Thursday, September 3, 2009

Enfamil: Meeting Parent Demand or Enabling Abuse?

If you are a mom who likes to keep up on hot topics you have probably seen this new product by Enfamil, one of the world's leading formula companies:

New Enfamil® RestFull™

Specially designed to help babies feel full longer and sleep better.

Give your baby a RestFull Night.

Your baby needs a proper amount of sleep to keep her healthy and happy. That's why we created new Enfamil RestFull, the formula specially designed to naturally encourage a good night's sleep.

•A natural way to help keep your baby feeling satisfied.

•Thickens gently in baby's tummy and digests slowly.

Wait wait wait wait...NATURAL?  Nothing about any brand of formula is natural.  So let's see what they are really selling, shall we?  While it doesn't advertise it's ingredients after some research I found it is formula with rice starch added.  Babies' tummies aren't designed to digest non-human milk.  I can go on about how your baby will most likely have some distress from this constipating combination or about how it's not optimal nutrition, but this isn't really my main focus here.

Whether you formula or breastfeed you should be appalled at this.  Babies need night time parenting.  They wake frequently because it's one of their natural defenses against SIDS and they need help adjusting to the world.  Infant-mother/father bonding isn't important just during daytime hours, but at night as well.  Babies shouldn't be expected to sleep through the night just because they have gloppy formula sitting in their tummies.  It's not just ridiculous, it's dangerous.

But let's take it a step further...what really brought on this demand for a substance that promises us easier babies?

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the average American mother. 

This mom watches tv and so she has an idea in her head about what her house should look like, even though she is watching a set and not an actual home she sees the shiny new appliances, the granite countertops and the hardwood floors all sparkling clean with a baby crawling across the floor in a diaper and she looks at her house and thinks "My house is a pigsty!  I need to have a nicer, cleaner home."  So she does more housework and thinks about upgrading her kitchen, which will cost more money.

The average American mother is expected to go back to work when her baby is no more than 8 weeks old.  At this point she still isn't getting good sleep and she has barely healed from her birth.  But she tearfully takes her baby to childcare and leaves him or her for 8-10 hours a day so she can bring home the bacon.

Most average American moms are born into a generation where their moms worked while they grew up and the new grandmas are still working so the average American mom has no support from her mom during this time.

The average American mom still does the majority of the shopping, cooking, cleaning.  That's not to say that the average American dad isn't involved, most are more involved than their fathers were.  But overall it seems that most moms run the house, contribute financially and do the majority of childcare.  With a brand new baby, hormonal shifts, and possibly other children to care for she is easily plagued with feelings of inadequacy, guilt, and even depression.  She compares herself to other moms and wonders how they do it.  She resents people who have the support she needs or whose babies sleep through the night.

Night time comes and she is exhausted but her baby hasn't seen her all day and he or she has plans to nurse all night long to make up for the bonding time they missed during the day.  So with about four hours of sleep total under her belt the new mom finds that 6:30am is here way before she is ready. 

So instead of the average American woman demanding that less be demanded of her, she demands that her baby be less demanding.  Enfamil answers the call with the promise of more sleep and the baby is left with glue in his or her tummy so that mom can get some sleep before she goes on a maniacal rampage from sleep deprivation and her husband runs for the hills.

Why is it so hard for people to understand that new moms need mothered, too?  Products like this wouldn't hit the shelves if America just figured this out.  Other cultures pamper their new mommies and some government programs even offer a free baby nurse while their mommies recover.  In other countries working moms are given a year of paid leave from work.  It is awful to see how moms are treated in this country.  If you don't believe me try dealing with a boss who acts like you having a baby is a personal attack on them or who refuse to make finding a place to use a breastpump easy, even though they are required to by law.  Try asking for longer than 6-8 weeks off of work.  I can't tell you how many moms I know have been laid off while on maternity leave or FMLA.

Our babies deserve better than this formula, but our moms also deserve better treatment.  They are raising our future presidents, CEOs, doctors, politicians, clergy, and other important leaders who will control our world when we are no longer able to.  How we treat our moms will reflect how they treat their children.   How we treat our children will reflect on our future.  It's as simple as that.

