Friday, September 30, 2011

Doing better for myself.

I fell into the trap.

The Motherhood Trap.

Everybody and everything became more important than me:
- saving the fruit for the kids because they need it more than me.
- scrimping on the grocery bill by eliminating things I like to eat for lunch.
- frantically hopping in and out of the shower as Liza screamed at my feet.
- falling into the interwebz once the kids were asleep just to zone out and sit on my butt.
- keeping the kids' rooms so neat and clean but my clothes and belongings are a mess.
- I literally stopped reading books because I didn't like how I can do nothing else until I have ravenously finished the book in as little time as possible.

Basically, I stopped doing things that are good for me because it just seemed like one more thing on my to-do list.

Sad, right?

I'm trying to do better.

My first big step is to focus on the food I eat.  Food is my fuel and I expend a lot of energy.  So, I need to eat plenty of healthy foods to fuel my body.  It seems so logical, especially considering the fact I feed my children fresh and whole foods so their bodies and minds can run in their optimal state.  

My body deserves that respect too and since I began paying attention to making sure I eat well-balanced meals with plenty of protein and dark leafy greens for my iron levels....I feel so much better and I have much more energy.  Duh.  

Now, my goals are:
1. Continue my new habit of showering at night.
2. Reading books again.....and changing my habit of obsessing until the book is complete.
3. Find better things to do with my time after the kids asleep at night.
4. Keep my room neat and tidy and actually put away my clothes so they aren't a big wrinkly mess which relegates me back to the t-shirts and jeans because I'm too lazy to iron.

I thoroughly enjoyed my delicious green smoothie made of lots of spinach, a banana, frozen mangos and peaches and local honey.  

Maybe that pile of my clothes in the background will get folded soon.

I suppose that could become my new nighttime activity.

Or not....

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

All day long, I say...

I blatantly stole this post idea from Amanda at Gratefully Growing in Grace.  I loved it!

All day long, I say........

I love you.
Sit down, Sis!  As she teeters on her tippy toes in her high chair.
Thank you.
Be gentle, Henry.
Little sisters need lots of space.
Don't kick the cat!
Let's go change this diaper.
Good job!
Want a snack?
Ooooh, I like that!
Henry, where is my phone?  He knows 9/10 times.....I know 2/10 times.
Do you need to tee tee?
Hmm, I don't know what Tripper is doing right now.
Want to go on a walk?
Let's go get a new book at the Palmer Home!  We love our charity thrift store.  Daily.
Would you like to rest on the couch?  The answer is always an emphatic 'no'.
I like that, Henry!
When did you get so big?
Please just be quiet for a minute for your mama to rest.
Sure, let's read a book.
Eh, go choose a better book for me to read.
Let's go check to see if the chickens have laid us an egg!
We do not slam the door in our sister's face!
Let's clean this mess up first.
What do you think your daddy would say?
I love you.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Yeasty Diaper Rash Solved

Liza has battled a yeasty diaper rash since she was just a little baby.  I remember very red diaper area creases her first few months and then just a general redness.  That mixed with her dairy-induced eczema on her butt and upper thighs makes for a sad picture of a cute little baby butt.

About a month ago, she developed a raging diaper rash.  I took her out of cloth and slathered her with diaper creams and she wore disposable diapers for a few days.  Eventually, I took her to see our Nurse Practitioner who quickly proclaimed the rash as yeast.  The rash quickly disappeared with prescription strength antifungal......and then, reappeared the next week.  I used the cream for a few days and the rash quickly went away.....and then, reappeared just a few days later.

At that point, I knew we had a problem.  The prescription cream was simply treating the symptom, not addressing the problem.  And, the frequent use of the prescription cream seemed to make her skin break down easily because by the 2nd round of use, she had several little sores develop that stayed even after the rash was gone.

Actually, I probably should have realized we had a problem before that point but I'm doing the best I can do.  I'm just glad I identified the problem when I did.

I knew Candida was the problem but I simply didn't know where to start or what to do.   I knew her diapers needed something and I knew she needed something and I knew I was thankful for the yeast not transferring to her mouth and my breasts in the form of Thrush but I was getting no where on my own.

Thank goodness for good friends!

