Friday, September 2, 2011

"He leadeth me...."

I love seeing God work in our lives so obviously. I've said before that I don't believe in coincidences or luck, just His hand and blessings. I haven't really been too nervous about homeschooling because I truly feel this is the path I'm suppose to take and He keeps making it blatantly clear. I was looking for something Christian based for American Government and for some reason wasn't able to find exactly what I wanted. A few days later I got an email about a DVD series called American Heritage that hit the nail on the head. I called Scott and told him, "I think God just emailed me!" The next instance came after I had been telling Scott that I was pretty sure I wanted to try Hooked on Phonics for Ronan next year. A couple of Saturdays ago I was looking at their products online. Sunday, I decided to go to the consignment store to see what they would give me for my Moses basket I never used. As I was checking out, I looked to my right and saw the HOP k-2 kit sitting there. It was only $10!!! It retails for over $200! I've been doing some more reading on different homeschool styles. I really like the idea of doing Unit Studies to add some fun to our curriculum. So far what we've been doing is very structured, which I really like, but can get boring for the kids. We use mostly Switched on Schoolhouse. It's all computer based. I set up a calendar within the program and set what days I want all the subjects covered.  It sets up the lesson plan and does most of the grading.  The kids can read or listen to the lessons then do the problems, quizzes, and test. Joshua and Summer are pretty independent with it. Jacob needs more one on one. I read through the lessons with him, and help him take notes  and make note cards. Summer does it with me sometimes too but she doesn't need it, she just doesn't want Jacob getting all the one on one time:) She doesn't like taking the amount of notes I like though so she does a lot on her own then just asks for help on the questions she doesn't get. We use this for History & Geography, Language Arts, Bible, Science, Health, and Spanish. Jacob and Summer use Teaching Textbooks for math, it's computer based too. Joshua uses a regular textbook though. We are also doing an art curriculum, some handwriting and typing, and some supplemental science and the American Goverment. Joshua is doing a cool Computer Science course on video game and web design. Plus Jacob and Summer do a co-op on Mondays. They are taking Earth Science, Medival Culture, and PE. Then on Thursdays Joshua has a PE co-op, Jacob has Science Experiments and Summer has Gymnastics. Unit studies are an indepth study of one subject from every aspect. We are calling them Life Projects. When something comes up, or one of the kids have an interest in something, we will study it all together. Our first one is about bees. On the fourth of July, Ronan was stung at my brothers house. Scott was stung while putting up our trampoline. We discovered a hive in our backyard we had to get rid of before Ronan and Raidens birthday party. Then Summer was stung the other day. Joshua has been stung by wasps before but not bees, but he's still has a fear of them. I was telling the kids I thought it would be a neat thing to cover and maybe we could find a beekeeper to visit. At first, Joshua was like no way! PBS kids was on TV, and at that moment, a short segment on bees came on!! We said, "Sorry Joshua, God says you have to!" We watched a documentary about Vanishing Bees, we are going to watch a Magic School Bus and Sid the Science Kid episode on them. We got a non fiction book from the library as well as a fiction, it's about a little girl overcoming her fear of bees. I found a scriptural lesson with a bee theme. We'll do some online research on local bees. We are going to go to the farmers market to purchase some local honey. We've got some bee themed math work, some bee kids music and poems, experiments, baking, and crafts planned. Plus we are going to listen to and research about the Flight of the Bumblebee, classical piece! We'll end the study by watching The Bee Movie and the big kids will chose a type of paper to write. It can be a factual report, a how-to on honey collection, raising bees, or pollination,  a book report, or a persuasive piece on buying local or organic. Today, while studying about, Sydney, Australia, Summer and I were talking about ferries and about how she has never been on a boat. I said that maybe we could do our next Life Project on that and take a field trip to the Belle of Louisville. Well, I opened my email tonight and found out the Belle is having a homeschool event next month!!! So now I have to decide whether to make it just about steamboats or different types of boats. I definitely see some model building in our future!! I can't wait to see what God has in store for us next!

