On Being Beautiful.

[I promise this isn’t as vain and facetious a post as the title may imply, just bear with me. and enjoy some baby photos for once!]

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Just look at that beautiful wee babe. Isn’t she amazing?! I love her so, SO much. I hope she never sees herself as anything but the beautiful human being that she is.

So, I have vowed not to see myself as anything but beautiful either. 

I will not be the mother who hides when she sees a camera. I will not be the mother who critiques every photographic version of herself. I will not be the mother who despairs when others see her when she first wakes up. I will not be the mother who is embarrassed to be seen in a swimsuit. I will not be the mother who cannot accept a compliment.

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I will not be the mother who does not believe her children, when they tell her she is the most beautiful person in the world. Because didn’t we all think that about our mothers/mother figures at some point?

Body image is contagious, and I’d rather pass on a good one.

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She is worth it.

It’s not going to be easy, but those are my goals. That is who I would like to become. That is someone I think we all could become – women and men, mothers or not – because we are all beautiful. Each and every one of us. And it’s time we start seeing ourselves that way.

Speak kindly about yourself. Don’t criticize your physical features. Treat your body right. Accept what is there and learn to love it. Don’t criticize others either. Get rid of the bathroom scale. Take lots of selfies. Grow to be comfortable in your own skin.

We are worth it.

love, rach
*photo cred goes to my amazing sister! you should hire her and stuff. she is BRILLIANT.

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In which I am a little boring and a lotta vain

So, that 30-day self portrait challenge. I’ve been kind-of keeping up with it.

Without further ado, I’d like to present a look at my past week via pictures of myself on the days I have experienced within the past week!

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when you’ve got a baby attached to you pretty much all of your waking hours, this counts as an accurate self-portrait. she’s a pretty cute one to be stuck to, though.

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a road trip! a ten hour road trip, to be precise. two of them. I had plenty of time to be a goof and take pictures of my face [when I wasn’t trying to feed or entertain or soothe my child, that is…]

a more accurate picture of my roadtrip, breastpump not included.

a more accurate picture of my roadtrip, breastpump not included.

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this one is pretty neat. my hair is pretty long.

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this is the scar that I got from a sledding accident when I was sixteen. I wore a bandage over it while the wound was healing and sometimes it looked like a Hitler-style moustache. Oops.

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b-day present from the in-laws! birthstone and initial rings for my Daisy. love them. they’re from KerriAnn Designs on Etsy!

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and here we are with today. woke up feeling wonderful…but the day went downhill after about 2pm and culminated in a delicious made-from-scratch dinner catching fire in the oven. Glorious. My house didn’t burn down though, so that’s a good thing, and the smokey smell is mostly gone…

So, there’s that. Daisy and I enjoyed a short trip with my family, to meet her great-grandparents last weekend! We enjoyed Oregon very much! But we were both grateful to be reunited with the hubs/pops.

I didn’t skip as many photos as I thought I did, which surprised me. It’s been interesting trying to take photos of myself each day…I feel slightly ridiculous, but it’s good to be consistent about something and it does make me feel good. It’s an easy thing to do to for a little bit of “me” time, and I enjoy the challenge of thinking up new ways to see myself through a crappy iPhone camera lens each day.

Because you were such a good sport and put up with staring at my face and such through this post, here is a treat for you:

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when I start doing things like this and laughing hysterically….it’s a good sign that I need more sleep. being a single parent is hard, yo. I now have mad respect for all of you single parents out there, and I only had to go it alone for a long weekend. If I could see each of you in person right now, you would get a huge hug.

love, Rach

Liebster!

award

My awesomesauce cousin, the one and only Jubilant Jessi, nominated me for a Liebster award! I love silly-fun-blog-things like this, and hope you can play along too 🙂