My friend, Mandi, swooped in and gave me very helpful advice, which I used to google more helpful advice and then I developed a plan:

1.  I washed her cloth diaper with a healthy shake of Tea Tree Oil, known for its antifungal properties.  Then because yeast hates sun, I left them on the clothesline for the duration of a very sunny and hot day.

2.  I started both kids on probiotics.  Even with the yeast, Liza's gut must have been nicely balanced because she had no issues at all starting the probiotics whereas it gave Henry's little tummy a run for it's money for the first few weeks.

3.  For 3 days, Liza was completely off fruits and carbohydrates to decrease the sugar in her body that the yeast thrive on.  Um, yeah.  I quickly realized all this baby eats is fruit and carbs.  Lets just say she ate lots of green peas and nursed nonstop during those few days.

4.  I ditched the prescription strength anti-fungal and popped several liquid capsules of Oil of Oregano, and mixed it with coconut oil to create a natural and effective antifungal diaper cream.

5.  Remember the sores I mentioned?  Those little spots now get a healthy smearing of Lansinoh Lanolin before I apply the Oil of Oregano coconut oil to her entire bottom.  Thanks, Karen, for that suggestion!  And, everything I use is cloth diaper safe which makes it even better!

So, yeah.

Her cute little tush is completely free of red creases and red streaks.  It's nice thing to see and even nicer knowing that I took an all-natural approach to healing her

And, I have to say that learning about these natural approaches is addictive.....and I've been in need of a new hobby.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Harmonica Girl

Liza is practicing hard for her big gig.

She studiously practices her harmonica day and night.

Well, maybe it's not always so studious.
Sometimes a girl just has to rock it out.

Practicing is important but learning about the harmonica's structure and design is important too.

Rock on, baby girl!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Power Cookies My Way

They might resemble a cow patty but they are:
yummy, nutritious, flexible, quick and easy,
 i.e., my favorite way to cook.

This is one of the recipes where I can't even pretend to know the measurement for each ingredient.  
 I just eyeball it and make sure there is enough honey to satisfy my sweet-toothed boy.

Power Cookies My Way

Natural peanut butter
Wheat germ
Ground flax seed
Rolled Oats
Coconut Manna

1. Mix ingredients together, using peanut butter as the base, until your cookies firm enough to shape and eat.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

At the park.

I finally charged up my camera battery after contemplating the event for almost an entire week.

We headed to the park and I was bound and determined to get a picture of my children:
 standing in the same frame
looking in the same direction.

I called this picture a winner.

Since that unenviable task was complete, I headed over to Little Miss Camera Ham.

She smiled and posed.
Cute, right?

Even cuter when she kissed that cute baby in the mirror.
And, kiss she did.

Henry, not much a poser.
Or a smiler.

But, unbeknownst to him, I snapped this sweet picture of him watching the big kids play.

Then it was time to hunt for dinosaurs.

Can you tell he is walking very slowly and very quietly as not to disturb any prehistoric creatures?

Liza was good with this plan because she found some mud to play in and her dress turned out to be quite camouflaging amongst the decomposing leaves and pine needles.  

No dinosaur is going to get this girl wearing her earth tone autumn dress.

Still hunting and getting a little perturbed at the lack of dinosaurs in our local park.

A dinosaur egg.
This was a good find because Henry didn't really want to find a big dinosaur anyway.

Nice dinosaur stick!

Oooh, a "real" dinosaur egg! 
Not a "pretend" one like that that previous find.

Me:  Anything in the egg, Henry?
Henry:  Jus dis money.


After that we chased this abnormally slow moving and tolerant of young children butterfly for at least 10 minutes. 

Then, it was time to go home.
Sad, right?

But, the best part of it all is that we go to the park daily so we can recreate out big adventure any old time.

Well....except for the cash and the slow moving butterfly.

That was pretty special!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Soap as Toothpaste and a Giveaway!

Apple cider vinegar and baking soda as shampoo...
Coconut oil as moisturizer...
Olive oil, just a dab, in my hair in lieu of hair gel...
Homemade deodorant of coconut oil, baking soda and corn starch...

The only thing lacking in my natural personal hygiene department has been toothpaste. 

I gave up Crest and Colgate years ago and these days, commerical brand toothpastes seem so fake-tasting and leave a funny film in my mouth.  At Mr. Messy's urging, I began buying Tom's  of Maine toothpaste.  Whenever I run across a sale on Tom's I stock up and we are good for the next few months.  But, this last time the toothpaste was all used up, no sale in sight and our bee-roke bank account on my mind.

