Musings of a crunchy, domestic goddess

Just another mama musing about her kids, Attachment Parenting, activism, photography, and life in general

I’ve moved to my own domain! May 25, 2007

Filed under: My life — amygeekgrl @ 4:14 pm

I’ve moved my blog. “Again?” you say? I know, I know, but this time is the last time! F’real!

I finally got myself my own domain – crunchydomesticgoddess.com – and hosting. Woohoo. It was a long time coming. 🙂

Here’s the new link: Crunchy Domestic Goddess

Everyone find a buddy and hold hands and I’ll hope I don’t lose you in the move. 😉

Please change your bookmarks, links, etc. to reflect the change. I won’t be posting over here anymore, only at the new domain. Things might be a little wonky over there for a bit while I iron out the kinks (some photos didn’t transfer and I may have lost some comments), but I think I’m going to like my new home and hope you do too. 🙂

 

A perfect kind of day May 16, 2007

Filed under: Ava,Food,Julian,Mothering,My life,Recipes,Vegetarian — amygeekgrl @ 9:11 pm

Ever have a day where it seems everything is going your way? Where you are almost afraid to stop and take notice of what a great day it is for fear of jinxing yourself? Today was that kind of day for me.

It didn’t start off perfectly though. I woke up with the same migraine that I’d gone to bed with last night. But after drinking a cola drink (the caffeine helps), I started feeling better. From then on, it was an awesome day, complete with sunshine and temps in the 70s.

Ava watched a bit of TV (Sesame Street) in the morning while I got a little me/computer time in. Julian took a nice long nap which allowed me and Ava to read some books together, eat lunch and bake cookies. I also got a load of laundry done – even folded and put away (which is the hardest part for me).

This afternoon I took the kids to the library for a bit. They have a big puppet playhouse there that Ava loves, complete with tons of puppets. Today, however, she noticed that there were only a few puppets in there. She asked me where they all were and I suggested that maybe some of them had to be washed, but we could ask one of the women who worked in the library if she knew. So we went up to the desk together to ask and the woman told us Ava was the first child to ask about the puppets. Turns out they had to “retire” a bunch of the old ones, but had a whole bag of new ones to replace them – they just hadn’t put them out yet. But since Ava asked so nicely she brought out the new puppets and, Ava and a new friend she made today had a great time playing with them.

She and her new friend also “read” some books together. Ava “read”: “Bears All Around*” (the title she made up) “by Eric Carle” (it wasn’t really by Eric Carle, but I was enjoying her “reading” too much to point that out). Then she went through the book and “read” it to her friend, while they both giggled at just about everything that came out of Ava’s mouth. It was pretty darn sweet.

After the library, we stopped at Vitamin Cottage to pick up a few things we needed. Ava’s favorite VC employee Aruna was working and Ava greeted her with a big hug. The shopping trip went off without a hitch, I got to use my new cloth grocery bag (a freebie from Wild Oats) and we were soon back in the car driving home.

I read Ava one of her library books, then she went outside to play while I started on dinner with Julian in the Ergo. I decided to try a new recipe – Spring Pea Tarts – from this month’s “Vegetarian Times.” (What luck that it’s also the featured recipe of the week on their website, so I can share it without having to type it out myself!) I modified it a bit since I didn’t have a pastry puff, and used a spelt pie crust that I picked up at VC instead. And I didn’t have time to let it chill for 2 hours, but it was delicious anyway, and I’ll definitely make it again. 🙂

Jody got home in the middle of my dinner prep and took Julian off my hands. Then we had a couple contractors come by to give us more estimates on fixing our bathroom, since the guy we thought we were going to have do the repairs never returned emails or phone calls.

Ava was a joy to be around pretty much all day. Not that she’s normally a pain, but she is almost 3 and she does have a way of pushing my buttons from time to time. Not today. There was no whining, no discipline issues, no time outs (for Ava or mommy), nothing bad at all to speak of. And Julian was his usual happy-go-lucky self. It truly seems that everyone got their needs met today. Amazing.

The night has ended well. Both kids are sleeping. The crickets are chirping outside my open window. I’m taping LOST (my guilty pleasure) and Leno to watch them both later. I’m going to head downstairs now to enjoy one of those cookies we made and talk with Jody for a bit.

These kind of perfect kind of days don’t happen often so I’m basking in the glow of it right now. Life is good. 🙂

*The title she came up with (“Bears All Around”) cracked me up because she was recently looking at “The Baby Book” by Dr. Sears at our house and when I asked her what she was reading and she said “Babies All Around.” Apparently that’s a theme now.

