Monday, November 28, 2011

An Elective Induction Soapbox

During Empowered Birth Week I promised a post on my thoughts on induction.  I followed up with 10 Ways to Avoid an Induction, one of my favorite posts from recent months.  I chose the informational and helpful route regarding inductions, rather than the state my opinions and risk pissing people off route.  And, I chose to assume that if you read my blog, you are not jumping on the "yay, my doctor wants to induce" bandwagon.  I knew this assumption was not correct.  After all, this is the good old USA with our almost 35% cesarean rate and our pathetic standing in maternal and neonatal outcomes.

So, you would think I would be happy with the latest spate of hospitals declaring a ban on elective inductions prior to 39 weeks.  Over the past few weeks, I've read numerous newspaper articles (love that good birth junkie Facebook news feed!) about how early elective inductions are not good for mama or baby.  Besides the fact that I've yet to read an article recognizing the OB/GYN's role in pushing for early inductions, I have a major problem with this new trend.

Why should we applaud these hospitals for, according to the articles I read, telling mothers they need to wait until 39 to have their babies?  Surely I'm not alone in believing an elective induction prior to 39 weeks is ethically wrong of an OB.  Ethically.  Wrong.  Regardless of hospital protocol, no baby should be electively induced prior to 39 weeks.  It's that easy.

And, truth be told, I think elective inductions should be banned entirely.  Yes.  Elective inductions should be banned.  Who are you to force a baby to be born earlier than he or she is ready?  Because you are tired of being pregnant.  Wah.  Because you only get 6 weeks of maternity leave.  Wah.  Because you want to beat the end of the year for the tax deduction.  Wah.  

Because your doctor suggested it?  What is his motivation?  Why does he want your baby to come earlier than he or she is ready?  Seriously.  I want to know why all these doctors are so eager to electively induce these babies.

So yeah.  I am totally unimpressed with the new trend of banning early elective inductions.  Yes, I get it is a step in the right direction to improve birth outcomes but I think our unborn babies need better advocates than simply telling mamas and their doctors to just wait it out until 39 weeks and then it will be just fine to electively induce.

What is so wrong with putting our babies first?

*No need to tell me how your baby was induced and everything was just fine.  Most babies are induced and most babies are fine.  I get it.  But, you are kidding yourself if you don't believe that every single day in the womb is developmentally important.*

Read more:
Henci Goer's article on elective induction.  Unlike me, she is impeccably footnoted and indexed.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Fat fails and Thankfulness.

It appears I am a massive failure at NaBloPoMo.  It's been almost a whole week since I've posted, which is a long time even if I hadn't promised myself daily posts.  And, like any blogger knows, once you go a few days without writing, the habit is quickly lost.  I suppose I could always fall back on my AP series but to know me is to know that I can't stand a regiment, even a self-imposed regiment.  Knowing this about myself, I'm not sure why I continue starting these series to torment myself.

So, since this is the season of thanks and I am apparently the only person in America who has not publicly proclaimed my thankfulness, here goes...

I am thankful for:

Our cat.
Thrift stores.
Healthy children.
Birth videos on youtube.
My morning cowgirl coffee.
My blog readers.  My bleaders.
All of my peeps on the intrawebz.
My iPhone.  I am finally that fancy.
The lack of snow and ice in the Deep South.
A new baby nephew and a sister that loves me.
My house smack dab in the middle of a little town I love.
Friends.  Near and far.  Like-minded and polar opposites.
Parents that raised me to grow into a confident and able adult.
My grocery store is finally consistently carrying organic apples.
My budding obsession in writing a book someday.  A very good book.
The surprising number of likeminded individuals in my Mississippi town.
A loving and caring husband who is on the same page with all of my (many) causes.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Unschooling, A to H

Thanks to all the lovely comments encouraging me to forget about what people, near and far, think about my (many) opinions, I've decided to tackle a topic that was a long time coming but kept under tight wraps for fear of who really knows what.....