So, I googled and experimented.  For a few weeks, we used a coconut oil, baking soda and a few drops of peppermint essential oil mix.  I was okay with the baking soda flavor but the texture was all wrong.  A friend suggested adding some olive oil to smooth it out and that helped but by that point, I was really missing the lather and bubbles of real toothpaste.

I remembered reading about using Dr. Bronner's liquid peppermint soap as toothpaste and a friend validated that it does not taste soap and that it lathers up nicely.  So, we gave it a try.

Ding!  Ding!  Ding!

We have a toothpaste winner and trust me, I'm entirely too excited about it all.

The Dr. Bronner's fulfills all of my toothpaste requirements: 
 cheap, natural, lathering and not bad tasting.

Henry is really into brushing his teeth lately AKA as eating the toothpaste off his toothbrush. so I give him a little dollop of his kid's Tom's of Maine toothpaste and then add a few drops of Dr. B's on his toothbrush to beef up his pitiful attempt at brushing his own teeth.  

So, yeah.  We are all loving the Dr. Bronner's peppermint soap as toothpaste.

So.....I want to give away a 4 ounce bottle of Dr. B's peppermint soap to use as you wish!   You can use it as toothpaste, mix it 50/50 with water in a pump bottle for hand soap, add it to your vinegar cleaning spray, whatever floats your boat.

And, isn't it convenient that I have my "Loving My Readers Giveaway" just dangling in the air that I never wrapped up.  Nice, right?  Gotta love my procrastinating ways. 

How to win:
1.  Make sure you follow OMML.
2.  Comment on this post.
3.  Earn an extra entry if you were one of my fabulous readers that posted on original "Loving My Readers Giveaway"  post.  

 I love my readers more than I love my, ummm, toothpaste.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Midwifery: To regulate or not?

Midwives and consumers of midwifery services divide into two camps:

Those who believe midwives should practice without government interference and those who support governmental regulation of midwifery.

If you speak to a supporter of midwife autonomy, you will likely hear about the age-old tradition of midwives practicing independent of regulation.  These supporters also worry about regulations keeping midwives from attending VBACs, twin and triplet births, breech births and pregnancies that exceed 42 weeks.  Worries include requiring a back-up ob, midwives having to purchase malpractice insurance and phasing out direct-entry midwives, among other concerns.

I get these issues.  Really, I do.  As long as informed consent is practiced every step of the way, I believe a woman and her midwife should be the only ones to decide if she risks out of a homebirth.  I also appreciate that midwives have traditionally practiced free of regulation and that concerns of regulation will limit, rather than expand, a midwife's ability to work with women and babies and I chose a direct-entry midwife to attend Liza's birth.  So yeah.  I understand the worries.

But, I am a firm supporter of governmental regulation of midwifery:

1.  My home state of Mississippi has no law on the books about midwifery.  Yet, every surrounding state has midwifery laws.  Therefore, Mississippi has become a safe-haven for midwives with bad outcomes in other states.  This is not obviously not safe for mamas or babies.

2.  In Mississippi, anybody can advertise midwifery services, regardless of experience or training.  Attend some births......catch some babies.....does not a midwife make.

3.  As the poorest state with the worst neonatal outcomes and the lowest rates of prenatal care and breastfeeding, giving women more access to midwifery care makes a lot of sense in regards to mother friendly/baby friendly care and in regards to a financially viable way to improve healthcare to women in rural areas of the state with little to no access to ob/gyns.

4.  States with birth laws in favor of midwives and homebirths have large numbers of midwives.  Finding an experienced midwife with positive outcomes is a good thing but having the ability to interview multiple midwives to find an experienced midwife with positive outcomes who also meshes with your family dynamics is a great thing.

5.  Currently in Mississippi, face-to-face interviews and word-of-mouth is the only way to validate a midwife's birth outcome history.  The ability to log-in to a database to check for filed grievances against a midwife helps keep women and babies safe.

So, yeah.  I am firmly planted in the pro-regulation camp.  And, that's why I am dedicating my time and service as a board member of Mississippi Friends of Midwives.

Interested in learning more or making a donation to an important cause?
Check out for more details!

