Saturday, June 26, 2010

Cry It Out – Why it’s not as evil as I thought…

Ok, so “cry it out” seems cruel especially if you are letting your child do it.  Your mama instincts scream “she needs you!”  When Evelyn turned 6 months, Doc and I had a talk.

Bedtime.  It has gotten increasingly worse.  Evelyn hits a tired point where she just whines at everything.  We have tried singing to her, reading her a book, rocking her, playing with her, her swing, carrying her in the tummy carrier, etc.  Everything just seemed to make it worse.  I would have to hold her tight for 20 minutes to get her to calm down and go to sleep, and the screaming was hard on me, hard on Doc, and hard on Evelyn. 

We had noticed that in her car seat, when Evelyn got tired and cried, if we left her alone, she calmed down and went to sleep pretty quickly.  If you tried to comfort her, distract her, or even pacify her, she got more upset.  So we thought maybe this would apply to bedtime.  If we put her in her crib, gave her a blanket and turned on her sound machine, maybe she would go to sleep on her own better than when we try to help her.

So on June 15th, I took Evelyn into her room.  Laid her down.  Said, “Night, Night Evelyn.  Mommy loves you,” and left the room.  She screamed bloody murder for ten minutes.  Then off and on for a little while.  The she went to sleep and slept most of the night.

So we’ve kept it up.  She cried until I left the room last night and then went right to sleep at 8 and didn’t wake up until 4. 

It still is hard sometimes, but when I talked to the pediatrician about it, she put it into perspective for me.  Evelyn needs to be okay without me.  She needs to be able to go to sleep on her own, because I’m going back to work soon, and I won’t be at day care with her.  So when I think of it as training wheels for child care, it’s much easier to do. 

Children are supposed to be able to self sooth starting as young as 4 months* so I feel like at 6, Evelyn is golden.  And it’s working way better than any of the things we tried at getting her to bed. 

So there ya have it – I, the hippie, think crying it out is okay for Evelyn now.   I still maintain that it should be a child by child thing, but if it works for you, it works.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Welcome to the Clan Mrs. O’Leary

So I went out to water my plants this morning.  I have a Black-Eyed Susan vine that I am in love with.  I have to water it almost constantly to keep it alive, but it’s beautiful.  So out I go to water when I come eye to eye with Mrs. O’Leary.  That’s right.  This isIMG_1646 what I saw. In my hanging basket, a pigeon I have named Mrs. O’Leary was just hanging out, not flying away.  So I had a thought.  I ran inside to get my camera, scared her away and shot this picture to see what was inside the potted plant. 




You guessed it!  Mrs. O’Leary is expecting.  So now, I cannot water my vine.  Water will mess up that egg.  NOT OKAY.  So the plant is sacrificed for Mrs. O’Leary’s baby bump.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Nudey Pics – Love your sexy self ladies!

Oh yeah, adult content coming up!  You’ve been warned.

Recently, I went with a friend who was getting boudoir photos taken for her husband as a gift.  Confused?  Click here for a Google Image search results page.  Basically, sexy pictures ranging from lingerie, to themes, to covered nudes, to full nudes. 

Scandalous right?  But what could be more green, more natural  than nudity?  And what a fun, sexy gift for a spouse/significant other!  So I figure I can blog now, about appreciating the naked human form. 

I will first confess that I had boudoir photos taken and bound in a little book for Doc as a wedding gift.  What a confidence boost they were!  And when my friend had hers done, I thought “Wow, she looks beautiful.  Women are beautiful!”  We really are!  I know that we all have body image issues at times, but we are amazing despite our lack of confidence.

We find little nit-picky things.  Our ass is too big, are boobs are too small, we have scars, stretch-marks, acne, fat, whatever!  We don’t take in the whole picture.  I like to think of it as viewing ourselves without our glasses on.  Kind of seeing ourselves slightly fuzzy so we can’t focus on the bad stuff.

I personally struggle with my image right now because I zero in on stretch marks and cower.  However, I know that I am beautiful, despite them. 