Homeschooling.  Or more precisely, unschooling.

A.  Now that Henry is 3, it seems society expects him to be enrolled in preschool for at least a small portion of the week.  I know this because strangers, acquaintances and former coworkers always seem surprised when he is at the grocery store with me during the week.  Apparently, I am supposed to shop while he is in school.  Or, at least this is what I hear at least once a week.  Seriously.

B.  When I tell these people that Henry doesn't go to preschool, 8 times out of 10, the next question is "oh, do you plan to homeschool?".  I don't really see the connection between keeping him home at 3 when he would be the youngest 3-year-old in the class with his August birthday and homeschooling but nonetheless, the connection is made.

C.  My answer to that question is a smiling and nodding statement about how "you know, he has an August birthday so we aren't planning on sending him to Kindergarten only to turn 5 after school starts".  Smile and nod.  Nod and smile.  It's not that I am ashamed or embarrassed of our homeschool plans but I just don't see the need to defend myself.  Smile and nod.  Nod and smile.

D.  Even though I offer little with my canned 'kindergarten redshirt' speech, it really is the truth.  He would be the youngest in his class, he is a boy, and he is teeny tiny.  But, I leave out the fact that we plan on keeping our babies at home through the early elementary years.  Maybe more.  Who knows.

E.  I have come to terms that it is ridiculous to worry about our children's high school education while they are still toddlers so right now I am focused on early elementary.  And, isn't it convenient that I taught 3rd grade for 5 years.  I feel absolutely prepared to teach my kids.  I won't lie; it's a really good feeling.

F.  In a classroom setting, child-led learning individualized to their unique learning style is the gold standard.  In a classroom setting with 25 needy, um, unique, students it is practically impossible to access each child's best mode of learning and focus on his or her interests.  So, as a teacher, it is pretty awesome to think about focusing my teaching energy on my children that I know better than anyone else in the world.

G.  And, just like when I was in the classroom and pissy about having to follow a "boxed curriculum", I have zero interest in purchasing a homeschool curriculum and having set school hours when the kids are school age.   I envision our life carrying on much like it does now:  playing outside, reading books, running errands, playing with friends, cooking and baking and pushing those damn trains around their tracks.  The world will be our classroom and I will be the facilitator.  It sounds cheesy but it's the bible truth.

H.  So, unschooling with a teacher mama twist it is.  My kids will decide what topics we learn and my teacher brain will make sure literacy and math skills are embedded in those topics of their choosing.  And, yes, playing outside in the dirt is an important topic in our family.

There it is.  Unschooling from A to H.....without a single mention that we live in Mississippi which is #50 in every horrible poll about education and the fact we have no access to Montesorri or Waldorf schools.  That will have to be another post for another day.  Or not.  Maybe that is enough said on that sad sad topic.

Whilst writing this post, I came to realize why so many homebirthing mamas are also homeschooling mamas:

If you want something done right, you do it yourself.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Chili My Way

Plain jane, no-frills chili?
Yes, please.

Chili My Way

1 can tomato sauce
2 cups dried beans, rinsed*
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tbs paprika
1 tbs cumin
1 tbs powdered mustard
salt and pepper to taste

1.  Mix all ingredients and 2 can fulls of water in a crockpot.
2.  Simmer on high for 4-6 hours or low for 10-12 hours until beans are tender and flavors are melded.

* Soaking the beans will cut back on cooking time. 
* I usually use a mix of kidney beans and cranberry beans but any beans are fine.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Summertime Boy

    Now that autumn is in full spring, 

I am left lamenting summer.

   And, this sweet summertime boy.

