Monday, February 28, 2011

My midwife thinks I'm fat

27 weeks — shiningly glorious old stretch marks on the outside, baby of who knows what size on the inside

Sorry to harp on this, but it keeps coming up. My midwife made a big deal again about how I need to "watch that weight gain" and cut out all white flour and sugar from my diet. She acknowledges that some big babies are genetic (um, yeah, I know), but then she had to go and play the Dead Baby card. I hate it when people do that.

She told me about a client of hers who was borderline for gestational diabetes and "cheated" the test by having her OB (I take it she was under some form of coordinated care) coach her on how to avoid testing positive. Once she squeaked through, she, in the words of my midwife, "totally let herself go" and packed on the pounds that last trimester. During labor, the woman admitted she had been baking for herself every day and eating pies, cakes, cookies, and so forth. (The horror!)

She was a small woman, and her 12-pound baby was lodged with an extreme shoulder dystocia that took the midwife seven minutes of hard work to dislodge. The baby was floppy and unresponsive and had to be rushed in an ambulance to the ER, EMTs fighting to resuscitate him.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sunday Surf: Less-medicated birth, public feeding, & adventurous living

Welcome to the Sunday Surf! Here are some of the best links I've read this past week.

With skipping last week, I have so many links to share. Let's get to it!

  • "Inquisition Monday" from the bee in your bonnet: On bodily autonomy and the perception of "no rules."
  • "A Moment of Terminology" from Domestic Chaos: Something to think about: What does "natural" mean in the context of childbirth, and what term might be more appropriate? You can read my comment in the comments section as well, if you're interested.
    for son and daughter-in-law greeting card for Valentine's Day with daughter in quotes This is the type of card I usually get — only, with our names right. And, yes, she does send us Valentine's cards.
  • "Happy Valentine’s Day to my son…and the harlot with whom he’s living in sin." from Ha! I always get cards from my mother-in-law addressed "To a Dear Son and 'Daughter.'" I don't know how she always finds them, but she does. I know she doesn't even mean it as a slight, because she's told me frequently her preferred term for daughter-in-law is "daughter-in-love." Awww.
  • "Nursing Necklace" from Mommying My Way: Another adorable nursing necklace for an adorable baby!
  • "Pumping in public?" from The Milk Mama: What are your thoughts on pumping in public as opposed to nursing in public? Read the comments for some enlightening responses.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Space-Alien Hot-Dog Monster & Silly Guy

This post was submitted as part of the February “Families, Create!” Carnival, hosted by Dionna at Code Name: Mama and Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children.

The theme for "Families, Create!" this month is Heroes and Heroines, and fortunately for me, Sam and Mikko spearheaded this short film just when I most needed a heroic saga to share:

They decorated the set themselves and did all (ALL!) the fine acting, screenwriting, and directing. I know! I was the terribly amateur cameraperson.

You'll enjoy seeing Mikko's consternation that Sam is being a goofball and ignoring the rules of fine dining, as well as his insistence that the keys are not magic, just regular keys.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Linky-linking catch-up

Astute readers might notice, if they catch sight of a calendar, that I missed Sunday Surf this week and that it is not, in fact, Sunday any longer. We spent the weekend cleaning and running around, and the days were gone before I knew it.

living room clean galley kitchen clean
Some proof. After I went to bed crying that our place was such a mess, Sam stayed up till 6 a.m. getting the place this good, though we still had hours of work left to do. And we haven't touched the upstairs yet. Yes, it's sad we're that messy. But isn't he a sweetheart? Look, we have carpet! And countertops! Who knew!

But I have a few, urgent-ish links to share with you, so I'm not waiting till Sunday to get them all out there.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Babywearing Elmo

Mikko's favorite new thing is showing off his fashion sense with as many of my scarves as he can snag. This day, he wanted his new Elmo doll (a bribe from the pediatric dentist) to be inside the scarves, so I helped him tie his baby on. Very old-school.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Calling for submissions for the March Carnival of Natural Parenting!

We continue to be delighted with the inspiration and wisdom our Carnival of Natural Parenting participants share, and we hope you'll join us for the next carnival in March! (Check out January and February and the full list of 2010 posts if you missed them.)

Your co-hosts are Lauren at Hobo Mama and Dionna at Code Name: Mama.

