Saturday, December 26, 2009

And now, for your Moment of Holiday Zen...

"Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn, or consumed. Happiness is
the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude."
~ Denis Waitley

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Cloth Diaper and Babywearing Class

Cloth Diaper and Babywearing Class

Who: Expectant Parents, Moms and Dads, Doulas, Grandparents, and anyone interested in Cloth Diapering
What: Cloth Diaper and Babywearing Class
When: Saturday, December 19, 2009 at 11:00 am OR 4:00 pm (each class is 2 hours)
Where: 59 Barton Ave, in Rockledge, FL 32955 (St Mary's Youth House)
How Much: $20 per couple

You are invited to Cloth Diapering 101!  Confused by the vast world of Cloth Diapering?  Not sure what it will cost?  Which diapering system is right for you?  Bring all your questions and learn about diapering you baby with cloth.  Also, get a chance to see different baby carriers, from the Moby wrap to the Maya sling and the Baby Bjorn and more!

The cost for class is $20 for two people (couple, birth partners, Mom-to-be and doula, or any other "2-person" combination).  You will receive one booklet of information on Cloth Diapering full of resources. 

PLEASE RESERVE YOUR SPOT NOW! Classes fill up fast! Contact Eva Algermissen via email - BY DEC 16 - to reserve your spot for one of the classes on Saturday, December 19, at either 11:00 am OR 4:00 pm.  Both classes will be held at St Mary's Youth House located at 59 Barton Ave, in Rockledge, FL 32955. 

Lap babies welcome - please no children.  (Snack provided)

Eva Algermissen
"Find me on Facebook!"

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Next year

I plan on changing the look of this blog to something else...not sure what, but I think it needs to be done.  Right after bathing the dag ;o)

I may also start another blog for Space Coast BirthNetwork, which used to be Brevard BirthNetwork, but that is a story for the future....

Saturday, November 28, 2009

"Trees are nice..."

For many reasons, my husband and I decided to homeschool. Our oldest is 4 so now we are investigating all our options. I am part of a Mom's Book Club which used to be a playgroup and is becoming a homeschooling group. We had a Nature Project at one mom's house last month and I volunteered to do the next one here at my house. I really love to teach those who want to learn. Especially things I am interested in :)

This month, the topic is "Trees." Broad subject, I know, but I am trying to keep it simple. 'Tis the season so we will be making Christmas trees out of construction paper and decorating them in addition to other activities. I am posting a few videos here so I don't have to look for them later :)

There. That should do it....

Monday, October 19, 2009


Another stretch of time - gone. Girls a bit older, and so am I. My husband is starting his new job today: telecommuting! Thus begins the home office adventure! He woke up this morning, took his shower, came out of the bedroom, said, "I'm late for work!", then walked into the next bedroom (temporary home office until we get the cottage fixed up), sat down at the computer, and said, "Okay, I am at work!"

Gone is the hour long commute to Orlando. Hello new possibilities and flexibility!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Time is still flying!

The Younger just turned 5 months! and I am - and have been - awake for several hours now... 'tis the wee hours of the morning...and Patrick's alarm HAS gone off and he crawled back into bed...I should go and wake him up....

I just posted to one of my favorite sites: "Mama Is..." done by Heather Cushman-Dowdee of the Hathor the Cowgoddess fame. Check it out!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

My "3-hour tour" after Daciana's birth...

After my beautiful 4 hour homebirth on Feb 25, 2009, my midwife discovered a small vaginal cyst that was only visible because I tore. After much discussion, it was mutually agreed that I go to the hospital to have it removed, stitched up and sent home to enjoy my new family. Simple, right? Of course not! Hold on to your are going on a ride through our "Great American Health Care System".

My doula drove my husband, our 2 hour old newborn, and me to the hospital (not the one that was actually closer to us because that one was not covered by our insurance). My midwife called ahead and told them our situation. I think she also faxed over my records. She said to go to the ER and tell them that we were expected. Of course they were confused by us telling them that we just had a baby at home, I needed a cyst removed and to be stitched up. (BTW, this is what hospitals are for!)

We got to a triage room pretty soon (after I was put in a wheelchair of course...) They took quite a lot of blood for "admission into the hospital" and because you can't go to a hospital without them sucking you dry (in more ways than one!). The ER staff were all friendly and seemingly unbiased about homebirth. Finally the on-call OB comes in, we tell her what we want and she mumbles something about "that's why we shouldn't do homebirths..." What the ?!?!?! Okay, we know what side of the fence she is on...

So (several hours later) I am in the pre-op room getting prepped. They want me to sign all sorts of things and I only make it longer trying to understand it all. I know I do not need to be put under general anesthesia for just such a simple operation but they keep trying to push it on me! All I need is a local anaesthetic (lidocaine) and to be sent home...

Then my blood work comes back...and my liver enzymes are elevated.

"What does that mean?" I ask. "It could be late-onset preeclampsia. We would like to keep you for observation and put you on magnesium sulfate."

Okay. With my first birth, I had preeclampsia (and I promise to write that birth story soon!) and my midwife thought well, maybe, it is possible. But having no other symptoms throughout pregnancy or labor (seeing spots, dizziness, high blood pressure, swelling, protein in the urine), I thought it was weird. But I trust my midwife. This is what the doctor/OB is for. So because of my history, I let them hook me up to mag sulfate..."for 24 hours" they said...they couldn't find me a room in the maternity wing until late afternoon...I would have to be there with my husband and new baby overnight...


By the way, Anastasia (my 3 yr old) went with my parents (Thanks Mom and Dad!) to stay the night...thinking that we would all be together the next morning........

