Friday, December 11, 2009

Red Delicious

It had been a particularly packed summer. During those long months of swimming, gardening, and travel, I had understandably fallen out of touch with some of my blogging pals. So just before the school year started again, I decided to visit an old friend's blog to touch base and, hopefully, reconnect.

I really should back up. I originally met Maya at her blog Springtree Road a little over a year ago. I instantly found delight in her personality and flare. Timidly, I participated in her 2008 November in Black and White photography project and learned so much through that experience. Her eye for detail was fantastic. Alluring, really. I appreciated her private emails that patiently answered my endless stream of questions and she had a way of making me feel like part of her inner circle, even though I was obviously an amateur.

On this particular end-of-summer visit, though, I discovered that Maya had started a new business creating hand spun yarn. You know, the real stuff where you gather wool from an animal (sheep, llama, etc.), dye it yourself, and tenderly hand spin it into silky skeins. Is that cool, or what?!

I think it was her post on "Tink" that first piqued my interest about the whole start-to-finish process. Her Etsy shop, now lined with beautiful skeins, kept me hopping from photo to photo imagining all of the potential projects that 'someone' might create with each one.

Quality hand spun yarn is a little pricey, but for obvious reasons. Having claimed to be a supporter of hand made, I figured I should really give this stuff a try before balking at the cost. Besides, this is about the most 'hand made' purchase I could make. I finally settled on a skein of 140 yards named 'Red Delicious.' It was 100% Bluefaced Leicester wool which honestly meant nothing to me at the time. But my daughter looks so lovely in red, and I knew that somehow, and some way, it would be used to create something special for her this winter.

Using this yarn was nothing like the many experiences I've had with the usual $3 to $4 acrylic (synthetic) skeins of yarn I've frequently purchased from places like Walmart, Michael's, Hobby Lobby or elsewhere which always make my hands sweat and sometimes even itchy after prolonged exposure. Nope. This hand spun yarn was soft, yet hefty...thick, yet not overly fluffy. There's something almost magical about working with yarn that's been carefully hand crafted. I'm convinced that it's got all of its creator's love and affection embedded deeply within its delicate fibers. And when crocheted, it had a natural luster that only further showcased its intricate detail.

I figured I should stop to take a photo of my "in the beginning..." portion.

But a little while later, things were really cookin'. And I was enjoying the feel of this yarn so much that it seemed to be moving along a little TOO quickly.

So, can you tell what it is, yet?

Yep, it's a cozy tassel hat!! (my first, actually)

And boy oh BOY...look what Maya just listed this last week. I noticed this blue mix (on sale) for the first time TODAY and it's exactly what I was looking for to start a similar hat for one of the little guys. I've already spent my budgeted December play money, but if it's still there on December 31st (pay day), this baby's mine! Can't you just see another tassle hat of this dark blue and gray? Next, I'll probably be looking for a dark green and grayish mix for my one remaining child. And I know that if anyone can do it, Maya can! :)

What about you? Have you ever knitted or crocheted with authentic hand spun yarn? Would you ever consider trying it? Just once? If you have any interest, whatsoever, in high-quality yarn for a very special (smallish) project, do be sure to check out her Springtree Road Etsy shop when you have a moment.

And, believe me when I say that this experience had me looking at several of these to help support a developing new habit:

Yeah, it's really that great!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Hellooooo (tap-tap-tap) Is this thing on???

Yep, we're looking a little different these days. I'm just trying on a new layout that I've been eying since last summer. If you're confused, our old header is pictured to the right. I may still be doing a little shifting here and there as I have a few add-ons lined up (if you remember our previous discussion about Disqus, that's still a serious consideration), but things should look relatively the same over the next few months.

So...where do I begin? I'm (apparently) still blogging without obligation. Life has been extremely busy. And that's a good thing, right?

In recent days:
*I'm taking my very last course for my second master's degree and preparing for my oral comprehensives where I get to sit in front of a room of smarties and get drilled with questions. Oooooh, don't you wish you were me right now?!?!

*If you keep up with me on Facebook then you already know about our Thanksgiving cabin experience with my parents, from Texas. That was sure fun! I've put those pictures up HERE (you have to keep clicking "next" in the upper right part of the picture). If you have a (free) Facebook account, then you should be able to see them just fine (for this week, I've set my profile to allow everyone in).

