List #3

I’ve been a bad, bad blogger.

I returned from Chicago and was inundated with work stuff and it just couldn’t put blogging onto the list of things to do. There was a flood at my building and I was taking great responsibility for it until I realized, “wait, I didn’t cause this…and I can’t go back in time and make it NOT happen….so, there is no need to lose sleep…” That was a revelation for me, and a good one at that.

I also picked up an odd job serving at a private party in Beverly Hills, which was fun. Seeing how “the other half lives” is always interesting. The family has a little boy and I began to feel a little sad for him when I realized he might have come into this world because his parents didn’t have a good enough reason NOT to have him, and not because they really wanted him. I also found that my Doula side over takes me at the most inopportune times. A guest at this fancy party had a new baby and I couldn’t help but strike up a conversation with her and almost forgot that I was not a guest, but merely the “help.” She didn’t treat me that way. In fact, she seemed happy to get a chance to talk ” baby” with someone who seemed genuinely interested. The experience showed me that I am truly meant to work with women because it’s where I am drawn and where I am most myself.

And here is this week’s list (in the nick of time!):

20110626-115348.jpg

June 27, 2011. 52 lists, 52 weeks, Hollywood, Uncategorized. 1 comment.

List #2

List #2 coming to you from humid Chicago!

20110619-100223.jpg

20110619-100300.jpg

20110619-100343.jpg

June 20, 2011. 52 lists, 52 weeks, family, Friendship, Home. 1 comment.

Finding Perspective (and cute stuff)

“It’s like going to the hardware store and asking for raisins.”

That’s the gem of wisdom that was given to me by my therapist last week and I love it.  It helps me remember that I need to have realistic expectations and that I am not responsible for anyone else.  It’s not my fault that the hardware store doesn’t carry raisins.  I can’t control that, but I can adjust my expectations and go to the raisin store to buy my raisins!  And then everyone wins- the hardware store doesn’t get confused, and I don’t feel let down.  You gotta get what you need from the places and people that can give it- even if it’s not always the place or the person you wanted it to come from.

In other news, I found the owl banks I have been coveting from Urban Outfitters for $1.99!!!!

I also found a cute notebook on sale for my 52 weeks of 52 lists.

I finally found a pair of shorts on the sale rack at JCREW.

Got a SUPER comfy and cute skirt at Old Navy.

Alicia gave me some amazing boots (Thanks Lish!)!

Look out summer!!

June 13, 2011. Uncategorized. 2 comments.

52 Weeks of Lists

I saw this fun little project on this site and thought it sounded fun!  I have this awesome list pad that says, “Things To Do Today (If I’m ever going to get my series)” and it’s my favorite.  I make a lot of lists, but almost none in my iPhone.  I am partial to pretty paper and adorable notebooks, and ESPECIALLY nice pens and markers!  I am in heaven when I find myself in a Paper Source store.  It goes against all my eco friendly efforts, but I can’t help it.

For this I plan to treat myself to an adorable new notebook and fancy pen because it’s the little things that make me so happy.

Join in on the fun!

I am trying to keep track of things for my sisters wedding next week!

June 10, 2011. Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Picking a Name

I have spent at least 3 weeks trying to come up with a name for my Doula website, and I still can’t settle on one!  Some names seem great for a day and then I find a reason they just aren’t right, aren’t ME.  I am seriously struggling with this, and it needs to stop.  The trigger needs to be pulled, and I need to move on from this!

If I am struggling this much to come up with a name for a website, how will I settle on names for our kids??

I don’t know what the answer is, but I know I need to make a decision STAT.  Sometimes I’ll just say a name out loud, totally startling and confusing my husband, who can only just stare at me and wonder how to respond.

In better news, I got an awesome haircut yesterday, as well as a cute dress from the GAP for $30!

Is this post silly or what?

Here are some videos that have been making me laugh.  Maybe they will make up for this lame post?  (If you are at work, maybe listen to these with headphones…well, the first one anyway)

June 8, 2011. Uncategorized. 3 comments.

I want to have my baby in Mexico

Last week I attended a workshop with traditional Mexican Midwife, Naoli Vinaver at BINI Birth and decided that if I can’t go to The Farm to have my baby, I’d like to go to Naoli’s house in Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico and have her be my Midwife.  In my Doula Training I got to see her documentary, Birth Day.  In it she gives birth to her daughter in the bath tub at her house and it was so beautiful.  The woman has helped birth 1300 babies!  I got to spend 8 hours with her (and 70 other Doulas and Midwives from LA and surrounding) talking about sexuality, birth, techniques, and the struggles that Doulas and Midwives face in a culture (ours) where homebirth is seen as “unsafe.”  As a new Doula, it was fascinating to listen to the experienced Doulas tell their stories.  I must have looked like a dope because I think I smiled the entire time.  Being a part of this community is really something special and I feel lucky to be here.

After the workshop, I attended a panel discussion (also at BINI Birth) about VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) in LA.  It was VERY lively and informative.  Did you know that there are literally only 2 doctors in all of Los Angeles that will perform VBAC births?  It sounds like there are midwives who will perform them too, but the numbers are small.  Can you believe that?  In such a HUGE city!  One of the doctors on the panel (one of the two who will perform VBAC in LA) said that it’s just not being taught in medical school anymore, so doctor’s are not comfortable practicing them.  As I learn more about this, I will share it.  For now, I just want to say how interesting the discussion was!

Check out some pics:

Naoli and I

Naoli finds the position of the baby's head from the outside

Naoli listening to the baby's heartbeat in a way no doctor ever would! She showed us the rhythm using her free hand.