Here are the submission details for March 2011:

Blank Spiral NotebookTheme: Make a natural parenting "Top 10" list: Be creative! Choose as many (or as few) NP topics as you’d like and incorporate them into a Top 10 list. It could be anything from "Top 10 Gifts for a New NP Mom," to "Top 10 Reasons to Birth at Home," to "The Top 10 Ways Families on a Budget Can Go Green."

Deadline: Tuesday, March 1. Fill out the webform (at the link or at the bottom) and email your submission to us by 11:59 p.m. Pacific time: mail {at} and CodeNameMama {at}

Monday, February 21, 2011

Ask me anything

toddler feeding himself yogurtI've never done Formspring, but the concept intrigues me, or maybe I'm just inspired by TopHat at The Bee in Your Bonnet's Inquisition Monday. I also regularly get questions now from readers about all sorts of parenting and blogging topics, which has given me a chance to put on my Dear Abby hat.

So, I thought, it would be fun (would it?) to put a general request out there:

Submit your questions, small or large!

And then I will choose some to answer in an upcoming blog post or posts.

Here are some overarching topics for you to consider, though you're free to roam outside them:

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Giveaway for a GE LED $50 bulb and green home energy tips at Hobo Mama Reviews!

I have a new giveaway over on Hobo Mama Reviews, in a post sponsored by BlogHer and GE:

Energy savings in the home! GE Energy Smart LED bulb $50 {2.28; US}

If you pop over there, you'll learn about the GE ecomagination Challenge and how to submit your big ideas for energy use and conservation. You can also read what we've been doing in our home renovations to green our own energy use, and you can enter a simple tip or challenge in the comments about eco-conscious energy use at home for a chance to win a $50 GE Energy Smart LED light bulb that lasts 20 years and saves $85 in energy costs over the life of the bulb.

new GE dishwasher with CLEAN dishes!
And the post is full of fascinating pictures, like this one of my dishwasher.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: My cosleeping boys

I had to keep opening the curtain further and further to snap this snuggly shot.
Glad I didn't wake them both up!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Support breastfeeding in public on Rachael Ray!

Last week Bethenny Frankel appeared on the Rachael Ray Show and discouraged breastfeeding in public, despite being a breastfeeding mama herself:

Guest in the audience: "I'm expecting my second child and strongly thinking of breastfeeding. What are your rules for public breastfeeding, like where is it appropriate?"

Bethenny: "I think, unless you are Pamela Anderson, you shouldn't be showing anyone your breasts besides your husband and your baby."

Rachael: "Exactly."

Bethenny went on to detail how disturbing-to-disgusting it is for women to "whip out a boob" (why is that language always used?) and that breastfeeders should "just keep it private."

Ah, yes. Lovely. Not to mention so unoriginal. (Is anyone else tired of the whole "Keep it at home, girls" trope?)

Boosting my spirits greatly, Maman A Droit had a wonderful idea, which you can read in her post:

Let's get a Lactivist on Rachael Ray!

Let's get someone on the show who's passionate and informed about breastfeeding, who's level-headed and able to talk intelligently about feeding choice (i.e., not someone who's anti-formula feeding), who has a platform for discussing breastfeeding-related issues, and who has proven experience breastfeeding in public uncovered but respectfully and who knows both the legalities and the benefits of nursing in public. Who is that?

Maman A Droit came up with the answer:

Dionna of Code Name: Mama,
Nursing Freedom, and Natural Parents Network!

Read our letters to find out why Dionna's the perfect candidate to appear on the show.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sunday Surf: Carnival week

Welcome to the Sunday Surf! Here are some of the best links I've read this past week.

I have a confession to make. I have two links to share. Two. And one is a link I forgot to share last week, so it doesn't even really count as belonging to this week.

It's not that I didn't read this week. Oh, I read! I read 51 Carnival of Natural Parenting posts. Yes, 51 this month! (That's not including my own.) Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaWhich is awesome. And I read a lot of Wordless Wednesday posts, because I host a couple linkies each week, which is always fun. But that meant I didn't have a whole lot of time to read, you know, other stuff.

So I thought about skipping this week's Sunday Surf, but then I realized I'd miss out on highlighting the February Carnival to you, which was truly fabulous, as well as some other bloggy fun going around my sites, and the two lovely links I have to share.

So here we go, regardless:

Friday, February 11, 2011

Valentine's Day Happy Hearts Mobile craft

Valentine's Day paper heart mobile craftHere's a sweet and easy Valentine's Day craft of a construction-paper heart mobile you can make with your toddler, preschooler, or young child.

