Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Hannah Returns!

For those of you who missed my post last Christmas on DIY Elf on a Shelf, here it is. DIY Elf on a Shelf. Well Hannah returned! Bug was super excited. She came the day after Thanksgiving in a sleigh right to our front steps. Bug greeted her with hugs and a handshake before we put her back on her shelf. So far she has found her way into his stocking, our tree and then this morning I woke up remembering I had forgotten to move her, but I woke up to find she had had a tea party and eaten some cookies. Hubby is a great Daddy!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Anniversary... 4 years and going strong!

So I have been so busy and worried about getting the Holidays together and making sure this baby is ok that I forgot completely but as of November 9th, this blog turned 4. 4 years!!! It's been a wild ride. I really want to thank all of my loyal fans and readers. I am also so proud to say that we are almost at 40,000 hits. The current count is 39,968. I also want to thank you all for hanging in with me this year. I realize that losing my baby and the long drawn out miscarriage that followed caused the amount I update this blog to be about half my usual stats. I also have spent the year writing more about loss and rainbow babies than green living but I really appreciate all of you who have stayed with me. Thank you so much for your support and love.  I hope that this coming year will be full of all new adventures as I tackle a happy new spin on Green Mommy Life... 2 kids!!!

We made it... this far anyway...

Well as of yesterday I was 14 weeks 1 day, which was the day exactly that Asya Rose was born sleeping. We lost her around 12 weeks, found out at 13 weeks 4 days and she was born in an at home water birth, all natural at 14 weeks 1 day. I held her in my hands for about 30 mins and then buried her. Hubby and Bug never knew until it was all over. They knew we had lost her of course but they didn't know I had gone into labor or that my water had broken or that I had given birth. It was the closest thing I will ever get to a natural birth, as this baby will be born via c section. We don't have a choice this time due to the risks and the rules on VBAC up here. I had it in me to fight last time but this time after losing Asya I just want my rainbow home safe and sound. So unless I go early on my own it will be a c section. But aside from all this back to my original point.. here I am at 14 weeks 2 days. 14 weeks 2 days!!! 24 hrs further along than the day I was when my daughter was born. I am now officially further along and what is more this baby is happy, healthy, and growing well. In a few weeks we should know the sex and hopefully finally choose a name. We have been having a really tough time with that.
So as we are getting closer to the due date, I set about seeing what we can reuse or upcycle from Bug. as it turns out we really won't be needing much. We have clothes, diapers, blankets, bottles... a bouncer and we recently bought a new swing that was used from a friend ( so more reusing). Our baby carriers are still in great condition and our convertible carseat is still under it's expiration date (though the baby car seat will expire soon after the baby is born.) We may get a few months out of it though. All in all we are looking at going into this baby needing very little new stuff. This baby is going to not only be a Rainbow Baby but a very Green one too. Just like her/his Big Brother. For Christmas I am making Bug a Big Brother t shirt. I can't wait to give it to him. Well I don't really have any awesome food pics or anything (although I have been cooking up a storm) so instead I will leave you all with a gorgeous snowy picture of what our town currently looks like. Happy Holidays Friends!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

A Wild Year: From Green to Black to Rainbow

I apologize to anyone who has not liked that this year the focus of this blog has swung from mostly about Green Living, to one family's struggle with loss and recovery and finally now.. a journey (hopefully) to a new baby. I began this year on January 1st, about 7 weeks pregnant, and had just lost my Grandmother the night before. Here I am looking down the barrel at Thanksgiving, Christmas and yes New Years again, this time I am currently almost 13 weeks pregnant and hoping to start 2014 with the 2nd half of a pregnancy that will end with my beautiful rainbow baby coming home to us. Last night I found the heartbeat on my home doppler for a good 10 seconds. It is beyond calming to be able to listen at home every few days. I try not to use it too often but I really do need the reassurance. If I had to go 4 weeks, or even 2 weeks without knowing how the baby was doing I would lose my mind.
Yet alas life does go on apart from growing a new life inside of me, I have begun the annual Handmade Christmas Gift  insanity. Between crocheting, knitting, sculpting and sewing, candle making and other crafting... I am slowly assembling the gifts for all our friends and family. I will be showing you all the pictures like every year. For right now though I would like to share 2 ornaments I made for our tree this year. They are to symbolize and honor the two very important people we lost since last Christmas. One is for my Grandmother, the other Asya Rose.
This one is in honor of my Grandmother. I am going to print out a picture of her and put it in it and then do another layer of the gloss spray. I think when it is all done it will look really nice.

This one is for Asya Rose. I sculpted a remembrance ribbon and then sculpted a tiny baby foot print and a red rose. The ribbon has her birth/death date on it as well. I am really kind of proud of how it turned out. So now our tree will always honor these two special people that we loved very much.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Making Your Own Pumpkin Puree

Now that Halloween is over, what should you do with all those pumpkins? Well if they were carved into Jackolanterns, well then they are good compost material and not much else, but hey compost is very important. If however you left them alone, as we did all our home grown pumpkins (we only carved the ones we bought from the store), then you can make your own pumpkin puree. I started mine this weekend with two of my pumpkins, but I have many more to do before the snow falls.

 Basically you can do pumpkin puree in one of two ways, chop up the pumpkin, scoop out the seeds and gunk, and then either boil it until soft in a large pot, or bake it on a tray with a little water in the bottom of the tray. I personally prefer the boiling. I do not know the actual nutrition info for either method, or if one is preferred, but boiling offers a much more uniform puree and is much easier to work with I feel.

Now the seeds if you saved them are great for roasting, while your pumpkin is boiling. Once the pumpkin is soft, simply let it cool enough to touch and scoop the soft insides into a bowl, and of course compost the shell.