Thursday, July 14, 2011


When Joshua was going into the 1st grade I wanted to homeschool him. I bought curriculum and everything. Two weeks before the start of public school he began begging me to go back. We lived in a subdivision with a lot of kids then and he wanted to do what they were doing. I was already a bit nervous... I had a two and three year old running around at that time too.... So I decided to let him return to public school. I wasn't very organized back then and just wasn't ready. I've always admired those who had the patients and skills to teach their kids at home. When we moved to West Virginia I was glad I had chosen to let them go to public school because I didn't think they had the homeschool community Kentucky does. Plus we lived out in the boonies with no other kids to play with. It was good for them though because it help them learn to rely on each other. But now we are back..... The last year has been a huge transformation for our family... Physically and spiritually. Sunday will be the anniversary of Cambreys death... Our turning point. We've become a lot more organized and schedule oriented and we have put God in the center of it all. I also want Him to be in the center of our children's education. I've been stressing out since we started moving about where they are going to go to school this year. I don't think public schools are necessarily bad but I do worry about negative influences... Not that all Christian kids are good either but at least they have a solid foundation. I would like to think our kids would naturally be drawn to the "good kids" but you never know. We looked into private Christian schools but they were a little beyond our budget. And there was still the concern of... Where are we going to be living come August! We are 99% sure we will be in Lexington but of course they are breaking out the hoops. I really hate it that both Joshua and Jacob are looking at having to go to a new school this year and then they would have to go to a different school again next year because they will be going onto middle and high school  Here it is mid July and I still don't have them registered anywhere. I honestly don't recall the moment it came to me but, I had a revelation that the answer is homeschooling. First I mentioned it to Scott(after having a little talk with The Big Guy upstairs) and he was in complete agreeance.  I then ran it by the kids and they were on board as well.  I've spent endless hours this week researching curriculum and other area resources. I'm planning to stick to a traditional school schedule with four 45 minute blocks in the morning and four in the afternoon. Our school day will start at 9 and end at 4. We decided to go for an 8 week summer with longer breaks at Christmas and spring. I have found co ops in both Lexington and Georgetown. They can go to them once a week for a half day to socialize and have some out of home learning time. Plus we have been going back to church so they will have their Sunday school friends. Not to mention all their cousins and my friends kids. We are also looking into local businesses that have homeschool days and group planned field trips. There is one scheduled already for the state capitol in March. We are all very excited for our new adventure!

Family Crest Joshua Created

School Logo Summer Created

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

House Hunting

When we bought our last home we thought/hoped we'd never move again. The first day we went looking I was in tears because I didn't like ANY of the houses. When we found one we liked, we didn't like the neighborhood. We thought about building, but couldn't stay at Scotts Grandmas that long (long story). The house we ended up getting, we had tried to see before, but couldn't get in. I had almost forgotten about the place. I knew when I walked in... It was the right place. We negotiated a little and borrowed for some updating. We spent months fixing the place up. The first couple of weeks were brutal. Raiden was a month old at this point and my mom came up to help. I busted my rear, hardly sleeping at all, to take advantage of the time she was there. It ended up being about 3 weeks. That was part of the reason I wanted another baby. I didn't feel like I really got to cherish each moment of his newborness, like you should with your last. It took 6 months to get to a stopping point. We quit for a while, then started finishing up when I got pregnant. 

After God blessed us with another baby, he decided we needed to move again. She was only 4 weeks old. So once again our life got chaotic with a newborn. Thank the lord my mom was already there. I wanted to take 2 full weeks after she was born to rest and just focus on Sierra. Even though Scott got laid off on day 10, I still took that time. 

We first contemplated staying at my moms lakehouse.  Once we found out Scott would be getting his old job back we decided that would be too far of a drive. So we are staying at my parents which is still an hour and a half commute for him. 

We started looking at short sales because unfortunately, it will probably take a long time for our other house to sell. The first one we looked at was horrible. And although it would have been a great location for me, in my best friends neighborhood, it would have been over an hour drive for Scott. 

We started looking in an area that would be 45min to an hour for him. We really liked the first house we saw there, it was plenty big enough. We decided to put in an offer. After we had signed the papers it occurred to me I should check the sex offender registry. There was a pedophile living on the SAME street!!! His victims were ages 7&9. I was devastated. But then I thought to myself... God has a plan... And this house isn't in it. 

The next one was okay. I loved the yard and the area but the house needed a lot of updating. I was going to bring Scott back to look at it but decided to expand our search a bit.  I tried a few smaller towns and didn't find anything then tried Lexington. A lot of houses in our price range showed up. I decided to get in touch with the realtor that was the buying agent when we sold our last house in KY. She is actually the woman who bought our houses sister and we became friends on Facebook. I know she is a Christian and thought God could help guide her. 