By 6 pm they hook me up to that, I mean mag sulfate...which means that I would be there at least until 6 pm tomorrow!!!

We had our baby at home THEN went to the hospital...I think we did it backwards ;o)

Throughout the entire night and day, my BP had never been lower in my life! I felt like crap because that is just what mag sulfate does. And I had to eat hospital food full of refined carbs and sugars and HFCS and the occasional GMO fruit...

...again, ACK!

I had such a wonderful diet during pregnancy - whole foods, organics, NO HFCS (well, maybe a tiny bit that one cannot escape in this day and age) - and they expect people to get better on this sh!t? I hope Health care reform also includes hospital food reform!

It was NOT preeclampsia. But my liver enzymes were still high. They kept sticking needles in my arm to draw blood several times during my stay. Then they wanted to do a sonogram of my guts, which involved me fasting for 8 HOURS! (I thought this was ironic because it was the Friday after Ash Wednesday ;o)

...again, ACK!

A new mother that needs to breastfeed having to fast?!?! Maybe it was better than eating that cr@p food ;o) Eight hours actually turned into 10 hours because the ultrasound room was understaffed that night and slammed for what ever reason. Of course! They found very little 'wrong' but also did not talk to me during the procedure...yes, I did ask questions...I do have gall-stones...whatever that means...

They ruled out 'late-onset preeclampsia' and the GI doctor had no clue either as to what made my liver enzymes so high. That second night there I had a feeling that they wanted to keep me much much longer so I decided before I went to bed that we - Patrick (who was sleeping on those damn 'Dad' beds), Daciana (who was nursing and sleeping very well and did not seem phased by any of this) and I (who was quite ready to literally kick some butt) - were going home. We could not just leave because of the fear of the insurance not covering any of the hospital stay. I told God I wanted to be home by noon on Saturday.

From the first moment I awoke from a restless nights sleep, I was a very squeaky wheel. I wanted some grease and lots of it!! "I want to go home today. Where are my discharge papers? When can I go home?" is all I said to anyone. The only way they were going to let me go is if I agreed to become an outpatient and be referred to another GI doctor (this I suggested).

To speed the story up, I ended up staying in the hospital for 3 days! And for what? No one knows...but by 11:30 almost noon, I got my discharge papers: we were going home!!!! Thank you GOD!!

Now I am going through my itemized bill for the hospital, trying to see where they are nickle and diming me. After the insurance covered their portion, somebody thinks I still owe over $2000! Patrick is already working overtime and taking on a couple of paying gigs on the weekends just to make ends meet. We are not living beyond our means or overspending on things we think we should have. The last time I bought new clothes for myself was a couple of maternity items and before that maybe eight months without having new things. I have been wearing the same pair of shoes everyday for over a year, have not gone shoe shopping since Jan 2008 and before that probably when I was pregnant with Anastasia in 2005! We spend money on good food for the family, gas for Patrick to go to work (2 hours driving to and from work 5 days a week...), electric bill, water, and mortgage (this is what is killing us...can't sell because the market is cr@p right now)

Sorry about the rant and rave there...we, like many of you, are living paycheck to paycheck. Whether one or two incomes per family, and tightening our belts every month, it doesn't seem like enough. I believe the only reason the doctors and the hospital kept us there as long as they did was because we have insurance. If we didn't, they would have patched us up and kicked us to the curb.

Wish me luck on interpreting the paperwork and disputing it!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Note to self...

Must remember this for later!

Florida U-Pick Farms

Mari-Lee Farms

10 N.W. 42nd Street
Ocala, Florida 34475
Marion County
Telephone: (352) 867-1941
Products: Blueberries
Call for hours

Thursday, June 18, 2009

And now...your moment of Zen:

"I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by."
Douglas Adams

Time still flies...

Well, it's been practically one month since my last post. Two kids sure do fill the day! I am now posting to my Facebook profile almost daily and now I just started a LinkedIn profile. It is a much more professional site similar to Facebook.

So if you want to know my daily grind, check out Facebook!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Local Food for Brevard County, FL!

This is only a short list! I am finding new places every day. I live in Central Brevard County (Florida), so many of these places are "close" to me. If you have any other favorite places, let me know and I will include them in a part two:

Local Harvest (search engine for local farms, farmers' markets, grocery stores, etc.)
The Green Marketplace at Adamson Road, Cocoa, FL and NatureWise (they sell produce, goat milk products, Florida native plants, etc.)
The Heart of Christmas Farm in Christmas, FL (they sell RAW goat milk and products, and hydroponically grown produce to organic standards)
Greens and Things Delivered (a deliver-organic-produce-to-your-door service for Brevard and Indian River Counties and my new favorite!)
Brevard County Farmers' Markets (a bit of everything different days of the week)

I highly recommend these places. I have visited them or used them in the past and continue to get high quality, great tasting food from them (when I can get out of the house with my 3 yr old and 8 week old! and have some cash ;o)

I also recommend signing up for their emails or newsletters as they can give you updated info every week or month. These are all great people providing awesome food for reasonable prices.

SUPPORT LOCAL BUSINESS!! It is how we, as a people, a culture, a community, are going to survive.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Time flies...

...when you have a three year old and a 7 week old...

Can you believe it! She is 7 weeks old already! This time around things seem to be moving faster, but I am still trying to be in the moment...even though most of my moments find me very tired, feeling like I had just run a triathlon twice, then came home, vacuumed the entire house and mowed .49 acres.

Some days are better than others. It is great when The Older learns a lesson - like why we do not climb the counters to get at candy on top of the fridge... and it is particularly fantastic when both The Older and The Younger take a nap at the same time and I do as well!! So far this has happened once - very memorable though!