Once it is scooped into a bowl, simply scoop portions into freezer bags and freeze, or if you prefer, into canning jars and can. From two small homegrown organic pumpkins I got an entire tray of roasted seeds and about 1 gallon of puree. Now you can use that puree for anything you need pumpkin in. A homemade Pumpkin pie using homemade puree, is delish!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Good News: Moving Forward

Well at our appointment yesterday I was again reminded that these new doctors, this new midwife, that they are not the same people we had with Asya Rose and that they were not going to treat us with the same callousness and cruelty that we suffered with our last doctor. This is the doctor who saved my life by demanding I get a pretty much emergency D and C. This is the doctor that performed that surgery and announced I had been pretty infected but that I was all good now. This is the doctor who put us on a schedule to wait and then a schedule for TTC, that worked and in 2 months after we start TTC we were pregnant (A FIRST EVER!). This is the doctor that when I was pregnant told me to come in ASAP so they could make sure everything was ok. I was only 4 weeks. My last doctor (the one I feel was responsible for the death of my daughter because she did nothing to help me after I fell down that flight of stairs) refused to even see me until 9 weeks even though I was high risk with a history of miscarriage. Lastly this is the doctor who set me up with a midwife and let me come up with a birth plan that although I will be having a c-section will let me be as close to the baby and comfortable as I can be. My midwife is amazing and kind and wonderful as is all the staff there. The best news of all though is now I will have to be giving birth in the hospital of that town and not here, which given how awful ours is... is good news. I love their hospital, it is clean, calm, comfy, homey. It doesn't resemble a morgue like ours does.
So anyway enough about how amazing my new doctor, midwife and hospital are. Onto the news about our wonderful 3rd child or Monkey as I have come to start calling it. Aleksandr was (is) Bug, Asya was Sugarbaby, and this one is Monkey. Anyway Monkey is doing great. perfect even. We were assured no bleeds, no worry spots, nothing. Just a healthy 9 week baby with a strong heartbeat. We were even able to get a video of the heart beating and Hubby was able to hear it with me which was a first for him. Due to a refusal by our doctor with Asya she refused to listen to the heartbeat for us at 10 weeks and then didn't schedule our next appt until 16 weeks and as you all know... she was gone at 14 weeks. So sadly we never got that joy with her. With Aleks our midwife started listening to his heart around 10 weeks but Hubby never got to come with me until I had already brought home a recording of the heartbeat for him to listen to. He did get to hear it other times with him, but it wasn't that first time. This was amazing for both me and Hubby. We watched as our little monkey danced and squirmed. All I can say is I truly need this baby to live.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Rainbow Baby

So unfortunately one of the side effects of losing two babies in less than one year (June 2012 and March 2013), is that when you finally get pregnant again, you tend to spend any free time you have in the doctor's/midwife's office or worrying when you aren't. So I have been trying to keep my hands busy with lots of crocheting. The upside to this is lots of fun projects come out, the downside is I haven't been blogging. I really do want to chronicle this baby's journey with you all though so I will try to post more from now on. We have our 9 week ultrasound today. Hopefully we will get a video of the heartbeat as well as pictures of the baby. I am hopeful for this little one. Each day I am still pregnant is a day we rejoice. If everything goes well for us today we will be rejoicing the rest of the week.

So anyway when I first found out I was having a rainbow baby, I started a crocheted rainbow baby blanket. Well I finished it a few days ago and I would like to share some pictures. Here it is. It is not baby yarn sadly but I did find a tutorial on how to soften regular yarn to be like baby yarn. I tried it and we shall see the results when it comes out of the dryer. Well I hope to be posting good news tonight. Until then.. have a great day!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

October 15th: Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day

So in case you are not aware, today was the day to remember our lost little angels. Though really it is the day to be able to share that with friends who have never experienced that loss because to be fair, we as parents of loss never forget. Our angels live in our hearts always.
Today though this day was one of those days that make you embrace life tightly. I woke up doubled over in pain, because for the last few days I had been having horrible cramps that made me think I was about to lose our sweet rainbow baby. I choked down the fear in my heart and called my midwife. She told me to come right in and so after calling into work and waiting until Bug got off the school bus, we drove the 30 mins to our OBGYN office. We anxiously waited to see the sonographer and as I laid down on that table and nervously bit my lip, bracing myself to have to light one more candle tonight bringing my sad total of lost babies to 4, she smiled and told me my baby was "cute as a button". I almost burst into tears. Everything was fine! The heartbeat was perfect, the baby was measuring perfect, and she even let me hear the heartbeat. It was so clear and strong. After a urine sample my midwife announced that I had a UTI. She sent me for another urine sample at the hospital along with the standard 1st trimester blood work, where they draw 7 vials of blood, and wrote me a prescription for pregnancy safe antibiotics. So a few hours later I had taken my first dose and was starting to feel a bit better.

So after all that... I found a new reason to cherish today. I came home, and at 7 PM our time I lit my angel baby candles in remembrance of our 3 lost angels (the main one being our sweet Asya Rose). I felt though that for the first time since we knew this little one was growing inside of me... a hope.. that maybe this time, we will get to take home another baby. I looked at Bug, so big, so sweet and smart. I felt the growing bump beneath my fingers... so sweet and tiny and new but strong. I looked at the candles for the two early lost babies, never named, never really mourned, and lastly the candle for Asya, my sweet middle child. All five of my children.. here or in heaven and I felt hope and for the first time in a long long time.. true peace.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Sorry I have been MIA, It's been a bit crazy...