*As of October, I'm the new Education Chair of Nebraska Friends of Midwives. This wasn't planned at all, but last year I declined because I was "too busy." And when I was asked again this year, I felt a stirring in my heart. Yeah, the stirring was probably just gas, but the deed is done. So here's my shameless plug: If you live in Nebraska and aren't already part of NFOM, I encourage you to join NOW! It's only $10 a year for individuals and you'll be welcomed to our discussion forum and our Yahoo e-list with open arms! Or you can also keep up with us on Facebook or Twitter (NFOM is still new to Twitter, so it's not really active yet)!

*I've been working on a couple small projects. I'm looking forward to sharing them on here when I have time (hopefully later this week). I burned my right hand in boiling oil back in September and it took quite a while for the blisters to heal. I'm so glad to be back to working with my hands again.

Look at YOU! You're still here!! And you've graced my blog today. That makes me a happy camper...happy to know you and to have (I'm guessing) built some sort of cyber-friendship with you, happy that you care enough to drop by today even if I haven't been to your place in a while, and happy to know that this blog (and its feed) really does still work after all this time.

I'm really looking forward to catching up with everyone this month.

Monday, October 12, 2009

UPDATE AGAIN: Midwifery story published...

I just wanted to let all our friends, family, and fellow advocates know our summary of a midwife-assisted home birth just went global this morning. This is a first for me, so I'm just thrilled!

Please check out the full story, below, if you have a few moments:

UPDATE: I was just told yesterday (Saturday) that this story is being picked up through multiple syndication outlets. I'm not exactly sure how that works, but how exciting and humbling! Sure wish I could get a list of when and where it's being published or printed. Anyway, I'll provide an excerpt:

"To be honest, I liked my doctor. I felt safe surrounded by all of his medical equipment, not to mention his air of studied wisdom. His walls and practice were decorated with evidence of his experience: he was clearly very busy as both a gynecologist and an obstetrician, and the framed documents lining the halls said he was highly certified. His intelligence was impressive to my 20-something mind, what with his use of highly technical terms like chorionic villus sampling and human chorionic gonadotropin. During our 5-10 minutes together each month, carefully worded comments suggested that things would run most smoothly if we left most of my birthing decisions to his expert medical opinion. There was actually little we had to do to prepare during those months. However, much later..."
UPDATE #2: Thank you to Rixa of Stand and Deliver for blogging her post Stand and Deliver: Epic birth story, and a tribute today, linking to both our birth story and article. What a wonderful, exciting, and humbling surprise! My birth story feed register has been going mad today and I'm meeting many wonderful new families through this experience. If you're not yet familiar with Rixa, I encourage you to visit her blog today!

Happy National Midwifery Week, everyone!

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Friday, September 11, 2009

These small hours

This is just about the most hectic time of year. I tend to get overwhelmed frequently. But is different, thanks to a brief moment of clarity. And I hope the way I feel right now, this very moment, will spill into tomorrow and next week and next month and on and on.

I've been having a bout of vertigo this week. My very first episode of vertigo came just two days after 9-11-01. At the time, I was certain my symptoms were the result of undetected biological warfare (apparently I was wrong). Anyway, if you've never had true vertigo before, count yourself lucky. Every turn of the head either sends you running to the toilet or wishing that you had. The dizziness is insane. No driving, no dancing, no walking, and no carrying around a baby if at all possible.

So today, in the early hours of this morning, I'm feeling very dizzy and am not sure what to do with myself. I'm laying on our tiny couch in the guest bedroom while we watch the movie Meet the Robinsons (one of my all-time favorites!). My daughter is on the bed a few feet away talking about inventions and I'm grinning because she keeps calling me 'Daddy.' My oldest son has squeezed himself on the couch behind me and he's gently hugging my entire head, so sweetly, while my youngest is standing on the floor by the couch holding my shirt up and nursing. I gingerly look down, so as not to affect my equilibrium, and up beams his big, glossy, grinning blue eyes at me while his plump cheeks slowly appear on either side of my breast. Bubbly giggles erupt instantly. OH MY. I'm so overwhelmed with bliss and so completely aware that my heart is now pumping warm, gooshy, delightful love to every extremity of my body. Whoa...this is MY life. All of's all part of MY story. Even with vertigo, it's more than I ever imagined.

And all around me things begin to look different.

And I'm no longer feeling sorry for myself due to vertigo.

Because, WOW. Just look at my good fortune.

For a brief moment, I wish so badly that I could climb off the couch, grab the camera, and document this moment before it disappears. Will there be more of these small hours? Of course there will. But this moment of clarity seems different from the rest.