I did finally join Facebook - the link is on the right side of this page I think - and spend most of my time there...taking quizzes, commenting on other people's comments, connecting with people I thought were lost to the cosmos... It also is easier to use than MySpace...and less cluttered.

After not having my Mom to help with The Older this week - she was on a much needed vacation to VA and DC area and my MIL did watch her a bunch (Thanks, Star!!) - I am considering VPK (Voluntary Pre-K) but probably won't because I have very little faith in the local area school system... my husband and I did decide - even before we got married - that we would homeschool our kids... but maybe our little adrenaline junkie needs to play with her own age for a bit until The Younger gets bigger and I can do more than just nurse her, burp her, change her, nurse her again, put her to sleep and play with The Older until The Younger wakes up and I have to do all that again!

I'm tired...zzzzzzz.........

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

To all Mothers...

"Just the other night my husband and I were out at a party. We'd been
there for about three hours and I was ready to leave. I noticed he
was talking to a friend from work. So I walked over, and when there
was a break in the conversation, I whispered, "I'm ready to go when
you are." He just kept right on talking. That's when I started to
put all the pieces together. I don't think he can see me. I don't
think anyone can see me. I'm invisible.

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response,
the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the
phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, "Can't
you see I'm on the phone?" Obviously not! No one can see if I'm on
the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my
head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible.

Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix
this? Can you tie this? Can you open this? Some days I'm not a pair
of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, "What time
is it?" I'm a satellite guide to answer, "What number is the Disney
Channel?" I'm a car to order, "Right around 5:30, please."

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the
eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude
-but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be
seen again. She's going she's going she's gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return
of a friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a
fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed
in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put
together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for
myself as I looked down at my out-of-style dress; it was the only
thing I could find that was clean. My unwashed hair was pulled up in
a banana clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter
in it. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with
a beautifully wrapped package and said, "I brought you this."

It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn't exactly
sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: "To
Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building
when no one sees."

In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would
discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after
which I could pattern my work: No one can say who built the great
cathedrals - we have no record of their names. These builders gave
their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made
great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their
building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit
the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving
a tiny bird on the inside of a beam! He was puzzled and asked the
man, "Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam
that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it." And
the workman replied, "Because God sees."

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It
was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, "I see you,
Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one
around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've
sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and
smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see
right now what it will become."

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a
disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of
my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn
pride. I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great
builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will
never see finished, to work on something that their name will never
be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no
cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so
few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend
he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, "My mom gets up at
4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a
turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table.” That
would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want
him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say
to his friend, to add, "You're gonna love it there."

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if
we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the
world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty
that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women."

Monday, March 30, 2009

Friday, March 27, 2009

About Face...

I am finally in Facebook much to the delight of my husband and his family. Yes, I must admit, it is better than MySpace (which I am also in...) for many reasons.

AND! my one month old weighed in at 12 pounds yesterday at Chiropractic!!!

AND I finally am going through some pictures of the new baby and posting the good ones on the internet.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Birth of Daciana

I awoke just before 4 am on Wednesday, February 25, 2009. I had to pee, just like every other night for the past few months. As I was on the toilet, I had a hard contraction. It was noticeably different than those I had been having for 2 1/2 weeks before - that wonderful prodromal or early labor. It felt really like a bad menstrual cramp. I made it back to bed and had a few more hard contractions. I sat on the edge of our bed, rocking through the next few, my husband Patrick and our daughter Anastasia both fast asleep. The contractions lasted about a half an hour and did not go away. I nudged Patrick, told him to wake up, and that I have been having contractions. I got into the shower (probably the last one for a while :) and stood there, contractions continuing. The hot water felt good. At one point, I needed to be on my hands and knees. That's when I plugged the tub and let it fill with water. Contractions where getting stronger. "Patrick, call my Mom and call Amy (midwife)." I think this was the last thing I remember saying. I stayed in the bath for a while until the water got cold. I wanted to get to the bed - made it as far as the toilet. Patrick knelt in front of me, he counted through the contractions for me... "it's been 30 seconds, you are doing awesome..."

I think this is when I slipped into the zone, or as I teach in my BIRTH classes, the Ebb & Flow of Labor™. It was awesome! I had my eyes closed and let labor happen. Each one quickly rolled into the next, not sure when one ended but knew that another one had begun. I was preparing myself for a long and hard day of labor, thinking that the contractions were going to get stronger, more intense, and also thinking, "Don't I get a few minute break between them??"

I only opened my eyes if I needed to see where I was going - from the bathroom to the bed. I caught glimpses of who was there at different times: Patrick, my Mom, Amy and Erica, Terri R, my doula...

Anastasia was in our bed, where she had slept the night before. I made it to Anastasia's bed - which is next to ours - while someone put plastic on our bed (I had the birth bed prepared for about 2 weeks but got annoyed by the plastic and removed it 2 days before...). By this time I was moaning loudly with each wave into a pillow, hoping not to wake Anastasia. I got into my bed and was fully into the Flow of the event, each one coming so quickly...

I wanted to go bad to the bathroom to use the toilet...the waves were getting harder...
When I got off to go back to bed, I made it as far as the sink and had to lean on it and rock and sway...heard someone say there was bloody show in the into bed...

This was the point that I opened my eyes, wondering where Anastasia was, thinking was she still asleep? or was she awake? Lo and behold, there she was right next to me in my bed still asleep! And I was not quiet at all! Those moans were loud! They needed to be. Never did she stir...

And then Amy said something about pushing with the next contraction... Was she serious?!? It seemed too early! I couldn't be THAT far along...could I? "Hold your breath and bear down!" someone said. I felt pressure like Amy was stretching my perineum... she was asking for more olive oil... "Chin down to your chest and hold your breath and push your baby here..."