Well let me start off this post by saying, if you have been following this blog this year you have seen our trials and tribulations. I have often found in the last year that I just have nothing to say to my readers, or am too tired or sad to do so. This time though.. this lull... was for a happy reason. We are expecting baby number 3 in May. I am so nervous and trying so hard to be hopeful. This is technically our 5th pregnancy, and the 3rd to make it past 5 weeks. I am currently 7 weeks along. In 2 more weeks we get to go in for another ultrasound. We had the first one at 5 weeks. I feel like every day we stay pregnant is a miracle, a tiny victory. A win over infertility. We found out on Bug's 4th birthday, just like he said we would. I took 4 tests over a week just to make sure. To say we are happy, doesn't even begin to describe how we feel, but with happy comes scared, scared that this will be another angel baby instead of our long awaited rainbow baby. I decided to pass the time of my first trimester by hand crocheting a rainbow baby blanket for our baby. It is a great way to focus on the positive and the future. I know better than a lot of people the frailty of life and how fragile it can all be, how quickly it can all disappear... but I am praying and hoping that our rainbow baby is healthy and strong.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month

As many of you know, my family has suffered 3 losses. Two early on, One 2 weeks into our second trimester. We suffered greatly and any family does. Now 6 months after our last and worst loss, our family has recovered, our lives have returned to normal and we are looking towards the future and bringing home a rainbow baby someday soon. Yet we are never going to be the same, entirely. Our family was ripped apart when we lost our daughter Asya Rose. We are not uncommon. 1 in 4 women has lost at least one child.  Maybe you yourself is one of those 1 in 4. Maybe you have a sister, Mother, Daughter, friend, who has lost babies. 1 in 4 have. Yet many women never talk about it, never mention it, suffer in silence. I know that for me... talking about it was the only thing that helped. Despite the fact that I lost friends, had people walk out of my life because they felt I should just "get over it", I had to heal in my own way, in my own time. There are many women for whom losing a child, unborn or after birth, is something that haunts them until their dying day. My grandmother's first born child was a full term stillbirth. When I lived with her she was in her late 70's and early 80's. She still would tear up a bit when she would talk about her lost baby. She had 5 children who walked this earth but she had 6 children in all, one just got to heaven a little bit earlier. We all have troubles and sorrows in this life, but only the loss of a child are we supposed to shoulder alone. The single greatest sorrow a human being can undergo, the loss of their child, their flesh and blood, the child they carried inside them, and we expect these women to be silent, to just "get over it". So this month we remember these lost babies and children, we honor these women, and men (Father's weep over their children too). I am 1 in 4, are you, is someone you love?

Sunday, September 22, 2013

To My Bug On Your 4th Birthday

I have written one of these posts to you my Bug every year around your birthday. I wrote this one for your First Birthday, this one for your Second Birthday, and this one for your Third Birthday. Now it is your 4th birthday I am torn between a need to see you return to my little baby, and rejoicing in your newest milestones. You recently started school and I am so so proud of you. You at no point were scared or reluctant, you faced school head on and are excelling already. I have never seen you hesitate with anything in your 4 years of life. I have seen you take on the world like a whirlwind. You are smart, sometimes scary smart. You are courageous and independent. You are beautiful inside and out. I am so proud to be your mother. Four years ago you were born. I remember they had doctor after doctor introducing themselves and reminding me this could result in my death. I just kept thinking... I don't care just save him. They were so unsure of his actual size or what they would find. Turned out all the worry was for nothing.... just like I knew it would be. You were born at 9 lbs 7 ounces, well below the almost 12 or so lbs they had estimated you to be. You were perfect. Daddy and I held hands through the whole thing and sobbed when we heard you cry for the first time. They say when you fall in love the other person completes you, but I can honestly say Daddy and I love each other more than life itself but that day, in that moment we were both complete. The missing piece of our family puzzle was in our arms. Bug, you complete us. Watching you grow, change...become the little man you are today... has been the single greatest joy of my life. I love you.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

First Days of School

Well it is official, we are now a family with a school age child. He began his first year of school this last week. It was a very big deal for us. As first days go it was kind of a wild one. He had gone to visitor day the week before and all had gone quite well. We waited with him for the bus, he was picked up just when we thought he would be, and we snapped some adorable pics of his standing waiting for the bus and running for it. However when it came to the real first day of Pre Kindergarten we had a rough start. We began the day with a good breakfast, and cute clothes picked out the night before, but I just couldn't shake the feeling that something was going to go wrong with his bus schedule. So I called the school to double check his schedule. I expected the secretary to rattle off his exact schedule and chide me for being silly but instead the schedule she read off to me would have resulted in my son being dropped off across town in front of a perfect stranger's house. I was floored. I trusted these people with my child. I had written down his schedule for them no less then 3 times. So I told her that it was not right and that I would like her to take down what was the right one. I was told "that is not how we do things, you need to write it in a note and give it to his teacher and then she will give it to me and I will tell the bus garage". I think I nailed on the head why they make giant mistakes that could lose children! What a round robin of insane bureaucratic nonsense! So then I said "alright well thank you" hung up and wrote the note.
I had just finished and put it in Bug's backpack when I looked at the clock. It was 7:15 and Bug was due at school at 8:30, so I knew we had about 45 mins before the earliest the bus would arrive. No sooner had I thought that, then I saw the bus slow to a stop in front of our house. I ran out freaking out. Bug was no where near ready and there could not be anyway that this bus was here for him... he must be here for the highschoolers that are due at school at 7:30. I asked him "You are not here for (my son's full name) are you?" "Yes" "But there is over and hour until he will be at school and that is so long.. too long for a little guy to be on a bus, we were not expecting you until 8 at the earliest." "I can't wait, is he ready?" "No he isn't because there is over an hour until he is due at school". At this point the bus driver basically slammed the door in my face. I was so angry.
So I had to go back inside and comfort my now crying child who was distraught at having missed his bus on the first day of school. So undeterred I let him finish getting ready, at his own pace and we loaded up everything in the bike, and I biked him the 2 blocks to school. I decided that until they change his schedule I would just bike him every morning. Why not, better for him, me and the environment. So instead of the traditional waiting for the bus pics I got a few really cute ones while we were waiting at the school. When all was said and done it was a wonderful first day. I got to actually walk him to his room, kiss him goodbye. It was great. I guess things happen the way they are meant to happen.
I think that all in all we had a wonderful first day of school.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

