Sunday, March 28, 2010

Saturday, March 27, 2010


I am often asked for suggestions for good books dealing with fertility/pregnancy/birth/ breastfeeding/etc. I actually have a pretty big library- because I love books so much, I don't hesitate to buy whatever catches my eye. Anyways, I thought I'd make a quick list of what I have "in stock," so that if anyone wants to borrow, he/she can just let me know what they'd like. I am not opposed to mailing books, either. So if you'd like to check something out (of my own personal library :-) ) don't hesitate to ask- knowledge is power, people!

Women’s health/fertility

Our bodies, Ourselves – Boston Women’s Health Book Collective

Taking Charge of Your Fertility – Toni Weschler

Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year – Susun Weed


Our Bodies, Ourselves: Pregnancy and Birth – Boston Women’s Health Book Collective

The Pregnancy Book – William and Martha Sears


Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth – Ina May Gaskin

Spiritual Midwifery – Ina May Gaskin

Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way – Susan McCutcheon-Rosegg, Erick Ingraham, and Robert A. Bradley

Your Best Birth – Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein

Birthing From Within – Pam England


The Baby Book – William, Martha, Robert, and James Sears

The Vaccine Book – Robert Sears

Why Love Matters: How Affection Shapes a Baby’s Brain – Sue Gerhardt

Postpartum care

Mothering the New Mother – Sally Placksin


The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding – La Leche League International

The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers – Jack Newman

P.S. - Lucy has a new high chair.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday.

Pictures are courtesy of the amazing Lindsay Killough. For more from the shoot, click here.

Monday, March 15, 2010

In defense of babywearing.

Lucy lived in the Moby for the first few months- newborn here.

Over the weekend, Brett and I stopped in Bass Pro Shop in Destin, FL. I had Lucy in my newish Ellaroo mei tai, in the front carry position. While I was shopping, an older lady came up to me and said something to the extent of, "Honey, haven't you heard? Those things are dangerous!"

Maya ring sling. And this is a poor example, because she's riding pretty low in it. About 1 1/2 months old.

I'm glad that I had just read the report concerning the recent suffocation deaths of several babies in slings, and was able to respond coherently, "Thank you, but that report was only linked to bag slings. They carry the baby low on the waist and have elastic edges. The type of carrier I'm using is safe." Of course, she probably had no clue what I was talking about, but I felt better getting it out.

Front-facing in the Moby. 4 months old.

I'm here to spread the news: babywearing is safe. It offers wonderful benefits to mamas and daddies and their babies.

Maya again. 5 months old.

The report being cited in the media right now is getting a lot of attention. On one hand, it's very discouraging to ponder how many people are becoming intimidated, frightened, leary of babywearing. On the other hand, bag slings are genuinely dangerous, and I'm glad that the are finally being addressed, as for the opportunity to educate others on how to wear babies safely.

First time in Mei Tai. 5 months.

Instead of writing my own explanation, I'm linking to an awesome video that describes how to determine if your carrier is safe, and how to use it safely. For a press release from several sling manufacturers, click here. For the benefits of babywearing, check out this site from La Leche League.

Self-portrait, post-grocery shopping, today.

On a side note, we just bought our first stroller a few weeks ago- Lucy was already 5 months old. Yep. Five months old and never in a stroller. Brett takes her for walks in it, but guess what? I tried it once and didn't like it at all. I felt so...disconnected. Granted, strollers have their time and place, but for Lucy and I, nothing beats babywearing.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Did you know?

Okay, so I am probably going to bring a lot of conflict upon myself here, but I have to get this off my chest. Say you were looking for a book on how you care for you new baby. You find one that seems to make sense to you, and appeals to you as a parent. What if you later found out that the author:
- has no background or education in child development.
- resigned from the church where he was a staff member after that church asked him to alter some of the information present in his books, and for lying on his resume (paraphrased- see this timeline for more info).
- was excommunicated by LHEF (Living Hope Evangelical Fellowship)- the next church he attended.
- is estranged from his own adult daughters (by their own choice).

What if the book:
- Is now published independently, after going through several publishers and calls to halt publication.
- Has been publicly criticized by not only the AAP, but by Christianity Today (among many other publications), and numerous breastfeeding groups.

