Sunday, February 5, 2012

Good Day. Now, Good Night.

A Sunday that begins with a family snuggle in the bed with time to savor it.  An easy breakfast, no rushing the girls through their morning play.  An almost 4 year old who can dress herself even after proclaiming loudly, "I don't want to go to church!"  (To her credit, she did throw up last night randomly and has had a mild fever.)  A mama who doesn't sweat the dress put on backwards...I mean buttons in the front DO make more sense!  A mama who doesn't sweat the red and white striped long sleeved dress under the Easter looking large green sleeveless puffy dress that gets us questions like, "Were you a flower girl in that?".  Nope, we just like to be all fancy sometimes is my reply with a smile.  The deep inside me smile is that my whole family easily got to church and will enjoy it together.  My 6 year old, almost squatting in her chair will bellow out, "Lord, hear our prayer." with enthusiasm at the reading of the prayer book compared to the quiet restraint of the rest of us.  She'll flip the Hymn book open with her 5 year old friend after they quietly play with a sticker book on the floor.  The bear will say church hurts her ears and the best dada in the world will unquestioningly take her to a safe, quieter place where she'll rest in his lap.

Although, it's my plan to power through a book that is probably too heavy for a 38 weeker to be reading right now, I will try but fall asleep instead.  Twice.  Leaving that best dada to wash dishes, chop wood and love on four sweet cheeks.      

Now, all are asleep.  The dada and I both fell asleep with the cheeks but I awoke, again to lots of movement from within.  The woodstove is ablaze.  We made calzones and pizzas for dinner, freezing about half of the calzones.  The lil bear is clearly not 100% well but working through it all.  And, her doting big sister is somehow up for reading books to her, giving her a bath, making her a pile of blankets in a snuggy corner and putting her PJs on before dinner.  Seriously, where did she learn such care and compassion?  And, dear God would you please teach me how to be more like her?

All in all a great day to say good night to. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Happy February

We have been so looking forward to this month!  Our lil bear has spent months growing up, preparing to turn 4 years old and all that will come with it this year.  Her big sister is excited to be half way done with Kindy and asks weekly about what is going to happen in 1st grade.  We're so glad to welcome a new babe into our home sometime this month.  Each girls expresses how much she is hoping for lots of baby cuddles and snuggles.  We've spent the last month nesting, resting, reading, and stocking up our freezer. 

Personally, tomorrow is one of my favorite holidays to celebrate.  Both as the day that Simon recognized Jesus in the Temple and for the blessing of the candles reminding us of this Jesus, light of the world shining upon us.  The girls and I made many candles for labor and birth.  We look forward to lighting them soon!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Back In Bali

I didn't just pull 24 hour shifts and promote CNN Hero of the Year, Robin Lim.  I didn't just supervise volunteers and interview with UN peeps.  Nope, I got a pedicure once...with my oldest daughter even.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Best Days

Really, they are just normal kind of every day days that we are having.  We snuggle in the morning, make breakfast, clean up, read books & sing songs, make candles or needle felt or color.  Then, the girls play while I sort work on organizing some part of our house that needs it right now.  We make gluten free muffins or bread and play with beeswax.  They play some more while I create lunch or they help me create lunch.  We eat outside on warmer days like today (while Steve cleans out the woodstove for us with his loud machine making our house all stinky) or at the table with our Advent wreathe in the middle. 

After cleaning up from lunch, we spend most afternoons outside from 1-4pm.  We either meet a friend at the park, have a friend over, play with our little neighbor or just ourselves.  We try to balance a friend day with a family day.  The girls ride bikes usually while I sweep or rake.  We walk through our awesome yard.  I push them on the swings.  We've been exploring the park beyond just the playground recently and had the best time finding rock piles and sand piles or running around the baseball diamond and swinging on it's gate.  We met horses on the trail recently when all 5 kids wanted to venture down to it. 

