Friday, December 31, 2010

It's hard work being a baby.

recycling, composting and garbage - oh, my!

It wasn't until I saw my father-in-law collect and sort recycable goods  
and then drive 30 minutes to deposit them at
 did I realize that Taylor and I need to be thankful for our
 fantastic local recycling company and our well-oiled system for recycling, composting and trash.

This garbage can formerly contained our household waste.
It now holds our household recycling: paper, all plastics, metal, glass.

It fills up quickly so Taylor dumps it into our blu-box every other day or so.
We are lucky not to have to sort the recycling as Triangle Maintenance does so on-site.

 I handily-dandily repurposed an s-hook from our hanging pot rack to hold a plastic baggie for kitchen trash.  This bag is slow to fill up since most waste is either recyclable or compostable.  
We no longer worry about remember the garbage collection days since it takes almost 2 weeks to fill up our big outdoor garbage can!

Kitchen compost goes into whatever bowl is handy at the moment.
It fills up quickly since we eat A LOT of fruit and vegetables.
During the winter, the compost bowl tends to get overflowingly full but
during the summer, we have to very vigilant about dumping it out or we get hordes of fruit flies.

This is our compost bin.
Considering we don't tend to it one bit, I'm not sure how well our kitchen scraps are composting.
It needs a good turn and some nitrogen rich matter to truly compost but whatever....
Once we get chickens (!) they will become our little live composters for kitchen scraps.

Currently, our only issue is that our compost bin is feeding a massively huge racoon which needs to be dealt with before we invest in chickens.  One of these days, we'll deal with that little problem...

We are constantly tweaking the details but we've found a system that works well for us.
Do you recycle or compost?

Have you worked out the kinks or are you still learning through trial and error?

Thursday, December 30, 2010

top 10 reasons to have a natural birth.

1. The endorphins are amazing!
Endporphins are nature's way to provide pain relief in response to a stressful and painful experience.  Unmedicated childbirth triggers a massive flood of endorphins leaving you with a "birth high" that can not be duplicated.

2. Zero chance of the epidural not working.  
If you are mentally prepared and confident in your body's ability to give birth, your fear will subside and you can actively look forward to the labor that will bring your baby into your arms.  There is no need to dread childbirth once you realize that the pain is for a purpose.

3. Golden Vagina Award.
Need I say more?

4. Faster and easier recovery. 
After Henry's medicated labor and delivery, I was numb from the waist down for the next 12 hours.  My tailbone hurt from sitting in the hospital bed and my lower back ached for months.  The moment Liza was born I felt like my normal non-pregnant self again.  30 minutes later, I was up and walking around.  Ask any woman who has experienced both types of childbirth and she will tell you how amazing she felt after her unmedicated baby was born.

5. No worries about the 'cascade of interventions'.

6. Clean pregnancy, clean birth.
Pregnant women are the most paranoid people on earth.  They worry about 2nd hand cigarette smoke, caffeine, listeria in soft cheeses and chemicals in household cleaners.  Most won't even take a tylenol for a headache but will gladly accept narcotics and synthetic hormones during labor.....something to think about.

7. Less likely to tear and need stitches.
Unmedicated, your body will let you know when dilation is complete and you will feel the urge to push when your body is ready. Medicated, a nurse will tell you to hold your breath, tuck your chin and push while she counts to ten.  "Purple Pushing" increases your chance of perineal tearing by not allowing subtle changes within the contractions to signal your body for needed periods of rest prior to pushing and during crowning.

8. Bonds you with million of women around the world and through the ages.
 I am thankful for inductions and c-sections when they are medically necessary and I am certainly glad to live in an age of sanitary conditions for giving birth.  But, childbirth is not a disease and does not necessitate medication and hospitals.   Birth works.  How else would Earth be populated?

9. Your body is perfectly designed for labor and delivery.
Your body knows exactly what it is doing during 40 weeks of pregnancy and during labor and delivery. Learn about it and trust it!

10. Sense of empowerment and accomplishment.
Seriously.  It is an amazing feeling to know what you are capable of.  You CAN do it!


Comments are welcome!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas 2010 by the numbers.

2..........babies of mine that thoroughly enjoyed their first Christmas as siblings.
59........presents unwrapped by all the Dearmans.

1,053...times Henry said "no, mine" in regards to all of his new toys.
1..........Christmas miracle when the internet started working again.
73........times Pops sang his "Little Liza, Little Liza Girl" song to his newest grandbaby.

1..........smallest baby cousin girl who has perfected the art of sleeping in the bed with her tired parents.
12........trips on the four-wheelers looking for the missing carved bear in the woods.

748......scraps of wrapping paper littered around this house.
4,268...times Henry demanded to watch "Minah" on DirectTV.

1..........little boy cousin named Henry who had a b.l.a.s.t playing with his big cousins.
2..........big Christmas dinner lovingly prepared by Meme in less than 24 hours.

225......slices of bacon consumed.
1..........mama who was very frustrated that the dark-headed soft baby dolls are hard to find. 

