Thursday, July 29, 2010

Communicating During The Terrible Threes, Teens, and Beyond

As a mom of six, I can confidently say that I have pretty much seen it all. Sicknesses, scrapes, tantrums, and even a couple broken bones have happened over the years. With kids, the things that you don’t expect are the personality differences that develop as your child grows. I have had a quiet baby, a social, outgoing baby, and a happy little guy that loves being cuddled. My three year old, however, is one of a kind.

He can go from being happy and loving to completely outraged in a moments time. I am pretty sure its common among kids, but three years olds are at an age where they are balancing between being a baby and being a kid. These mood swings have become common at my house. My son, Alex, can go from telling me how much he missed me to telling me I am a “Meanie Mommy” in seconds.

I have enough children at home not to take his sentiments personally, and I know for a fact that he is actually a sweet kid who loves his family. For a first or even second time mom, I know that it is hard not to have your feelings hurt when your baby suddenly turns on you for the first time. I think that these outbursts are actually an important part of growing up and learning how to assess and express your feelings.

As a parent, I feel that the best thing to do is talk to your kids about why they feel this way. At 3 years old, they may not be able to tell you but once they become a five year old, they will be able to tell you exactly what the problem is. It’s easy to feel guilty or sad when your child says they hate you, or that you are the meanest mom in the world. But what they are really trying to tell you is that they are frustrated, and just don’t know how else to say it.

I am also a mom of two teenagers, and let me tell you that being called a meanie may get worse before it gets better. Even at this stage, talking to your kids is the best way to find out how they feel. The change from pre-teen to teen was complete the day that I noticed my son, who is 14, no longer told me everything about his life. I was, and am, sad that he is growing away from me but I am also proud that he is becoming an adult. I know that once he is grown, he will open up again.

Communication is something that is vital for all relationships, and even more so with children. It may be hard to accept their feelings without reprimanding them, but honestly, they don’t hate you. Being a mom is never harder than when you have to stick to your guns, but I hope that later my kids will thank me for letting them express themselves. How do you communicate with your kids, whatever their age may be?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Parents Need to be Authority Figures

Authority figure. We're told as parents, and sometimes even as teachers or bosses, that we need to be authority figures. File this under another term that gets used without much consideration to what it actually means. Having experience in all of these arenas, I find myself now stopping to consider what it actually means.

In today's society, it seems like "authority figure" has been defined as a person who holds power and control. A person who dominates those underneath them. In our roles as parents and teachers, I sense this is what people mean when they speak of being a child's authority figure.

A quick perusal of "authority" in the Oxford English Dictionary shows an etymology that supports this assumption. What you aren't a supernerd with two, incredibly useful degrees in English? The Oxford English Dictionary is a massive collection of the history of words, their changing uses, and examples from written works from the dawn of the English language. No, really, the dawn. I said it was massive.

The word "authority" is recorded as early as 1303, when it meant the ability to inspire belief. By the end of that century it was being used to mean the power to enforce obedience. But upon further delving into the word's history I found a record of it's use in 1230 to refer to a book or evidence that was used to settle a question of opinion or give conclusive testimony. All of these meanings come from the same ideas - power and influence. That is not to say, however, that authority = power, although it may be a component.

But there is another meaning of authority that is apparent in its many iterations - a person or form of expertise. An authority can also be a person who is an "expert in any question." This meaning is not so different than the others. An expert can use his knowledge to influence others. However, I believe, the true authority radiates knowledge and doesn't need to influence or control those around. By freeing others from an oppressive influence, they become more open to ideas, recognizing the inherent wisdom.

As parents we should strive to be experts not control freaks. I know all too often I have gotten caught up in the "he won't listens" and "don't know what to do with hims." We're taught that we should control our children's behavior. There should never be screaming at a restaurant or a mad dash across the grocery store - we should be in control. Oh, and it should look effortless.

The problem is that we have gotten so caught up in having control and perfectly behaved children that we're squashing the child right out of them. Children are expected to "mind, " and have perfect manners. They "should be seen and not heard." I'm as guilty as anyone. I find myself apologizing for the slightest childlike impulses of Connected Son when we're in public. Connected Dad gets caught up in Connected Son "listening." I listened to him trying to express concern to him the other night for fifteen minutes and counted the use of "I need you to listen" over ten times. He wasn't getting through, because he wasn't modeling listening to Connected Son. He was interrupting and talking over him. He wasn't being an authority or an expert. He was attempting to control Connected Son's attention, and we all know how fruitless that is with a 3 year-old!

Parents need to be authority figures by sharing our expertise with our kids. After all, we're experts in using the potty, being polite, going to bed, and picking up our messes - or we should be! When your children look to you as authority figures do you want them to see you as a dominating force or a sage guide? We can demonstrate authority in our little one's lives without controlling them.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

EC: Overcoming First Impressions

When I first heard about the practice of Elimination Communication (an alternative practice to diapering in which the caregiver anticipates the infant or child's elimination needs and takes appropriate action to 'catch' the elimination.) I have to admit that my first reaction was far from open minded and accepting.

I am pretty crunchy, I thought to myself but I am not THAT crunchy.

Much of my first impressions were uninformed and admittedly motivated by my own natural aversion feelings towards elimination. The words ‘unsanitary’, ‘impossible’, and even ‘uncivilized’ (much to my embarrassment as I’d like to think I don’t make judgments like that) all came to mind and I immediately dismissed the idea as being far outside the realm of what was right for our family.

Fast forward to July 10, 2010; My 10 month old son, Oliver, has the worst diaper rash he has ever had; it is a big chapped festering rash that no frequency of diaper changes and no amount of Zinc Oxide or antibacterial/anti-fungal creams seem to be clearing. Oliver is fussy and irritable, and many of our favorite baby wearing and holding positions are uncomfortable for him, so in desperation I take a walk to my local pharmacist who tells me that air can sometimes help more than any over the counter diaper cream. For the next two days Oliver spends as much time as possible bare bottomed.

Not only did Oliver love ‘running free’ and his rash clear with amazing speed, but over those two days I began to notice two things.

1) Behaviors that I used to think were just funny run of the mill 10 month old idiosyncrasies were actually signs that he had to or was in the process of 'eliminating'.

2) That my son didn’t 'pee all the time’ or very frequently as I had imagined and come to believe, but rather a larger amount at a time with less frequency. In fact, somewhere around lunch of the second day I realized that Oliver’s elimination rhythms were eerily in time with my own.

