Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sunday Surf

With no older kids in the household this week, it felt like the weekend that would never end. It was a bit odd, actually, especially since we're playing the waiting game until our upcoming level 2 ultrasound / amniocentesis appointment. Speaking of which, the anxiety level regarding that appointment has risen exponentially with each passing day. They even called and asked me to reschedule for 2 more weeks out! NO! We're going this Thursday.

In the meantime, please enjoy these links.

  • I'm really interested in Placenta Encapsulation. I'm pregnant. I had PPD after one of my births. I've read that ingesting your placenta can make a huge difference in how you feel in the postpartum weeks. And then, like magic, Authentic Parenting published Everything You Want to Know About Placenta Encapsulation!

  • During my second pregnancy, I was told that I was "borderline-borderline diabetic." Yeah, I said borderline twice. It was just close enough that they gave me a glucometer and told me to watch my carb intake. My preggo hormonal brain then stood in the middle of the grocery and absolutely bawled, saying that I couldn't eat anything anymore.

    During my third pregnancy, I was officially diagnosed as having Gestational Diabetes. I immediately borrowed a glucometer and got a lot of support from my diabetic mother. We had my blood sugar under control immediately! Then I went to see the specialist and she used a bunch of friggin' scare tactics. The stress of it threw my levels out of whack! I did hear some good news, though, my doc's nurse said that (contrary to popular belief) having GD did NOT mean that you would have it during every pregnancy. Coolio! The diabetes disappeared after Sasha was born.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Keeping your Children Hydrated

The Summer heat, at least in my neck of the woods, has been crazy hot this year! We have literally been under an Excessive Heat Warning that I'm sure will continue to be extended! We've just been avoiding going outside as much as possible. Usually when we do go outside, its to the truck to go somewhere. The walk from the truck back to the apartment usually totally drains my pregnant butt!

So, how do we keep our children from becoming dehydrated? You can, after all, lead a horse (or pre-communication child) to water, but you can't make them drink.

Some symptoms of dehydration are headache (how would you know?), tiredness (could be confused with general crankiness, right?), and decreased urine output. Now this last one is one that we really can watch, but we have to be paying attention! You can also check for darker urine than usual. Urine should actually be quite clear when a person is properly hydrated. All of these can still be treated at home. You just need to get some fluids (preferably breastmilk or water) into your kid.

You have a medical emergency on your hands if you or your children reach the point of severe dehydration. Here are the signs:

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Random Recent Photos

Daddy reads to SashaDaddy reads to Sasha
I reviewed this book recently.

Sasha's PonytailI can finally get her hair up into a pony! Sometimes.

Spider TicklesSasha chased Daddy all the way up the bed with "Spider Tickles."

Sasha in Laura AshleySasha, in the Laura Ashley dress
her Uncle Keith bought for her.

Be sure to check out the NPN WW post on being Ecologically Responsible. Lots of cute earth-loving little ones!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Teen Pregnancy

I've had this article saved since April because I wanted to write about it. A teenage girl faked being pregnant for her Senior school project. If you haven't read it, go ahead. I'll wait...

Oh alright, I'm going to summarize it a bit anyway... So she literally only told her mother, the principal (who had to get the approval of the superintendent as well), her best friend (who could apparently keep a secret!), one of her seven siblings, and her boyfriend of 3 years. Even his parents didn't know the truth!

She wore a prosthetic belly for months, telling everyone she was due in July. Finally, she stood (in all her pregnant glory) in front of the student body to give a presentation on Stereotypes, rumors, and statistics.

She had several members of the audience read statements during the presentation. They were all things that had been said about her behind her back. All of them had, obviously, made it back to her. I'm sure her presentation showed a much more realistic view of the pregnant teenager than that show on MTV ever could would.

