Monday, April 30, 2012

Spring time out

Monday, April 23rd, was a wonderful, sunny Spring day. We finally had a "good" school lesson after adding a new baby and navigating Grant's cancer surgeries. The kids celebrated with bubbles out on the front lawn. I came out and sat on a blanket with Pretzel and we soaked it all in.

I love it when Boo wears this dress, a hand-me-down from her dear friend.  It epitomizes the essence of warm days and carefree play. This was the first time I let her wear it without a shirt and pants underneath. In my spare time I would study the pattern and recreate one for each day of the week. But like I said, in my spare time...

As I sat out there, I remember wondering if my sore throat was from all the pollen in the breeze. The progression of days showed that it was indeed a virus and Boo got it the worst. By Friday I was feeling better, but Pretzel and Boo had something and we went to the naturopath. The girls acted as if they weren't sick at all at the appointment (so much for trying to avoid an ER visit on the weekend by seeing your provider on Friday afternoon). Then Saturday came and little Boo had croup.

Just as I am writing this on Monday night, I had to pop up from my computer and comfort her during a coughing spell. Humidifiers in the bedroom, steam showers in the middle of the night, cough medicines, homeopathic meds, and herbal teas supported her, but I could tell she needed us to up the ante. Something about her cough brought back memories, so we pulled out the nebulizer she needed when she had croup at 10 months old.  We were out of the medicine though. This is where it's so wonderful to have a Family Nurse Practitioner to call on a Sunday night and a father-in-law who's a pharmacist.  Our NP called in the Rx and Papa picked it up.  After her first successful treatment, I was sure that we had just avoided the weekend ER visit. Thank you, Lord!

It's interesting to me that croup can have a genetic tendency. Grant had croup growing up and it seems our girls are prone to it as well. I am so thankful for the circle of providers we have in our town. I would hate to move and try to recreate the relationships we've formed and the trust we have in those who have watched our family grow. For my midwives, our chiropractor, our naturopath, and our nurse practitioner who does house calls, I am so grateful. I am also so thankful for the man I married who so tenderly gets up with his kids to turn the shower on in the middle of the night because he knows exactly how they feel.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Happy Earth Day 2012

Watching, waiting...

Sorting varieties
So this was a special day. I have been waiting for nine years to do something very important. And I have kept some strange things in the freezer in order to do it.

Ready to jump in and help...
Today we planted the children's placentas, or as I explained to Boo, their baby buddies, the pillows they had while they grew inside Mama. Ever since I read about a tree planting ceremony, I wanted to do it.  It's just I didn't want to bury something so special under a tree that we would have to leave when we moved to another house. Hence, the freezer tactic. So now, nine years later, after our fourth and last child has been born and we live in a house I can't imagine ever moving from, the time came. Actually I wanted to do it last year.  I had the trees circled in a catalog. But it didn't happen.  Then this year it made even more sense to plant everyone's at the same time.

I ordered trees from Raintree Nursery.  I spoke with the most helpful person named Sue.  The call went like this:
"This is Sue, how can I help you."
"Hi I live in Spokane and I am a first time wannabe home orchardist and I need help picking out the right fruit trees." (this I said nervously, all in one breath run together)

One down, three to go.
Sue then gently took me through the process of matching cross pollination timing between varieties and selecting root stocks. This took two phone calls because Pretzel woke in the middle and asked for attention very loudly. When I finally completed the order, I couldn't contain my excitement. We were really going to plant fruit trees and the kids would all have their own tree to take care of over the years and eat from.

Fairy Girl's peach tree.
We had other very kind people help us when we planted the trees too. Nana and Papa came over just in time to see that we still didn't know where the trees were getting planted and that Grant and I were still "discussing" it. Bless them for their patience because we eventually agreed on a compromise and Papa took the liberty of doing all the digging. They are so good to us. With Grant's recovery requiring minimal use of his right arm, and with my total distraction by four energetic kiddos, we were glad to have extra hands and their experience. It's hard to describe how right it felt with the warm weather, blue sky and puffy white clouds, Grant's parents, happy children, and planting trees altogether. Everything felt connected and grounded in positive activity.
Youngest to oldest: Lapin Cherry, Pristine Apple,  Zestar Apple, Harken Peach
Before we planted each tree, I took out each child's placenta and buried it in the loose soil at the bottom of the hole. It felt so good to return to the soil something that had nourished my babies as they grew. It could only have been more complete if I had been returning them to soil that I had actually eaten food grown from while pregnant. Nevertheless, participating in the cycle of life and decay into life again was poignant. I hope the trees will be happy in their new soil and grow strong with abundant fruit just like the children to whom they belong.