Friday, November 18, 2011

1 confession and 4 thoughts

1.  I have a confession.  My VBAC post left me a bit gun shy.  It's one thing to get unsavory comments from strangers on the intrawebz but when the nastiest comment in my blog's history is from an in-real-life friend, it leaves me a bit shaky.  I'm left wondering if I am too abrasive with my opinions, via my mouth or my typing fingers.  My inner-monologue tells me that everybody has opinions, I'm just writing about mine thereby putting it all out there for the world, um, my friends, to read.....or not to read if they don't like what I have to write about.  Because, seriously, it's not like I actually spout these opinions to people's faces.  So, yeah.  I'm a bit conflicted.

2.  Which is why I am praising Mama Birth, yet again.  Her post about the 10 worst comments in her blog's history gave me some good perspective and of course, a few giggles, because I love Mama Birth and all of her strong opinions.

3.  We are on the first step to night weaning Liza.  Whenever she wakes up prior to me already being in bed, Mr. Messy soothes her back to sleep so I get to feel officially done after nursing her to sleep for the night.  Oh, wait.  She doesn't nurse to sleep anymore.  She now insists on falling asleep draped across my body without my hands on her.  A difficult feat as we rock in the glider.  It's only a matter of time until she rolls right off my lap and wakes up as she hits the floor.  It's going to be ugly.

4.  Henry is so cute.  As in, I really can't even stand it lately.  Some days, like yesterday, I think the day will never end because he is making me crazy with every action but days like today, I wish he would stay 3 forever.  Love him.

5.  Henry has been saying he wants another sister.....born "in the water" so she won't be dirty.  He is quick to tell me he doesn't like "those dirty babies".  Think we watch enough birth videos on YouTube?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Rebel: T/L/C's Giveaway Winner!

Nicole Hunt, you are the winner of 2 custom Rebel: T/L/C's!!!

Please email Kelli at for the details!

Thanks to everyone who entered the contest!

Support a fellow mama and order some Rebel: T/L/C's for Christmas presents :)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

This is Henry.

You guessed it.
He was pretending the stick was a "shooter".  Lovely.  Even more lovely is the intense look on his face.  It's almost scary.  I would like to pretend he is practicing his Davy Crockett killed him a b'ar when he was only 3 pose in front of this rustic log cabin but I would be lying to myself.  This look surfaces when he carefully aims his shooter, smushes ants with a vengeance or is in a general mood of destruction. 

So, yeah.  I see that look more often than I would prefer. 

Even with the evil look on Henry's face, I absolutely adore this picture......sweet little Cousin Martha in the background.  Both kids looking at the camera and sitting still at the same time.   A snapshot of the crazy week my kids and I stayed with my sister's family to visit after the birth of their new baby boy. 

And, honestly, I love the evil look.  

This is Henry in all his 3 year old glory.  

Monday, November 14, 2011

New Series: AP

During Liza's pregnancy I compulsively read everything I could find online about natural birth and eventually, homebirth.  I would go so far as to say I was addicted to the climactic eventuality of the birth story when the baby was born and the mother gushes about the wonders of natural childbirth.  I read and read and then I would read a little more.

Initially, my only goal was to bring Liza into this world as peacefully as possible, trusting and respecting my body and the physiological process of birth.  But, the more I learned about gentle birth, the more thought I gave to gentle parenting.  Now I see how a gentle and respectful birth is simply a stepping stone to treating my children with respect and dignity no matter their age.  

In this new blog series, we will explore the  8 Principles of Attachment Parenting and how we apply these principles in everday life:

Prepare for Pregnancy, Birth and Parenting
Feed with Love and Respect
Responds with Sensitivity
Use Nurturing Touch
Ensure Safe Sleep, Physically and Emotionally
Provide Consistent and Loving Care
Practice Positive Discipline
Strive for Balance in Personal and Family Life

Are you interested in contributing to this series as a guest post?  Send me an email at lmd328(at)gmail(dot)com and we can discuss the details.  

Do you consider yourself an Attached Parent? 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Cilantro Dip My Way

Favorite dip recipe.  Ever.
I even call it my "famous" cilantro dip recipe.
It's that good.

