Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Mamatography - Week 20

Day 134


My brother giving Sasha a home version ferris wheel ride after we told him about the carnival from the previous day.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tandem Nursing - Magic Cure?

Welcome to the Carnival of Tandem Nursing

This post was written for inclusion in the Carnival of Tandem Nursing hosted by Mommying My Way. Our participants have shared their personal stories of the highs the lows and information on what to expect if tandeming is in your future. Please read to the end of each post to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.


I had a very hard time breastfeeding and then dry-nursing my toddler through pregnancy. I was stubbornly determined to tandem nurse for one reason in particular: I'd read that tandem nursing can help ease the transition into being an older sibling. I had other reasons, of course, but this one was important to me.

Tandem Nursing - Take IThis is where Sasha met Spencer
for the very first time.

Monday, May 28, 2012

I am an AP mom, regardless...

I Am Mom! Enough! Carnival buttonWelcome to the I Am Mom! Enough! Carnival hosted by Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama and Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children.

This Carnival is dedicated to empowering ALL parents who practice and promote a peaceful, loving, attachment parenting philosophy. We have asked other parents to help us show the critics and the naysayers that attachment parenting is beautiful, uplifting, and unbelievably beneficial and NORMAL!

In addition to the Carnival, Joni from Tales of a Kitchen Witch and Jennifer from True Confessions of a Real Mommy are co-hosting a Linky Party. Please stop by either blog to share any of your posts on the topic.

Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants. Post topics are wide and varied, and every one is worth a read.


When I got pregnant 14 years ago, I knew I wanted to be at home with my child. I couldn't imagine leaving my baby with someone else for 8+ hours per day. I had just started a new job (literally interviewed within an hour after my pregnancy test!). So I worked hard to prove my worth during that first month and then I confessed to my boss, despite others' urging to wait an extra month.

My boss thought I was going to quit. We couldn't afford that. My 2nd choice for a solution, I told my boss I would love to work from home. He helped me with the process of becoming a corporation so he could contract the work out to me. I worked from home as an attachment parent for 8 years as my own corporation. I even had a few other clients along the way!

The view from my desk.Ronni - 2½ years old
The view from my desk.

I was a Work At Home Mom - and an Attachment Parent (though I didn't know there was a name for it). I breastfed her until she was 3½ years old. Its what worked for us. That is not what worked for my friends, partner or extended family. It is what worked for my daughter and myself.

Years later, in a new relationship, I found myself pregnant again. (I promise, I know what causes that!) I was working Full Time, my husband was working Part Time, and I took on an extra Part Time job on the side as my mother's Home Health Aid so we could afford an expensive condo close to my mom, planning to have her and my sister help with the baby.

When Sasha was 6 weeks old, I had to return to work. I pumped my breastmilk so Daddy could feed her while I was gone. I came home on lunch breaks to nurse her myself. Eventually she went on a bottle strike and opted to wait for me to get home to feed her myself.

QA Cage at Work
My Cage for the first year of Sasha's life.

I was a Work Outside the Home Mom - and an Attachment Parent. This time I discovered the name for it! She is still nursing a few minutes every day at 2½ years old. It is what works for us.

Eventually, I dropped the Part Time job and we moved to a cheaper apartment. My Full Time job stress increased exponentially. We cut back enough expenses that I was able to drop the Full Time job and go back to the Part Time job as my mother's Home Health Aid. We also wanted to focus on conceiving a son.

Two months later my mother had a stroke. Her hospitalization left me laid off of work. Two days later we got our positive pregnancy test. Two months later, she passed away. For nearly a year, I would claim to be "unemployed." I now proudly claim to be a homemaker.

Homemaker Home OfficeMy new "home office."

I am a Stay At Home Mom - and an Attachment Parent. I have left Spencer once (with Daddy) since bringing him home... for maybe 30 minutes. Oh wait, I also leave him for 10-15 minutes when I walk to the laundromat. He is exclusively breastfed, other than when I had a supply issue. It is what works for us.

I have been a WAHM, WOHM, and a SAHM, always an Attachment Mom and Yes, I am Mom Enough! I am mom enough for each of my babies! AP is what has worked for us, regardless of income or job status.

Are you an Attachment Parent? Do you think you could still be an Attachment Parent if your circumstances changed?


Thank you for visiting the I Am Mom! Enough! Carnival hosted by hosted by Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama and Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children.