I would come to find further encouragement, on websites like and, that I wasn’t imagining things. They confirmed my sudden suspicion that contrary to what our diaper culture would have me believe babies do have bladder and sphincter control and predictable elimination rhythms.

Both websites also assured me that it was possible to implement elimination communication (EC) on a part time or even casual basis; I did not have to make a full-time round the clock commitment to EC. This was awesome to hear, because committing to such a giant undertaking as being hyper-vigilant to my son’s excrement 24/7 sounded unpleasant and exhausting.

After two days nearly diaper free and the reading that I was doing, the prospect of implementing EC was beginning to sound a lot less ‘unsanitary’, ‘impossible’, and ‘uncivilized’. In fact, the thought of my son sitting around in his own excrement waiting to be changed was starting to sound a lot less sanitary and a lot less civilized, and the price of diapers and diapering supplies certainly feels impossible some months with our family living on only one income.

My EC research was also leading me towards the answers to future parenting problems that I had been nervous about. “Potty training” is a term, and idea that I am not entirely comfortable with as a) I despise the use of words like ‘training’ in relation to raising children, and b) it seems to me that much of the modern day potty training dogma relies heavily on coercion and reward systems that I feel are not entirely beneficial or effective. In short, I was having trouble finding a potty training program that would fit my “gentle parenting” style.¹ EC respects children and, as quoted from’s “75 Benefits of EC”:

“Reduces confusion about rules and creates consistency: rather than preventing a baby from entering a bathroom and then later requiring a toddler to use the bathroom, the bathroom is made a welcome and safe place from the very beginning.”

Where I had once dismissed EC as an unsanitary, impossible, uncivilized practice in which only the most radical of the crunchy moms partook (funny how my long ago definition of radical is sounding more like me every day), I was now starting to think that the practice (or at least a modified form of it) may just be perfect for my family.

So it was decided that Thursday July 15, 2010 would be our first day of EC. Our game plan was relatively simple; I would ‘offer the potty’ upon waking in the morning and from naps, as well as immediately following long nursing sessions. The rest of the day I would watch Oliver for signs that he needed to eliminate then ‘offer the potty’, and I would create an association sound (I chose to go with the traditional ‘Pssst’ sound) by making said sound every time I noticed him eliminating.

I also chose to keep an ‘elimination journal’ for the first few days or so. On none of the sites I researched did I find the suggestion to keep such a journal, but I found a journal to be a useful tool in the past. A journal helps me to recognize patterns that I may have otherwise missed.

Our first days were interesting to say the least. The awkwardness and small moments of frustration remind me very much of the early breastfeeding days when Oliver and I were both learning with and from each other. It is essentially the same thing (though perhaps in reverse). Oliver and I are learning a skill; while this new skill does not yet come naturally to us learning this skill is far from ‘unpleasant and exhausting’ as I once thought it would be. In fact, I feel like becoming even more in tune with Oliver’s moment to moment needs is having positive effects on our day to day activities, and our relationship over all.

In little over 10 days since implementing EC practices I was not expecting measurable results. We are late starters, and even if we had started EC in the early days of infancy it is still a gradual process. My aim is not to loose the diapers full time, or to be able to brag that my child ‘potty trained’ early, but to become more in tune with my child’s elimination needs so that our future full time transition from diaper to toilet is a smooth, natural, and gentle one.

¹ I have since learned that Elizabeth Pantley, author of “The No-Cry Sleep Solution”, which helped us very much in improving the amount and quality of our family’s sleep in a gentle way, has written a No-Cry potty training book.

Why do you (or do you not), practice elimination communication in your family? Do you have any tips for beginners or late starters to share? Is there anything you do with your children that you had originally dismissed in your pre-parenting days?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Give Sorrow Words: Reflections on Pregnancy Loss

      This post was written for inclusion in the Pregnancy Loss Week Blog Carnival . Please join us at Fertility Flower for the week of August 23-27, 2010 where we will be featuring articles, posts and artwork about pregnancy loss.

  Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak whispers the o'er-fraught heart and bids it break.  
~William Shakespeare
      Pregnancy loss is real loss. Those who are here and those of us who have passed through have experienced death. It's not what society generally considers death, but that is only because society as a whole chooses to ignore pregnancy loss. It's uncomfortable, surreal, and scary for those who have not experienced it. There was no person, no life, no accomplishments to remember fondly and mourn. People do not ask about our babies. People often do not know about them. Society says things like "it wasn't the right time" or "it's better this way" or "God has a reason," and then they drop it and expect that it never has to be mentioned again.
        But these deaths for us are very real. As real as the loss of any grandparent, friend, or loved one. The baby that no one knew was known by its mother, even if only for a moment. We carried these lost children, and we loved them. We loved them with a fervor that is matched by the love of any parent. We wanted them. We wished for them. We prayed for them. Some of us waited days in limbo to find out the worst. For others a moment shattered everything.
        But for most of us, the mourning has been done alone. There is no funeral, no memorial to remember the life lost. Many of us experience postpartum depression in the cruelest of all tricks, because our pregnancies ended too. However, unlike those who society sees as having a "right" to postpartum depression, there is no baby to be the light at the end of the tunnel. And because this death was not acknowledged, people forget. They tell us about their pregnancies, they avoid us because we're still "not over it," they call us out for having sad days or bitter days as though we should have more control than others over the grieving process.
       I have the bittersweet experience of knowing all sides of the equation. I have been blessed with a child. I have lost pregnancies. I have been blessed again. I have known the sheer madness of grief, the pure joy of expectation, the momentary solace of hope in the face of uncertainty, and the crushing hopelessness of loss, and it is enough to drive one insane.
       May you never experience it. I truly hope you do not. I hope this is only something you can read and learn to sympathize with. That the next time you hear another woman say something bitter or roll your eyes at the woman with downcast eyes at your OB's office or lurk on a message board that you look closer and see the pain behind these simple, insignificant moments and sympathize instead of criticize or condescend or preach to them.