It finally occurred to me to sub the block of cream cheese with an avocado and I have to say.....
I am way.too.excited.

Cilantro Dip My Way

1 large bunch of cilantro, stems included
1 avocado
8 oz sour cream*
0.5 cup green salsa
1 lime, juiced
cumin, to taste

1. Pulse all ingredients in a food processor until pureed.
2. Serve as a dip with chips or as a topping for Mexican themed dishes.

* I like Tofutti brand non-dairy sour cream.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

NaBloPoMo: Day 10

Don't forget to enter my Rebel: T/L/C's giveaway!
As someone who is notorious for not following through with things, I am pleased with actually, thus far, posting everyday of this month as indicated by the National Blog Posting Month's guidelines.

And, now I share with you what I have learned during the past 10 days:

1.  I have an endless supply of things to blog about.  This is not news to me but it is interesting that I am still hoarding blog post ideas rather than actually writing about them.  I keep thinking I'm going to need to fall back on one of the many posts that have floated in my brain for months but it turns out I have something new to blog about everyday.  Maybe by the end of the month my hoarded posts will be written...or not.  I'm curious to see.

2.  I need a new laptop.

3.  I don't like blogging everyday.  I have yet to actually sit down and write a thoughtful post this month because it takes me a few days of processing to get ready to write, reread and edit and finally post my finished process.  Of course, some posts, ahem...vbac, need a little more thought than I give them but for the most part, a post of length has been pondered upon plenty during the day when I am tired of cleaning up after children and need to internally zone out.

4.  I understand why people take a blogging challenge such as this before writing a book to aid in disciplined scheduled writing.  Blogging during the day is absolutely 100% impossible at this point in my life and I am foolish even to crack my laptop open during waking hours because my children consider that an open invitation for chaos to reign.  If I were to write a book, I would be very busy at night after my children go to bed.  When my brain is fried.  I now know this for certain after the past 10 days.  Not good for my future career as a famous author.

5.  I really like colons.  As in the punctuation mark not the body part.

Anybody else doing NaBloPoMo?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Gladness: Refuge Style

Don't forget to enter my Rebel: T/L/C's giveaway!

This morning I was glad to meet my friend, Mandi, and her boys at our local wildlife refuge.

Truth be told, I wasn't very glad about Liza's 15 minute car nap at 10am that I knew would ruin her real nap but I sure was glad she didn't scream the whole time in the car.

The big boys were glad to be together and free to explore.  They were excited about the trail and took off running.........

Still running........

Yep, they beat us there by a mile.

I was glad that didn't do something crazy and foolhardy before we could make it to the outlook.

I wasn't so glad about all the contention that straw sippy cup caused between my children but I am glad they didn't complain about being thirsty since I accidentally left their cups in the car.

Tripp was glad just to eat his pomegranite,
until Henry kicked him in the head.


Charlie was glad at the opportunity to attempt to scale the safety barrier.

Henry was glad to...well, I'll just say he was glad to be three.
And, everything that being three entails.

Liza was glad to have new things to claim as "mine".
Poor girl probably would have been a bit gladder had her hair not been in her face all morning.

I was glad to enjoy a beautiful 80 degree November day with good friends surrounded by lovely scenery.

Oh yeah.
I was also glad nobody was injured by two little boys wielding sticks.
An impressive feat if you know these two busy little boys.

I was....and still am....glad.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Rebel: T/L/C's Giveaway!

Raise your hand if you can sympathize with any of the following scenarios:

1.  You lose the lids to your Pyrex containers because you are crazy and pack your children's snacks for the park in Pyrex.  And, of course, lids at the park magically become frisbees and shovels and end up buried in the dirt.  Or at least that is what your three-year-old says when you inquire about the missing lids the next day.

2.  You are out of tin foil to cover lidless dishes (see above) because your three-year-old hijacked the 75 foot roll of tin foil to make "choo choo tracks" throughout the house.  You were okay with this wasteful plan because he was quiet for 15 minutes.