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants and check out previous posts at the linky party hosted by Joni from Tales of a Kitchen Witch and Jennifer from True Confessions of a Real Mommy:

  • Good Enough? — Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy writes about how Good Enough is not Good Enough, if you use it as an excuse to stop trying.
  • The High Cost of High Expectations JeninCanada at Fat and Not Afraid shares what it's like to NOT feel 'mom enough' and wanting to always do better for herself and family.
  • TIME to Be You! — Becky at Old New Legacy encourages everyone to be true to themselves and live their core values.
  • I am mom and I have had ENOUGH — A mother had had ENOUGH of the mommy wars.
  • Motherhood vs. Feminism — Doula Julia at encourages feminists to embrace the real needs and cycles and strengths of women.
  • There Is No Universal Truth When It Comes To Parenting — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama discusses how parenting looks around the world and why there is no universal parenting philosophy.
  • Attachment Parenting Assumptions — ANonyMous at Radical Ramblings argues that attachment parenting is not just for the affluent middle-classes, and that as parents we all need to stop worrying about our differences and start supporting each other.
  • Thoughts on Time Magazine, Supporting ALL Mamas, and Advocating for the Motherless — Time Magazine led That Mama Gretchen to think about her calling as a mother and how adoption will play an important role in growing her family.
  • Attachment Parenting: the Renewed Face of Feminism — Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children embraces her inner feminist as she examines how the principles of attachment parenting support the equal treatment of all.
  • What a Mom Wants! — Clancy Harrison from Healthy Baby Beans writes about how women need to support each other in their different paths to get to the same destination.
  • Attachment Parenting: What One Family Wants You To Know — Jennifer, Kris, 4 year old Owen and 2 year old Sydney share the realities of attachment parenting, and how very different it looks than the media's portrayal.
  • We ALL Are Mom Enough — Amy W. of Amy Willa: Me, Mothering, and Making It All Work thinks that all mothers should walk together through parenthood and explores her feelings in prose.
  • A Typical Day Kat at Loving {Almost} Every Moment shares what a typical day with her attached family looks like...all in the hopes to shed light on what Attachment Parenting is, what it's not and that it's unique within each family!
  • The Proof is in the (organic, all-natural) Pudding — Kym at Our Crazy Corner of the World talks about how, contrary to what the critics say, the proof that attachment parenting works in visible in the children who are parented that way.
  • Time Magazine & Mommy Wars: Enough! What Really Matters? — Abbie at Farmer's Daughter encourages moms to stop fighting with each other, and start alongside each other.
  • Attachment parenting is about respect — Lauren at Hobo Mama breaks down what attachment parenting means to her to its simplest level.
  • I am an AP mom, regardless... — Jorje ponders how she has been an Attachment Parenting mom regardless of outside circumstances at Momma Jorje.
  • The first rule of Attachment Parenting is: You Do Not Talk about Attachment Parenting — Emily discusses, with tongue aqnd cheek, how tapping into our more primal selves actually brings us closer to who we are rather than who we think we should be.
  • Mom, I am. — Amy at Anktangle discusses how Attachment Parenting is a natural extension of who she is, and she explains the ways her parenting approach follows the "live and let live" philosophy, similar to her beliefs about many other areas of life.
  • I Breastfeed My Toddler for the Nutritional Benefits — Christine at African Babies Don't Cry shares why 'extended' breastfeeding is not extreme and how she is still nursing her toddler for the nutritional benefits.
  • I Am Dad Enough! — Attachment parenting does not only have to be about moms; their partners are just as important. In Code Name: Mama's family, Dionna's husband, Tom, is papa enough for lots of things.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sunday Surf: Sexy Dreams of Dolls & Other Art

It was an averagely busy week. Here are the links I enjoyed this week:

Scientists Reconstruct Brains’ Visions Into Digital Video In Historic Experiment

This is fascinating and cool while also being terrifying. They've found a way to monitor what happens in your brain and make it into a video! Its very rough right now, but only in its beginning stages. I could see where this might be neat for sharing your dreams with a partner (or, more likely, a therapist), but... yeah, this is scary.

JLRae Creates Awesomeness

My friend Joni Rae of Tales of a Kitchen Witch makes some gorgeous art! She paints, draws, sews... she rocks! Everything in her shop is 20% off right now if you use this code: NEWJOB!

She also has a sale going on for some goddess dolls from a discontinued pattern: All Cut Out and Nowhere to Go. They're so pretty!

Can Children Know, At Age 2, They Were Born The 'Wrong Sex'?

You see more and more articles about kids who identify with a different gender than their physical sex. I find myself wondering about environmental possibilities - maybe it is something we eat. This article brings up some very interesting points! What if we didn't have an A or B concept of sexuality? Some cultures don't share our rigid division.

