Saturday, March 26

Random pictures

"J" is for Jellyfish!  We made jellyfish out of jello!  I don't think we'd ever made jello before and of course Luke loved it (he loves everything!) and Beth ate a few bites before she decided she was done.  It was a good conclusion to our jellyfish lesson that day!

Thursday, March 24

9 months

Jackson, at 9 months old, you are the cutest baby in the world!  Your smile melts me, those four little teeth you use to bite me are also somehow pretty stinking cute!  You are such a fast little crawler, and you put everything on God's green earth into your mouth... This exhausts me!  We can hear a primitive "Dada" and "Mama" although we're waiting for the real thing, and I know you understand us because you look at us when we call your name and you definitely understand when Mama signs "more?" or "nurse?"  You're sleeping pretty well, waking up once or twice a night and your naps are finally resembling something we can all live with.  Most of the time!  Love, when you sleep, you are the happiest little guy ever!  We come downstairs and I notice you looking around for Beth and Luke, and when you see them you dance a little, waving your arms up and down and nearly jumping out of my arms to play next to them on the floor!  You love your big sister and big brother, and they love you so much!  We all do baby, we all love you so much!

Wednesday, March 23

Well, duh!

"Look Mommy!"
"Cool!  What is it?"
"It's a cactus truck."
"And what's a cactus truck do?"
"It drives around cowboys!"

Monday, March 21

A new path

It's official... I'm becoming a birth doula!

I feel like I have finally felt my professional calling, and of all the work I've done I am most excited about this next chapter in my life!  This past weekend (Friday-Sunday) I attended a very intense workshop that has provided me the necessary training to become a certified birth doula through DONA International.

A doula is a woman who serves a pregnant mother.  She provides support throughout pregnancy and especially during labor, providing her experience, training, and know-how to the expectant parents.  After birth, doulas help with breastfeeding and usually offer a postpartum visit, although postpartum doulas complete a separate training course.  Since I've been trained through DONA, I will also adhere to a code of ethics.  What's really important is a doula does not provide medical advice, and she does not speak for her client!

There have been so many studies that show that a woman who uses a doula during labor tend to have shorter labors, reduced desire/need for epidurals, forceps, episiotomy, pitocin, and cesarean sections.  Maybe even more importantly, parents who use doulas tend to have more satisfying births and settle in together as a family much easier and quicker!

What really surprised me about my training was the clarification about when and how it becomes important for a woman to receive interventions, and how as doulas we are still needed to support women and men who have to cope with a change in their birth plan right in the middle of labor.  Women who desire an unmedicated hospital birth benefit greatly from a doula, but even women who plan to use epidurals or other interventions still benefit from doulas, especially considering everything that might happen when interventions are used! 

I feel like my personal experience provides me a great background for this.  I've had a hospital birth where I wanted to go med-free but changed my mind and had the epidural, experiencing the slippery slope of other interventions.  I look back on that and think that things could have- probably would have- gone so much differently if we'd hired a doula!  I've also had two unmedicated births, one pretty good one and one awesome one.  But, as a doula, it's not about me, it's about my client.  My experience should help her to have an amazing, life-changing experience!

Now that I've finished the training, I have a list of other requirements before I become officially certified, including attending and writing about three births, and reading several books on pregnancy, labor, breastfeeding, and doula labor support.  When I'm done with all of this and have my official certification (hopefully in the fall!), I'll be launching a company web site and blog. :-)

The DONA International web page has a lot of great information; this video below is produced by them and explains quite a bit!  

Wednesday, March 16


I know you want to squeeze his chubby thighs!

Tuesday, March 15

Waffle Face

My two oldest are now waffle fanatics ever since I discovered Van's gluten free waffles.  They eat them with maple syrup and frozen blueberries on top; needless to say this is a very sticky and messy breakfast.  They love it, and it's hard for me to say no!

Friday, March 11

A Conversation

 Beth: "Mommy, why did you give me a second cookie?"
Me: "'Cause I'm a nice mommy."
Beth: "Mommy, I think you're nicer than an elephant."
Me: "Why thank you."
Beth: "And bester than an alligator."
Me: "Ohhh!  Even better than Christopher Bobbin?"
Beth: "No, he's the best."
Ha!  Christopher Bobbin, no that's not a typo!  Ryan and I have been reading The Complete Tales and Poems of Winnie the Pooh to Beth, usually a chapter a night.  She loves it!  (She has never seen a Winnie the Pooh tv show, but after we're done with the book I'm going to get my hands on a copy of the movie from my childhood and show it to her.)  Ryan, in his infinite silliness, has decided to continue the tales with Beth and tell her his own misadventures of Pooh, Piglet, etc., but the story usually involves Christopher Robin and his neighbor-down-the-street Christopher Bobbin.  (Ryan explained that most people don't know of Bobbin, he didn't make it into the books probably because he smelled bad.)  So Beth thinks it's all terribly silly and begs Daddy to tell her a story after dinner, and he indulges her using silly voices and exaggerated personalities.  All the makings of wonderful memories. :-)

Thursday, March 10

Mardi Gras!

We had a good time at our house on Fat Tuesday!  We started the day with our festive pancakes, which came out okay but not as well as I hoped!  The kids didn't care, they were excited to have pancakes on a day other than Sunday!

Sunday, March 6

Lent 2011

Lent is too late this year for my preferences, but maybe that's a good thing.  I've been waiting for it for so long, so I've had plenty of time to reflect and prepare for how God is calling me to respond this year.  I think you could liken my anticipation for Lent as someone might anticipate the new year... A chance to "start over," make new resolutions, and turn over a new leaf... In the mean time, I'm cramming my face with sweets in anticipation for the fast!

Changes in Appearances

We've had some changes in appearances this past week... Mr. Luke chipped a tooth on Wednesday and Mr. Jack's teeth have really pushed through!  Luke didn't seem to notice his tooth had chipped, I had pictures of him on Tuesday and on Wednesday and there's a definite "before" and "after."  A quick call to the dentist and we decided that since it's not broken we're just going to leave it be.  It adds character. :-)

Saturday, March 5

Friday, March 4

Like Father, Like Son

The first mowing of the season today, and Luke pushed his "mow mow" behind Daddy for an hour and a half! 


One of my constant struggles is trying to keep our grocery bill down, but now especially with three eating children and our gluten-free diet it's become higher than ever.

I've tried coupon clipping, The Grocery Game, and other similar methods of stacking and matching coupons.  I've had "success" at the stores, saving over 40% in some of my best cases, but the amount of effort it took for me to do it wasn't a prudent way to spend my time.  Then, I was buying things I wouldn't have otherwise bought.  Now, I have to be brand loyal, so it really doesn't work.

Tuesday, March 1

He crawls!

crayons on the floor! full speed ahead!
Eight months and four days old and the little one crawls!  Monday was the big day for take-off.  He almost literally went from 0-60, Sunday not able to crawl an inch and Monday crawling all the way across this kitchen floor.  Of course, to the dog's water bowl.  Of course.
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