September 1st Came In a Whisper

Well here we are. September 1st. Asya Rose's due date. A day that held so much promise 9 months ago when we first learned of our happy little addition to our family. My husband and I are trying, but not trying. We are trying in the sense that when it happens it will happen and we are not preventing, but we have given up the ovulation predictors, the testing, the charting... and most of all hope. Now I don't say that to say I am sad. Far from it. It is just that we have chosen to be realistic. We have had two beautiful children, one who is with us everyday and one who in up in heaven. We also have had two other losses too early to really count as our children. So for us this October marks 5 years since we began our journey of TTC which resulted in 4 pregnancies, and only 1 child. For us if and when it happens it will be a blessing but we are not waiting around for it to happen.
For me September 1st holds more meaning in the fact that in a few days Bug will be in Pre K everyday, riding a bus to and from school everyday. He will be turning 4 years old in 21 days and I will be celebrating my 30th birthday in 17 days.
Here he is running for the bus on Visiting Day.

We have so much produce coming out of the garden everyday. I have been canning every weekend as much as I can. Banana peppers, green peppers, tomatoes, dilly beans, dill pickles, sweet pickled beets.
Yesterday I even made squash chips for snacking. Just salt and pepper in the dehydrator and they came out fabulous.

We have been making our own ice cream from frozen bananas, almond milk and fresh local blueberries too, and just the other day we made pasta from nothing but veggies out of our garden (and pasta of course).

Our Pumpkins are turning orange and everyday it is fun to see them turning a little more orange. Our watermelon are getting bigger and more ripe, almost ready to be picked.

Most of all we have been spending most Saturday mornings enjoying the local Farmer's Market. The friends, sun, good local food, and even sometimes outdoor music to add to the overall fun of the day. I can not think of a better place to go on a Saturday in August or September.

So I suppose I can say that September 1st has come and gone, just as my little girl came into our lives and was so quickly gone. Though it was a day filled with promise, it now holds for me a new sort of promise, one of warm days, chilled nights, leaves changing, pumpkins turning orange and all the fresh tomatoes we can eat. It holds the promise of new changes, laughs and challenges and twists and turns on this road we call life. This has been a truly challenging year but as it begins to draw to a close I see new hopes in the next one. Happy September Everyone!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

The American Dream is Dead

I realize that this blog has never been very political except with those topics that pertain to children, yet in a way this does. It deals with the so called "welfare queens" and this attitude that the working poor could "pull themselves up by their bootstraps" if they wanted to. I would like to tell my story. Take from it what you will. 
I lived the American Dream. I went to college right after High School. I worked really hard and did everything right. Then due to a couple bad semesters (one where I was helping my Mom through a hard time and one where I was going through something really awful) my financial aide was revoked. So I left college. I worked really hard and I paid off a good chunk of my loans, paid for my own wedding out of my own pocket, and worked three jobs to keep food on my family's table. 
Then when my son was 4 months old I went back to school. I worked my behind off! I got Dean's list grades. I got a full 4 yr degree in Biology. A subject that is intensive in every sense of the word. I respect anyone who gets a college degree but lets face it some subjects are harder than others. Science is not a subject one goes into lightly.  
I graduated in May of 2012. My then 2 yr old son and proud husband watched me walk and get my diploma. I then started job searching. I found nothing. I was over qualified for anything normal and under qualified for anything good. I finally landed the job I have now,  working as a preschool teacher making minimum wage. As a result of that being the best I can get we use Food Stamps. 
Now knowing my story, do I sound like a welfare queen? Am I lazy? Am I a loser welshing off the system? Poor people work REALLY REALLY HARD!!! Harder than most people I know. I am very tired of the attitude in this country, that the working poor somehow did something wrong, are lazy, or don't work hard enough, or somehow deserve to be poor. I am so tired of this self entitled snobby attitude. You look down your noses at the working poor. That all the poor need to do is try for the American Dream. I lived the American Dream.. the American Dream is dead!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Two Types of Parents

I have begun to realize that in this world there are two types of parents, and no it's not crunchy vs silky, or attachment vs ferber, or even breastfed vs formula. The two types of parents are actually much simpler than that, there are what I call "the researchers" and then there is what I call "the deniers". Now I have realized in my lifetime that you can use this same viewpoint of researchers and deniers when looking at politics, world issues, science, religion pretty much anything, but today I will look at it as a parent.

"Researchers" always want to know their facts. They may not come to the same conclusion as each other (ie breast is best vs formula is best) but they will know their facts. They always always strive to do better, with each new child they learned what was the best thing they could do at the time. Do you have any clue how many times in my 4 yrs as a parent I have said "Really? I never knew that!" then turned to parenting websites and books and other moms to know if I was indeed doing something I could change for the better. (ie turning his car seat front facing too early. We originally turned him at 12 months and then a few months later after learning they had changed the recommended age to 2, we turned him back and rear faced until around 26 months.) Researchers are like my friend "L", who formula fed her first, used disposable diapers, and had him sleep in a crib. She did a lot of research in the years before she had her second child, and when they finally did have another she breastfed, cloth diapered and co slept. She breastfed for over 2 years. Now I am not saying all people who do research end up making those same choices, but often they do. Leading research says breast is best, co sleeping helps prevent SIDS and helps regulate brain and organ function in infants, and cloth diapering.. well that's just smart on your pocket book as well as your baby's butt. Still though despite the outcome, the process is the same, the eagerness to learn more, do more, change for the better is there. A "researcher" is never afraid to say.. "woops I didn't know.. I can do better now." When two "researchers" differ in opinion they usually each bring their facts to the table. One big example of this is vaccines. There has been a lot of proof on both sides of the issue and nothing clinching on either end (in my opinion anyway). However two "researchers", one for vaccines and one against will be able to have a debate with all their facts straight and each present a logical argument.