3.  Plastic wrap bunches up and never smooths out across the bowl.  That irritates you.  A lot.  

Did you raise your hand?
 I knew I wasn't the only crazy mama out there.

Let me introduce you to Rebel: T/L/C's.

Rebel: T/L/C's (tops/lids/covers) are a new way to think about covering your dishes.  Made with lots of love by a work-at-home-mama, these covers are fun and functional covering containers as small as yogurts and as big as large serving bowls.

My favorite part of my T/L/C's is the versatility that doesn't leave me searching for the exact right lid that covers only one container.  Especially in cases like my homemade laundry detergent that I store in a quart Mason jar that lost it's lid way before it became home to my detergent.  

I think it's pretty awesome that a funky shaped bowl like this can be covered to keep my baba ghanoush fresh in the fridge without being dependent on a throwaway material.

And, because I know I'm not the only mama who questions the safety of our daily use products:

TLCs are lined with a food-safe polyurethane-coated ripstop nylon which is water-resistant, mildew-resistant, abrasion-resistant, rot-resistant, and is free of heavy metals, phthalates, PBBs, and PBDEs. The coated side of the nylon faces away from food.

How to win your own set of (2) Rebel T/L/C's:

"Like" OMML on Facebook
"Like" Rebel: T/L/C's on Facebook
Follow OMML via Google Friend Connect (left bar on blog
Leave a comment telling me why you need your very own set of T/L/C's!

Leave a new comment on this post for each entry, including your email on at least one comment.

Winner will be announced next Monday, November 14!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Vaxes and The Greater Good

Vaccines are one of the very few topics I have refused to even consider writing about on Our Messy Messy Life.

Regarding childhood vaccinations, all I know for certain is that I don't know enough to accurately and eloquently state my opinions.

That said, I was very excited to watch The Greater Good, a documentary about the history, government oversight and the research side today's common vaccines.  The website currently says it is available for free through November 5 but it is still playing today on November 6 so I suggest you go ahead and find time within the next few days to watch this 1.5 hour long documentary.

Are you going to watch this movie?
Have you already seen it?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Can she be any cuter?


Can she be any cuter?

She is super cute proudly sporting her maroon and white....

and pigtails!!!!

Does it get any cuter?

Well...her budding love of all things books is pretty cute too.

Feigning sleep in a little bitty chair is pretty cute, too.

Although, it might be possible to be *even* cuter if she actually chose to really and truly sleep at night or during her sad excuse of a nap during the day.

The jury is in:

She can not be any cuter.

I do believe we have reached the outer boundaries of cuteness.


Friday, November 4, 2011

Bulk Coconut Oil By the Numbers.

2........equally thrifty friends.
1........of which being me and the other being Kaitlin who has a fabulous blog of her own.
1........big idea to buy 5 gallons of coconut oil from Tropical Traditions to share.
640....ounces are in 5 gallons.  I am not a number person so this came as a surprise to me.
135....dollars for our 5 gallons of coconut oil.
21......cents per ounce for high quality coconut oil.  This is *BIG* because I usually spend.....
1........dollar per ounce for coconut oil at my local grocery store.  Ridiculous.
7........days of waiting for a coupon code for free shipping to appear on Tropical Traditions Faceboook page.
44......dollars of shipping saved!!!!

1........picture of my current stash of 106 ounces of coconut oil that Blogger refuses to load.  Check back later to see my artfully composed picture of mason jars and old spaghetti jars sitting on my kitchen counter.  Normally, I would hold out until tomorrow when the picture will (hopefully) load but I gotta post today's post for NaBloPoMo and it's already 8:45pm and we all know I don't like to do anything resembling anything work after my children go to sleep and loading this picture is promising to be too much work for me.


Apparently, correcting run-on sentences is too much work too.

Thursday, November 3, 2011



My name is

This is the 3rd football season I've worn this jersey.