Everything in my past:

    My mistakes,

    my joys,

    my regrets,

    and my accomplishments...

every bit of it led to this precise moment of pure joy. And nothing matters right now except for these precious little beings who are so happy, so content, and so amazingly beautiful.

Then, in "happily ever after" style, the song at the end of our movie begins during the final scenes. I've heard it countless times before, but today I really listened to it and it spoke to me.

Let it go,
Let it roll right off your shoulder
Don't you know
The hardest part is over
Let it in,
Let your clarity define you
In the end
We will only just remember how it feels

Our lives are made
In these small hours
These little wonders,
These twists & turns of fate
Time falls away,
But these small hours,
These small hours still remain

Let it slide,
Let your troubles fall behind you
Let it shine
Until you feel it all around you
And I don't mind
If it's me you need to turn to
We'll get by,
It's the heart that really matters in the end

All of my regret
Will wash away some how
But I can not forget
The way I feel right now

In these small hours
These little wonders
These twists & turns of fate
Time falls away but these small hours
These small hours, still remain.

For my birthday, the last day of September, I've committed to not blogging at all during this whole month. It's a gift to my family and myself -- allowing me more time to enjoy these little wonders during such a crazy, busy time of the year. I'm okay. Actually, I'm better than okay. And I plan to be back to reading and writing blogs some time after my birthday.

Happy "small hours" to you and yours!

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Friday, August 28, 2009

Donating Breast Milk

This will be my final post for National Breastfeeding Month in 2009. I purposefully saved the best for last. ::GRIN::

If you know me, or if you've been reading my blog for very long, you know I strive to take the most natural approach to daily living. I only came to this approach after first attempting all else and finally discovering what it was doing to me (and many others I loved). But now, I firmly believe that the ways our bodies work are miraculous whether that be in how we digest and process natural foods, how we grow and develop, how we give birth without interventions, or how we heal or recover from disease and infection. It's amazing what can happen when we allow our bodies the space and time they need to work. The creator really has an amazing thing going here.

I also believe that what we feed our bodies is best when left in its most natural form. For example, the vegetables in my garden...the more human interventions (insecticides, fertilizers, etc.) and processing (cooking, canning, freezing, preservatives, shipping, or lengthy storage time), the less nutrient-rich they are when digested. Consider what we now know about raw vegetables versus cooked vegetables, whole grains versus fully processed grains, complex carbohydrates versus simple carbohydrates, and in recent years raw cow's milk versus processed cow's milk. It's astounding to see how little we accomplish (or what damage we can do) by messing with the perfection inherent in nature.

So how is this related to donating breastmilk?
(You mean besides the obvious, right?)

Through the ages, there have been certain unexpected situations where a newborn could not get nature's perfect milk from his or her own mother. Sometimes the mother was severely ill or injured or sometimes even deceased. However, no one feared for the child because other mothers in the community pulled together and fed the newborn baby, adding exponentially to the nutritional benefits and immunities he/she would have received from their own mother. These were the days before breast pumps, the days before nipple shields, and most certainly the days before processed animal milks (or other bean-ish products) were reconstituted into what we now refer to as formula. These women simply made nature work around those unfortunate situations.

Today, thousands still continue this tradition of nurturing the community by breastfeeding babies that are born to other mothers. They do this either by cross-nursing, donating breastmilk through a trusted mother-to-mother program, or by donating their milk through corporate human milk banks. While I have cross-nursed another baby in my own community, my more lengthy experience of breastfeeding another baby was through a mother-to-mother program called MilkShare. At first I considered donating my excess milk to a milk bank, but after learning that mothers were required to pay $4.00 to $5.00 for EVERY OUNCE of milk they purchased from the milk bank (at 30 oz per day, that's a bit pricey), I decided the mother-to-mother option had greater benefits for the non-wealthy recipient family. And I just knew some family out there was waiting for me to volunteer.

Rather than re-invent the wheel here by explaining how and why MilkShare works, I'll point you to my first two posts on milk sharing from last year. First, I learned about the many reasons moms end up needing other mom's milk and how they go about requesting donated breast milk. And finally, I learned far more about the whole process after experiencing, for myself, donating breast milk to a mom with breast cancer (incidentally, she lived over 2,000 miles away from me).

I'm still amazed at the lengths that families go just to provide their babies with the best nourishment nature has to offer. I'm overwhelmed with admiration for the moms who have donated non-stop for years and years without any financial incentive to keep giving. And finally, I'm easily moved to tears over the moms who birthed stillborn babies and yet chose to use the milk their bodies created to serve another newborn baby in need.