Are you a supporter of government regulated midwifery?
What are the birth laws like in your state?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

This boy:

This boy:

is 37 months old.
loves fruit and carbohydrates the best.  Berries, the favorite.  Melons, the least.
really likes moths.
pretends!  Yesterday he was a butterfly, moth, lion and a possum.
sleeps with his daddy at night but does just fine when Mr. Messy is out of town.
started Speech Therapy again this week.  His speech is so much better but still needs a little help.
thinks Tripp and his cousin, Jobe, are the coolest kids he has ever met in his life.
sits rearfacing in the car even when sits between the two carseats.  It's pretty cute to see.
plays better with a stick and a pile of dirt than with real toys.
still loves his trains but they are rarely played with because they have to stay safe in his room.
is really into dinosaurs lately.
observes and hears everything around him.
thinks you are supposed to say "damn" when something drops or breaks.
proudly announced he is "tree" and "Lulu is one." when asked his age.
finally proved he can count to ten when he counted 10 freshly baked cookies.  He just needed a little motivation to perform.
does quite well without a nap these days.
loves books more than anything else in the world.  He can sit and listen as long as you can sit and read.
is so so so so sweet.
is so so so so cute.
is so so so very much loved!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

This girl

This girl.......

is 13 months old
loves fruit and carbohydrates
signs: water, thank you, cat, dog, airplane, more, wash, swing, eat, hat, horse, fish
plays on the equipment at the park all by herself....and has only fallen down the steps once
thinks her brother is the best thing ever
has recently gotten very grabby and demanding about nursing when and where she wants to
loves pulling a cushion off the couch so she can have a seat that is easy to get in and out of
enjoys playing in the dirt as much as big brother
has had a yeasty diaper rash for forever and I just identified thrush on her tongue -- more on that later
rides in the stroller only for her daddy
enjoys reading books as much as everybody else in her little family
loves loves loves cats and dogs
has 2 molars, with #3 and 4 cutting as we speak
gives open mouth kisses with her tongue out
pinches and scratches my collarbone while she nurses to sleep - ow!
is so very very cute
is so very very sweet
is so very very much loved!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

No Nanny Needed.

Welcome to the September Carnival of Natural Parenting: Parenting Through Play
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared how challenging discipline situations can be met with play. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

Parenting through play.....aka.....the best kind of parenting.  Seriously.  I love hanging out with my kids.  My most favorite way to play is by reading books, lots and lots of good children's literature.  But, I also love coloring with sidewalk chalk, dancing around to Bob Marley, putting things in a purse, taking things out of a purse, hanging out with my babies at the park and just hanging out by the window and watching our little town in action. 

I like to play.  My kids like to play.

And, my kids are always their best little people when I'm right there playing with them.  As I model love and respect, Henry is always at his most gentle.  With my undivided attention, Liza's goal of climbing to the highest point is much easier to attain with my hands readily available to keep her safe and stable. 

The kids are happy.  I am happy.

And, happy kids and happy mama means that energy can be devoted to learning about the world around us rather than devoting time to talking about "acting right" and "showing love".  

But, sadly, my time is divided:
Food must be prepared so we don't starve.  Dishes must be washed so the house doesn't fill up with gnats.  Diapers must be changed, obviously.  Clothes must be hung on the line since I am crazy and I think the dryer ruins clothes.  The floor must be swept because it would be disgusting not to sweep 10 times a day.  And, occasionally, I just need to sit on my butt and not do anything productive or I just might go crazy.

So, while parenting through play is my favorite kind of parenting, it's just not always a feasible way to parent.  Life necessitates parenting while I'm standing at the counter chopping a million grapes in half or standing at the sink loading the dishwasher so I can get to the skillet at the veeerrrryy bottom of the sink that I need to cook supper or while wiping up a puddle of unknown origins off the hardwood floor or picking up  315 board books off the ground so Liza can walk without falling down.

So.  I love parenting through play.  But, it isn't always compatible with two busy toddlers in the house.  

But, as soon as that money tree we planted in the back yard starts growing, I am going to hire a chef and at least 2 maids.  

No nanny needed though.  

I'm going to be parenting through play all day long with my babies.

Disclaimer -- I also like it when they play by themselves and let me blog for 5 minutes of silence during the middle of the day.  Maybe all that playing with their mama will wear these kids out and give me a break!


Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: 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:

  • On being a more playful parent — Isil at Smiling like Sunshine shares how the Playful Parenting book impacted her.
  • Parenting a toddler through play — Alicia at I Found My Feet lists some examples of how she uses play to parent through everyday tasks and challenges.
  • Splashing in Puddles — Abbie at Farmer's Daughter shares how she learned to get dirty and have fun with her little boy.
  • Say Please — Cassie at There's a Pickle in My Life explains how they taught their son manners by "play," showing that actions speak louder than words.
  • No Nanny Needed — Laura at Our Messy Messy Life wishes parenting through play was her only responsibility during the day.
  • I'll Run Away With Gypsies — Nikalee at Spotted Pandemonium maneuvers physical and emotional obstacles while spinning playful tales, jumping through hoops, and inspiring the kids to clean the living room.
  • A Promise To My Daughter — Lindsey at An Unschooling Adventure writes a poem for her daughter promising to use play instead of anger when facing difficult situations.
  • Parenting Through Play — Not Always Easy But Always Rewarding — Amy at Peace4Parents discusses how play hasn't always come easily to her, the power of appreciative observation, and how her family learns together through play.
  • Imagination Plays a Role in Our Parenting — Tree at Mom Grooves shares how parents can use play to set the foundation for communication and understanding.
  • A Box of Crayons — Jenn at Monkey Butt Junction talks about how a simple box of crayons has become a wonderful parenting and teaching tool.
  • The Essential Art of Play — Ana at Pandamoly shares some of her favorite lessons available for young ones through play.
  • The Art of Distraction — Amanda at Let's Take the Metro shares a list of distracting alternatives to harsh punishments in tough parenting situations.
  • Grace and Courtesy Games at Home or School — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now has ideas for grace and courtesy games that help you encourage courteous behavior without reprimanding your child.
  • I am woman, hear me roar! — Mrs Green from Little Green Blog shares how one simple sound can diffuse an argument in an instant.
  • Getting Cooperation Through Play — Amyables at Toddler In Tow talks about respecting the worldview of a preschooler by using play to encourage connection and cooperation.
  • Playful Parenting = Extra Energy??Momma Jorje didn't think she had the energy for playful parenting. See what she was surprised to learn…
  • Dance Party Parenting — Laura from A Pug in the Kitchen learned how to be the parent her children need through play.
  • Wrestling Saved My Life — Wrestling is as vital to her son's well-being as babywearing once was, finds Hannah at Wild Parenting.
  • Parenting through play — By playing with her children, Tara from MUMmedia is given amazing opportunites to teach, train and equip her children for life.
  • Parenting Through Play Starts in Infancy — In a guest post at Natural Parents Network, Issa from LoveLiveGrow shares that though she only has a 3-month-old, playful parenting has already started.
  • Play Before Sleep — Adrienne at Mommying My Way writes about how playing and singing with her son before he falls asleep helps calm her frustrations that tend to arise at night.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

10 Ways to Avoid an Induction:

1.  Research and learn for yourself that most inductions are not medically necessary.

2.  Just because  you reach your due date, there is no need for a non-stress test or biophysical profile.  If baby's heart tones and mama's blood pressure is normal, along with the absence of proteins in mama's urine and no other complication presenting itself everything is as it should be.  Your pregnancy does not become high-risk simply because you reached your due date.  There is no need for extra tests unless a problem is indicated.  

3.  Remember labor always starts on it's own if given enough time.  No woman has ever stayed pregnant forever.

4.  Just say no to a third trimester ultrasound!  This rules out the possibility of being told your baby will be too big to birth vaginally if you wait for labor to start on it's own.

5.  If your doctor still insists your baby is too big, remind him that ACOG states that suspected macrosomia is not a reason for labor induction.

6.  Educate yourself about the risks of induction and the cascade of interventions.

7.  Cuss the US government for our horrible maternity leave policies but don't induce so you can have a few extra days with your baby before returning to work.  Every day in the womb is important for your baby's development!

8.  Do not set your heart on your due date.  No doctor, no ultrasound, no test can predict what day your hormones and your baby's hormones will work together to kickstart labor.  

9.  Remind yourself and your doctor, if need be, that ACOG does not consider a baby "late" until after 42 weeks.  Normal gestation is from 38 to 42 weeks.