Anti-teenage pregnancy IIAnti-teenage pregnancy II
Photo Credit

Her story is amazing, but I'm sharing it for another reason.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Monday Minimalist: Kids' Rooms

How do your kids do at cleaning their own rooms? My 13yo has never been terribly motivated to do it herself. When she was little, of course I did it for her. Then she got a bit older and she would do alright if I gave her 1-2 very specific tasks at a time in her room and stayed in the doorway. It got to where I'd threaten to clean her room if she didn't do it. This threat never bothered her. She knew she'd lose toys to donations and garbage, but it never bothered her enough to get it done herself.

In more recent years, she has even been grounded until she got her room clean. (This wasn't in my own household.) It took her two long weeks to get it done! She just isn't terribly organized with her own things.

She is away at Girl Scout camp for two weeks and I've wanted to get her room straightened up. She moved in with us a couple of months ago and claims she has NO room to unpack any more of her things. Admittedly, there isn't room for everything (at least not without using hangers) but there is room. She is not using her space effectively at all.

She has been gone one week and I finally went in and worked on her desk today. So... do you consider cleaning your child's room a minimalist activity? I suppose it would depend on whether you get rid of anything when you do it.

The Berenstain Bears Think of Those in NeedAffiliate Link

Speaking of which... If you're trying to get little ones on board with minimalizing, you might try The Berenstain Bears Think of Those in Need (affiliate link). It helped a lot with Tyler when she was little.

How do your kids do at cleaning their own rooms? Do you consider cleaning your child's room a minimalist activity?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sunday Surf: K?

I've been having... a weekend of clarity? loss of fatigue? I haven't been as tired this weekend and even more shocking... I've felt motivated! In the absence of our slaves my daughter and our house guest, I've actually been getting the dishes processed. And today while Sasha napped I finally got started on a cleaning project! Admittedly, I've still been spending a lot of time at the computer, but still... I'm pleased for progress!

On to some links!

  • I'm of the mind that babies slowly build their Vitamin K supply. I see no reason for the medical industry to give it to them all at once as newborns! The only reason Tyler got the shot was because she was born in a federally funded hospital. They required it. Check out this much-needed update on vitamin K prophylaxis (from the Association for Improvements in the Maternity Services in the UK) for some validation if you feel the same. It may also serve you well if you find a need to argue your beliefs with your hospital.

    Sad SashaSad Sasha
    April 2011

Friday, July 22, 2011

Pet Names

No, I'm not (currently) looking for name ideas for tarantulas. All 15 of them have names. I just keep noticing that we still call Sasha "Baby." A lot. I wouldn't see that as an issue at all, except... we have another baby on the way. I feel like it would be wise to "wean" her to a new pet name (or term of endearment, if you prefer) before the new baby arrives.

Though I've had 3 children over time, I've never had one so little at home as to be called "Baby" when a new baby arrived. I want the transition to big sister / not the baby of the house to go as smoothly for Sasha as possible. But what terms of endearment do you use for a toddler?

No, really, I'm asking. I know a lot of you have multiple small children. Did you find yourself in a similar situation? What did you call your older child when they were no longer the baby?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Pregnancy

8 months pregnant with Tyler 8 months pregnant with Tyler
August 1998

8 month UltrasoundSasha - 8 months along
Doesn't she look peaceful?
August 2009

Last Belly Pic with SashaLast Belly Pic with Sasha (and Elmo behind me)
About 1 week "early" after having my membranes swept.
September 2009

ultrasound fingersSee baby's fingers?
nearly 12 weeks

For more pregnancy photos, check out Wordless Wednesday on Natural Parents Network!

For some beautiful breastfeeding photos, check out Wordless Wednesday posts at Hobo Mama and Anktangle.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Monday Minimalist: Medicine Cabinet

When was the last time you went through your medicine cabinet? We moved across the courtyard in December. Since the "bathroom cabinet" is now accessible to Sasha, we never really got the medicine cabinet box unpacked. We do have a shelf in the kitchen that has become the medicine cabinet, but we've only unpacked items as we've needed them.