That being said, I hope this product is pulled of the shelves immediately.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Muffin Tops Are The Best Part Of The Muffin

Being a gravida 4 (medical terminology for pregnant with my 4th baby) I am already experiencing the muffin top-type baby belly that just looks like I had too many Krispy Kreme doughnuts. At a mere 8 weeks I am enjoying the comfort of maternity clothes, which I am sure by the end of this pregnancy I will be sick to death of wearing. Maternity clothes are funny that way. You are sick of them by the time you are done with them but when it comes time to re-open that box you embrace their stretchy goodness and their ample room around your waist.

So here I am at 8 weeks:

I know soon I will be subjected to public questioning starting with the normal "When are you due?" and moving on to "Do you know what you are having?" and concluding with "Is this your first?" I may actually make myself a shirt that says "Spring, It's a surprise, 4th." I may put on the back "Yes we know what causes it, and we LIKE IT!" for good measure.
Here's to my uterus and it's miraculous ability to grow are the most facinating organ I have ever known. Cheers, girlfriend!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Our Little Planned Surprise

Stephen and I debated trying for another baby for awhile. It just didn't seem like the right time or one of us was not ready or we weren't sure if it was the best thing to do. After all, a family of 6 is pretty large these days. So about 3 weeks after we officially "tried" here I was in the bathroom one hot July morning:

Needless to say we were happy and surpised. I folded up a little ducky pajama with the pregnancy test on it and gave it to Stephen as a gift. His response was "Are you serious?" Yeah, dude...totally!!

The kids were thrilled after a short scavenger hunt lead them to the clues that let them know they would soon be big siblings (again):

So that's what's new with me. I am due March 24th and I am planning a homebirth with a midwife. We don't plan on finding out the sex so it will be a surprise when the baby is born. Such an exciting time!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Long Time Gone

My blogging hobby was put on the back burner recently to work on some things at home, mainly the kiddos and the house that was needing some major attention.  I love blogging but Midge is at an age where he is incredibly active and my blogging "mojo" is interrupted quite often.  So today we are having an unexpected thunderstorm and I am trying to have a relaxing day because not only is the weather lazy but Midge is on a sleeping strike and refuses to nap and is up off and on during the night.  To boot I am on call for 3 births in the next two weeks.  I didn't plan it that way, but one of my moms is far past her due date and the other two are looking like they may go early.  Thank God for back up doulas!

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Just Call Me Wendy, CD(DONA)!

It's official...I am a certified birth doula through DONA International!  Woo-hoo! 

That's it...just wanted to share the news.

School Fundraisers Stink!

I love my kids' school.  I think the teachers are wonderful.  I do my best to volunteer my time and efforts to help the school as much as I can.  However there is one beef I have about public schools...fundraiser packets. 

Usually the fundraiser is presented to the children in an assembly to pump them up to sell things.  Of course they show the kids that they can win a radio, money, or obscure things like a disco ball or pens that double as compasses if they sell X amount of items.  The kids get excited and bring the packet home to me and ask me to help them sell 42 items so they can get a plastic disco ball light up thingie that looks like it was intended for a preschool rave.  I try to explain that to sell 42 items is a hard thing to do because people don't always need the things that are being sold and all of their friends have parents who are trying to sell the same stuff so the market for their product is pretty saturated.  It's not that I am trying to be discouraging, but I hate to see them get frustrated because the assembly pepped them up for a goal that isn't really reasonable in the first place.  So I buy something I don't really want or need to make them feel better and let them call their grandma with a sales pitch.  The neighbor lady buys some candy and that is about all we get.  They earn a plastic bracelet and feel jealous that Tommy's dad was able to take his catalog to work and sell over 100 items so Tommy gets awarded with a radio in front of the whole school, setting the other kids up for a heaping dose of jealousy and resentment towards me for not being more proactive in selling the random stuff nobody really needs. 

While I am on the rant, have you ever tried to explain to a six year old who doesn't seem to live in the same reality as you do that having 42 items doesn't mean you count the number of cars or that you have to sell 42 of your own toys or that you just own 42 items and therefore you get a prize?  It is enough to make you want to hit the bar before noon.  I tried to explain to him that he has to sell 42 items out of the catalog because he replies "I did!" and I keep trying to tell him he didn't and he insists that he did.  I try about 8 different ways to explain it and he is still walking around talking about the disco ball he will earn.  I give up and pray he forgets about the stupid ball. 

