Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Firebreathing, Midwidery, etc.

Yes, that's my husband breathing fire.

Well this post I have titled, Firebreathing, Midwifery, etc. Well onto the Midwifery. . . .

I have been reading several books latley the first, being "Spiritual Midwifery." by Ina May Gaskin. Now for a long time I have shied away from this book. It just looked a little too far out for me, (yes even for me, the woman who makes her own beet kvass) but I have to say that after getting past the somewhat dated hippy graphics and a bit of extraneous spriritual mumbo-jumbo lies an interesting collection of birth stories an a text that provides heaps of information for any and all pregnant ladies while doing a good job of demystifying several common myths about the birthing process. The best section in my opinion is in the back where she basically gives you a rundown of some of the medical facts of pregnancy and birthing. While being Catholic and thus unable to validate her somewhat wacked spirituality I also found it sad that the only people running around claiming that there is a spiritual dimension to birth are a bunch of hippes in Tenesee. Come on folks! No doub JPII has written something on this somewhere. . . . oh well. But anyway it was a food read. So this book gets a recommendation from me with the reservation that you always remember that people who talk about the monkey within are. . . . um. . . . . strange.

I also have been reading the InkHeart Series by Cornelia Funke. They are translated from German and a rather fun little fantasy series. In a day and age when the work of tolkein admirers often makes me weep with embarresment these books are refreshningly free of most fantasy sterotypes. I think I like them more because they are set in Northern Italy. Cultural bias and all that.

Yesterday I "fatto una bella pasta" with my new pastamaker and made a nice porcini sauce with white wine and garlic. Oh, it brought back memories of Pasta Christina down in Pontremoli. How I miss thee, dear Pasta Christina!

Oh and I almost forgot. I received a FABULOUS collection of Italian Children's Songs from my friend Mary and it is just so much fun. The girls and I put it on every morning while I make breakfast and we do "Testa, Spalla, Ginochi e piedi" for our morning calisthenics. (Head shoulders, knees and feet) Zita especially loves it as she is my little birrichina. I think it is available at www.Italianfortoddlers.com.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Work and solitude: when you are a mother they both come at a price.

This morning I finally was so sick of waiting until I feel better to plant the tomatoes that I just went out and did it anyway and after fifteen minutes of diggling holes, mulching and raking in the morning sunshine I actually felt considerably better. Morning sickness is an indoor illness.

Anyway, to divert the girls this morning I filled the kiddie pool. (that big blue plastic thing my husband finds so offensive.) As I happily worked in the morning sun, I could hear the happy squeals of the girls on the front porch. However I found that the price of a mornings uninterrupted work in the garden is a kiddie pool full of three blueberry muffins, one soggy bank statment and all the contents of the pot drawer in the kitchen. At first I wanted to blow up, but after a few proclamations of frustration (hey, we're working on the holiness thing, okay?) I finally realized it could have been much worse. It could have been ALL the blueberry muffins--So I sat down to chomp down on the rest of them on a plate nearby. (ahh, pregnancy!) and considered it a fair trade.

The price of solitude is much simpler. One birthday party for the four year old to attend, a nap for the toddler, and a sink of dirty dishes. Not too shabby.

In other news. We are currently living out of our bedroom, our kitchen and a cluttered dining room. The floors in the studio and the living room are getting redone. We stared out just to do the studio so Ben could paint in there. (He found a model for the end of the summer.) But it just ended up being the most economical to do both rooms. So, at night I dream of hardwood floors. (I'm not even going to say how nasty the carpets were when we pulled them up. . . . )

Monday, May 21, 2007

A night at the opera

Well, I received a totally last minute invitation from a friend last week to attend the opera with three other gals. I got off the phone and told Ben about the invite, wincing to ask him what he knew was coming next. But being married to such a wonderful man of course, my darling husband volunteered for child care and thus I had the pleasure of a night out, which is a rare and golden thing indeed for the mother of small children.

All of us ladies looked fabulous of course--and I was exited to get the chance to wear the dress from Annie's wedding again. This time I paired it with the gold shawl Ben bought me in Florence.)

We arrived early enough to grab a cappucino and dessert at the new little restauant and bar they have opened up on the second floor of the Kennedy center. The show was Macbeth and the music by Verdi was beautiful. The superano was amazing and it was really fun to actually catch some of the Italian here and there. I returned home at midnight feeling like a Cinderella and truly thankful to God for providing such a beautiful oppurtunity.

(I do have to say though, how long is it going to take them to get that nasty looking spitball bust of John F. Kennedy out of there. I mean we get like ONE handsome president and they have to go make him look all nasty. . . . .)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Hasta luego!