Friends, there's not nearly enough donated human milk to go around for these babies. Families in need usually end up having to gather milk from over two DOZEN other donors just to feed their babies for the first 6-12 months. If you can commit to pumping an extra few ounces a day, you can help change another life starting TODAY. For those who are wondering, there's NO exchange of money for the actual milk. A recipient family still usually requests (and pays for) medical blood tests to be sent to them before accepting your milk (the same tests a milk bank would require) and they also pay for your milk storage bags and the shipping of your milk (or travel costs if you deliver it to their home or hospital). If you choose to donate, you can hand select the family you want to receive your milk and if you wish to know your recipient family, you can specifically request a family living within such-and-such miles of where you live. I really hope you'll consider this if you haven't already.

BE WARNED: Once you put your message out on the MilkShare list, be prepared for loads of replies from families in great need. If nothing else, by the end, you'll only wish you started donating sooner.

If you've recently had a baby and want your milk to go primarily to a premature baby in NICU (NICU babies especially need newborn milk), a list of corporate milk banks can be found at the bottom of THIS POST (from last year).

Go forth and serve!!

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

UPDATED: A Wordless 6th Birthday

Today my oldest is SIX. She's just amazing and beautiful and intelligent and kind-hearted and curious and THANK HEAVENS she's ours. Be sure to hop on over to my mom's blog where she has a fabulous birthday post. I just love that woman!!

P.S. THANK YOU to Niecey for fixing this photo for me. She did a lovely job!

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Monday, August 24, 2009

NBM: Breastfeeding Around the Web

Well, we're coming to the end of another National Breastfeeding Month and BOY have there been some interesting developments in the news. First, I must tip my hat to several of my favorite fellow lactivist bloggers out there who have helped point me to many of these articles: Cate of Nature's Child and of Eco Child's Play, Motherwear's Breastfeeding Blog, and Rixa of Stand and Deliver (formerly the True Face of Birth). I'll just list a few of the more interesting I came across:

Motherwear's Breastfeeding Blog (excellent blog) recently wrote up a great review of the new children's book Mommy Breastfeeds My Baby Brother.

This isn't exactly about breastfeeding, but I had no idea that breast cancer risk was tied to bra wearing (particularly for more than 12 hours a day wearers). This is an interesting, short read.

Check out this new Breastfeeding Ad Campaign poster. Cute! And this ad campaign in Marin County, CA totally cracks me up. WOW! Oh, and this is one of the most adorable breastfeeding poster I've seen in a long, long time.

Surely you've already heard the buzz over the new Angelina Jolie Breastfeeding Sculpture. WHY is she naked?

Did everyone already see the new breastfeeding baby doll? Bebe Gloton literally translated glutinous baby) cries, nurses, and then belches (loudly). Responses are mixed: Some are glad to see a baby doll that doesn't come with a bottle and that specifically promotes breastfeeding. Some think it's pretty creepy even though they strongly advocate for breastfeeding moms. Some think breastfeeding is gross and, therefore, they think the doll is gross and inappropriate. And some think it's simply another unnecessary battery-operated toy (and that little girls can pretend to breastfeed any baby doll they own). Your thoughts?

As you would expect, there's often an August nurse-in or two that make the news like this month one happened HERE and another virtual nurse-in HERE.

A "nurse-in" is where a group of mother's come together and demonstrate their right to breastfeed in public. It is usually the result of discrimination against a breastfeeding mom despite state laws that support her right to feed her baby anywhere in public. Even during National Breastfeeding Month, this discrimination continues to happen. For example there was discrimination in an Olive Garden, a breastfeeding mom discriminated against in a science museum, another breastfeeding mom was discriminated against in an IKEA, another last year was discriminated against in McDonalds, another was discriminated against on a Delta airplane, another was discriminated against in Walmart, and the LOOOONG list goes on and on...

Know Your Rights:

FORTY-THREE states and the District of Columbia protect a breastfeeding mother's right to feed her baby in any public or private location. TWENTY-EIGHT states exempt breastfeeding from public indecency laws. TWENTY-FOUR states have laws related to breastfeeding in the workplace. TWELVE states exempt breastfeeding mothers from jury duty. And some states have specific language that allow a mother legal retribution against those who seek to oppress her breastfeeding rights.

Do you know what YOUR state laws say? Take a moment to find out RIGHT HERE.

