Sonja's Outdoor World

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Stuck in the Basement

Stanley Steamers is here today cleaning the carpet (house goes on the market Monday). So I have been banished to the basement. Luckily we are completely set up down here with the computer, toys, swing, food, and diapers.
Feels a little strange though! I can't wait to see if they can get out some of the nasty stains.
Troy is coming home at 2 today to help with Annabelle. I had a mild breakdown last night and he is coming home early to relieve me so I can go get some time to myself.
Tomorrow we get to go see a lactation consultant at Rose Medical Center. If she can't help us I have a few other things I am going to try, including renting a pump to pump and bottle feed her. If none of that works, we're going to have to try solids or formula. I am so frustrated with this that I am just ready to be done and to quit. I never thought nursing would SUCK so badly. Sorry to have a downer attitude, but I just need to vent a little.
Wish us luck!!

Friday, March 24, 2006

Not Buying It

I just finished an awesome book: Not Buying It by Judith Levine. Judith gave up consuming for one year to explore current American consumerism. She joined a Voluntary Simplicity Group (she was by far the most voluntarily simplistic of them all) and grappled with her desire for clothing, Q-tips, and going to the movies. This book is in no way a how-to book, it's a self exploration book, and I couldn't put it down. Here are some of the quotes that stimulated my brain:

"On average, someone living in a developed nation consumes twice as much grain, twice as much fish, three times as much meat, nine times as much paper, and eleven times as much gasoline as someone living in a developing nation."

"Americans make up just 4.5% of the world's population, but we use 24% of it's resources, and emit 23% of the greenhouse gases that are dissolving the ozone layer."

"In 1998 and American used 1,023 kilograms of oil or its equivalent and ate 122 kilos of meat. In the same year, his Bangladeshi cousin burned a thimbleful of fuel - 7.3 kilos - and ate a mouthful, 3.4 kilos, of meat."

"The average North American household tosses four pounds of stuff daily."

My favorite quote in the book (she is quoting Douglas B. Holt, a professor of advertising at the University of Illinois):
"In the postmodern marketplace "the 'good life' is not a matter of having a well-defined list of status goods," he writes. "Instead, it is an open-ended project of self-creation. The idea is to circulate continually through new experiences, things, and meanings, to play with different identities by consuming the goods and services associated with those identities.""

That HIT HOME! What comes to mind for me: rock climbing, camping, mountaineering, backpacking, running, hiking, sewing, scrapbooking, knitting, swimming, ice climbing, the list goes on.

And finally a little clip of her concluding remarks:
"If I am a consumer first and last, all I can do to better the world is consume more responsibly - 'buy green,' invest in socially responsible businesses, and buy less. The other choice I have is to reject consumer as my sole role and reclaim my other public identity: citizen."

In the style of "Not Buying It" I did actually purchase the book. I know it seems contradictory. But, in my defense, I did check to see if they had it at the library and they didn't. I would, however, like to pass it along to someone else to read (Amy??), possibly in hopes that someone else will read it, and highlight the sections they enjoyed, write a few blirbs in it and return it for me to gain additional insight. Any takers??

Thursday, March 23, 2006


As I creep up on 6 months post pardem I have started to do some reading on blood disorders and post pardem hemorrhage (PPH). I had a PPH soon after Annabelle was delivered. My uterus had trouble clamping down and I lost 1 liter of blood, which is about 1/4 to 1/7 of my total blood supply at the time. This very much scared my midwife and the OB on call was brought in to help control the bleeding. I had my baby in my arms so I didn't understand the gravity of the situation. Eventually the uterus clamped, after they administered many drugs and did other things that I would rather not mention. I was very weak for several hours afterwards, needed lots of IV fluids and was iron deficient for awhile, but all in all I bounced back quickly.
My midwife, Jessica would like for me to see a hematologist at 6 months post delivery to make sure that I don't have a bleeding disorder. I seem to bleed very easily. When I used to give blood, I could give a pint in under 3 minutes, and when I was getting prepped for my IV while in labor, I "blew up" and spurted blood everywhere (so they say, I wasn't going to look). So there are some signs that my body has trouble shutting off my blood flow. My gut tells me that there is something wrong.
Doing research on PPH has really depressed me. Many of the women out there who have had a PPH are very scared to have more children. Fear and childbirth are two things that I don't think go together well. The risk of having a PPH with subsequent children is increased if you have had it with the first. This may transfer me into a higher risk category, which means I wouldn't be able to deliver at Fitzsimmons again, and wouldn't be able to have my midwives. I don't feel good about this at all and I am pretty saddened. So, I will start the laborious process of searching for a good hematologist and will set up an appointment soon.
After reading others stories I am lucky that I had such a competent midwife. If a PPH is not controlled quickly enough, things can go downhill fast and can become life threatening. Often times they must perform an emergency hysterectomy, so I feel lucky that they were able to get my bleeding under control without any long term consequences.