I wish that fundraisers sold things people need, not keychains or cookie dough (don't even get me started on the "Healthy Kids Cookbook" that featured fruit on top of a frosted sugar cookie).  Maybe I'd get excited if they sold natural items that I would actually use.  Reusable gift wrap anyone??

Thursday, April 9, 2009

It Was Legendary

**Warning: Graphic description of puke mess...not for weak stomachs.**

Once again the stomach flu found it's way into our house.  It started with Midge and hit me and then went to Bear.  Last night we were dying eggs with the dye from boiled fruits, veggies, and spices.  After we were done Bear went to the couch and watched tv.  He seemed happy but said his tummy hurt.  While I was cleaning up the dye mess he went to the bathroom and came out and told me he had thrown up.  He was so matter of fact and relaxed about it that I didn't think he was telling the truth.  As I went towards the bathroom he told me "I thought I was done so I closed the lid and I threw up on top of the toilet."  When I walked into the bathroom I saw the most heinous of all vomit messes I had ever seen so I walked right back out, grabbing Bear's toothbrush on the way out, and shut the door.  I handed Bear his toothbrush and instructed him to brush his teeth in my bathroom.  With my sleeve over my nose I assessed the damage and decided I needed a plan.  Stephen walked in and asked why the house stunk like BO.  I showed him the bathroom and he looked dumbfounded.  "Really?  On top of the lid?" he marveled. 

Part of being a mom is not making a huge deal over things like puke and potty accidents but this legendary mess was going to take some dramatic measures.  I brought 10 towels, paper towels, cleaner, Lysol, a laundry basket lined with a trash bag and put on gloves and tied two towels over my nose and mouth.  I'm sure I was rebreathing a bunch of CO2 but I didn't care. 

It was everywhere...on top of the toilet, on the seat, in the toilet spattered from end to end of the bowl, down the sides of the toilet bowl, on the toilet brush, on the step stool, on the shower curtain, on the toilet plunger, in the trash can, on the side of the trash can, pooled behind the toilet, on the throw rug, in front of the toilet, on the side of the tub, on the side of the cabinets, and splashed up on the walls and plumbing behind the toilet.  Truly a legendary puke.  It took me about 20 minutes to clean and sterilize.  And I made it through without a single gag.  Yay mommy!

After things were back together I put my sickie to bed.  I knew I could lecture him about the proper way to puke into the toilet but instead I gave my big boy lots of love and told him I hoped he felt better soon.  As I tucked him in I thought about all the things I've done over the years for my kids that are gross, heartbreaking, painful, or that required a great sacrifice on my part.  I find that I don't regret or resent any of my choices or my children for the things I do for them by necessity or by my own free will.  I love my babies more than I can put into words and I would gladly clean up a thousand puke messes if it meant I could still be there to tuck them in at night.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Captain Crunchy vs The Junk Food Kid

The crunchier I have become the more I find that I have had to learn tactful and delicate responses to people who don't live as I do. I don't think of myself as a judgemental or critical person, but there are many times that I have to think before I speak when respond to the comments or actions of others.

This last month has been especially hard. Stephen and I took Midge to Iowa to visit family and I found myself smack dab in the land of processed foods. The first thing I learned was that the term "juice" didn't mean 100% organic juice but Kool-aid. What I call "soda" was "pop" to everyone else and it flowed freely not only to the adults but the children. So immediately I thought "Okay, I need to pick my battles but I also need to figure out how to communicate my feelings on junk food." So I allowed my son to have a sugary artifically colored nutritionally void drink and McDonalds chicken nuggets and fries. In conversation I mentioned that I try to keep a healthy diet at home but on vacation I would let things slide a bit. It was a vague hint but one I hoped would be picked up on. Fortunately our hostess filled the fridge with raw veggies and strawberries and I was sure to make a fuss over them. It was tough because we were staying with the sweetest, most gracious relatives and I didn't want to seem snooty, yet their definition of "the good stuff" was my very definition of "the bad stuff." So to be funny I made a joke or two about needing my "rabbit food" and even teased "I don't know how you all poop!" when I noticed their meals had no vegetables or fruits. I helped with dinners and clean up to show my appreciation but inside there was a loud voice that screamed "That drink has HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP and RED DYE 40!!" When a family member snuck Midge a sippy cup full of soda pop I gave my husband a look that said "DO SOMETHING!" He let him have a few sips and then switched cups out to one with diluted apple juice. And I noticed a huge change in Midge. He went from calm and sweet to grumpy and he was always asking for more junk food. He was more agressive and I could see him riding sugar highs and falling deep into sugar lows. By the end of the trip he was falling apart. Once we got him home and on healthy foods he went back to being his normal self.