Other sources and websites for further reading:
La Leche League:
Kelly Mom Breastfeeding Site:
US Dept of Heath and Human Services

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Saturday, August 22, 2009

A Wordless 4th Birthday

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Friday, August 21, 2009

Link Round Up: Late August 2009

My "bookmarked links" section is already overflowing and I need a place to store some of the interesting stuff I'm reading or contemplating. My friend, Nettacow, does these link round-ups every week and I just love digging through her findings. I don't expect blog world to revel in my findings, but I'll document them, nonetheless:

Photo Bridge 3000 photos scanned at 600dpi for only $79! While digging through our mountain of memorabilia, we've come up with thousands of non-digital shots. We're really considering doing this!

Lovely Handspun Yarn My friend Maya, a blogger from Springtree Road, started selling HANDSPUN yarn on Etsy. And OH MY it's so lovely. I've been salivating over every new pattern she creates and finally purchased some of her Red Delicious about 10 days ago. It's so soft and gushy. Mmmmm. I'll be starting on my fun crochet project in two weeks. YAY! If you knit or crochet, please check it out and pass on her info to any other friends who wanna get in on some of this yummy stuff! ETA: Guess what, I just looked again and Maya is doing a giveaway of one of her skeins of handspun yarn. So go to Maya's blog right now to find out how to win!!!!

A Robert Brault Reader ~ I'm very attached to this blog. My Sunday Citar on the 12th was a quote from this guy. Every time I think all the original quotes have been thought up, he posts again. Just lovely.

Tami wrote a beautiful post about taking loved ones for granted. I hope some of you get as much out of it as I did!

Power For Home Less than $200 for life-long utilities. What's the catch?!

Sneaky Momma Some amazing blog tips and helpful html guides for those who want to make their blog as useful, attractive, and especially user-friendly as possible.

Five Common Blogging Mistakes (that make you look dumb) 'Cause the title is just so funny (and TRUE). ETA: Yes, I do these, too. And I'd appreciate it if you'd gently let me know when you see something.

Wedding Entrance Dance Is it weird that I cried at the end of this thing? LOVE it!

Tampon Crafts I tried, but I honestly have nothing brilliant to say here.

Paying a Late Bill Because I've been there, I can laugh at this!

Income-Based Repayment Program ~ Have hefty student loan debt, but live on a very modest salary? Have your payments been stretched out over 35 years? This very new (like as of July 2009) program may be just the solution for you.

Brillante Weblog Award The blog award that's really not.

Blessings & Responsibility After contacting the foster system here in our area a time or two and getting absolutely no response whatsoever, this post really made us start looking at international adoption. We may technically be a low-income family in America, but we live like royalty compared to about 90% of the world. Now if we could only come up with the cash to get all the legal paperwork done. :big sigh:

Surprised there are no birth or breastfeeding links, today? Ah, the month's not over. :wink:

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Great Comment Controversy
Conversation & Community

I'll preface my announcement by saying that I've, again, been looking all over the blogosphere these last few months -- attempting to find the best way to handle blog comments. Commenters are all so different. For example, many of you don't want to subscribe to a full comment feed for each post you comment on (don't blame you a bit, by the way) so you leave a comment and assume the blog author will respond personally via email. Some of you don't have your profile email enabled on google/blogger so that blog authors can simply hit "reply" and respond privately (you may have reason for this, I won't judge ya). Some of you don't leave comments, but you do read the comment questions and wonder why the blog author didn't answer them publicly. And some of you actually DO keep coming back to the original post over and over and over to check on what the blog author had to say to each commenter (wow, you guys are sure committed).

So how do I handle everyone's needs and expectations without bending over backwards???

I'm seriously considering moving to Disqus for all blog commenting options. I've noticed a number of blogs now use this comment service and once I saw how convenient it was and how many options there are, I was like Um, why wasn't I invited to the party?

I've had many issues with the traditional comment system.I used to respond to all comments inside my own comments, but as I mentioned above, loads of you don't want to subscribe to the whole comment feed or keep checking back for 2 or 3 days. So after seeing that most of YOU have been responding to my comments via private email, I totally jumped on that bandwagon. HOWEVER:

(1) to other readers, it looks like I didn't answer those who asked public questions here and...

(2) Oh, I wouldn't dare mention any names (Amanda, Sujata, Juli, Lisa, Becky, Willow and more - LOL) :wink: but a number of my dear friends don't make their email addresses available through their blogger profiles (sometimes for very legitimate reasons, mind you).

I KNOW I'm not alone in this reply issue because I see many of YOU are writing blog posts about your commenting frustration, as well.