This piece was originally written as a post on a large message board and I reposted it to this blog.  It still most clearly expresses pregnancy loss to me, so I chose to reshare it as part of this call for posts.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Another Take on Breastfeeding

There I was, holding my first baby after an unnecessary c-section. Disappointed with the delivery, I couldn't wait to nurse my son for the first time. First try, he latched! That was about the easiest nursing experience we had. From day one, I struggled with breastfeeding my son. Nurses encouraged me to pump, pump, pump! I did. I pumped until I thought my nipples would bleed away, or worse, fall completely off. Cracked, bleeding and sore, I was lost. What do I do? Why you supplement! You give your baby a bottle or two of formula, and you let your nipples heal. Really? I did just that. I "supplemented" and I offered my son bottle(s) I quickly realized this was NOT helping my latch issues. In a moment of frustration and a feeling of failure, I asked for help. Not the "give your baby a bottle" kind of help, but real help. A lactation consultant came to my room and helped me. Really, truly helped me. My son was latched, and I was feeding him from my sore, cracked, painful breasts.YES! I was told and led to believe that a bottle here and there was just fine. For me, this is what led me to troubles. While I nursed for about 90% of his feedings, I did turn to a bottle here and there. That worked out ok for a while. But eventually Tolliver realized that feeding from a bottle was faster and easier. He started to refuse the breast at about 5.5 months. He would scream and cry and have nothing to do with the breast when offered. What did I do? I offered him a bottle. Why? Because clearly he was starving and I wasn't producing enough. Ugh. So with this belief, I nursed when I could, and gave bottles when he wanted them. Eventually, he was on formula more often than the breast. I wasn't ready to stop nursing, but I also couldn't handle watching my son scream. It wasn't until much later that I realized that I set up my own failure by offering bottles. I promised myself I would do things much differently with baby #2, and I did. Holliday arrives after a legitimate emergency c-section. I offer the breast, he latches! I offer again, he latches! This boy loved the boob! The copious amounts of IV fluids swelled every inch of my body, and eventually the easy latch became difficult. This time, instead of fussing around, I called in the help of Daleen Bybee. At the time, Daleen was a local Le Leche League leader. I knew her as I would attend her meetings, but I had also began to know her on a slightly more personal level. I felt comfort in calling her in for encouragement and knowledge. She came in, helped me, and there we were, cruising along. I won't say it was easy from that moment on, but I will say that the outside advice and encouragement is what I needed. With work and commitment, we got it. When Holliday was about 5 months old I ran into health issues that required 2 unexpected surgeries. I was in the hospital for a week, and could only pump so much. My husband was forced to do some formula feedings. Argh. I was so scared things would end badly. After hitting the road to recovery I faced some serious supply issues. I pumped, and pumped and pumped. I ate ungodly amounts of Fenugreek, dug out my Domperidone prescription, and drank water until I thought I would drown. Frustration, failure, fear and anger are all emotions that engulfed me. What was I doing wrong? What am I to do? I am NOT giving up! Daleen picked up the phone and called to check in on us at the EXACT moment when we needed it. Once again, her encouraging words and advice saved me. She talked me through it, made me realize I was putting more stress than necessary on myself and that I could overcome this, if I wanted to. Dump the pump, enjoy the feedings and try not to stress. I did just that. I dumped the pump, put him on my breast every chance I had, and within a week, all was good! We were almost back to where we were, and I was SO grateful.

I can truly say that I LOVE breastfeeding. I love the closeness that it brings to me and my son. I love that I am the only one that can offer him that comfort. I love that it forces me to sit down and relax. I love that I am offering my child the absolute best that I can.... but it's not easy. It is a huge struggle. It's not something that with one attempt, you're a pro. We face our obstacles, but I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Not everyone takes advantage of the resources out there, but they should. I had a chance to pick Daleen's brain. I asked her some questions that I feel could help others along their journey.

What are 3 common misconceptions about breastfeeding?
-- It's easy!
-- There are no advantages after 6 months, or 6 days or 6 weeks....
-- What if I "can't" breastfeed? (less than 1%)

What are 3 common struggles mothers run into with breastfeeding?
-- pain
-- supply issues
-- infection or yeast (mastitis, plugged ducts, thrush, nipple trauma etc.)

What is the most common reason people turn to breastfeeding support coach?
-- Pain or supply issues "My baby isn't getting enough" or "I'm not making enough milk!"

The World Health Organization is recommending (and has for some time now) that women breastfeed for 2 years and beyond! Approx. 14% of women are breastfeeding at 6 months. Initiation rates are hight, but women quit without support and ACCURATE information!

LEARN about breastfeeding as a pregnant Mama, it's part of the "job" when the baby arrives, you'll be happy that you took the time to find out about it, so there arent so many surprises. Hang out with a breastfeeding friend. Go to a peer support group. Read a good book. "The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding" or "Dr. Jack Newman's Guide to Breastfeeding" or "The Breastfeeding Book" by Dr. Sears are good books to start with!

If you are an online kinda gal, has a great search engine with AWESOME FAQ pages on all the topics mentioned here... and more!

Daleen Bybee
Breastfeeding Peer Counsellor
Birth Doula

I strongly encourage all women to turn for help when it's needed. There are so many available resources. I can truly say that the help and knowledge I received, is the exact reason I am still successfully breastfeeding Holliday today. I owe many thanks to Daleen for all of her support, and her true passion for breastfeeding.

Tammy, Connected Mom

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Gentle Help on the Circumcision Talk

I could not have imagined the response to the circumcision post on Monday.  I'm humbled and encouraged by the kind words and support most of you offered.

Over 700 people have viewed that piece, and I hope I changed some minds.  This morning an anonymous commentator left the following:

Anonymous said...

I can't tell you how much I appreciate posts like this...and how intrigued I am by it all. I am not a mother yet and, I too, am stuck in the middle in regards to what my decision will be when I have my own son one day. The more I read, the more I learn, the more I understand...the more I move towards an anti-circ opinion. In fact, I would say that my instincts are already brain just needs to catch up. My issue? My husband. He is of the "I had it done, why not our future son?" mindset; and of course, "there was ONE kid in gym class in middle school that wasn't...and he was tortured by the other guys for being different. I don't want out kid to be subjected to that." God bless him he is a wonderful man but sometimes he just doesn't think for himself. We aren't ready to start a family yet, although it will be sooner rather than later and I find myself hoping we have girls first to give non-circ-ing time to become the America norm so it won't be as much of a difficult fight for me. The way things have been going for all of my friends having babies it looks as though I'm going to be spending all my energy fighting a planned/forced/"necessary" c-section. I don't want to have to fight the circumcision band-wagon either. So...any suggestions on how to get through my dear husband's thick head!?

Here's our opportunity to make positive change in a future child's life.  How would you gently shift this man's thinking? Please share your tips, advice, and support for moms and dads reaching out to unconvinced spouses and partners. 