10.  If your doctor says you need an induction, you can:  
          A.  Ask if your baby is safer outside you rather than inside you.
          B.  Schedule a follow-up non-stress test or biophysical profile for 12 hours later.
          C.  Go home and google!  There are non-invasive solutions for many issues.
          D.  Ask your Bishop's Score.  This equation will tell you your body's 
                "favorability"for induction and how likely your induction is to end in c-section.  

Information is power!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Potato Tortilla My Way

We eat this for supper once a week.  
Healthy, easy and cheap. 
 My food trinity.

Potato Tortilla My Way
*adapted from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian 

3/4 cups of olive oil
6ish new potatoes, sliced
1 onion, sliced
6 eggs
salt and pepper

1.  Preheat oven to 400.
2.  Heat olive oil over medium heat in a oven friendly skillet.  
3.  Cook potatoes and onions until tender, about 15 minutes.  Keep heat low enough so the onions cook but do not brown.
4.  Add plenty of salt and pepper as the potatoes and onions cook.
5.  Drain potatoes and onions, reserving oil for future use.  
6.  Beat eggs in a large bowl.  
7.  Stir in potatoes and onions.
8.  Add egg mixture back to the skillet and cook on the stove over medium heat for 8 minutes, or until the eggs are no longer jiggly on the bottom.
9.  Cook in the oven for 12 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned.

*I keep the drained olive oil in the fridge and use it in my homemade pizza crust.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

non-empowered birth vs. empowered birth

*I use the term "non-empowering" because I was just fine with my son's birth experience.  I was treated with respect at all times but in no way was I empowered before, during or after that birth.

Non-empowering:  I compulsively googled strollers, baby carriers, breast pumps and baby boy bedding sets.  I learned absolutely nothing about normal birth but I could tell you all about the different bedding sets at Target.  At 20 weeks, I did switch ob's to a doctor I loved and respected but I chose him simply for the fact that I thought he was a nice man, not based on his attitude toward birth or his c-section or induction rates.

Empowering:  I decided to have a natural childbirth.  Bam!  Instant empowerment.  I realized I was in charge of my pregnancy and birth and I would be the one calling the shots.  I compulsively googled natural childbirth stories, read everything I could find about normal childbirth, spent weeks perfecting my birth plan and ultimately, made the switch to a homebirth midwife at 35 weeks.

Non-empowering:  I woke up in labor two days past my due date and was completely filled with dread.  I was scared of labor pains and really didn't connect the fact the pain would bring forth my son.  I labored at home and checked into the hospital when I was sure it was "real".  IV narcotic drugs, an epidural and 4 hours of sleep later, I woke up to the sound of my very sweet L&D nurse telling me it was time to push.

Empowering:  I woke up in labor 9 days past my due date and absolutely thrilled about it!  I was ready for the contractions and ready to put into place everything I had read about labor during my pregnancy.  I swayed my hips, walked the house, bounced on my birth ball and called my midwife to let her know the time was here.  The pain was a for a powerful purpose and I knew it......even though I needed a doula to remind me during transition.

Non-empowering:   Flat on my back and with my feet in stirrups, I "purple pushed" as my nurse counted to 10 with my contractions as viewed from the monitor.  I was 100% numb from the waist down and had no concept of my pushing contractions so the counting was very much needed.  I literally felt nothing and had zero control of my body.  But, somehow I pushed out that sweet little baby in just 35 minutes.

Empowering:  I tried several different pushing positions and eventually settled kneeling on the bed with my arms around Mr. Messy's neck.  Feeling every movement of Liza's descent through the birth canal, I watched in a big mirror over my dresser as I slowly and painfully gave birth to our daughter.  Yes.  It hurt.  But, my body was giving my birth exactly as it was designed to do.  Every hormone, every loosened ligament and every uterine contraction was serving it's purpose.  And what a sweet little purpose it was.


 So yeah.  An empowering birth is pretty awesome.  I was immediately and deeply attached to my daughter in a way I just didn't feel about my son after his birth.  I also realized I can do anything.  Anything.  And, I learned an empowered birth is not unattainable, magical, mystical or solely reserved for women in beautifully written birth stories.   It is the hard-earned product of arming yourself with knowledge and choosing to be an informed consumer of maternity care.  If you care enough to google baby bedding, you should care enough to google normal birth to help to ensure your baby will be protected during his or her entrance earthside.