I just hope to get the family out this way sometime. It may be a bit of a culture shock, but I guarantee you they will be pooping a whole lot more on a nutritionally dense diet! ;)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

It's My Favorite Time Of Year

It's like a sweet surprise every spring.  The orange groves around my house start popping out orange blossoms and their intoxicating perfume fills the air.  I look forward to the tiny white flowers every year.  As a kid I grew up surrounded by orange groves and the smell of orange blossoms fills my childhood memories.  I recall one day lying on my bed writing a love letter (back before email).  It was my senior year of high school and things were perfect in my life.  It was a beautiful 80 degrees outside and the sun was beginning to set.  My windows were open and the sprinklers were on outside.  A cool breeze over me and it was filled with the perfume of sweet orange blossoms.  It was the best feeling.

Now I try to bring them inside with me whenever I see them.  They never last long but I put them in my hair so I can smell them all day.  One night before my husband and I were married I pulled back my covers to find he had picked a bunch of orange blossoms and scattered them in my sheets.  I slept so well that night.

They are more than a flower to me...they return me memories and provide reassurance that I am home.  I will never grow tired of taking time to smell my favorite flower, even if it's only for a month or two out of the year.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Uter-us! Not Uter-you!

With the recent negative media surrounding "Octomom" and her decision to have a large family without the means to support them I feel the need to speak up for the moms who have decided to have more than the standard two and a half children who actually take the time to love and support them so they grow up to be well-adjusted adults.

I have three children, so already I have heard my fair share of negative attitudes regarding my procreation plans, especially since my first two were a girl and a boy and there is an unwritten law about stopping once you get one of each. While I don't necessarily feel the need to justify my choices I feel the need to let the general public know that just because someone has a full minivan doesn't give anyone the right to vomit opinions on the soccer mom inside.

Believe it or not, there are families out there who have more than two children who actually do quite well. They are self-supporting and their children are well behaved with few exceptions. They aren't careless abour their birth control nor do they feel the need to draw their self esteem from their children. While their children might not have the most expensive clothing or have to share rooms or sacrifice some things for their siblings and that is teaching them to live for people other than themselves. The older ones may help the younger ones but it's part of living in a community of people. Most parents understand that whether you have two or ten children that your love is never limited and you will have enough love to go around. Motherly love is truly something designed to be infinite.

I have often considered having "just one more" to finish my brood. I have already heard my fair share of negativity when I have shared this feeling with others and I am honestly already done with it. I work hard to make sure my children feel loved, happy, and that they are well-adjusted. When we go out in public we get compliments on their behavior all the time. All three children excel in one area or another and all three love each other to pieces. My husband and I have worked hard to build up a business that can support a larger family and our finances are not anyone else's concerns but ours.

What I chose to do with my uterus isn't anyone's business but mine. I know I speak for other moms like me when I say that people who decide that their opinion needs to be spewed all over the front of my mom jeans are in for an unpleasant comeback. I'm a fantastic mother and my children love me to death. If I feel I can handle having a fourth child then I can. If that's not for you...great! My reproductive rights are my own and I will exercise them responsibly. If you don't like it bite your tongue and swallow your opinion down hard. It will taste a little bitter but in the long run it will be better for your health, trust me!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Our Bear

Today was a big day for us.  Bear has been exhibiting odd behaviors such as hand flapping and stimming and some problems with his motor skills.  His hand flapping happens when he is excited or learning something new and often is accompanied by him rocking his body, flapping his knees and sometimes making a humming noise.  From a distance it appears he is autistic but he doesn't have the main indicators of autism, which is good but frustrating because figuring out how to help, understand, and convey his differences to others is difficult.  He also struggles with opening containers and food packing, such as string cheese and he has a hard time sometimes getting buckled in the car, shutting the mini-van door, and figuring out his jacket.  On the flip side he is brilliant beyond belief.  He is reading above his grade level and can write well and his math skills are far beyond average.  He's also very affectionate and loving with everyone he meets, which makes him all the more lovable.

