Tuesday, November 25, 2008

To My Husband

I wanted to take this time, as I've been working through my emotions regarding Samantha's birth, to thank my husband.

Hun, you have been awesome. I appreciate everything you have done for me, and for our family. Not just in the recent weeks, but over the past 6.5 years. I am very grateful for all that you have done. I see you working day after day to provide for this family, only to come home and stay up until the wee hours of the morning studying...to continue to provide for the family and to provide us with a better life and I am amazed. I can honestly say that I do not think I would have the stamina to do what you do day after day. Thank you.

Thank you for being here for me, supporting me physically, financially, and emotionally. Thank you for being here for me to cry to as I work through the pain and grief of our daughter's birth. Thank you for getting mad with me at the way I was treated by the doctor and hospital staff. Thank you for being so good with our newest daughter, and with our older children. They love you and adore you. I can see the love and adoration in their eyes when I talk about you while you're at work. These children love their father, just as much as their father loves them. I am in a unique position to see both sides.

Thank you for everything you have done, are doing, and will do for this family.

I love you more every day. I know we have our arguments and miscommunication, but I know that at the end of the day you love me and I love you. Thank you.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Assaulted...Traumatized...Birth Rape

I feel as though I've been assaulted, abused, and raped...that something VERY important to me was stolen by an impatient dr. who may know the mechanics of birth but after more than 20 years of delivering babies is still totally clueless to the process. Birth is more than just about a happy and healthy baby. Yes...if interventions are truly needed then they are wonderful. But, with me...I'm not convinced they were. In fact, I honestly feel as though they were needlessly forced on me by a man who wanted to get home because it was Halloween. I have no doubt this man had every intention of slicing me open from the moment I stepped foot through the hospital doors. I detest this man....this man who sliced me open from hip bone to hip bone, scaring my body, and ripping my baby from my body...all to make an extra buck.

Using breathing techniques and a few minor pushes I got my baby from a -2 station to 0 station. If he had backed off, shut up, and called off his dogs (the nurses) I could have relaxed, spared my BP spike, and given birth to my baby the way that God intended.

Instead, I will never again get to experience the power of labor, of bringing forth a new life from my body. I'll never get to birth my baby in my home. I'll never have the chance to birth as God intended...and as I so STRONGLY believe in.

All because one man was impatient and had no faith in me or my body. He violated me...left me traumatized and forever changed and my body forever marred. (Seriously, my c-section scar is 8" long...by far the longest c-section scar I have EVER seen). He has left me with irreperable damage to both my body and my soul. I detest him. What was supposed to be a beautiful birth of our final child has instead left me feeling less of a woman, violated...raped of sorts.

And then the feelings that come with having a body that has failed me...2 times (well, really 3...but only 2 times that really count). I will never get to VBAC because my body can not tolerate the end stages of pregnancy. I thank God that I live in a time where my pregnancy complications can be caught and me and my babies spared, but I feel shame and heart break and heart ache from loving pregnancy and wanting to do things as close to natural as possible but knowing that because of my body I am unable to birth in the comfort of my home...in the water...in the presence of a wise, experienced midwife and the women in my life whom I love and trust.

This week has been hard for me. My emotions have overwhelmed me...overcome me...and left me battered and torn. My husband doesn't know how to help me, and the strain is great. I'm SICK of hearing, "Well, at least you have a healthy baby and that's what's important" from people. Yes, it IS important...but it is not ALL that is important. If I hear it one more time I fear I may SCREAM!!!

So, please pray that God will bring me healing in the months to come. I have already gotten involved with a group of mothers who have been through similar experiences, and the support is amazing. God has placed women in my life who are able to emotionally help me right now...but I still have a VERY long way to go towards being healed. Your prayers as I journey down this road would be appreciated. Thank you.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Friday, November 07, 2008

Pictures of Samantha Rose

Here she is! My family thinks she looks more like me than DH. But, she still looks like one of our children. :o)

Samantha Rose - Homebirth to C-Section

Samantha Rose - Homebirth to C-Section

Written Sunday, November 2, 2008

The short story:
Samantha Rose was born Oct. 31, 2008 at 11:44am.
8 lbs 8 oz. and 20.5" long.

I will start by saying Samantha's birth ended up being the exact opposite of what I had planned (and dreamed). Wednesday at my apt. I noticed I had a REALLY high protein count in my urine. The dip stick registered more than 2000 grams of protein in my urine. My BP, however, was good. I discussed with my midwife what the cause could be, and she thought that maybe it was some blood from my having some blood show on Saturday that was registering it, but to rest and monitor my BP through the drug store, contacting her if it went up. Honestly, this didn't sit well with me and I felt she wasn't REALLY listening to me. Given my history (having had pre-eclempsia twice before) I felt pre-e was where I was going to end up again.

Thursday, we took Heather to school, went and got Tim's paycheck, and went to a friends' house (they had picked Heather up from school for us). We all went out to lunch. On the way home, I had Tim stop by the local CVS to check my BP. This CVS had been pretty accurate through my pregnancy, but of course drug store BP checks can't be "really" counted on...just getting a vague idea. My BP registered 160/101. My heart sank and I knew where this was going. I called the birth center and my midwife told me to come in. We went home, quickly packed some hospital bags, found ppl to watch Heather and William, and headed in to the clinic. In the clinic, my BP was once again okay (while I was lying on my left side). But, I was still registering more than 2000 grams of protein in my urine. My midwife explained to me that we had two options at this point: I could either go home on STRICT bed rest and wait and see if I went into labor over the weekend, coming back in for a BP check on Monday, or go to the hospital to get checked out. (Honestly, she was rather abrupt in this discussion with us as I sat there on the couch crying, seeing my dreams for a home birth disappear...but that could be another whole post).

Tim begged me to go to the hospital and get checked out. I knew in my gut that the pre-e was back again. I'd had a few minor frontal headaches and minor visual disturbances over the early part of the week. Nothing major, but having been down this road before, I knew where we were going. I knew in my heart that I needed an OB at that point. So, we chose to go to the hospital and get checked out.

I got there and sure enough, lots of protein in my urine. BP started to climb, but wasn't really high. Given that I was 5 days from my due date, we expected an induction. The on-call Dr. ordered blood work done. He wanted me started on mag. We initially refused, knowing how mag. would effect me and the potential outcome of our labor, but decided to follow his recommendation for starting it when the labs revealed my liver and kidneys were already shutting down and my BP hadn't even started to climb yet. My doula was a nurse for almost 20 years, and she looked at the labs and agreed. It turned out, the mag. was the beginning of the end.

At midnight mag. and pit. were started. I was 80% and 1cm. A catheter was put in (b/c I can't walk while on mag). By 6am I was 3 cm. I was in a lot of pain from the catheter (not the contractions, if you can imagine). The leg message thingies they were using since I was on pit. (to prevent an embolism in my legs) actually provided me with a LOT of relief and welcome focal point for my hypnotbirthing. However, knowing where things were going and that I wasn't going to be able to use any of the positions/techniques I like to cope with hard labor, I decided to get an epidural (I totally could have gone w/o had I not had the mag..this stuff really is evil). It took and I progressed quickly from there.

I quickly reached 7cm, 100% effaced, and feeling pushy. This is where things went bad. I was weak from the mag. The nurses (I had a WICKED nurse BTW) checked me and I went from 7cm to 10 cm in one contraction so they ordered me to start pushing. I refused, insisting on breathing the baby down. She was still a -2 station, and as weak as I was on the mag. I knew I couldn't push as long as I would need to in order to birth her from a -2 station. I ignored the nurses and the chaos in the room, and focused on my doula who helped me keep my visualisations and breath her down. I got her to a 0 station in about 20 min. and was getting really tired, but could keep going. Then the Dr. came in the room. He kept ordering me to push, I kept refusing, he kept yelling at me, the nurses started yelling at me, it got really crazy and I don't remember much but mentally reaching a point where I knew I couldn't keep going. I was getting stressed and the Dr. wouldn't shut up and back off and let me do what I needed to do. My BP started to climb, Samantha's heartrate started to fall and the "C" word came out. In the end, after much refusing and pushing as hard as I could, I caved and agreed to the c-section. I knew in my heart that I could only keep going and birth my baby the way I needed to if the nurses and that darn dr. (can I use profanity here?) would back off and let me do what I needed to do.

Ladies, it gets worse from there.

I get into the OR and they top of my epidural (that had stopped working hours before...the nurse kept telling me I wasn't feeling pain but pressure and to be quiet...yes, I kid you not. I finally told her to shut up, that I'd given birth naturally before and I knew pain from pressure...that what I was feeling was pain...but that's another whole rant). Of course the Dr. was happy b/c he was getting what he wanted: an easy out since he'd been on call all day and night. The epidural didn't work. They could only numb me to my waist. They tried and tried for 30 min. but it didn't work. They needed it to go up another 4" or so. They tried a spinal, but couldn't discern spinal fluid from epidural fluid and were too afraid of doing the spinal and resulting in respiratory arrest/distress. So, general anesthesia it was.