So this weekend I was hunting for diaper cream (for an adult case of heat rash). I got out the medicine cabinet box and actually looked at the items that weren't what I needed. I threw out some contacts that are about 3 years old. Out went the contact cleaning solution and eye drops for them, too. The two different migraine drugs we were given for Elmo to try that didn't work? Gone. They were probably expired and I haven't been able to find a place where individuals can donate scrips. (Nursing homes can donate them, but not individuals.)

I also found our sunscreen, baby sunscreen, organic bug repellent, and matching bug bite stuff! So I threw away quite a few items and unpacked a few on top of that. So when was the last time you really went through your drugs? I'm no slave to expiration dates, but I certainly won't use drugs that are a couple of years past their date.

If you'd like a nice bite-size space to minimize (so you can complete it in one sitting and have a WIN), try your medicine cabinet. Maybe you have infant Tylenol, but no infants. Perhaps you have expired items. You might be surprised.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sunday Surf: Scatterbrained

I'm so scatterbrained (we'll call it pregnancy brain!) lately that it is difficult to stick with one page to read all the way through an article in the first place. And then once I do find some pages worth sharing, getting myself to focus for long enough to put my SS post together... even harder! Here is what I've collected for you this week...

  • Did you know that there is a physiological reason that mothers kiss their newborn babies?! I had no idea, but it makes sense! Check out Why Mothers Kiss Their Babies at Birthing Magazine. Apparently old news, though, as the article was originally written in 2001.

  • Fred & Friends is this little company that offers strange and fun products for around the home and office. "Like what sort of things," you ask? Like notepads that the back of the paper is printed like various sport balls. So when you wad up your page to throw into the recycle bin, it looks like a ball! Or pens that have real size eating utensils on the lids! How about an ice mold in the shape of the Titanic? Or kitchen tools shaped like Russian Nesting Dolls?! As a minimalist, I do not need these things, but they are so cool!

  • From Nickelodeon's Parents Connect, comes an amusing tongue-in-cheek piece titled 10 (Cheeky) Tips for New Moms. It is cute and funny, enjoy! For example, she suggests that a good gin and tonic will help with getting your milk to let down!

    KKK Toddler with Black Copthis pic is so bittersweet it makes me want to cry

  • I originally stumbled upon a blog entry about this photo. The writer was pointing out that this innocent toddler was simply curious and exploring while this black police officer was protecting the KKK's right to gather. How torn must he have been about even having to work this event?! How absolutely sickening is it that people are out there teaching their children such hatred?!

    The actual source of this photo is a publication of the Southern Poverty Law Center. It is a community response guide: Ten Ways to Fight Hate. Go read it. Learn some small (and not so small) ways that you can battle the hatred in your own town.

  • And so as not to end on too sour a note, I've enjoyed a timely re-post from Authentic Parenting on giving chores to children. It is a topic that has been on my mind a lot lately. My 13yo has only lived with us a couple of months so far, but she complains about having to do her own laundry and emptying the dishwasher. Compared to my own workload at her age, she has it pretty easy! You can even see a lengthy comment there from me, looking for more ideas. Got any? Chores: Great Idea Or Epic Fail? (rerun)
I hope you find some material here that you enjoy. This week was also spent preparing for my older daughter's 2 weeks away at camp. We had to buy some supplies and pack, mostly. I delivered her today. I'm so psyched for her and miss camp myself!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Board Book Review: Almost Bedtime

I am not familiar with eebee's adventures at all. I picked out Almost Bedtime: A Night-night Adventure because it looked colorful and fun sitting in one of the bins of board books at our local library branch. It has quickly become an absolute favorite in our house! We've renewed it a few times and it is currently overdue because I couldn't find it on library day!

There isn't so much a cadence to the story, but it is very predictable with almost every page having a "no" answer regarding whether baby is ready for bed (and what the baby is actually doing). Sasha has great fun answering each question! In fact, she has even started pretending to read the questions, too! She now pretends to read just about anything and everything!

