Thursday, April 30, 2009

Prepare to be amazed...

I'm so excited this morning. My (blogging) friend, Rixa, just gave birth to Dio this week and posted the entire birth story last night.


Dio was born on Sunday in Rixa's home. She decided not to go to church because she might be in labor. She sent her hubby and daughter on to services and stayed home to enjoy the peaceful morning, alone. Her baby arrived around 2:30pm that afternoon. WOW!

She posted some beautiful short video, as well. The first video is just amazing. I hope you'll find time to read and enjoy!

Stand and Deliver (formerly The True Face of Birth): Dio's birth story


Monday, April 27, 2009

Kayleigh Anne

Dear friends, please gather all the support and prayers you can muster for this family. As you can see on their blog over the last three posts, it's been a very tough week.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Nebraska: Home of Arbor Day

My daughter has become the queen of planting and growing things. I mean to say, she grows things you wouldn't imagine would grow well. For example, she popped an apple seed (of an apple she was eating) into one of my old pots of dirt recently and the picture above is the result of that experiment. She started growing another one just last week--the new green stem broke through the soil a few days back. Amazing! She must have inherited the ability from my youngest brother, Sean. He once threw a bowl of popcorn seed out in our front yard and those little crispy seeds grew a patch of cornstalks. Mind you, these were seeds that had already been in boiling hot oil for several minutes. Yet, they refused to pop. So...out they went. No one knew they had bigger and better plans. Poor underestimated little corn seeds. :sniff, sniff:

So anyway...the last Friday in April, TODAY, is known as the official National Arbor Day.

A few tibits about this day:

  • *J. Sterling Morton loved planting trees and he proposed Arbor Day right here in NEBRASKA in 1872 (which is why Nebraska is known as the "home of Arbor Day").
  • *The day was officially established by the state governor in 1874.
  • *April 22nd, which was Morton's birthday, was originally selected as the observance day (though today it's seen as the last Friday in April).
  • *States often celebrate the day at a time that is most convenient for planting trees in that region.
  • *For more information about the history, ways to get trees, or ways to celebrate, please visit the arbor day website HERE.

"Each generation takes the earth as trustees." -J. Sterling Morton

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I totally can't believe I won THESE!

Yes, I've basically disappeared from the blogosphere the last couple weeks. I'm usually honored to be called a comment queen and to do my part in being a decent virtual friend each and every day. Truth is, I'm finishing up an incredibly crazy, busy, cantevenstoplongenoughtodescribeit kind of semester. And trust me, it's not just my virtual friends who have suffered don't hear from me. My real life friends don't see or hear from me anymore, either (even when they live 3 blocks away--right, Brittany?). But that should all change in approximately two weeks. TWO WEEKS, I say! Wooohooo!

So I'm just popping on here real quick-like to announce that I just won the coolest blog giveaway. Have you heard of Robeez soft sole shoes? Oh man, I've been drooling over them since I heard about them a few months ago. Then just this spring, I became a follower of the Papoose News blog to keep up with all that's happening in their neck of the woods. And it turns out that they do a giveaway to some random blog follower (who comments about an item) and they do this EVERY STINKIN' MONTH. I've totally got room in my Google reader (300 blogs isn't too much to follow, is it?) and time in my day to keep up with another natural parenting blog, how 'bout you? Well, it paid off because I WON THE MARCH DRAWING for a pair of ROBEEZ SOFT SOLE SHOES!

Now comes the dilemma. Do I go with these ubber adorable funky monsters shoes?

Or what about these sleek brown jet shoes? (Pawpaw would prolly dig these, eh Miller Clan?)

Or...oh my goodness...what about these rockin' blue car shoes? I have to admit I'm leaning this way. How sweeeeet!

I'm totally torn. So won't you be a good friend (despite the terrible blogging friend I've been lately) and tell me what YOU think!?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Guest Blogger: My Husband on BIRTH

I know this is a little unexpected. But I'm going to have my first guest blogger: my husband. During my last two weeks away from regular blogging we had a lot of firsts. Two of the biggest were: (1) my husband's dissertation defense (he's now Dr. Miller - WHOOOOOOOT!) and (2) our 3rd baby's (Brighton's) 1st birthday. I've been wanting to write about both for the last 10 days and it's just been killing me to see each day slip by without my finding the time to etch my thoughts in cyberspace.'s post will be a quick recap of Brighton's birth in celebration of his first birthday. Brighton Lee was born March 27th, 2008. After two prior unnecessary cesarean sections, Brighton came peacefully in a blessed home birth. It was the most amazing, empowering birth and seriously flipped our world upside down as we discovered just how backward we'd previously seen and understood the nature of birth. I've stolen (with permission) this small section from a "note" my husband wrote on facebook a couple months ago to use in lieu of my own "birth" ramblings today. I love it when a man really gets it.