"Deniers" however do not ever admit they could have done better. They stubbornly did their heels in and say "well it worked for me, my kids are fine". I have always found this argument ludicrous. Just because you child hasn't died or become seriously ill by what you do as a parent does not mean they are safe or even healthy. I have heard mothers use this argument for smoking and drinking while pregnant. "I did it my whole pregnancy and my kids are just fine!" Are they??? Are they really? I have asthma and chronic bronchitis, and allergies because my mother smoked like a chimney around me as a child. Even better is the "my mom did it" argument or even better the "my sister's friend's cousin did it". Instead of basing their arguments on empirical data and research they base it on hearsay, something not even admissible in courts. I hear this argument a ton when discussing circumcision. "My aunt's cousin's friend's son had to have it done later in life from horrible infections. So I will always circumcise". The hard truth is your son has a higher chance of dying right there on the table during his circumcision than he does of ever "needing" one done. Over 100 baby boys die every year due to circumcision. Alas I digress, I am not here to talk about circumcision, but this is just another example of when parents are "deniers". Deniers will stick to their guns no matter what information is presented to them. They just don't hear it. It is as if they wear information shields. This is a common conversation with deniers. "Did you know that putting your car seat on the top of a shopping cart can be deadly?" "Hey my mom did it with me and I turned out fine I don't care what you say!" Then you just pray they don't have to find out the hard way when their baby falls off the cart. "Did you know smoking around children is really bad for them, even third hand smoke which lingers in your hair and clothes?" "I smoked with all of my kids and none of the older ones have ever had any issues, they are fine!" For me this is a hard one to walk away from because I usually am popping bennydryll and hacking my lungs out, and it kills me to know their are mother's still doing this. My mom smoked around us in the 80's and early 90's, it's now almost 2014. We know better.. we should be doing better.
So I guess my question is which are you? Do you base your parenting on what worked for your Grandma or what leading research and your inner mommy instincts say is best? Do you think about your actions when someone offers helpful advice or do you shoot them down, stick to your guns and keep on doing what you are doing? Are you a "researcher" or a "denier"?

Monday, August 5, 2013

Married to Your Best Friend

I don't often share in this blog about my husband since this blog is mostly meant to share parenting thoughts as well as things about living a greener more sustainable life. I sometimes slip him in here and there but he mostly is not spoken of in this blog. Well today is our 7th Wedding Anniversary. We were married August 5th 2006.
I don't know what the statistics are on why people marry. I think all couples start out in love but that isn't always enough to push someone into marriage. Some marry for passion, some for money, some for shared interests or life goals, some because children came quicker than expected. I married for probably the silliest reason of all. I married so that I could spend everyday goofing around with my best friend. We were broke, I mean counting pennies for ramen broke. My engagement ring (my first one) was 10$ at a local flea market. We paid for our whole wedding on a budget of 2500$. I made my own gown and veil and gloves. We knew going into our marriage that money was not something we would ever have much of. We were in love but like I said you can be in love and not make the leap to marriage. No we thought the idea of hanging out, chilling, geeking out over Doctor Who, LOTR, and Star Trek, eating in weird little coffee shops, laughing over silly inner jokes no one else gets, and basically getting to spend every day living with our best friend was a reason to get married.
Well here we are 7 years later and we are still head over heels in love. It has been a really rocky road, we have suffered horrible heart breaks and losses, the fear of losing our son to cancer, and then losing our daughter in the womb. Still though we still are those same silly kids who got married so that we wouldn't have to go a day without telling each other everything we did that day, laugh over silly jokes and lounging around, only now we have a third person who has joined us on this journey. A little mini us, a mixture of us both.
I married my best friend 7 years ago today and I love him more today than I did that day.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Gender Discrimination and Bigotry