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Staying Connected When Your Baby Becomes Big Brother

After the excitement of Big Brother and Big Sister shirts has passed and the influx of happy visitors tapers off after the arrival of a new baby, the reality of parenting two children sets in.  A lot of parents face apprehension about the transition to having more than one child.  Attachment parents face the challenge of staying connected with older children while bonding with the new addition. 

We recently made this transition, and in many ways, it has been easier than I thought.  One thing I work on constantly is keeping connected with both kids.  Connected Daughter is worn and held at least 90% of the time, so figuring out ways to maintain a strong bond with Connected Son is particularly important.

Here are some tips to stay connected with older children during this time:

- Ask your older child to help.  Siblings like to feel needed.  Even toddlers can bring you burp cloths, "help" change diapers, and pick out outfits for baby.  Helping you care for baby allows them to bond as well.  Connected Son loves to make Connected Daughter laugh when she's fussy, and he's really good at it!

- Make special dates with older children.  Take big brother with you to the grocery store, hold hands, and talk about their interests.  Read big sister a book during baby's nap.  It's especially important for older children to have one-on-one time with Mom and Dad.  Some afternoons I take Connected Son outside to play ball or a library trip.  Those few minutes of mommy time go a long way.

- Be patient with them.  Attached children are generally sensitive and caring toward others, especially new siblings, but even they have a limit.  It's hard to go from having undivided attention to sharing your parents.  When tantrums erupt, help older children redirect their frustrations by modeling patience and positive thinking.

I never could have imagined how strongly Connected Son would bond with his sister.  I love to watch them together.  As a parent, your bond with you older children will take on a new and rewarding aspect as you watch them connect with their younger sibling.  It takes adjustment when your family grows, but with consideration everyone in the family can stay connected while creating personal bonds with the new family member.

Happy 4 Month Birthday, Connected Daughter!

Four months ago, our family grew a little bigger and my heart doubled in size.  Four months ago you were a sleepy little ball of pure joy.  Today you are a big, cuddly, slobbering, giggly, rolly-poly ball of joy!

At 4 months you:

Snort and belly laugh at big brother's silliness.

Kick your feet out with excitement when you see someone you love.

Blow raspberries back at Daddy.

Throw your arms over your eyes when big brother tries to wake us up in the morning.  You get this from mommy.

Finally wake up with a huge grin.

Want to stand up all the time and can actually pull up to stand on our laps.

Roll and scoot all over the living room.

Have two perfect dimples!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Labor Support Battle

The one thing I always hear when I recommend a woman hire a doula is, “Why can’t my husband just do it?” And from the men, “If there is a doula there, I won’t be needed, so why should I even go?”

Men are very protective by nature. They protect their wives, provide for their wives, are there for their wives, all because they love and support her. When a woman comes along saying a woman should get a doula for support during her labor, it can be a threat to the husband’s masculinity and protective nature. If he can’t protect and support his wife, what role does he truly play?

The couple has probably taken childbirth classes, and feel decently prepared for labor and birth.

The one problem: Neither person has been present at birth before (this is the majority, a few have actually attended and helped a births before they themselves have children).

No matter how much you prepare, the woman will more than likely be completely centered inward and trying to work through her labor and won’t remember much from the classes. Her body will instinctively tell her what positions work and what don’t by decreasing her pain, but she will still be in some level of discomfort.

What husband do you know isn’t concerned when his wife is in pain? What husband would be completely okay with seeing their wife in the most discomfort she has been in in her entire life, and working harder than she has ever worked? I know very few that are completely level-headed when their wives are in pain. Even if they truly want to help, sometimes their protective nature overcomes their logic and they try to control the problem rather than work with it.

Another problem is that when you are in the heat of the moment, you forget the important things. In labor, you are tired, hungry, and worried. The husband forgets what positions are good for labor and pushing, what things help with pain relief, what can truly help their wives or partners get through labor and birth the way they want to.

In addition to forgetting this, what partner truly knows the ins and outs of every intervention and pain medication that a doctor would advise so as to make an informed decision with the laboring woman?

There is truly a difference between preparing for labor and truly experiencing labor. You do not know how your contractions will feel or what will help you the most. It is a completely new sphere.

With that being said, a doula is not there just to help the mother cope with her labor. The doula is also there to help the partner or husband so that he is able to completely help his wife or partner in the way that is best suited to him.

A doula can help a husband by:

1. Reaffirming that labor truly is normal. The body does an incredible amount of work during labor and delivery. The uterus contracts at amazing strengths to dilate and push a baby out. If you have never experienced labor before, the strength and power of the contractions can quickly overcome anyone and have them wonder if this truly is normal. A doula makes sure the couple knows that this truly is a normal, natural body function and also recognizes when things truly do get out of hand.

2. Helping keep the privacy of the room during labor by dealing with the hospital staff. In the hospital, most nurses and doctors will not knock before entering a room. Imagine you are in the bathroom at your house and someone you probably do not know just walks in in the middle of you having a bowel movement. You would be very embarrassed and most likely unable to finish while they are there. It is the same during labor. If you are interrupted during this process, it can slow or stop completely. Another issue is nurses or doctors trying to talk to a laboring woman during a contraction, whether it is just beginning or just ending it is still distracting. If you lose your concentration during a contraction, it is incredibly hard getting it back. The doula can occupy the nurse’s or doctor’s time during the contraction so the woman isn’t interrupted (and the husband can help without worrying about the nurse or doctor) and after they can discuss the options the nurse or doctor came to talk about.

3. Showing how best he can support the mother. A husband wants to help his wife, but sometimes gets stuck wondering which comfort measure can help his wife during her stage of labor. A doula, being trained in comfort measures during labor, can show the husband how best he can help his wife. This will give the husband confidence he is doing what will help rather than hinder his wife, and know that he is the one truly helping her during her labor.

4. Giving him a break during labor. Labor can last hours or even days. Even if the woman has no interest in eating, the husband still has to keep up his strength, not to mention have sleeping and bathroom breaks every once in awhile. If the woman and husband are the only two there, if he leaves, the woman will be completely alone during her labor, whether it is early labor or transition. If they have a doula with them, the husband can take breaks as needed without worrying if the laboring woman will be alone.

5. Providing truly trained “labor sitting”. Before labor and delivery moved to the hospital, doctors and midwives provided support through all of labor, not just during the last few pushes of labor. This practice has gone by the wayside so the woman is left with just her and her partner alone in a room with nurses coming every few hours to check on them. A doula provides the labor sitting that has become a forgotten art. Even if the couple has everything under control, the doula can sit by and wait until they are needed. And even if they aren’t needed to help cope with labor, they have read multiple labor and birth books so they can give trained advice and know the risks and benefits of every procedure.