So I am challenging you.  All of you.  Stand in front of a mirror, naked. Find things you like about yourself.  Admire how amazing (and dare I say SEXY) you are!  Be proud!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Nature Love 2

“My pew is a patio swing,

My service the setting sun.

I am guided by a clergy of experiences

and the hymns of fiddling crickets.

Rivers course and thunder claps

and the flavors of air linger.

My sanctuary is the open sky,

My prayers, reverent thanks.”

                                        -Midsummer, 2010
illinoisWe spent the weekend in the water.  We rafted along the Illinois River and then spent the next day swimming in the lake.  I caught and released a perch with a fly rod.  We basked in too much sun.  It was incredible!illinois2   We had a blast with our friends too.  It was our first time away from our darling baby girl, but we enjoyed the time.  I can honestly say that I felt refreshed and rejuvenated by the time spent out of doors.  We also managed to finally take a step I was terrified I would never really be able to make.
Our darling child who never saw life – how we will always love you – we let your candle go.  We know you have moved on and we are ready to release you so you may be at peace.  The candle we burned in your memory burned for the last time Friday, and Saturday, we set it into the current of the Illinois River.  May you be at peace, wherever you are.

I am blessed to have such a beautiful world to live in and to show my daughter.  I am in love with Doc.  Completely and unabashedly in love!  Thank you mother earth for providing me with such fulfillment in family, friends, and sunshine.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Need Suggestions

Ok readers, I need your help.  The time has come to dispose of the candle we burn in honor of our little one who never made it to her birth.  We are finally ready to let her go and managed to get the candle off the mantle a few weeks ago.  The question is now, what should we do with it?  I can't just throw it in the trash so I need a better idea.  Midsummer is Monday, and it's an important holiday for Doc and I, so I'd like to dispose of it then.  I need suggestions of what I can do with it that avoids tossing it in the waste basket.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Nature Love

A few days ago, Doc and I were talking about passion.  Not the fun marital kind, but the “what are you passionate” about kind.  I asked him to list things I was passionate about and the first thing he named was “the Earth”.  This is completely true.  I am not just passionate about “saving the Earth” but about connecting with it.

Bare with me…monkeytree

I love being outdoors.  I love feeling the sun or the wind or the rain.  I love the smells and sights the Earth offers.  I’m passionate about connecting to the world around me, nature in particular. 

With it being summer, we are spending a lot more time out of doors.  I believe a love of nature breeds a respect for it, and this is what I hope for my daughter.

So here is my question for you.  Are you passionate about the Earth?  Do you spend time out of doors very often?  Do you think there is a correlation?

My mom and I enjoy a cup of coffee outside while Evelyn plays on the porch every morning.  It’s a beautiful way to start or end your day.  Maybe try it?  Enjoy a nice beverage outside today and try to indulge in nature love.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Thoughts on Feminism

Feminism.  It’s a loaded word.  But recently, while watching a show on VH1 called “Dad Camp”, I became infuriated.  To me, Feminism is about equality.  Equality for men and for women.  I do not want superiority or preference to men. 

The show “Dad Camp” follows the premise that these couples are expecting their first child.  The Dads are all presented as party-crazy self-centered out-of-touch losers.  The Moms are all fed up with their boyfriend’s behavior.  This is understandable.  However I highly objected to the tactics used.

The second episode showed the men being forced to sell their most valuable possessions to have money for the baby at extreme discount.  One father was forced to sell all of his snowboarding gear, his favorite hobby, for less than half of it’s worth.  He did so without complaining.

Here is my objection.

Where was the mother’s stuff?  What is the mother going to part with?  I understand the idea that mothers give up a lot to become parents.  We give up our figures (at least for a while), several habits, and a lot of time.  BUT, I want equality.  I would never tell my husband to sell all of his stuff without offering to sell some of mine as well, especially if it was his favorite pastime. 

