Tuesday, August 31, 2010

What is a doula?

our birth doula, Cristy, and I moments after Margaret was born

I get asked this question a lot. Earlier this summer I took the DONA training to become a post partum doula. A post partum doula works in a completely different capacity then a birth/labor doula. A birth doula, like ours pictured above, assists a mother during her delivery. That is the most basic description. Cristy offered much more than this. She answered a lot of my crazy questions during pregnancy, she prayed for Jackson and I and Margaret, and was a calming force before, during and after Margaret's birth. As a post partum doula I will be assisting mother's with the transition of bringing their new baby into their already existing family and routine. I will be helping the mom heal and rest. And making sure that she and her family are well nourished and taken care of. A big part of a post partum doula's role is assisting in breastfeeding. I will be making sure that mom and baby get off to a good start and have the tools to continue successfully after I am gone. Here is a link to the DONA website that explains what a doula is better than I can. http://www.dona.org/mothers/index.php I am planning on getting started this fall when Margaret starts Mother's Day Out at our church. If you know of anyone who is expecting and might be interested in my services please pass along my information. This also makes a great baby shower gift for the mom who is having baby number 2 or 3 and may have all of the clothes and gear already.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Walkin' shoes

Well, almost walking shoes. Here are some pictures of Margaret and her first pair of shoes.

Friday, August 27, 2010

going green

Margaret, none the wiser, enjoying a green smoothie

I have been trying inventive ways to add green veggies to our diet. Margaret loves fruit. She will eat any kind of fruit. But she is much pickier when it comes to green things. When I was pregnant with Margaret I swore that I would not be one of those moms who hide vegetables in things to make my children eat them. I had this vision of my children loving a vegetable as is-no disguise or costume. Well, reality doesn't always match up with how we envision things. So here I am trying to be "Deceptively Delicious". My friend lent me a copy of this book but I have yet to read it. I am sure there are many more wonderful ideas in it. Here are a few things that have worked around our house lately. My main objective is to get Margaret (Jackson and I too) to eat more spinach and kale. I have started making green smoothies in the mornings. I prefer to use Kefir over yogurt because it is fermented longer and contains more healthy bacteria. I keep Cascadian Farms organic frozen fruits in our freezer and usually add whatever I have on hand. I use a banana for sweetness and then the green part; a big handful of organic spinach. I add a little bit of breast milk to Margaret's to make it more watery so she can sip it easily and voila she has a pretty healthy breakfast.
Another easy way to add vegetables to your diet is in meatloaf. I love this recipe for meatloaf from my favorite blog Passionate Homemaking. I add carrots and spinach to the ground meat by pulsing it all in the food processor a few times. Also if you have a hunter in your home, like I do, this recipe is great with ground deer meat. Another variation of this is to make meatballs with added vegetables. The key for me is to keep my food processor and blender handy. I have recently moved our wine refrigerator off the counter and replaced it with my food processor and blender. If that doesn't say something about how children affect your life I don't know what does. The next recipe I am going to try and alter to contain greens is oatmeal. I eat oatmeal almost every morning. I like to soak our grains for at least 24 hours for optimal nutrient consumption. (here is more info on soaking) Margaret prefers her oatmeal more creamy so I always pulse hers in the blender a few times. I usually add banana or apple sauce to sweeten it for her. I am going to try adding a handful of spinach the next time I make it for her. Any kind of egg bake or egg casserole also provides an easy opportunity to add greens. In my opinion the pureeing or at least finely chopping method is the best way to assimilate these vegetables into your recipes. As I come up with more recipes I will post them here.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Big white caboose