I did get to see Tim before they put me under. They brought him in, he squeeze my hand, and we told each other that we loved each other. Then they gave me the medicine and I was out. I remember sobbing as I told him that I loved him.

The next thing I remember I was being wheeled back to my LDR room and was in a LOT of pain. I started hollering for pain meds and I was hurting. Tim says I'm a mean drunk. LOL (the only humor I could find in the situation). Samantha had been born an hour and a half before (delivered really...delivered from my unconscious body) and was screaming to nurse. I was in too much pain and begging for drugs. My mom showed her to me, and asked if i wanted to nurse her. I told her no, that I was in too much pain and afraid that I'd drop her. 30 min. later they finally got the pain under control and I was still SUPER weak from the mag. and pain meds. My doula held her to my breast for me so that I could nurse her for the first time.

Samantha latches GREAT! She nurses as though she is a 2 mo. old and is easily extracting all the colostrum from my breasts. She's making plenty of wet/dirty diapers and this has been the one blessing from it all.

I spent 24 hours on mag. following her birth. My mom stayed the night with me to help me with her (since I couldn't be alone w/ her due to the mag.) and Tim took the kids home to sleep in their own beds. This afternoon, after more than a day and a half w/o seeing my kids he was able to bring them to me and Heather and William got to meet Samantha. Heather, of course, is smitten with her little sister. William was a little frustrated that this little creature got to lie in mommy's bed but he couldn't (so my SUPER kind nurse passed Samantha off to Tim and Heather, and put William in the bed with me to snuggle).

I finally got off the mag. Saturday evening and into a room. I lost a LOT of blood during the surgery and had to receive 3 units of blood. Now that I had blood and am off the mag. and the general anesthesia is out of my system I'm feeling good. I never thought a c-section recover could be so painless. I'm sore (I feel like I got kicked by a Clydesdale, LOL) but I feel good. Samantha is nursing GREAT and looooooves the boob. She won't sleep unless she's in her mommy's arms (just like William). She is MUCH lighter in complexion than Heather and William and really resembles me (my sister said that I finally had a child that looks like me, LOL).

Anyway, this is the story of how my dreams of a homebirth ended up in my worst nightmare: a c-section under general anesthesia.

Thoughts as of November 7, 2008 - 1 week postpartum

The emotions that have come up in dealing with this have been intense. Physically I'm recovering fine, but emotionally I'm finding the recovery a LOT harder. To me, this is more than the loss of the birth I wanted, but rather the realization that I'll never experience the joy and peace of birthing my baby at home. I love pregnancy, I love labor, and I love birth. It is a very empowering thing to go through labor and to bring your baby into the world. A woman's body is so strong, and so powerful and I feel as though I was forced to be butchered and hacked open because a doctor and some nurses doubted my body and stressed me out. I know I could have refused the c-section, but with my BP climbing, and as exhausted as I was, I didn't know how much more I could handle physically. I feel like even though I never doubted my body and it's ability to birth my baby, others doubted me...others who really had control over me and the situation. I am angry at them. Very very very VERY angry at them. I am grieving the loss of birthing future children. I know that if I were to have any more children, since my body will go pre-eclemptic again I will have to have my babies by 38 weeks. No one is going to do an induction for a VBAC, even if I have a proven pelvis. The liability in this litigation happy society is too high. So I'm mourning the loss of EVER bringing forth another baby from my body. I can't even bring myself to write a letter to the hospital yet because I don't know that I can calmly and rationally write it.

Thanks for reading

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Vote for Obama is a Vote for Socialism

Okay, I've refrained from posting things political this entire election/campaign season, but I can't hold back any longer.

A vote for Obama is a vote for socialism.

What is socialism?

Socialism is:
a political theory advocating state ownership of industry
an economic system based on state ownership of capital [ant: capitalism]


An economic system in which the production and distribution of goods are controlled substantially by the government rather than by private enterprise, and in which cooperation rather than competition guides economic activity. There are many varieties of socialism.
Some socialists tolerate capitalism, as long as the government maintains the dominant influence over the economy; others insist on an abolition of private enterprise

This is EXACTLY what Senator Obama has been preaching this campaign in his "redistributing" the wealth.

Sen. Obama...THIS HAS BEEN TRIED AND IT HAS FAILED!!! EVERY time this theory has been tried it has failed...MISERABLY! Those countries ultimately end up a people who are socially and economically depressed. They have no freedoms unless their government gives them freedoms. Who has tried Socialism? Germany. Cuba. China. Russia (USSR). North Korea...just to name a few.

We are a country whose core values were FOUNDED upon FREEDOM! The freedom come up with an idea, run with it, and then profit from it! The government has NO RIGHT to dictate how much money you can make. Under a Socialist economy you are told how much you can make. Bill Gates will be told that he's making too much, and the woman living off of welfare having 10 kids whom she doesn't care for and refusing to work gets his money. You make too much money if you make $45K a year, so if you make more than that we're going to give your money to those who are not working.

Power corrupts.
Why the hell would we give all the power over how much money we can make into the hands of a few people??????

Our economy is struggling. Obama is offering everyone a shit sandwich, but selling it in such a light that everyone is lining up to take a bite. DON'T be one of those who fall for this tactic.

I'm sorry if this pisses people off BUT IT IS THE TRUTH! And if you can't handle the truth then remember: the Nazis were Socialists.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Simeon Nix

As many of y'all know I attended Bell Shoals Baptist Church when I was in high school. This church impacted me in many ways spiritually and emotionally. The people that God brought into my life during my time at this church He used to shape who I am today. One of these men was the Music Minister, Simeon Nix.

This summer the church has suffered two great losses. The first, on Mother's Day, was the loss of it's Sr. Pastor. This was not the Pastor whom I learned from during my time at this church, so I did not know this man (only of his reputation). The second was the loss of Simeon Nix.

Simeon was an amazing man. He was a big man with an even bigger heart and a love of God that was almost tangible. One of my passions (along with horses) has always been music. God gave me a great gift in music and a great passion for it. In my floundering teen years Simeon, who may not have even been aware of what he was doing, encouraged me with my music and helped me to find a way in which I could express my love of God through my music. Simeon is one of the people key in my spiritual and emotional growth through my teen years, and I was saddened to hear of his passing.

I look forward to one day seeing Simeon again, and watching him worship the Lord as he always does, but in the presence of our Lord. I pray that his wife and children are able to find peace in the months and years ahead.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

HUGE Milestone

I had my home visit from my midwife today. This was a visit from one of the midwives from the birth center to come, see how to get to my home, see the layout, check and make sure I have all my supplies, see where I think I'll be wanting to do most of my laboring and where I think I might want to birth the baby, and answer any questions pertaining to either one. This visit went very well and was very productive.

The visit concluded with the midwife informing me that because I am so close to 37 weeks (I'm 36 weeks 5 days) if I were to go into labor tonight they would still be able to attend my birth. YAY! THIS is the huge milestone. So, Baby Girl can come when ever she wants now.

My Doula also thinks that I won't make it to my due date since I am already having contractions, and have been having contractions for a week and a half now. LOL We'll see! God knows when this little girl will make her arrival, and since this is probably our last baby I am content to sit back and enjoy her rolls, kicks, and punches knowing I probably won't ever get to feel another baby again.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Notes on Solar Power from an Engineer

My dad is an engineer for the electric company, and these are his thoughts on the use of solar power.

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I've had a few discussions lately about alternative energy. It seems that you can't go a day without hearing some environmentalist shooting off his mouth about needing to go "green" and getting off fossil fuels. Renewable energy is a noble idea but it is a long way off yet.

If you have not heard what the real cost of converting your house over to solar cell energy you might want to take a look at these facts.

The typical solar cell today has at best a 15% efficiency rating. The most efficient solar cells achieve a 40.7% rating. The cost of these experimental units are only affordable by the military and government. Go figure?! So if you really want to live in the 1800s and assume a life of crushing inconvenience read on and take a look at the real truth.

The typical solar panel contains 4 cells, and each of them can produce 0.45 volts and 100 milliamps, or 45 milliwatts. Each cell measures 2 inches by 0.5 inches. In other words, with these solar cells you can generate 45 milliwatts in one square inch (6.45 square cm). For the sake of discussion, let's assume that a panel can generate 70 milliwatts per square inch.

To calculate how many square inches of solar panel you need for a house, you need to know:

- How much power the house consumes on average.

