Sunday, July 31, 2011

Two Book Giveaways!

A Gift for Baby by Jan Hunt is a beautifully illustrated, super sweet story about the most important thing to a baby.  The simple story begins with the baby wondering what is inside a big box.  The baby thinks about everything that could be inside the box as she realizes she really doesn't need much, except for her mama and daddy.

My kids seriously love this book.  Henry loves a book he can "read" and understand all by his big boy self and without fail, Liza manages to find the illustration of the mama nursing the baby.  Love it.

If you are looking for one of the rare books that depicts a cosleeping, breastfeeding, attached family....A Gift for Baby is a perfect addition for your child's library.
Siblings Without Rivalry by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish has been absolutely instrumental in  parenting my babies.  I refer back to this book on a regular basis, even moreso now that Liza is fully mobile and understanding more of the world around her.  Not only does SWR help parents understand the evolving sibling relationship but it also gives insight into gentle techniques to deal with your children in a way that respects their individual needs, regardless of sibling relationships.

The 2 biggest lessons I learned from SWR:
1.  Treat children fairly.  Not equally.
2.  Don't put your children in a box.  Let them decide who and what they become.

Whether you are "one and done" or a mama to many, Siblings Without Rivalry is a necessary book to guide gentle and respectful parenting of your brood.
Want to win a copy of A Gift for Baby or Siblings Without Rivalry ?

Leave a comment telling me your favorite book --
children's book, parenting book, trashy paperback beach read, whatever.

Your comment will enter you into two drawings to determine the winners!

Drawing will be held on Monday, August 8.
A Gift for Baby was sent to me by the Natural Parents Project to review and 
this particular copy of Siblings Without Rivalry is a thrift store find.

Friday, July 29, 2011

pros and cons of my breastfeeding toddler:

 Pro:  I know my little toddler's immune system is boosted everyday by my milk's unique antibodies.
Con:  Her immune system is not only boosted everyday but also, all.night.long by my milk's unique antibodies.
Pro:  Now that she is older, she lets me know when she wants to nurse my tugging on my shirt.
Con:  I can't wear dresses in public.  Boo.  If I did, I might just get called an exhibitionist and finally get to stage that nurse-in I've been dreaming about....
Pro:  My milk is constantly changing and evolving to meet her nutritional needs.  The milk she drank as a newborn is drastically different than the milk she drinks at one-year-old.
Pro:  Nursing is the only time she is snuggly and calm.
Con:  Well, not very calm.  Her newest trick is perfecting various yoga positions while latched on.  Downward dog seems to be her favorite.
Pro:  While Liza hasn't had a stomach bug yet, it is good to know  I won't need to worry about filling her up with sugary drinks to keep her hydrated.  Sick babies love to nurse and breastmilk is the best source of hydration you can find.
Pro:  She still nurses to sleep and it is so sweet watching her little eyes flutter shut as she continues to breastfeed even after she falls asleep.
Con:  Nursing to sleep means I am the only one available to put her down for naps and night time.
Pro:  No need to worry about her not eating enough solid foods to satisfy her growing body's needs.  She can always drink more milk to fill her little tummy after she throws every bite of her supper on the floor.
Pro:  Crying?  Here, have a sip.  Get happy.
Con:  Crying again?  For the millionth time, have a sip.  Get happy. 

Do you have anything to add?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

zucchini pancakes

That first foot-long zucchini from our CSA bag was easy to put to use:  zucchini bread, zucchini muffins, grilled zucchini and lots of zucchini in the latest batch of vegetable curry.

The second foot-long zucchini has been sitting in the fridge for almost a week.

It was time to get creative......Liza had grated zucchini in her yogurt.  Henry turned his nose up at grated zucchini with cinnamon.  Yeah.  I know.  It really wasn't too creative.  But, I tried and that should count.

Tonight I completely deviated from my meal plan and fixed up a batch of zucchini pancakes.  After all, I always need a reason to eat honey for supper and the loaf of home-baked bread in my tummy needed some carbohydrate friends to keep it company.

It is the same recipe as my Everyday Pancake recipe with a few tweaks and, um, zucchini.

Zucchini Pancakes

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1.5 cups almond milk
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 cup shredded zucchini

1. Heat griddle over medium low heat.
2. Mix dry ingredients.
3. Mix wet ingredients.
4. Gently fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients.  Batter will be lumpy.
5. Ladle batter onto hot griddle.  Flip when bottom is browned and bubbles rise to the surface.

Have I oded my love to Mark Bittman and his How to Cook Everything Vegetarian Cookbook?  If not, that is sad sad sad.  It is my most cherished cookbook and my go-to for everything, um, vegetarian.  When the title says "everything"  it means everything.  From homemade tortillas to Thai peanut sauce to almond cake.   If it is meatless, Mark Bittman has the recipe and then 5 more variations for you to try out.  Love him.