I'm relieved to find that Disqus appears, at least, to fix all the issues I'm having daily. You can reply to a comment directly on your blog and it simultaneously privately emails your response to the person you're responding to. Readers can still subscribe to the whole feed if they'd like, as well.

Second, I recently clicked on the Disqus website and it immediately took me to my own disqus account where I could instantly see every single comment I've left for ANYONE using my Disqus account. They're all there -- so I can see where I've been and what conversations I'm involved in all week, month, or year long. And this is pretty useful because there have been comments I've written, in the past, that I've forgotten where I left them and I wanted to borrow pieces of it for a future post (and yet I don't want to subscribe by email to every single post I leave a note on). Now, as long as I use disqus to comment, I have a great overview of my year. How nifty is that?!

Third, it also has an option to lay out all comments like a discussion board so you can see who the author is replying to. Pretty nifty and all compartmentalized like us librarians and educators deeply appreciate. ETA: Check out Lisa's (from Crazy Advent. in Parenting) Disqus comments from earlier this week HERE.

Fourth, I like that I'm reading that Daniel Ha, of Disqus, continues to ask "How can we make Disqus work even better for you?" And as I'm looking around blogs who are writing about questions they've had about Disqus, I'm seeing more comment replies directly from Daniel. He even TWEETED me on Twitter when I mentioned Disqus. How great and attentive is THAT?!

Fifth, you can still personalize your account just like you did elsewhere with a picture, website address, etc.

There's plenty more...but I won't go through the entire list of great options. I guess I'll end with my final thrills: It's easy to use, painless to sign up for, and FREE. This seems like a no-brainer.

Oh yeah, Daniel, if you ARE listening, I am wondering: Can EVERYONE see my comment history or is it just me? I'd like to be the only one with access to my own comment history?

By the way, I found the following write-ups (both positive and negative) for anyone else considering making this change:

25 Reasons to Use Disqus

Comment Control with Disqus

Why Disqus is Winning the Web Comment Battles

Should You Use Disqus Comment System?

And if anyone wants to jump straight to the Disqus Wiki, you can do that HERE.

Anyone out there use Disqus and care to comment here? Pluses you've experienced? Negatives to warn about? I'd love to hear more before I decide to make any changes to my settings.

Disclaimer: Disqus has IN NO WAY suggested, encouraged, or prompted this post. They have no idea I'm writing it or even who I am. If a representative from Disqus happens upon this post, it's solely due to their brilliant search skills (and desire to serve their customers). In other words, it's completely coincidental. :)

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

To-Do Tuesdays {4} Tot Talk Tuesdays {8}

I’m a participant in two Tuesday memes. The first is To-Do Tuesdays with Lisa from Crazy Adventures in Parenting. Here's my starter list for this week:

Call C (1 hour)
Contact P.B. regarding requirements
Re-email T re O3 and conference
Sort through two more boxes
Get sprout recipe
Submit HS paperwork
E-mail C regarding B.
Guest blog post for recipe (Thank you, Karen--don't give up on me!)
Awards blog post (almost done)
Get lost in bloggyland…daily, if you’re lucky! HA!

I’m also a continuing participant in Tot Talk Tuesdays started by Niecey of The Monkeys and Me.

I have one from my 5-year-old this week:

Me (speaking to hubby): Wow, from the looks of the weather radar, it looks like the thunderstorms are disappearing.
5-year-old: Mommy, how does the storm disappear?
Me: Well, it gets out there and rains most of the water out and then it sometimes goes away until it needs to rain again.
5-year-old: Oh, kinda like going potty, right?
Me: Um, right. (quickly adds the weather water cycle to our homeschool curriculum)

Another saying my 3-year-old uses constantly in place of "look at me" or "watch this."

"Mommy, SEE me!"

And I just love those words. They say so much more about really looking at our children and not just watching their new trick or how they look. Don't we all sincerely hope to "SEE" them?!

Another from my 5-year-old:

"And after eating our sandwiches, we'll be HOUSE FREE!" (instead of home free)

And finally, our one-year-old, who signs more than talks. (1) Lately he's become very good at telling us when he needs to go potty (thank you to EC!). (2) He's also begun signing when he's hungry (we really only worked on the sign for nursing, so he's inventing his own food signs). (3) And when he gets really upset (thinking no one's listening to his demands), he throws his little body on the floor (tummy down) and just plays dead (almost). Totally cracks us up!

Remember, if you want to join in on either of these memes, just click each image above to be taken to the main page for each one. Have fun!!