 

My Mother’s Day May 13, 2007

Filed under: Ava,Julian,Mothering,My life,Pictures — amygeekgrl @ 9:12 pm

Amy, Ava and Julian - Mother’s Day 2007

I had a wonderful Mother’s Day. Jody made us breakfast, which I ate while I opened cards from him, the kids and my parents. After the kids had baths, we picked up a yummy spinach salad, some pizza and banana bread pudding from Whole Foods and went to our favorite picnic spot on the Boulder Creek for lunch. The skies looked like they might open up and sprinkle a spring rain on us, but they never did and eventually the clouds cleared a bit. We had a nice relaxing time eating, walking around, playing and breathing in the fresh air.

Ava 5/13/07 Flower child 5/13/07 Julian 5/13/07 Blowin’ raspberries 5/13/07

(Don’t ya just love Ava’s dress? I got it at that big consignment sale for $5!)

After our picnic lunch, we headed over to Pearl Street Mall (an outdoor pedestrian mall) to take our annual Mother’s Day picture in front of the tulips. I’ve had a picture taken there with Ava for the past two years, so, of course, we had to do it again this year and keep up the tradition. 🙂

Mother’s Day 2005 Mommy and Ava – 2005
Mother’s Day 2006 Mommy (pregnant with Julian) and Ava – 2006
Mother’s Day 2007 Mommy, Ava and Julian – 2007

After playing on the mall for a bit – there are some rock gardens that Ava has a blast playing in – we headed home. I made a quick and easy dinner of tacos with Smart Ground and, with the kids in bed, I’m thinking of turning in early and catching some extra Zzzzzzs.

Hope all of you mamas out there enjoyed a nice day!

And Happy Mother’s Day to you, Mom. Thank you for giving me life and helping me become the person I am today. 🙂

 

 

 

Mother’s Day May 12, 2007

Filed under: Ava,Breastfeeding,Julian,Mothering,My life,Pictures — amygeekgrl @ 10:48 am

Happy Mother’s Day (tomorrow) to all the mamas out there. I hope you have a wonderful day celebrating you! You deserve it!

Since it is the eve of Mother’s Day, I want to share two pictures that are very special to me as a mother. The first is of Ava nursing when she was 2 days old, and the second is of Julian nursing for the very first time. (A big thanks to my midwife for snapping that picture. I wish I had one of Ava nursing for the first time, but I don’t think that I do.)

Ava - 2 days old Julian’s first nursing

When I look at the picture of Ava and I, I feel warmth, love and peace. When I look at the picture of Julian and I, I feel love and pure joy.

Nursing my children has been one of the most amazing experiences for me. When I am holding them close as they are nuzzled up to my breast, I feel like they are perfectly safe and secure. All is right in the world and nothing can touch them as long as they are in my embrace. I love that feeling.

It will be all too soon that they start venturing out to do things on their own.

Ava is starting a preschool/enrichment-type program in a few short weeks, and while I know she is ready and I am too, part of me wishes I could always keep her safe in my arms. Yet I know I must set her free to grow wings of her own.

And Julian bonked his head for the first time this week when he toppled over from a sitting position and into the exersaucer. I wish I could protect him from all of the bumps and bruises he will get in his life’s journey, but I know those bumps and bruises will help define who he grows up to be.

Becoming a mother has been such an amazing, life-altering experience. It has it’s ups and downs and is loaded with challenges, but it’s such a privilege to watch these little people grow, learn and love. Every day is special. Every day is something new.

I love this quote by Elizabeth Stone…

“Making the decision to have a child – it’s momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart walking around outside your body.”

I feel truly blessed to be a mother.

 

Hey big spender May 10, 2007

Filed under: Attachment Parenting,Kids,My life — amygeekgrl @ 1:53 pm

I’ve been busy the past few days preparing a bunch of my baby/kid clothes and some maternity clothes for the Just Between Friends sale this weekend in town. It’s a HUGE sale with over 300 consignors and 20,000 items.

I have never consigned stuff there before, but I did shop the sale last year and bought a ton of stuff for Julian (all of which he’s outgrown, of course).

Tonight is the presale for consignors and I’m hoping to score some good stuff, mostly some summer clothes for the kids and maybe some other things like play equipment for the yard or perhaps a double stroller. We’ll see. I was there this morning dropping off my clothes and there is so much stuff. I actually bought some HABA wooden rattle/teethers directly from my friend while we were there. The sale hasn’t even started and I’m already spending my cash. 😉 I’m sure I could spend a fortune there if I didn’t restrain myself.

