Petra Brynn Augustine

12:55 AM Edit This 3 Comments »

My To-Done List

9:14 PM Posted In , , , Edit This 3 Comments »
I have been told that I'm under too much stress or that I bite off more than I can chew. I will admit that I tend to have quite a lot on my plate. However, most of it is necessary.
I can't simply quit being a mom.
I also can't do much about being a single mom. I suppose I could take in some unemployed flunkey who can't even use me for sex as the newborn screaming in the background would be too distracting, but now I'm just getting off track.
I can't stop feeding the family.
I can't stop doing laundry or the dishes.
I can't quit my job.
Again, I guess I technically could do any of these things, but really I'm only gonna hurt myself eating off moldy dishes and wearing stank clothes.

To get back to the point at hand, I *do* have a lot on my plate. Yet, I constantly think of ways to put myself down. I always feel like I'm never doing enough. I always see what went undone. Therefore, I decided to take this opportunity to jot down some of my accomplishments today. I am going to write down all that I did do because I am an amazing person and I work my ass off.

*Changed sheets, made bed
*Did 2 loads of laundry
*One load of dishes
*Made Biscuits & Gravy for breakfast
*Made tofurkey sandwiches w/applesauce for lunch
*Made spaghetti for dinner w/ fresh sauteed veggies & garlic bread
*Helped daughter write a letter to her grandma
*Helped daughter find current event article (and had a long talk about vaccines)
*Breastfed 2 children too many times to count
*Sang Happy Birthday & other various lullabies
*Talked to imaginary creatures to please a two year old
*Read an article for my homework & started assignment
*Changed several diapers
*Took a shower (this TOTALLY counts!)
*Picked up balls, stuffed dogs, cleats (straightened up living room)
*Rocked/Held baby a whole lot

This is difficult. I keep looking at the list thinking, is this all?!?! Come on, you can do more! I feel so guilty for lack of client calls & lack of homework done. I think I will add a picture of how cute my kids are, that will surely make me feel better!

Where I'm From

2:16 PM Posted In Edit This 3 Comments »

My Sister & My Daughter (2001)

I am from crocheted blankets and chicken coops turned into forts; from Tang and leftovers.

I am from wood stoves, green appliances, carpeted kitchens, and card games at the dining room table.

I am from green, green grass and walls of lilacs that touch the sky, from clear water creeks running alongside the mountains where I would camp with the family for a week at a time.

I am from Annie Annie Over and far too much sarcasm, from Ila Mae and Julian and Chris.

I am from many camping trips and just as many drinking games.

From "getting sold to gypsies" and "Holy Harkin' FarCry".

I am from do unto others as you would have done unto you.

I'm from too small of towns with Irish and German running through my blood, from casseroles and fresh caught trout.

From the rattlesnake wrapped around the boat motor, the biggest elk that ya ever did see, and one up a bush, two up a log.

I am from photo albums stashed in grandma's coffee table filled with vacations all over Eastern Oregon. I am from waiting for Papa to cast one more time while sharing a sunset with Grandma.

Inspired by, but not near as wonderful as: Mama Nirvana

The New CarSeat

7:37 AM Posted In , , , , Edit This 9 Comments »
As I still do not have a baby to show off all over the internet even though I am 8 days past my estimated due date based on last menstrual period and 4 days past my EDD based on conception date, I decided that I would use up my time showing off new baby toys.

Disclaimer: I was not born a carseat whore. (although sometimes looking back at this life as I am about to have my third child, I often dream of the life where I became a shoe and/or purse whore. Perhaps a MAC make-up whore? That, however, is an entirely different post) As I was saying, not born into the life of carseat snobbery. My first child was born almost 13 years ago and at that point manufacturers were still trying to decide what types of bungy cords would best help the car seat to stay down as it flung wildly around with every corner the car took. By the time my second child was born 10 years later, car seat technology had come a long way. Not near as many pool noodles and bungy cords were required to engineer them into staying within the car in a proper position. Around the time my son was born I also became friends with a carseat technician. This helped improve the carseat positioning even more so. I was feeling so much safer putting my baby in the car.