So if you follow this blog, you may have already read the many posts I have made on the idea of gender roles, gender stereotypes, and gender bigotry. My son, who will be 4 in a little over a month, just spent the last 2 months going to the Build a Bear website almost every day to look at and dream about getting a large stuffed BAB Rainbow Dash (My Little Pony). As I have written about before, Bug looooves My Little Pony and Rainbow Dash is his favorite.
So the other day my best friend and I decided we wanted to take him to the Zoo which is 3 hrs away and also happens to be the city that has the only Build a Bear in about a 300 mile radius. So we went to the Zoo and afterwards surprised him with a trip to the Build a Bear Workshop. He of course ran right to the bin holding the Rainbow Dash ponies and pulled out which one he wanted. To my surprise and happiness not one employee commented negatively on his choice.
They all seemed to take it as perfectly natural that this cool looking little boy wearing the black Jolly Roger t shirt (I hand painted for him) wanted to take home a baby blue, rainbow haired, sparkly pink eyed, silver glitter winged, pony. I was so happy. I felt like crying as I watched him do the heart ceremony and stuff his pony. He took her up to the counter like a proud Daddy bringing his baby home from the hospital. Even later at a restaurant we stopped at for dinner, the waitresses commented on his choice of stuffed toy positively, proclaiming how sweet and nice it was that he had chosen a My Little Pony.
So after having such a wonderful experience shopping with my son, I was saddened to read not one but two articles today about mothers out shopping with their sons, both about Bug's age, and having bigoted people shout at them.
The first article was entitled, "If My Son Wanted To Dance I Would Kill Myself". The mother of a six year old boy (2 years older than Bug), had been told by her son that he wanted to dance when he got older rather than play sports. She found nothing wrong with it and supported his choices. Later on while they were at his T Ball game she was relaying the story to another mother when  loud angry father of one of the kids shouted "If my son wanted to dance I would kill myself!!!" The mother was shocked and she took her son out of T Ball and plans to sign him up for dance classes.
I found the article so sad. It always shocks me when people have no problems with girls playing sports and doing everything a boy can do, but a boy wants to dance or wear pink and it is the end of the world. As sad as this article was though, the next one is even more so.
This next article was entitled, "What Happened When My Son Wore A Pink Headband To Walmart". In this article, the boy in question was only 2 (about 2 years younger than Bug). He wore a pink headband to Walmart. His mother found nothing wrong with it, because there is nothing wrong with it. Many of the customers thought he was very cute and cooed over the sweet boy. One customer asked if he were a boy or girl. When the mother said "a boy", a large angry man ran over and ripped the headband off the boy's head. He then hit the baby boy across the back of the head and said "You will thank me later little man!" His mother (and I am so proud she did) said "Touch my son again and I will cut your damn hands off". I honestly don't know what I would do if anyone ever did this to Bug. I would probably had even more choice words for him. The man however angrily spit back at her "You son is a f***ing f****". Not one customer stood up for this woman and her son. She had both her sons with her the two yr old who was hit and a 5 month old baby. This man physically and verbally attacked a 2 yr old boy in front of his mother and baby brother for no other sin than wearing a pink headband in public.
This is a picture of the little boy in question, wearing the pink headband. He is utterly adorable and so sweet. For anyone to sit back and watch a full grown man attack this boy is a crime. For the man who did it, well let's just say I hope no one ever does this to Bug because they will regret it. I would of had the cops there in a few seconds.
All in all I have to say between reading these two articles as well as the personal experiences I had this week, I am deeply sorry for the mother's whose son's were attacked.
As for myself and Bug I can honestly thank the staff of both the Build a Bear Workshop, as well as the staff of the Melting Pot restaurant (both in the Destiny USA mall in Syracuse NY). Your open minds and                                                                   kindness towards my son warmed my heart. Thank You.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Fashion? Art? Or Sexploitation!

I was reading the following article The Violent Exploitation of Women in Fashion. It shows just the most graphic images found in fashion ads, depicting sex abuse, violent acts, even rape and murder of women to sell shoes, belts, purses, and clothing. This was beyond disturbing. It's funny but a few times this summer I have been in conversations with other women about fashion, the fashion industry, and my thoughts on clothing. First off I make a lot of my own clothes. I don't really so much care what I wear as long as it looks good on me, but most of my clothes I do not make are second hand, or bought more for durability and comfort than style. So I don't read fashion mags, I don't know designers, and honestly seeing these ads made me sick. I work with children and have a 3 yr old son so most of my clothes are always covered in food or dirty, I garden so I am often covered in soil, I can't wear makeup or perfume due to my job, and my own allergies. I am not the core demographic for these images, but really I have to ask because I am confused. Who is? Who is the core demographic for these images? What woman sees these things and says to herself "Yes I need to spend 300$ on a pair of shoes because I want to be raped and murdered by a man." Am I alone here? Is the fashion industry just that beyond me? I have never in my life walked into any store and said "those stiletto heels and that mini dress that cost more than 6 months rent ... that is the look I am going for." Knowing that those same fashion trends are advertised through sex, murder and rape, only makes the entire idea seem that much more ludicrous. I often find that a big chunk of women don't vote, which I find reprehensible given what our sisters in the past had to do to win the right to vote. I often see women standing up for rapists, and perpetuation rape culture, female politicians stating that women should not have say over their own bodies. Now again women are perpetuation this horrible industry, all in the name of what, a lack of self esteem that causes you to NEED to spend your hard earned money so that you can NEED a man to say you are pretty? It is sick and as women we need to stop this NOW!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Summer Life: Finding Myself Again

So somewhere amidst the constant stream of family get together's, play dates, birthday parties, and beach days, I found myself again. I have had my gardens do exceptionally well this year so far and so I have already canned pickled beets, pickled radish snaps, and pickled squash.
As I sat at my kitchen table this morning, plucking radish snaps off the vine to pickle, sweet pickle brine simmering on the stove,  Bug playing quietly on the floor with his toy dinosaurs, NPR on the radio, and a cold breeze blowing in the window while the rain poured down softly, I felt right. It all clicked that here I am just 5 weeks away from what would have been my due date, and I somehow am happy again.
Life has cycled around and a big part of that has been my garden. There is something so exquisitely healing about creating life. You plant a seed, give it some love, some water, some sun and it gives you joy, air, and food. You live in a symbiotic relationship. Being able to create life somewhere in lieu of giving my daughter a life has given me peace.

Monday, July 8, 2013

More than a Princess: Little girls break down gender stereotypes everywhere but why not boys?

So I am sure if you read this blog that you know who Bug is. I started this blog when he was 9 weeks old and he is now about 10 weeks from his 4th birthday, which makes this blog 19 weeks from 4 yrs old. So needless to say that is a long time to talk about my kid, which I do a lot. One of the things I talk about on here often is gender stereotyping and how I disagree so very much with it. I don't know if I have ever explained entirely why. My reason is well one it is wrong. I think forcing girls to wear pink or be "girly" is wrong but also so is expecting your son "to be a little man" or wear cammo or like trucks. From day one we let Bug be.. well Bug. He has always been allowed to do what he wants as long as it isn't bothering or hurting another living creature.
I would like to share a little bit about him with some pictures. Tonight I took some unposed totally random picks of Bug as well as his room. Here is what I captured. The first picture here is Bug... in his element. He is wearing a dino t shirt, shorts, the Angry Bird hat I made him, and my tiara from my wedding to his father. He asked to borrow it so that he could have magic like Twilight Sparkle. He is watching his current favorite movie the new My Little Pony movie "Equestria Girls". He loves My Little Pony.