While we are undecided if we will have more kids, I decided to go ahead and part with a bunch of the baby/kids’ clothes taking up room in our house. (Less we’ll have to move to a new house someday, right?) I saved some for sentimental reasons, but I figure it’s pretty easy and not that expensive to buy more baby clothes (used/consigned) in the future should we have the need. Might as well clear some of the stuff out of our house in the meantime. I also donated some of our clothes to our local Attachment Parenting International group who’s using the profits from the sale to buy AP books to stock our local libraries. 🙂

 

An evening with Ina May May 8, 2007

Ina MayAs I set out driving Friday night to hear Ina May Gaskin – called “the mother of authentic midwifery” by Midwifery Today – speak, I was filled with nervous excitement. When I was about 10 minutes out from the church in Lafayette where the event was taking place, a friend of mine called me to say she was saving some seats for me and other friends of ours and she was able to get pretty close to the front. I felt like a teenager going to a rock concert. Third row seats! We got third row seats to see Ina May! 🙂

As I pulled into the parking lot, I saw moms with their children in baby slings or carriers, groups of women without children, as well as some couples all making their way towards the entrance. I pulled in a spot, got Julian from the backseat and into the Ergo carrier when I overheard a woman a few cars down from me say, “I’m so glad I remembered to bring my book for her to sign.” D’oh! I never even thought to bring my copy of “Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth.” Some groupie I am, eh?

With only five minutes to spare before the talk was supposed to begin, Julian and I hightailed it into the building, quickly saying hello as we passed a couple of women I know from our AP group on the way. I couldn’t wait to get inside.

We made our way to the front of the registration line and we were greeted by my midwife K with a big hug. I wanted to stay and chat with her, but there wasn’t time and she had a lot more participants to check in, so we agreed to try to meet up after Ina May’s talk to chat. My excitement and anticipation grew.

Once inside the church, I spotted my friends waving me down in, yes, the third(!) row, right in front of the podium. I may have skipped a little as I made my way towards them and settled down in my seat with Julian.

We chatted for a good 10 to 15 minutes before Karen Robinson, the president of the Colorado Midwives Association (CMA), came out to welcome everyone to the event, speak a bit about the CMA, and then, the moment we were all waiting for, introduce Ina May Gaskin.

The applause began immediately and Ina May walked in to a standing ovation.

She began her talk with a bit of history both about herself and about the history of birth and obstetrics in the United States. While I have read and heard before about how women used to be treated in hospitals (drugged to the point of being unconscious while their babies were extracted from their bodies using forceps, etc.), it gives me the heebie-jeebies every time. She told us how her first birth was in a hospital, where, despite her belief that she could’ve given birth naturally and without pain medication, she was drugged and her baby was taken out using forceps.

She spoke about the path that lead her to become a midwife, as she began attending births while traveling across the country (on hippie buses) with hundreds of others who were following Stephen Gaskin on a five-month-long speaking tour across the United States. 11 babies were born on the buses during the Caravan. She has attended more than 1200 births to date.

She talked about Sphincter Law which is described in detail in her book “Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth.”

“The Sphincter Law recognizes the cervix as a sphincter along with the other excretory sphincters. These sphincters function best, Gaskin points out, in an atmosphere of privacy and familiarity.” —Midwifery: the Revival an Old Profession

So it is difficult for a woman to give birth in a hospital with nurses and doctors shouting “PUSH!” or making threats of “you’d better get that baby out soon or you’ll have a c-section” etc. Just as it would not be easy for any of us to shit (yes, she said shit! and ass too for that matter) on command. If you are sitting on the toilet, trying to take a crap and someone walks in on you – what happens? You stop crapping until you feel safe and no longer vulnerable. Same thing can also happen with birthing a baby.

She also talked about the mind/body connection, though I don’t know if she used that term. She described how she has witnessed a woman get stuck at 7 cm (or whatever) for hours on end with no apparent physical reason, only to later discover that this women’s mother died in childbirth, so this woman was afraid she would die too. Once the “secret” was out, however, the woman was able to dilate to completion and have her baby. She ran into something similar in another situation as well. But (and this is my own rambling here) had something like that happened in a hospital, how many doctors would stop to wonder what could be causing this woman’s labor to stall or would they threaten the woman that if she didn’t dilate by such and such time, she would need a c-section? Yes, I believe things need to change in the obstetrical world.

She talked a little bit about Ricki Lake’s new movie, “The Business of Being Born,” as she is interviewed in it. She mentioned that it received a standing ovation at the Tribeca Film Festival and that Ricki had recently been interviewed about it on “The View.” Someone asked how can we see the film and she recommended we start calling our local movie theaters to ask them when they will be getting it. Let them know there’s a demand for it.

At the end of her talk, she took questions from the audience. Questions were asked about VBACs (vaginal birth after cesarean), breastfeeding, circumcision, vaccinations and breech births. I don’t recall all that was said since we were going on two hours of Julian being a happy camper in my lap and he was starting to get squirmy.