The book is colorful and cute. I was disappointed to find that our library doesn't have any other of eebee's adventures! This one is one of the newer ones, but it looks like there are nine so far, including soft books and perhaps a bath book. I've requested that the library get more of them.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

pStyle Winners

A big congratulations to the winners of the pStyle joint giveaway with Momma Jorje and Natural Parents Network — #71 & #49!

Amy M. & Laura B.

Your pStyles will ship today!

Amy M. says:

"WOOT I heard about these before. I SO want one. Would make life easier! I like the pStyle Clear!"

Laura B. says:

"I want to win a pStyle so I can go camping and not have to walk so far to the bathrooms! I would like a clear one please!"

This was a joint giveaway with Momma Jorje and Natural Parents Network, the entries from both sites were combined and two winners were drawn using

The pStyle is a device designed to assist women pee from a standing position. Devices like this one have been around for over 100 years and can make peeing easier while camping, pregnant, baby wearing and many other precarious situations.

If you weren't one of the lucky winners, you can still get your own pStyle direct from the website or from a list of retailers. Alternatively, you could purchase one using our Amazon affiliate link. The cost is $12 and it will ship internationally.

pStyle has offered our readers a generous coupon code for 20% off any purchase from their site. The code is MommaJorje to be entered at checkout and expires July 21st.

Be sure to keep in touch with pStyle:

Disclosure: I received a free pStyle for review.
Amazon links are affiliate links for Natural Parents Network.
NPN tries to seek out only products we think you would find
relevant and useful to your life as a natural parent.
If we don't like a product, we won't be recommending it to you.
See our full disclosure policy here.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: First Crayons

Crayons!1yo Sasha


Crayons!more interested in tearing paper

Crayons!scribble, scribble

Crayons!only the lightest of marks were hers

See 1½yo Sasha and lots of other adorable children exploring art this week on Natural Parents Network's Wordless Wednesday post! You can link up there, too!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Parenting Philosophies & Planning for the Future

Welcome to the July Carnival of Natural Parenting: Parenting Philosophy

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have shared their parenting practices and how they fit in with their parenting purpose. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.


Some of my parenting philosophies came to me out of my desires for my children as they get older. Others, however, are just the way I do things. Everything we do ultimately affects who they will be though, right?

I am an attachment parent first and foremost because I simply can not help it! The benefit is that my children feel safe and can take steps into their independence at their own pace. I believe this will eventually lead to them being independent adults that still trust me to be there for them whenever they need me.

I practice thanking those around me, including my children, because I don't want to take those around me for granted as well as to set an example. I am still amazed that my nearly two year old daughter thanks everyone for everything! Admittedly, she sometimes just goes around the room thanking people, but she thanks everyone that hands her anything or gives her a bite or helps her with anything.

I totally realize that co-sleeping isn't for everyone. It doesn't work for all children any more than it works for all parents. That said, I'm lucky (and grateful!) that it has worked for me. It is something I originally planned to do because it cuts down on SIDS risk. Once I brought that adorable baby home, though... it just felt like the right thing to do. I also believe this practice will have an effect on my daughters' independence as they grow older.

Co-sleeping Nap TimeCo-sleeping Nap Time
Amusingly, I'm topless and she's bottomless!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Monday Minimalist: Sentimental Value

I posted once before warning to be careful what you toss. I touched on the sentimental value we assign to items, but mostly was discussing things we use occasionally. Today I want to go back to the sentimental items.

In high school, I had an artist friend. We'll call him Jaymz. He drew me this awesome little picture of a lizard rockin' out on a guitar. The drawing was matted with a little cardboard frame. It was very cool. I even copied it onto a small canvas and painted it! I kept both of these items tucked into a folder for years.

This old friend recently tracked me down (thank you Facebook). I was thrilled to hear from him and we've been playing catch up a bit. This, of course, made me think of this piece of art that I know I've moved around several times. Only... I couldn't swear as to whether I have it or not! I don't recall tossing it, but I've tossed a lot of stuff. I looked through some boxes, but I have a few more up in the closet. I'm not able to get them down and since we're moving in a month, I figure it can wait.

