Thursday, July 31, 2008

Attachment Parenting...

I woke up this morning at 6:30AM! because my little girl actually slept from 12-6AM! and my body is use to running on about 6 hours total of broken sleep - so 6 hours of solid sleep last night was such a treat!
So, I took an uninterrupted shower, and actually got some time to myself this morning.
While READING! online this morning, I came across this article and thought I'd share it.

It's about Attachment parenting and Vegan/Vegetarianism

"Attachment parenting is really just permission to parent intuitively, as Dr. William Sears has noted: “When I first began using the term ‘attachment parenting’ nearly 20 years ago, I felt ridiculous giving a name to a style of baby care that parents would naturally practice if they followed their own intuition rather than listening to the advice of others.” If AP is about child-led living and intuitive parenting, then I think it’s easy to see how veg*nism fits right in (”veg*n” is shorthand for vegan/vegetarian).

If I look at the world from the eyes of a child as I often try to do now that I have a babe of my own, I can’t imagine a child saying “I want to eat dead animals,” or “I want baby cows to be taken away from their mamas so I can have their milk,” when given the choice.Children tend to feel a natural fascination and connection with other animals and, I would argue, they intuitively understand on a very basic level that the difference between the family dog and the veal calf in a factory farm is an arbitrary one. After all, anyone who lives with companion animals knows that they are sentient and have feelings, moods, desires.

I figure that’s why a lot of APers are veg*ns, too. Learning to see the world through our children’s eyes lays at our feet the great and terrible potential for a larger sense of compassion and empathy. As a friend on another forum said, “Without embracing compassion for my son, I would never have moved my sphere of compassion beyond our family and beyond the human family.” It’s a fantastic joy, and it comes with its share of responsibility.

I know several APers who came to question society’s ways of doing things vis-à-vis attachment parenting, and that act of questioning turned into other sorts of activism and advocating. For me, it was the other way around: veg*nism led me to AP. As a vegan, it was not difficult to understand the concept of seeing dignity and value in non-human animals, that a calf and mother would not want to be separated from one another, or that animals (like children) do not exist to be used as objects or accessories.

As a fellow vegan and APer says, “In every single interaction I have with [my son], I try to see where he is coming from and what he might be thinking and feeling before I decide what the best course of action is. And it’s the same with veganism. I think about the cows and how it would have felt to have my baby taken away from me at birth and then forced to pump milk for however many hours a day, have mastitis, live in cramped quarters, etc., etc.” To put it simply (quoting another vegan APing friend here): “It’s all overlapping expressions of the same idea.”

Through veg*nism and the AP lifestyle, I have cultivated a sense of awe for life and a connection to the world around me. A fellow vegan and APer puts it best: “The connection I see [between veg*nism and AP] is simply considering things from the side of the other. If my baby cries, she would prefer to be soothed than left alone. So I soothe her. If an animal doesn’t want to be eaten or commodified (which s/he doesn’t), I’m going to respect that, too.”

I recall understanding this sensation most acutely during pregnancy and labor when I felt a remarkable affinity with all pregnant and laboring females—non-human animals, especially. There was something primitive and feral about me in those days, and there was something about relating to all kinds of female animals that empowered me to carry on even in the face of blinding pain and the white terror of the unknown. I have since learned it is not an uncommon feeling.

Both the AP lifestyle and veg*nism require a person to strip away tradition and ignore well-meaning but faulty advice. Talking about veg*nism can be tough for the same reasons it’s hard to talk about extended breastfeeding, sleep sharing, gentle discipline, and all that is AP: People who aren’t into it (for whatever reason) tend to feel judged or indicted. My mother has had similar defensive responses to both my eating and parenting styles, and my guess is that she sees the choices I make for my family as criticisms on what she fed me and how she raised me. As such, AP and veg*nism have had other surprising lessons in store for me that went beyond how I fed my baby or what I put on the dinner table.

