t even read the story, and yet the bare facts listed in the headline have haunted me ever since.
I am an optimist by nature. I believe that God in me can be helping hands and an understanding heart to a world full of pain. But right now I’m afraid that if I open my mouth my heart might break, so I’ll wait.Read More »
You’re a mom. Okay, you could be a dad or a busy professional, but that would make the title too long, so I”m sticking with the mom theme.
So, like I said, you’re a mom, and it can be exhausting. Maybe there have been times someone wakes you up from a sleep coma to ask you why you left the car running in the driveway, or why your eyeliner is in the freezer, or when the last time you had a shower was. None of that has ever happened to me, of course, but I can understand how some moms could get so run down that it would be possible.
Motherhood is a red carpet invitation to set aside your personal needs in order to meet your child’s. While I agree with this in many ways, there is one place it absolutely fails: Nutrition.
It’s a catch-22, really. Increased demands sap your time, energy and desire to cook healthy meals . . . just when you and your family need those restorative nutrients the most.
So what do most of us do? I have tried many things:
It was not pretty, I tell you. When Katie was a newborn most of my lunches were comprised of black olives straight from the can with an egg on the side, or hamburger patties with a salad I was too tired to pour dressing over. While it worked for me, it was a miserable time for my husband. Seriously, who wants to eat like that?
Not my husband. And certainly not my two year old. With baby #2 on the way, I made a conscious decision that this time would be different, so I’ve spent the last few months collecting recipes from fellow real food bloggers that are quick and nourishing. This series will cover breakfast, dinner and even a few sides. We always eat leftovers for lunch, so you’re on your own there.
Every single recipe in this series has been Potamus family tested and approved for both ease and flavor, so dig in! I hope you enjoy these recipes. I enjoyed “researching” it for you in my kitchen ; – )
Please let me know if you think this series will be helpful to you. I can share for four weeks or four months depending on your interest, but I need feedback. Thanks!!
Oh, and about that car fiasco, that totally happened did not really happen. What have you really not done?
This is the recipe that inspired this series. It’s a protein-packed, mineral rich meal that has rescued me more times than I can count. It’s very filling and takes just a few minutes to make.
When I know ahead of time that I’m going to be busy I pull out a container of homemade broth from the freezer while I’m making breakfast, but I also keep some store bought broth in the pantry for days when the unexpected comes up.
Quick Tip: When a friend of mine has a new baby I make a double batch for her family and mine. So far all my friends have loved it, which proves that hospitality does not have to be a hassle. Check out Food Renegade for the recipe!
I’m a protein fiend, so I’ll admit I was a little skeptical about this recipe at first. I thought it would be too carb heavy, but actually if you use grass-fed dairy ingredients it is loaded with fat-soluble vitamins, especially Vitamin K2.
Vitamin K2 is found also exclusively in animal products and is essential for bone health. The only plant derived form I know of is natto, which is a type of fermented soybean. It’s especially important for growing tots so load them up if their digestive systems are developed enough to handle it (raw dairy from cows is okay around 2+ years).
Visit Cheeseslave for the recipe!
This simple, satisfying meal is loaded with protein. Add in homemade mayo and you get bonus healthy fats and enzymes.
If you don’t have grapes on hand, substitute with cranberries or diced dried apricots.
Quick Tip: Bake and chill the chicken ahead of time for a meal you can literally throw together in minutes.
Click here for the recipe.Read More »
Daddypotamus here. We’re approaching the final 2-3 weeks of pregnancy, and the reality of baby #2 is starting to set in. A flurry of activity and the challenge of relieving stress in full effect. In case you’re new here or haven’t read about our family vision, here’s the rundown on why we’re in such a tizzy:
First, we’re trying to sell our house. We signed a contract last week, but after the inspection on Saturday, the buyer has called for a meeting. No major problems were found, it’s just an older house and well, that means some things are old. Secondly, Heather is pregnant. She’s not just pregnant, she’s crunchy / attachment parenting pregnant. That means very few shortcuts with Katie (child #1). So there’s a very pregnant Mommypotamus carrying a very active Babypotamus, a very talkative Katiepotamus, nap times, surprise meeting with our buyer tonight, meal planning, blogging, shopping, cooking, and I don’t even WANT to know what else.
1. Will we sell this house before the baby is born?
This gets more complicated, to be sure. We’re doing a home birth, as I’m sure you expected. Until we signed the contract last week we weren’t sure what our potential closing date would be. Would we be mid-move when the baby decided to come? We hoped not.
Fortunately, our closing date ensures that we will be here several weeks past Heather’s due date. Unfortunately, there is a possibility that it might not work out with this buyer. If our house goes back on the market that means we are back in the house showing circus: Getting calls from realtors at random times requesting to show our house with anywhere from half an hour to a couple hours notice to re-clean the house and abandon ship while caring for a newborn and a toddler. Not fun. Hopefully it won’t happen that way.
2. How will we fit the baby stuff back into this house?
When Katie was born, Gigi lived in her own house. And this house was more cramped than it is now because of all the baby stuff we’ve since moved into storage. Thinking rocking chair / glider…. changing table… diapers… diaper bags… baby toys… strollers… where ARE we going to put all this stuff? We were two adults welcoming one baby into the world in a cramped house. Now we’re three adults, a toddler, and two cats welcoming baby #2 possibly into the same house. My home office may be going bye bye.
3. Getting all the baby stuff out of storage.
It’s not JUST baby stuff in storage. It’s Gigi’s whole house worth of furniture. Yeah… wee!