I knew big cities had a lot of pervs but it is ridiculous!!! I had asked our realtor about the neighborhoods we were considering. To be tactful she told me which neighborhoods were considered more desirable. I checked the zip code on the less desirable area and found 5 pages of sex offenders. The more desirable area... "only" had a page and a half! I plugged in each address to see how close they were and what they're charges were. The house I liked the best had one a little over a mile so a scratched it off the list. I prayed about it then decided to add it back on at the bottom.  There was a major road dividing the areas and even if you get a house without one for 100 miles, if your in a neighborhood, there's no guarantee one might not move in next week. I thought they couldn't live next to a school or park.  Apparently that's not true because there is one that lives right next door to an elementary school in Lexington. His victim was 11 years old!

We looked at 4 other houses first. Two I didn't like at all, two had potential but needed some work. I really didn't like either of the yards. Then we looked at my internet pick. It's smaller/cozier than ideal but, honestly, we weren't using a lot of the space we had in WV. I grew up in 1000 sqft with 3 siblings. This house is 1600 all on one level. 4 bedrooms, 2 baths. One of the things I was sad to have to leave behind was my whirlpool tub Sierra was born in.  Well this house has one almost just like it! Like the house I grew up in and the house I loved in WV, the master is in an addition. Although it's bigger, it kind of reminds me of the house I grew up in. The main difference will be that I intend to use the front room as a dining room instead of the back room in the addition, which will be the family room. The back yard is already completely fenced in. It had a one car garage that was converted to a workshop that Scott can use for a workout room. Another wired out building. A kids playhouse with a sandbox underneath, swing set, a place for a pool, and room for the trampoline. And... a little garden area, two apple trees and a pear tree.... for me!!!

I had Scott meet me back over there after work to look at it. He really liked it too, so we made an offer and the seller accepted!  Cosmetically, the house doesn't need any immediate work. I do plan to take up the carpet in the front room though, there are hardwood floors underneath. The inspector found some things but the seller has agreed to have it all taken care of before closing. We ordered the appraisal today. We are scheduled to close by the 25th of July, hopefully all the work can be done by then.  Or at least before school starts!

So is this our forever home Lord? I guess only time will tell. Am I still sure Sierra will be our last baby?... You'll have to ask Him about that too!!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Sewing Project: Kimono Christening Gown and Bonnet

Before Sierra was born and before Scott got laid off we were planning a trip to the beach. I had all these wonderful shots planned out in my head for taking family photos and pics of the new baby. I bought a few props and started looking for an old fashion christening gown. I searched eBay and found some gorgeous ones but they were either too expensive or too fancy and girly. At that time we didn't know what we were having and back in the day even boys wore long gowns. I wanted something kind of peasant looking. I decided I would make something! 

When I got the material to make Summers dress I picked up some muslin fabric. It had the old look and feel I was looking for. At first I was going to just do one little button in the back with a loop of elastic but I thought that it would be too plain in the front. I didn't have enough confidence in myself, especially since I was doing it by hand, to do button holes. I then considered faux buttons on the front. I still didn't like the vision though so I started looking around online for ideas. I came across patterns for kimono style dresses. One even had a variation for a christening gown. I wanted it long! The pattern I choose was very basic. I made my own bias tape and adjusted the length and the length of the arms to suit me and be within my one yard of fabric. It ended up being about 27 inches and the sleeves are 3/4 length (I think). I had two pieces left that were 10x12 to make a bonnet. I was going to make two, one girly with crocheted trim and one plain for a boy. I stitched the entire gown by hand! I had a little trouble around the back of the neck but it turned out beautifully.

The last couple weeks of my pregnancy were a little rough and I didn't get the bonnets done. Then 10 days after she was born Scott got laid off and we had to cancel or vacation plans. We got busy with packing, moving, and unpacking. Finally, yesterday with the help of Granny and her sewing machine, we made the girly bonnet and added some of the trim to the gown.

I had bought a Moses basket that I wanted to take her picture in at the beach. Now I need to figure out where to do the pics and I need to do it before she out grows it all!!!!

Friday, May 20, 2011

God is Good!!!

Those who have been following my blog know that we started doing bible time every evening back in January. We have been using a guide called Character Building for Families. During multiple lessons there have been scripture references about being joyful and content during times of trouble. On Tuesday, May 10th, when Sierra was just 10 days  old, Scott was laid off from his job. I know that God had been preparing us for this in many ways and is with us now guiding us. I'll admit that I did get a little emotional at first. I just experienced a life changing, awe inspiring moment in this house, the birth of Sierra. I knew we weren't going to be able to stay here. I love my house, it's perfect for my family, but apparently God has other plans for us. It's just a house, home is where we make it. I have not been the least bit concerned about our future though. I have faith that God will see us through. I recently posted a verse on FB:

Philippians 4:11 (NIV)
"...for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances."