Jorje at 15Jorje @ 15 years old

Hoarders is an extra inspiration to me. I love the show! I think I could have become a hoarder if I hadn't been bitten by the Minimalist bug. The psychologists often point out to these people that if they get rid of the item, they don't lose the memory. A lot of hoarders feel like they'll forget something or (more often) someone if they let items go. I will obviously always remember these items (and the people that go with them). However, now that I've reconnected with this old friend... if I've gotten rid of these items I have not only affected myself, I've affected a friend. I'm sure he'd get over it, but I'm hoping I still have them.

Might it be different if the item was from someone who had passed away? I'm not sure. I don't feel this burning need to keep something to remind me of a person. At least with the deceased, you don't have to worry about them wanting something back or even to see it. However, in that situation, you might have family members or friends that would appreciate the item. In my minimalist efforts, I've tried to find good homes for things that I felt would be appreciated by people I know. I don't feel like I owe anyone, but its good to be nice.

Have you ever gotten rid of something sentimental and regretted it later? Have you ever gotten rid of a sentimental item and been really proud of yourself?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sunday Surf

Hot, hot week. Yesterday the temperature in my city was 107° and there was an Extreme Heat Advisory. Headed to my dad's later this morning to fix the air conditioner in our truck! Travel has been sickening, to say the least. Here are a couple links for you.

  • I enjoy reading Issa's Love Live Grow blog. She now has a gorgeous little one and was recently waxing philosophical about Things Less Important. It is a touching post and a valuable reminder.

  • I haven't mentioned it lately, but we still totally plan to hit the road once we can get all of our ducks in a row. My older daughter is game, too (now that I have full custody of her). We hope to be able to purchase a Travel Trailer come tax season. That said, I recently noticed a sweepstakes in my tea box... Luzianne is giving away an RV! They're giving away a big, Class A, fancy RV! It is covered with ads for their product, but I don't care!

    So as much as I should keep this to myself to up our chances of winning, I'm sharing the sweepstakes with you. Still... wish us luck!

Just a light list again with so much going on around here. I figure everyone is probably busy with Summer activities anyway, so you don't need much reading material. I hope you're keeping cool and staying hydrated! Have a great week!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Unassisted Childbirth ~ Guest Post

This is my very first guest post ever! Please welcome Olivia from Write About Birth. Read to the bottom for her bio. Today I share with you Olivia's thoughts on unassisted childbirth, not a question of simply following your instincts.

“Trust birth" and “listen to your intuition” are among the most commonly heard statements among families who chose an unassisted homebirth; a birth without the presence of medical professionals. Is having faith that a woman’s body will simply birth her baby as long as her birth is unhindered by others, and she follows her instincts, really the alternative to delivering in a medical setting with all the possible interventions, and often against the medical interest of both mother and baby?

As a woman who had two homebirths, one of which was unassisted, I do not believe in the mantra of “trusting birth”, though I fully support the sense of listening to intuition. After all, intuition is simply a very fast cognitive process that is often much more effective than conscious logic. I chose to give birth to my second child alone, without medical professionals or anyone else, for many reasons.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Cloth Practice

Cloth AttemptDug out the supplies I had and attempted Cloth Diapering... been 20 years!

Loose DiaperLookin' a little loose!
But check out the Tie Dye!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


The first time I had a guest post published was on Hobo Mama back in December 2009. I've since submitted another post for her (should publish sometime this Summer, I believe) as well as a couple of posts for Natural Parents Network. (One of those will post this Summer and the other will post this Fall.)

flickr: writingphoto credit: jjpacres

I've had a page pending for my blog and have finally published it. The title: Published. It is a place to track my articles that have been published on other sites.