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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Full, Undivided Attention

My daughter, age 5, told us today that she wanted to talk to her Pawpaw. She wants him to be alive when she grows up and, therefore, was dead set on talking to him about smoking. This totally came out of the blue. We seriously haven't been talking about this (not for a long, long while now). So it was 100% her decision. She told me her reasons and how she was going to tell him. She wasn't taking "no" for an answer. I asked her where she was getting this new found concern -- what suddenly awoke this passion?

She didn't know.

I told her that I was concerned she might hurt his feelings by telling him what to do. I even suggested that maybe she could, instead, talk to her Nana about smoking (since she quit two years ago). In all honesty, I was so concerned about hurting feelings that I was actually considering NOT letting her call him today. Then I realized something.

This is HER grandfather.

This is HER future.

This is HER decision.

Why in the WORLD do I feel the need to control (or censor) this lively, bright, strong-headed little girl?

Lately she's been telling us, "I want to talk to you like adults talk." And what we REALLY hear her saying is, "I want you to really listen to me. I have good, strong ideas. I am worthy of anyone's...
full, undivided attention."

She's absolutely right.

So I liberated her...handed her the phone...and gave her some room to do battle.

I really try not to put many videos in my blog because I know they take time for my loyal readers to watch. Do you have time for this? I'm just so heart happy that I managed to catch some of her determination on this video. As you can see, she's eating her snack (sherbet) and is a little embarrassed when she realized the camera is rolling, but she eventually forgets about it.

Can you feel the growing lump in your throat, too? The conversation was much longer than this short little clip, but in a nutshell she listed her reasons, made her argument in love, and really can't see how anyone could disagree. Oh, and she wants a commitment (now!). I could see her anxiety beginning to mount as she discovered that a good argument may not be enough. However, I am so proud of her for speaking her mind, confronting in love, and staying strong in her truth. I can only HOPE to be just like her when I grow up!

She was a little concerned as she got off the phone, telling me that she didn't get a clear answer. But she's glad she spoke her mind. And she's stronger somehow. And now my eyes are filled to the brim with tears as I type this experience out because I'm absolutely astonished and amazed at the fury in her precious little heart -- what determination she has to protect her family from future pain and suffering.

And I DEFINITELY don't think this discussion is over. Not even a little.

Do YOU??

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Thursday, August 13, 2009


What, you don't believe me?

I'm serious. No lying here.

This is quite an AcCoMpLiShMeNt considering how FULL my reader was...

Look again (from another angle):

Of course, this DOES mean that it's stinkin' 12:52am and I STILL haven't blogged about our anniversary (or boobs) or any of the OTHER extraordinary events that have occurred in MY life in the last 48 hours.

But hey, at least I've read all YOUR blogs. Right?

Sleep tight.

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Monday, August 10, 2009

(o)(o) Boobaphobia

You know, I had a great post put together here with all sorts of links to different news articles in the media regarding "boobaphobia" during WBW and NBM. But this article, made mostly of pictures, explains this phenomenon so much better than the hundreds and thousands of words I've read elsewhere. Click the title below:

*** Breastfeeding is Offensive ***

P.S. Tomorrow is our 14th Anniversary!!! YEEHAAAAAAW!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

National Breastfeeding Month
(a partial re-post from 2008)

Hey kids! I found another lovely picture from my babyhood this summer. Considering the content of this re-post, this photo seemed particularly appropriate. Isn't it lovely? Look at the way she looks at me, her very first baby. Look at the way I'm gazing up at her, nestled gently in her arms, and feasting happily. I was only a few days old, but the connection and trust is already there. Can you see it? I love the way my tiny fingers are caressing her. Raise your hand if your babies have done the same while feeding! There's only one more day of WBW to go, but don't forget this month is also NBM. YAY, 25 more days of admissible boob talk. :wink:

Here starts the re-post:

For those who weren't already aware: August is the official National Breastfeeding Month and this first week of August is World Breastfeeding Week. This is my [6th] August to be a breastfeeding mommy. It's been a wonderful ride. Wheeeeee!

In the early 70s, breastfeeding was touted as old-fashioned, unclassy and downright "icky." Doctors, at that time, felt that formula was surely best. But some moms knew, deep in their hearts, that nature knew best. It was an uphill battle for this growing group of moms, but it wasn't long before the scientific studies began pouring in proving, without a doubt, that exclusive breastfeeding was far superior to any man-made substance created for infants.