In fact, Taylor read a quote from a "politician" the other day.  It went on about how we should tax processed foods and anything with high-fructose corn syrup and subsidize fresh and local fruits and vegetables.  I got so excited because I've said this for years and was pumped somebody was finally on my side.  

Have to admit it was a bit of a letdown to find out it was not a politician in the was Mark Bittman.  

Love him.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

There was an old lady....

There was an old lady

 who lived in a shoe.

She had so many children she didn't know what to do.

She wore them so tightly and

fed them a dinner with tortilla instead of bread.

Then they all snuggled down next to their mama or daddy in bed!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

homemade insect repellant.

Many moons ago after sitting in our front yard and mosquitoes swarming my face, I dug a can of bug spray out of the depths of our bathroom closet.  I never outgrew my distaste of bugspray residue on my skin so I opted to spray the grass around my chair.  The next day, there was a ring of brown dead grass around that very same chair.  The bugspray killed the grass.  Dead.  Needless to say, now I don't touch commercial bugspray with a ten-foot pole.  I haven't even googled the stuff.  I choose to trust my judgement.  It's bad.

Basically, I am okay with a few bites and if the bugs are bad enough, I go inside.  The inside and I are bff's.  After all, you still get bit even if you are coated with OFF! from head to toe.

But, you know, good mamas use sunscreen (sparingly) and good mamas should at least own a bottle of bugspray for her outside loving kids.  Last summer I bought Herbal Armour repellant for Henry.  I liked the natural ingredients and the price.  And, even though I approved of the stuff, I didn't like the feeling it left on his skin and the way I felt like he needed a bath before bed after a good spray down of the stuff.  After a few bugspray battles, I gave up.  He didn't like the stuff.  And, honestly, I probably didn't feel like giving him a bath anyway.

So this summer, I was ready to do something different.  I googled around and found the perfect solution to my distaste of all things bugspray-- essential oils and a carrier.

The CDC's list of approved insect-repellant ingredients included lemon eucalyptus oil so I knew that was a must-have.  Common sense told me citronella should be included and Rose Mountain Herbs thoughtfully added lavendar to the mix.


1/2 teaspoon citronella essential oil
1/2 teaspoon eucalyptus essential oil
1/2 teaspoon lavender essential oil
4 ounces distilled witch hazel 

Mix ingredients in a 4-ounce spray bottle. Shake well. Spray onto exposed skin, avoiding eyes and mucous membranes. Reapply every 2 hours, or as needed.

The first time I mixed up a batch, I didn't actually measure the oils.  I just squeezed a bunch of drops in and called it done.  Typical.  And, not nearly as effective as my 2nd go in which I actually exerted a little effort and measured the oils before I dumped them in to the witch hazel.  

I'm not going to proclaim my homemade bugspray to be super child-friendly for the sheer fact that both of my kids fuss about having anything done to them and this safe and clean repellant is no different.

But, it is natural.
It is effective.
It doesn't leave me feeling like I need to give my kids a bath.

And, I like it a lot.

Friday, July 22, 2011

blog block.

I'm in the midst of a mental blog block.  So, I decided to sit and type and see what happens.

Let's see.

I'm tired.  Not to complain.  But, I'm tired.  Sleep deprived tired.  And, tired of playing referee between my two children.  Even Liza is getting rough these days.  Yeah.  She likes her little purse and putting on her shoes but I'm pretty sure she isn't going to be a dainty little flower of a girl.  I met a woman the other day whose babies are 2 years apart just like mine but they are September and mine are August.  I asked if the big brother was rough with the little brother.  Never.  She said never.  Seriously.  She even said the older was "protective" of the little.    My heart broke a little bit at that. 

 Do I have a deviant almost-3-year-old or is your older flat out mean to your little? 
 If you have children that are always kind and sweet I don't want to hear about it. 

Is that bad?

I find myself jealous of Taylor when he mows the yard.  Yard work.  I don't like to sweat.  I don't like to get dirty.  I don't even know how to operate the mower.  Yet, I want to mow the yard.  I want 2 hours of time that nobody can bother me because of the noxious fumes and the roar of the mower.  

I also find myself jealous of his quiet showers every morning.  I don't want to go to work.  I just want the quiet shower.  

Is that bad?

I don't think it is.

Do you?

Every time I sit on the floor and Henry sits in my lap, Liza decides she needs to nurse.  She now paws at my shirt and pushes brother out of the way so she can get what she wants.  

Somebody needs to teach these children some manners.

There are lots of things I want to do.  Become a doula.  Become a childbirth educator.  Finally write that children's book that floats around in my head.  Clean out my closet and find out what's been hanging out in there since we moved in 5 years ago.  Um.  Plan my children's birthday party that takes place in 3 weeks.  Yet.  Nothing happens.  I feel successful when we eat supper and I manage to clean the kitchen every 2 days.  Seriously.