Having these lessons have made what would be a stressful time an opportunity to see God work in our lives. We were having a conversation with the kids about the situation and Summer, who just turned nine, said "God has a plan, He knows what He is doing!" How comforting is that!?

Starting in January as well, I thought my nesting had gone into overdrive! I attributed to having a home birth this time. I made a home maintenance list for Scott and became very obsessed with getting the house clean and organized. I told Scott at one point, I couldn't help it, I had this drive inside me, that said, we NEEDED to get all this stuff done before Sierra was born. Little did I know, that it was God talking to me!!!

God comes to us in all sorts of ways. Every Friday night we have Family Movie Friday. We had already received our movie for that Friday when Scott got laid off. I knew what movie it was, but not what it was about. It was Ramona and Beezus. It was about their dad getting laid off. Our circumstances are a bit different and so will our ending be, but it was still good for the kids. They know that we don't believe in coincidences or luck... Just Gods hand and blessings. 

Wednesday, the day after the lay off, Scott called a friend from his old job. It was late in the evening, that friend just happened to be out with two of his old bosses!!!! A week later and he has a tentative start back date of 6/1, given all the details are ironed out. That evening our concluding statement, that was in our book at bible time was, "Thank God for supplying our needs through Dad or Moms job, and also for other ways He has supplied." My eyes filled with tears and my heart filled with joy!! 

I'm not quite sure yet what He has planned for our next home. We are planning to stay with my parents until our house sells or another opportunity becomes more clear. I decided to look online even though I didn't think we could buy anything yet. I found a house in my best friends neighborhood that is listed below market value. That, combined with some other blessings, may allow us to buy our next home before this one sells. I'm assuming the seller is going for a short sale so it's no guarantee and will take time but we will see. It's in His hands... If it's meant to be, it will be, if not, it won't. We are just along for the ride. 

Some may wonder if I regret ever moving here. After all, we didn't even end up being here two years. Things didn't turn out the way we thought they would with Scotts family. The kids weren't crazy about the school or their lunches... Lol. They were starting to find other ways to occupy their time, but they missed being in a neighborhood and having a place to ride bikes. I, on the other hand, loved the break from small town suburbia! Did I mention I love my house here?! And the view is amazing. We tried to sell our old house before to move within Kentucky with no luck. Then when we put it on the market to move here, it sold in six weeks. I think it was part of His plan for us to come here. Who knows, if we hadn't, maybe I wouldn't have even gotten pregnant with Sierra and had my homebirth. For me, it was like an extended, mountainous, vacation. I'm ready to come home now. 

Monday, May 2, 2011

Prodromal/Precipitous Unplanned Unassisted Home Waterbirth

It started on Friday, April 29th. My mom and I took two laps around the block. When we got back I started having a lot of Braxton Hicks. We always watch a movie with our kids on Friday nights so we started watching Inception. I started thinking maybe this was the beginning of labor although the contractions weren't very strong at all yet. I went upstairs and ran my straightened through my hair and put on a little make up... Just in case. I sent my Midwife a text to give her a heads up. While I was up on my feet is stopped though. So I retired to the couch and movie. They started up again. After the movie I cleaned up the house a bit and it stopped again. I went to bed and slept better than I had in weeks!

My wonderful hubby and daughter brought me breakfast in bed at about 9:30. We went for another walk at about noon but only once around. Then at 2 twice around.... Then we went to Walmart and Tractor Supply. I was having Braxton Hicks.... Or I guess pre labor contraction all day but nothing significant. My wonderful friend Ferne brought me some baby girl clothes just in case, at about 6. We sat around chatting until 7:30. After she left we took 2 more laps!  I bounced a little on my exercise ball I had picked up earlier. Played on my phone and went up to go to bed around 10.

I sent my Midwife a text at 10:55 to tell her I was contracting again but that it would probably go away again. I mostly was giving her an update on another little issue I had been having. We shot a few back and forth. I told her I was going to time the contractions for a bit even though they weren't very strong still. This was 11:19. They started coming every couple of minutes so I sent her another text. She told me to get up and walk around or get in the bath to see if they stopped. I stood up at 11:25... Had a pretty strong one and felt a pop. At first there was no fluid but another came a minute later with just a small gush. Told my Midwife and she headed out the door. I woke Scott... He asked if he could lay there until she got there. I said, "No you have to get everything ready!" I started the bath while he attempted to make the bed up. I told him to get the cameras. First he got the video camera but forgot that I had told him.... And written in the birth plan... That it needs to be plugged in to work bc the battery is shot! So he went to get the charger. I had another contraction, they were right on top of each other, I felt the urge to push this time. I yelled to Scott to get back in there or he was going to miss it. He got in there in time for the next one and the head emerged. I told him to grab the other camera. I reassured him that everything was fine, one more push and we'd have a baby. Then the rest of her was born!!! The time stamp on the picture was 11:44!!! I got my April baby!