The article also discusses the possibility that we don't come to one sexual identity that sticks with us for our entire lives. It can vary - which may prove to be a problem for people who are treated with hormones and surgeries at a very young age, if they basically change their minds later. I would think that there would be some pressure not to "change your mind" after having to fight for yourself as it is.

Very though-provoking article!

Sunday Surf with Authentic Parenting and Hobo MamaI'm joining Authentic Parenting and Hobo Mama for Sunday Surf. Share your best reading of the week, and link up your post at either blog!

For more great reading, visit Hobo Mama or Authentic Parenting for the latest Sunday Surf and linky.

Happy Surfing!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Skanky Swimwear

Have you shopped for swim suits lately? Sasha needed a new suit this year and our super store had two options: Character or Skanky. "What," you ask, "skanky?" That's right. I have always had a problem with the idea of toddlers (and other young children) in bikinis. Is it just me? I think bikinis suggest a sexual image that should just not be placed on little girls! Come to think of it, though, I don't like much of the girls' clothes on the market.

Minnie Mouse One-PieceI let Sasha choose between a few of the character one-piece suits available. She chose this one.

I will admit that there were some "tankinis" there as well and those do not bother me so much. Tankinis don't seem to carry as much of an adult connotation in my mind. I was tempted to get a tankini just to make bathroom trips easier (on me).

Even my teenager (13yo) has asked for a bikini this year, but she isn't actually due for a new suit yet. Her one-piece from last year should still fit. I like to let my children choose their clothing, but I will not have them out there slutting it up, luring pedophiles' attention.

What sort of swimsuit do your little girls wear?

The topic of characters on clothes is an entirely other possible rant. Another day, perhaps...

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Mamatography - Week 19

Day 127


My first attempt at pottying Spencer this way. It hasn't worked for us yet. Believe it or not, I am wearing shorts in this shot.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Nursing Limits

Welcome to the Carnival of Weaning: Weaning - Your Stories

This post was written for inclusion in the Carnival of Weaning hosted by Code Name: Mama and Aha! Parenting. Our participants have shared stories, tips, and struggles about the end of the breastfeeding relationship.

When Spencer was born, I continued to let Sasha nurse all she wanted, but had to set limits as far as timing. I'd been warned several times to make sure to feed the newborn first. That task was nigh impossible! Sometimes they'd nurse 1 hour apart, so then who really nursed first?

Tandem Nursing - Take IWho nurses first if you're
literally tandem nursing?

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sunday Surf: Santa has long hair, doesn't he?

It was a busy week! I'm just going to jump right in:

A Daughter With Down Syndrome Is The Perfect Sister

Enjoying The Small Things Kelle Hampton is a great writer and photographer. I always enjoy her blog posts! (I've even got her button on my sidebar!) This is a story she did for NPR. It speaks to me especially because I've just given my children a sibling with Down syndrome. My father even told me several times that Sasha would be the one to suffer for having this sibling. I appreciate Kelle's perspective on her daughters (sisters). It is sweet how her own sister helped her with her perspective.

Santa Doesn't Stop Here

kitchenwitchI loves me some Kitchen Witch! This is a long-running, sometimes controversial debate. This seemed like a different sort of perspective on the whole mess... and has me rethinking how we handle the holiday ourselves.

The comments also offer some thoughtful input on holiday traditions.

The Truth About Hair and Why Indians Would Keep Their Hair Long

The Mystical KingdomUm... wow! Just... wow! I had never heard this at all. This is definitely worth a read! I'm wondering how dread locks might effect the sixth sense...

Do you have long / short hair? How about your spouse? your kids? Ever noticed a difference after a big chop?

Sunday Surf with Authentic Parenting and Hobo MamaI'm joining Authentic Parenting and Hobo Mama for Sunday Surf. Share your best reading of the week, and link up your post at either blog!

For more great reading, visit Hobo Mama or Authentic Parenting for the latest Sunday Surf and linky.

Happy Surfing!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Vacation Weekend with Volunteers / Friends

As you surely know by now, I volunteer on Natural Parents Network. Last October, we had a Volunteer Gathering. I've made some close friends with some of the volunteers, especially through late night chats! My daughter has even become close friends with the daughter of another volunteer. So we planned a family get-together between her family and mine. Joni Rae of Tales of a Kitchen Witch invited us to come stay with her family. My oldest daughter has become close friends with her daughter who has gone to stay with them for a couple of extended visits.