Today was the first day of Margaret's fall Kindermusik class. We have both been so excited to get back to this weekly event we love. This morning during Margaret's nap I packed up her diaper bag, showered and dressed comfortably for the hour long class. We crawl around on the floor with the babies, carry them in our arms while we skip around the room-so comfort is key. I decided to wear my favorite Gap shorts. They have a small hole in the corner of the back pocket but I paired them with a long black tank that covered it nicely. Margaret woke up around 10:45 and class didn't start until 11:20 so we ran a few errands first. I stopped off at the Monogram shop to get a few of Margaret's fall things monogrammed and then filled the car up with gas. We arrive at music class a few minutes early! This never happens. I was feeling a little full of myself-super mom! I was able to get us both dressed and out the door with time to spare to run errands-whoa! The first thing I notice is that this is a very full class. Fun! Margaret will love meeting all of the new children. Miss Kelly (our music teacher) was busy speaking with another student and her parent so I walk to the front of the class and fill out a name tag for Margaret and myself. I find a nice spot for us in the circle of moms and babies and we sit down. The nice mom next to me leans over and I am thinking wow, so friendly, she's going to introduce herself already! But instead of introducing herself she whispers "You know you have a hole in your shorts?" I smile and reply, "Oh ya, but they are so soft and comfy I can't part with them!" She hesitantly smiles back at me and turns back to her daughter. Not as friendly as I thought, humph. One more sweet mom and baby enter and look around trying to find a space in the circle on the carpet. Well, I will be friendly I think. So I scoot back off the carpet onto the cold tile floor to make room for her and her sweet little one. Odd, the tile is really cold. It almost feels like my bare bottom is on the floor. Slowly it hits me. I reach around to find the small hole at the edge of my short pocket and all I feel is skin. I look back at the not so friendly mom and get her attention and say "oh wow, I didn't realize the hole was that big!" She assures me that I can just pull my tank top down and I should be fine. I immediately do this. Since this is the first class we probably won't be doing many follow the leader exercises. Hopefully we will be staying seated the majority of the class. But no, the first song after our hello song is Little Red Caboose. Miss Kelly suggests we form a line, like a train, and follow each other all around the classroom. Well, I decide to just go with it. After all what am I going to do? When I got home and could finally check in the mirror it was much worse than I imagined. I am pretty mortified. Just so you know that I am not exaggerating I am attaching a lovely picture of my Big White Caboose

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

embrace the moments

We have a new development at our house in the evenings. Margaret has decided that she doesn't want to go to bed when she is tired. I will put her down she will lay there for a few minutes and then stand up in her crib and scream. Or she will go to bed but wake up screaming an hour later. I can not figure out what's going on with her. Dreams? teeth? separation anxiety? So I decided to give up trying to analyze the problem to death and to just embrace this cuddle time. Margaret is normally not a cuddler (shocker since her momma and daddy aren't either) but when she wakes up in the evening like this she is so cuddly. She will sit in our laps and let us give her lots of kisses with no squirming! All of this loving makes up for the nightly interruption. I keep reminding myself that she is growing up so fast. She will be a year old on September 22nd. And I am trying to cherish even these frustrating moments. It is difficult to do but it is something that I have prayed about. Whether Margaret is throwing one of her new tantrum fits if I take away something she is not suppose to be playing with or when she refuses to stay in my arms in the middle of a store where I just need to run one quick errand; I try to remind myself that these moments are so fleeting. This to shall pass, even the good stuff like a late night cuddle...

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Goodbye Summer!

Summer is coming to an end and we have been making the most of these last few weeks. Margaret and I logged some miles on I20 going to Atlanta to visit family and friends. We have had long lazy play dates at the pool and some fun trips to the zoo. We also entertained some out of town guests. My sister and Sweet nephew Alexander came in town for a visit. And my friend Katie came all the way from Houston, TX with her husband and little boy Wells. The pool is getting ready to close, music classes officially start back in a week and Margaret will begin Mother's Day Out in September. We are ready for an exciting fall around our house. Here are a few pictures of what has been keeping us busy the last few weeks of this very hot summer.

Monday, August 2, 2010

National Breastfeeding Week!

Margaret taking a snooze after a feeding

Why Breastfeeding is so important

Breastfeeding is the normal way to feed a baby. Your body and the baby's body are designed for it. It is amazing to me that God provides a woman's body with everything she needs to feed her child. Breast milk contains all of the nutrients a baby's brain needs to reach its maximum potential. There has been actual research done that breastfed infants score higher on intelligence and development tests. Breastfeeding also leads to more skin-to-skin contact which is crucial for a baby's well-being. Breastfeeding can protect against respiratory illness, ear infections, and SIDS. Not only is nursing beneficial to baby but it has many benefits for the mother as well. Breastfeeding has been shown to reduce a woman's risk for breast cancer in the future. It is also extremely convenient and cheap :) The one, most important benefit to both baby and momma is the bonding it encourages. There is a definite emotional connection that happens between a nursing babe and mother. There have been times where I have looked down into Margaret's eyes while she is feeding and have been moved to tears. It is one of the most special gifts I can give her. If you or anyone you know needs breastfeeding support I am available. Breastfeeding support is one part of my post-partum doula services. So in honor of National Breastfeeding week, I must go and feed my sweet girl!