Monday, August 11, 2014

Interview With My Boys 2014

I'm so excited to do this again this year! Last year I asked my boys these same questions, (Lincoln was five and Asher was two), and their responses were great! Here is the link from last year They didn't disappoint this year either. Loved hearing their perspective and how much has changed or stayed the same since last year. Lincoln looks so much more grown up and Asher is still obsessed with Batman but talks much better. I also noticed Lincoln's responses are more grown up, after having been to kindergarten he understands more about bullies and how people can be mean. He didn't want to answer these questions originally either because he hates being "drilled" on questions, it reminds him of school and he gets anxious. Love these dudes, maybe next year at this time I will be able to include Marsden since he will be talking more and understanding more at that time! Enjoy. :)

Lincoln Age 6 years 4 months

  • What is the meaning of life?
I dont even know that. If we dont breathe, we will never get to breathe. Because God made our world. He made trees and everything for us to live.
  • What do you want to be when you grow up?
An underwater person.
  • What brings you the most happiness?
People make me happy by saying good things to me.
  • When do you feel the most loved?
Sometimes, I see girls I like, and I feel like I like them.  
  • What are you afraid of?
Im afraid of bad guys. Bullies.
  • If you had one wish, what would you wish for?
I would wish for a boat and being superman.
  • What is the funniest word?
  • What is the hardest/easiest thing to do?
Coloring a shirt is the hardest thing to do. Yeah, i did that before in school, and now Im just telling you. Easiest- coloring trees, legos are super easy too.
  • What is the best/worst thing in the world?
Best- Looking at glasses. Worst- Looking at eyeballs.
  • What makes you mad?
People being bullies at me. When Asher hurts me. Looking at Asher being crazy.
  • What is the meaning of love?
True love.
  • If you had all the money in the world, what would you do with it?
Put it in my piggy bank. I would keep it then sell it to other people.

Asher Age 3 years 8 months

  • What is the meaning of life?
Um, because of our blood. Our blood makes us alive.

  • What do you want to be when you grow up?
Batman. I’ll get a batman that has real batarangs and I’ll be back and you will see them.
  • What brings you the most happiness?
When I smile.
  • When do you feel the most loved?
You. with mommy.

  • What are you afraid of?
Ghosts. Bad guy ghostes, not good guy ones.
  • If you had one wish, what would you wish for?
A toy.
  • What is the funniest word?
He giggles. The funniest word is this “hahahhahahaha”
  • What is the hardest/easies t thing to do?
Um, play a hard game. Playing on the Nook.
  • What is the best/worst thing in the world?
Best- Reading a book, I like you to read, I want you to come and I want Kullin’s house 100 days. Worst-bad cookies. Bad cookies that have smoke in them!!
  • What makes you mad?
Baby Marsden throwing toys at me.
  • What is the meaning of love?
You are going to be married. To get married.
  • If you had all the money in the world, what would you do with it?
Um, Get a flying spiderman toy. And a bicycle that can fly without wings. And then gives the other moneys to somebody.

Monday, April 21, 2014

My thoughts on going Paleo.

Whew, let's talk about our family's experience with going Paleo. In December of 2013 I was challenged by family (as a combined effort) to make some future goals for my health and to start taking steps towards our goal. My biggest goals were to eliminate most grains and sugar from my diet, and to get flexible. ;) I knew I needed Zack in on this with me, as it would be impossible to do with just myself. He agreed to two months, and we stuck to it for a solid months very strict, while slowly introducing some gluten-free options and limited grains in during the 3rd and 4th months. It was HARD, I challenged myself more than anything but I am stubborn as shit and knew that I could do it. I felt good. Never got that yucky full bowel feeling after eating, stopped getting headaches, and had such a healthy feeling gut. We could pile yummy fresh veggies on our plate and feel good about what we were eating with our kids.