My mama is hoping it still fits next year too.

I'm Henry.

I'm three.

And, it's a good thing I'm this cute or my mama might not have survived this rainy day with me.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Seven Billion + 2 Babies.

The 7th billion Earth citizen is thought to have been born this week.  People who study these things (populationists, perhaps?) predict this landmark baby was born somewhere in India.

Did you know my in-laws lived in India for 3 years and Taylor and I spent 6 very long weeks in India during our last childless summer?

Our travels in Europe taught me that life as I know is not life everywhere else in the world.  So, I traveled to India with an open mind, knowing that I had no way of preparing myself for  what  we might see.

So, yeah.  I was appropriately culture shocked.

But, what most amazed me were the children.  Children were everywhere.  Families living in lean-to tents on the side of highways with their toddlers playing in the 3 foot wide median between lanes of traffic.  Children pooping on the sidewalk.  Children hawking their goods to tourists.  Mamas bathing their children with dirty water in public.  Children begging for coins.  Children dressed for school in their proper little uniforms.  Daddies driving motorcycles as the mama clung several small children tightly during a bouncy ride on an uneven paved road.

Lots and lots of children.  Everywhere.  Children doing the same things as my children but without the space and privacy afforded to us as middle class Americans.  

So, when I think about the 7th billion baby arriving earthside in India and memories of our time in India, I am left with only one thought:


Gratitude that even though I am often at odds with America's consumer culture of 'bigger and better', I know my babies will always have clean water, plenty of food and will never live a life where sleeping in a tent on the side of a busy intersection is their normal.



Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Comments on Comments: Boys and Guns

Welcome to my first day of National Blog Posting Month or NaBloPoMo.

Do you have a blog?  Join me!  All you have to do is post everyday, including weekends, during the month of November.  BlogHer is hosting this year's NaBlogPoMo and there are lots of prizes to be grabbed by daily posters.

Easy, right?
We shall see.
I often use OMML to sort through my thoughts on various issues related to mothering and I never cease to be amazed at the wisdom other mamas share with me through their comments.  On a regular basis, these comments completely shift the way I previously viewed a subject.  I am thankful for the collective wisdom of mamas at different places in this parenting game that can help guide me and steer me when I am going in the opposite direction of where I need to be headed.


Lucinda, I very very very much hope you were not a drive-by reader for my Boys and Guns post.  Your comment completely changed my reaction to Henry's obsession with shooting and make me realize that by outlawing "shooters" I was making them that much more desirable and if I simply come to terms that boys will shoot, life will be better and easier for everyone involved.  Thank you for your wise comment.......and please come back.  I need more comments from you!

Anonymous Lucinda said...

I have an 8 year old son and a 10 year old daughter. My experience is that they are quite different, and some of that is because of gender. My daughter really doesn't care about guns or shooting. My son will turn anything into a shooter and has since he was 3 or so.

We allow nerf guns in the house. We have a whole assortment of them. There are basic rules like you don't pretend to shoot people. We discuss the differences between "toy" guns and real guns which are not toys and can hurt people very badly. My son has never had any trouble understanding the difference. This past year he shot a 22 with his grandpa (without my knowledge) and was deeply struck by the power of this gun. I know he was taught safety and respect for the weapon so even though I hadn't been asked ahead of time, I knew it was a good experience for my son.

Guns are a reality of life. Boys are attracted to them. I asked my son today what it was that he liked about his guns. He said he liked it because it was like tag and target practice and war where one side beats the other. He didn't think about killing anyone. He just liked how he could battle. And that is how boys play. Guns are a part of that whether you give them one or not. So I believe to a certain degree you need to accept and allow the inherent differences between boys and girls and let them express those differences. To fight it leads to frustration for everyone.

For the record, my boy is also the kindest, gentlest soul I know. Far kinder than his sister. But he does love to shoot his nerf gun. Good luck figuring out what works best for your family.