- Where the house is located (so you can calculate mean solar
days, average rainfall, etc.). This question is impossible to
answer unless you have a specific location in mind. We'll
assume that on an average day the solar panels generate their
maximum power for 5 hours living in suntan acres.

The first question is actually pretty interesting, so let's work on it. A "typical home" in America can use either electricity or gas to provide heat for the house, hot water, the clothes dryer and the stove/oven. If you were to power a house with solar electricity, you will have to give up the use of these items and convert to gas appliances because solar electricity is so expensive, see below (note: you’re already behind the goal because the last time I checked, gas is a fossil fuel and is not a renewable resource).

This means that what you would be powering with solar electricity are things like the refrigerator, the lights, the computer, the TV, stereo equipment, motors in things like furnace fans and the washer, etc. Let's say that all of those things average out to 600 watts on average. This is probably a very conservative estimate because the power company usually estimates the average load for a typical home to be around 5 to 8 kw, but I digress. Over the course of 24 hours, you need 600 watts * 24 hours = 14,400 watt-hours per day.

From these calculations and assumptions above, we know that a solar panel can generate 70 milliwatts per square inch * 5 hours = 350 milliwatt hours per day. Therefore you need about 41,000 square inches of solar panel for the house. That's a solar panel that measures about 285 square feet (about 16' by 16'). That would cost around $16,000 right now. Then, because the sun only shines part of the time, you would need to purchase a battery bank, an inverter and regulator, a storage facility (away from the house because batteries produce hydrogen sulfide gas with is highly flammable) etc., and that can double or triple the cost of the installation.

If you want to have a small room air conditioner in your bedroom, double everything.

Because solar electricity is so expensive, you would normally go to great lengths to reduce your electricity consumption. Instead of a desktop computer and a monitor you would use a laptop computer. You would use fluorescent lights instead of incandescent. You would use a small B&W TV instead of a large color set. You would get a small, extremely efficient refrigerator. By doing these things you might be able to reduce your average power consumption to 100 watts. This would cut the size of your solar panel and its cost by a factor of 6, and this might bring it into the realm of possibility.

The thing to remember, however, is that 100 watts per hour purchased from the power grid would only cost about 24 cents a day right now, or $91 a year. That's why you don't see many solar houses unless they are in very remote locations. When it only costs about $100 a year to purchase power from the grid, it is hard to justify spending thousands of dollars on a solar system.

So before you let the next tree hugging wacko ruin your day with his guilt trip remember some of what we talked about here and go home and get you a tall glass of iced tea, kick back in your Lazyboy and watch a good football game on your 50" plasma and thank God what He has blessed you with and be prudent with all that He has given you.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Belly Pic - 34 weeks 5 days

I have been bad about getting belly pictures taken this pregnancy. This is due to either not knowing where my camera is, or not having batteries. So, Sunday I passed the mirror in the ladies' room and decided to snap a pic w/ my cell phone. So, please excuse the poor quality...it was taken with a phone...but here I am at 34 weeks 5 days (34w5d).

Thursday, September 25, 2008

40 Days!

No, not 40 days and 40 nights of rain, but rather...40 days to my due date!

WOW! I can't believe it's so CLOSE! Little Miss is going to be here before we know it.

Of course, she decided to wake Mommy up at 4 o'clock yesterday morning with some vigorous kicking. For 3 hours she kept me awake. And when she was done...






The little stinker moved from vertex (head down) and as my darling husband puts it, "launch position" to transverse (or sideways). Her head was between 1 and 2 o'clock (on my uterus) and her little bum at around 6 or 7 o'clock.

At the ultrasound that day, she measured 36 weeks 1 day, and I was 34 weeks 1 day...and she weighs about 6 lbs (so about 65th or 70th percentile...so a good size, but not a huge size). She's long for her size. That means less room.

She has 2 weeks. 2 weeks to get back into "launch position" or my plans for a home birth, what I've fought for the entire pregnancy, go out the window as I go to a perinatologst (doctor who specializes in high risk pregnancies) and he tries an external version (manually turning the baby). If not, then I get the knife b/c there is no way that a baby can physically come out a va-jay-jay spine first.

I've been back to the chiropractor today to have her perform Webster's Technique on me. My pelvis that is usually badly misaligned but very mobile is totally frozen. my Sacrum is frozen. My Round Ligaments are pulled tight. This is probably what torqued my uterus and prompted Little Miss to flip around. So, after nice adjustment, a complimentary 15 min. prenatal massage from the massage therapist who shares the office, and a LOT of walking around, she's trying to move some more. She's been moving around all evening.

So, prayers that in the next 12 days Little Miss flips back head down are GREATLY appreciated. I REALLY don't want a c-section (the thought of the recovery terrifies me: I will have NO help from family).

But anyway, 40 days!!!!! WOW!

Top 10 Ways that a Hurricane is like Christmss

Top 10 Ways a Hurricane is Like Christmas

10. Decorating the house (boarding up windows).

9. Dragging out boxes that haven't been used since last season
(Camping gear, flashlights).

8. Last minute shopping in crowded stores.

7. Regular TV shows pre-empted for 'specials'.

6. Family coming to stay with you.

5. Family and friends from out-of-state calling.

4. Buying food you don't normally buy ... and in large quantities.

3. Days off from work.

2. Candles.

1. At some point you know you will have a tree in your house!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

How Do I Deal with the Pain?

Some recent events in my life have left me hurt, confused, and irritated about friends, friendship, life, and people in general.

I don't understand how a person can be close to another person for years, and then after receiving help bite the proverbial hand that destroyed it's finances to try and help them. Make accusations on events and then, when meeting the person's other friends, use them and hurt them and not see it. The very things this friend accused the person of doing, she is now doing TO that person, and is placing the now mutual friends in a hard spot with her pain, selfishness, and immaturity. The degree of her immatuirty has reached a new level in that she doesn't even call me any more unless she needs something from me. No calls to say hi, no calls to see how me or my pregnancy is progressing, no calls unless SHE needs something from me.

This person is very needy, and is behaving as a child in an attempt to get attention. As a result, her children (who are very very badly behaved themselves) are picking up and learning from and mimicking the behavior that they see in their mother (and father).

As a result of this selfish behavior she is hurting a friend very close to the me. How does one cope with the pain?

If the pain were limited to me, I'd just stop contact, cut ties, cut my losses, grieve, and move on. I can't do this, though, when I see my other friend being hurt. This other friend is placed in the middle caught between me and my (former) friend, her marriage, family, and health are all being hurt. Seeing this pain, and being unable to help in any way, is very hard for me and it makes the huge knife in my back twist further and further into my back. If my (former) friend wanted to hurt me, this is a very good way of doing it. The only way for me to protect myself from the pain (or the unnecissary rise in blood pressure) is to cut ties with my other friend, and I don't want to do that. I love this person SO much and hate seeing her being harmed by the selfishness exhibited by the other former friend.

How do I cope with the pain? How do I release the deep pain that I am experiencing without hurting anyone else in the process? How do I vent and cope and heal without having a rise in my blood pressure and having another child born prematurely?

I can use the prayers of those who love me right now, as well as advice on how to deal with my deep, deep pain. I know this will take years to totally heal, if it ever does, but right now I just need to know how to move forward and release all the pain I'm feeling.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Singing Obama

This is funny. I could be done with any politician and it'd be equally funny.

So, enjoy the creative genius of whomever did this. LOL

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Powerful Video - on Obama's Politics

The more I learn about this man, the more I fear him. Not dislike him (I dislike Mrs. Clinton, I fear Mr. Obama) but fear him. I was sent this video on YouTube and watched it. I'm posting it here as well, but you have to click play to view it so if you choose not to, that's fine. It prompted me to do more digging on the topic. I have learned over the years that there is so much swing one way or another in politics that it's hard to get an "unbiased" truth. In the course of my digging I learned that this video is correct in that He did not vote to ban partial birth abortion. However, he also did not vote a direct "no." He voted "present" which is essentially a "no" vote, but allows him the freedom to say politically that he did not ever vote against abortion. Even Mrs. Clinton voted against partial birth abortion...and yet the man campaigning for our vote for President of the Free World refused to back this law.

Some argue that sending troops off to war is murder, and how can someone support that and not a woman's right to choose? I'm not going to get into the "she gave up her rights when she had sex" arguments, but I am going to say this. As a Christian.

Biblically, war is Godly. God says, "there is a time for peace and a time for war". (Ecclesiastes 3:8) God also says multiple times that life begins at conception.

Jeremiah 1:5 5 "Before I formed you in the womb I knew [a] you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."

Psalms 139:13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.