I came out of my zone to find Patrick kneeling on the floor to my right, Amy at the foot of my bed. Feeling the urge to push and everyone saying "push," I proceeded to, well, push. I pushed...Amy said something about breaking my bag of waters... I had mentioned my wish to Patrick (sometime well before birth) to birth the bag of waters intact if possible or at least let it break on it's own. When Amy mentioned breaking the BOW, Patrick told her what I had said (my hero! sorry I had never mentioned it to you Amy :) and she responded jokingly with, "Then we are going to get a bath!" (When the BOW did finally break, Amy said that it wasn't that bad, but Patrick got the fluid down his leg...what a trooper!)

Then came the Ring of Fire...I don't think I ever had a feeling of "I can't do this" or "this is too hard," it really happened too fast to have these thoughts... but the Ring of Fire did seem to last quite a while...I pushed the head out and it still burned..."Look at these linebacker shoulders!" (She gets those from Patrick...) She felt like a big one when she finally slid our and oh my God relief! I breathed in that relief and relaxation and peace...and no crying...hmm, babies are supposed to cry, right? Anastasia did and she was born at 31 weeks (although with the steroid shot to develop her lungs early...) I looked down, Amy said "Talk to your baby"...I called her name "Daciana! Daciana!"...Amy was vigorously rubbing her back, then laid her down at my feet and put what looked like an oxygen mask on her and pumped air into her seeming to clear leftover mucus or fluid from her lungs...she cried a little and got a really good color on her skin.... straight to my chest for our first moments...

Our first glorious moments! I did it! I birthed at home in my own bed without any interventions! With people I knew and trusted and hired to keep me healthy and safe... and it only took about 4 hours! Daciana Guinevere was born @ 7:55 am on February 25, 2009. She weighed in at 9 lbs 12 oz, with a 14 inch head and 14 inch torso (which is why the Ring of Fire lasted as long as it did), 21 inches long and wonderful baby fat everywhere! I got her to the breast withing 20 minutes (I think) and left the placenta attached for the Lotus Birth.

And Anastasia slept throught the whole thing!!! She started to wake up at one point and almost got her foot in the placenta bowl :P This is when Patrick picked her up, woke her and said to her, "Look who is here!" (meaning Daciana) She saw my Mom first, "It's Grandmama!" Patrick said, "Well, yeah, and look who else!" She looked over to me, saw the baby and exclaimed, "It's Daciana!" She smiled so big as joy grabbed a hold of her and probably wonderment as well...

This experience was awesome, exciting, fulfilling, rewarding, healing, and - I have to admit - easy!

{Pictures shall come soon! Oh! and the story is far from over... but that is a blog for another time...}

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

and the word of the day is...

PRODROMAL: a premonitory symptom. Something that indicates something is going to the future....could be hours, days, weeks........and when applied to labor (also called pre-labor) 'cabin fever' also applies...or patience, waiting, annoyance...or faith, trust, warm-up...

This is what I am in right now - prodromal labor or pre-labor. It used to be called 'false labor' but there is nothing 'false' about it! Getting mild to moderate contractions throughout the day, for a week or more at a time, wondering 'is this it?' or 'am I going to be pregnant for ever?'

Of course, I am only just barely at 39 weeks, so there should not be any rush really... God knows the last pregnancy was so short and we made it thus far...and God never stops trying to teach me patience... 'Tis my lot in life! God also knows I have not patience for cooking potatoes or rice. Pregnancy is just another thing for which I must learn patience!


God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.

--Reinhold Niebuhr

Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will direct your paths.

Proverbs 3, 5-6

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Re: Lotus Birth Challenge...

"But how does your husband feel about this?"

After he said "ew gross," he said, "If we do this, you have to let me go to Megacon..."

Apparently he has been announced to be on a panel of filmmakers for the Indie Film Expo.

[From the website:] As part of Megacon's "Indie Film Expo" program, a panel discussion on filmmaking will be hosted by "Students of the Unusual" publisher Terry Cronin on Saturday February 28th. This will feature guest filmmakers and actors including guests Patrick Algermissen, Lear Bunda, Pat Martin, Brian Pulido, Steven Shea, Todd Thompson, and Bill Williams(FMPTA). Other surprise celebrity guests and filmmakers are expected. Cronin relates that "this is a unique opportunity to meet and discuss independent filmmaking with the filmmakers themselves."

Of course it is only if we have had birthed by this time! (Feb 27 &28, 2009...two weeks from now...)

Talk about a CHALLENGE!


Change a new idea you have heard of to something that you can accept and even do!

The idea I recently came across is that of a "Lotus Birth."

[from the website:]
Q: What is Lotus Birth exactly?

A: The practice of neonatal umbilical intactness - nonseverance of the umbilical cord - and absence of any
potential portal of navel infection. The birth practice of the early American pioneers who produced some of the hardiest children known in American history... and valued everything they had. Also called "Umbilical
Nonseverance." The baby, cord, and placenta are treated as one unit, as they are all originate from the same cellular source (egg and sperm).

Of course I say 'recently' but I actually heard about it maybe a year ago I think on a MySpace page...can't remember where or who, sorry.

I looked through the website and after the initial "ew gross!" I thought, "Why not?" I am still pregnant (although I did have bloody show on Monday and am having light contractions even as I type now ;o) and can still make this decision before birth. I have not told my midwife yet, and I hope she is cool with this idea...I don't even know if this thing happens in my part of the world.

Here is another site about Lotus Birth, just to get all the facts.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Any day now!