No joke when I say it's a messy life.

I actually took pictures of my children today.  And, I realized why I've been low on pictures. It's impossible to referee and snap pictures to be proud of at the same time.  

Turns out my blog block wasn't really a writing block.  A post just wasn't forming in my head nice and pretty like I like.  But, it's okay.  I'm pretty busy.  You know.  Keeping my children from killing each other.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

fighting stains.

I am thrifty. 

Out of necessity and for the sheer love of thrift.

So this bar of Fels Naptha soap makes me way too happy.

This $1.50ish bar of soap is almost 3 years old.

Love the reusing.

And, since it comes in minimal packaging, you can definitely call it precycled.

Love it.

I keep it wrapped up in this rag and it sits on top of the washer waiting for the next stain.

Which is never far away.

If I think about it, I wet the stained clothing item and give it a good scrub with the soap bar before it goes into the washer.  But, usually, I give things a look over after they come out of the washer. Then, I scrub down the stained clothes and throw them in the washer for the next load.  

It couldn't be easier.
Or cheaper.

Other mamas might brag about miracles stain fighting products but 
in my not-so-humble opinion, I think Fels Naptha should give me monetary compensation for all the times I talk about how great their soap is for getting out stains.

What do you use to get your kids' stained clothing clean?

Monday, July 18, 2011

our day by the numbers.

12..........rolls of toilet paper stacked high on the bathroom floor.
1............little sister who lives to knock down block towers.
1............little finger of a little sister that was viciously bitten after knocking down the said tower.
16..........trains resided in my room for the remainder of the day.
493........times Liza cried today.  I would never call her a crybaby because that would be mean and ungentle of me.  But. and electronic stores called in search of the power cord to Taylor's computer after his mysteriously unraveled down to the wires.
3.5.........hours in the car with...
2............children under the age of 3 to buy the power cord.
3............shirts bought at Old Navy as a prize to myself for being so nice to my husband.
12..........dollars total spent on the shirts.  Love it.  
0............loving thoughts on the cost of the power cord.
751........brain cells fried from my long day with my babies.
3............times I scoured my SD card in search of a cute picture to post. pictures available. blog posts floating around in my head. to write a real sentence.  
1............mama hoping tomorrow is a day filled with long naps and calm children.
2............percent chance of that actually happening.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Birth Fear: normal birth and a Mr. Linky.

This post is a part of a series about overcoming birth fear.  
I won't lie.  I spent more time picking over the details of Henry's bedding and "coming home from the hospital" outfit than I did learning about pregnancy and childbirth.

My plan:  No induction.  IV narcotics.  Epidural.  No episiotomy.  Don't wipe him off.  Breastfeed.

But, I didn't learn about normal birth.  I didn't understand why pushing flat on my back is physiologically incompatible with giving birth.  I didn't understand how IV fluids can hinder breastfeeding.  I didn't know that electronic fetal monitoring does not improve birth outcomes.

Trust me.  There was a lot I didn't know.

And I was okay with that.  I trusted my doctors.

But, with Liza's birth, I was an active participant in my pregnancy and delivery.  I read.  And, I googled.  And, then I read and googled a little more.

Fact:  Educating yourself in normal birth is the #1 way to ease childbirth fears.

From the comfort of you own couch,  for your googling pleasure........

Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, Ina May Gaskin
Spiritual Midwifery, Ina May Gaskin
The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth, Henci Goer
Husband-Coach Childbirth, Robert Bradley
Hypnobirthing:  The Mongan Method, Marie Mongan
Birthing From Within, Pam England
The Birth Partner, Penny Simkin

Business of Being Born
Orgasmic Birth
Pregnant in America

Mama Birth
Birth Without Fear
Navel Gazing Midwife
Woman to Woman Childbirth Education
Bellies and Babies
The Well-Rounded Mama
Stand and Deliver
The Unnecesarean
Science and Sensibility
ICAN -- International Cesearean Awareness Network
Homebirth:  Midwife Mutiny in South Australia

Midwifery Today
The Bradley Method
DONA -- don't forget about your doula!  What's a doula?  Read this.

Birth Stories
Natural Childbirth Stories
Mama Birth's Birth Stories
Giving Birth Naturally

****If you have any books, blogs or websites you think I should add to my list, please leave a comment with your suggestion!

****And, because I know I have plenty of birth junky mamas reading my messy little blog, I present to you a Mr. Linky for YOUR birth stories!  If you have multiple birth stories on your blog, please submit a new Mr. Linky form for each link.  Cut and paste the address to the specific post containing your birth story, rather than your blog address.

And, trust me.  I am a fool for a birth story.  I look forward to reading your story!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

I want to be harassed.

