Wednesday, February 5, 2014


Julia's passion for dinosaurs continues. I sewed her a dino tail and added dino spikes to a sweatshirt for her. 
and she begged to take home this t-rex she found at a bookstore. 
I started to build a chicken coop to tide us over until the big coop is ready. except for some 2x2s, it's all made from scrap wood found around the property. 
and good thing it's almost done because 24 little chicks are peeping away in their box in the entry. they've doubled in size in a week and will soon be ready for coop life. 
the same day we got the chicks, Julia got sick with a combo chest cold and ear infection. She was out for a full week with a pretty high fever and racking cough, but now is back up to snuff. I have the chest cough now, but no fever, thank goodness.
In my week of captivity caring for Julia I puttered on lots of little projects. This drying rack from ikea got hung by the fire and I'm very pleased with it. It collapses down when not needed.  
Julia's dinosaur collection got a new home thanks to some simple shelves from scrap wood and wide ribbons tacked to the wall. 
I finished my first knitting project for this baby, little pants. Perhaps there will be a sweater too, but the baby might arrive first and then it will never get done!
I cut down a too big hat to fit for summer gardening. Cut off the top, slice up the back, overlap ends, punch holes and tie with ribbon. pretty easy. 
I worked more on getting my desk set up and the sewing/crafty stuff arranged. Julia discovered the joy of cutting things with scissors, so now i have to be really careful about what I leave out. 
a little project: a wet bag made from waterproof fabric with a zipper on top. not very well made, but functional! 
Also, my first attempt at sewing diapers. the liner is a old bamboo sheet and flannel is the absorbent material inside a waterproof cover. 
the dino hoodie.
I started to set up my no-budget nursery in a corner of my room and Julia saw. She started to cry and I learned that she wanted some of the baby things to be in her room. So she picked out a toy, slippers and a duck sleeper to go on the shelf by her bed to wait for baby. pretty sweet!
little booties I made. 
and another pair. I made about 10 pairs for Julia and only one pair fit her very well, but they were the best! I'm hoping these will work out.
here's the start of the no budget nursery corner. found wood shelves to hold clothes, a twig holding some lantern style christmas lights, some art on the walls, and soon a crib to function more as a changing area than an actual crib as it's a drop side which are all banned these days. I'm still searching for a dresser, but if I can't find one, i'll make more shelving for storage. 
Julia's baby doll modeling the new diaper!

here's something i'm excited about. last summer I grew and dried calendula, a flower known for healing properties. I made a balm to attempt to heal Julia's persistent rear rash by soaking 1/2 cup flowers in 1/2 cup of olive oil on the back of the fireplace for 2 day. then i strained the flowers and discarded them, and added one oz of beeswax to the oil. I let that sit on the stove another day until it was all melted and let it cool. she's been getting it rubbed on morning and night and the rash has healed, but returns again a day later. so we're still working on it but regardless, this is a lovely balm.
Well it's been a long January. Sickness hit us hard, and we are still working on getting our health back. On top of that, I've been feeling somewhat apprehensive about the upcoming birth, because Julia's labor was so eventful and rather traumatic. I've been thinking a lot about it again, and while many factors were beyond my control, I can't help but anticipate the same trouble with travel while in labor. (Recall, with Julia we had an hour's drive to the birth center in hard labor, we hit a deer on the way, and then we had a late stage transfer to the hospital to finish. Here there's a fair amount of hoop jumping required to leave the island. The ferrys have to be not broken, it has to be day time, and we simply have to be lucky to have one leaving soon to when we'll need it. Otherwise we'll get a pilot lined up which is much faster, but involves flying while in labor which isn't going to take me to a happy mental state. We'll have to get a taxi to meet us and have to figure out later how to get our car or get back without one. My other option is to hang out in Anacortes waiting for labor to start, but Dave has to work and Julia needs care. I'd rather wait at home and travel with Dave while in labor than risk having him miss it. I have been working on writing a birth plan and that has been helping me to think of this birth as separate from what happened the first time around.
Another thing I've been thinking a lot about is that this is the first anniversary of my surgery that diagnosed my ovarian cancer. There's plenty to be joyful and thankful about, and in general I am aware of how lucky I was, but there's also lots to be disgruntled about and getting cancer at 29 is pretty disgrunteling. I have a lot of unanswered questions and concerns regarding my followup care plan. Moving so much has disrupted any continuity of care I've had with a primary health provider and my follow up plan is plenty ambiguous itself. We are assuming the cancer is gone, based on the lack of evidence to the contrary and that leaves me with the symptoms of ovarian cancer as watch points. that sucks because the symptoms are vague at best. I'm to follow pregnancy (or ies) with a complete hysterectomy to negate the possibility of it coming back in my remaining ovary which demands acknowledging that it could come back which also sucks. I recently talked to a friend on the phone about it, and ended up crying at several points which tells me that I've compartmentilized my emotions about it. That's fine for day to day living, but I don't really have any way to know if I could be more healthy about addressing it or if i'm doing fine. And paying on the medical bills really really sucks.
But some things are going fine this month. I've been invited to a ladies group, which is really good for my social needs. The chicks are growing and I'm anticipating this summer's garden. I even started a tray of seedlings: cabbage, lettuce, kale and spinach. Julia's been invited on some playdates and has had a few friends over which has helped us to feel more involved in the community. Dave's job continues to be mostly drama-free. I've been asked to be a deacon for our church, which means sort of coordinating for the pastor who has to travel among 3 islands. We called a new pastor, Beth Purdum who seems lovely. I'm looking forward to getting to know her more. So thank goodness that January is over and we are one month closer to spring!