FYI! Bloody show today around 3 pm...will definitely be taking it as easy as possible from not until!! (Thank God that we got my DD's dental situation out of the way last week!!) And the bathroom is practically finished, just need to clean the floor, paint one baseboard, and hang up a towel rack...

Friday, February 6, 2009

"Farewell to D, E, F, & G"

D, E, F, & G. These are the front top teeth of a child's mouth. Today we say farewell to those from Anastasia's mouth.

It all started when my husband took our daughter to a birthday party and she had "two big pieces of cake" (her words). She came home and started to complain that her teeth hurt. By the way, she had severe decay in those teeth that tow of them were decayed to the gumline. So thus began "The quest for a great dentist"! We had gone to a pediatric Dentist in Titusville about a year and a half back, but I did not get a good feeling from them. So I checked the dental insurance website for a list of in-network pediatric dentists. Then I cross-referenced them with any hits from Google searches, forums, Yahoo groups, online Mom groups and such. I am one to research things until I am satisfied with a decision. Just like BirthNetwork, "...Know your options..."

The list was a short one, only a few names. I even added several dentists that were out-of-network but came highly recommended. Not that we have money, but this is one of those things did not really matter what we spent, just as long as I was satisfied with the decision or treatment. We started by going to our family dentist here in town. They were very friendly and good to DD. They attempted x-rays and kind of got an image, but nothing great. She was having fun on this new adventure and got to learn about dentist stuff and check out the treasure chest, coming away with all sorts of chinese-made junk... This dentist gave the option to pull said teeth, then place a retainer in to keep the teeth from drifting...He did not think it was the greatest idea either and suggested that we talk to the pediatric dentist.

So onto the next on the list. The pediatric dentist in the next town was a nice younger woman and everyone in that office was wonderful...though a couple of hygienists did seem kind of rushed and a little apprehensive...anyway...they got excellent x-rays of DD's teeth and came up with a treatment plan that included chasing me out of the room (which I understand why they do), letting her hang out with a laughing gas mask for a time, then giving her a local of lidocaine and proceeding to "wiggle out" the teeth... no straps or "papoose" involved (which I like). Scheduled for the day before Valentine's Day.

But then there was this recommendation from a Yahoo group that I am on related to natural food, healing, and more. Go to this oral surgeon several towns south. God, a surgeon? First thought was, "How much is this going to cost?" followed by "How scary is it going to be (for her and for me)?" But I read the mom's story, it seemed alright, why not check it out? All I might have to pay is a consultation fee...

The final one. The last time I can do this, and put her through more strangers poking around in her mouth. She has been excellent and fantastic about it this whole time. She has taught me about bravery and persistence and resilience. My DD is awesome! (Especially for 3 1/2 years old!) It started out as any other day, breakfast of Nutella on bread (her current favorite), plus vitamins, supplements, herbs and immune boosters for the both of us. Then I contacted my Mom to see if she could tag along and help with DD - because God knows the amount of paperwork one needs to fill out at a medical office is just enough to drive a mom with an active youngster crazy. And having "pregnant brain" doesn't help either, forgetting everything and trying to put the right numbers in the right spaces...ack!

We arrive at the office, which is beautifully decorated with dolphins and undersea life. (BTW, we are currently in our "Little Mermaid" phase of movie watching so this place was great for DD!) She is comfortable exploring the waiting room with my Mom as I begin the paperwork. Not a terribly long wait, but it is the afternoon and seems busy. Anyway, they finally call us back and DD is off like a shot! She is ready and happy to see what is back there and ready for the dentist! Smiles everywhere form everyone! We get to the room, have a seat, hang out for a bit, talk with the hygienist about DD's teeth, she says she will get the dentist and they are back very shortly. I discuss the two options he has - someone holds her in the chair, lidocaine is given, then the teeth come out (less than 5 minutes) - or schedule actual surgery, with an IV and sedation and she won't remember a thing. Quick and screaming, or drugs and the risks associated with them. I asked to see what it would cost. And VERY soon, the receptionist came back with the damages. "Quick and screaming" ended up being about half the price of the pediatric dentist and somehow this seemed like a good decision given the options. And they could do it within the next few minutes!

Okay, breathe. Read fast: Mom held her in the chair (my prego belly bump exceeds comfort level for everyone), two hygienists assisted the dentist, he stuck a thing to hold open her mouth (she did NOT like that one bit), he came in with the lidocaine shot in her upper gums - the screaming began - he methodically pulled four teeth out (D, E, F, & G) so fast ("I do this all day," he said before anything happened), I was holding her hands, watching holes appear in my DD's upper gums, listening to her scream bloody murder, then it was all over. Boy, she was pissed! and in so much pain! I was shaking a bit but knew I had to hold it together for her. I could not loose it, had to be strong, loving, compassionate, let her know it was going to be okay...soon...I would let it all go later tonight when she was asleep and my husband could hold me and tell me it was going to be okay...soon...

How did I not pass out or go ballistic or loose it while this was happening? Right before things happened, I knew I could not be a mom - moms always loose it when someone is hurting their baby. I became what I went to college for: an archaeologist, a scientist, one who could look at things with an objective eye and not lend any emotion to it. It seemed to work.

After this event took place, we went to Cold Stone Creamery in Viera and had ice cream. By the time we got there, she seemed fine and even laughing a bit. She shall be treated like a princess and probably could get away with things easier for the next few days, but come Monday - and I know she is not in pain - back to normal! Now I will not agonize over this problem any longer, and I am free to live my life and love her totally until her sibling comes by the end of the month.

...I just hope she can forgive me for putting her through that...i'm going to go cry now...