So today we were given a handout on complex motor stereotypies, which is what the neurologist feels he has.  This diagnosis sometimes accompanies ADHD, OCD, or learning disabilities, but Bear seems to have none of these issues.  We were also told that Bear has ataxia, which means in layman's terms he is clinically clumsy.  We were advised to work on his motor skills at home and he didn't recommend any therapies at this time. 

So now that I have some answers I feel I can move forward and help him a bit.  I am so thankful that it's something that can be helped and something that he will eventually be able to leave behind him.

On a side note, you should have seen the look on the resident's face when I told him Bear breastfed for two years.  He looked shocked and repeated "He was breastfed for two years?"  "Two and a half," I stated proudly and matter of factly.  The guy seemed like he didn't know what to say.  I guess he's never run into a crunchy mom such as myself before!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A Gift Given, A Milestone Reached

For her 8th birthday Nee-Nee wanted to cut her hair and donate it to Locks of Love so that a child experiencing hair loss could have a hairpiece made from real hair.  She cut off ten inches and boy does she look grown up!

We went to Disneyland for her birthday and the day after we went to a cosmetologist to get her ears pierced.  She was really brave and excited about adding some bling to her ears. 

My big girl showing off her new haircut and earrings:

In true party-animal fashion we had one more celebration with family and ate cupcakes.  She was able to show off her beautiful earrings and her new haircut.  It's the first thing she showed to everyone when they walked in the door.

I am so proud of my big girl.  I can't believe how she's grown!
Newborn Nee-Nee at 4 days old:

My eight year old girl:

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Two Beautiful Natural Births In One Week

I was honored to be the doula for two amazing women who gave birth to their baby girls this week.  Both wanted natural birth and both achieved their goals.

As a business woman I do my best to behave in a professional manner when going to interviews and doing visits.  When at a birth tend to put my professional face on the backburner and become the wise woman, the mother, the sister, the friend.  I don't hesitate to brush her hair out of her face, press my face against her sweaty cheek to whisper words of encouragement, or remind her of her inner strength.  It's the most natural thing to want to meet her needs.

I absolutely love being a doula.  It's an honor and a blessing to be part of the birth process.  I can't wait for the next miracle to arrive.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Dear Pediatrician's Office

After being up a large portion of last night with a child who was fussy and hot I set my alarm to call you right at 8am so that I could bring him in for a check.  I waited about 15 minutes before I was able to schedule with you and since my regular pediatrician, who is reliable and attentive, was not in the office today I agreed to see someone else. 

I arrived on time and checked in.  I paid my co-pay and had a seat.  Fortunately my son was well behaved for about twenty minutes.  Then he started trying to pull me towards the door.  I am sure you understand that 22 month olds have a limited understanding of time and nearly no explanation will ever be adequate to break a tantrum should one start.  So I divert, entertain, and play some more until our name is called.  After checking his temperature and weight we are closed into a small room with no doors, no windows, and no cell phone signal.  The nurse assures us that the doctor will be in "in just a minute."  Ten minutes pass, then fifteen, then twenty.  To entertain him I look in his ears, eyes, nose, and mouth with your otoscope.  I feel a little guilty since I am not exactly qualified to use them but I also know that I see a touch of redness in the corners of both eardrums.  His throat is fine.  This game gets old so he crumples up the paper on the table.  He spills his cup on your floor and I clean it.  He opens the cabinets under the sink and crawls under.  He tries to dig in the trash can.  Now thirty minutes have passed.  He is getting antsy and so I nurse him and start to worry about my clients.  I get paid to be a labor support professional and right now my client who paid money for my services could be trying to reach me.  I have no cell signal here in the office so I have no way of knowing if she is beginning to panic because I am not answering my phone.  I hear your nurses outside gabbing about the latest new on the in-vitro octuplet mom.  She goes on and on for about ten minutes on what she thinks should be done with the babies.  I realize that it is just office chatter but couldn't she take those ten minutes and find out why I am still waiting to be seen by a doctor?  She must realize that we have been waiting a very long time!