6. Making sure the mother’s wishes are honored. There is a common joke with a lot of obstetricians that if a woman brings a birth plan, she is on the fast track to a cesarean section. Even if this isn’t a joke in your hospital or with your doctor, it is very hard to ‘fight’ for what you want during labor and have your wishes truly honored. A doula can help keep your birth plan. They can peacefully keep your wishes in mind of the doctor and nurses so that they do not unnecessarily do something you did not wish for, and you do not have to fight for it.

7. Knowing many comfort measures that can be used during labor. Since this is their job, they research constantly and know a plethora of comfort techniques. Even if the husband studies thoroughly, he won’t be as invested as a doula. Having a greater knowledge of comfort can only help the laboring woman and her husband.

8. Doulas have an incredible record for keeping down interventions and helping the woman have a better birth experience. The presence of a doula results in:

• Reduced cesarean birth rates by 50%
• Reduced length of labor by 25%
• Reduced use of Oxytocin by 40%
• Reduced requests for pain medication by 30%
• Reduced the rate of Epidural usage by 60%
• Babies had fewer health problems at six weeks than the infants of women who had not had a doula present during labor.
• Babies had fewer neonatal complications
• Babies had fewer workups for sepsis

This just truly stands on its own two feet.


A doula truly is not there just for the laboring woman. They are hired by the couple, to help the couple meet their baby for the first time the way they want to. Labor and delivery is an intimate time between two people, and a doula can keep that privacy and intimacy so your baby is greeted in the atmosphere best for the family.

Even though I am a doula, I won’t ever labor without one in the future. Knowing what I know about labor and delivery, I would not go into labor without a trained professional at my side.

You hire a professional to do your hair, to install your cable, and to help you ‘deliver’ your baby. Why not hire one to help you through the hardest work you have ever had to do?

Monday, July 19, 2010

When the time comes: The Circumcision Talk

My son is circumcised. Not for a religious reason. Not as the result of an educated decision. My son is circumcised because this is exactly how much thought I gave it:

Scene - Triage room in L&D, 35 weeks pregnant, checking for preterm labor
Nurse: Let's do your preadmission
Me: Ok.......(skip ahead)
Nurse: Do you know the sex?
Me: It's a boy.
Nurse: Will you circumcise?
Me: (looks to Connected Dad)
Connected Dad: Yes

Three weeks later when I finally gave birth, the on-call doctor told me she didn't do circumcisions, but Dr. K loved to do them and would perform it later. They informed me that despite my objection to pacifiers as a nursing mom, they recommended one with a little sugar water to help calm the baby. At the time I was so caught up in the recovery from my c-section and difficulty nursing that I simply agreed. Looking back I wonder what I was thinking! Why would a doctor not do it? Why did they need to pacify my son? Because I was agreeing to mutilate him. There's really no way around it. My son was born beautiful and perfect, and I allowed them to perform unnecessary surgery on him.

Like so many mothers I fell victim to the idea that I wasn't the best person to make the decision, since I didn't have a penis. I was fine with it because I had no experience with intact penises. I can recall every single couple, there were 6, in my childbirth class, all of whom were expecting boys, discussing that circing was the norm. The only thing I read about circumcision, from a baby book I greatly revere from Dr. Sears, advised that if you thought the baby would ever want to be circumcised, it was best to do it at birth than later in life when the procedure was more difficult and painful (recent research undermines this theory, suggesting newborns are much more sensitive to pain). I do remember thinking it's better to do this now that wait. He'll want to look like Daddy. I know somewhere in my subconscious I thought it would be easier if he couldn't remember. How unfeeling of me! He still experienced the pain and fear. And like most mothers, I did not attend my son's circumcision. Having seen photos now of the procedure and read more about it, I can only imagine how my maternal instinct would have overcome me. I suppose if they let moms attend it, they wouldn't perform many circumcisions once mom saw this:Photo credit peaceful parenting

When we were expecting Connected Daughter, I tentatively brought up circumcision to Connected Dad. I knew I would not allow another boy to be circumcised and was concerned that he might be upset. After all, I had left the initial decision up to him. Instead he agreed. He'd read about circumcision in a book and was horrified that he'd agreed to let Connected Son be circumcised.

And all of this leads up to what I mean when I say someday we will have the circumcision talk. I have no idea how it will come up. But someday I will apologize to my son for circumcising him, and I will explain to him that he was born perfectly healthy and I made a decision that was not my place to make. There are those that would laugh at this I'm sure, but my motivation is not to alleviate my guilt or traumatize my son, it's to stress the importance of leaving his own sons intact. I imagine the conversation may occur if we are blessed with another son in the future. I have no qualms about leaving that son intact. I'm not hung-up on a future son looking like his brother or father. Instead it will be a chance for me to admit my own mistake and stress to my children the importance of making educated decisions about parenting and birth. If I had been informed, I never would have agreed to circumcision.

Now I could list all the medical reasons why circumcision is not only unnecessary but dangerous. I could share with you the horrible statistics of infant boys who die, are seriously injured, or become ill from an unnecessary procedure. But I won't. If you need to read statistics or hear more stories, Peaceful Parenting has put together a tremendous resource list of books, articles, and websites with accurate information for parents. You can view it here.

In the end it all comes down to one thing - leaving your son intact is a matter of ethical integrity. Americans are horrified by the practice of female genital mutilation in other cultures. Amnesty International has spoken out against it. Yet, circumcision is an accepted medical practice in the U.S. If we can be honest with ourselves, it is no different than female genital mutilation. Regardless of whether you circumcised your son, like I did, or left them intact, it's time to accept that reality and demand an end to a procedure that is dangerous, medically unnecessary, and psychologically traumatic. We cannot hide behind the guise of tradition. And if that's not enough to convince you, imagine being strapped down, days old, and having the most sensitive area of your body partially removed by a knife. Could you do that to your child?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sunday Surf!

Here are some of the great posts I came across this week.  Many thanks to Connected Mom Julian for helping me with this list!