I want to be sitting at a restaurant.
Nursing my baby.
Drinking my fancy cup of coffee.
Eating my danish.
Reading my National Geographic.

Minding my own business.

I want the manager to approach me.
Tell me that I need to "cover up".
Or leave.

I want to whip out my iPhone and show that manager it is well within my legal right to nurse my baby while I read my magazine, drink my coffee and eat my danish inside his restaurant.

I want to stand up for nursing mothers and let him know our babies can drink their mama's milk wherever they damn well please.

I want to go to The Leaky B@@b and let other mamas know I was harassed.
I want to hear collective wisdom.
I want to hear anecdotes.

I want to organize a nurse-in.

I want to spread the word of my nurse-in far and wide.
I want newspapers.
I want news crews.
I want publicity.

I want mamas.
I want babies.
I want toddlers.

Could we even be so lucky to have a few tandem nurslings in the crowd?

I want to inundate that restaurant.

I want to show the manager and other patrons that breastfeeding is normal.
Not obscene.


I want to be harassed.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

wordless ,um, wednesday.

See that abacus?

She is doing long division.

  I told you she is a genius.


 I need to get better at this 'wordless' business.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

grown-up anxiety.

Welcome to the July Carnival of Natural Parenting: Parenting Philosophy
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have shared their parenting practices and how they fit in with their parenting purpose. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

I worry about a lot of things concerning my children: lightning, carseat safety, pesticides in fruits and vegetables, congested chests, the busy street in front of our house, things they overhear big kids say at the park.  The list goes on and on. 

But, one thing I don't worry about is the type of adult my children will grow to become.  I might have a hard time picturing them forward facing in their carseats but I have no problem at all envisioning my sweet babies all grown up and acting like responsible-choice making, lifelong learning, well-dressed, healthy eating adults.  

In fact, I like to think about them all grown up as adults.  I'm perfectly confident they will be successful and wonderful and I genuinely look forward to witnessing the paths they choose in their adult lives and relationships.

And there.  That is the only problem I have with my babies growing up.  I worry about my relationship with my grown children.  I worry they won't want me to witness the path they choose.  I worry about this a lot.  In fact, I would say this specific worry ranks with my worries about carseat safety.  A very big deal.

While I am very aware of what I don't want our relationship to look like I prefer to focus on the ideal relationship with my grown children as one governed by mutual respect and limitless love. 

I can only hope if I shower them with this much love and respect at almost-three-years old and almost-one-year-old, I can continue to do so into my old age and they will in turn love and respect me for who I am.

Let's just hope the pictures of them rearfacing on the way to their high school prom don't give them the ammo they need to turn a cold shoulder my way.


Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
(This list will be live and updated by afternoon July 12 with all the carnival links.)
  • Between Love and Fear: On Raising our Children Sensibly — Mamma Earthly at Give an Earthly discusses the fear factor in parenting and how she overcame it, despite societal pressures.
  • really, when do i get my cape? — Sarah at small bird on fire is a working city mama trying to learn how to set aside her expectations of perfection and embrace the reality of modern parenting.
  • Baby, Infant, and Toddler Wearing — Child wearing is part of Sarah at Nourished and Nurtured's parenting philosophy. In this post, Sarah describes benefits of child-wearing and gives tips for wearing babies, infants, and toddlers (even while pregnant).
  • First Year Reflections — As her daughter's first birthday approaches, Holly at First Year Reflections reflects on how she and her husband settled into attachment parenting after initially doing what they thought everyone else did.
  • Making an allowance — Lauren at Hobo Mama welcomes a guest post from Sam about the unexpected lessons giving a four-year-old an allowance teaches the child — and the parent.
  • How to be a Lazy Parent and Still Raise Great Kids — Lisa at Granola Catholic talks about how being a Lazy Parent has helped her to raise Great Kids.
  • Philosophy in Practice — Laura at A Pug in the Kitchen shares how her heart shaped the parenting philosophy in her home.
  • What is Attachment Parenting Anyway? — Gaby at Tmuffin describes the challenges of putting a label on her parenting philosophy.
  • Of Parenting Styles — Jenny at Chronicles of a Nursing Mom talks about how she and her husband tailored various parenting styles to fit their own preferred parenting philosophy.
  • Moment by Moment Parenting — Amy at Peace 4 Parents encourages those who care for children (including herself) to explore and appreciate parenting moment-by-moment with clarity, intention, trust, and action.
  • Maintaining Spirituality in the Midst of Everyday Parenting, Marriage, and Life — Sarah at Nourished and Nurtured shares her perspective on finding opportunities for spiritual growth in every day life.
  • Parenting Philosophy — Lily, aka Witch Mom's parenting philosophy is to raise child(ren) to be compassionate, loving, inquisitive, and questioning adults who can be trusted to make decisions for themselves in a way that avoids harming others.
  • Long Term — Rosemary at Rosmarinus Officinalis thinks about who she would like to see her daughter become — and what she can do now to lay a strong foundation for those hopes.
  • Connection, Communication, Compassion — She's come a long way, baby! After dropping her career in favour of motherhood, Patti at Jazzy Mama discovered that building solid relationships was going to be her only parenting priority.
  • My Parenting Inspirations - Part 4 — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama looks at her biggest parenting inspiration and how that translates into her long-term parenting philosophy.
  • A Parenting Philosophy in One Word: Respect — Jenn at Monkey Butt Junction summarizes her parenting and relationship philosophy in one word: respect.
  • Knowledge and Instinct — Kat at Loving {Almost} Every Moment believes that knowledge and instinct are super important … as are love, encouragement and respect. It's the ideal combo needed to raise happy and healthy children and in turn create meaningful relationships with them.
  • THRIVE!The Sparkle Mama wants to set a tone of confidence, abundance, and happiness in her home that will be the foundation for the rest of her daughter's life.
  • On Children — "Your children are not your children," say Kahlil Gibran and Hannah at Wild Parenting.
  • This One Life Together — Ariadne aka Mudpiemama shares her philosophy of parenting: living fully in the here and now and building the foundation for a happy and healthy life.
  • Enjoying life and planning for a bright future — Olivia at Write About Birth shares her most important parenting dilemmas and pours out her heart about past trauma and how healing made her a better parent.
  • My Parenting Philosophy: Unconditional and Natural Love — Charise at I Thought I Knew Mama shares what she has learned about her parenting philosophy from a year of following her instincts as a mama.
  • An open letter to my children — Isil at Smiling Like Sunshine writes an open letter to her children.
  • My Starter Kit for Unconditional Parenting — Sylvia at MaMammalia discusses her wish to raise a good person and summarizes some of the nontraditional practices she's using with her toddler son in order to fulfill that wish.
  • Responsiveness — Sheila at A Gift Universe has many philosophies and goals, but what it all boils down to is responsiveness: listening to what her son wants and providing what he needs.
  • Tools for Creating Your Parenting Philosophy — Have you ever really thought about your parenting purpose? Knowing your long-term goals can help you parent with more intent in your daily interactions. Dionna at Code Name: Mama offers exercises and ideas to help you create your own parenting philosophy.
  • Be a Daisy — Becky at Old New Legacy philosophizes about individuality and how she thinks it's important for her daughter's growth.
  • What's a Mama to Do? — Amyables at Toddler in Tow hopes that her dedication to compassionate parenting will keep her children from becoming too self-critical as adults.
  • grown-up anxieties. — Laura at Our Messy Messy Life explains her lone worry concerning her babies growing up.
  • Why I Used Montessori Principles in My Parenting Philosophy — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now tells why she chose Montessori principles to help her now-adult children develop qualities she wanted to see in them as children and adults.
  • Parenting Philosophies & Planning for the FutureMomma Jorje considers that the future is maybe just a fringe benefit of doing what feels right now.
  • Not Just Getting Through — Rachael at The Variegated Life asks what truths she hopes to express even in the most commonplace interactions with her son.
  • Parenting Philosophy? Eh... — Ana at Pandamoly shares the philosophy (or lack thereof) being employed to (hopefully) raise a respectful, loving, and responsible child.
  • Parenting Philosophy: Being Present — Shannon at The Artful Mama discusses the changes her family has made to accommodate their parenting philosophy and to reflect their ideals as working parents.
  • Who They Will Be — Amanda at Let's Take the Metro shares a short list of some qualities she hopes she is instilling in her children at this very moment.
  • Short Term vs. Long Term — Sheryl at Little Snowflakes recounts how long term parenting goals often get lost in the details of everyday life with two kids.
  • Parenting Philosophy: Practicing and Nurturing Peace — Terri at Child of the Nature Isle sets personal goals for developing greater peace.
  • Yama Niyama & the Red Pajama Mama — Part 1: The Yamas — In part 1 of a set of posts by Zoie at TouchstoneZ, Zoie guest posts at Natural Parents Network about how the Yoga Sutras provide a framework for her parenting philosophy.
  • Yama Niyama & the Red Pajama Mama — Part 2: The Niyamas — In part 2 of a set of posts by Zoie at TouchstoneZ, Zoie explores how the Niyamas (one of the eight limbs in traditional Yoga) help her maintain her parenting and life focus.
  • Our Sample Parenting Plan — Chante at My Natural Motherhood Journey shares hopes of who her children will become and parenting strategies she employs to get them there.
  • Philosophical Parenting: Letting Go — Jona at Life, Intertwined ponders the notion that there's no right answer when it comes to parenting.
  • Unphilosophizing? — jessica at instead of institutions wonders about the usefulness of navel gazing.
  • Parenting Sensitively — Amy at Anktangle uses her sensitivity to mother her child in ways that both nurture and affirm.
  • how to nurture your relationships — Mrs Green at Little Green Blog believes that sometimes all kids need is a jolly good listening to …
  • Philosophy Of An Unnatural Parent — Dr. Sarah at Good Enough Mum sees parenting as a process of guiding her children to develop the skills they'll need.
  • Life with a Challenging Kid: Hidden Blessings — Wendy at High Needs Attachment shares the challenges and joys of raising a high needs child.
  • Flying by the Seat of My Pants — Heather at Very Nearly Hippy has realized that she has no idea what she's doing.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