Then, it happened...
She gave me this for my son when he was able to ride facing forward.
Did you see it? Did you feel it? Did you sense it? RIGHT THEN, when I became a carseat whore? When I fell orgasmicly in love with straps that would never twist? When I knew that pool noodles, towels, and receiving blankets were not necessary equipment that one must purchase separately to make a carseat function? OMG, I am officially a carseat snob! (I won't even get into our interchangeable covers *Zebra!*)

Lesson for the day, if you ever become close friends with a carseat technician, remain friends throughout all of your childbearing years! This is vital. I do not care if she purposely runs over your dog or accidentally falls asleep while watching your toddler. Get a new dog and hire a babysitter. This might sound harsh, but when someone who is this dedicated to safety while riding in the car finds out you are pregnant again and states that they would like to buy you the carseat for the new baby, this is invaluable! A person who says that they can put no price on safety and to please help them choose what style would fit best in your car and which fabric you like is a person who must stay a close friend until you decide to schedule your hysterectomy.

Therefore, without further ado, meet my new carseat. Again, it would be far cooler if I had a baby to decorate it with. Yet, as my first child was born around 43 weeks and my second at 41, I wasn't holding my breath or anything.

Advice Needed

9:55 PM Edit This 5 Comments »
I need some help deciding what to do with this dresser that I am fixing up for a new addition to my room for myself and my new baby to share. I decided on a short, wide dresser so that it can also serve as changing table, it might hold one or two cute baskets on top also. Here are a few pics of some things in my room to get a feel for my space. I should have taken pics of my deep purple sheer window panels and my bed which has a lavender type comforter w/ these plum sateen sheets, but I didn't get to everything.
Some of the photos and art on my wall include these:
This is the desk I just finished. It is really difficult to get decent photos in my room with the lighting, but hopefully it is good enough to see okay. I would have loved to add even more detailing to the painting of the desk, yet I get so anxious and overwhelmed about not doing things perfectly that this was more than enough work and if I stamped or stenciled and it didn't turn out I think I may have had to slit my wrists. The bottom drawer doesn't have the handle on it yet as it is not quite finished (had to be repaired). The main body of desk is purple, pinkish drawers, green details.
I have sanded the main body of the dresser. I have not sanded the in-between, more intricate spots yet. It doesn't have the drawer pulls attached as I believe I'll buy new ones anyway as I don't really like the ones that it came with.
So my questions are....
Should I sand the intricate parts or leave them for extra character?
Should I paint the dresser?
Should I oil stain?
Should I just use tung oil?
If I stain it.....should it be natural, cherry, etc....?
Please give me advice and opinions so that I can finish these projects. I have been procrastinating as I can't decide what to do or where to begin. Help will be so appreciated!!!!

PS. I apologize about the color of the carpet (I rent)