This is his frog chair with his favorite pink plushie unicorn.
Here is Bug's bed complete with dino blanket and pillow that I made him as well as his Violet "My Pal", which he asked for instead of Scout, his mermaid he asked me to make (she is from Jake and the Neverland Pirates), and his dragon.
Here is his kitchen set, which he has endless food and dishes and tea sets for. Last but not least his floor is always scattered with My Little Ponies.
So you may be wondering what brought on such honesty. To be truthful it was a few things but one in particular. Lately I have seen more and more efforts by mainstream media to "break free of Princess". To let little girls get as dirty and messy and be as smart and courageous as they can be. Which don't get me wrong I very much agree with this... VERY VERY MUCH! But I simply think it should be a two way street. I saw an ad today for a toy company called "Goldieblox". The launched a video ad that shows girls cheering and proclaiming freedom from the "pink aisle". They specialize in engineering toys for girls. I think this is awesome. I do however remember a time not that long ago before there was a "pink aisle" and a "cammo and guns aisle". I remember as a kid the most girly things there was was Barbie and the "toy aisle" had both Barbie and trains, dinos and science kits and even art kits which back then had BOTH boys and girls on the boxes. The last few times I dared to venture into the toy aisles of a store and not just shop on Amazon or make Bug's toys for him, I was appalled at the lack of any art, jewelry, craft, or even science kits that had boys on the box. THEY WERE ALL GIRLS. We have gone so far to try and make sure girls can be all they can be that we are forgetting about boys. It is perfectly fine for a girl to be sporty, muddy, not wear makeup and live in sweats, but if a boy wears pink, nail polish, and loves baby dolls, and My Little Pony, then he is often told to stop, and told to "be a boy, stopping acting like a girl, stop being "gay"".
Which brings me to another point, I know or have met loads of guys who are straight as can be but love pink, wearing makeup, wearing nailpolish, ect. You know what makes someone gay? Having sex with someone of the same gender. Which by the way is awesome, and I fully support, but honestly I have known some seriously butch and manly gay guys, and some seriously straight men who enjoy dressing in pink or even dresses. What someone enjoys, or what makes them who they are does not always mean they are gay. The same of course goes for women. We as a culture are far too wrapped up in gender stereotypes and it bothers me to no end. If my son does turn out to be gay, so what.. I will dance for joy at his wedding and love his husband as a second son. If he is straight but loves ponies, and pink and unicorns, so what he will be a awesome and well rounded kid who probably will be a heck of a lot nicer then some kid who spends his childhood being told to "be a man" and that boys like my son are wrong. I say LET YOUR KID BE YOUR KID. Be whatever they want to be. Just love them for who they are and not what you want them to be.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

30,000 hits!!!!

WOW! So while I have been so busy the last few weeks we somehow hit and passed 30,000 hits on this blog. I know some blogs get that many hits a day... and that is fine but I honestly am shocked to have gotten 30,000 hits in less than 4 ys. We only hit the 10,000 mark last August so in less than 1 yr we have gotten 20,000 hits! That is crazy!!!! Thank you thank you, to all my loyal readers, and even just those who check us out here and there. Hugs and blessings to you all.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

D and C

Well a few days ago I had my D and C. As you know I finally chose to find a new doctor. I just had had enough of my doctor not helping me and after calling half the OBGYN's in this town and being told over and over that they can't help me because they work too closely with my doctor, I took myself to the next town over. I found an OBGYN clinic that came highly recommended. I fell in love instantly, and immediately felt a sense of safety and calmness that I haven't felt since my midwife. I never felt that with the OB I had with Asya. So they scheduled me for a D and C after they immediately on my first visit diagnosed me with retained placenta. Whether it was from Asya or a second MC, we will never know, but all I know is that for just under 16 weeks I was bleeding and showing a positive pregnancy test. Not being able to move on physically caused me to not be able to move on emotionally.
So Thursday of last week I went in for surgery. We were told to show up by 8AM. Unfortunately though due to some emergencies I didn't have my surgery until 12 PM. However once they got me to the OR I do not remember anything except that when they woke me up I was in a different room and was very confused. I never had much pain. I haven't had much bleeding. I spent the weekend burying my Grandmother and then spending time with family I hadn't seen in years. I honestly never even really felt I needed to take it easy. I am doing really well. All in all it was a good experience.
I really do feel that I am glad I did not have a D and C when we first found out we lost Asya, because I needed to hold her, I needed to bury her. I am glad for that, but I should have had one within a few days or weeks after losing her, not 15 and a half weeks later. I really am so glad to finally have found a doctor who I feel safe with and who I feel has my best interests at heart. For the first time in 17 weeks I feel like I am ready to look towards the future and move forward and perhaps begin TTC again. As much as I do not look forward to the fear of losing another child which I know will be with me the whole pregnancy, I so look forward to bringing home our Rainbow Baby.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Just wanted to share...