Dinner is usually a big steaming pot of lentil soup or a stir fry (with a salad for the adults and almond milk yogurt for the kids) on those days we get home later.  I try to chop veggies a day ahead or at lunch prep so dinner happens quicker and we can spend more time outside.  Sometimes, when we are at home, we'll all be together with the girls chopping tempe or measuring lentils and spices out into the big blue cast iron pot.  We're making lasagna and baking a lot b/c we were without an oven (and many baked goods!) for over two months. 

I have so much energy throughout the day but am soooooooo tired around dinner time.  This week, I have taken a little rest both afternoons and the girls are so calm with me.  The Bear even snuggles me up.  While the soup simmers, we rest our bodies and our minds until they and the soup are ready to stir. 

They are just simple days really.  They are really wonderful days, too. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011


Yes, it is taking us a while to get settled back into our home...while at the same time we are so comfy and thankful to be here that the transition feels so much easier this time around.  We spent some time sorting through closets and bags of clothes to find warm enough clothes.  All was secured before we left so it would be easier to return.  Yay!  We're still sorting and prepping for the upcoming holidays.  We are thankful to be back at our home church and celebrating Advent.  We are thankful to be seeing special friends, again.  We are soooooooo excited about the Waldorf Holiday Faire this weekend but bummed to hear candle dipping isn't happening.  We enjoy that most each year.  It did snow last year when we were standing in line for lunch so we're hopeful for another treat like that!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Down Home, Again

We've been jet-lagged but happy to be in our home!  We love our friends here who were so deeply missed.  We are thankful for amazing foods, hot showers and comfy beds.  We have been busy chopping wood, raking leaves (and jumping in their piles), unpacking, sorting through warm clothes, finding missed toys, slipping on autumn boots and stirring large pots of soup. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Waldorf Doll Giveaway

Would you like to win this doll?  It would make a precious gift for any child this year!

If you hop on over to Bending Birches, one of my favorite inspirational blogs, you can enter to win it there. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

the ole 'hood

where we lived the first year

we take a lot of little walks around the village

Monday, November 7, 2011

the view

view from the indian restaurant.  the girls were sick the next day/week- from the food here, perhaps? 

view from the office

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Birthday Planning

It's almost my E bear's birthday! We are planning a trip to the dog shelter here to deliver the leashes and collars she collected from friends.  This was her birthday wish that she created all on her own.  We'll head by the shelter to visit the puppies and dogs that have been rescued soon.

The day after her birthday, we are going to be total tourists in Bali and go to the waterpark with friends!  We went about 4 years ago but did not go on our last trip here.  This year we are excited to bring our Balinese friends with us. 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Martinmas Inspiration

From Waldorf Mama's post about Martinmas last year

Two things about me: 1. I am a planner. 2. I like to 'see' what something looks like before I do it, to get familiar with it and be inspired by it.

Therefore, when it comes to Waldorf celebrations in our home, I really like to see images online and in books and from pictures I have taken in years past. These inspire me to create our own celebration from the culled work of others over the centuries. We're talking about ancient celebrations here! Reading about the Saint or how the event was celebrated in years past also inspires me. In an effort to plan our Martinmas celebration, which will happen right before we leave Bali this year, I am doing some planning now. First, we'll have our costume party next week and then E's birthday. It's all coming up so quickly in our last month here. Then there's Korea to plan! 

'That I May Bear a Light' from Uncommon Grace is an inspiring post!

Recipe for GF Cookies and a Beautiful Lantern from Nourishing Meals

'Martinmas in the Waldorf Home' from The Parenting Passageway with 'The Pumpkin Pie' song linked

Super Cute Lanterns from Rhythm of the Home which could be done in paper, as we don't have access to felt here in Bali. 

Concise story of why we celebrate Martinmas from Frontier Dreams

A Martinmas story and how to make lanterns out of balloons, crepe paper and paste from GardenMama

Yet another simple Martinmas post from Waldorf Mama.  

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Avett Brothers

I am currently listening to this song daily.  It is just so well-written and sung.  The words capture how I see my life right now.   From within my growing family out into the wider world of attending women in labor land, especially in Bali but certainly wherever I get to do these wonderful things.  

The Avett Brothers sing Salvation Song here.

They lyrics are from here.