What was Paleo for us? 
Paleo eating seems to be defined differently for everyone. I followed a few different guides and was incredibly strict to begin with (about 3 months before introducing "cheats"). We ate absolutely no grains. This included any bread products, chips, anything with flour in it. Also, we cut out refined white sugar and all by-products as well. I slowly introduced local raw honey as a sweetener for baking and coffee after I was able to "wean" from the sugar cravings. We also did not eat white potatoes or corn, as these were some of the restrictions for paleo eating.
Some of the websites we followed and got recipes from:

                                         The Positives
 Weight loss was a big positive for us, especially for Zack who lost close to 30 lbs in 6 weeks. It was pretty extreme. I lost about 20 over the course of 3/4 months. (But gained back half of that as soon as I stopped being strict on no grains).
We felt energetic, had no headaches, and felt like our digestive systems were on track.
Felt good about what we were eating, and what we were giving our kids.

The Negatives
Cooking: Cooking for Paleo eating takes TONS of prep, buying all kinds of new ingredients and more work then I was used to doing. I enjoyed it, but not everything turned out yummy. It was a learning experience, for sure.
Milk Supply: My milk supply dwindled immensely. With no grains, I was able to only pump 2 oz at times, when I would usually get 12 or so! In order to give my baby enough milk I would have to eat something with grains in it before pumping if I knew I would be going to a birth soon. This was one of the biggest downfalls, and why I wouldn't go completely grain-free again.
Cost: The initial costs of switching EVERYTHING were pretty tough.We had to purchase new sauces, yogurts, dressings, snacks and meats. It has definitely changed the way we look at ingredients, and now we stick with the same sauces (the ones that do not have any added sugar or no refined white sugar) and have come to love and prefer them.

Would I do it again? Yes, if for a short time. I still try to do most dinners with a no grain or sugar mentality but we do have bread sometimes, or an unhealthy snack, and I am ok with that! I would absolutely introduce exercise while you've gained back your energy because I think the benefits would be enormous. I was never able to get in regular exercise while doing this eating plan and I wish I would have, for sure.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Why my son is the smelly kid in class.

Yes. I think my son may be that stinky kid in class.
But, hold up. It is not because he does not bathe!
Lincoln does not smell bad, at all. He smells like oils, and I think he smells marvelous!
Every morning before school we have a routine where I roll an essential oil blend on specific points on his body. We are doing this as a way to help him with his attention issues in class, along with a few other things that have been known to increase attention span in children.

Let me also set the record straight, I am not trying to diagnose my child. I know that he has attention span issues. It is very, very evident. But, I also know that kindergarten nowadays can be ridiculous and I do not agree with their expectations set upon my child. While we are in school there I will do my darndest to make sure Lincoln has whatever advantage I can give him so he does not feel labeled or left behind.

 I read an article that over viewed the symptoms, causes and ways aromatherapy can help with Behavioral Disorders. I am not a doctor, but I can read and be proactive now while he is young! This article was very, very informative.  ~
"Where psychopharmaceuticals can provide immediate relief to difficult symptoms, the body provides the door for healing and protecting itself, and given the right environment, it is able to thrive and heal from outside influences.  We hold the key to opening that door of healing through natural nourishment.  Awareness, education, and finally our nutritional choices, provide the body with the keys to heal and protect itself.  Psychoaromacology is a very promising method of treatment and provides immediate relief as well as long term healing.  Mental health and nutrition are not a separate entity.  They are interlinked and one in the same body (literally), therefore need to be treated as such and nature has provided so many solutions. The research is there, and it is scientifically proven.  Practical application takes education and dedication, however the results are life long and invaluable." (Danielle Daniel

I have been doing these oils now for almost a month and we are absolutely noticing a difference. We are doing many other things like: probiotics, decreased grains and sugars, taking dha/fish oils, doing yoga and doing more one on one time for homework in the evenings. So, it is hard to say if one thing in particular is helping more than the other things. I just know that he really is able to relax and we enjoy our morning ritual of putting the oils on. He likes to call them his "thinking oils". :)

My friend, Hillary, that gave us the blend told me what was in it:

"Oils in your blend are- Balance, Patchouli, Serenity, Lavender and Vetiver
Balance is a grounding blend, it contains Spruce, Rosewood, Blue Tansy and Frankincense. It's to bring a feeling of calmness, peace and relaxation. Aid in Harmonizing the various physiological systems of the body and promote tranquility and a sense of balance.
Serenity- Lavender, Sweet Marjoram, Roman Chamomile, Ylang Ylang, Sandalwood, and Vanilla Bean Extract. Relaxing blend to help calm and soothe feeling of stress, excitement, and anxiety to help the body maintain its natural state of health."