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Welcome to the diaper world!

There are disposable diapers, cloth diaper (I teach a Cloth Diaper class, by the way!), and now "edible diapers"! (courtesy of SNL ;o)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

My Plans for Fat Tuesday, 2/24/2009

What are YOU doing on February 24, 2009? If I am not in labor, I may be going to IHOP for FREE PANCAKE DAY!!

Okay, so it is actually called "National Pancake Day" and here is the info from IHOP's site:

"Known also as Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras, National Pancake Day dates back several centuries to when the English prepped for fasting during Lent. Strict rules prohibited the eating of all dairy products during Lent, so pancakes were made to use up the supply of eggs, milk, butter and other dairy products…hence the name Pancake Tuesday, or Shrove Tuesday.

Since beginning its National Pancake Day celebration in 2006, IHOP has raised nearly two million dollars to support charities in the communities in which it operates. With your help, we hope to raise $1,000,000 for Children’s Miracle Network in 2009!"

But what's the catch?

"IHOP is offering free pancakes on Feb. 24 in celebration of National Pancake Day.

This will be the fourth year that IHOP has celebrated the national event, with nearly 1,400 IHOP restaurants throughout the United States giving guests a free short stack of buttermilk pancakes from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Diners will be asked to donate what they would have paid for the free pancakes, or more, to their local children's hospital or another charity. IHOP is hoping to raise $1 million for Children's Miracle network, a nonprofit helping children's hospitals and other causes."

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Word of the Day...

Mark Twain is known to have said, "I have never let schooling interfere with my education."

And the word of the day is:


It means self-education or self-directed learning. An autodidact is a mostly self-taught person, as opposed to learning in a school setting or from a tutor.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

And now...your 2nd moment of Zen:

This is also very cool to do at the computer. At the LUNA Bar site, you can create a 'life-ism' or a collage of inspiring words and pictures and then you can print it out or send it to someone... very neat!

And now...your moment of Zen:

Visit this site and click away! or better yet click and hold then run the mouse around the screen! Great for the kids if you let them on the computer ;o)

For those of you who may find yourself in Hong Kong...

So I was searching for info on linea negra the other day, when I came across this site for pregnancy and nursing clothes, cleverly named 'Linea Negra,' "where the stylish bellies shop."

[From their site:] 'The genesis of Linea Negra Maternity came out of our own experiences while being pregnant in Hong Kong. We all shared the same feelings of shock, frustration and unhappiness with the selection of clothing that was then available to us. The good news is that now, things are different.'

The bad news is, THEY ARE ONLY IN HONG KONG!!!

Such great styles, colors and patterns yet not available to anyone outside HK...

But if you do find yourself in Hong Kong ;o) please pick me up one of these (size large):

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Blessingway, Mother Blessings, and Alternatives to Baby Showers

In our culture there are so few ways to honor the mother to be. We make an attempt during baby showers, but for the most part this turns into a simple showering of gifts for the baby and does nothing for the mother in terms of the rite of passage she is about to go through. This sacred time in the mother's life deserves more than gifts of car seats and baby wipes.

While baby showers can be more commercial in focus, the Blessingway serves up a refreshingly sharp contrast. There's no booty of pink and blue gifts. The Blessingway is about the woman we know best - our friend and sister, the mother-to-be.

And while society seems eager to chuck aside the mother in favor of holding a cherubic gurgling baby, a Blessingway provides the mother with memories of a true show of support from her Loved ones.

~ The Basics of a Blessingway ~

Take into account that this is to be an extra meaningful celebration honoring the woman entering into motherhood and/or welcoming a new life, not necessarily a party for the baby.

~ Attendees: preferably keep it small 6-15 guests. Don't invite anyone out of mere courtesy, but make sure the guests are people who really mean something to you and contribute positively to either your birthing, life, or parenting experiences and is supportive of your philosophies. These people often include your mother, sisters, or other close female relatives, best friends, midwife and/or doula, people you would feel free to share your deepest thoughts and cry with. This isn't the time to invite Aunt Edna who you only see at funerals, weddings, and the like.

~ Location: Preferably at one of the guest's home, or your own, that has a calm, peaceful, and relaxed feel about it. If this is not an option, a park or some other serene setting can work.

~ Atmosphere: The atmosphere should be something akin to a candlelight dinner. Consider playing relaxing music, like a massage CD, or the honoree's favorite album. Also burning scented candles, incense or essential oils can immediately trigger a wonderful response by the guests and leave them with a sensory memory of the occasion . Turn off all the phones and pagers.

~ Food: Typically a Blessingway consists of food with some meaning behind it. For instance you can request that each guest brings a dish that reminds them of their mother or comfort food. Or you can have everyone bring a dish that represents the mother's favorite food groups.

~ Blessingway 'Rituals' ~

You want to make sure that whatever you do at a Blessingway, it serves to strengthen and uplift the mother-to-be. Some women are very open to the suggestions below, others like to do something a little more mainstream, such as a day at the spa or going to a 'paint-your-own-pottery' place. Be open to customizing activities to suit the mother's definition of being uplifted.

~ Request that each guest bring a special bead to string on a necklace or bracelet for the mother to wear until and through labor. A nice way to approach this ritual is by sitting in a circle and passing the cord, each guest adding a bead, or beads for each number of children they have, then the mother can add a final bead after the birth to represent her own child. The necklace or bracelet symbolizes the strength of our shared experiences as mothers and women.