Who is the author? Gary Ezzo.
What's the book? Babywise.

Let's discuss.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Lucy at 6 months.

I was going to wait and do a 6-month update after Lucy goes to her well-baby visit this month, but I realized that it's not for over a week, and by that time I will be slammed with packing/doula training/etc. etc. So for now I will update with my observations, and I'll add in her "official" weight/length/development stats after her appointment.

At six months, Lucy has quite the little personality. She is very loving and affectionate; she gives mama big, slobbery, open-mouth "kisses" on the cheek! Lucy hasn't showed signs of stranger anxiety yet; we make an effort to take her pretty much everywhere with us and she will go to most everyone willingly.

Lucy can sit unassisted. She pretty much skipped the "tripod" phase entirely and seems to have not found her feet yet. She will reach for objects while sitting and is usually successful in not falling over. Lucy still loves her exersaucer and has even started playing in her crib for short periods of time, which is a big help to me when I'm doing chores around the house and a sling isn't safe.

Lucy loves books, and will hold them and turn the pages, often while babbling to herself. She likes the mei tai (forward only), and won't put up with the moby or ring sling most of the time now. We recently bought a stroller, and she isn't a fan. Lucy would much rather be worn.

She still eats frequently and is still reverse-cycling. While I'm at work, she only takes a 4oz bottle in the morning and afternoon. Lucy makes up for this when I'm at home by nursing through the night, usually twice. After our evening nursing session, she eats a meal of "solids," which consists of cereal, breastmilk, and some kind of fruit or vegetable. I never force foods on her, and let her feed herself for a while each night. Lucy loves bananas, but is not a fan of applesauce or peaches so far. We will keep trying, though. Still no teeth!

At the Clemson/Carolina game in Greenville...can you tell she's nursing here?

The last time I weighed her, Lucy weighed almost 17 lbs, so I am anxious to see how much she weighs at the doctor's. We recently moved into medium prefolds and covers, and she is in all 6-9 month size clothing. It is still impossible to keep socks on this child!

One of Lucy's most exciting developments is that she puts herself to sleep. A few weeks ago, we started being more effective in reading Lucy's "cues" for sleep. Now, we are able to put her down for the night (most of the time!) with no fussing at all. Who says co-sleeping babies can't do that?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Wordless Wednesday.

Half the fun of having a girl is dressing her up for church!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Even more about solids...

....Just when you think I have nothing more to say about solids, here we go.

We cloth diaper. For the past six months, it's been a breeze. Take diaper off baby. Throw in trash can lined with waterproof bag. Extra load of laundry every three days. Repeat.

Anyways, anyone else who cloth diapers (or anyone with a baby, period) knows that diapers change when you start baby on solids. Big time. Gone are the spoiled-milk-smelling, relatively benign BMs. Welcome stinky, sticky messes that are not dissolved in the wash.

We knew this was going to happen. We planned ahead. We considered paper liners. This didn't fly with me because I really don't need to remember to buy one more thing. Plus, I don't like waste. That's why I cloth diaper in the first place (well, partly why).

We also looked at diaper sprayers, both DITY and the fancy ones from diapering stores. The problem? I can see my children housing down the bathroom. Who needs a hose connected to their toilet? (I wouldn't put it past Brett to spray me with it, either).

Our solution: an extra shower head. In our guest bathroom, the shower is right next to the toilet. We made a trip to Lowe's and bought a 7-ft shower hose (yes, you need one that long), a splitter for the existing shower head with a bracket and control knob, and a small, powerful shower head. Oh, and don't forget the Teflon tape (we did and had to go back for it!)

Install the shower splitter, bracket, and head according to package directions. When it's time to hose the diaper, lift the toilet lid and seat, turn on the shower water, and stretch hose to the toilet. Then press the toggle on the shower head and voila! You're good to go.

- It's cheap. We spent about $30 for everything.
- I'd rather have an extra shower head (handy for washing the dogs, etc.) than a hose connected to my toilet.
- Easier to install than other options.
- You can regulate the temperature easily.
- You can hang it up on the bracket when you're done, and it's out of the way.
- Easy to remove and put in our next house!