Let's hear it for Lee: the doctor, the daddy, my husband and dearest friend.

We have three children. They are Brayla (5), Brandon (3), and Brighton (10 mos.). We're tired. Moreover, we lost a pregnancy between our first and third children, so Shaye has basically been pregnant or nursing for about six years. She's really tired. In any case, when Shaye was pregnant with Brayla, we did everything you're supposed to do…going to the doctor, listening and trusting the medical establishment, buying the most popular books, etc., etc. Basically we were stupid…we just didn't know it. Rather than depending on a body of collective tradition that would help us understand the very human prospect of childbirth, we trusted an establishment that had mechanized, sterilized, and in many ways dehumanized childbirth. What did we know? We followed the herd. Unfortunately, while that often turns out more or less fine for many (although we still question some of the outcomes of the "way things are done"), for us it resulted in an "emergency" C-Section (we no longer believe it was an emergency, btw…).

We were completely unprepared for the issues resulting from a normal birth, much less a C-Section (and it didn't help that Brayla was born on the first day of my second year in the doctoral program). We did get pregnant only a few months later, but lost that pregnancy. On the next pregnancy, we trusted the wisdom of the medical establishment (and followed the herd) and did a planned C-Section (also, I was due to begin a new job three states away before Brandon's due date). We now regret the planned C-Section for the many outcomes that we believe arose from it, not least of which was the longer recovery for Shaye.

With Brighton, then, we chose to take over our own childbirth experience. We got our hands on books that were not in line with the herd's group think, Shaye did lots of research on childbirth in general but also VBAC's (vaginal birth after cesarean), and we decided to do a home birth with a certified nurse midwife. Unfortunately, since this is not legal in Nebraska, and wasn't at the time in South Dakota, we had to cross two state lines to have this birth in our midwife's home in Wyoming. What a trip (literally and figuratively). And we couldn't be happier with the outcome. We've even become advocates for midwifery and home births (especially Shaye has). And mother and child were healthy and happy from the first day. One other note, it was the coolest thing ever to get to witness and help my wife do this most incredible human thing.

The following shot was taken just moments after she pushed Brighton into the world. Gotta love all the beautiful smiles!

And here's a shot of Brighton on his 1st birthday. What a precious baby boy!

Happy "Birth"day, sweet boy! Mommy and Daddy love you longer and longer...

If you care to see pictures of Brighton's 1st birthday party, you can see them on my mom's blog HERE and if you want to read the entire birth story, you can always find it HERE (best viewed with Internet Explorer).

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Another Snow Day

So...I've been off blogger for about two weeks. It feels odd, because we have SOOO much that's happened over the last two weeks and I can't wait to write about it all. For now, I thought I'd just share a quick screen shot of what our road closings look like. The X marks a closed road and the R marks a serious road condition report. Pretty much any road that leads to our town is closed. We've had a lot of this, recently, but it still seems unreal that on April 5th it could be this crazy. Even our local news reported the following just last night:

Numerous vehicles continue to become stranded as crews tried to clear the roads, but the howling winds pile snow on the streets. According to a Chadron official, the streets are so bad that even snow removal vehicles are becoming stuck, and just one police pick-up truck and a utilities department pick-up are available for emergency use. Please, stay indoors.

I think we'll stay snuggled up indoors for a bit (which is quite romantic, actually). I guess it's a good thing that Lee and I love snow so much. :) I'll try to use the next couple days to catch up on laundry and make my belated blog rounds (like I don't have any school work or grading to do this time of the semester, right?). I'm appearing a little anti-social in the blogosphere lately, which is just WEIRD!

Just LOOK at my hunk out there shoveling that snow. I expect to see him by tomorrow sometime. It's a lot more work than it looks like. Trust me!

Thanks for all the well wishes and prayers.

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