After forty minutes toddler and I are back on the exam table wrestling around.  Then he wants me to look in his ears again.  I oblige and feel no guilt at all.  I figure that if you expect us to be in a tiny room for this length of time we will be playing with your stuff out of either boredom or desperation.  Forty-five minutes pass and I am starting to grow weary and so is my toddler.  He has now been cooped up for an unreasonable amount of time with very little to do.  He keeps pointing at the door so I open it and walk him down the hall for a lollipop.  I make eye contact with the nurses to make sure they know I am still in the room. 

The lollipop occupies him for another five minutes as he salivates yellow all down the front of his shirt and onto the floor.  At this point I no longer care about the floor.  I seriously consider leaving.

At fifty minutes he is losing it.  It's nap time and he is tired.  He swings at me and I try to divert him but he is a puddle of toddler angst on the floor.  He is done with being in this room.  After waiting in that tiny room for over an hour I walk out and ask the nurse if she knows when we will be seen.  I have many things to do today.  I had to take time off work to be here.  I have already screwed up my child's routine.  I have already seen the tantrum train rolling down the track at an unstoppable speed.  She assures me that the doctor will be right in. 

Within five more minutes the doctor rushes in.  I can see she is stressed.  She checks my son's ears and he is less than co-operative for her.  She declares he has the start of an infection and gives me a prescription to hold on to until I am certain he is not improving and sends me out the door.  Although she is nice she offers no apology for my time lost sitting waiting for her. 

In your parking lot my little one loses it.  He is hysterically crying because he is too overtired, hungry, and frustrated to cope.  I fight him into his seat and he bawls the entire ride home until the last two minutes when he drifts off.  When I arrive home I attempt to put him down but he refuses.  Now, almost two hours later he still won't nap because his schedule is so off.  He is in his crib right now bawling because he can't settle down and I can't help him.  If I had put him down when he was first tired after about 45 minutes of waiting in your office then he would be a different kid right now.  Instead, I have to deal with this mess of a toddler.  I'm sure you have forgotten about me by now but I haven't forgotten how long I waited in your office today because I have to listen to the results of it melting down twenty feet away from me.  You are worried about billing and charting but I am thinking about how having him this off his sleep schedule is going to make my next few days a nightmare. 

While I realize I am just a number to you and what I say will probably fall on deaf ears I still write in hopes that you will start considering the impact of your inefficiency and lack of planning on the families who rely on you to help them. 


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Moms Like Me

Moms like me are a special breed. They create groups on Facebook called "My Stomach Looks Like Balls" because they have come to terms with the fact that they will never have washboard abs again. Moms like me have finally given up the competitive streak and band together to give each other unwavering support. Moms like me feel sexier in their thirties than we ever did in our twenties. Moms like me read labels and shop around for good prices. Moms like me have come to terms with the fact that toddlers melt down in public. Moms like me look at mini-vans and think "That would make my life much easier." Moms like me wish they could be more involved in the PTA. Moms like me stay up late washing clothes and fixing organic lunches complete with a note from mom. Moms like me enjoy intimacy. Moms like me hate violence.   Moms like me need an occasional adult beverage.  Moms like me blog because it's the best outlet for our feelings. :)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Why Chucky's World Is Not A Good Idea

In light of a recent Chuck-E-Cheese commercial my brilliant Nee-Nee decided to say her peace about why living in a world that is soley contained within a Chuck-E-Cheese franchise is a bad idea.  She is definately her mother's daughter:

Friday, January 30, 2009

High Fructose Corn Syrup...The New Big Tobacco?

If you watch prime time television you may have caught one of these precious light hearted commercials:

Aww, it's not so bad, right? I mean, those HFCS naysayers are just uninformed, right? And their ignorance is so extreme that they can't even think of one piece of information to defend their position when put on the spot.