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FACTOIDS:
  1. I grew up in Kansas City, Missouri. But I also moved away eight years ago, my memory of the area is pretty foggy, and I feel a little phony claiming to be “from” there.
  2. This year, I have baked 5 full size pies.
  3. Last year I baked 19 full-size pies.
  4. I handmade all of the flowers for my sister’s wedding [in May].
  5. Funfetti is my favorite kind of cake.
  6. Mint chocolate chip is my favorite flavor of ice cream – I like to critique different brands and pretend I’m cool or something when I compare the chip-to-ice-cream ratios and such.
  7. One of my favorite scriptures that I’ve found recently is Ecclesiastes 7:12 (KJV) “For wisdom is a defence, and money is a defence: but the excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom giveth life to them that have it.”
  8. I have two younger sisters and three younger brothers. The birth order is girl-boy all the way down the line.
  9. I am officially one-eighth Mexican. Not that you can tell by looking at me.
  10. I am a Mormon! The monthly magazine published by our church is called the Ensign. The August issue arrived in my mailbox today, and I loved this article: [No Corrupt Communication] and these articles that were referenced in it: [Parental Sarcasm] [The Science of Sarcasm? Yeah, Right.] [The Tongue of Angels]
    Definitely gave me some food for thought today.
  11. I recently read this blog post about a “30 days of self portraits” challenge. I think I might do it. Here are two from today:
  • self portrait day 1self portrait day 1 v.2

Q&A:

1. Why did you start blogging?
Because I have a lot to say [sometimes], and I liked the idea of publishing it somewhere where people could drop by and read it if they wanted to, but it wasn’t going to pop up on a feed [or clog their “bulletins” on Myspace, etc]. I actually started out with a Myspace blog….and then switched to Blogger in 2008, and then to WordPress in 2012. If you go back in my archives, I’ve actually saved some of my best posts from my Myspace blog and transferred them to the different platforms I’ve had over the years!
2. Where is one place you have always wanted to go?
Fiji! The Truman Show was my favorite movie for a long time….so Fiji was always my answer. I guess I’ll stick to it.
3. What was your worst cooking disaster?
Oh dear. One time I tried to cook rice and I didn’t have enough water in the pot, so it burned…badly. The residue never. came. off. I was cooking something else to go with it too, and it also burned and got stuck. I think my parents ended up throwing all of those pots/pans away.
4. Best thing on the internet?
Left Handed Toons. You’re welcome.
5. Favorite family activity?
Dinner time! Kind of simple, but sitting around the dinner table with my whole family was [and still is] my favorite part of the day.
6. What’s your best crafty creation?
Probs my wedding dress. It turned out exactly as I wanted it to!
7. Just how cool are you? 🙂
I’m so cool that I’m attempting to sew my own cloth diapers! I’m turning my basic prefold diapers into fitted diapers. It’s going well enough, considering I’m not using a pattern. I’ll keep you posted…
8. What book should I read?
Anything written by Agatha Christie! Miss Marple mysteries are my absolute favorite.
9. If you could learn a new skill, what would it be?
Probably the skill of being multi-lingual. That would just be awesome. So far, I’ve mastered really-pathetic-broken-Spanish.
10. Sugar or salt?
Oooh. Depends on the day, but usually I’ll go for sugar.
11. What do you do when you’re up late and can’t sleep?
Read a good book until I get drowsy eyes. It usually works!

I TAG:

hmm. anyone else who enjoys surveys and random facts and blog linkage! comment if you’re carrying on the trend and I’ll link you right up 🙂
and here is a Q&A from me:
01. What is your name?
02. What is your quest?
03. What….is your favorite color?
04. Did you get that movie reference? And do you know the air speed velocity of a fully-laden swallow? ; )
05. What is your favorite movie? [or, favorite movie in each of your favorite genres?]
06. What kind of blogs do you like to read?
07. Are you a blog-stalker???
08. How would you decorate your dream home?
09. What is your favorite meal to cook?
10. What are your favorite pizza toppings?
11. How many times in your life have you utilized public transportation?
and that concludes this edition of yet-another-stream-of-consciousness-veiled-as-something-constructive. thank you for listening, and please join us next time!

life off the grid.

It’s been nearly three weeks since I nearly eliminated my online presence.
And you know what??

I am absolutely loving it.

I did go through withdrawals, and have periods of time when I would pick up my phone and stare blankly at it for a moment when I realized I had nothing to “do”.
But now? I don’t even miss Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest. I don’t think I ever want to go back. I set up a Chrome extension to block the websites just in case I caved and tried to log in, but after a test run to make sure it was working, I haven’t even thought to visit any of the sites.

Well, okay, I did re-activate my Pinterest account for all of five minutes to look at my boards again and see if there was anything I’d pinned that I was interested in purchasing for my birthday. There wasn’t. I then remembered that I had survived my entire life without Pinterest, and realized I did not need to “curate boards” in order to know what my personal style is or to keep track of recipes. And I promptly deactivated my account again.