Isiah 44:2 This is what the LORD says he who made you, who formed you in the womb, and who will help you: Do not be afraid, O Jacob, my servant, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen.

Isiah 44:24 "This is what the LORD says your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: I am the LORD, who has made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself

Finally, those who are dying in war are doing so out of their CHOICE and are choosing to protect us and our freedoms. These babies that are dying didn't have the choice to be conceived..to be born...or to die. I don't think Roe V. Wade will ever be overturned...but I can not see how leaving a living, breathing, baby to die (especially alone in a cold room) is moral and does not bring God to tears. As long as people continue to oppose what we know to be Biblically immoral, and we continue to praise God, and pray for this country, and seek God's will, I believe he will continue to grant us his hand of protection. But looking at how many people want to obliterate us (mostly Islamic extremists) I see how easily we would be living under oppression and fearing for our lives if God chose to remove that hand. While I may not be thrilled with Mr. McCain and may of his choices or stances, I see a vote for him being a vote to keep God in our country. I will continue to pray for all the candidates, all of our government leaders, for this country, and for the physical and spiritual safety of my children.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Cost of Cloth v. Disposables

Someone asked me what the cost of cloth diapering is compared to the cloth of disposables. So, I finally sat down and figured it out. I was floored. Here's what I told her:

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The price can vary depending upon what system you want to use. There are various ways of cloth diapering, from cheap (but not as easy) to easy (but not as cheap). It all depends upon how much you want to spend. :o)

Prefolds - these are the cheapest cloth diapers to use. You'd need 3 dozen preemie, 2 dozen infant, and 2 dozen premium diapers. However, for the first 4-6 months you only need the preemie and infant. The preemies run about $11-$12 a dozen, and the infants about $18-$25 a dozen. You'll need about 6-8 covers per size, newborn (NB), Small (SM), Medium (MD), and Large (LG). But, again, the NB and SM will get you to about 4-6 months, giving you time to buy the next size (Premium prefolds and medium covers). You can get ProRaps for about $4.50 each if you call the 800 number in the FAQ section of the link in my siggy. You're also going to want about 3-4 snappi's (these are used instead of diaper pins, and are a one-time investment). They run about $2.50 each. So, to start, you're looking at:
Preemie Prefolds - $33
NB Covers - $18
Snappis - $10
This will get you through the first 4-6 weeks, so you'll want to order these first and order the infant and SM asap.
2 Dozen Infant - $40-$50
SM Covers - $10

The easiest method is to use all AIOs or the very popular Fuzzi Bunz (a pocket diaper). These are pricey, running $20 each. Again, you'll want 3 dozen smalls, and 2-3 dozen medium and larges. The thing about the mediums is they stay in the forever. My 2.5 yr old only started to fit into the Larges about a month ago, and he still wears the mediums. You can also find packages online where they have sets of 1-2-3 dozen and the price per diaper is discounted a little. You can also buy packages of seconds (they have some small flaw but are perfectly functional) discounted even further. For instance, www.abbyslane.com has 24 fuzzi bunz for $430. However, if you join her Yahoo! email group you can get a discount code for 5% off of your purchase, bringing the 24 diapers down to $409.26 However, you'd need to spend this for each size, bringing it up to about $1300 total. You can recover a lot of this (half or more) by selling off each size as your baby outgrows them, as they hold their value and are highly sought after. www.diaperswappers.com is a good place to buy and sell used diapers.

There is a method that is between the two above methods: BumGenius One-Size diapers. They fit from birth to 35 lbs (yes, my 2.5 yr old can still wear them, as can my 4 yr old...yes she's potty trained, she just wanted one on one day, LOL) Again, you can buy them at www.abbyslane.com You'd want 3 dozen of these (to prevent too much wear and tear over the years and because a newborn will need closer to 3 dozen diaper to get through 2 days between washings). They run $613.20 before her discount for 36 diapers (ordering a set of 30 and a set of 6) and $582.54 after the discount.

Compared to disposables, that run about $0.25 - $0.35 per diaper. A newborn will use about 15-18 diapers a day the first 2 months, averaging 960 diapers in the first 2 months for a cost of: $288 (at $0.30 per diaper in the current economy). From 8 weeks to about 9 months baby will use about 9-12 diapers per day, and the diaper packages go down to about 32 diapers per package. So, about $823 for those 7 months. From 9 months to 24 months they'll use about 6-9 diapers a day (depending upon how often baby pees)so about $882 for those 15 months. IF your child potty learns at 2, you're looking at a total of: $1993 for two years.

If your child doesn't potty learn until 3 then you're looking at an additional $705 bringing the total up to: $2698 for 3 years of diapers that end up in a land fill for 500 years.

Friday, August 22, 2008

100th Blog!!!

This is my 100th blog!!! WOW! Hard to believe I posted 100 blogs on my random musings, thoughts, and sometimes complete nothingness. LOL

So, to celebrate, I'd like to hear from everyone as to what blogs stood out or impacted you the most. Maybe my political rants rub you the wrong way, or you disagree with them? I wanna hear it! If you love the advice I've given on wearing your baby, then tell me! :o)

So, to YOU...my blog readers...I want to say thank you for reading my thoughts. :o) You all are great!

Obama Has a Half-Brother

It has come to light, by the Italian version of Vanity Fair, that Sen. Obama has a half brother. The shocking part? This poor man is living in poverty in a squatters/shanty town in Nairobi...and Sen. Obama knows this.

I think the thing that gets me the most is how Sen. Obama claims to be a Christian. As Christians we are called to help those in need, to help our spiritual brothers...and he will not even help his biological brother. To me, this is disturbing.


Barack Obama's 'lost' brother found in Kenya
Senator Barack Obama's long lost brother has been tracked down for the first time living in a shanty town in Kenya, reports claimed.

By Nick Pisa in Rome
Last Updated: 11:52AM BST 21 Aug 2008
George Hussein Onyango Obama
George Hussein Onyango Obama, Senator Barack Obama's long lost brother was tracked down living in a hut on the outskirts of Nairobi Photo: Guy Calaf, Vanity Fair, Italy

The Italian edition of Vanity Fair said that it had found George Hussein Onyango Obama living in a hut in a ramshackle town of Huruma on the outskirts of Nairobi.

Mr Obama, 26, the youngest of the presidential candidate's half-brothers, spoke for the first time about his life, which could not be more different than that of the Democratic contender.

"No-one knows who I am," he told the magazine, before claiming: "I live here on less than a dollar a month."

According to Italy's Vanity Fair his two metre by three metre shack is decorated with football posters of the Italian football giants AC Milan and Inter, as well as a calendar showing exotic beaches of the world.

Vanity Fair also noted that he had a front page newspaper picture of his famous brother - born of the same father as him, Barack Hussein Obama, but to a different mother, named only as Jael.

He told the magazine: "I live like a recluse, no-one knows I exist."

Embarrassed by his penury, he said that he does not does not mention his famous half-brother in conversation.

"If anyone says something about my surname, I say we are not related. I am ashamed," he said.

For ten years George Obama lived rough. However he now hopes to try to sort his life out by starting a course at a local technical college.

He has only met his famous older brother twice - once when he was just five and the last time in 2006 when Senator Obama was on a tour of East Africa and visited Nairobi.

The Illinois senator mentions his brother in his autobiography, describing him in just one passing paragraph as a "beautiful boy with a rounded head".

Of their second meeting, George Obama said: "It was very brief, we spoke for just a few minutes. It was like meeting a complete stranger."

George added he was no longer in contact with his mother and said:"I have had to learn to live and take what I need.

"Huruma is a tough place, last January during the elections there was rioting and six people were hacked to death. The police don't even arrest you they just shoot you.

"I have seen two of my friends killed. I have scars from defending myself with my fists. I am good with my fists."

Monday, August 18, 2008

Politics and Personal Responsibility

This time, every 4 years, is filled with politics. There's name calling, bashing, mud slinging, and even bandwagon riding. This year has been even more so because with our first African American candidate who is a real contender for the office of President of the United States has caused many heated arguments. If a person does not support him, they get the "You're just racist" comments thrown at them (Yes, I've even had them thrown at me...as I stand there with my BI-RACIAL children!!!). It's been nasty.

Here's where I stand. We live in a society that pushes "self." All that matters is that "I" feel good, nothing matters unless the individual is happy. That brings back to mind President J. F. Kennedy said: "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country." We live in an era where neighbors no longer help each other out (unless it is convenient), and people will do anything to climb higher than the other person. In short, the Christian principals that this country was founded upon (brotherly love, kindness, the fruits of the spirit) are gone, or fading fast. So much of our society would leave our founding fathers rolling in their graves. Our society lacks moral absolutes, and our founding fathers founded this country upon absolutes. Just reading the Declaration of Independence shows this.