Spring Gardening

9:52 AM Edit This 3 Comments »
Here are some photos from around my yard. I think far too many are under the illusion that I am a master gardener. I am not, and after seeing photos of my yard, I am really depressed and realize how much more I want to do.
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However, the thing to keep in mind when looking at these photos is how things originally looked when I moved in in July 2008. When I moved in this tree in my front yard was here, but it was a stick. The landlords thought it was dead. Here is a photo my neighbor had taken of her son. You can see some of my front yard in the background.
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My front yard was pretty much all brown and yellow except for the greenery of the massive amounts of dandelions and clover.
flower pics
The only plants that were here were the pansies by the step, a rosebush, and the two large bushes next to the door. The entire rest of the flower bed was created by me.
bf lizard
I don't like the hedges or roses, but out of respect for them being here before me, I have not yet asked them to leave. A few of my favorites from my shady front yard include lupin and hostas.
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There are also ferns, lilies, and other plants in the front, but they were not posing well so their photos did not make it up.
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My favorite plant in the front yard is the lemon balm though, cuz mmmmmmm, it smells SO yummy.
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The mint is on the side of the house. There is also lavender, but when I was photographing, it was in a territorial battle with many shasta daisies and I could not catch the image. I fear the lavender is losing and may have to relocate.
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This is the garden box. Yes, there are still a few weeds in it. I am a single mom, pregnant, going to school, and working. There are a few lingering weeds in my life, deal with it.
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Close up shot of the peas, which already have pods. WooHoo!! I planted TONS of peas. They are all coming up at different times so that hopefully we won't have to eat 3,000,000 in one sitting and can spread our pea consumption out over time. Riok and I both lurve fresh peas.
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Some thyme is coming up and a lupin is beginning to grow from a seed that was stolen from the plants in the front yard.
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I have a few types of lettuce already starting to say hi. I also spread many different lettuce seeds at different times to keep a constant flow going over the season, as lettuce is my main food group.
Things that are in the garden box, but have not made an appearance yet include, corn, beans, zucchini, pumpkin, artichoke, and many others.
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My back fence is currently lined with dozens of coral bells. There were more tulips and daffodils previously and as the weather turns warmer, I will see more wildflowers, lilies, mums, and black-eyed susans.
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Do you ever wonder what to do if you have so many flower beds, gardens, and an overload of yardwork, but you still have space left to plant? You cannot possibly bring yourself to continue to water, weed, and care for other flower beds that you have left to fill with plants. Besides, you are due with your third child in early August and need to draw a line as far as the gardening is concerned.

This is where sunflower forests come in. I will post photos as these mammoth sunflowers grow and my dear readers will be envious of the fun my children will have with these giants and laugh out loud at how the neighbors must be feeling about the crazy sunflower lady who may possibly take down the fence.
(this isn't even all of them)
Ba ha ha.
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Family History of Birth & Breastfeeding

9:56 PM Edit This 2 Comments »
As many of my readers know, I am deeply involved and intrigued with the world of birth and breastfeeding. I work as a birth and postpartum doula and I am also a private breastfeeding counselor. I am certified through DONA. I have enough hours and education to apply for the IBLCE exam to become a board certified lactation consultant. I have two children of my own. I had my first child in a hospital two months after turning 18 years old. I had my second child ten years later in my living room in the water. I have breastfed children for over 3 years of my life. I am currently expecting my third baby.
I was thinking tonight, with how big of a role birth and breastfeeding play in my life, people must assume that I come from an amazing history of holistic women. I wonder if others envision my family tree full of empowered birth, successful breastfeeding, and attachment parenting?

My mom has a vertical scar from her past cesarean. I remember realizing what it was when I was around 6 years old. That is also the last time I remember seeing it. We never talked about it. We never discussed breastfeeding. We talk about things like the weather. I am her only child.

My mother's mom had five children. Due to the Rh factor, her last child died when she was about 1 year old. This is all I know about her birth and breastfeeding experience. I think she may have mentioned not making milk once, but I cannot remember. She does vocalize how disgusting it is when women breastfeed infants over a few months old, especially in public.

My father's mom had four children. She reports a good experience with her doctor who not only delivered all of her babies, but remained their family physician until retirement. She doesn't find it too awkward that I have had a baby at home as when her older sister was having children, the doctor still came out to your house to help with delivering the baby. She reports that when she took her first child home she tried for a few days to feed him, but he was not getting anything and she was starving him to death. For that reason, she switched to formula and used formula for all subsequent babies without trying breastfeeding again as she doesn't make enough milk.

I have a cousin who firmly believes that she "doesn't make milk because grandma didn't" and all of her babies were formula fed with propped bottles.

I know that at least two of my aunts breastfed, but I don't know how long they nursed. I wish I could explain in more detail about the history of birth and breastfeeding in my family, but we don't talk about these things. I wish I could offer all of the wonderful stories that the women in my family might have had with natural birth or breastfeeding success, but I don't know any.