Naoli uses paints to paint the position of the baby

Photobucket

Naoli showed us how to use a Rebozo, a rectangular cloth used in Mexico for comfort measures and aid in childbirth

I can’t wait to try out my Rebozo soon!  For now it just acts as a pretty scarf.

June 8, 2011. Doula Stuff. 1 comment.

Food I do: My Favorite Summer Recipe

My head has been swirling with information and it’s a little overwhelming, so I am going to post my favorite recipe of all time in an act of pressure release for my brain, and this blog.  You dig?

So, without further delay, here it is:

Black Bean and Roasted Corn Salad

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
kernels from 4 ears or corn or I use 1 16 oz bag of organic frozen sweet corn (if you use frozen, put the bag in the fridge on the morning that you are going to make the dish so that it thaws).
salt and fresh black pepper
1 clove minced garlic
1 15 oz can black beans
1 ripe tomato, cored and diced
1 tsp minced jalapeno or other small chile (I use an entire jalapeno because I like it spicy!)
2 tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice (I use an entire lime)
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 medium avocado, peeled, pitted and chopped
1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco (I don’t use this, and you won’t for a vegan version)

Prepare all of your ingredients ahead of time because you will add them quickly once you get started.

Put the oil in a large nonstick skillet over  medium high heat.  Add the corn, along with a large pinch of salt and some pepper, and cook, shaking the pan or stirring, but only occasionally, until the corn is lightly charred, 5-10 minutes (your house will smell so good!).  Resist the urge to stir the corn.  The longer it is able to sit still and char, the better this will taste.  Add the garlic and cook, stirring for 1 minute more.

Add the beans, tomato, jalapeno, and lime juice to the pan and stir.  Let sit over heat for one minute more.  Taste and adjust the seasoning.  Garnish with cilantro, avocado and cheese, and serve;  or cover and refrigerate for up to a couple of hours.

Before I went Vegan, I would add shrimp to this dish and it was tasty.  My husband calls this a “dip” but I call it a salad.  I often eat this as my meal by putting it over lettuce greens and topping with salsa.  This afternoon, I ate it with a side of mango salsa, guacamole, and chips!

This recipe comes from the fantastic cook book How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman.  My sister, Chris, gave me this book for Christmas many years ago and I let it sit unopened for probably 2 years before I had the courage to dive in.  It has 996 pages, no pictures, and TONS of information.  My favorite section is the history of the eggplant.   Did you know that the eggplant is in the same family as the tabacco plant?!  Get the book and YOU TOO could have this useless information to impress your friends!

June 3, 2011. Uncategorized. 2 comments.

Finding Bliss

I got a beautiful card in the mail today from my love, Zac, and the front reads:

“It is never too late to be what you might have been” – George Elliot

The inside has all sorts of beautiful words that I am not sure I am worthy of, but I love them.  Zac knows me well and and in the cards he writes, “This time in your life, studying to be a Doula, is the first time I’ve known you to have found your bliss.  The moment I knew it was true?  When you said LA wasn’t so bad because of it.” That part made me giggle a little bit because of it’s truth, and also because it’s such an LA thing to say- and he lives in Philly!  Finding my bliss was not necessarily what I set out to do with this, but it didn’t take long to realize that it was exactly what was happening.

Working with Tara and Steve was a truly wonderful learning experience.  I have many good friends that have become parents over the last four years, and watching them go through pregnancy and become parents has taught me so much.  Each parent I know has such a unique perspective after seeing their child born.  Getting to see the reactions of Tara and Steve as the birth was happening was truly amazing.  I found myself watching them as Caden came out- much the same way I watch the GROOM as the Bride walks down the aisle.  The amazement on their faces was beautiful.  I thought I would cry, but I didn’t.  I couldn’t!  I was…in bliss!

I jokingly told Tara that she was making it look too easy- that I just wanted to run home to my husband and make one of them there babies.  She didn’t believe me, but it’s true!  She put in a solid workday, laboring from 9am-4pm- and was rewarded with the best paycheck.  We worked on her breathing for the majority of the time, and once she found her rhythm, there was no stopping her.

On my way to the hospital I tried to think of encouraging words and phrases to say, but you know what?  I didn’t use any of them.  Instead, I cleared my head and let the moment inspire me.  During one particular contraction, I said to Tara, “Dig in, Dig, Dig, yes- Dig!”  Afterward, I wondered to myself where that came from, and typing it out now it sounds kind of lame.  But in the moment she looked to me like she was digging way down deep inside to find the strength, find the courage, and find her breath, and so I went with it.  I have no idea if it was the “right” thing to say, and normally I worry about that kind of thing, but there was no time.  It was liberating to just let go and speak from my guts.

I want to say this: the placenta is a magical thing.  Ma-gi-CAL!

Tara’s placenta came out about 15 minutes after Caden, which is on the fast side of average.  The nurse put it in a container and I couldn’t take my eyes off of it- it was so beautiful!  Before she took it away, the nurse pulled up the sides of the amniotic sac, which attaches to it, and showed me the two layers.  AH-MAY-ZING.  They looked so soft, yet sturdy- his perfect home for 9 months!  I didn’t expect to be so affected by the placenta of all things, but I find myself so inspired by the way the body just knows what to do for the baby, and how resilient the baby is. If you think about it, there are a lot of traumatic things going on during a birth, yet the baby stays calm while mom works harder than she ever has in her life.

I am forever changed by this experience and I can’t wait to see what kind of little boy Caden grows into.  Tara and Steve are so full of love and care for their new fella and I know that they too have found their bliss in Caden.

Beautiful New Mama

Happy Dad!

Lucky Doula!

June 3, 2011. Doula Stuff, family, Friendship, Uncategorized. 2 comments.