Our son is three and a half, so the finished quality of our heart mobile reflects both his skill level and that of his mother, because I am no craft genius. I think this would be fairly easily adaptable for different age levels.

Full disclosure, I got the idea from {affiliate} High Five magazine, the preschool version of Highlights for Children, which I remember from when I was a kid!1

Grandma subscribed to it for Mikko when he was 2, and she almost canceled it a year later when we told him he was just then beginning to really get it. No, no, we protested, he likes it now! And he really does. (And I like it, too, because it gives me good, simple ideas of activities like this to do with him!) It has hidden pictures, which he's surprisingly good at; silly pictures, where I'm always amused to see what he thinks is strange about the illustration (like, a horse going to the movies is fine, but a man wearing brown shoes? "They're too little!"); and plenty of opportunity to cut things. Mikko loves cutting things.

So this craft was perfect for us.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Fat and pregnant: Heartbeat video

Recent belly bump picture of me at 24 weeks looking either fierce or constipated. Your call.
These articles were going to go in my Sunday Surf, but then I realized I wanted to make this into its own post, for a purpose:
  • "Fat and pregnant: 10 weeks" from Raising My Boychick: Along the same lines. This is inspiring me to share some of my bare bump pictures at some point!

I realized after I wrote that note that, while I don't yet have a current bare-bump picture, I do have a current bare-bump video. And I assumed when Sam took it at our 20-week midwife appointment that I would never, ever, ever show it to anyone, because my belly's all jiggly, and stretch-marked, and the doppler wand had to be squished down into my adipose tissue (that's fat for those in the know!).

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Pancakes with white

These pancakes are some of the white carbs to which I referred in yesterday's Carnival of Natural Parenting post. I hate pancakes, myself, but Mikko had them first with his aunt and was hooked. Note that Mikko will not allow a delicate sprinkling of powdered sugar but must have an entire bowl that he can dust liberally all over his shirt, pants, and seat. As Sam puts it, pancakes are nothing more than a powdered sugar delivery system. Mikko very much subscribes to The Fat Nutritionist's way of thinking about food, and I wish I could embrace that freedom as wholeheartedly.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

My parenting essentials, from Tivo to battery-operated monstrosities

Welcome to the February Carnival of Natural Parenting: Parenting Essentials

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have shared the parenting essentials they could not live without. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

I have the advantage of reading several submissions before writing my own post (for I am a procrastinator), and I felt like all my good ideas for parenting essentials would come across as merely piggybacking off of other people's posts — or just blatantly stealing their sentiments.

For instance, do I have a fabulous and supportive partner? Indeed I do. And indeed that partner did outright suggest I write about him. (Sorry, Sam. You'll have to make do with last February's post.)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Sunday Surf: Renovating, spoiling, & the hilarity of cosleeping

Welcome to the Sunday Surf! Here are some of the best links I've read this past week.

Sam and I have been going through extreme nesting. Besides paring down our shtuff,
1980s sink and faucet before renovation
Not that the 1980s weren't a triumph of innovative and inspiring design, such as sink faucets that dribble their water directly onto the very back of the sink.
we were bitten by the renovating bug before we even closed on the condo we've been living in for over a year now — but of course, had no money once we'd paid for the house! It's funny how that works out. Anyhow, we're trying to do a little at a time, as we have energy and money, and get at least the downstairs powder room (small bites!) finished before the baby comes. So we've pretty much spent the past two days in Home Depot and the paint store, boring Mikko out of his tiny huge1 skull. And now I've just had a scintillating conversation with Sam about which of three whites to go with for our kitchen cabinet repainting. For this is what you do when you lose all sense.

On to some reading for a reno break!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Montessori and minimalism: Our "before" pictures

I've been up to my eyeballs in excise taxes (the Washington DOR website ate my homework halfway through — grr) and am just now recovering and trying to get back into the swing of things. But so as not to leave you hanging, here is a pathetic post showing our pathetic efforts to fix the pathetic trash heap we call a home.

We're in the midst of a major purge (again) in our efforts (again) to have Less Stuff and less chaos and More Space and more comfort (both physical and emotional) and an efficient living area. Our two-bedroom condo is sufficient for a family of four plus home business (I keep telling myself), but every room is on the smallish side, and I've been feeling very squished and irritable about the situation.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Because it makes me smile