As it turned out, she and Dionna of Code Name: Mama were also working out plans for a visit. As we were working out how to align our dates for one larger get together, Amy of Presence Parenting jumped on board as well! It would be Spencer's first road trip!

Elmo drivingIt was about a 3 hour drive,
plus about 45 minutes worth of stops.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Mamatography - Week 18

Day 120


On Sunday, we were still visiting in MO. Cooper napped on his momma and when she tried to get him to wake up he chose to doze on the floor for awhile first.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Monday Minimalist: A Journey

Being a minimalist is not about a destination, though it may sure seem it when you first start. It becomes a journey, an ongoing effort. I had gotten to the point where I was donating 1-2 shopping bags of stuff (including some fresh groceries I'd pick up) to our local Free Store per week. After skipping 2-3 weeks, we did some Spring Cleaning in our Travel Trailer and now have 2 garbage bags full of stuff!

Tulsa Free StoreFree Store

Tomorrow I'll deliver the bags while I'm on that side of town. I'm donating newborn size cloth diaper supplies, outgrown girlie toddler clothes, toy overflow, an old skillet, etc. My doula is also coming by tomorrow and will collect a few slings I no longer use. She'll pass them along to mommas in need. She'll also clear out my freezer of all the donor milk we wound up not needing.

Once I actually get all these bags out of the trailer, I'll be glad for the new space! We don't have extra space to store stuff we don't need.

Momma Jorje: Monday Minimalist

Let me know if you have a Monday Minimalist post and I'll share it on my blog.

Click the icon to grab the button for your MM posts or for details on how to join the movement.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sunday Surf: Giving away diapers, formula & diet changes

You will not find any TIME references here. There are lots of posts, I'm sure you've already seen plenty of them. Here are the links I'd like to share with you...

Fat Bottom Babies Giveaway

There are two prizes up for grabs. The first is 1 cloth diaper with 1 insert, 1 doubler and a 2oz tube of Bottom Soother. Tabatha (the local mom behind Fat Bottom Babies) is a friend of mine. Her diapers are well made AND adorable... and they don't look just like every other CD out there. Go win one and find out!

Here’s Some Formula Just In Case

I love the comparison this post gives... Imagine if you were given a divorce lawyer's card on your wedding day, "just in case." Yeah, how about the medical industry allows mothers some faith in their ability to breastfeed? Just give formula to them if they have trouble (or if they request it). Assume the normal option!

Musing on Elimination Diets

One of the links I posted last week was about changing your diet to battle [pollen] allergy problems. I do not like changing my diet. I'm married to a picky eater. Its a daunting task anyway. Well this article gives me permission not to change it! hahaha Seriously, though, there is some very good information here.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Review & Giveaway: Making Mama’s Milk Lactation Cookies

This is a joint giveaway with Momma Jorje and Natural Parents Network. You may enter at one site only. Please find the section marked "Win it!" for the mandatory entry and optional bonus entries.

Making Mama's Milk is offering our readers a giveaway of one month's supply of lactation cookies and a branded tote bag, a value of $65.

Making Mama's Milk & More is a small business started by a real mother that experienced milk supply problems herself. She wants to help other women avoid this pitfall of nursing relationships. They make their cookies by hand; no factory processing here!

From our reviewer, Jorje of Momma Jorje:

When Spencer was 1-2 months old, I was faced with a supply issue. I'd had an issue with Sasha, but eating a little oatmeal each day fixed the problem. This time, though, I tried lactation breakfast bars, oatmeal, lactation cookies, herbal supplements, drinking lots of water... nothing worked. I finally had to get donor milk. I actually felt a little guilty for volunteering to review this product, having little faith it would do anything for me.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Teething with Down Syndrome

From a post I wrote last year:

"Children with Down syndrome do not get their teeth in the same order or on the same timetable as other children. Teeth usually come in much later than in other children."

I can't recall at what age children typically start teething, but Spencer has officially begun. It started out with him biting down hard on my nipple. I didn't realize right away just why he was doing it.

Then the popping off and fussing started. He'll be hungry, but nursing apparently hurts his gums. He recently had his first dose of teething tablets. They're left over from Sasha, so I need to buy new. I let him chew on my finger some, but it only helps so much.

Sasha's First ToothSasha's First Tooth - 9 months old

"Typical" babies tend to cut their first tooth somewhere around the 6 month mark. I asked some local mothers of children with Down syndrome when their children cut their first tooth. Based on the answers I got, it seems that most babies with DS cut their first tooth somewhere around 1 year. Considering Spencer is already teething, that seems so far off! Some were a bit past that. A couple of moms said that first tooth didn't peek through until 18 months. And then one or two didn't get that first tooth until beyond the second birthday!