From Julian: I think she is doing such an amazing job addressing the myths and misconceptions of extended breastfeeding and providing genuine, fact based, and honest answers to questions many have about the practice. She's just posted #4 in the series and plans to continue.  Extended Breastfeeding Myth #4: A Boys Sexuality from Mommypatomus

Also from Julian: Second is Hobo Mama's post about manners, it was really informative and got me thinking about the manners I model to Oliver:  Dropping the "say" please script

A friend of mine shared this enlightening look at the state of education in American society.  I thoroughly agree:  Anti-Intellectualism and Public Views of Education and Inquiry

Nursing Freedom is offering awesome state specific breastfeeding law cards.  A great gift for baby showers or your own bag, and the proceeds help defray the cost of running Nursing Freedom!
I'm pretty behind on blogs right now, but I really wanted to share these great resources!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Reading Group is moving to Facebook!

Do you enjoy our daily readings? Then make sure you join our Facebook page, because starting Monday the 19th, I will be posting the daily readings on our fan page!

To become our Facebook friend just click here.

Save the Planet: Nurse in Public - Guest Post at Nursing Freedom

Why is it that every time nursing in public comes up, someone suggests the mom could easily pump and bottle feed as an alternative? I’d bet money that....

To read why nursing in public is the green way to feed baby, check out my full guest post on

Friday, July 16, 2010


My family has experienced a whole lot of change in the last 6 months. We welcomed our second little boy in January, my oldest turned 2 in April, we decided to relocate to another province, then decided to stay where we are for another couple of years, my eldest moved into a big boy bed, we are approaching PLing... Change never ends. I claim to embrace change. I claim that I could pick up and move without hesitation or regret , but in reality, I am really not very good with it. I'm just realizing this. Watching my baby go from a crib to his own bed was incredibly emotional for me. I cried... a lot. My husband took apart the crib, and I intentionally avoided that room until he was done. The change table did me in. I was in the room, and he went to move it, and it struck the nerve. It was too final and I needed a few more minutes to look at a change table in my biggest boys room, because I knew that stage of our life was over. The transition of him turning into a big boy is amazing, rewarding, challenging ... and emotional. They used to say that time flies and I never really *got* it. Now I *get* it. Yesterday my oldest baby, was a little baby. Today, he is a big, perfectly perfect (to me, his biggest fan) temperamental 2 year old. With all of it's rewards, it's change... that thing I am really not good with.

I watch my SIL whisk our niece off to college. 3 babes, two out of the house. She braves the biggest, most proud smile as she poses in front of the college sign with my niece. As a mom, I scream inside with excitement for both of them. As a mom, my heart goes out to my SIL and I wonder if a part of her is falling apart inside. I mean, another one of her babes has now left the nest. She can't protect her from all the ugliness this world holds. She can't fix all of life's troubles with giant hug and a favorite dessert. Now, she has to sit back and watch her baby make mistakes, become an adult and branch off into her own little world. How the heck is she coping?!

I dread the days when my house isn't chaotic. I dread those mornings where I won't wake to warm, red, puffy, little cheeks begging for my smooches. I dread not having those soft, warm arms flinging around me for hugs during tantrums, moments of quiet and in dire times of need. How will I cope? What will my purpose be? Right now, my family is my every thing. I live, breathe and clean for them. My moments of "down time" are spent folding laundry and shampooing carpets. What ever will I do when those demands are no more?

I don't know where my life will be 2 years from now. What I do know, is that in order to get to a new point in life, change is a requirement. Will change ever be a welcomed friend again? Probably not. As exhausting and demanding as my life is right now, I love it. I love that my boys are so innocent and bursting with love and know nothing of the scary, outside world. One day, I too will be forced to climb that ladder of change and whisk my son off to college. I will put on that brave face, just as my SIL has, and I will look forward to that next phase in life. For now, I have to grasp on to every second of my life how it is today, and enjoy my sons pure innocence. I have to appreciate that I now have a big boy who is taking those steps towards a more independent life. Soon, my littlest will be taking steps towards the same goals. Change is constant. I don't know when I will be a fan of change again, but I am forced to accept it for what it is. If I don't, I risk missing out on so much.

~ Tammy, Connected Mom

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Starting Your Cloth Diapering Stash

Wow, this is my first post at Connected Mom! I guess I should introduce myself and my family first. I am a WAHM to six little (and not so little!) ones who range in age from 14 years to 7 months. We have previously homeschooled and plan to again, have always co-slept until the kids were ready to move out of my bed into their own, and have worked at becoming more green over the last few years. We have also used cloth diapers for about a year.

Cloth diapering is one of the choices that I have made that has allowed us to reduce our impact on the environment exponentially, but if you are just starting out you may feel overwhelmed by the choices that are out there. I didn't understand pockets, or AIO's until I actually had one in my hand to try out for myself. There are several basic types of diapers, but my advice is to start simple.

Prefolds and covers are super easy to use and care for, so my advice is to start there and then gather different kinds of diapers until you find out which types you prefer. The best thing you can do if you need to find out which diapers you prefer is to buy a sampler or starter pack. They might seem expensive, but they are worth every dollar since you will have one of each type of diaper to try out for yourself. If you are on a budget, like I was, then look for deals on cloth diaper forums and auction sites.

Starting simple is cost effective, too. You can get 2 dozen prefolds and 10 covers for under $200, and these diapers will last for several years or more. Prefolds can also double as dust rags and can be used in the kitchen as a substitute for paper towels after your baby outgrows them, too.

If you know that you want to use another type of diaper, such as pocket diapers, then look for package deals that allow you to save. A 12 pack of cloth diapers is less than $300, and can be used through potty training if you choose a one-sized diaper.

Don't get overwhelmed by trying to stock up too fast. Take your time and try the many different types of cloth diapers out as your budget allows you. In no time, you will have a full stash and will start seeing the savings build up once your stash is complete. I haven't had to buy a diaper in several months, which means more money in my pocket and less trash in a landfill. If you have any questions about starting your stash, feel free to ask.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Reading Group: Parenting "Battles"

Dionna over at Code Name: Mama posted about the phrase choosing your battles today. I think its an insightful post and you should check it out.

One thing I thought was particularly interesting was the insight from Mandy from Living Peacefully with Children about the allegory of war in reference to parenting and the message using terms like "fighting" and "battles" sends. It reminds me of a spontaneous discussion that sprung up recently on a message board about the term "spare the rod." Long story short, it was argued that the rod didn't necessarily mean corporal punishment. Dr. Sears himself gets on on this action in his article on spanking. I'm not sure I agree that this phrase is harmless or misunderstood. How do you interpret it? Words hold a lot of meaning and we often throw them around carelessly oblivious to how they affect others. The Mom who complains about her kids to a friend struggling with infertility. The woman calling herself fat to a friend with an eating disorder. The parent joking about his "brat" of a kid. They're just words to the speaker.