"When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. "

They didn't say, "We think that..." or "We feel that...", they said "We hold these TRUTHS". A truth is an absolute, it's not open for interpretation. Our society is lacking these truths, the absolutes. It's all become "What ever you think is right is right." Fewer and fewer people are willing to stand up and say, "Enough is enough...this is WRONG and there is no negotiating this fact."

I watched a Presidential Candidate discussion led by the pastor of Saddleback Church in CA (he is also the author of "The Purpose Driven Life"). He had a list of questions for both candidates (Sen. Obama and Sen. McCain) on morals, religious faith, and their personal character.

I will admit, that I was impressed by some of what Sen. Obama had to say, but there was still far too much that had me leery. For instance, one question was "Do you believe evil exists and what should we do about it." His response was that yes, he does believe evil exists (yay there) but (uh-oh...buts are never good) he doesn't believe that we should eradicate it, that it is something best left for God, and also that evil is subjective. I have issues with this. Why are we called to be spiritual warriors if we are to just sit back, negotiate with evil, and wait for God to do something? No, I'm not saying that God doesn't do anything...I am saying that God himself says that we are to be warriors, we are to fight evil. Even regarding war, God says there is a time for war and a time for peace. So, while people who believe in more of a pacifist way would like this answer, it did not sit well with me.

Sen. McCain, without hesitation, said that Evil DOES exist and we are not to tolerate it. We are not to tolerate the evil that was done on September 11, 2001 and that we are to stop this evil before any more people are harmed. This answer, I liked.

The questioning continued, and everything Sen. McCain said kept coming back to emphasizing how people need to stop thinking of themselves and start thinking of others. He criticized the government for telling people to go shopping, or go on vacation, after September 11 happened, and said that it should have encouraged people to join the Peace Corps or the military to help stop these people who killed thousands of our innocent people. I literally applauded this (as did my sweet little son who was sitting on my bed next to me).

So, the foundation of Sen. McCains views (and not all of them I agree with) seems to be simple: stop serving self, and start serving others. So, in the end of it all, after much research on my part, this man will get my vote come election day (which, ironically, is also my due date).

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Sugar, Sugar, and a Big Ol' Crash

I was FINALLY able to take my glucose test today. After the fiasco with the lab last week, my MW's office called and we decided to do the test there in their office. They were appalled at all the hoops both them and I would have to jump through to get the lab to let me do the test with anything other than glucola. *gag*

So, I ate a big protein and veggie dinner last night, and went in today. I drank my 10 oz. of pure grape juice, and then saw the midwife (MW). After that I still had 15 min. so i was able to go outside and power walk for 10 min. pushing DS in the stroller to help burn off some sugar. I came back in when the 1 hr. was up and went back to have my blood drawn.

Well, I was dehydrated. Badly. I'd not eaten in 17 hours, and had only had grape juice to drink in several hours. So, it REALLY REALLY REALLY hurt when she stuck the needle in my vein (in my best vein too, which was odd). I was so dehydrated that the blood was thick and dark and flowed slowly into each of the 3 vials, hurting more and more by the second. The more it hurt, the more dizzy I got. When she was done, I sat there for a second until the room stopped spinning. I then went into the bathroom to pee one more time, and when I got out I was so dizzy that I was able to call out for help before just collapsing on the floor. The poor nurses started freaking out. I was sweating bullets in a cold sweat, and all the color was gone from my face. They frantically got the midwife who laid me down, had them bring a blanket to put under my head, and stroked my head and face while I laid there. They said that I passed out for a moment there. Once I was lying down I started feeling better, and they brought me a wheel chair to wheel me outside. My MW clinic is inside the hospital, which has parking we have to pay for at each visit, or complimentary valet parking (which we utilize as tipping the attendants is cheaper than the cost of the parking garage that runs us almost $5 a visit otherwise).

A nurse wheeled me right out to the car, and gave my DH and I instructions to stop on the way home and get big protein meal...no sugars or I'd have another sugar crash like that.

The kicker: by the time they drew my blood, b/c i'd been fasting (like they directed) it was 17 hours without eating. Man, if this is how I was with just a 1 hr. test, I know there's no way I'll get through the 3 hour if I fail this one. I'm praying the fasting, grape juice, and walking will do the trick and I'll pass.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Breast Is Best...and a Protest

I stumbled upon this site through another blog I was reading (whom I will not link to at this time to avoid any unwanted attention going to her blog in a difficult time). I saw this in the archives of the site and just HAD to share the link. Those of you who support breast feeding will enjoy this virtual protest and cyber "thumbing the nose" at Facebook from back in October of last year (2007). So, for the benefit of lactating moms every where, and without further ado, I bring you the video montage.


My Vices

I am a woman of many faults. I am working on them, but they (my faults) still keep biting me in the bum.

One is that I care too much about my friends. I take their pain and frustration to heart and when I see them suffering, or hurting, I want to fix the problem. I guess I'm too empathetic. This has it's good side, in that when my friends are happy, and something good happens in their lives I am able to rejoice whole heatedly. I tell everyone I know that something good has happened to a friend (they've had a baby, fallen in love, bought a new car, child reached a new milestone, etc...you get the picture). When they make a bad choice, or something bad happens to them, I typically turn to my DH to vent because I am so distraught. I am not the type of person who can bottle my feelings up. I guess you could say that I wear my emotions on my sleeve. (This is much to my husband's chagrin and has been the source of much frustration for him as well) When I am emotional about a friend's problems, and venting to my poor unsuspecting (although by now I suspect that he is not so unsuspecting) husband is not enough, I"ll turn to a few people close to me whom I care about and I know can offer me either an ear to vent to or can offer me wise counsel. I crave wise counsel and try not to make a decision until I have gotten feedback on the situation from a few select people such as: My mom and dad, Jack and Jill, and a only one or two others. When I am REALLY distraught, I may allow a little bit to slip out to a few other friends who will only be an ear for me...but I really really try not to do this (and it really does slip out, so I guess "allow" is not the best word to use here).

I can keep secrets when they need to be kept, but I am like an emotional volcano and when I get too emotional I must vent. I can't always vent here about people because I do not want to make my frustrations/pain that is another person's pain/poor decision public to the whole of the world wide web.

I am also very dramatic. I believe this stems from the same emotional charge that is effecting me now. I respond so strongly to my emotions, that I respond very dramatically. I guess I should learn to be a Vulcan and show no emotions and work off of facts alone...no, that wouldn't work. But how do I find a balance?

Sadly, this trait has come to bite me in the bum, and I fear I have lost some friends today. If they read this blog, I want them to know it was never my intent to cause harm, and to possibly understand where I am coming from to better understand why things are as they are. I love my friends dearly, and can not stand the thought of a life without them. This is why I do so much for them, why I help my friends (all of them) as much as I can. I'm a "fix it" kind of person. I see a problem, then I want to fix it. I see pain, I want to "fix it" (or heal it). I would take the pain of those I love and make it my own if it would ease their pain.

So, seeing that my poor choice in "venting" method has cost me so much, I am left with two choices:

Harden my heart to my friends, and take more of my husband's approach of "if it doesn't effect my family, I won't invest emotionally in it" (even though he sill tries to help out those he cares about, he limits his emotional investment)


Find another way of venting...of releasing this emotional build up. But how? What can I do? I just don't know!

I see now that my previous method of venting was not only a poor choice, but also un-Biblical. I love the Lord with all my heart, I long to be like Him. I believe he gave me such a strong empathy towards my friends for a reason, but I need to learn how to harness it and use it in a way that will not go against His will.

If anyone has advice on how I can vent without harming those that I so dearly love, I am open to suggestions. I also ask my friends to PLEASE call me on it if I begin to fall back on this vice. I seek accountability and pray that I can humbly accept it when it (accountability) is given.

To those whom I have hurt, I offer you my whole hearted, most sincere apologies and pray that some time in the future you can offer me your forgiveness. To those whom I have not hurt, please know that I love you all deeply. I consider you all to be as family.

Okay, so this is I think the second in a series of "my vices" blogs I've posted this year...if not, it's the second MAJOR vice/flaw that God has brought before me (painfully) to work on. The other, being negative all...the...time. I'm still working on that one, and hope that I am improving there too.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

You Know You're a Floridian When...

Being a 5th generation Floridian, I can TOTALLY relate. I thought my fellow Floridian readers would enjoy this as well.

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You know you're a Floridian if...

Socks are only for bowling.

You never use an umbrella because you know the rain will be over in five minutes.

A good parking place has nothing to do with distance from the store, but
everything to do with shade.

Your winter coat is made of denim.

You can tell the difference between fire ant bites and mosquito bites.

You're younger than thirty but some of your friends are over 65.