~ Similarly a ball of beautiful string (hemp is durable and works well) is used to connect each woman's wrist to one another's in the circle - a web of womanhood. When the cord connects all of you, explains that this unites you all as sisters and represents the circle of sisters and the circle of life. Then you cut the cord, leaving enough length to tie the ends into a bracelet. Explain that though it appears we were then separate, the bracelet reminded us as women, we were all cut from the same ball of yarn. You may suggest that the women wear the bracelet until the birth as a reminder of the strength a group of women can hold for a birthing mother.

~ Candles. Either making them as a group or giving them as a 'party favor'. The reason being is that all the guests will be asked to light the candle when they are notified that the mother is in labor and will leave it lit until the baby arrives.

~ Smudging. Taken from the Navajo origins of the Blessingway, if the Blessingway is taking place in the Honoree's home a bundle of dried sage is often lit, then the flame burned out and the sage is allowed to slowly burn down. This is to symbolize a cleansing of the woman's home, either for a homebirth or for the arrival home from the birthplace, purifying of her soul and blessing for the birth and baby.

~ Belly Casting is another ritual that can be very fun. Either to have the guests cast the mothers belly and chest, or to have the cast already done and ready for the guests to paint or decorate.

~ Painting the mother's belly with henna. Themes to consider for henna painting and cast decorating: Personal heritage, the Mother’s religion or faith, celestial, nature; trees, leaves, vines, flowers, seasons, water, animals, fairies, abstract art

~ Foot washing symbolize readiness for a journey or new beginning, and hand washing will clean away fears. The feet or hands should be dried and can be smoothed and massaged with cornmeal, or anointed with oils. The midwife or mother is usually the one to honor the mother with these aspects, but it can provide a wonderful time for guests to bestow quite words of love and encouragement.

~ Hair brushing and braiding is another way to nurture and pamper the mother. If there is a brush that is, for example, an heirloom this can act as a way to connect the mother to her female ancestors. Adorning her hair with flowers can also help connect her to Mother Earth.

~ Song. Such a wonderful way to invite a loving spirit. Many women like to have each guest sing a lullaby their mother used to sing or one they have used with their own children. If all the guests are familiar with one particular song, say a lullaby, spiritual or hymn, this can also be sung together as a group.

~ Sending away your troubles and fears by having guests voice them, write them on paper, and then burn them from a bowl and sending them away.

~ Storytelling. Either of each woman's personal birth stories (but beware if you think horror stories will be passed around. Remember you are strengthening and uplifting the mother!), or stories of how each guest knows the mother or inspirational stories of each guests relationship to the mother - how they met her, what drew them to her, why she was important to them. This can be done during the hair brushing or foot washing or during candle lighting. This can also take the form of poetry reading or reciting an inspiration story or fable, and either have just one read or invite the guests to bring a poem or story of their own to read.

~ Quilting. Probably one of the oldest form of female rituals. It's very meaningful to ask in the invitation for each guest to bring a customized quilt square that tells of a certain quality the mother possesses. Either assemble the quilt at the Blessingway, or assign a friend to complete the quilt and present it to the mother and baby after the birth. This will become an heirloom that tells a story about the mother.

~ Keepsake Journal. This can be passed around during the foot washing or hair brushing for the guests to write down inspiration thoughts or poems. After the birth the mother can write of the baby's birth story.

~ Compile a 'nurture basket'. In the invitation, instead of baby gifts, instruct the guests to bring a gift that would uplift, inspire, or nurture the mother. This can be gift certificate for a massage or restaurant, bath goodies, books or journals, framed quotes, drawings or photos, luxurious robes or pajamas, teas or chocolates, etc.

~ Be respectful of the mother's religious preference, if any. If all the guests are of the same religious background, these aspects should be incorporated into the Blessingway.

Make sure to take pictures of the event!

Resource Guide:

1) Blessingways: A Guide to Mother-Centered Baby Showers--Celebrating Pregnancy, Birth, and Motherhood by Shari Maser

2) Mother Rising: The Blessingway Journey into Motherhood by Yana Cortlund, Barb Lucke, Donna Miller Watelet, and Pam England

3) Spiritual Midwifery by Ina May Gaskin

4) “Mothering Magazine – Natural Family Living.” In print and online, visit for more info

Additional Reading:

1) Mother Blessings: Honoring Women Becoming Mothers by Anna Stewart

2) Birthing from Within: An Extra-Ordinary Guide to Childbirth Preparation

by Pam England, Rob Horowitz


Provided by Brevard BirthNetwork at the meeting on October 18, 2008 in Port St John, FL.

For more information on Brevard BirthNetwork, visit:

Also, if you have given birth in the last three years, please visit to share your pregnancy care experience – give feedback now.

Obama look-alike...

This is freaky! Check it out!

And now...your moment of Zen:

"Do not force nature, do not insult it, for it is as if you were to open the ears of corn to make the stalks grow."

–Chinese Medical Review (1852)

Monday, January 19, 2009

My Crazy Mom...

Insanity runs in my family. Not the kind to have you committed and loaded with all the drugs known to modern science, thankfully. But the kind of craziness that people tell stories about later. You know, like Weird Al or Albert Einstein.

Together with two of her sisters and two nieces, they drove up to Virginia early Sunday morning to stay with 'Aunt' Mary (a great friend to the family, no actually relation, but she loves to hang out with us and fits right in!) and then to proceed - somehow - to the inauguration of Barack Obama in Washington, DC on Tuesday. No, they do not have tickets - no one can get tickets unless they are high ranked government personnel or won a contest or something. They do have commemorative metro passes already. They are hopefully going to dress warm enough - they are planning on wearing three pairs of pants, several shirts or sweaters, heavy jackets, knee high socks, ski gloves and stocking caps. It is supposed to be 31 degrees F with a wind chill of 15 (!) and possible snow flurries... Now my Mom and her sisters grew up on New Jersey for a while and they have experienced snow, but that was many, MANY moons ago and they are pretty much Florida girls now.