It’s hard sometimes, living as an attached veg*n parent. I want more than anything for my family to be united and buoyed by a sense of kindness, connection, and compassion for the world and all its inhabitants—human or otherwise—even though it sometimes causes problems in my interpersonal relationships, and even though it sometimes leads to feelings of isolation. I think most APers can understand these sentiments, veg*n or not.As John Robbins once said, “if you carry vision […] you’re a pioneer, and you can always tell the pioneers by the arrows in their back."

Monday, July 28, 2008


Ethan and Evelyn must have had some sort of secret meeting yesterday and decided to whine, cry, and fuss non-stop until mom gets oh-so-very close to ripping her hair out today.
Even still at midnight Ethan is sitting up in his bed screaming at the top of his lungs...
They also must have named today "pooping" day. Both of them pooping in every new cloth diaper I put on them!
It's a pain.
Karl was swamped with projects at work, so I didn't get to talk to him, be greeted with well wishes, or just vent about our insane children.
My mom ran way late at getting home from work so our date was pushed back by 2 hours & I didn't get to eat dinner until 8pm *I was starving!*
My vacuum cleaner broke, and I really wanted to vacuum my carpets!

All I wanted to do today was get my down stairs clean, and have a relaxing day (let alone birthday) and that was so not happening today.

But, eventually we did make it to dinner - and even a movie!
We saw Baby Mama, and it was actually quite funny and I really enjoyed turning my brain off for a while.
It redeemed my sub-par birthday.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Gettin' lots done..

The past few days have consisted of babysitting, sewing, foster class, grocery shopping, and photoshoots.
Friday Karl and I took all the kids to the park to play, and they had a total blast.
The last time we had gone was before Evelyn was born - and Ethan is finally old enough to really enjoy it.
It was really a nice break for me because I got to lay on the bench and make googly faces at Evie as Karl ran around with the toddlers.
I wish I would have brought my camera.
But, I did take a picture of a bunch of wild flowers that I put in to a vase:

Foster class was INTERESTING.
I won't go in to it much, but there are some interesting people there, with interesting personalities.
I've gotten through about half of a humongo book we have to read along with the classes, and it just kills me reading about all the different ways parents abuse, and how it effects kids in the long run.
At least there is affirmation in the fact that our family can actually make a difference in someone's life - long term, and for the good.

I took some pictures of the kids on our way to dinner and grocery shopping Friday night just for the sake of it.
Mainly because I feel I haven't been taking enough of them lately.

Her first mini skirt!
Her momma Kasey bought her these shoes when she was a week old, and they finally fit! I LOVE them.
Look - she's getting ROLLS!
Ethan's a serious contender in coloring sports!
Yes, he's finally figured out that picking your nose, and farting are funny.... well to Daddy anyway
Talking on his cellular phone...

I have had a family shoot, engagement shoot, and wedding that I've been working on.
I haven't edited the first two - but I am about half way through the wedding.
Here are a few of my favorites of the couple themselves:

Tomorrow is my birthday and I think we'll go out to eat to celebrate my FIL Tim's birthday as well.
My mom mentioned watching the kids, so Karl and I can have a night out too.
That would be SOOO NICE!
Other than that, I've already recieved my gift from Karl - my wonderful sewing machine.
But, he's going to spoil me with some extra time this week to actually use it.
I'm excited.

Our house hold is getting so busy that I actually broke down and had to make a "chart" of our doings just to remember them and keep up on things.
Sad right?
But, what ever works:

Oh, and I passed about a 2mm kidney stone earlier this week too! First one I've actually SEEN

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Learning to sew...

So, I'm learning to sew...
and I made a super quick dress for Abbi yesterday,
literally took 5 minutes so it itself doesn't warrant much attention...
But, what I do like is the Owl that I stitched on it today.
So, I had to take a picture and share because it won't be around after today,
as it is obviously going home with Abbi.