My husband and I strive to be equal in our relationship.  He sacrificed his only vacation to stay at home with our daughter so I could finish school and graduate.  I have sacrificed many desires of mine so Doc could go to medical school. 

What do you strive for?  Some couples have traditional marriages.  Some couples are controlled by the women.  Some try to be equal.  Do you feel we are shifting towards more equal couples?

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Cleaning Cloth Diapers

I figured I would address some of the fun questions people ask me about cloth diapering.  How do you clean them?  Do they really get clean?  Is it a huge hassle?  What do you do with dirty ones?  Here are the answers:

What do you do with dirty diapers?:
Dirty diapers go in a diaper pail in what is called a wet bag.  These bags have a coating material on the inside that prevents leaking of icky fluids through them.
The wet bag we use is purple as you can see in this picture.  It has elastic in the top so it stretches over a trash can and you can just throw the diapers in.  Diaper covers that get dirty can go in with the dirty diapers as well if you want to wash them with your cloth.

Is it a huge hassle?:
IMG_1552You decide, here is how you clean cloth diapers.  You first take all of the diapers in your pail and dump them into the washing machine.  Wash the diapers on cold with a soak/2nd rinse cycle.  Put your normal detergent in  IMG_1551with these diapers.     Next you wash them again by adding detergent like you normally would and setting the washing machine to do a hot wash. 
These two cycles get the diapers extremely clean!  Afterwards you can just pop them into the dryer and you’re done! 
Diaper covers don’t go in the dryer.  You can just hang them up to dry.

Do they really get clean?:
Yes they do!  Here is a before and after!
They come out without any clue of previous violation.  Once diapers hold the stains, it’s time to bleach.  You are supposed to bleach diapers once a month, but we find that we don’t need to bleach them quite that often.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Windows Live Writer

Well, I have officially decided to try a new writing system outside of blogger.  If you have windows live, you can get windows live writer!  It allows you to write your blog posts where you actually see what it will look like on the screen.


I can easily apply text wrapping and uploading pictures takes no time at all.  So long evil downloading of pictures wait period!

Check out Evelyn and I in my parents swimming pool! 

“Nothing like finding an easier way to write things so I can do ‘how-to’ posts in a hurry!”

So hopefully this new addition will make things better for my blog.  For you frequent bloggers who like to ad pictures but are sick of the load time, this might help you out.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Back Pain - How to Help Naturally

I, like many others who lugged around textbooks, survived a car wreck (or two), had a baby, etc. have chronic back pain (the kind that makes you lash out at loved ones).

A friend of mine is suffering from it now and asked in her blog how to do something without icyhot or pain meds.

After finally finding a doctor that listened to my request for back pain solutions sans muscle relaxers or other medication, turned to stretching and yoga to strengthen my back and loosen the muscles to alleviate pain!  Let me be clear that no pain management system should be started without consulting your doctor.

Here is a set of stretches that I particularly like.  I think of it as the cat-cow set, but it's known as cat pose.  You first drop your midsection down arching your back (think like a cow has a bowed back), and then rock your pelvis and your back so that you raise up like a screeching cat.  Then back to cow.  You should rock slowly and controlled, feeling your pelvis rock.  This is what my doctor refered to as a "pelvic rock" for obvious reasons.

These came from a yoga for back pain website in case you want to see some more stretches that can help.

Also, I am a big advocate of hot or cold therapy.  However, I do not like heating pads that you plug into the wall.  They can get too hot and if you fall asleep without turning them off you can burn yourself, give yourself cancer, melt, etc.  I do however LOVE clay packs that you can microwave or freeze.  They stay warm/cold long enough to do the job.  The ThermiPaq is my favorite, and you can get it at Walgreens.

I benefit from having Doc around to do OMM (Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine) and many turn to chiropractors or massage therapists.  I believe that these help loosen muscles and relieve temperary pain, but long term solutions I believe come from strengthening your core back muscles. 

Also, if you carry tension in your back, meditation is an amazing tool to help you relax and enhance your calm.