I am so happy that my mom had the strength and courage to fight for her right to breastfeed us when we were babies. When it was suggested that she go to the bathroom to nurse (during church, no less) she would agree only if all of the bottle fed babies were also required to be fed by moms sitting on the toilet. To hear this and other stories make my heart swell with pride and my eyes well up with tears. Why, you ask? Because her determination paved the way for my rather easy and fulfilling breastfeeding days. Even when I had my first baby and hospital staff surrounded me pushing and pulling on my breasts, moving my baby this way and that, and even threatening to start us on formula if my milk didn't let down immediately--it was my mom who had the patience, the confidence, and the wisdom to reassure me that all would be well just as soon as we were home. was.

I've breastfed through engorgement as well as semi-dry periods (pregnancy). I've had newborn blisters, experienced the slightly uncomfortable teething days, pumped bottles full of milk for days I had to be away and tandem nursed two at once. I've co-slept to continue feeding through the nights and during the days I've enjoyed baby-wearing my children in slings--allowing me to nurse anywhere in public without batting an eye. I've discreetly breastfed at the library, the swimming pool, the grocery store, in an elementary classroom...anywhere that my baby is hungry, (s)he will be fed.

I am extremely grateful to my parents and husband for taking so many lovely, intimate photos of my babies snuggling peacefully at my breast. I cherish these days immensely. I can't, for the life of me, imagine ever nourishing my babies any other way.

Dangers of not Breastfeeding (quoted from

1. Recent studies show that babies who are not exclusively breastfed for 6 months are more likely to develop a wide range of infectious diseases including ear infections, diarrhea, respiratory illnesses and have more hospitalizations. Also, infants who are not breastfed have a 21% higher postneonatal infant mortality rate in the U.S.
2. Some studies suggest that infants who are not breastfed have higher rates of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) in the first year of life, and higher rates of type 1 and type 2 diabetes, lymphoma, leukemia, Hodgkin's disease, overweight and obesity, high cholesterol and asthma. More research in these areas is needed (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2005).
3. Babies who are not breastfed are sick more often and have more doctor's visits.
4. Also, when you breastfeed, there are no bottles and nipples to sterilize. Unlike human milk straight from the breast, infant formula has a chance of being contaminated.

Benefits of Breastfeeding

1. Breast milk is the most complete form of nutrition for infants. A mother's milk has just the right amount of fat, sugar, water, and protein that is needed for a baby's growth and development. Most babies find it easier to digest breast milk than they do formula.
2. As a result, breastfed infants grow exactly the way they should. They tend to gain less unnecessary weight and to be leaner. This may result in being less overweight later in life.
3. Premature babies do better when breastfed compared to premature babies who are fed formula.
4. Breastfed babies score slightly higher on IQ tests, especially babies who were born pre-maturely.
5. Nursing uses up extra calories, making it easier to lose the pounds of pregnancy. It also helps the uterus to get back to its original size and lessens any bleeding a woman may have after giving birth.
6. Breastfeeding, especially exclusive breastfeeding (no supplementing with formula), delays the return of normal ovulation and menstrual cycles. (However, you should still talk with your doctor or nurse about birth control choices.)
7. Breastfeeding lowers the risk of breast and ovarian cancers, and possibly the risk of hip fractures and osteoporosis after menopause.
8. Breastfeeding makes your life easier. It saves time and money. You do not have to purchase, measure, and mix formula. There are no bottles to warm in the middle of the night!
9. A mother can give her baby immediate satisfaction by providing her breast milk when her baby is hungry.
10. Breastfeeding requires a mother to take some quiet relaxed time for herself and her baby.
11. Breastfeeding can help a mother to bond with her baby. Physical contact is important to newborns and can help them feel more secure, warm and comforted.
12. Breastfeeding mothers may have increased self-confidence and feelings of closeness and bonding with their infants.
13. Breastfeeding saves on health care costs. Total medical care costs for the nation are lower for fully breastfed infants than never-breastfed infants since breastfed infants typically need fewer sick care visits, prescriptions, and hospitalizations.
14. Breastfeeding contributes to a more productive workforce. Breastfeeding mothers miss less work, as their infants are sick less often. Employer medical costs also are lower and employee productivity is higher.
15. Breastfeeding is better for our environment because there is less trash and plastic waste compared to that produced by formula cans and bottle supplies.

Other sources and websites for further reading:
La Leche League:
Kelly Mom Breastfeeding Site:
US Dept of Heath and Human Services

Please click ♥ thoughtful comments ♥ (below) to let me know you stopped by. If you don't have a google or gmail account, just choose "Name/URL" or "anonymous" before submitting. THANK YOU!

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