If you take my heart
Don't leave the smallest part
I've no need to live if you're to come up gone
An as my life turns to a song
And if and when I treat you wrong
No I never want to hurt our family

And I would give up everything
No this is not just about me
And I don't know a plainer way to say it Babe
And they may pay us off in fame
Though that is not why we came
And I know well and good that won't heal our hearts

We came for salvation
We came for family
We came for all that's good that's how we'll walk away
We came to break the bad
We came to cheer the sad
We came to leave behind the world a better way

Now if I'm walkin' through the rain
And I hear you call my name
I will break into a run without a pause
And if your love laughs at your dreams
Well it's not as bad as it seems
Either way one of them has got to go
And if you take of my soul
You can still leave it whole
With the pieces of you own you leave behind

We came for salvation
We came for family
We came for all that's good that's how we'll walk away
We came to break the bad
We came to cheer the sad
We came to leave behind the world a better way

And I would give up everything
And if you were to come up clean
And see you shine so bright in a world of woe
And they may pay us off in fame
But that is not why we came
And if it compromises truth then we will go

We came for salvation
We came for family
We came for all that's good that's how we'll walk away
We came to break the bad
We came to cheer the sad
We came to leave behind the world a better way

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Zula Pie

Remember that apple pie I told you about from my fave vegan place in all of the world?  Here's a picture of it beside the local coconut milk ice cream we devoured.  Yes, it was an incredible treat!  And, guess what?  Zula's is coming to Ubud next month!!!  Wooooo hooo!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tots and Jerseys

This past weekend, we had been planning a beach trip getaway.  Hubs has to work every night except Saturday and Sunday with secure internet access so we cannot do a weekday getaway.  We planned on being semi-tourists with an air conditioned hotel in mind since everyone was feeling the heat at our house.  We have fans but it never really gets cool; we are always sweating.  We drink gallons of water and Chamomile tea here.  Our freezer doesn't get cold enough for ice anymore somehow.  Plus, the weather is just more intense when one is sick and has to walk outside to use the toilet.  Since E was all well on Saturday morning, we thought a hotel stay would do her (all of us!) ever more good.  So, we stuck with the plan of a beach getaway choosing a location with two of our favorite places to eat!

Zula's is a vegan restaurant with a focus on raw, living foods.  I could eat the menu, as our new friend would say.  We ate yummy nachos, lentil soup, mashed potatoes, GF pancakes and tempe bacon, fresh salads, tempe tuna wraps, chickpea burgers, GF samosas, and platters full of yummy with 5 portions of incredible.  To top it off, I had warm apple pie with fresh, local handmade coconut milk ice cream!  Are you kidding me?!  We found homemade GF  and sugar free vegan cookies in Almond, Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip and Date.  A sample of each please.  Hubs is a huge fan of smoothies and he probably had two with every meal!  The girls and I split a strawberry soymilk shake with dinner the first night.  I actually have a picture of E and I splitting one from four years ago framed and hanging on the wall at our house! 

The drive down in a hot car with traffic was crazy, of course.  I still cannot believe the amazing amount of patience God graced me with to not have a panic attack.  Sitting in a sweltering hot car after 2 hours of bouncy kids surrounded by motorbikes on both sides and other vehicles (all with no regulations on exhausts!!!) was enough to break a mama.  We went in circles after one wrong turn upon arriving, then B had to poop and of course, there were no toilets to be found by the restaurant owners of vacation central.  Argh!  When we finally found one, I tripped on my skirt carrying B up the concrete stairs and bonked her head on a step.  Yep, incredible.  She was amazingly okay.  We finally found our way and ate the yummiest dinner.