We may have a long road ahead of us with this teething business. For Spencer's comfort and my mental health, I hope he has an easy time of it.

When did your children begin teething? When did they cut their first tooth?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Mamatography - Week 17

Day 113


This is the first time my stove has been clean since we got the trailer. It looked beautiful to me!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

My Family and My Kids

Welcome to the May 2012 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Parenting With or Without Extended Family

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


I can count on different members of my family for different things. When I found myself in a bad situation in the middle of the night, I counted on my sister to let me crash at her place. When I've been stranded with vehicle troubles, I could count on my dad to help find a solution. When I needed to discuss parenting ideas or even whether to keep a baby, my mother was an excellent sounding board.

Image short descriptionApril 2012
My father has a lulling effect on babies.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Monday Minimalist: Mothers Day Gift Idea

This post was originally published in May of last year...

How do you take minimalism and apply it to a holiday? There are, of course, coupon books you could buy or make. You could get gift cards or create a book for doing the dishes and such. However, my absolute favorite Mothers Day gift, the one upon which I have insisted several times is this:

Jorje & Serena on the SlideSerena & I on the slide
Mother's Day 2009
that would be Sasha under the overalls!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sunday Surf: Siblings Communicating with Flowers

Have you missed me (on Sundays)? I've been some major slacker, right? I totally forgot one Sunday and then just didn't force myself to do it this past weekend because I was out of town. (More on that soon!) So now I'm going to have to re-read some of these links so I can refresh my memory on why I wanted to share them / what I wanted to say about them.

What Nobody Says About Bringing Second Baby Home (or) The Greatest Gift You Can Ever Give A Child

One of the major deciding factors for us having another baby was that we wanted to give Sasha a sibling. We wanted her to have that close bond / built in best friend. Ironically, we both had poor relationships with our siblings growing up. There was more of an age gap there, though. Anyway, now that we actually have that next baby at home... sometimes it is hard! Sometimes I feel guilty and have even felt like I had to hide when nursing Spencer. To top it all, he has special needs, so requires even more time and attention. I look forward to seeing their bond develop and grow. Right now... its jealousy city and guilt for me. This article is very reassuring that we made the right decision!

Your Baby Isn't Trying to Annoy You; She's Crying to Communicate

I think this article may have partially been my inspiration for my "Good Baby" post on Friday. The writer makes some really good points. I think it might serve as good "ammo" if you find yourself in a conversation or argument with someone that claims babies are manipulative.

Pollen is Not The Problem

This post... well it honestly scares the crap out of me and actually has me considering some major changes to my diet. We're suffering from allergies this year. I've had a sore throat from post nasal drip all Spring so far (and Spring came early thanks to that gentle Winter). Do you think what you eat could be causing you to have allergy problems? Check out what Sarah has to say about healthy gut flora and allergies.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Spencer's Well Child Visit - 4 months

I am a bit delayed with this update. Spencer had his 4 month check up a week or two ago. Here are some of the things we covered...

Post-Bath NapNaked naps after a bath are some of the best naps ever!

Friday, May 4, 2012

"Good Baby"

I always thought I had good babies... My first born seemed easy enough. That was a long time ago, though, so I can't comment with any real detail. People will warn not to tempt fate. If you have a good baby, you may be cursed with some sort of not-so-good baby the next time around.

When my second child, Ronni, was born, I would say he was a good baby, too. Then I had Sasha, another good baby. And now I have Spencer. He is such an awesomely good baby! Then I realized...

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Mamatography - Week 16

Day 106

Sasha loves to play with Uncle Brandon. You'll see that Magna Doodle nearby in most pictures of them together, I'm sure.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Who gives a Whoopi?

There is some fuss about the reaction of Whoopi Goldberg on The View to the new breastfeeding initiative being put together by New York's Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley. She seems to really get up in arms about people trying to "force" her to breastfeed. I used to be a huge fan of Whoopi and now I'm not sure what to think. She says more than anyone else about this issue, but her comments aren't even the ones that stood out to me the most as being alarming...

Check out Elisabeth Hasselbeck specifically at 2:28 into the video. She says it "it has to be balanced, it has to be restrained..."

How else will we balance the natural option versus the formula company's marketing? Who will restrain the formula samples and prizes pushed on mothers?

I was pleased that Sherri Shepherd spoke very highly of the nursing experience, even though she was unable to nurse herself.

How do you feel about the initiative? What exactly is an "initiative," anyway? What do you think about these women using this popular public forum to... bash breastfeeding?
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