Fajita night! Wooooo!

These fajitas are sooooo good.

Take one red pepper, one onion, and a clove of kickin' garlic. Cut them up.

Toss into hot olive oil with sliced chicken breast, cumin, thyme, paparika, chili powder, and salt and pepper. (enough to make it spicy.)
Saute like crazy and serve steamin' hot over rice with fresh tomato, cilantro, avocado, and sour creme.

Oh it is so good.

I think I am having a mexican baby.

Honestly all the food I have to eat latley has to be seasoned with lime, lemon, cliantro, or cumin, or it simply is unappetizing.

AND sorry maggie and maria for not linking to your blogs yet. I still haven't fixed Andy's link even.

Zita just screamed at the cat. "PIA, I EAT YOU UP!!!"

Monday, May 14, 2007

Dollmaking. . .

When I had my first daughter I remember being very exited for Angelica to play with dolls, since I was such a nut about them as a child. Well, instead Angelica has decided to make all things that creep and crawl her passion and I love her for it. But my second daughter Zita has been much more the type to play with dolls. So finally I got around to making her one. (after all I have that HUGE pile of wool sitting in my living room.) I made this one in the Walforf style of dolls. They sell gorgeous ones on the novanatural website. (www.novanatural.com) for like a bazillion dollars that I have drooled over for years.

Part of the philosophy of waldorf doll making is supposed to be that the doll is handmade and thus the child can feel like it is truly theirs. They are usually stuffed with wool so that they are cuddly soft and retain the warmth of the child's body when held. Thus they feel "alive". They are given minimal faces so that the child can imagine them doing, saying, feeling a wide variety of emotions.

Now my first forray is rather hillarious because i accidentally reversed the head proportions thus ending up with an einstein looking brainy babydoll, rather than a cute chubby cheeked one. Its rather frightening and I laugh whenever I see the poor thing.

Ironically Zita loved it to death and loved watching me make it start to finish. She even wanted to hold it as soon as it was an armless, legless, featurless bald head and torso.

Well perhaps the second time around will be the charm.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Everyone in this family likes to dress up.

First Belly shot!!

Two months along. (This was how I was at like four months with Angelica. :)

Friday, May 11, 2007

of mice and men. . .

I'm totally fired. And so is morning sickness.

I would love to spend this post ranting and raving about the lack of pedestrian paths on the shores, how morning sickness is really all day sickness, and how the thrift store totally overprices stuff. COME ON FOLKS!

But instead I'll keep a stiff upper lip, stop complaining, and update you on our latest Netflix picks. "Children of Men" and "Planet Earth."
Let me begin by saying that Children of Men is full of arm-chopping violence and the f-word, two things I am exposed to very little as I spend most of my time with children and a gentlemen of a husband. So lest anyone go out and rent this film saying "Anna said it was great family viewing."--be forewarned. On to the review.

The film is based on the presuposition that in forty years or so the world is dying because women have all of a sudden lost their fertility. (never mind that its much more likley that people would be selfish bastards and just contracept themselves to death.) Anyway, the youngest person in the whole world is like eighteen and humanity is in a state of panic. Our main hero is a depressed divorced modern office worker man who finds himself through a series of circumstances as the guardian of this teeage black girl who finds out she is pregnant with the first human baby to be conceived in eighteen years--and he has to get her to safety.

Now this movie gets props for several things.
The girl is pro-life and talks about how the baby inside her is alive etc.
The movie is very pro-baby and mother as one unit--Something more countercultural than we might think.
The movie sucsessfully portrays a tender developing relationship between the two characters without it getting mushy, blurry, romantic, or sexual-- not that this is bad in some plots (i.e. romantic comedies--usually the kind with Meg Ryan) but here it would have trivialized too many things.

On the down side the movie suffered from a bit of a slow start and it is set too close into the near future. But all in all a good film with decent acting and very pro-life. Just mind the violence and the foul mouths.

"Planet earth" is another stunning nature film brought to you by your great friend and mine, David Atternbourgh. This time he covers places on earth where no man or camera has ever gone before type of stuff. Its harder to give a movie reveiw of a nature film without it sounding boring but it is simply fantastic and Angelica, our resident naturalist loved it so much, especially, the parts with the baby panda bears.

So there you go. When I am not watching movies, I am out in the garden, avoiding the kitchen and all the horrible things the smell of food does to me these days, and trying to keep Zita in at least a pair of underwear.

I am also watching Natalie Tillotston's mice while she visits her mother in law in Michigan. They make lots of noise at night and have been banished to the study.