After securing a reasonably affordable hotel (some are crazy expensive in tourist town), we settled into the cool air.  The next morning, E was surprised to have her wish of eating tots granted at the breakfast buffet!  When she said on the drive down, "I wish I could eat tots." I kinda laughed and said, "No tots here in Bali that I have ever seen."  Leave it up to a hotel that caters to Australians to have baked beans, toast and tots on the breakfast line!  We spent the morning on the beach, splashing in the water and walking.  A friendly pup greeted us, which the girls found delightful.  He jumped up on me and bit a hole in my swim skort!  Argh.  Goodness.  We are on vacation, people.  No biting dogs.  We get enough crazy dogs in our own village.  Anyway, being on said vacation, we took a taxi to lunch to avoid the heat and walking with two beach tired out lil chicks.  We have taken all of three taxis in our four years coming here before this.  One time was an emergency and the others were for similar beach trips.  We like to walk but hubs and I agreed our families health was in recovery so planned to take it easy.  Taking a taxi is really wonderful.  Quick and air conditioned.  Wow.

We spent time plashing in the pool that had a shallow sand side then a deeper space.  It was excellent.  We floated on noodles, ate our desserts and lounged.  E practiced swimming and B tossed the basketball into the hoop with her dada.  His dreams come true, eh?  We did walk to dinner in the cooler air later that afternoon, stopping to buy hats along the way.  After ordering, B and I bought some necklaces and bracelets for friends back home from a roadside stand of smoking guys.

Across from Zula's was a shop full of soccer jerseys.  B is really into playing soccer with her BFF here and watching our friend play soccer.  The soccer field is the center of our small village.  We've already talked about her playing soccer with Eleanor next spring.  With stars in her eyes, she asked, "Do they ever make soccer shirts in my size?" or something like that.  I confirmed and hoped we'd find one on this trip.  What a delight as we walked home to see tiny soccer jerseys all lined up at the market!  B and I were thrilled to pick through stacks of them.  She wanted blue and white so it didn't take long.  She took her shirt off right there and rocked out the blue jersey with white lettering.  I know nothing about teams or players or numbers or names and thankfully, neither does she!  Blue and white were enough to please.  She literally was jumping up and down with joy and my smile hurt my cheeks.  The seller guy was hysterical with us laughing and laughing and trying to hug and high five with B.  He gave us a good deal on the top and shorts which B wore to the hotel and slept in!

Tots and jerseys are not natural.  Nothing about them screams healthy!  They are processed with ingredients we normally avoid.  But, these two items were the longings of my daughters' hearts this weekend.  And, this mama has a heart full of happiness that after vomiting for three days or sitting on a toilet every 3 hours, something would bring that light back to their eyes.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Bali Belly

My poor lil E bear struggled with Bali belly last week on and off for almost 5 days.  She's lost a little bit of weight which as anyone who knows us, can recall the incredible amount of anxiety this causes for me.  We have worked hard to keep her healthy and this is such a blow.  She was feeling well on Saturday morning, finally and stayed well until tonight (Tuesday).  A little bit of an upset stomach, needing rest and no appetite at dinner.  She's so great at knowing which herbal and homeopathic remedies help her.  There is one version of chinese harbs we call 'the yellow pill' which has a nasty biter taste but really helps knock out some Bali belly.  With some protest, she will take it hidden in a scoop of peanut butter or some raw cake.  We added another chinese herb dubbed, 'little brown pills' which don't have a strong flavor but require about 4 at a time.  She says these are the ones that help her so will take them with a glass of something other than water.  She went to bed feeling much better.  We have an afternoon date planned for tomorrow if she's up for it.  We appreciate prayers of wellness for our last few weeks here! 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Worm Soup

Mondays and Tuesdays are great because I can walk home to share lunch with my family and friends.  It's usually already prepared by Ibu Duah or hubby when I get there. 

At lunch today, I ate the yummiest yellow lentil soup.  It was full of tomatoes, red peppers, sage and basil floating among brothy lentils over rice.  I devoured it spoonful after spoonful.  Sometimes, it pays to look at one's food and eat with reverence instead of intense hunger after a full morning of mothering and clinic hours!  The next spoonful contained a grubby worm with lots of legs and a translucent green white body.  All I could do was stare and share the vision with my family and friends.  E blurted out, "We need to wash our basil better!" or something like that.  I am so thankful it did not make it into my belly and I hopeful none of it's cousins have either. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Ordinary Arts: Domestic Arts

Okay, honestly, there are a lot of domestic arts that I do not enjoy.  I detest washing the dishes.  Ugh.  I can recall my 11th birthday when I had to wash the dishes and thinking it was a huge injustice.  Please, just one night of not doing my least favorite thing in all the a birthday gift even.  Nope.  Pity party.  Thankful, I am married to an incredible human who doesn't mind washing, drying and putting the dishes away.  He likes to do it.  Thank God.  If there is every an empty sink not created by him, he knows I was feeling extra amounts of love and generosity.   

