Thursday, March 14, 2013


What was once a playroom is now our life in boxes. 

and bubble wrap. ;) 
 Just a few favorite toys left out. 
(and a little boy rubbing the sleep out of his eyes. I didn't pack him yet, of course.)
See all of those cupboards? Empty! 

I am excited about this transition, can you tell? ;) As I told a friend, I am like an atomic bomb of joy! I am excited about this adventure, this new chapter of our lives, and am really motivated to get our things all packed up and ready to go. I also don't do well with prolonged suspense. I really hate prolonged suspense, actually. It's for the birds. 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

happy is...

In three weeks, we make the Big Move!

In three weeks, I get to move into my "own" (rented) three bedroom, two bathroom, laundry-inside-the-house home, five minutes down the road from one of my most kindred of friends.

For me, this move has a deep sense of fulfillment and destiny, as I've been driving through and visiting this little town since I was thirteen or fourteen years old. Because of his love of southern Arizona, my dad tried with all his might to buy land and move us down toward Willcox, or Sierra Vista, or anywhere that he could have land, cows, and a garden. At the ripe old age of eighteen I caught his desire, and started saving toward a down-payment on an acreage I had yet to find. But all of that was not to be. Our plannings all fell through, and my parents instead bought a house in Mesa, while I attended culinary school to learn more about a trade I loved; we also started going to the church where I first met Zao's Daddy. So it was all, indeed, quite serendipitous.

Since we've been married, Zao's Daddy and I have had no shortage of hankerings to leave Phoenix, and have schemed for probably the past two years how to move ourselves "eventually." We liked Tucson, and visiting our friends in southern Arizona, so that was one of the locales we entertained. Zao's Daddy dreamed about even being able to transfer down there, thus not even having to look for or change jobs.

His speculations came to pass this January, when that very position came available, and he applied for the transfer. By the time we had our tax return, we knew that we would be moving to Tucson. As more time passed and we prepared to go and look for rentals, Zao's Daddy learned that his "area" wasn't in Tucson proper or its outskirts as we'd originally thought, but was in fact all of southern Arizona: Benson, Willcox, Bisbee, Sierra Vista, et al. This opened our search for housing quite a bit, and we were especially excited to look into Benson, as we have long-time, dear friends that live there.

We found our house that first night. It is the first we saw that had everything on our "list" and more. It is privately owned, and we really like our landlords. They are good people, and seem very happy to rent to our little family.

We are really excited to live in a small town, and though it certainly has its own set of challenges and changes to which we'll have to become accustomed, I feel very equal to the change. Other than my time spent here in the Phoenix area, I have been a country mouse all my life. The clean air and quiet life are especially calling out to me again.

I will be chronicling our transition here as I can. I have a little bit to do around the house during the next few weeks. ;)

Thursday, March 7, 2013


Both of my babies have been born at home. Born into water, into the hands of generous souls who felt the weight of the privilege they were catching. The same midwife attended both of their births, provided me with excellent, caring prenatal care, and now that we are moving away there is a bittersweet twinge to the realization that she will not be present for any future births. But it's just a twinge, only a twinge, not because I don't value her, but rather because she has empowered me.

I love midwives, and doulas. I know so many, and am so ridiculously fortunate to know so many! I have learned so much from them, about this rite of passage called childbirth. I have learned fathoms about what it means to be a woman, not just a mother, but a woman. I look at this creature I am, this Woman Creature, with awe and pride, respect and admiration, and it's all their fault.

Before I had children, I didn't really understand that giving birth was my birth right, and that it was my decision, my right, to choose who attended that birth, and who provided me with care. I had no idea that I had the right to change that care provider at any time, for any reason. I didn't understand until I was in the middle of pregnancy that there can be no poking, no prodding, no anything without my consent. I didn't realize, until my midwife told me, that I had power. I thought pregnancy and childbirth weakened a woman, spread her hips and changed her body, sometimes irreversibly. I assumed it put me at the mercy of doctors, or midwives, and their "greater" knowledge, because of course they would know better than me what's best. I prayed and hoped for a good experience. I received education and empowerment.

I heard over and over and over again from my midwife that she works for me. She reiterated countless times that attending the event of me birthing my baby was a privilege and an honor for her. With every test available throughout pregnancy, she presented it as an option, along with any information and education I may need or desire. These things were my choice; no one can make you take the glucose test. You choose to take that test, or you choose not to. No one can make you have an ultrasound. You choose what your body, and the body of the life within you, is exposed to. Again and again, the power was put back into my hands. Over and over, until now I know it for myself indubitably, she enforced that I can and will make the decisions regarding my pregnancies and births, and I will make good decisions based on information and education.

I want this to be every woman's experience, not just with childbirth, although I especially and very deeply want it for birth. I want every woman to have an attending care provider, be they doctor or midwife, who realizes what a privilege it is to witness birth, to watch this woman who has been in their care become a mother, right before their eyes, and sees some part of the sacred awesomeness of that. Who sees that to be a birthing woman is to be both powerful and vulnerable, but never weak.

I want this especially for my daughter. If she chooses to have children, I want her to understand above all that how and where she births, and who is there with her, is her choice. That her body is still her property, and not a guinea pig, neither a broken, inadequate vessel. I want her to walk in her power.

Honestly, I don't know where this is all coming from, or why. Many articles have been crossing my path lately that just simply break my heart, and I needed an outlet. Women are being mistreated, in varying ways, none of them new, just the same lame game over and over. Woman being pitted against woman. Women being told they are broken when they aren't, women being lied to, being put in place that isn't theirs, or anyone's. It just isn't right.

If you happen to be pregnant, or thinking of becoming pregnant, and are reading this, I encourage you to choose a care provider who respects women, who will educate and empower you as a woman and a mother. If you can't find one, then please hire a doula, and learn all you can. Take back and walk in your power.