Some people may not even be aware that they eat HFCS on a daily basis because not every food it is hiding in is sweet. For instance, ketchup, spaghetti sauces, even bread can contain the chemical directly linked to obesity and diabetes. Yet, so many Americans don't bother to read their food labels. They assume that if it is sold on a grocery store shelf it can't be toxic. The FDA wouldn't allow that, right? After all, my food is labeled "natural." Amazingly, the FDA has actually approved HFCS as a natural sweetener. So your natural bread may be sweetened with the very thing you seek to avoid.

So in moderation HFCS is okay, right? I mean, it's the same as sugar according to the commercials.

Think again.

Apparantly the FDA has known that there has been mercury found in HFCS since 2005. Have they taken steps to stop it? Of course not. Forget the fact that mercury in any amount is considered toxic. Why would they readily admit that we have been consuming poison right off the grocery shelves? It's alarming to say the least.

And what about our children? With the dramatic rise in childhood obesity, juvenile diabetes, autism, ADHD and other diseases why aren't we as parents doing more to bring attention to our children's health? Instead of accepting that it is out of our hands we need to start looking at what is going into our children from birth on. Anything from pain medication during labor to the stressful affects circumcision has on a newborn brain to what we place in their lunches and what is in every single vaccine that the doctor might recommend. What we consider progress may have a price, and I think our children pay the price when we assume the ones we trust won't ever be false. It's time we advocate for our children because as long as big money talks nobody else is going to.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Promoting Childbirth Choices

I was recently interviewed by Manic Mommy at about being a birth doula. It was a really enjoyable interview and I thought the questions were a perfect platform for promoting childbirth choices without being too obvious or pushy. :) In an ideal world pregnant women would be able to birth where ever and with whoever they chose and not be bound by insurance companies or laws catered to doctors and hospitals. My intention is to open women's birth options by promoting doulas.

Friday, January 23, 2009


My dear friend "K" just gave birth to a beautiful baby boy this morning. Her last birth ended up a c-section and she was going to try for a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) with this birth.

Now K and I are totally different people. In high school she and I would bicker a lot. It was more in fun than anything but we loved each other and continued our friendship into adulthood. When I told her I was becomming a doula she was very supportive and told me that was the perfect job for me. When she told me she was going for a VBAC I gave her my full support and told her if she wanted me during her labor for any reason to call.
Well this afternoon I got this wonderful message on my phone announcing the birth of her little boy at 6:42am. Then she said something that made me tear up, "I DID IT! I DID IT! I pushed him out! Just thought you might be proud of me." Then she giggled in a way I had never heard her giggle. The sound of her voice, the tone, the joy, took me back immediately to the moments after my children were born. It's an amazing high, one I don't know how to compare. What made it even more meaningful was that K and I, who disagree on most issues, now have a common ground where we can share, appreciate, and enjoy each other's triumphs.

I am so proud of her. I know what she has achieved and I think it's the most miraculous, powerful and beautiful moments she can experience. I can't wait to hear the details. Congratulations K on your triumphant VBAC and welcome baby "O!"

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Mom Accessories

Midge has either been puking, having diarrhea, coughing, feverish, snotty or a combination of all this last week and a half.  It's been the saddest thing watching him cry in misery everytime his tummy hurt or he couldn't stop coughing.  Of course he only wants to be held most of the day and that means I get new accessories for my mommy clothes.  Most of the time it's snot trails on my shirt.  A few nights ago he puked down my back.  While putting pukey blankets in the wash a spot smeared across my shirt.  A week ago I had the lovely experience of missing a spot on my hand after I had changed a very messy diaper and went to rub lipstick off my lips with my bare hand.  Yeah...that one probably topped all of my gross mommy moments.

The funny thing about being a mom though is that you really don't care.  When your baby just wants to lay his or her head on your shoulder you don't care if there is snot hanging from their nose or if they have potential to blow chunks at any given moment.  It's all about them and making sure they feel loved and secure even if you can't fix what is hurting them.  There is nothing more heartbreaking to a mom than seeing their baby miserable.

Now I am not saying that having a sick kid is all cuddles and nurturing bliss.  I have not slept well in over a week and my fridge is bare.  I am tempted to run to Trader Joe's for the basics but I am sure that others will give me dirty looks when they see Midge coughing pathetically on the organic apples.  I miss Jazzercise, which I have not done since early last week.  But these complaints are a blip in my lifestyle, and I am trying to enjoy a break from the normal fast paced life I lead.  Let's hope the illness comes to and end soon!   