We tried to stay calm while Scott fumbled with cell phones. She made a few short cries but I really couldn't tell if she was breathing in between or not and seemed gunky. Scott got my Midwife on the phone. She said to lift her bottom higher than her head a little and sure enough the gunk came rolling out! I looked then to see she was a girl. Of course this was a very short amount of time and the cord was still attached, pulsing, and giving her oxygen. I had Scott go wake my mom to tell her.

She started rooting so I started to try to nurse, then Joshua came up so I covered up. She started rooting again while he went to get Summer and Jacob. I offered again and she latched right on! This was at 11:55. My midwife arrived at 12:15. She stayed latch until 12:30! 15 minutes later the placenta was delivered and I cut the cord.

We moved to my bed, everyone got to hold her and her newborn assessment was done. AMAZING!!!!!

Birthday Cupcake via Breastmilk

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sewing Projects: Cloth wipes and swiffer cover

Summer and I also decided that the babies shouldn't be the only ones getting their most delicate parts wiped with soft flannel! I looked into buying some family wipes but decided, Nah, I can make them! I didn't even look up how most people do it. I knew most were made with sergers which I  don't own. I decided to not even fool with the sewing machine at all.  I bought a half yard each of two different, but coordinating fabrics. Instead of deciding ahead of time a size, I divided the fabric in half one way and in thirds the other. After squaring up the fabric, and joining two pieces together, they ended up being roughly 5 1/2 X 8.  We are only using them for #1 so we didn't need them to be big.  Plus they ended up being a good size for the napkin holder I ended up buying to keep them in. I joined three sides together inside out using a running stitch. Flipped it out pressed it, then closed the open end with a blanket stitch. They've been washed and dried several times now and are holding up great! BTW... If your wondering we were already keeping the diaper pail in the bathroom near the toilet so this is not a hard transition. We have switched our regular TP to 100% recycled, White Cloud.

I got some birdseye cotton unpaper towels (napkins). I also bought two packs of microfiber clothes for regular cleaning. It came with one for glass, stainless, bathroom, and wood. I decided to turn one of the wood ones into a cover for my swiffer.

I'm feeling cheaper... I mean greener by the minute!

Sewing Projects: Pillowcase dress

All of thissewing going on prompted Summer to want to learn to sew. After my next prenatal I headed back to the fabric store. I had seen a friends little girl wearing a pillowcase dress and had seen them on etsy. I thought this would be easy. I looked through pattern books and found the easy sew section in simplicity. These were only 2.99. I got one for the pillowcase dress and another that had dresses with short sleeves and a purse. It really was very simple. Summer sewed the front to the back with the machine and used a basting stitch on the contrast band before I attached it.  I could've gotten by without the pattern but if I hadn't I wouldn't have known to get bias tape for the armpits. This was the only semi hard part. And of course my inferior sewing machine kept messing up making it frustrating. I ended up doing the second one by hand and it turned out better! I gave the machine one last shot on the neck casing and then gave up on it and finished the bottom by hand. Of course machine sewing with a good machine would be faster, but I actually ended up enjoying the hand stitching. I could curl up comfortably on the couch. It was quite therapeutic. Scott gave me the green light to buy a new machine but I think I'll pass.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Sewing projects: Wraps

I've already blogged about this wrap once but I wanted to tell the story behind it as well. I went online to buy a gypsymama wrap. I ordered from their outlet which ends up being either a return or demo but saves you $20. I then started talking to a friend about it. She was saying that it was still out of her budget so I suggested she go on and look at the homemade ones. Why didn't I think of this for myself? I started looking too. Then I came across an article about how to make a wrap and found out the type of wrap I was getting (gauze) doesn't fray too much so you don't have to to anything to the hem unless you just want to. About this time I started kicking myself! The next day I got an email from GypsyMama telling me the wrap I ordered is no longer available. It must be a sign... Praise God. So canceled the order and went to the fabric store. They had some gauze 30% off but not a huge selection. Basically it boiled down to solid turquoise or fuchsia. Since I don't know what I'm having, I choose turquoise. Plus I knew I wanted to split the fabric and give one to a friend who is having a boy. I was hoping to find a striped pattern, this seemed really plain and boring. So I started looking at other fabrics that I could use to make a pocket on the wrap. It would mark center and be useful! I decided I would try to put a zipper on the pocket as well. I spent all of $30 and jad enough stuff to make two wraps with pockets. When I got home I started looking at my ring sling that has a zipper pocket on it. Then I started thinking about the pillow blanket my mom made my son. I thought it would be neat to be able to store the wrap inside and make kind of of a pillow out of it. So I had to make sure the inside if the pocket had a finished lining. This was the result.