Anything under 70 degrees is chilly.

You've driven through Yeehaw Junction.

You know that no other grocery store can compare to Publix.

Every other house in your neighborhood had blue roofs in 2004-2005.

You know that anything under a Category 3 just isn't worth waking up for.

You dread love bug season.

You are on a first name basis with the Hurricane list. They aren't Hurricane Charley or Hurricane Frances. You know them as Andrew, Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne.

You know what a snowbird is and when they'll leave.

You think a six-foot alligator is actually pretty average.

'Down South' means Key West ...

Flip-flops are everyday wear. Shoes are for business meetings and church, but you HAVE worn flip flops to church before.

You have a drawer full of bathing suits, and one sweatshirt.

You get annoyed at the tourists who feed seagulls.

A mountain is any hill 100 feet above sea level.

You know the four seasons really are: hurricane season, love bug season, tourist season and summer.

You've hosted a hurricane party.

You can pronounce Okeechobee, Kissimmee, Withlacoochee and Micanopy.

You understand why it's better to have a friend with a boat, than have a
boat yourself.

You were 25 when you first met someone who couldn't swim.

You've worn shorts and used the A/C on Christmas and New Years.

You recognize Miami-Dade as ' Northern Cuba.

You not only forward this but you understand it!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Fun for Kids!

Another comment that should probably make it to "The List" prompted this post.

My kids are playing with play dough right now, and I thought it might be fun to tray and make some home made goo or slime for them later today, so I ran a search for "goo" recipes. I found this one, and we're going to give it a shot! I'll let you know how it turns out


To make one golf ball size batch of slime you will need:

Elmer's glue (most kinds of white craft glue will work)
2 disposable cups
Food coloring (you pick the color)
Borax (available at most large grocery stores near the laundry detergent)
Small plate, dish or plastic wrap.
A plastic spoon (for stirring)
A tablespoon (for measuring)
What to do:

Beforehand: Mix about a teaspoon of the Borax into a cup of water and stir (it usually doesn't fully dissolve)


Fill the plastic cup with about 1/2 inch of glue
Add 20 ml (three tablespoons) of water to the glue and stir
Add a few drops of food coloring and stir again
Add two tablespoons of the Borax solution and stir well.
Lift out the spoon with the goo and place it on the dish
Let it sit for about 30 seconds and then pull it off the stick and play with it!

That's all for now!

P.S. If you're wondering what I said that didn't make it to "The List" it was, "Get the play dough out of your ear!" LOL

The "List"

The things we say as parents, that we would never say otherwise. The list can be fun, so feel free to add to it in the "comments" section.

I bought my kids a bag of mixed nuts to share in the car one day. A MUCH healthier snack than chips, or cookies, or french fries, and I knew they'd enjoy it just as much so I was proud of myself for making such a wise decision regarding my children's dietary needs.

Heather took William's bag of nuts away from him.

"Heather, quit playing with your brother's nuts and give them back to him!"

Yes, I actually said it.

It gets better, though.

William was throwing handfuls of nuts from his bag across the car, and giggling gleefully.

"William, quit playing with your nuts and put them in your mouth!"

I...about...died. As soon as the words were out of my mouth, I had to work hard to choke back the laughter that threatened to spill forth and cause my son to continue "playing with his nuts."

Of course, there's, "Leave the cat alone, and quit trying to lock his head in the box" with the box being a Sterilite container he was trying to close, with ONLY the cat's head inside. But that's still not as funny as the nuts comments.

Ah, the things we say...

Sunday, August 03, 2008

He called the COPS!

Okay, so William had a late nap today, falling asleep on the way home from the mall and sleeping until 7pm (from 5pm to 7pm). Thus, he was up late. This is not normal for him, and it is frustrating b/c DH and I are trying to keep an eye on him while we work on our individual homework assignments, which is why we wait until the kids are sleeping to attempt any homework...trying to get it done while the kids are awake is a mute point...a lost cause...b/c we just can't focus on homework AND provide adequate supervision to a 4 yr old and a 2 yr old. I'm sure you all can relate. LOL

So, while I'm sitting here on my bed working on a paper regarding the roll of police officers in the court room and the ways in which their testimonies can impact a case (yes, blah..bland...can I go to sleep yet? ROFL I'm a Criminal Justice major, and will be graduating in 4 weeks!!!), William is sitting at the foot of my bed playing with some toys.

My phone rings. I look up and William has it. Okay, no biggie. I have T-Mobile and Myfaves, so if he hits talk, it'll just call DH. Thus, I've never been concerned about him getting a hold of my phone. He handed me the phone, and I didn't recognize the number. Since it was 10:30 at night, and I have a friend whose 30 wks pregnant and been battling pre-term labor, I figured I should answer just to make sure it wasn't her in labor.

IT WAS THE POLICE!!! The Police Officer informed me that they'd just received a 911 call from this number, and was wondering if everything was okay. I informed him that yes, everything was fine and my son had gotten a hold of my phone. I thanked him for calling back and looking out for us this way, but that everything was okay and I'd be placing my phone out of my son's reach. He said he understood, that it happens all the time, and wished me a good evening.

I hung up, hollered for DH, and then scrolled through my dialed calls, baffled at how a 2 yr old could manage to dial the numbers "911" (when I let him have my phone WITH supervision, he normally hits numbers that are next to each other, not so far apart). He dialed 112. The entry registered it as an emergency number. I've never heard of this before, but am CERTAINLY going to be keeping my keypad locked from now on. Geez!

So, my 2 yr old son called the cops on me. Boy, I certainly hope this isn't a sign of things to come. LOL

Okay, now back to your regularly scheduled evenings (and I'm headed back to my paper).

Friday, August 01, 2008

Cloth Diaper GIVEAWAY!

For my Cloth Diapering readers, check out this give away!


10 Worst Baby Products Ever

I got a kick out of this, and though my fellow mommies (and human beings for that matter) would get a kick out of this.

Lets face it...cold, lifeless hands to cuddle your baby? *gag*


Thursday, July 31, 2008

More Jeff Dunham

This guy HAS to be the world's best ventriloquist. This is a blooper thing, and is all "off the cuff." MAN is this guy good, and boy is this bit funny. ROFL

Christmas in July

For your viewing pleasure (and to help distract you from the heat) here is: Achmed the Dead Terrorist singing "Jingle Bombs."

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Using a Wrap

Since there is so much interest here on using a wrap (like the Moby Wrap), I thought I would share some information, links, etc.

First, Here is why wraps rock! http://youtube.com/watch?v=iPojAygVqV4

There are some basic carries, so you can search YouTube for them.
FWCC - Front Wrap Cross Carry
Kangaroo Carry
FCC - Front Cross Carry
BWCC - Back Wrap Cross Carry
Ruck Carry - an easy back carry
SHBC - Secure High Back Carry

Here are some links to videos on how to do carries with a wrap, listed by the type of carry they teach.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=knkiOnBdFB0 - this is an EXCELLENT video. The only thing I don't like about it is the dad only ties the wrap once, and he should tie it off (when done wrapping) with a double knot for safety.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjABSUlY-zU - a quick instruction on this carry, no sound
http://youtube.com/watch?v=6VTZ3M6HVeo - MUCH more detailed instruction on this carry. There's no sound, but it's in German anyway so sound wouldn't benefit most of us much anyway. LOL

FCC - This is an easy carry to do, you can leave it tied while you run errands and just pop baby in and out as needed

http://youtube.com/watch?v=UG0vfnfSy-U - I'm not sure what type of wrap she's using as most wraps don't have rings, but this will work simply by loosening the knot.

Hip Carry

BWCC - There are a LOT of variations on this carry, as well as a multitude of ways of getting baby on your back. If you don't like the method of getting baby up in one video, watch another...but the concepts of how to actually wrap it may be better in some than others or may be easier for some to understand than others. Back carries are highly subjective to individual preferences. Also, with this carry, you can use ruck straps instead of crossing your chest if you prefer. Larger busted women usually prefer this method.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=hA_IXe0yg5w - done with a newborn, she ties this Tibetan which is how I prefer to tie my BWCC

SHBC - this is an advanced carry
http://youtube.com/watch?v=7zEpAOgYnqM - this is done with a newborn, so anyone who is good with the wraps can do it with a child or baby of any age.

For something just crazy, watch this: http://youtube.com/watch?v=iNdNFkIEmkY While this video is being made, she's pregnant with TWINS!!!

Okay, I think this should be sufficient for most everyone. If you are still confused on some of the carries, I'll see if I can't get DH to act as a camera man for me and try and make my own video for you. :o) Enjoy, mamas!