I know she said that she believes breastfeeding should continue as long as it’s mutually satisfying to both the child AND the mother. If mom isn’t enjoying the breastfeeding relationship anymore, she doesn’t believe in continuing to nurse out of guilt. She is currently in the process of writing a book about breastfeeding.

She doesn’t believe in routine circumcision, but has seen many circumcised boys in her years as a midwife, and even acted as a mohel for a while.

I didn’t get to hear a lot of what she said about vaccinations, since it was about that time that I decided Julian and I needed to move from our third(!) row seat and stand in the back, where I could sway with him and keep him contented. I recall her saying that she felt some vaccinations were OK, but she believes in starting them later than the recommended age. And that there were others (like chicken pox) that she wouldn’t recommend.

After I had Julian tucked back into the Ergo and we were swaying at the back of the room, someone asked a question about her thoughts on breech births (i.e. should they be automatic c-sections?). This, as some of you who have read Julian’s birth story* know, is a topic very dear and close to my heart. If you have a breech baby in a hospital with an OB, you are pretty much guaranteed a c-section. Of course midwives still perform vaginal breech births and believe that a woman should be able to choose to have a vaginal birth. Ina May helps educate midwives in her conferences (and through her videos) on the knowledge and skills required to successfully assist women having breech babies. In fact, one of the sessions from the following day’s midwifery conference was focusing on breech and twin births. “Vaginal birth of breech and twins has become a rarity for more and more OBs. Therefore the skills needed to assist in these types of vaginal births have begun to disappear and women are losing their right to choose a vaginal birth with twins or a breech.”

After that question was answered, Ina May wrapped up her talk and gracefully exited the room as everyone applauded with much gratitude.

Many people milled about for a while chatting with each other, meeting with Ina May or Debby Takikawa (the director of the movie “What Babies Want” narrated by Noah Wyle who was presenting at the midwifery conference held that day – by the way, it’s a great movie and you should definitely see it if you ever get the chance), etc. after the talk concluded. Yours truly was among them. I chatted with some friends for a while before realizing that Ina May was still around and signing autographs. I wished that I had my book with me, but since I didn’t, I asked her to sign a brochure from my midwife’s practice. She did.
“For Amy
Ina May Gaskin”
I talked to her briefly and told her a little bit about Julian’s birth, as he slept away in the Ergo. It was pretty darn cool to talk to her face to face. I knew she had had a busy day and another one ahead of her the next day (and still more autographs to sign), so I didn’t want to keep her for long. I thanked her and headed back over to my friends. We reminisced about how we used to get all excited about going to concerts or getting autographs from celebrities, etc., and there we were elated to hear a midwife talk and get her autograph. 😉 Times have certainly changed.

I must add that I also wished I had taken my camera with me, when I later saw Ina May pose for pictures with a few women. I guess I now know what to bring along with me to my next midwifery rock concert event. 😉

It was a wonderful evening and a great privilege to meet Ina May, a woman who has done so much to further the midwifery cause and offer women a choice, a very safe choice, when it comes to birth.

———————————————————————
I’m sure I forgot something from the evening and if anyone who was there wants to chime in in the comments with anything I overlooked, please do so. It really would’ve been nice to take notes, but there’s no way I could’ve kept the pen and paper out of Julian’s mouth. 😉

Salon.com has a great article about Ina May called, The Midwife of Modern Midwifery from a series called “Brilliant Careers” in the June 1, 1999 edition for those of you who’d like to learn more about this amazing woman.

*If you haven’t read Julian’s birth story and would like to, please e-mail me. It’s not currently on my blog.

 

ya say it’s your birthday

Filed under: Ava,Family and Friends,Julian,My life,Pictures — amygeekgrl @ 9:46 am

Yesterday was my 32nd birthday. The day was rather chilly and rainy, so we didn’t get to do anything outside. We did, however, go out for lunch to California Pizza Kitchen (Jody took the day off), took a scenic drive in the mountains (where it was snowing), and ordered dinner in from one of our favorite restaurants.

Jody and the kids got me subscriptions to Mothering magazine and Vegetarian Times. Yay! I’m also getting a new camera case that’s on the way.

My sister, who’s birthday is tomorrow, is coming over tonight so we can celebrate both of us. I still need to figure out what I’m making for dinner and how I’m going to get a cake made in time. Perhaps we’ll be buying one instead. 😉
Here are a couple pics of me and the kiddos from yesterday.

Julian and Mommy 5/7/07 Julian, Ava and Mommy 5/7/07

P.S. I’m still working on my write up of Ina May’s talk. I’m about half-way done.