Annabelle's 4 Month Appointment

Annabelle had her 4 month pediatrician appointment today.
Weight: 12 lbs 6.5 ounces (20 percentile)
Length: 25.5 inches (90 percentile)
She's lean, long, and strong.
The ped said she is doing wonderfully. He is not at all concerned with her low weight. She is a petite little one, but very strong and hitting all appropriate milestones so he feels she is super healthy. This always makes me feel good. Her low weight sometimes makes me feel like a bad mama since it is my milk that is supposed to make her strong, and chubby. Our nursing relationship is a struggle, it always has been, but we just keep working at it.
We had a nice appointment...until they administered the vaccinations. That part always makes me very sad, I hate to see them hurt my baby.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Recent Annabelle Pictures


Voluntary Simplicity

I found a new website that I love. It's written by a couple on Voluntary Simplicity. They give you a little test:
Make a list of the ten activities you enjoy most. Then make another list of the ten activities that occupy most of your time. Compare the two lists.
1) spending valuable time with my family (Troy, Annie, my parents, grandparents, and In-laws)
2) hiking
3) spending time at the family cabin in Gould
4) doing crafts (crocheting, sewing, knitting)
5) cooking
6) camping and backpacking
7) traveling and sightseeing
8) listening to music
9) taking baths
10) blogging, emailing, and keeping in touch with family an friends

Occupy my time
1) cleaning the house
2) cleaning up after pets
3) being in transit...driving to and from places
4) putting things away
5) sleeping/resting
6) watching tv
7) spending time on the computer
8) taking baths
9) playing with Annabelle
10) hiking

So, 4 of my items on my "Enjoy" list line up with my "occupy" list. Those are: spending time on the computer, playing with Annie (lines up with spending valuable time with family...slightly lines up), taking baths and hiking. Now if I could only stop cleaning and start spending time at the cabin, stop shopping for groceries and start doing crafts, stop sleeping and start camping, etc!

The key to happiness is not to have what you want but to want what you have.

So I have some things to think about here. I think I will explore the website a little more to see if it yields any ahh hah moments.

House Work

Whew! We just finished a huge push of housework here. We are trying to get the house ready to put on the market on April 1st. Last year when I was pregnant we "threw" the house on the market to see if it would sell and it didn't. This time we are coming at it much more prepared. We have put thousands into it trying to make it look and smell great. We had the air conditioning (and heating) vents cleaned. We had the upstairs bathroom carpet replaced with a nice linoleum (who puts carpet in a bathroom??). We then had to remove, repaint, and recaulk the bathroom baseboards. We painted the upstairs bedroom back to white...from one liked the blue...except us :). We then took the carpet from the bathroom and had all the spots where the cats had ripped up the carpet replaced. We had a whole step, three spots on the side of the stairs, and two doorways replaced. I have dejunked every room of the house, including the garage. We have simplified the objects that we own and use. We also bought a new vacuum, which I LOVE. It sucks really well and is bagless! I have been vacuuming every day so that I can get as much dirt up as possible before we have someone clean the carpets.
So what's left...whew. We have to get the carpets cleaned, tidy and straighten the yards, do the final organizing of the furniture and stuff, get the photos of the house taken, meet with the realtor, and list it. We have priced it to sell, about 20K under our previous listing price.
Troy and I are both so ready for a change. We are ready to get into a very small apartment where we can spend less time (and money) cleaning and taking care of our house and more time doing the things we love to do, like being outdoors! Our house is definitely one thing in our lives that isn't aligned with our values. We are spending gobs of $$ on something that doesn't add significant value to our lives. We have learned an important lesson owning this house. You have to tread very lightly with large purchases. We didn't think we would have a baby this soon, and never in a million years did I think I would want to be a stay at home mama. Things can change so drastically so quickly. It's important that large purchases have a lot of wiggle room, so that your life can expand and contract. Troy and I have decided not to purchase another home. We will wait until Troys income has ramped up. We have even tossed around the thought of purchasing a weekend home in the mountains before we purchase a home in Denver. I don't feel that the market is solid in Denver, and I don't think it currently has the ability to give a good return on your investment. Also, Troy is still young in his career and he may have a job change or two before he is settled, so we need to be mobile within the Denver area.
So, you live and you learn. We really have our fingers crossed that the house will sell quickly. There are three houses in the neighborhood that are for sale right now, and we will be priced 10K under them, so we hope that will be enough for a quick sell!