Using a Ring Sling

A lot of people lately have been coming to me seeking help (online) using different types of carriers. I decided to compile a list of YouTube videos I've found that are helpful for all of the common carries and/or problems with each type of carrier and post them here to keep them central and easily accessable. So, if you are having problems or considering using a ring sling, here you go!

Tummy to Tummy - Newborn


Tummy to Tummy (legs out)

Troubleshooting: Snug Top Rail

Rings Too Low

Troubleshooting: Spread Fabric on Back

Baby Too Low

Troubleshooting: Baby's Knees Below Bottom

Sling on Neck

Troubleshooting: Spreading Fabric around Rings

Hip Position

Kangaroo Position

Cradle Position (for Newborns)

The direct URLS

http://youtube.com/watch?v=HdP_KcN20uw - Tummy to Tummy (newborn)
http://youtube.com/watch?v=XCIgzjJjAT4&feature=related - Nursing
http://youtube.com/watch?v=Bkb9vZklVpk&feature=related - Tummy to Tummy (legs out)
http://youtube.com/watch?v=h-tPzVZ4TWY&feature=related - Troubleshooting: Snug Top Rail
http://youtube.com/watch?v=it-TH7cC1RU&feature=related - Rings Too Low
http://youtube.com/watch?v=kQ3LZFyAbF8&feature=related - Troubleshooting: Spread Fabric on Back
http://youtube.com/watch?v=n2cbslV1Je4&feature=related - Baby Too Low
http://youtube.com/watch?v=qRt2Uhe0b3A&feature=related - Troubleshooting: Baby's Knees Below Bottom
http://youtube.com/watch?v=M250bvhQ7Kc&feature=related - Sling on Neck
http://youtube.com/watch?v=Sebvt9P2XjM&feature=related - Troubleshooting: Spreading Fabric around Rings
http://youtube.com/watch?v=qk85BnDF-j8&feature=related - Hip Position
http://youtube.com/watch?v=wvJp8FyZ1Mk&feature=related - Kangaroo Position
http://youtube.com/watch?v=vvyQE5ij-os&feature=related - Cradle Position (for Newborns)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Don't Drink the Water!

The wisdom of the farmer.....

I thought this might make for a good laugh. Thank you hubby!

Don't Drink the Water

Near Fredericksburg, Texas, where there is a large German-speaking
population, a farmer walking down a country road notices a man drinking
from his pond, with his hand.

The farmer shouts: 'Trink das Wasser nicht. Die Kuhen haben dahin
gesheissen.' (Which means: 'Don't drink the water, the cows have
[crapped] in it.')

The man shouts back: 'I'm from New York and just down here campaigning
for Obama, I can't understand you. Please speak in English.'

The farmer says: 'Use two hands, you'll get more

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Stretched Too Thin

I'm going to vent for a few moments. Some may take offense to my venting, but I have to do this (vent) for my own sanity and health as well as for the health of my husband, children, and unborn baby. I'm not a confrontational person. In fact, I go out of my way to avoid confrontation at all costs. I am also the type of person who will do anything and everything to help out those I care about. But I've finally reached my limits.

I guess you could say my desire to help out those whom I care about has come back to bite me in the butt. I've been helping a very dear friend out for the past 6 weeks by housing her and one of her children in my home. I've allowed my home to be turned into upheaval, my children's lives to become invaded (although in many good ways as well as they have had to learn to share as never before), and far too much unneeded strain to be placed upon my marriage and relationship with my husband. My husband is like me in that he also wants to help those whom he care about and so he was on board with helping this friend of mine. The situation is far from ideal in the best of times, but throw in the fact that I am pregnant and things just get harder. I've had to balance tending to my own children, meeting their emotional needs, my usual housework, and limited time with my husband only to have shoveled upon my shoulders coping with my friend's child, expectations that I help her with her child in every way, the added housework from the presence of another family, and I won't even get into the financial impacts it's had on our budget that is already stretched so thin we can only manage to pay our bare essential monthly bills with GREAT juggling (due to a summer of pay loss from one of my husband's sources of income). In short, it's been 6 weeks of hell in many way.

And this is just meeting the needs of one friend.

I've had another friend who had a baby and wanted me there with her through her labor. I did so. And came home to get only 3 hours of sleep due to the presence of small children in my home (namely one very loud child). While my friend apologized for her son disrupting my much needed sleep (sleep needed if I wasn't pregnant), she failed to do what most people would have: take the child out for a few hours so I can sleep.

I've had friends texting me and calling me late at night needing advice or help on things such as car seats, breast pumps, nursing bras, pumping, breast feeding, labor, birth, and much much much more. These are not unusual calls/texts for me to receive, but throw in the sheer chaos of my home, the fact that I am pregnant, I am sleep deprived, and have not had a place to be my sanctuary to go before the Lord in quiet and read my Bible, pray, or even just have peace and I'm stretched too thin.

I am finally standing up. I am saying no. My mom has been encouraging me to say no for a while now, and I guess it's taken me having ongoing painful braxton hicks contractions, running away from my own home to avoid confrontation and chaos, and strained relations with my husband (b/c I'm not the only woman in my home who is begging for his time and friendship...poor, poor, amazing man...Thank you God for SUCH an amazing man!!) for me to start saying No.




I will NOT watch someones child at midnight when I am sleep deprived, tending to my own sick children, AND working on homework. It's not my responsibility. Find another option. (if the above factors are not in play, then yes...I'll most likely watch anyone's child)


I will NOT get up at 6am to help you pick out a car seat. I will sit down at the computer at 8am or 9am after I have woken up on MY terms, cuddled with my children and husband, fed my children and myself, and am sitting down to the computer.


I will NOT drive across town to help you (a proverbial you) with what ever else mundane need is that you have.

I. Am. Done. I finally realize that I need rest. I need peace. I need calm serenity. I need to be alone with my husband. I need to be alone with my children. I need to cuddle with my children, to be in the best form I can be to tend to their medical needs when they arise. I need to rest for the very life of my unborn baby. I need to be able to resolve an argument with my husband without an outside audience. I need to be able to clean my kitchen without choking back language that I do NOT want my children hearing b/c I resent that I am (once again) cleaning up mess that is not our own. I need to not find that I am spending more time going before the Lord seeking repentance and forgiveness for the un-Christ-like thoughts and feelings I have been having than I do seeking his desire for my life and the life of my children. I need to be able to work on my homework in peace.

My husband can only help me so much. He works full time, is a full time student, and helps out around the house as much as he can. He does not have time or energy to cater to any additional needs, and I do not need to find myself having to beg for more from him because I'm helping everyone else under the sun. I have no family to take my children for a few hours so I can sleep, and no friends have offered to step up and help me out in any way shape or form despite my helping them out in every way I possibly can. No one. Out of all my friends.

I don't expect my friends to help me out. I offer to help (and yes, it IS offering...genuine offers from a truly genuine heart seeking to help others...not some false sense of obligation) because I want to help. I don't expect any offers in return. But you know, once in a while just the offer would be nice. Even if I don't accept the offer, just getting one is nice. We mothers need to help one another.

So, for the time being...I'm done. I will continue to offer to help in any way that I can, but I will not allow myself to feel guilty for not offering, and anyone that tries to play the guilty card will be shown the door, or politely have the conversation ended. If I think I can help, I will. I still feel this is how God wants me to minister to those around me. But I will cut back. And I will instead put that time back into my daughter's education, my children's spiritual upbringing, reading the Bible with my children, my relationship with my husband, and more important than ANYTHING else, my relationship with my Lord and Savior.

I guess more than anything else, I just needed to get this off of my chest. I know that only one person really reads my blog, but I still needed to get it out. If anyone reads this and wants to discuss it, remember that I am not a confrontational person, and avoid fighting at all costs. I won't allow my stress level to rise any higher than it already is and endanger my health or the health of my unborn baby. Discussions are fine, but if it starts to get mean or angry, I will end the conversation.

I love my friends. I love you all VERY much. I pray for all of you daily, that God will protect you and your families, that He will Bless you and your families. I pray that no one will take this blog the wrong way. I am venting. Venting. Nothing more, nothing less. Venting because I have to get this off my chest, and putting it down where anyone can read it makes it seem more...real; like my decision is more resolute.

Again, I love you all and thank you all for your friendship.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Army Wife

DH has always said he wanted to go back into the military. He's always wanted to do this, but had been told early on after his discharge from the Marine Corps that he would have to start out in the reserves in any branch. The goal of his education was to eventually become a commissioned officer in the reserves.

At the recruiter's office in our local town (not the big substation, but a tiny one) DH saw a sign advertising a nice signing bonus for anyone with an Associates Degree. Well, as of June 1, 2008 DH HAS an Associates Degree!!! This prompted him to go inside and talk with this new recruiter. He found out that the reserves requirement is bogus, and not only can he go in active duty but that he would be able to promote very quickly through several ranks due to his Associates Degree.