This is a picture I took of Asya Rose's roses yesterday after the rain finally stopped. I am not a photographer and never would claim to be but I have noticed when I take pictures of things I really love they tend to come out amazing. Thought I would share.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Cinntastic Cinnamon

So I have been brewing the idea for this post for awhile. I have become a bit obsessed with cinnamon. The uses for this ground bark are plentiful from healing to household, from culinary to medicinal.
A few months ago, right after we lost Asya, I began drinking cinnamon honey tea. For me it helped regulate a lot of things and give me energy. Mixing honey and cinnamon can actual help cure the following things:

HEART DISEASES: Make a paste of honey and cinnamon powder, apply on bread, chappati, or other bread, instead of jelly and jam and eat it regularly for breakfast. It reduces the cholesterol in the arteries and saves the patient from heart attack. Also those who already had an attack, if they do this process daily, they are kept miles away from the next attack.
INSECT BITES: Take one part honey to two parts of lukewarm water and add a small teaspoon of cinnamon powder, make a paste and massage it on the itching part of the body slowly. It is noticed that the pain recedes within a minute or two.
ARTHRITIS: Arthritis patients may take daily, morning and night, one cup of hot water with two spoons of honey and one small teaspoon of cinnamon powder. If taken regularly even chronic arthritis can be cured.
HAIR LOSS: Those suffering from hair loss or baldness, may apply a paste of hot olive oil, one tablespoon of honey, one teaspoon of cinnamon powder before bath and keep it for approx. 15 min. and then wash the hair. It was found to be effective even if kept on for 5 minutes.
BLADDER INFECTIONS: Take two tablespoons of cinnamon powder and one teaspoon of honey in a glass of lukewarm water and drink it. It destroys the germs in the bladder.
TOOTHACHE: Make a paste of one teaspoon of cinnamon powder and five teaspoons of honey and apply on the aching tooth. This may be applied 3 times a day till the tooth stops aching.
CHOLESTEROL: Two tablespoons of honey and three teaspoons of Cinnamon Powder
mixed in 16 ounces of tea water, given to a cholesterol patient, was found to
reduce the level of cholesterol in the blood by 10% within 2 hours. As mentioned for arthritic patients, if taken 3 times a day, any Chronic cholesterol is cured. As per information received in the said journal, pure honey taken with food daily relieves complaints of cholesterol.
COLDS: Those suffering from common or severe colds should take one tablespoon lukewarm honey with 1/4 spoon cinnamon powder daily for 3 days. This process will cure most chronic cough, cold and clear the sinuses.
INFERTILITY: Yunani and Ayurvedic Medicine have been using honey for thousands of years to strengthen the semen of men. If impotent men regularly take two tablespoon of honey before going to sleep, their problem will be solved.
UPSET STOMACH: Honey taken with cinnamon powder cures stomachache and also clears stomach ulcers from the root.
GAS: According to the studies done in India & Japan, it is revealed that if honey is taken with cinnamon powder the stomach is relieved of gas.
IMMUNE SYSTEM: Daily use of honey and cinnamon powder strengthens the immune system and protects the body from bacteria and viral attacks. Scientists have found that honey has various vitamins and iron in large amounts. Constant use of honey strengthens the white blood corpuscles to fight bacteria and viral diseases.
INDIGESTION: Cinnamon powder sprinkled on two tablespoons of honey taken before food, relieves acidity and digests the heaviest of meals.
INFLUENZA: A scientist in Spain has proved that honey contains a natural ingredient, which kills the influenza germs and saves the patient from flu.
LONGEVITY: Tea made with honey and cinnamon powder, when taken regularly arrests the ravages of old age. Take 4 spoons of honey, 1 spoon of cinnamon powder and 3 cups of water and boil to make like tea. Drink 1/4 cup, 3 to 4 times a day. It keeps the skin fresh and soft and arrests old age.
PIMPLES: Three tablespoons of Honey and one teaspoon of cinnamon powder paste. Apply this paste on the pimples before sleeping and wash it next morning with warm water. If done daily for two weeks, it removes pimples from the root.
SKIN INFECTIONS: Applying honey and cinnamon powder in equal parts on the affected parts cures eczema, ringworm and all types of skin infections.
CANCER: Recent research in Japan and Australia has revealed that advanced cancer of the stomach and bones have been cured successfully. Patients suffering from these kinds of cancer should daily take one tablespoon of honey with one teaspoon of cinnamon powder for one month 3 times a day.
FATIGUE: Recent studies have shown that the sugar content of honey is more helpful rather than being detrimental to the strength of the body. Senior citizens, who take honey and cinnamon power in equal parts, are more alert and flexible.
BAD BREATH: People of South America, first thing in the morning gargle with one teaspoon of honey and cinnamon powder mixed in hot water. So their breath stays fresh throughout the day.
HEARING LOSS: Daily morning and night honey and cinnamon powder taken in equal parts restore hearing.

But cinnamon doesn't stop there: Oh no! It is super yummy on just about anything. pork chops, muffins, ice cream...etc. We all know this and as Americans we consume so much of this yummy bark that tastes oh so good. 
Cinnamon also works great at repelling insects. Sprinkling it around windows and doors works like laying down raid or other pesticides. Ants and other insects won't cross the barrier. Spraying cinnamon oil works like Bug Spray.
Sprinkle cinnamon in your kids sandbox and it will deter bugs, ants and cats from pooping in there.
It is a great room deodorizer too. Water and cinnamon oil works as a natural room fragrance. mix ground cinnamon with baking soda and sprinkle onto your rugs. Leave overnight and then vacuum it up. This also will help rid your house of ants or other insects.
It can even be used as moth balls. Fill a sachet with cinnamon and put with anything you want to keep moths away from.
If you let cinnamon sticks sit in a bottle of vodka for about two weeks you will have a very tasty cinnamon mouthwash.
And there you have it. The many many many many uses for such a wonderful little spice. I just today rid our house of ants. We were getting quite a little issue with them and now.. gone. I sprinkled cinnamon all over the house and put some with baking soda all over the carpets. So far it seems to really be working. I love cinnamon!

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