It's my life.

This post has floated around in my head for some months now with zero structure and in need of an impetus to get it going.  That impetus occurred this morning while grocery shopping with Liza.  I must admit I didn't think hearing a Bon Jovi song would give me the reason to sit down and write these thoughts out....but after all, "it's my life".

Yes.  It's my life as a stay at home mama to two toddlers.   It's not my job.  A job is somewhere you go, come home from and get paid to do.  A job you leave at the office or in my case, I was always quick to leave my job in the classroom at 3:30  Jobs have a start and end point.

Life marches on whether you like it or not.  There are no sick days.  There is nobody to take over if I don't feel like working.  There are no 'mental health days' and no boss to monitor the quality of my work for yearly evaluations.

I'm on duty 24 hours a day.  I cook and I clean but it is so much more than just cooking and cleaning.  I work hard to prepare nutritious food for my children to nourish their little bodies and to teach them that whole foods are a wonderful thing.  I clean because my children deserve a neat and organized space to live and play.  I take my children to the library, the park, friends' houses, on long walks, and shopping because kids need constant exposure to new things and it is important for them to learn how to interact with other adults and children.  Nighttime requires just as much parenting, patience and love as the daytime.  I nurture my relationship with my husband because we are raising our children as a team and we must stay close in order to provide a stable homelife.

I live for my kids.  They are my life.

But, this is my life too.  I enjoy cooking and find pleasure in developing a weekly meal plan and taking my crazy children to the grocery store.  I am not a neat and tidy person by nature but life is so much better when things are where they are supposed to be and I'm not embarrassed when people randomly drop by our house.  When we are at the park or the library, my children are my only focus and I have so much fun seeing them experience the world.  But, mainly, I go crazy when we are home for too long and I need adult interaction with my friends and I need to use my energy as much as my children need to.  I like my sleep just as much as the next person and cosleeping is the way I get the max hours of rest and really, who can sleep if your baby is crying anyway?  And, I like Taylor.  I like being with him and I like chatting him up in the evenings irregardless of the fact we are raising our babies together.

This blog started as a baby book of Henry's little life but since Liza's birth is has become my platform to write about things I am passionate about.  My brain needs much more than cooking, cleaning and choochooing.  OMML is thethe springboard to keep my brain busy even when  I'm up to elbows in poop.

So there.  Being a full-time mama is not my job.  It is my life.  And I am just as important as my children.

Friday, July 8, 2011

new series: birth fear

I posted this question on the Mississippi Friends of Midwives Facebook wall:
Did you worry about the "what ifs" of homebirth? 
If so, how did you work through it?

The responses were typical of birth junkies and homebirth advocates.  Lots of "I trust my body" and "I trust my midwife" and "we had an emergency back-up plan".  

All very good and honest answers.  And, yes, my own response was very typical of my birth junkiness....."I didn't worry about the "what ifs" either.  I had faith in my body and I had faith in my midwife to identify and deal with problems before they became emergencies."

True.  Very true.

But, not very helpful if you are worried, or even worse, fearful. 

Of birth.  Of giving birth at home.  Of the unknown.  

So how does a woman get to that point?

The point where labor is a welcomed event.
The point where each contraction is exciting because it brings your baby down and out.
The point where you let go of preconceived concepts of birth.
The point where you accept that your body was designed to give birth.
The point where you don't worry about an emergency at every turn.

Whether you are considering conceiving, trying to conceive, pregnant and planning a hospital birth or a homebirth.......worry and fear needn't be a part of the equation.

I quickly realized I have entirely too much to say on the topic of confronting fear about normal birth for a single blog me a new blog series.

Planned topics:

1.  Learning about normal birth.
2.  Immersion in natural childbirth.
3.  Deciding on homebirth.

*If you are interested in writing a guest post about VBAC, HBAC, another topic about overcoming birth fear or to simply share your story about how you overcame your fears, shoot me an email and we can chat -----> lmd328 (at) gmail (dot) com.  

Thursday, July 7, 2011

20 at 11.

Liza is 11 months old today.  