Anyway, I think it is kinda neat, kinda scary, kinda crazy... BUT she will take lots of pictures and be super excited. Crazy part is, I would probably have gone with her if I wasn't pregnant ;o)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

"Those are cool shoes!"

These are the best shoes - EVER! They are called Vibram Fivefingers and they are like going barefoot. They are not fancy but do come in a variety of colors. They are adjustable, versatile, washable, super comfortable, and I have been wearing mine for a year now and the only thing bad is they smell like feet :) I only have one pair - because they are a pricey investment - and they don't get washed as often as they should because I am wearing them all the time!
[Those are the ones I have - pictured right]

They are the perfect mom shoe. They do not show any major wear spots, I can slip them on and go out the door. I am always getting complimented on them by people in the world. They say things like, "Those are awesome shoes!" or "Where did you find them?" In my area of the world, I got them here:

Nearly Barefoot Sandals
350 N. Atlantic Ave.
Cocoa Beach, FL 32931

The other question I get is, "What are they for/What can you use them for?" I tell them that you can use them in water sports, rock climbing, weight training, walking, running, Yoga, stuff like that. I use them for chasing around after a three year old :) which is much like these sports sometimes!

They also make different styles, the Sprint with straps and the Flow that covers more of the foot. And how do my feet feel? Great! Absolutly wonderful! I do have trouble walking around Disney parks all day, but most everyone does no matter what they are wearing. Here are some health benefits that come from wearing Vibram Fivefingers. And no, sadly I am not getting anything from this company to say these things. It is just a great product I feel more of the world needs to know about!

Friday, January 9, 2009


The Butterfly Project

In an effort to remember them, Holocaust

Museum Houston is collecting

1.5 million handmade butterflies.

The butterflies will eventually comprise a

breath-taking exhibition, currently scheduled

for Spring 2012, for all to remember.

As of Summer 2008, we have already collected

an estimated 400,000 butterflies.

How may butterflies can you make?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Support you local BirthNetwork!

Top 10 Reasons to Join a Birth Network

10. Education is essential! Many Birth Networks offer continuing education and training opportunities, often at a discount for members.

9. It’s all about networking… a Birth Network, that is. Discover how to promote your business through this new outlet.

8. Help expecting moms in your area find doulas, childbirth classes and fitness programs by sending them to your Birth Network’s referral list.

7. Do you or one of your clients feel disheartened by a recent birthing experience? Learn how to effect change in maternity care by becoming active within your Birth Network.

6. Has your two-year-old worn out his welcome in your current play group? Find out what your Birth Network has to offer.

5. Learn more about the hottest new book on birth or breastfeeding through your Birth Network’s resource list.

4. Earn brownie points and be “in the know” by referring new parents to your Birth Network for a list of local lactation consultants, parenting classes and pediatricians.

3. Everyone needs a night out—make it educational by attending a speaker’s event, movie screening or fundraiser at your local Birth Network.

2. Who isn’t looking to save a buck in this economy? Many Birth Networks offer discounts and perks at local shops or online partners.

1. Finally, a place to meet other people who are crazy about birth!

If you can’t find a Birth Network in your area, consider starting one of your own. Visit the Lamaze Web site to find tools, tips and resources, including information on how to apply for a mini-grant to support your Birth Network.

And now...your moment of Zen:

"The 'normal' way that women in the United States give birth -- laying prone in a room full of strangers -- is not the natural way."

[Read a good article on the Orgasmic Birth movie here.]

Monday, January 5, 2009

I know it's silly but...

I am really the only one in my family to enjoy beer (except my Husband just finished his first beer last night! He usually grimaces - doesn't like the stuff), not that I drink to excess (well, only once ;o) and I am definitely NOT drinking right now being pregnant (though there are some days I do crave it...). But I was looking forward to free beer at Sea World when we took our girls in 2-3 years and I was not breastfeeding as much...oh well......

Of all the things to take away!

Of course on the other side of things, I really do hate to see this privilege abused - like when those idiot drunks are trying to make their way thru the theme parks and have not drank enough water or eaten enough to offset the alcohol...OR when they offer beer at events like Halloween Horror Nights and is something perhaps they could do without...

No More Free Beer At Sea World, Busch Gardens

Hospitality Centers To Close Within Month

The owner of SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens in Tampa has decided to stop offering free beer samples at the parks. Busch Entertainment Corp. said it will stop offering free samples of beer at hospitality centers at the parks. Beer will continue to be available for purchase. The company said it will retain the employees who worked at the centers.

The hospitality center at SeaWorld Orlando will close on Feb 1 and be turned into a restaurant. The one at Busch Gardens in Tampa also will become a place to eat after it closes at the end of January.
Well, I hope the restaurants are good!

National Delurking Week!

"Let it be known, it is officially... NATIONAL DELURKING WEEK... What is delurking week you say? Good question... It is the week all the lurkers out there finally own up to the fact that they visit blogs. If you read a blog and have never commented, you leave a comment and let the blogger know that you are a reader of their thoughts. Not too tough, eh?"

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Homebirth! This comic from 'Mama Is' says it all! We are also planning a homebirth for our second daughter in Feb 2009. It will be a different experience than last time, but we are going for a more positive birth this one around.

Somethings I did differently this pregnancy:
  • Took Prenatal Yoga
  • Chiropractor visits at least once a week
  • Midwife (not an OB)
  • Much healthier diet (Brewer Diet)
  • Am not mowing the lawn
  • TRYING to take it easier....(with a 3 year old, makes things more challenging...)