Nursing and Smoothies

So, I'm discovering that my daughter is two of many things:

1. Not a very productive or happy nurser. She takes forever, she has a hard time latching right, she screams and fusses at least half the time, and doesn't get much milk because she interrupts the flow every 15 seconds to whine.

2. An amazing bottle taker. She will suck a 4oz bottle in 10 minutes, with out any crying, fuzzing, gas, or interruptions.

I'm toying with the idea of pumping enough to mostly bottle feed, with the intent that me and my little lady will both be happier...

I noticed (well Kasey and my mom really boldly and lovingly told me) that I'm not eating enough, and I think that's part of the reason why I'm seemingly not producing enough milk.
You see, I have NO body image issues, thank God I really never have.
I love eating. I have no problem being 100 pounds or 150 pounds (*right now I'm on target with 115ish).
I just seriously don't have TIME to eat.
It sounds crazy - but when you have 4 children, 2 dogs, and a house to keep after it's really hard to find time to eat.
So, I've been having a combination breakfast/lunch in the mornings.
I have been drinking slim-fast for breakfast, and having a smoothie for lunch (AT LEAST, I eat if I can!). It's been working, because my milk is coming in fuller - and not to mention I have more energy.

The problem is that I am not a pre-made, processed, or package eater. I like eating home made, and fresh (I have a lucky husband!).
And honestly, I'd rather put nothing in my body than junk.
But, these smoothies take 2 minutes, taste great, and I put them in my freezer mug - So I can drink them over 2 hours if that's how long it takes me.

Yesterdays was blueberry and banana:



I think for next week's batch I'm going to pick up some fiber and B vitamin powder to put in them to give me a little extra umph.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Shabby Garden

So, it's official. Where I have our garden planted is not a place for growing. 
My plants are very small and not producing much fruit. 
My strawberry plants completely died out and the only thing that seems to be growing OKAY at best is our jalapenos, habaneros, and chard. 
I think I'm going to save my time and energy next year and just buy a CSA share from a local organic farm. If I can't do it at least I can help out someone who can, and get the same yummy food from it. 
I might try again in a couple years when I find out what part of my yard gets the most sun. 
I know that the plants are getting enough food, water, and such - and I am sure not enough sun. 
I guess I can say "Hey, at least I tried", reap what I can, and move on. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Veggie Bags - A NO GO!

Apparently frozen vegetables don't like to be eaten after thawing unless cooked. 
They get all mush. 
And my husband obviously doesn't fancy eating hard frozen veggies. 
So, in to a stir fry they go (tonight) and scratch that off of my list of ideas to try!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Hickeys and Big Boy Beds

Ethan, just 18 months old now, is sleeping in his 'Big Boy Bed'!
He has slept in it the past two nights, and has only fallen out once.
(We've laid padding!)
He hasn't even attempted to get off the bed himself either.
Assuming that he continues sleeping this well, we'll buy him a real toddler bed soon and free up the crib for Miss Evelyn.
Evelyn is still co-sleeping with Karl and I in our bed for now though.

Speaking of my little lady - she managed to give me a hickey last night.
Right on my face!
Some how she was able to latch on to my face (near my lip) for a second before I woke up to realize she was hungry.
So now I'm sporting a little hickey from my little lady.
It's pretty embarrassing.
She is going through a growth spirt right now - I nursed her this afternoon until I had nothing left and she was still hungry.
I had no choice but to use some stored milk because she was screaming irately.
Well, she took FOUR ounces! FOUR!
I think we're going to have to buy a can of formula as back up for situations like this, because she certainly wasn't willing for my milk to replenish before she ate again.
Right after she was fast asleep.

I have been super busy this past week, and now I've been spending near every available minute retouching pictures.
I spent most the day today retouching pictures for Myka and Myles, a little boy I use to babysit. He's 6 months old and already waving bye!