Monday, January 19, 2009

My Beautiful Life

Every January 15th I get another year older. This year my husband and I celebrated at a local restaurant that buys and prepares only locally grown food. It was a wonderful meal complete with wine and dessert. After that we met some friends for some drinks at a martini bar. It was a lot of fun.

I think about what I have done in my life and where I am going. My husband is a very hardworking loving man who is also a great dad and good leader. My kids are the most amazing childern I could have ever asked for. They are so full of love and so smart. I know they will all go far in life. My career path is exciting and I am so blessed to be surrounded with a strong loving church family. My friends are my rocks and they uplift me when I really need it. I am so lucky, so happy, so blessed.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Bear's 6th Birthday

Bear celebrated his 6th birthday today at a local pizza joint complete with an arcade and topped off with a Wii cake.  He had an amazing time.  Thank you to everyone who made it (and who couldn't but were there in spirit).  Bear's favorite part of his special day was when he blew out his candles so he could officially be six.  Enjoy the pictures!

The Wii cake, complete with remote:

Bear with his cake:

Blowing out the candles:

Midge enjoying his slice of Wii:

Nee-Nee (left) with her pals:

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

My Cheating Heart

It's time that this come to light, I am leaving my pediatrician.

It's not that I don't love her, but I just think we have grown apart. Where once I felt close to her, now I find it hard to get an appointment. Especially on the same day.

A few months ago in walked tall dark and handsome. I found out about his wholistic pediatric clinic and I was intrigued but I wasn't about to leave my relationship for another just yet. I emailed him a couple of times and he wrote me back! I asked him his views on vaccines and circumcision and he wrote me back and told me everything I wanted to hear. My heart pounded with excitement. I knew he wasn't able to accept my insurance and I would have to change plans to change peds. Feeling like it was fate to stay with my current pediatrician I let the issue drop like a hot potato.

Not a month later my son's insurance plan was having open enrollment. I eyed the packet, feeling the guilt in me rise. I told myself that if it was too expensive or too complicated to switch I would stay faithful to my current ped. The form lured me in with it's simplicity and the cost was the same. I filled it out and with a heavy heart mailed it back, knowing I'd crossed the line. I rationalized that I could still stay with my old pediatrician if I wanted to, but I was giving myself options.

Today I finally got the courage to call. I set up an appointment for Midge's well check. Within a couple of hours tall, dark, and wholistic called me to welcome me to his practice and see if there was any questions he could answer for me. I was more than smitten at this point. I was giddy! I wanted to brag to my friends that my pediatrician called my house! After talking to him for a few minutes I knew in my heart I had made the right choice.

I have officially moved on. It's time to start something new. He's everything I have wanted in a pediatrician. No more worrying about being pressured to do something that I don't feel comfortable with. No more funny looks when I bring up homeopathic remedies or alternative treatments. I see this relationship as being long term.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Another Jazzercise Update

It's been so long since I've done an update that I had to go back and find my previous blogs here and here.
In the picture to your left you will see my instructor, Jackie.  Not only is she a specimen of health and fitness, but she is really funny and goofy.  Over the past 4 months I have really learned to appreciate the relationships I have formed over at Jazzercise.  Nobody is there to make you feel inadequate.  Everyone wants everyone else to succeed. 
I have dropped 2 pants sizes in 4 months.  While that might not seem like much compared to the fad diets it is a healthy weight loss that has stuck.  My body is shaping up really nicely.  Stephen tells me he checks me out all the time and I know he is really liking what he sees. 
Overall I feel better and look better.  I have lost 5 pounds and 2 dress sizes.  I actually have a butt rather than a butt that runs right into my thighs.  My stomach is more defined and you can see a little more definition in my arms.
So for anyone considering Jazzercise I give it a huge thumbs up! 

Monday, January 5, 2009

Orgasmic Birth on 20/20

This was a great segement to introduce the idea of orgasmic birth to the mainstream.  I felt like 20/20 did a great job with this segment (not so much the others). 

To learn more about Orgasmic Birth you can view the movie, Orgasmic Birth.  Here is the trailer:

You can also read Ina May's Guide To Childbirth, which contains information about orgasmic birth.

Way to go 20/20!