Yet, other home keeping bring great pleasure in my heart and visual field.  Taking care of the clothes and linens in our family is totally cool with me.  From finding great deals on clothes for the next season brings me joy.  Sorting, organizing and cleaning...these work for me.  For example, I found a pair of blue corduroy pants with dogs embroidered on them this summer at the thrift store.  I am so excited to give them to the lil Bear when we return to the States.  She'll be fascinated and I probably won't be able to keep them clean and dry quick enough.  Even in my volunteer work here at the clinic, I so enjoy sorting our donations.  I like packing a tiny hat, blanket, onsie and some socks up for a parent to take home.  When I saw it being done today as I had to leave for lunch, I was actually disappointed to not stay and help out.  I asked them to promise to pull me in next time!  

When I get to bake or cook, it's a wonderful act of creation.  Simply chopping veggies for dinner's stir fry or apples for pies can burn an hour on those mornings when the gang is content playing.  I have answered the door in my apron to be asked, "what are you baking?" only to realize it's been a full morning of food prep and cooking.  I get lost in that time and cherish it.  I am thankful to wake up to pancakes on most Saturday mornings or fried potatoes here in Bali.  But, ultimately, shopping for or growing the goods, then creating a meal or a snack is an act of love.  So different from washing dishes in how I feel about doing it, yet equally wonderful when completed.  Being in the kitchen is where I know a lot of our homeschool agendas are met.  I look forward to day after day and year after year of it.  And, I miss my oven and cast iron pans like crazy these days! 

I am down with sweeping and raking.  I found great strength in chopping and stacking wood this past year and a half, then bringing it in to stoke the woodstove.   I like paying the bills, getting the mail and corresponding.  A clean counter is a(n eventual) necessity in my days as a homeschoolin' mama.  Putting books away, sending toys to bed and carrying up that pile from the stairs just feels right.  Walking down in the morning to a neatened up space feels EVEN better.  

Clutter and messy mess overwhelm me.  I like neat, clean and organized but I am by no means always capable of meeting my own standards.  And, I am working to not guilt trip me, my kids or anyone in to staying neat vs. being creative, full of energy and play.  My E girl and I agreed that a dirty shirt at the end of the day IS a sign of a great day.  She'll remind me before I have time to say anything else.  Striking that balance of letting the mess go because it's actually IMPORTANT for them to make is something I am learning more about.  Once again, it helps to be married to the most wonderful human around who scrubbed the bathroom floor of my first apartment back in college because he found it too dirty.  And, goodness does Bali help me let go of organization and cleanliness!  The visual field of a neat space brings me calm in a way that feels crucial so I am learning to wait for the right time to say, "Enough's enough."  after a great time of play and creativity. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Ordinary Arts: Nurturing

Ever feel too tired in the evening because your day has been so full of nurturing?  Ever too happy to rest because your day has been so full of nurturing?   

For some parents, it's a double day of sorts.  Those of us who spend either the earlier or later part of our days nurturing mamas in labor, birth and postpartum to leave or come home to our families who we get to nurture, it can be a very full day indeed.  Sometimes, days like this fill my cup.  After a day being with a mama in laborland, I can feel elated to come home to my own precious newborns, I mean, uhm, kids who grew up just a little bit more when I was away.  Wait, no one needs to nurse?  When did that happen?  All I want to do is snuggle them close.  Sometimes, it's because I am so thankful for a similar birth experience as the mom I was just attending.  Other times, it's because my babes were born gently on their own and breathed on their own and KEPT breathing on their own.  These reminders make me snuggle them a lot closer that next morning or the night of.  The squirms and giggles are way more cherished after a bit of time away nurturing another family into being.  I seem to have more patience as I brush their teeth, hair or the floor after a messy lunch.
nursing my days shy of 9 month old & snuggling my 3 year old right before leaving for the birth of AG
Nurturing is not something that I would have ever thought to describe myself growing up.  I never wanted to have children as a child, myself.  Even when hubs and I got married, we both fully agreed that we may never be parents.  No worries and no pressure and no longings.  The growing love for a precious child came to both of us around the same time after spending time watching families make it work without strollers and bottles and all that other stuff, specifically a long weekend with fabulous Mennonite friends at their home that we always enjoyed visiting.