From a financial aspect, this would be a HUGE life saver for us. We would be able to pay off our debt, start a savings account, and the move into base housing where ever we are stationed would alleviate the stress of most of our bills. Also, DH would be able to continue his Bachelor's degree on the Army's dime...so no more student loans. YAY! In 24 months he will be done with his BA and able to apply for OCS - Officer's Candidate School...and being an officer would help us even more!

So, in many many many ways this would be a HUGE help to us and a huge blessing.

I am, however, nervous at this prospect. I want him to go for it. He would love it, it would help us financially and allow us to enjoy each and our children more, and we'd get to do many of the things with our children that we want to do. However, we would be moving away from where we live, and have only recently gotten totally settled into living here. For the next 11 years we would be living away from our family, whom our children have grown VERY attached to. Taking them away from their "Grandma" and "Abba" would be heartbreaking. Also, an Iraqi deployment would be a sure thing. The thought of caring for 3 small children alone terrifies me. I know that I would move back to my home town for that year, but it is still scary.

So, if you could please pray that God moves us in the direction that He has for us, and makes this path obvious for us, it would be appreciated. Thank you!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

"I Want my Mommy!"

My mom makes some wonderful trips to Jamaica to do missions work...and does a lot of work helping with the local deaf school. She does very good work and I am proud of her.

But she goes down 3-6 times a year, and for the whole week to ten days she's gone I have zero contact with her. I talk to my mom every day, and see her several times a week so these trips are hard. I miss her. I feel guilty for dreading her trips, but I am SOOOO proud of her at the same time.

In case you can't tell, she's there right now...along with 2 of my sisters. I miss them but I am immensely proud of them as well.

I guess I just want to say, "I WANT MY MOMMY!!!" Hurry home safely mom, but may God lead you to impact the lives of those whom you are helping.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Mothers can't do it (give birth) *rant*

Wow...the medical community is getting pretty good at refusing to recognize birth as a natural, normal process...and a REALLY good job of scaring mothers into thinking our bodies aren't "good enough." I hear of things like this and it makes my stomach churn (or would that be the ongoing morning sickness? LOL).


And yes, I went and checked out the product. *gag*

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Baby Update

Wow, no special title here. LOL I had another ultrasound today. Baby is continuing to be checked every 6 weeks for any bone deformities (since Sweet Pea has some bone issues) and today was our 24 week scan. I am 24 weeks today. Baby is measuring as an absolutely perfect 50th percentile 25 week 5 day gestational age baby GIRL! Yes, she's still a girl and still a Samantha Rose. She's measuring big, but proportionate for all bone/structure measurements. So, the perinatologist isn't worried. She currently weighs in at 1 lb 10 oz. So, she's a nice healthy size for her age.

I then went to the chiropractor up the road for an adjustment. I've not been in 6 weeks (gas is $4 a gal. and she's a 30-45 min. drive...OUCH!) and have been in excruciating pain in my pelvic/lower back area. It turns out that my sacrum is out of alignment, and is causing me to be in so much pain that by the kids' bed time I'm in agony and don't get out of bed myself (I sit there on my lap top working on homework). The sacrum is a bone but also a joint. Imagine your shoulder or rib being misaligned. Then put all your weight bearing on that section, add a growing uterus pressing up against it and that joint having to bear the weight of a 2 lb baby, the uterus, and the weight of all the amniotic fluid and placenta. From this picture I'm sure you can imagine the kind of pain that this leaves me in.

Finally, the misalignment is causing the baby to be breech. Not a big concern at 24 weeks, but since I can feel her trying to turn head down every night, it shows enough that we will have bigger concerns down the road if this problem isn't dealt with now. So, back to weekly adjustments. And, for tonight, back to icing my back.

That's all for now! I have some great sono pictures that I'll try and get DH to scan later for me. :o)

Monday, June 30, 2008

I Don't Need a Doctor

This essay was written by Marcela Valle and was posted to ICAN online 5/19/07. It was written after she'd had a coversation in which she explained why she was choosing a midwife for her second birth.
It is reprinted here with her permission

Don't you want a doctor?...

It is a question I have been asked, "Don't you want someone who can handle *anything*?" When I heard this question, so many feelings boiled inside me so fast that my answer constituted: "No, because I don't want someone waiting for the slightest opportunity to cut me open again." And, while that holds true, there's so much more than that and it deserves to be put into words…

I don't want a doctor because I believe in my ability to birth. I believe that Mother Nature/Creation/ God(s)-or whomever you revere- have given us the ability and the opportunity to birth, and to go through that passage for a reason. Over the years in North American culture, we have lost sight of such experience and its purpose. It has been said before, that "A child is born, and so is a mother."

I don't want a doctor because they are experts in many things, but not normal birth.

I don't want a doctor because I want a birth attendant who believes in me. An attendant who will empower me, and support me, and tell me to get it together and birth this baby. I choose someone who will encourage me to be educated and make decisions with me, not for me.

I don't want a doctor because I am not making decisions based on fear. I make decisions based on research, and logic and, all the while, I also follow my heart.

I don't want a doctor because, despite widely held beliefs, birth in a hospital is not as safe as birth outside a hospital. Birth with a midwife, at home, is a rational choice.

I do not want a doctor because I am more than a paycheck, a liability, or a 'difficult' patient.

I do not want a doctor because I do not need to wait an hour in a waiting room to be seen for 5 minutes and by someone who needs to look at my chart to know my name. Instead, I want to be welcomed with a hug, offered water, a snack, and have an hour talking about my pregnancy, my feelings, and my birth plans.

I do not want a doctor because I do not need to feel scared about being an inconvenience, or have questions, take too much time, be too "needy" or have too many expectations.

I don't want a doctor because I want to be regarded as a healthy birthing mother. I am not sick, I am not a patient. I am full with life.

I don't want a doctor because birth is NOT an emergency waiting to happen, it is NOT dangerous. A doctor makes you believe birth is unsafe and you need them. After all, they would not have a job otherwise. A midwife trusts the process and allows it to take its course without fitting it into a box or random standards.

I don't want a doctor because I want someone who can handle things without a knife and someone who knows how to help me get the baby into a better position and over a pubic bone, and whatever else, without slicing me open or using torture devices.

I don't want a doctor because my body works. And it works best if not surrounded by strangers poking, probing and interrupting my concentration.

I don't want a doctor because I know I WILL go into labor, my hips are NOT small, they're the perfect size. My baby is NOT too big, my body CAN dilate, I am NOT a failure to progress…I DO NOT need to be saved. By not having a doctor, I AM saving myself.

I don't want a doctor because I don't want him, or a calendar, or a clock to tell me when I HAVE to birth and how fast I need to dilate. My body knows it, my baby knows it. We'll do it when it's time for the baby to be born, and time for me to birth my child.

I don't want a doctor because I don't want to be offered an induction (or be cut open) because it's close to Christmas, Mother's Day, or Labor Day. I won't be hurried because there's a golf game, a cruise, or a date to be made, or it's just inconvenient for me to wake them up at night or to take too long.

I don't want a doctor because I don't want to be imprisoned in a bed "just in case" and I don't want to have to stay still so a machine can work properly and the nurse doesn't have time to come into my room.

I don't want a doctor because I do not need to ask for permission to use the rest room, move around, eat, or have an opinion. Nor, do I need scare tactics and a "dead baby" card when I opt out of a procedure done only to cover the doctor's legal butt.

I do not want a doctor because I appreciate being talked to respectfully, and acknowledged, and being taken into account. I DO WANT TO KNOW, AND I WILL worry my little head about it, after all, it is my birth, my child, and my responsibility to do so.

I don't want a doctor because I don't want an electronic monitor to tell someone how I'm doing or whether I am in pain or not, or if my baby hugs are adequate enough.

I don't want a doctor because I don't want someone to "manage" my birth, and "solve" things by using interventions, which may lead to more interventions, which would be solved with even more interventions

I don't want a doctor because I don't want to be silent. I will groan, and moan, and sing if I want to, and my midwife may sing with me.

I don't want a doctor because* I *will birth my baby. My midwife will be present at my birth but nothing (besides food) will be *delivered*.

I do not want a doctor because I am not birthing on my back, or holding my breath or counting to 10.

I don't want a doctor because I don't want my child to be poked and prodded before we have a chance to hold each other. I want my baby to hear my voice first.

I don't want a doctor because I cannot bear another cut into my uterus and my heart, nor can I bear to watch another baby of mine born into blinding bright lights, deep suctioning, IV's and antibiotics.

I don't want a doctor because I have all it takes: wisdom, strength, courage, faith and a vagina.