 I decided I wanted a short wrap too, mostly for doing the Hip Cross Carry later on (when I'm not preggers). It ended up being a tad bit shorter than I wanted. I wanted this color because we are going to Myrtle Beach shortly after the baby is born and I am going to be doing some beach photos. Ive got a lot of ideas for this wraps versatility! I wanted 4 yards but they only has 3 and 5/8ths left. Luckily I'm tiny! I tried to do a regular rucksack with Raiden but he never cooperates for it. I decided to try a Short Cross Carry and then maneuver him onto my back. This was attempt number 2. The first time I tried the knot was too far around my back so I couldn't adjust it. It was also a little hard not to get my shirt all twisted.  Once I got everything situated though, it was quite comfortable for both of us! I should also be able to the Kangaroo Carry with it.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

1st Sewing Projects: Diapers and Such

We made the switch to cloth diapers around the same time we cut satellite. It was more of an effort to save money in the long run than being "green". The fact that it's good for the environment is a bonus! And my babies bums! Anyway, the prefolds that I have are just a little too long for the Raiden so I'd have to either fold it in the back or front. This is fine during the day but a night when I have to add doublers it was just too much bulk. I thought about buying fitteds but didn't want to spend more money. I started thinking about what I could do with my prefolds. I got out my scissors and a needle and thread. The covers hold the diaper in place so I don't have to fasten them but trifolding is a little narrow and fat and you can fold in half because the padding goes through the center and it would be too wide anyway. I cut some off the length then folded the sides in and stitched them together at the width I wanted. Trimmed off the excess, and sewed up the raw end, turned it (inside out/outside in) so the seam was inside. I couldn't get my sewing machine to work so I did it by hand. I left one end open so i can put doublers inside.

I had bought a wool cover for nighttime but really didn't like the fit of it. I came across an article about upcycling wool sweaters to make pull up type covers. So I dug in the closet and found an old one of Scott's that was 100% wool. Here I go trying to be frugal again and being green in the process.  The pattern is simple, cut a triangle from the waistband, bring all the points together at the center of the waistband, sew leaving the holes open for the legs. Then I used the neckband to make the cuffs for the legs holes. Simple. I then decided to make longies out of one of the arms. These are like a diaper cover a pj bottoms in one. I cut straight across from the armpit. Split the seam starting at the wrist to the desired inseam. I laid it so it was centered and cut through the other side. Stitched up the inseam and made a casing in the waste for a drawstring. Wah La!
But now I have another problem. I have to be able to fasten the diaper in these type covers.  First I just snipped the seam on one of the inserts I made that I didn't close the end on and cut wings. Then I fasten with snappies. This works fine but I came across another article on turning a prefold into a fitted so I thought I'd give it a try. I bought a new sewing machine but got a cheapy at Wal-Mart and it hasn't been particularly useful. So this is a combination of machine and hand sewing.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Why is the Vaccine topic so Controversial?

I have been in natural parenting circles in the past and it has always been the one and only off limits topic. Recently, I joined a new parenting group, in my new area. The group intends to meet every other month, discussing various topics.

The first month is going to be babywearing.  Everyone is very excited. Veterans get to show off their stash. Newcomers get to try them out. We get to see store bought items and one people have made themselves. Sounds like great fun! An opportunity to share ideas and learn new exciting things.

Then the next meets subject came up.... Vaccinations. The topic was going to be lead by a non vax'er.  A debate broke out on Facebook before we could even get to our first meeting. Moms who want to learn more about not vaccinating simply could not understand why it was a big deal to the moms who had already made the decision to vax. In the end the group decided the second regular meeting would be about natural remedies instead. And the vaccine discussion would be held at a different time just for those who had the desire to learn more and support one another. I think this was a great compromise. This way pro vaccinators don't feel alienated by the group.