Here are some studies I have found on the science behind essential oils, for any skeptics out there.
This one is my favorite, about the use of Vetiver EO and how it suppresses the decline in attention  

Matricaria chamomilla may also help improve symptoms 

Just the abstract here, but it looks interesting. How our olfactory system can effect our moods and behavior

I like this because it simply describes how essential oils work and is not a .com website, or endorsed by a company

I love the fact that everyone is jumping on board this essential oil train. I am not loyal to a brand, nor do I love the pyramid stuff associated with some of the brands of oils. I do think it is a great tool to use if you have any ailments, especially to try before reaching for man made medicine. We have had lots of luck healing up cold sores, ear infections and tension with essential oils as well. And on that note we NEVER ingest the oils, only apply topically. :)

I will go on letting my kid be the smelly kid in class. At least it is a beneficial and pleasant aroma.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

10 Months. a poem

10 months old and getting bigger
two teeth, sweet feet and so much vigor

Taking steps and loves his daddy
Naps two times but sleeps pretty crappy

Follows his big brothers all day long
Giggles, plays and is crazy strong

Poops so much, and wow it smells
Mimics our words and even yells.

Loving this time with my littlest boy
His smile, his laugh they bring me joy

10 months old, and so much fun
Marsden, sweet boy. I love you, son.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Playing Catch Up

Oh I have been gone for a long time from here. I missed blogging about:
  • my birthday
  • my husband's birthday
  • Thanksgiving
  • Asher's 3rd birthday
  • finishing my CNA class
  • Christmas
  • New Years
  • New doula work for 2014
SO.... I suck. But the good news is we are all very well and thriving. Im very very busy with school and doula work which makes me immensely happy. Lincoln is absolutely doing so great with kindergarten, even though he has some rough days. Asher is learning new things every day and Mars is getting so big. Zack is busy with work and being such a huge support for me. I'll be back in the blogging game here soon. Maybe Ill do a picture up date with my new camera I am trying to get the hang of using. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Interested in Homebirth? Here are some important questions to ask.

Home birth is on the rise in the United States, according to these stats from the CDC's NCHS Data Brief published in January 2012. This is great news! While home birth is not for everyone, for those that are interested there are specific questions that need to be asked while interviewing midwives for home delivery. I have found some great compilations online addressing the questions for home birth midwives, but have not found one that I think asks everything important to me. So, for those interested, here are what I would ask!

The safety questions
1. What kind of education and/or training have you done to become a midwife?
2. What is your transfer rate? What are reasons you would choose to transfer to hospital? Will you stay with mother if transfer is necessary?
3. Tell me about your experience, and births attended. I would specifically want to know about certain situations that arise and how they handle it. (examples: long pushing phase, surprise breech baby, posterior baby, nuchal hand, meconium, malpositioned baby, non-reassuring heart tones, stillborn, etc)
4. What emergency equipment do you carry, and can you describe situations these might need to be used in?
5.  Talk to me about your client load, and area of service.
6. How do you feel about pre-term or post-term dates? What do you consider a safe time period? What would you suggest should this situation arise? 
7. Who is your backup, what are her credentials, and how far is she? Do you have a doctor back-up?
8. What neonatal resuscitation trainings have you attended? How long ago?

Birth philosophy questions
1. Why did you become a midwife?
2. What is your personal stance on birth in general (your philosophy)? 
3. Talk to me about the legality of home birth in this state, and how you feel about it.