There is also a new addition to that page, which is why I suspect I was finally ready to publish it. I don't think I wanted to show off being published on only one or two sites. So... the new guest post can be seen on Please go check it out!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Monday Minimalist: Minimizing Commitments

I used to be very involved in Girl Scouts. When you first start out as a leader, it is easy to get sucked into volunteering for all sorts of extra stuff. I didn't even start as a leader, I started as a Cookie Mom. By the following year, I was the Cookie Manager for our entire Service Unit (about 13 troops). I think they really ought to have a limiting system in place. It is easy to get burned out ~ fast! But they need volunteers.

Sasha with SelmaSelma the Boa Constrictor peeking over my shoulder at Sasha, asleep in the backpack at Eagle Valley Girl Scout Camp
June 2010
I dragged my 9mo baby around in the Summer heat for 5 days of Day Camp. We had fun, but it was a big commitment. I won't be able to do it again this Summer while pregnant. It is too hot.

So I cut back on Girl Scouts. It was no longer as fulfilling as it had once been. It was a commitment I dreaded. Just as hobbies and interests can come and go, so do other interests. I'm volunteering elsewhere now, in a way I can do from home. (I volunteer for the Natural Parents Network Wordless Wednesdays.)

I finally made it to a couple local Farmers' Markets, thanks to my Mom's inspiration. (She needed me to pick things up for her, too!) I am interested in attended more local events. I want to go to art and cultural festivals. I haven't really made any yet, but I've been adding them to my calendar. At least with these, I don't have to commit. When it comes time for it, I can go... or not, as per my whim.

Do you feel overextended? Do you have some commitments you could cut out? Even if you feel stuck, you have to remember to take care of you.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Sunday Surf: Holiday Weekend

Seems not many folks are online this weekend. I have a light load for you this week...

  • ABC reports that Banner hospitals have banned elective Cesarean sections as well as scheduled labor inductions! How awesome is that?! They still provide these services when mother or baby's health is at risk, but they are admitting there are risks involved in doing these things for no medical reason. Read the entire article here.

  • Peaceful Parenting published a Joy of Nursing Toddlers Photo Gallery! If you love nursing photos like I do, you won't be able to keep from smiling and sighing as you scroll through the images! Tandem nursers, Gymnurstics, toddlers nursing and looking directly into the camera... this gallery has it all! I've even submitted a photo now. Enjoy!

  • As you may have read, my newest doctor suggests I wean our toddler for the sake of our unborn child. I've dug up a FAQ from Le Leche League International regarding Breastfeeding During Pregnancy. I'm thinking of printing it for the doctor!

    They also have an article published in their bimonthly publication, Nursing Through Pregnancy.

  • Don't forget! Natural Parents Network is carrying over my pStyle giveaway for a few more days! Go check it out and enter (on one site or the other)!

Thanks for checking in here. I hope you found these links helpful in one way or another. Have a safe Independence Day!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Where's Jorje?

While I do love the Where's George program, this isn't it. No Sunday Surf? No Monday Minimalist? No Wordless Wednesday? No full pregnancy updates so far? What gives?

As you all know by now, my mother passed last week. No, I'm not sinking into a pit of despair. I'm actually doing fairly well as far as that goes. However, I haven't posted a detailed pregnancy update in some time because it has already been a roller coaster and I'm not even quite out of the first trimester just yet.

I started out at my local Indian clinic. I got a bunch of tests and saw my midwife twice. On the second visit, I was informed I failed the 3 hour glucose test and was being transferred to an OB at the University of Oklahoma high risk clinic. I went for my first appointment there and met the resident and doctor that would supposedly be handling my case. Only they saw I was being sent over as diabetic... that meant this was an unnecessary(?) stop on my way to the Diabetic OB Clinic. Great, MORE medical staff to meet.

I went for my U/S for Nuchal Translucency and dating on the pregnancy. The midwife thought the heart tones were awful clear for our dating. The U/S confirmed we were still on schedule, due in early January. However, she was unable to get the NT measurements because we were still a bit early for that.

nuchal translucency ulrasoundUltrasound / Nuchal Translucency
Photo Credit

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