But back to the main question! Why is it so touchy? The main reason is because no matter how hard the person may try, there is no way to discuss not vaccinating without attacking the other side. The topic itself has to be presented as a negative. As of right now there are no proven alternatives to vaccinations to be "FOR". You can only be against vaccinations. I guess you could be for "natural exposure". As some are with the less serious diseases such as chicken pox. Obviously though this isn't going to work for all the things we vax for. No one is going to hold a meningitis or polio party. Or you could say you are Pro Isolation until after the high risk age. I don't think this would be very appealing. Or even Pro Piggy Back... sorry that wasn't nice. But a fine example of how hard it is to talk about this without getting defensive. Someone said they didn't see why it had to be a debate. The definition of a debate is:

1. A discussion involving opposing points; an argument.
When you have a topic that you can't discuss specific benefits to, only the cons of the other side. It is inherently a debate.  Avoidance really isn't a benefit. When talking about disease prevention and irradication, it's really a lose/lose situation. You either take an active risk of side effects or a passive risk of disease. In the same respect avoiding disease isn't a "benefit" to vaccinating.

Someone also suggested that any topic we cover could be construed as controversial. It may be true that a too opinionated person could attack the other side of any subject but, every other topic can be discussed independently. We could hand out pamphlets on babywearing about the benefits without painting a portrait of strollers being evil DOOMbuggies! Lol You could have an entire talk about babywearing without ever mentioning the word stroller.  You can also be Pro Homebirth without being anti hospital, Pro breastfeeding without anti formula, Pro Cosleeping without anti bedding close by or crib. Heck if done right you could have a pro intact discussion without mentioning circumcision. You can be pro life without necessarily being anti choice, or even completely anti abortion. Personally I am Prolife but in favor of a womans right to choose when to engage in a procreative act. If that right is taken from her I also believe "life" starts at a heartbeat. Therefor in my book the morning after pill is no more abortive than breastfeeding. Anyway... I get  sidetracked easily... You could even be a pro delayed or alternitive schedule vax'er, or talk about the albeit very short list of benefits of vaccinating without bashing those who don't vaccinate.

So there you have it. I believe this is the perception of most vaccinating families and why it's so touchy. Everyone has their reasons why they make the parenting choices they do but not everyone wants to feel as if they need to defend that decision to a support group. Not to mention it is very hard when you feel attacked not to attack back.

Lastly, I would like to take a moment to thank the group leader for that night for respecting all of the moms without fully understanding why it was necessary. I know that we all want to support each other and not hurt each others feelings. I hope I haven't offended anyone in this post.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

32 week Maternity Photos

Big thanks to my Hubby for being patient with me and making these pics possible!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

This is what happens when you give up TV!

It wasn't really a huge conscious decision... It evolved. I always remember the Duggars saying that one of the good thing about not watching TV is that they aren't constantly fussing at the kids to be quiet and to not walk in front of the tv because my show is on. Now with the invention of DVR, that's really not too much of and issue, but still, I would sometimes catch myself doing the very same thing. Another problem would be that I would use naptime to catch up on my shows or end up staying up too late.
We decided back in  Nov/Dec that we were going to get rid of satellite to save money. We can still watch just about everything we watched before and more though the PC we have hooked to the TV. All of the networks except CBS are really good about having full episodes online and you can set up Hulu to work like a DVR. Between that, other channel websites like Disney, Nick, PBSkids, BabyfirstTV, and Netflix... There's never a shortage. But it was winter and most of my shows were on break. I found myself looking less and less for stuff for me to watch. I started going to bed earlier, eventhough I sometimes lie in bed and get online or blog, and using naptime to be more productive. We incorporated bible time into our routine at 8:00 when Raiden goes to bed which is the time in the evening I used to start watching TV.

When it came time to for my shows to start playing new episodes again, I had to stop and think. Is this really important? Does this benefit me or my kids? Do I NEED tv in my life? NO!!! Are there better things I could do with my time? Does it lessen any stress or cause less conflict for me not to watch? YES!!!

So what have I gained? First of all I don't miss it. We have been able to stick to our routine of bible time better without it. I "watch" my kids play more and interact with them more. Not that I never did before but I feel like I observe and get drawn in more. My house has been tidier and we have kept to our chore packs. I have been budgeting/couponing more. The first "hobby" I started was blogging. I do it more for myself than anything. I've always thought about keeping a journal but never did. I think it will be neat for me and my kids to go back and read these someday. It gives me an opportunity to share a little of things that are important to me and to maybe encourage someone else.