So choose your words carefully. Your words affect others, especially your children.

Pardon the dust!

I have to apologize for a minute as we make some transitions on Connected Mom. First, we're adding new writers! Yay! Second, I'm in the process of moving to a new state, so things are a little crazy around these parts. I just wanted to take a minute and let you know that we'll be back on track for regularly scheduled reading group and posts by next week! Thanks for your patience!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Drum Roll: Connected Mom Welcomes New Contributors!

I am thrilled to announce that Connected Mom is making the transition from personal blog to a multi-authored site. My goal has always been to connect with other parents through encouragement and inspiration, and I can't think of a better way to do that than to welcome others to join the mission! We will still be posting daily readings Monday-Friday, but now there will be fresh content Monday-Friday as well. On Sundays, we will be hosting a Sunday surf page of the best links we've found from blogs and websites.

On the first of every month our Connected Mom magazine issue will go live. The topic calendar can be found above!

Please join me in welcoming the new authors!


Tammy: I live in western Canada with my American husband. We have been married for 3.5 years. He is my love, my supporter and my best friend. Together we are raising two, busy and incredible little boys. Tolliver is 2, and Holliday just turned 6 months *sniff* My boys define the person I am today, and I couldn't be more proud of the little people they are. I am lucky enough to be a SAHM and witness each and every moment of discovery and accomplishments. I take great pride in providing a loving, healthy, happy home for my family, and I think I am doing a pretty great job of it.

Kayce: I am a homebirth midwifery apprentice and doula in Southern Utah. As of right now, my life revolves around learning about pregnancy, birth, raising my three year old daughter and the baby growing in my womb.

Julian: I am an aspiring writer and proud new mom to Oliver born September, 2009. With the birth of my son came a new found motivation to live a more thoughtful, mindful, and harmonious life. You can find more of my musings on life and parenthood on my personal blog, Pocket.Buddha. (

Amanda: I'm passionate about green living, especially making the switch to ALL cloth. I have a B.A from MSSU, I am a mom to 6. I work online as a professional SEO and content provider for businesses and in my spare time I love sewing, scrapbooking, and blogging.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Win a set of Bummas Cloth Wipes!

Have you checked out my review of Bummas wipes yet?  Read here!

You can win your own set by leaving your best green living tip to our facebook page.  Best tip wins!  And we'll be featuring your best tips in the September Eco-friendly Family issue!

To share your best tip, visit our page:  Connected Mom on Facebook

Friday, July 9, 2010

Clothesline Advocacy

Everybody is going green nowadays.  It's chic, practical, and the responsible thing to do.  But let's face it, it's a bit of a fad, isn't it?  Just note the number of cutesy reusable bags available for purchase.  I'm not saying this is a bad thing, but for all the hipness of the green movement, there's a long way to go.  It's pretty cool to carry a reusable bag, but does your greenness stop there?  If you are going green what are you doing to advocate ALL the green options available?

As a cloth diapering mom, unless I change a diaper in public, people don't know I'm cloth diapering.  I'm sure my neighbors don't know or many of my family or friends.  It's just not the kind of thing that comes up all that often and finding organic ways to bring it up can be hard.

One of the reasons reusable bags have taken off is visibility.  People see others using them.  It works in three ways: 1) it's cool  2) public shaming - sort of like the whole Scarlet Letter thing  3) people become aware it's an option

So here's a great way to gain cloth diaper visibility - put up a clothesline.  Is there anything cuter than a bunch of cleans dipes swaying in the wind on a sunny afternoon?  This is a great way to say "ask me about cloth diapering!"  Don't cloth diaper anymore?  Well, I'm sure you wash clothes and hang drying doesn't just advocate for cloth diapering, it also promotes greener living.  How much energy are you saving by not running your dryer?  Drying in your machine can account for 10 percent of your energy use each year.  Sun light is environmentally-friendly, free, and readily available (sorry to those of you living in Forks).

But won't it be an eyesore?  You ask.  From the number of people I know who's Homeowner's Association has banned clothesline, I guess this is a common complaint.  Personally, I take real issue with anyone telling someone else how to use their land.  As far as an eyesore, sure if you put clothes and leave them for days on end, it might be.  A couple hours of clothes flapping in the sun isn't hard on anyone's eyes.  Personally, I think disposable diapers in a landfill, cigarettes littering sidewalks, and smog are much more of an eyesore, don't you?

So, come on, Connected Moms, imagine if we got everyone out there using reusable bags to hang dry their clothes - what a remarkable environmental impact!

Reading Group: Nurturing Environments II with Pam Leo

Today's reading:

What do you think?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Reading Group: Nurturing Environments I with Pam Leo

Today's reading:

What do you think?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Reading Group: Toddlers and Eating with Dionna Ford

Today's reading:

What do you think?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Oh, what a Beautiful Sight: Nursing in Public

Welcome to the July 2010 Carnival of Nursing in Public

This post was written for inclusion in the Carnival of Nursing in Public hosted by Dionna and Paige at All week, July 5-9, we will be featuring articles and posts about nursing in public ("NIP"). See the bottom of this post for more information.

Everyday I hear stories about women discriminated against for nursing in public.  It makes my blood boil.  These stories remind me of everything wrong with our society.

These stories are not my stories though.

Sometimes I wonder what sort of strange cosmic joke it is that someone so geared up to be confronted while nursing in public is never confronted.  Not only am I not confronted, I'm praised.

I should clarify something.  I generally don't "cover-up" when I nurse in public.  I may throw the tail of my sling up to encourage Connected Daughter to sleep or place a blanket over her body, but I don't own a cover.  That said I don't let it all hang out, but that's mostly in an effort to hide my stretch marks, or as I prefer to call them mommy stripes. I just nurse in the easiest way possible for whatever I'm wearing.

So what has my experience nursing in public been?  A really, really positive one.  People help me out, smile at me, offer kind words.  Apart from flabbergasting a teenage waitress once and confusing a 4 year-old at the mall, no one has ever said anything negative.  I was stopped three times in one week while nursing Connected Daughter in her sling by women wanting to tell me that they were proud of me.  Complete strangers are proud of me.  It's sort of mind-blowing.