I've started reading a book called Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World, by Joanna Weaver. It's so what I need right now. In the first few opening pages it already spoke to my heart.
Here is one of the first passages:

"Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World. The thought intrigues you. Deep down inside of you there is a hunger, a calling, to know and love God. To truly know Jesus Christ and the fellowship of the Spirit. You're not after more head knowledge -it's heart-to-heart intimacy you long for.
Yet a part of you hangs back. Exhausted, you wonder how to find the strength or time. Nurturing your spiritual life seems like one more duty -one more thing to add to a life that is spilling over with responsibilities.
It's almost as if you're standing on the bottom rung of a ladder that stretches up to heaven. Eager but daunted, you name the rungs with spiritual things you know you should do: study the Bible, pray, fellowship...
"He's up there somewhere," you say, swaying lightly as you peer upward, uncertain how to begin or if you even want to attempt the long, dizzy climb. But to do nothing means you will miss what your heart already knows: There is more to this Christian walk than you've experienced. And you're just hungry enough -just desperate enough- to want it all."

It continues on later to say:
"We've all felt the struggle. We want to worship like Mary, but the Martha inside keeps bossing us around... I must admit I find myself cheering for Martha. I know we tend to sing Mary's praises in Bible studies. But Martha, to be honest, appeals more to my perfectionist tendencies..."

Anyway, this book is really speaking to me - and it's a good 10 minute here and there read. Which is the only way I get to read these days.
I look forward to getting further.

Thursday, July 17, 2008



Sugar Snap Peas, Radish, Organic Carrots, and Sweet Cherry Tomatoes

Being on the conquest that we are (eating healthier) I have decided to make veggie bags for Karl's lunch/snacks at work. I was tempted to buy the pre-washed/cut/packaged assortments from the grocery, but then decided that would be foolish considering they're twice as expensive, and really it takes 10 minutes to do it yourself. So, that was my small accomplishment today. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Sick of being sick.

Ethan, Evelyn, Karl, and myself have all been sick over this past week.
Someone was always super-cranky, and tired - it doesn't make for a pleasant household.
Ethan is still teething, and Evelyn has an infection in her eye.
But we're all finally on the up-and-up and good thing because we've got a busy week.

Evelyn Also turned 3 months! Can you believe it!?

All about Evelyn at 3 months:
  • She is a very smiley girl, Ethan was so serious by comparison.
  • She kicks her feet like she's riding a bike when she's upset, happy, and excited.
  • Everyone tells us she's beautiful and that she looks like her mommy - I agree.
  • Mommy likes to put her in her little red pants, or her dress from babysitter Julie.
  • She had a reaction to either rotovirus or her DTaP vaccination and cried intensely for days, so she's not getting the DTaP again.
  • Mom's favorite time with her is cuddling before we go to bed.
  • She has really started to grow, but she's staying very thin, long, and petite.
  • She has started to roll over, and "talk" to toys, and kick her baby kicking toy.
I finally got through processing her pictures at midnight last night. We just had a quick shoot, so nothing phenomenal.
It's weird how even though I photograph every one else's kids - I can't manage to find time to do mine... hmm.
So here are some pictures of the baby girl:

That's my little lady. And I LOVE HER!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Sick Kids and Cloth Diapers

My kiddo is completely sick. This is one of the first times he's actually been SICK.
We were suppose to have our first training session tonight for fostering, but couldn't go because Ethan was too much of a handful, and we didn't want to leave him with a babysitter being sick.
I guess we'll have to make it up at the end and it's going to set us back a couple weeks.
But, It's all in God's timing.
He was spoiled with motrin, a bubble bath with daddy, a whole-body lotion rub down, snuggles with juice and kids show on mom and dad's bed, and last but not least - mommy's shirt for p.j.'s
Here he is happily modeling it:




Also, I have been trying a handful of different patters for cloth diapers.
After numerous tries, I have finally found out which one I like best.
I love this pattern. I made it myself. It fits well now, and there is elastic on every side - so it'll grow with her a bit. It's not too baggy or strange looking. So, I think that this is the one I'm going to use.
I'm getting sick of trying different ones out.