Now, I am still just as good at wasting time as I was before falling off the grid. I still check Bloglovin a couple times a day, and should probably weed through the blogs I follow. I’ve found good books that while away the hours nearly as well as checking Instagram. I have friends that actually talk to me (gasp!) and spent about 3 hours of today chatting on the phone and texting them. But overall, it is an improvement, and I am content!

I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the feedback I’ve gotten for this decision. If anyone thinks I’m nuts, they certainly haven’t told me so! I’ve had quite a few good face-to-face conversations with people about “unplugging”. A surprising number of dear friends got in touch with me right when I announced my decision, and have made an effort to keep up with the haps. I have picked up a fair number of pen pals as well, which is a lot of fun! And people even remembered my birthday yesterday without Facebook to remind them 😉

I feel very fortunate that I am able to take this leap. I completely understand that social networking is entirely necessary these days – it’s practically essential to any modern business or livelihood. I am so blessed to be able to care for my daughter and our home each day. I am blessed with a rich network of friends and family nearby that keep me sane on a daily basis, a well as friends and family who are further away but excellent at keeping up correspondences. My life is so, so good  and I thank the Lord for it every day 🙂

stream of consciousness

I feel terrible about neglecting this blog lately…I haven’t hardly had time to sit down and type anything up since my baby girl was born [on this OR my other blog]!

So, here is a stream of consciousness and some fun facts for you.
[spoiler alert: you’re in for a real treat]

001. When I am in my own home, I rarely close the door to the bathroom when I’m using it. Usually this is only when I’m by myself [or with one of my two family members], but sometimes I forget that it’s not considered a socially acceptable practice when company is over…Luckily, the toilet is strategically placed to not be visible from two out of four rooms in the house, but I apologize in advance if any of you ever come to my house and catch me on the pot. It could definitely happen.

002. The name of this blog is derived from the food my hubs and I chose to have at our wedding reception….Belgian waffles and a variety of breakfast cereals. It was delicious. And awesome. We love breakfast foods so much that our favorite celebratory dining spots are iHOP and Denny’s.

003. My hair is getting ridiculously long. And also, it is falling out [postpartum bodily changes are FUN]! And lately it has spent 75% of the time in a braid, the other 24% is bun time, and there’s about 1% of down time. I reckon I ought to get it legitimately cut/styled soon…

long hair

004. This is still one of my all-time favorite pictures, crappy cell phone quality and all:

Daisy Anne

She is SO BIG now [3.5 months!] and babbles, giggles, and cries louder than any other baby I have yet to hear…but she’s happy a vast majority of the time so that’s okay 🙂 she loves reading stories and being sung to. My favorites are Sandra Boynton books and Puff The Magic Dragon. I’m sure she’ll voice her preferences soon.

mean muggin'. she's a straight-up G.

mean muggin’. she’s a straight-up G.

005. I made a new duvet cover! Pictured beneath ‘zee in the above photo.

006. And I actually DID find the time to write a little something for my new favorite blog, it was published today! Click on over to Hourglassy if you want to hear about some of my happy swimsuit memories [and see probably the most hysterical photo of my sister and I that has ever existed]. I just loved Darlene’s prompt for us to think of positive, happy memories associated with swim wear – rather than obsess over how our bodies are shaped and how self-conscious swimsuits can make us. Absolutely loved it.

007. I made this for Father’s Day, and yes it was as good as it looks. Ice cream pie based on Ben&Jerry’s “Everything But The…” [my Daddio’s favorito]:

father's day pie

008. Here is a picture that I just found while uploading that one. It’s pretty old, but it’s always been one of my favorite photos of myself. For a lot of reasons. One of them being the fabulous garage sale find that I am holding. Foam parrots are such a treasure, don’t you agree??

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thanks to my seester for capturing this treasured moment

009. I had a dentist appointment today. And you know what? I think I finally found a good dentist. I had absolutely zero anxiety prior to and during this appointment [which is a first for me] and felt zero pain whatsoever [and he was placing a temporary crown – that business is not fun]. I am beyond thrilled.