Friday, March 17, 2006

Cool Book!

I got a great new book for Annabelle. It will be quite some time before she gets it but I thought it was so cute I couldn't let it get away. It's called Nature's Yucky and it teaches kidos about some of the gross things that animals do and why they do them. I especially like the page that talks about how Turtles breathe out of their butt! Ha ha ha ha! I was rolling on the floor. Anyways, I thought it was a great educational book that plays to kids fascination with all things gross!

Great Grandma and Great Grandpa with Baby Annie

Here are my two Grandparents (dad side) with Annabelle. They came to see us and visit for the day when we were in Vegas! Thank you Grandma and Grandpa for the visit! It was fun!

Friday, March 10, 2006

Vegas, Baby, Vegas

I have been having a blast in Vegas. My grandparents (the W side) drove here to see Annabelle on Wednesday. Yesterday mom and I took a big long walk down the strip with Annabelle. We got denied from entering the new Wynn hotel because they don't allow strollers. I think they just don't want kids there but can't legally deny them. So I am going to take Annabelle in arms and go check it out today. The Vanitian, where we are staying is awesome, we have a living room, and a bedroom, and a huge bathroom with a huge tub!!
We'll be back home Saturday evening!

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Mountain Mamas Job!

I am proud to announce that you are looking at the newly hired Colorado Mountain Mamas hike leader! I've kept it a little hush hush, but I am so excited to have been hired. I will get to hike with Annabelle, and share my love of the outdoors with other moms, all while making some extra $$ for our family!

Friday, March 03, 2006

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Okay, this term is old-school. We learned it in like third grade, right?? Well a friend of my moms made Annabelle a copy of the Curious George soundtrack (reusing the CD, but not reducing or recycling) and it has a song about these topics on it. I think this is a great song for kiddos, and adults as well. It got me thinking. My first small "ahh-hah" moment was realizing that Americans are such horrible consumers. Wallmart and Super Target breeds this thought that we can purchase whatever we can afford. But I got to thinking, "Why do we assume that just because we can afford something that we DESERVE to own it". Why do we think that b/c we have $50 in our wallet that we deserve to purchase goods that rape and pillage our planet of it's resources. I started walking around my house and realizing..."How many vacuum cleaners will I own in my lifetime?", "How many computers?". What is the cost to our planet of every American owning 5 vacuum cleaners and 30 computers in their lifetime? What if I could "LOOK" at all the stuff that I would consume in my many semi trucks would it take to hold these items? Why do I deserve to own so many things just because I can afford them??
The answer is...I don't! I don't deserve to own what I can afford. I am starting to look at food in a different light as well. Thinking more on the level of what I deserve to consume, rather than can afford to consume.
So, I would like to ponder and tumble around thoughts pertaining to Reducing my consumption...the first R of the fabulous 3! Last weekend Troy and I completely dejunked the house. We took a huge load to the dump and another to the Salvation Army. I looked at all the stuff we were dumping and was pretty disgusted. Did we really deserve to dump a truck load of used and abused products into the landfill just because we could pay the $30 to get through the gate. We are definitely doing more than $30 worth of damage to the earth by trashing the things we dumped...there were half used paint cans, an old bread machine that didn't work...youck! Watching the tractors drive around and push the tons and tons of waste was saddening. All of this thoughtless consumption...Including my own.
So, even though I threw things out, I am feeling like we are getting back to a sort of "ground-zero" as a family. I have assessed all the items that we currently own and have decided to keep them for a reason. So this is a major start to "reducing" what we own. In the process I found 6 canvass bags that I will now use for all my shopping. No more plastic bags...the dump made me realize they are just a huge problem...they get everywhere in our world, they kill wildlife and they are an eyesore to our planet...just the tip of the iceberg! There are some new things that we need to purchase, a new vacuum is one of them. I would like to purchase something that would last a lifetime, or at least half a lifetime. I know that cost will be an issue.
My ideal for our household is that we own what we need to get by, and that we have a minimal amount of items...but nice items. I want to have a process in place to "Clean, Store, and Maintain" every item in the house so that our things are taken care of, and last as long as possible. I want to start wearing out items. I can't even think of the last time I wore out an item that I loved, other than a pair of shoes.
Wish me luck in my quest, and any advice or tips you can give would be greatly appreciated! If your reading this, be sure to post a comment to me and say Hello!