And, now I will proceed to brag, um, document, all about my precious little baby girl:

1.  She began walking at 10 months and now full-force walks and is getting very fast.  I anticipate running by her birthday.

2. She signs "dog" properly and has her own signing version of "more",  "all done", "water" and "cat".  She also waves bye-bye.

3. At 7 months, she said "ca(t)" all day long but her obsession has switched to all things dogs.  She now says "do(g)" and I'm pretty sure she says "a(ll) go(ne)" but I need somebody else to make that one official.  She also says "Dada" and "Mama" but not super consistently and sadly, the mama is only when she is crying and devastated.

4.  Which brings me to the fact that the baby cries  Her little world falls apart on a regular basis.  Head in her hands, drop to the ground, sobbing hysterically.  It's pretty dramatic and she is not easily convinced that everything is a-ok.  

5. She is a climber.  She hikes up that little right leg a million times a day and is beyond excited when it actually catches on something for her to climb on to.

6.  She jumps on command.  

7. She is a peek-a-boo pro and has taken the game to a new level never before seen in this house.  

8.  Henry brings her the most joy in her life but also causes the most pain.  It's heartbreaking.

9. Liza gets off the couch all by her big girl self.

10.  She has a 6th sense that alerts her when I am in bed and comfortably reading a back issue of National Geographic.  Be it 11 or 8, she knows and she takes her cue to wake up and need her mama.

11.  She nurses every 2 hours during the day.

12.  Two words.  Crap napper.

13.  She nurses quite a bit during the night but seems to be sleeping longer stretches on her own.

14.  We still get comments about how beautiful she is every time we are in public.  I've gotten better about gracious thank-yous rather than vigorously nodding my head in agreement and saying, "I know!  Isn't she beautiful?".

15.  She "plays" at the park now.  The stairs are her best friend and she is so bold as to walk up holding onto the low rail them rather than climbing like a baby.

16.  At home, her favorite things are: the fridge, the dishwasher, the trash can and the recycling bin.   Obviously, it's pretty hard to be productive in the kitchen with her underfoot.

17. She is starting to really like books.  She likes getting the board books out of the bins, turn the pages and point to the pictures.  I think she is a genius.

18. She is highly opinionated and it is a sad sad scene if you want her to do something she doesn't want to do.

19. Walks are still mostly with her in the baby carrier.  She tolerates the stroller for a while but once she is done, she is done.  I tell myself this is a good thing because it gets my heart rate up while walking fast but secretly, I would much prefer her little butt to be happy in the stroller.

20. I love the way her dresses can double as shirts as she grows.  She wears a range of sizes from 0-3 months to 12-18 months.  Little girl clothes are cute and I really like putting her in cute outfits every day.  It's almost ridiculous.

I am pretty sure she is the sweetest, most loving, most brilliant little baby girl that has ever walked this earth.  Love her.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

4th of July!

We had a lovely time at our town's 4th of July event.

Liza was quite pleased to learn that popcorn can be coated in fake butter and salt.

This girl is a popcorn fiend at home and she was absolutely zombie-like in her goal of eating as much of this salty/buttery popcorn as possible.

Pretty sure Liza will gladly vote this woman in to office.

Henry did his typical 'watch but not jump' with the bounce houses.
He also enjoyed standing in line and chickening out when it got to be his turn but Taylor nipped that in the bud after several rotations through the line.  

He also realized Taylor had not very well hidden Tic-Tacs in his pocket.
For whatever reason, Taylor made him close his eyes to get one.

Liza is to buttery popcorn as Henry is to Tic-Tacs.

We left the bounce house area, smoothed out our quilt and sat down to eat some fruit.

Real food.  Thank goodness.

Right around this time we found our friends....
and Henry found Tripp's "choochoo" umbrella.

Tripp had his umbrella with him for a very good reason.  We had rain showers earlier that afternoon and the sky looked quite gloomy.  My heart started frantically beating at the first 'boom' of thunder in the background and I grabbed our things and ran to the car at the 3rd raindrop on my arm.  

Have I mentioned I am absolutely terrified of lightening?

I am.  

Needless to say, we didn't stick around for the fireworks.

To be continued.....

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Duck in a Bucket My Way.

The Pioneer Woman calls them 'Egg in a hole'.

We used to call them 'Bird in a Basket'.

Since Henry fell in love with Mervin the duck, we now call them 'Duck in a Bucket'.

Whatever you call them, 
it doesn't get much better than having your egg fried in to your toast 
rather than just sitting on top of your toast.

Oh wait, you're not like me?

You don't eat 3 fried eggs on toast every morning for breakfast?

You're family doesn't consume 2.5 dozen eggs a week?  

You don't daydream about finally getting that chicken coop and pet chickens

No matter.  

You can still enjoy your 'Duck in a Bucket' even if  you aren't an egg fiend like us.