Girl power!


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Empowered Birth Week

In honor of Empowered Birth Awareness Week...

Empowered birth is actively participating during pregnancy, labor and delivery.
Empowered birth is advocating for you and your unborn child.
Empowered birth is knowing your birth options and choosing the best option for you.
Empowered birth is learning about normal birth in preparation for your child's entrance into the world.
Empowered birth is choosing the right care-provider for you.
Empowered birth is yours for the taking at home or at the hospital.
Empowered birth is deciding that birth is important.
Empowered birth is more than just having a healthy baby.
Empowered birth is demanding respect.
Empowered birth is possible after a traumatic or non-empowering birth experience,

Birth matters.
Be empowered.

Coming up this week:  
1. A contrast of my non-empowering birth and my empowering birth.
2. My thoughts on inductions.  And, yes, I have very strong opinions.  Be warned.
3. Why empowered birth is important.

Sunday, September 4, 2011


It is no secret that I am dying to be confronted about nursing my toddler in public.  Organizing a nurse-in and contacting the national media is top of my priority list after making sure everybody knows that state law protects my right to breastfeed my baby anywhere I see appropriate.  So yeah.  I love this:  You just told the wrong mama to go breastfeed in the bathroom.

I have been reading more and more about Waldorf Education as Henry gets older.  As much as I love the child-led education of unschooling, I really really like the Waldorf philosophy of learning through play and helping children develop a lifelong love of learning for learning's sake.  I spent way.too.much.time clicking through Waldorf minded mamas' links about their nature tables at The Magic Onions weekly Friday link-up.

LOVE this accidental unnasisted homebirth story on Mama Birth's blog.  This mama cracks me up and I love the way she so fully trusted her body even after a birth center transfer turned c-section with her first baby.

Did you know ACOG states that babies are over-due *after* 42 weeks?  If baby is healthy and mama is healthy, there is no need to be pushed into an early induction.  Let your baby choose it's own birthday!

I oogled over this picture of a baby being born breech for a solid 10 minutes.

I am very excited about watching the play "Birth" via webcast tomorrow night.  I am a proud supporter of an organization with a mission like this:  BOLD is a community who passionately believe childbirth is normal and that when we trust birth pregnant mothers and their babies are honored. We envision a world where there is no violence or coercion of pregnant mothers; where each mother can have the birth she wants.

Got any links I need to read?

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Positive parenting is hard.

I feel the need to make sure nobody thinks that I think positive parenting is easy or even a truly attainable goal.  

I try.  But, it's really hard.

I try to be proactive rather than reactive.  

But, you know what.  I get really tired of being proactive  It's hard work anticipating a problem before it occurs and then calmly defusing it with grace.

I constantly remind that it is hard work being 3-years-old.  And, trust me.  Henry works very heard at being 3.

Speaking of 3-year-olds, I was painting a picture of Henry today.  Which is a total joke if you know anything about my artistic ability.  So.  I thought I would make it a learning experience by having him tell me which body parts to paint.  He said he only needed a penis and a hiney.  Seriously.

Back to my topic.

Positive parenting.

It's hard. 

And, it takes practice.  It does not come naturally to me.  It's not that I want to make threats so my child will act right.  It's just that I think he should listen to me and do what I say.  But, alas, he is 3 (hence his body part preference) and he is exerting his own will and he will be damned if he does what I tell him to do all day long.

So.  At the end of the day, I remind myself.  I tell myself that the big goal is to teach our children to do right because they want to do the right thing.  Not because they are worried about punishment.  Not because Mama told them to do right.

I want them to internalize respect for themselves and empathy for others.

But, it's hard for me.  And, it's hard for my 3-year-old.

And, understanding empathy is probably even more difficult for that little 3-year-old after watching a 10 minute blooper video of people getting hurt doing ridiculous things and hearing his parents cackling in laughter every time somebody got hurt.

What can I say?

Life is hard. 

Friday, September 2, 2011

Some muddy kids.

Are words even needed?

It seems so obvious to me.

Started out swimming.

And, slip'n'sliding.

Charlie was the first to get bored and shift his attention to the freshly watered garden.

The others quickly followed suit.

Including Little Lulu; she loves mud.


No words needed.

Just some muddy kids.