home from postpartum visits just in time for nightly Advent
My born-a-bit-early, E Bear taught me so much about the need for nurtured beginnings.  My midwife, doula (who was also a La Leche League leader and spent so much time working to establish breastfeeding), amazing neighbors checking in on us, friends bringing food, church buddies praying all the way, and my own mothers encouraging me paved my way into motherhood alongside the most amazing husband in the entire world.  I learned how to nurture and why it was so vital to life, to keeping someone alive.

Because of this wonderful experience in giving birth gently at home surrounded by love then and ever since from my support peeps, my foundation was being built to take on our broken maternal care system in the world.  I was capable of nurturing my tender babe which eventually gave me the abilities to nurture other women and their babes on through.  Double duty, yes but double honor beyond words can express.  Tiring, yes.  Rewarding beyond rewards, yes.  I am a nurturer.  Something I never expected to be but am immensely grateful to know.  Gifted by it.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Potato Chips as Self-Care

Have you ever gone a whole month without eating potato chips? 

Well, don't do it, again.

We eat the semi-healthy kind of potato chips around our house.  They aren't always homemade by us personally though.  We eat a few specific brands with organic ingredients and no weird words that I cannot sound out.  It just so happens that we found one of those delicious brands of chips here in town.  And, proceeded to buy 3 bags.  My very favorite is Salt & Vinegar.  Hubs digs the Salt & Pepper. 

Since it had been a whole month since these yum yums had crossed my lips, I worked with my family to devour a whole bag in one day.  Yep.  Had to help them not lose any weight, you see.  They are tiny ones with a touch of Bali belly the other day. 

The dear, Kyrie over at Are So Happy has given us a daily challenge to focus on the ordinary arts and the role of these in our lives.  Here's her weekly breakdown:
  • Monday: The Art of Self-Care
  • Tuesday: The Art of Nurturing
  • Wednesday: The Domestic Arts
  • Thursday: The Creative Arts
  • Friday: The Art of Community
  • Saturday: The Art of Nature
  • Sunday: The Sacred Arts
So, with a very light heart as a person not in my homeland, I relished in potato chips this day to celebrate self-care.  Yes, I am fully aware that I may be the only one participating in Kyrie's weekly updates who sees potato chips as self-care but hey, give me a break.  I am probably the only one participating from Bali, too!  ;)  

Ceremony in the 'Hood

two houses down, there was a big ceremony
fancy dancing man

doing his thang

with a cane

all together now


rice offering

Friday, October 14, 2011

Earthquake: Another First

We experienced a earthquake here in Bali yesterday.  It was my very first time actually feeling the earth move in such a way.  Hubby experienced one here last year but I slept right on through it.  There was one recently just north of us in the USA but I did not feel it, though hubby did 8 miles away. 

Sitting on the ground under a tree with rice fields to my left and a pool to my right, I caught the eyes of my midwife friend holding her two year old son.  Her husband stood about five feet in front of me.  He wasn't sure if he should stay put or run somewhere else.  I sat peacefully with my legs crossed and just absorbed all the sounds, feelings and images around me.  I could hear the rumble, could feel the quaking but nothing in the scenery changed shape.  No trees swayed.  Perhaps that was what I expected to see after media exposure.  I don't know. 

Honestly, as odd as it sounds, I didn't want anything to change.  I just wanted to sit and experience it.  I didn't want it to be over so quickly that I would miss it or get worse so I would have to move.  I hoped no one or nothing else was hurt, of course.  But, I just wanted to take Mason Jennings advice and "Be here now.  No other place to be."  I realize that's a really weird way to experience an earthquake for the first (any) time.