The other important questions
1. How many times will we meet during my pregnancy?
2. How will my partner get involved?
3. Do you welcome a doula?
4. How do you feel about the procedures/tests I do or do not want done during my pregnancy?
5. What are my pain relief options at home? What about comfort measures?
6. What are your fees? What does that include? 

Honestly, I have found the really good midwives end up answering all your questions before you even get to them. I think it is important to come prepared, and sometimes ask the hard questions to make sure you feel comfortable and assured. I know there are tons of other questions to ask.
What are some questions you might add to this list?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Baby Marsden is 6 months old!

I am late to the game with this post! Marsden is about 6.5 months and is just doing so well! I swear he has some new skill every week. I am just amazed at his beautiful soul. His smile. His laugh. He is just pure joy! I love watching him discover. Seeing him stare and giggle at his big brothers. He is pulling up to stand on everything! He is getting so strong, trying to reach and step for things juuuust out of reach. He has already had so many tumbles! I love wearing him on my back in the MeiTai right now. He is very patient when I throw him on my back, and loves being able to see everything all around us. We have not done any solids yet but he is so interested! I'm thinking it will happen within a month or two here. I am in no rush to start solids, and he is already getting so super chunky and round without them! Marsden is a nursing machine. He loves his paci at night and sleeps very very well through the night. He eats paper all the time, and I have to constantly follow after him crawling around eating dirty things off my floors!
Get ready for an insane amount of videos and pictures.  I love documenting how he grows and changes.
One Month! 

Two Months! 

Three Months!
Four Months!

Five Months!

Six Months!

and some videos I have taken over the past few months! :)





Happy 6 months Marsden! Love all that you bring to our family!
 (ps mommy says please slow down!)

Friday, September 13, 2013

The Home Water Birth of Baby Desmond ~ A Doula's Perspective

     It was around 8:30 am, I had just been up with my sick toddler all night, but the rest of the family was up and ready to go! First instinct, COFFEE! I start heading to the kitchen to attempt such a task and I heard it. THE phone call. The one I have been waiting for, the one for which I had been on call for the past two weeks or so. I always get this incredible feeling deep inside me when I know it is time. It feels like a roller coaster, lovely fun butterflies flutter around in my tummy. I rush outside and call the number back immediately. It is Phil, the super-husband calling to tell me what I knew already, it was time! Quickly, I hang up and promptly call up babysitter to see how fast she can come to my house. After all the phone calls were finished it was time to hurry up and get ready. Doula bag was already packed, and had been for some time. In my bag you will find extra snacks, gum, change of clothes, rice pad, a rebozo and some oils, just to name a few things.

    I just threw on some new clothes, brushed hair and teeth, changed baby and packed his backup things. The exciting thing about getting ready for this birth was that my 4 month old baby would be attending with me! I brought a few carriers so that I could wear him on my back while supporting the mama-to-be/my amazing friend, Tammy.
    After I finished getting ready the babysitter arrived around 9:30 am. I was super rushing at this point, anxious because Tammy had fast labors previously and I wanted to get there to help support her as her Midwife had not yet arrived. I tripped up my stairs in haste to say goodbye to my boys one last time. Left a nice goose-egg and bruise to remember it by. ;)
   Once in the car I did my usual deep breathing and relaxing that I like to do before heading into a birth. I do not want to have an over excited presence with a laboring mama who is usually trying to focus hard. I stopped real quick to get some caffeination and a snack. Played some fun music and drove exceedingly fast to get to her house.
   Pulling up to her house, decided not to park in driveway as I was the first to get there. Brought in baby and took a video of when I walked into the house. This is what I saw:

   Tammy was already laboring beautifully, her two girls were very excited, and her husband was running around like crazy doing EVERYTHING he could to get ready. He had three pots of water boiling, and the tub set up, and half way filled with water already! I was incredibly impressed!
As soon as I settled in Phil and the girls hopped in their van and ran over to Tammy's Mum's house to fetch her. She was going to help watch the girls and support Tammy. It was nice and quiet with just Tammy and me in the house. She has some very strong contractions. I sit quietly next to her during it and whisper encouraging words to her. I add another big pot of boiling water to the tub and do a little pressing on Tammy's lower back, but am not sure she was wanting the hands on since she had told me previously that she prefers to labor on her own.
   The next couple hours were beautiful and magical. It is always so amazing to watch a woman persevere through labor. I feel blessed to watch her loved ones interact with her as she moans, sighs, and yells a little bit through the intensity. Her girls are curious. They ask questions, feel the water, they want to help! Her sister sent her an encouraging video, which Phil played while she was in the tub. The Midwife and her assistant are also very encouraging. They take fetal heart tones, record notes, and assure Tammy that all is OK and normal. Phil brought her drinks, put cool rags on her head, and sang songs to her. Watching them together made me teary eyed a few times, you could feel how much he loved her and wanted to help her!
   It feels like a party. A beautiful, peaceful get together in which we are witnessing something miraculous happen! 

   Tammy's contractions get stronger and the tone is more serious. She cant wait to hold her new baby and for the pushing to begin. I continue snapping pics left and right. She looks amazingly beautiful in the water with so much love all around her. I tell her so...and Phil agrees.

 We all encourage her to keep drinking and try to eat something for some energy.At home births you rarely have cervical checks like they do so routinely in the hospital, but Tammy wanted some reassurance, so around 12:45 she asked Midwife to check her. She was about 8 cm, and baby was still a little high up in her pelvis.  I know the water feels like bliss and she does not want to get out. Eventually though the Midwife says what I was thinking... that she should get out for a bit so she can use the bathroom and also so the change of pressure could bring baby down a bit. Tammy slow danced with Phil a little bit after getting out of the tub. He held her tight as she worked through a few strong contractions, encouraging baby Des to move down.

   Then we all followed her into her room down the hall where she laid on her side, and we could all visibly see the contractions get stronger and a little bit longer it seemed. I took Marsden off my back and laid him in the crib next to Tammy. There was an adorable moment where he seemed to be mimicking her sounds, he was just babbling away! I smiled so big!

 Then there was this moment.

   It was in this moment that things changed. This moment is what birth workers just know to listen for, it is when her sounds change. Her roars and moans changed to where she added this liiiiiiitle grunt at the end! OOOOh, I smiled so big when I heard that and looked over at the Midwife, she was also smiling and encouraged Tammy, "That's right! Good job!" Pushing time was near now! I gently reminded her of her desire to give birth in water, and asked if she still wanted that. Tammy said yes, she got through another few strong grunty contractions and we quickly (and I mean she moved very quickly for having a baby so close to being born) back into the other room where the birth tub was set up!
   Super strong contractions are happening frequently now with loud vocals and a little pushing. Phil got his swim trunks on in case he needed to jump in to catch baby.

  Tammy called our for her Mum at this point. She became her rock as Tammy worked so hard to push her baby out into the world. This doula had tears again watching them.

   And then I hear that baby is crowning, and I make sure to have video ready to capture the moments of his arrival. Tammy is working so incredibly hard, but she is doing it, and I am so so very proud!

   Desmond Allen, 7 lbs 13 oz and 20" long, born on August 20th at 1:57 pm into Tammy's loving arms. Her husband helped catch and unravel the baby, her daughters and mother watched on, and everyone felt so ecstatic when she finally held him in her arms.
   And then, after the placenta was delivered, cord was cut and Tammy moved back into her own bed, something else amazing happened.... life went on. Everything seemed so normal, just now there was another little life added to the mix. Two daughters and now a son. Perfect, simple and incredibly beautiful. This is homebirth! I just got to witness a family of four become five. I took my pics, I said some encouraging words, I brought her snacks and drinks, helped talk with her daughters and assure her husband, and then I went home and left them to get acquainted their new beautiful addition.  

I will leave you with this video pics/video slideshow I put together for Tammy and her family. Enjoy!