7..........times Carla and I counted how place settings were needed around the table only to realize we counted wrong when we sat down to eat.
273......juice boxes consumed by little mouths and bellies.

153.........times I looked at Liza and thought "Damn, she is cute!".
365.........days until Christmas 2011.  Thank goodness!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

a smattering.

What has our little family been up to lately?


We visited a lovely park in Columbus.

The special needs swing was a big hit.  
Even Mynah liked it!


We all listened to Daddy practice Christmas songs on the guitar.


  Henry ate every bite of this typical lunch:
peanut butter baba, apple slices, carrots with mustard for dipping, peas, cheese and almond milk


Taylor introduced Henry to the joy of a sleeping bag.
He is really into stuffed animals lately.  
Can you tell?


This picture needs no words...


Liza is a little teething monster.
Something must be in her mouth at.all.times.
Her newest teething treasure is this super sweet 


Taylor is officially on vacation for two weeks so we are looking forward to much more of all of the above!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

extended rearfacing questions and answers.

Isn't he big enough to turn his carseat aroundf?

Technically, yes, Henry is big enough to face the front.  He reached the minimum requirements of 20 pounds and 12 months old many moons ago.  But, the minimum requirements are just that, the minimum weight and age required by law. 

Then, why is he still rearfacing at 28 months old?

The rear-facing child has the frontal crash forces spread over their back, head and neck (a large portion of the body) in an accident. The rear-facing child is also supported by the back of the car seat meaning there is little stretching of the neck.

 The forward-facing child's torso is restrained by their harness straps. The head of the child however is restrained by nothing and thrusts violently forward, which places them at risk of serious spinal cord injury or even worse, death.

Rear-facing child restraints also offer significant safety advantages in side and frontal offset impacts. When rear-facing in a side-on or frontal offset impact, the head of the child is better kept within the confines of the seat and can reap the benefits of the restraints side wings for protection.

Wouldn't he rather face the front?
No.  Henry has faced the rear his entire life and knows no different.  He is happy and content rearfacing.  We look at each other through my rearview mirror and his backseat mounted mirror so there is no problem with communication or checking to make sure he is okay back there.  

Aren't his legs uncomfortable?
Henry is small, always has been and probably always will be.  But, even if he were tall we would have kept him rearfacing for two years.  Kids are flexible and don't adhere to adult concepts of comfort.  There are no documented cases of a child's legs/hips breaking while rearfacing in a car wreck.  However there are plenty of documented cases of spinal cord and neck injuries sustained while forward facing in a car wreck.  Personally, I would rather deal with therisk of broken legs than the possibility of a broken neck any day of the week.

When are you going to turn him around?
Originally, the goal was to keep Henry rearfacing until two.  His 2nd birthday arrived and he was still well within the 35 pound rearfacing limit of his Britax Marathon.  That, combined with the fact that his vertebrae are still immature and not strong enough to protect his spinal cord in the event of a life-threatening car wreck made the decision to keep him rearfacing an easy one.  Liza has already made the switch to her Sunshine Kids Radian 80.  Her seat rearfaces to 45 pounds so she will be rearfacing for several years to come.  Both of these seats are convertible seats that  rearface and forwardface.  With these seats' high price tags also comes high weight limits so these are the only carseats our kids will ever need.  

Please do the research for yourself to reach your own conclusion about protecting your toddler in the car:

Friday, December 17, 2010

My cute kids.

To quote Henry:
"I'm a ho."

Happy 5 year anniversary to us!

From this:

To this:

We've accomplished a lot in the past 5 years!
Taylor, thank you for being a wonderful husband.
I love you very much and I never doubt your love for me.
Everyday, I am thankful for your support in helping me be the best I can be.
Thank you for being you and accepting me as me.
I love you!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

dolly mama.

I confess:
 I am a "birth junkie".

Birth videos on youtube.
Orally revising "big brother" books to include homebirth and breastfeeding.
My facebook news feed is chock full of pages for lactivists and natural childbirth advocates.

So you can only imagine my excitement when I saw this doll by MamAmor online:

Cute, right?
I really love the baby tied tight in the sling.
It makes me think of how teeny Liza used to be in our sling.

Just wait.
It gets better.

See that cute round baby belly?

And, you guessed it......
that baby doesn't stay in the belly for long.

What birth is complete without an umbilical cord and a healthy placenta?

I wonder if that dolly mama plans to
to use as her postpartum vitamin?

A snap for a mouth, you ask?
Only mama's milk for a baby doll born in the comfort of your own home.
I love this doll.
As in, I really love this doll.

What better way to show kids that 
childbirth and breastfeeding is a normal part of life
than to let them manipulate and playact with a dolly mama and her natural born baby?

Meet Mynah.

Mynah is Henry's best friend.

She is also the only friend who doesn't get upset when he
kicks or
stands on her.

He might abuse her but he sure does love her.