4. Selling the house and moving with a newborn? Is that possible? Or sane?
We’re set on selling this house. There’s a REASON why we’ve put ourselves through this untimely mess. With all the creative stuff Heather and Gigi are doing preparing meals each week, this kitchen is way too small. We need more play space. More room for a second bed in the master. And, of course, there’s the whole desperate heart-longing for chickens and goats. BAAAAA! You compleeeeeeete me! Sorry. Where was I?
Oh. Yes. Selling this house. Something’s gotta give.Read More »
Does this sound familiar?
We share the same goal in trying to be patient. I also want to be present, not just surviving but thriving in every season of life. Oh, and on a fun note, it is a major goal to document my children’s lives by keeping a memory box with odd and random tidbits and keepsakes, along with blogging about the day-to-day for them to one day read.
If it does, it’s probably because your name is Whittney H. and your comment #34 (where you explain in detail the contents of your memory box so I can copy you) is the winning number. This is your season, isn’t it. Not one but TWO miraculous birth stories and two GORGEOUS children. What will you do next? Congratulations!
For those of you that didn’t win, I have another contest coming up this week!!! I didn’t plan to have them this close together but the next prize is valued at $120 and I have to give it away quickly. You’ll see why soon ; – )
Today is my birthday. Since most of you will feel obligated to be nice to me, I’d like to use this period of amnesty to make some confessions:
You thought I was weird already? Oh well!Read More »
That’s what Daddypotamus said yesterday as we talked through the events of the last two weeks. Since you have the internet (and are therefore not living under a rock), I know you’ve heard about the U.S. “housing crisis.”
We had too, but it was nothing more than a conceptual problem until we put our house on the market. We got an offer almost immediately, but turned it down in hopes of getting something better. After months of showings without offers, reality had sufficiently slapped us in the face. We developed a painfully clear understanding of what it meant that 30% of our competition were foreclosures priced way below market value.
Two weeks ago we got a verbal offer. It was so insulting I couldn’t decide whether to laugh or cry. We threw out a ludicrous counter offer just to see what would happen. Surprisingly, they responded and inched up over the next two weeks.
Throughout the negotiations I felt violated. It may sound silly, but I did. They manipulated, they insulted us, they asked for more than was reasonable . . . and then asked for more (Can we throw in our refrigerator?? Seriously???).
These people knew I was pregnant. They were trying to use it to their advantage to pressure us, but in the end it backfired on them. Because you know what happens when you make a full-term pregnant woman angry? Something. It could be one of many things, but something is gonna happen.
Since they never submitted a formal offer and we weren’t bound to anything, I called a woman that had seen our house a few weeks before. She was the person I “saw” in this house. Her sister and nephew live in our neighborhood (ya’ll know how I feel about having family nearby) and she was just the spunkiest, sweetest lady I’d met in a long time.
So, like I said I called her . . . and sold the house right from under the other buyers feet! Do I feel bad about this? Nope.
When I was in the corporate world we had this guy come in and do a seminar on teamwork. He divided us into groups to play a game called “Get The Most Points.” The objective was, obviously, to get the most points and win.
Is this two faces or a vase? Like many things it’s a matter of perception. The game was called “Get The Most Points,” not stop the other teams from getting points. Not “Make Sure Everyone Else Wallows In Misery and Lack So You Can Upgrade Your Lifestyle.”
Ironically, the best strategy would have been for each team to work together to achieve the highest number. But peoples perception is that in order to win someone has to lose, and no one saw the other possibility (except me, and I was too chicken to speak up).
After the president of the company led his team to victory (because who would be more skilled at crushing opponents and rising to the top than him?), the teamwork coach pointed out the obvious fact I had seen earlier. We tried to thwart each other’s success because we inherently believed that would lead to more success for us. Not only is that untrue, the OPPOSITE is actually the case.
That day in the boardroom changed my life. By keeping silent I had contributed to a culture of intimidation and exploitation, and that needed to change. I began looking for win-win situations. I buy my cloth diapers from a local momma who gives me a great price. Win-win.
I buy my meat from local ranchers that use environmentally friendly methods. I win because the food is more nutrient dense, the rancher wins because he doesn’t have to pay middle man costs. The environment wins because no chemicals were used and less gas is needed to ship locally. The local economy gets a boost, which is good for me! Win-Win-Win-Win!!!
I want to engage in as many win-win transactions as I can in my life. What made me so angry about the first potential buyers I mentioned is that I felt cornered into that old system of exploitation. That’s not how I want to live my life.
I’m happy to say we ARE selling our house to the woman I’d envisioned here. The contract was finalized last night. Although we are only breaking even (or maybe taking a slight loss), we love this woman because she is helping us get to where we need to be, and she loves us because we are giving her a fantastic deal. No one had to lose their dignity. No one had to feel powerless.
Ten seconds after we finalized the contract Katie gave her yet another hug and kiss and then we prayed over her. We prayed that her move would go perfectly with nothing broken or missing and that she would be blessed here, in this house where we have spent all our married life and where two of are children were/will be born. It was a gift to both of us.
The night ended with me promising to email her my blueberry muffin recipe, which I served the night before. (Of course I couldn’t direct her here! Can you imagine her reading this about herself???) She reciprocated by inviting us back to our former home if our children ever want to see where they entered the world.
It was a big win-win moment for me. In the words of Michael Buble:
It’s a new dawn
It’s a new day
It’s a new life
And I’m feeling goooooood
Wouldn’t you like YOUR business and life transactions to end with warm hearts, good results, and blessings all around? If we stopped always trying to get the “best deal” at the expense of the other, how much better might our lives be? I love good deals and I’m not about to stop. I buy used items off of Craigslist when possible, which puts money in regular peoples pockets and keeps perfectly good stuff out of landfills. It doesn’t take tons of money to start making win-win transactions, only a little forethought.