My favorite nursing in public experience involved a woman at the grocery store.  She stopped me to tell me it was awesome to see me nursing, adding in a hushed voice that she would have never had the guts when she was nursing her children and she's so proud of women who do.  Then she asked if I would ever participate in one of those nurse-in's.  When I responded yes, she agreed that she would at this point in her life too.

I walked away from this encounter and realized something.  She'd given me something she hadn't been given,  Support.  A stranger had taken the time to be encouraging so that I could have a good experience nursing in public.

I don't have anything provocative to say here.  It took me several days to write this and in that time I had several more positive public experiences.  A woman smiled as we took the picture in the park above.  Families and children continued playing in the spraygrounds.  People walked their dogs.  We were all there just living our lives and enjoying ourselves.  I happened to be nursing.   My point is pretty simple.  It's easy not to appreciate all the wonderful, supportive people there are out there.  If you never nurse in public, you'll never know.  If you do, look around, make eye contact, and see what happens.  People might surprise you.  And if you see a nursing mom out and about, take the time to smile and share a kind word.  Share your positive nursing stories.  Together we can make it the norm to have good breastfeeding experiences.

Art by Erika Hastings at

Welcome to the Carnival of Nursing in Public

Please join us all week, July 5-9, as we celebrate and support breastfeeding mothers. And visit any time to connect with other breastfeeding supporters, learn more about your legal right to nurse in public, and read (and contribute!) articles about breastfeeding and N.I.P.

Do you support breastfeeding in public? Grab this badge for your blog or website to show your support and encourage others to educate themselves about the benefits of breastfeeding and the rights of breastfeeding mothers and children.

This post is just one of many being featured as part of the Carnival of Nursing in Public. Please visit our other writers each day of the Carnival. Click on the links below to see each day’s posts - new articles will be posted on the following days:
July 5 - Making Breastfeeding the Norm: Creating a Culture of Breastfeeding in a Hyper-Sexualized World
July 6 – Supporting Breastfeeding Mothers: the New, the Experienced, and the Mothers of More Than One Nursing Child
July 7 – Creating a Supportive Network: Your Stories and Celebrations of N.I.P.
July 8 – Breastfeeding: International and Religious Perspectives
July 9 – Your Legal Right to Nurse in Public, and How to Respond to Anyone Who Questions It

Reading Group: The Risk of Rewards (Alfie Kohn)

Today's reading:

What do you think?

Monday, July 5, 2010

Reading Group: Emotional IQ and Marriage

The first article on marriage for reading group.  I know I can spend so much time thinking about parenting, I can lose perspective on my marriage. 

Today's reading:

What do you think?

My Birth Art

Recently I discovered and quite accidentally composed this word art (click to see full size).

The site asked for me to enter my blog address to choose words and as luck would have it that day I posted about labor induction.  The site randomly chose the words, sizes, and placement, and when I saw it I had that peculiar knocked-on-your-ass feeling.  The words it emphasized reflected so much of what I feel about birth as well as what I want from it.  In many ways, this art represents my birth journey thus far - my cesareans, my desire for normal birth, my unfailing belief that I can achieve it.

This picture is who I am as a birth advocate, but I felt compelled to make one more when I saw it.  So I made this picture.

It's the birth story I posted when this blog was in its infancy.  I wanted to get it in writing.  I thought seeing it would be hard, devastating even.   I imagined the words c-section, failure, epidural - everything horrible and unwanted about that birth - would take center stage. And I was surprised.

I was surprised because it just looked like birth.  And strangely for the first time I really realized that I birthed my babies.  Not in the way I had hoped and I pray this is not how future births look, but look at those words - contractions, pain, cervix, hours.  I gave birth to my children.

Words hold power to me.  The labels we use to describe ourselves.  The notes on our charts, margins, scraps of paper.  The stories in our books.  I love words.  I love the stories they tell.  These are my birth stories - my birth art.

In the future I will add these words - joy, power, vagina, trust - and all the words that come with them.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Reading Group: Sunday Surf and Weekly Wrap-Up Edition

I thought today, after sleeping in an appropriate amount of time, I would put together a Sunday Surf edition of the best posts I saw on the web this week.  I read a lot of blogs in a week and I'm in the process of setting up a reader with a link, so you can check out what I'm reading at your leisure.  That said, I'm trying to limit the number of posts I link to on Sunday, because we reads together every day of the week, right?  So here's a couple you should peruse today between firecrackers.

Toddler Storytelling Activities and Keepsakes - Code Name: Mama

I love the Toddler Activities series on CN:M, because it gives me ideas for things to do with Connected Son.  With a new baby in the house, my brain is a little overwhelmed.  Thankfully there are resources like this to give me ideas or we'd all just sit and twiddle our thumbs. 

Tips to help parents assume the best intentions - Hobo Mama guest post

Ok, another post by Dionna of CN:M, hosted on one of my favorite new blogs, Hobo Mama.  I don't know any parent of a toddler who couldn't use this post.  Eventually when you are the parent of a toddler you will begin to suspect your toddler is an evil genius secretly subjecting you to psych experiments, this post will assure you its not true. 

Your natural, awesome power - Surfacing After Silence

I was humbled by this post by Alexis of Surfacing after Silence.  Alexis, who is not a mom herself, read my post on labor induction this week and found it spoke to her own battle with an eating disorder and self image.  Alexis's post has given me a lot to think about in regards to my own body image and I how I approach it. 

This Week on Connected Mom:
Over here on Connected Mom, I was hopping this week!  I unveiled our new cloth diaper guide, CD 101 , as well as my July edition of magazine style posts devoted to cloth diapering.  I also announced my next giveaway, Bummas cloth wipes.  I started a daily reading group, posted 5-7 times a week in the morning designed to help you start the day with a new perspective on your parenting relationship.  I'd love to hear if you are enjoying it.  I was inspired to write A Call to Labor after a friend was induced for big baby this week, days shy of her due date.  Look forward to some tips on parenting siblings, moms and body image, and some more cloth diaper tips!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Reading Group: AP & Discipline with Dr. Sears

Today's reading:

What do you think?

Full of Fashion Winners

What an incredibly close contest!  There were so many adorable entries that I can't wait to do another one (hint: start thinking about your best breastfeeding shot :)  All 72 entries proved how cute cloth can be!

::::::::drum roll:::::::::

3rd place

Submitted by Tara Gross


Submitted by Heidi Cullman Johnson

and the winner of a pair of Buddha Bunz
Submitted by Jamie Wiseman

Great pictures everyone!