                                                  Me: Hen Hen, we are going to a friend's house this morning.
                                                  Henry:  Dada?
                                                  Me:  No.  Dada will be at work.
                                                  Henry:  Lila?
                                                  Me:  Yep, Liza will be with us.
                                                  Henry:  Mynah?
                                                  Me:  Of course, Mynah can go.

Mynah goes everywhere we go.
And, usually gets left everywhere we go....
Thankfully, he easily accepts that we forgot Mynah and will get her back later.

I'm not sure sure how Henry would react if Mynah were lost forever.
Devastation, denial or acceptance?

My friend, Alisha, suggested a pacifier clip so Henry can better keep up with Mynah.
A fine idea, Alisha, a fine idea!

Thank you, Mynah, for being the best little buddy my little buddy could ever ask for.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

our messy messy life by the numbers.

1,347,849...........rain drops on the clothes I hung to dry on the line last night.  Taylor said the clothes were officially frozen when he left for work this morning.  Am I the only person who firmly believes that the dryer shrinks clothes?

12......................times Henry demanded that the "ho" music be turned "loud" this morning.  This kid is just like his daddy sometimes.  And, no, we weren't listening to rap!

4........................other crazy mamas who also braved the rain and freezing temperatures for library story time this morning.

1........................of those crazy mamas said our weather was 'balmy' compared to the weather she experienced back home in Canada last week.  Balmy?  I don't think so.

2.5.......................hours and counting that Liza has been asleep.  I like it.  A lot.

0.........................presents under our Christmas tree.  At first, I was wary about trusting Henry with wrapped presents but now I'm just too lazy to actually make it happen.

6.........................loads of laundry I washed and folded yesterday.  Ridiculous?  Yes.

23.......................books on the floor in our living room.  Henry is absolutely obsessed with reading lately and demands that we read to him all day long.  I am happy to oblige! expected at tomorrow morning's playdate at a friend's house.  The plan is to watch Charlie's Brown Christmas.  Surely I'm not the only mama saying a little prayer tonight that the kids sit still and actually watch the movie so we can sit back and chitchat.

62.......................facebook feeds about natural childbirth, breastfeeding and attachment parenting that I dutifully read  Like our laundry, it gets a bit ridiculous at times.

2.........................days until our 5 year wedding anniversary!  We certainly do have a lot to show for the past 5 years!

7.........................times Taylor has called me from work today.  I think he loves me.

1.........................thankful mama to have a daughter with two intact eyes.

Monday, December 13, 2010

In which I share my thoughts:

1. I love my kids.  Like, I really really love my kids.  They are so impressionable that I am forced to be the best person I can possibly be so that they can grow up to be the best people they can possibly be.  It's a weighty responsibility on my shoulders that I take very helps that they are cutest kids I've ever laid eyes on so it's not too hard to be good around them.

2. I procrastinate.  A lot. I am unleashing my thoughts so I can have a good reason not to clean our messy messy house while these children nap.

3.  Remember my dilemma about Santa?  Our, i.e. my, official decision concerning Santa is that we are going to enjoy Santa as long as the kids want to believe in the magic.  Once THE question is asked, we will tell the truth and proceed from there.  Sounds good to me.

4. My father-in-law is sweet.  He saved two articles from The Wall Street Journal for me.  The topics?  Using self-hypnosis with natural childbirth and food allergies in children.  The natural childbirth article totally made my day.....I plan on expounding upon this article at a later date.

5.  Liza's birth story is a featured post on Alternative Mama's blog.  Like me, she aims to normalize natural childbirth and breastfeeding.  I really like her blog and totally get her obsession with all things natural childbirth.

6. I love my husband and I love that we celebrate our 5th anniversary this Friday.  Mysteriously, I also love that since our anniversary is so close to Christmas we never exchange gifts.

7. A new hobby of mine is to heat up the leftover morning coffee and drink it while the kids nap.  I really like coffee and it seems to taste even better knowing that I am drinking up every last drop without any wasted coffee.  Even I find this strange.

8. Liza has graduated to playing on a soft pallet on the floor while surrounded by little baby toys.  She prefers standing in the ring sling and her legs are big enough so she doesn't have to sit like a froggy in the Ergo.  It's a
mystery to me how someone so tiny can still seem so big.

9. My sister sent Liza some super sweet felt hairclips from Etsy.  Sadly, she doesn't her hair isn't thick enough to hold the clips in just yet.  Once I pried them out of Henry's grubby little hands, "my bow my bow", I stowed them safely away to try again in a few months.

10. Henry naps last almost 4 hours long most days.  Yeah.  I love it.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

4 months.

Liza is 4 months old today.

Where does time go?
How has this little girl already been in our lives for 4 months?

My teeny little scrunched up newborn is no more.

She is a real baby.

It's bittersweet for sure:
Bitter because I know how fast babies grow up and how quickly they become wise to the world.
Sweet because I know we have so many years to enjoy this little person and watch her learn and grow.

Liza, you are a joy in our family.
Your sweet smile and easy little ways bring happiness to our family every single day.

We love you!