Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Business of Being Born!

The movie The Business of Being Born was inspired by a mom who had a very disappointing experience with her first baby that led her to question the rational behind America's birthing practices. The film is creating quite a sensation in the birthing and parenting circles.

Today I received a call from my DONA-certified doula, Kristen, who happens to be the president of our local chapter of Birth Network National. The movie is being shown in my town next week, and afterwards there will be a discussion panel featuring one of the midwives from the practice we go to that delivers in the birthing center (as well as the Labor and Delivery ward of the hospital), a PhD level psychologist, a midwife in the area that only attends homebirths, an OB/GYN, and a few other people.

Kristen asked me to sit on the discussion panel and represent the consumers. I am so psyched! She said she wants me there because I had a "traditional" hospital birth with a lot of intervention for my first baby. The complications during and after the birth and bad information I received in the hospital resulted in a very difficult breastfeeding experience, where Liesl and I struggled (with tons of support from Tom) for several months. These bad experiences and a host of bad information I received about breastfeeding lead me to pursue natural childbirth for our 2nd baby. This is why I'm being asked to sit on this panel. I can't wait, I am so honored that Kristen chose me! I will of course post about it here and I hope to get some pictures as well.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

My Mommy Mentor

This evening, the four of us descended en masse upon our local Jungle Java. This was a fundraiser for one of our mom's club members who was recently diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease.
While Liesl played in the Toddler area (and Tom supervised,) I was free to strap Ava on and socialize with other moms and babies. Amongst them was a new and very wonderful friend of mine, Christine, mother of 3 absolutely beautiful, bright, and well-behaved children. Christine is, to me, the epitome of what a mom should and can be. We share the same midwife and met in our midwife Jess's office while waiting for appointments: Me for a prenatal appointment, her for her six-week postpartum appointment. After my appointment, we sat on the floor of the waiting room with her then 6 week-old baby and discussed the merits and convenience (really!) of cloth diapers.

Christine is an engineer who became a full-time mom when her children were born. Christine was my inspiration to finally buy cloth diapers for Liesl last summer; she breastfeeds her children and prepares mostly organic, from-scratch foods to her family (including whole-grain cranberry-nut muffins...the recipe for which you still owe me, Chickie!) She birthed all three of her children naturally. She sews, she cooks, she jogs, she gives up chocolate and fried foods for Lent, and she leases a cow so she can feed raw milk to her family.

To top this wonderful package off, she is super-nice. I am in awe of all she does for her family, and how friendly, humble, and fun-loving she is. I am so very blessed to have the kinds of friends I have in my life, and Christine is definitely one of them!
Baby-wearin' moms

Sweet little Amalie, 7 months old and extremely expressive! :-)

Quite the duo

Ava snoozing in the Maya Wrap

The Maya is much easier for me to manage now that Ava is holding her head up more. As a tiny newborn, I had a hard time managing her in the "newborn positioning" of this sling.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

If the shoe fits...

...find the other one, buy it, and get the heck out of there.

My best friend Amy--bless her heart--decided to use her day off to come and help me with errands. (It was even her idea!) Liesl desperately needed new shoes, but I was terrified of navigating a crowded mall with a tiny baby in a huge stroller, and with a toddler ready to fly out into any given direction. Not to mention the wind chill factor was -11◦ that day. We had a grand time...Amy helped me pick out a dress for Ava's baptism (not an actual baptism gown, but a nice, simple white dress that can be worn for other functions too), and we 4 girls all had lunch together. The outing made me realize that I had actually been smart (shut up, Amy) to postpone a 2-child outing until I had an extra pair of (adult) hands.

Now I am an odd woman (shut up again, Amy) because unlike the stereotype, I absolutely HATE to shop for shoes. In truth I hate to shop for anything. This insanity began early--just ask my sister how much fun she had shopping for bras with me when we were teenagers. (I believe she is still recovering from that migraine.) But with the extra help and comedic support of my best friend, shopping for little kids' shoes is FUN! We all had such a good time, Mommy splashed out and paid an extra $4 for shoes that have lights in them for Liesl.

Thank you, Amy!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Just random pictures

These are scattered pictures I've been meaning to post for a long time. Our home life is very busy right now!

Birthday princess 12-22-07

Birthday cake before....

Birthday cake during...

And birthday cake after. (The best part!)

Tummy Time! 12-6-07

Liesl and Mommy enjoying the snow 12-16-07
Mommy teaching Liesl the famous "pterodactyl walk", something Aunt Tammy and Mommy did when they were kids (ages and ages ago....)

Liesl will be darned if she'll be left out of tummy time

Tummy time for Ava 12-16-07

Liesl "feeding" her baby the only way she knows how...I've waited 2 years to get these kinds of pictures. :*)

Hopefully she learned this from watching Mommy loving on Ava

Daddy taking Liesl for a ride on his old Flexible Flyer

Liesl and Mommy watching "Curious George" (Well, Mommy's cheating and grabbing a nap, really)

Mommy loving on Ava

Ava smiling for Aunt Tammy--first smile caught on camera!

Liesl trying sauerkraut for New Year's Day dinner, a German tradition that Daddy likes to observe. You can guess her opinion, but we are very proud of her for trying it...she even took two more bites before declaring it "yuck." (Mommy can't really blame her. The insanity of eating pickled cabbage is entirely Daddy's.)

My best friend Amy came by for a visit....and here's some free adverstising for her Dad's hardware store. :-)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

My pretty babies

Little Miss Ava has started smiling, cooing, and even a little bit of laughter here and there.
I am so in love.

Liesl has figured out that when she holds the baby, people want to take lots of pictures of her. Therefore, she asks to hold the baby a lot. My, but she does have pure motives....

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Happy Easter....?

After a very cold Christmas, January 7 was an unseasonably warm (but welcome) day. We 3 girls took advantage of it by going out to play in the...mud. Still, we had a fun time, Ava included. There has been precious little fresh air in her short life.
Speak softly, but carry a big....never mind.
We haven't seen dirt for quite a while, which makes it fascinating.

A little plumber butt action going on here

It's very brave to attempt the Macarena on a rock

I just love being me!

Even Ava enjoyed the sunshine...on about 3.4 square inches of her face, anyway

Afterwards...we just have to be a little goofy and smiley. Part of our M.O.

And speaking of goofy....Mommy got to be a little bit goofy herself. It's tough being cooped up indoors for a long period of time. Fresh air tends to bring out my, uh, "character."

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Mommy's little virtuoso

During our Christmas card "photo shoot," I took a few small videos of Liesl at the piano. She has picked up "singing." She apparently is showing more musical and singing talent than her mom. (When you view the video, you'll get the idea that this isn't saying much about Mommy's musical (in) abilities. Still, be kind. She's only 2.)

I also got a few other shots that I thought were worth sharing.
Just hangin' out, being a baby.

I don't find this bow nearly as hilarious as you do.

Such serious, well-behaved children.

(who do they think they're fooling?)

Artistic shot at the piano.
(Little does anyone know, there's a massive
poopie in the works under that lovely dress.)