Duck in a Bucket My Way

Earth Balance buttery spread or butter

1. Heat a cast iron griddle or heavy bottomed skillet over medium high heat until a tablespoon of butter melts.
2. While the griddle heats, use a circle cookie cutter or small glass to punch out the inside of each slice of bread.
3. Place bread on the griddle.
4. Crack an egg into each circle. 
5. When the underside of the egg is cooked and the bread is toasted. pick up on spatula and add a dab of butter to the hot griddle.
6. Flip over onto the melted dab of butter and cook until bread is toasty.
7. Eat immediately.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

If it ain't broke...

Welcome to the First Annual Freedom of Cloth Carnival

This post was written for inclusion in the Freedom of Cloth Carnival hosted at Natural Parents Network by Melissa of The New Mommy Files and Shannon of The Artful Mama. This year’s carnival will run from Sunday, July 3rd through Saturday, July 9th. Participants are sharing everything they know and love about cloth diapering, including how cloth has inspired them.


I have a confession:

Soap nuts are a big fat fail with my cloth diapers.

I know.  I know.  I gushed and I gushed.

But, they are a fail.  A

Are you disappointed?

Did you buy into my hype?  If so, I do still love soap nuts for our regular laundry.  Our clothes are soft and our whites are white.  But, after about 6 months of washes with soap nuts, my pockets diapers are not functioning properly and were recently subjected to a looong day of stripping with blue Dawn dish soap and lots of hot water rinses to stop the repelling and leaking through the PUL.

So, we are back on the homemade laundry detergent.  And, I have to admit, I am really loving it.  Loving it so much that I'm not really sure why I ever switched the diapers over to soap nuts.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.



My homemade "diaper friendly" laundry detergent:
Equal parts -- 
Washing powder
OxyClean (I buy off-brand)

1.  Mix all ingredients.
2.  Use 1 OxyClean scoop of mix per cloth diaper wash.

Seriously.  This stuff couldn't be easier.  Or cheaper.  Or more convenient to dump into a big mason jar and proudly proclaim to have made your own laundry detergent!


freedom of cloth carnivalVisit Natural Parents Network for the most up-to-date news on the Freedom of Cloth Carnival!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants on the following themes. Articles will go live on the scheduled theme day:
  • Sunday, July 3rd, 2011: Cloth Related Recipes — Writers share their best cloth-related recipes and tutorials.
  • Monday, July 4th, 2011: Choosing Your Cloth Style — Today’s posts discuss parents' individual journeys to finding the cloth diapering "style" that best suits their families.
  • Tuesday, July 5th, 2011: Cloth Diapering Must Haves — Parents talk about the most important items in their diapering “stash” and why they love them.
  • Wednesday, July 6th, 2011: Wordless Wednesday, Inspired by Cloth — We asked parents to share their favorite cloth-related photo with us and turned them into a fluffy Wordless Wednesday photo montage on Natural Parents Network. Link up your own Wordless Wednesday post there!
  • Thursday, July 7th, 2011: Cloth Through the Stages: From Infancy to Potty Independence — Today’s participants explain how cloth diapering has served their families throughout one or more stages of their children’s lives.
  • Friday, July 8th, 2011: Cloth Troubleshooting and Laundry Day — Seasoned cloth diapering parents share their best tips and tricks for handling common cloth problems and tackling the diaper laundry.
  • Saturday, July 9th, 2011: Inspired by Cloth — For today’s theme, we’ve asked writers to explore the ways cloth diapering has inspired them to become "greener" overall.

Saturday, July 2, 2011


Just sharing a few of my favorite links of the week:

Mama Birth's birth story of her 4th baby, a surprise unassisted birth!  I love the way she turns the story to the topic of midwifery at the end of the story. 

Mama Birth and her thoughts on eating her dehydrated placenta after the birth of baby #4.

Can you tell I love Mama Birth?  She is so very very real and funny.  I want to be her friend.

A HBA4C story from the ICAN blog.  HBA4C is code for homebirth after 4 (!) cesarean sections.  You can do it!

A Guggie Daily post about the "right" time to turn your child forward facing in the car.  I've been thinking about turning Henry forward when he turns 3 but this post was just the reminder I needed that no matter the age, rearfacing is always safest.

I feel like a free woman since I randomly made an appointment to chop off this mane I've been growing for two years to donate to Locks of Love.  I feel like myself again with my new short do!

Very excited about receiving my copy of " A Gift from Baby" from The Natural Child Project to review on OMML.  A book about babywearing, cosleeping and breastfeeding?  Sounds like just the right book for our collection!

And, last but not least, I can't stay away from Lynsey Stone's DWF Photography website.  Her birth photography is absolutely amazing and I love the way she links the mamas' birth stories to the photos.

What have you been reading this week?  Share your links!