010. Movies I have yet to see, but really want to: The Croods, Star Trek: Into Darkness, Man of Steel, Jurassic Park 2 & 3 (yeah somehow I missed them growing up).
Movies that I am super stoked about: Turbo, Monsters University, Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2, Despicable Me 2, The Hobbit: whatever-the-next-one-is-called, How To Train Your Dragon 2, The Lego Movie, Happy Smekday!, and Me and My Shadow (whenever it eventually gets released).
Movie that I recently saw that was better than I anticipated: Escape From Planet Earth.
[yes….we love kids’ movies around here. that’s what you get when your hubs works for Dreamworks and is an animation buff, and I absolutely love it. also I guess sequels are just getting better these days??]

So, yeah. There you have it. I told you it was going to be wonderful! I promise I’ll make time to write up some good stuff soon. I have an update about my hippie shampoo recipe, and lots of things to say about the cloth diapers I’ve been using [and LOVING]. Plus maybe some recipes. And maybe some photos of my house and my mediocre-at-best interior design/decorating skillz [if I can ever get it together]. 🙂

love, rach

Prodromal Labor?!

L&D false alarm

Photo from our “false alarm” Monday night. Free cranberry juice and good ice! Wooooo.

Have you ever heard of prodromal labor???

I hadn’t either, until yesterday, when my lovely midwife kindly explained what it is to a very tired and frustrated me.

I was so happy I could have hugged her. Actually, I did hug her. She started it though, so it wasn’t weird or anything. I think. Anyways….

I was just so grateful to finally have an explanation, because this week has been dang confusing/frustrating/emotionally draining.
It all started Monday night – when we somehow found ourselves admitted to the most spacious delivery room in the hospital after going there for what we thought would be a quick checkup. We were sent home three hours later (after walking up and down the same hallway for two of those hours, no cervical change, and funky contractions). All of the staff was so nice, so awesome, and didn’t make us feel embarrassed for coming in at all….but I was discouraged because my contractions didn’t seem to “fit” into any mold I’d ever heard of.

“False labor” and Braxton Hicks contractions aren’t supposed to get worse when you walk around. They’re not supposed to get longer and stronger and closer together. You’re not supposed to feel them in your back and all that jazz.
That junk is only for “real” labor.
But “real labor” isn’t supposed to stop when you rest sometimes (but start, without fail, every time you stand up). It’s not supposed to last for a couple hours and then take a break. It’s not supposed to putter out when they hook you up to monitors. Contractions aren’t supposed to last 90+ seconds every time and come at unpredictable intervals.

So if it’s not “real” labor but it’s not “false” labor either, what the heck is going on?!

Answer: Prodromal Labor.
Essentially, this is labor that starts and stops at irregular intervals for an indefinite amount of time before actually progressing to active labor – or, labor that continues to augment until the baby is born.

Most medical definitions equate Prodromal Labor to ‘false labor’, or simply ‘failure to progress’. But I submit that this is not true. It is merely a different laboring pattern than what is seen in standardized/traditional/normal/textbook childbirth these days, and some doctors don’t like it. The American hospitalized labor and delivery system is not designed to handle it well. Most women who end up in this pattern of labor end up being induced nowadays, because it isn’t conducive to the monitoring and timing that most doctors/nurses/hospitals are trained to do.

But, my midwife assured me that it is a normal thing. No, it’s not much fun, but’s a perfectly fine, natural, normal, and safe way to deliver a baby. I completely believe that. I have total trust in my body and biological processes that have been around much longer than hospitals/modern medicine – and absolute faith in the Lord who I know designed this whole process and is watching out for me/supporting me through it all.

So, yeah. I’m going on day five of (intermittent) labor over here. Hanging out at home, staying hydrated, going on walks, waiting for something more to happen! The contractions haven’t been terrible – nothing excruciating or that I can’t talk through yet. Just uncomfortable and tiring. This process is extremely long and drawn-out and I have no idea when things will kick into high gear…

ANYWAY. I found these two wonderful blog posts that do a much better job of explaining what this kind of labor is all about, if you’re interested to learn more!
Red Light, Green Light…A Tale of Prodromal Labor
Bella Dolce Births: Prodromal Labor – what is it?

I’m not really upset about all of this, for the most part. Sometimes I feel like Nacho though:

“How come?” “HOW COME YOU THINK?!” hahaha.