Tuesday, July 8, 2008

One big catch up post!

So, for that long over-due post.
First, this past weekend was a blast.
Karl, the kids, Julie, and I went to Indiana from Thursday to Sunday.
Karl surprised me by not going in to work on thursday and cleaning our house and packing us up before I even woke up! What a man!
We had a parade, cook out and fireworks on Friday, and another cook out and fireworks show Saturday.
Friday was spent with my Dad's side of the family following tradition.
Ethan loved the parade!

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He had his first icee pop, and bomb pop. We didn't collect any candy though - he's still not had any yet.
Needless to say he LOVED the popsicles.

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He also loved the fireworks. We were nervous on how he'd react...
But the whole time he said "wow" and "ooh".
We ended the day totally worn out and exhausted.

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At the cook out Ethan and Karl played ball

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And ethan specializes in personal training - Here he is making Julie do crunches.
He pulls/pushes her back and forth.

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Tired boy

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Grandpa Joe

Saturday, we went with my family to my Grandpa's best friend's cabin on this little lake in central/northern Indiana.
His son is a pyrotechnic and has an AMAZING fireworks show every year over the lake.
It is literally the best firework show that I've ever seen.
I didn't go but they do boat rides, and tubing too. It's a fun day.

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My Grandpa
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My dad is such a softie
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Ethan pouches his food, here he is with a mouthful.
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The fireworks
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Sunday my mom came back home with us because she moved in!
She accepted a position at an urgent care being an office manager/nurse Monday-Thursday.
So she'll be here Sunday night through Thursday mornings.
It's really nice.
We set her up in the studio.

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The rest of her family will be following shortly if everything goes smoothly.
I'm really pumped about the prospect of my family living near us.

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In other news, I got an amazing sewing machine!
This is it:
it's seriously fabulous and the best sewing machine I've ever used to date.
I'm in love with it and plan on using it to sew my kids cloth diapers, and may even start dabbing in to making their clothes.
I might even start selling a few things here and there on
We'll see!
I am going to the fabric store to buy some fabric to try out a new clothie pattern.
I hope that they turn out!
Here is what the basic design looks like:


Also, Ethan is officially 18 months!
Can you believe it? I can't.
My boy is officially 18 months old. I can not believe my first born is a year and a half already. They're not lying when they say kids grow up fast...

About my beloved boy:

Words he can say:
mm-mmm (for yummy food)
'non-non'-all done
daddy-points to self
'ee-he'-no idea!! sometimes it means 'sissy'
oh, no!
'boo'-cow moo
'snort sound'-piggy
'woo-woo-woo'-doggy sound

Favorite Toys:
any mode of transportation (ie: cars, trains, boats, etc)
drums, all though not as often as he use to. He likes to air drum now.
cell phones. He often calls people on mine.
books, crayons, computer keyboards.

His Friends:
Abbi and Tate - Babysitting kids
Amelia - Kasey's little girl
Daddy - of course
The dogs

Favorite TV shows:
The Bunny Show
Jacks Big Music Show

Favorite Food:
Soy Hot Dogs
Grapes, water melon, strawberries
Anything Carb

Interesting Facts:
He is bow-legged, and pidgin toed
He hobbles when we walks
He has his daddies toes and hair line to a "T"
He has to buckle the clip on his booster seat EVERYTIME he gets down from it
Daddy has put him to bed every night since he was 4-5 months old
He loves music more than any baby I've ever met - he already air drums on rhythm!
He will drink a gallon of juice a day if you'd let him, and hates water unless it's out of a water bottle.
He is vegetarian
Mom accidently cut a 'step' on the side of his head when buzzing his hair
He has had 4 different roommates in his life thus far: Michelle, Ashelia, Julie, and now his Grandma
He is just learning how to jump, and can only manage to get one foot off of the ground at a time