We heard that the shelves of a grocery store shook about 35 minutes away and items fell off.  We heard people were scratched up a bit about 2 hours south of here at the beach.  We felt a little aftershock at Pastica's birthday celebration later that day.       

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Night of Firsts

Tonight, I went to my first home birth in Bali.  Sure, I have been to lots and lots of births in Bali.  They have all occurred at the same birth center.  I have not gotten to attend a birth at the hospital, either or at any of the other clinics or birth centers on the island.  There are only a few of these.

For the past month, I have gotten to do prenatal care for a lovely Japanese woman who fled from Japan after the meltdown to Bali.  She was planning to have her third babe at home.  Her first two babes were born at birth centers in Japan.

She took really great care of herself throughout her pregnancy and we enjoyed getting to know one another as we talked about this.  She was nervous about her midwife going off Bali to attend a midwifery conference as she neared 40 weeks.  Today, she decided to kick start her labor with castor oil after a prenatal visit.  By this afternoon, she was regularly contracting.

We three midwives arrived in the late afternoon, had a listen to the babe and checked the mom.  She was about 6cm dilated with contractions 3 minutes apart.  She labored on with intensity for a short while before we asked if she'd like to get into her bathtub.  She wanted to pee first and wow does sitting on a toilet kick things up for people.  It's just a natural place to relax, let go and push as Ina May so often points out.

MW R: "I don't want her to push that baby out on the toilet."
Me: "She's only 6 cm, she's not going to."
MW R, giving me the look: "Yeah, but she stretched tons.  Don't be surprised."

We walk over to the mom and get through two contractions helping her to calm down.  On her next contraction, I feel her pushing as she holds onto me, our foreheads touching.  Hey, wait, if you are going to push, let's get you into the tub!  Goodness that was quick.  We help her into the tub which relieves lots of the intensity for the mom.  She rests for a minute and then is full on pushing.  MW R says, "Do you want to catch this baby?  Let's switch places so you can."  YES!

My main role here this season is as the Volunteer Coordinator.  A role I am really into.  I totally dig it.  But, let's be honest, I miss catching babes and caring for them and their mamas.  I haven't put myself on the schedule at the clinic as of yet.  I just picked up one shift for a student who wanted the day off and only did prenatals.  I have attended births as the eyes and ears but not donned gloves.  How glorious it feels to slip into a pair after patient appreciation.

Well, the glory was to continue.  This special babe was born in the next two pushes totally in the caul!  That means the amniotic sac was covering it's face as it was born.  The babe turned to it's mom's right thigh and then straight up and back to the right, again.  As it was facing straight up with eyes shut, I could not take my eyes off of it.  It's little lips pursing in and out, bits of goo floating around, black hair floating around inside, the thin membrane covering it's whole head.  I was mesmerized.  As the rest of the body was being born, MW R swooped the caul up and over the babe's head and we placed it's body on the mom's tummy.  I was jolted back to reality.  Oh, right, yes, we are at a birth.  It was just so amazing to see that lil face that I got very caught up in the moment.  This was my first time seeing a babe born in the caul!  What a special gift.  We told the mom that there is a belief that babe's born in the caul are very special; some say they are healers.  MW R's grandmother was born in the caul and she is a healer.

I am so thankful to attend my very first homebirth in Bali and it be my first catch of this season as well as my first born in the caul birth.  Such a peaceful experience.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I spy with my little eye

A Balinese Pirate Child
Two Giraffes Who Recently Were Injured
A Tiny Foot Belonging to a New Friend
A Pregnant Lady's Growing Belly in the Curve of Her Arm
Handcarved Wooden Doors
Big Softstar Shoes
Lots of Love

Monday, October 10, 2011


can you see the Bali dancer through the office window?
Me & my daily coconut.  Yes, that is a huge wooden straw.

Sunday, October 9, 2011


are we in winston-salem or ubud?

hubby says there's something photo worthy about this car.  it's lost on me.