So, yeah. How are YOU these days?! Done anything exciting?? Heard any good jokes? Have any good movie recommendations???? Seriously, tell me anything! There’s only so much I can do to entertain myself over here 😉

love, Rach

*****I just wrote an addendum to this post, and answered more prodromal labor questions here!*********

Yes, I have a midwife, but no, I’m not having a home birth. I am blessed to be part of a great healthcare system that has an awesome hospital no more than a 10 minute drive from my house. They have Certified Nurse Midwives on-staff that attend 85% of the births and have done nearly all of my prenatal check-ups, and I love them. The OB’s there are great too – they specialize in low-risk, low-intervention care.
Since I am not at risk, my baby is healthy and active, and I’m not planning on getting an epidural…getting to the hospital “early enough” isn’t a concern in my case. I am free to labor at home for a while! (until the nature of the contractions changes, or my water breaks. whatever comes first!)

Edible Gold. What’s up with that??

Warning: this may be the silliest blog post I’ve ever written.

So I’ve been hearing a lot about ‘edible gold’ as of late. It’s all over the place. On candies, dusted on pastries, and all up on that thing Serendipity is touting as “The World’s Most Expensive Dessert“.

Naturally, I wanted to know why edible gold was such a big deal.

Also naturally, I turned to the Internet to figure out what it’s all about. (Here is one article I read)

And you know what??? The whole thing is really silly. The only real reason that pure gold is ‘edible’ is because it is an inert element that will react with absolutely nothing in your digestive system. There are no health benefits. It does absolutely nothing to your body.
Translation: you eat it, it sits inside your guts and takes a nice leisurely float on the lazy river of your intestines, and then you excrete it as waste…in the exact same form in which you ingested it.

Congratulations – the “Most Expensive Dessert” you have ever eaten also translates into the “Most Expensive Bowel Movement” you’ve ever had! You literally flushed your money down the toilet.

Really people….does that make ANY sense?
And does it even taste good??
I don’t know about you, but the last time I checked, gold doesn’t really have a special flavor to it.

Seriously.
Silliest trend I’ve ever heard of.
Except for maybe that $250K nailpolish made of black diamonds.

a word about blog trends.

So apparently, there is this thing that bloggers do.

Well, the pregnant-lady ones that is.

They post cute little updates and pictures of them with their growing baby bump, and just generally let you know how pregnancy is and stuff. Like a little diary. It’s cute.

But I’m not digging it, for myself….

So instead, here is a picture of the awesome green rug I bought for my living room last week!

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thank you, Ikea!

The curtains have since been taken down and are awaiting a return…because I liked them less and less each time I saw them. Hahaha. But the rug, I love. A whole lot. But really, who can resist a green shag rug?!

Not me, that’s who.

love, rach

ps is it weird that I’ll talk ALL about pregnancy and all things associated with it if you ask me in person, yet I don’t really want to blog about it?? I mean, I don’t even have to know someone that well for them to get me talking about OB/GYN visits and puking and breasts and anything else awkward. but on the internet to a general audience?? not a peep. hahaha.

Just another rainy day…

It’s another blustery and precipitous day here in the lovely Bay Area!

Driving anywhere is a nightmare – not to mention highly unsafe. Everyone on the radio is shouting, “There’s a severe weather advisory!! Work from home if you can swing it! You don’t want to drive in this mess! STAY INSIDE!!”

To be honest, the weather itself isn’t necessarily what makes venturing outdoors unsafe. It’s really not that bad…especially for someone from the Pacific Northwest.

It’s the California drivers, you guys.

They are the safety issue right thurr.

They still do not know how to adequately drive in the rain…even though it happens every. single. winter.

“Oh my goodness! What is this wet stuff falling from the sky?! I don’t understand!?!! What’s going on!? WHAT DO I DO?! I can’t remember that this happened last year too, and every year before that!”

I must admit, I don’t think it’s entirely their fault….the roads around here are also awful. Because our state is poor and in debt and stuff.

Isn’t that awesome?!

Anyway. I actually love this weather, it’s my favorite. But I definitely miss the Pacific Northwest, and I find Native Northern Californians hilarious sometimes.

And I also wish I didn’t have errands to run today.

love, Rach

Just watch…as soon as I click publish, a tree is going to fall on my house or something just to show me that I am definitely sitting in the middle of an actual severe weather advisory, so quit your whining about the Northwest. I would laugh so hard.