Then I started sewing. First diapers and covers, then wraps, then a dress. I'm planning to learn to hand embroider next.

So in essence, not watching TV has prompted me to explore more worth while hobbies. It has also lead to me saving even more money through my sewing projects. I'm sure this summer I will spend more time outside and hopefully explore more photography. I'm happier and feel more fulfilled. I've also started living greener. If I were still watching TV in the evenings I wouldn't be reading blogs and learning about products I never knew existed.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Co-sleeping AP update

In my post My Journey to Attachment Parenting , I talked about how the sleeping arrangements are always changing at my house. This happens when everybody isn't getting the best sleep, we find what works better for this stage of that child development. When I left off we had just moved Ronan into Jacob old room. Sometimes he would sleep in there and other times he would end up in the big boys bed. The PS3 is in Ronans room and Joshua has started playing online with his friends. He gets to stay up until 10, an hour after Jacob and Summer. So a lot of times Jacob would get Ronan to come to bed with him. This would be fine except a) It would keep the boys from being able to make their bed in the morning or b) they would end up waking him up. So we decided to put an extra mattress in the floor in our bedroom. The other night he decided to get into our bed. I told Scott I didn't think it was a good idea because there wouldn't be room once the baby gets here. I was afraid it would become a habit and then he would resent the baby for kicking him out of mommy and daddys bed!  Scott insisted it wouldn't be a problem. Ronan kicks a lot so Scott slept in the middle to "protect" me. I ended up with very little bed. This in itself was a problem for me being pregnant. I have to sleep on my side and I use my top knee like a kick stand to prop me up. I didn't have room to do this. Then I woke up with no covers and Ronan was laying on top of them so I couldn't just pull them back over!  The next day I began to contemplate a solution. I decided it would be best if Scott slept in Ronans bed with him. He gets the security he's seeking. Then when the new baby gets here we will have plenty of room!

Tonight Ronan jumped up in the bed with me. I told him he needed to get in his bed with Daddy. He said, "but I love you!" I was like Awe! Go get your pillow and blankie! He ended up laying back down with Scott. I guess he just needed to know I would let him if he really wanted to.

I know some people wouldn't agree, but it works for us. With Joshua, he ended up in the back in the bed with us after his crib. At one point we had a full size bed and a twin bumped up together. Scott and Joshua on the big bed, me on the twin! We transitioned him back to his own space when he turned 5 no problem. Well, with Jacob!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

My 1st DIY Wrap

I made one of these for a friend and one for me out of 5 yards of gauze fabric split lengthwise and 1/3 yard of the woven fabric for the pocket. It's not perfect by any means... But not bad for a first try. I wasn't thinking and didn't by reversible zippers so you have to make sure when it's in pillow form you keep the zipper pull out and hold it that way and kinda push the zipper open.

You can look all the carries up on If you do the Pocket Wrap Cross Carry (PWCC) the pouch will be on babies back. It's more supportive but if it's real hot out the extra layers will make it hotter for baby. It's also good for very discrete nursing.  You can put the baby in the cradle position instead of tummy to tummy to nurse if you find that more comfy.

With the Front Cross Carry(FCC) the pouch will be at the small of your back.. The wrap will only go across baby twice so it's a nice cool wrap job. Plus it ties in the front so if your driving with it pre-tied it's more comfy.

The Kangaroo carry would be cool too. I could've brought the ties back around front with this length.

I haven't done it with a real baby yet, but from practicing with a doll I like like the Double Hammock(DH) or sometimes called Chunei Carry, best so far for a back carry. The pouch ends up across your chest.

With both the Front Wrap Cross Carry(FWCC) and Back Wrap Cross Carry(BWCC) the pouch would be buried under the crosses but you could still do them if you wanted. 

If you'd rather do a back carry that doesn't go across your chest you can do a Rucksack and the pouch is on babys back. It would be cooler than the DH. There's a reinforced(RR) version but it puts the crosses over the pouch and baby. After practicing with my baby doll, I couldn't get the reinforcement part as high on the baby as I wanted going under my arms to tie Tibetan style. I decided to come back over my shoulders and tie in the back. This is what some call a Wiggle Proof(WP). I think, if you were doing it with the legs out, with the RR the reinforcement would go over the first leg then under the second leg, and vice versa with the WP.  So the jury is out on a fav back carry. Raiden wasn't cooperating and leaning over with my big belly was getting tiresome.

Of course there are hip carries too but obviously not for a newborn. I use my ring sling for that with the bigger ones and only for up/down times. It hurts my shoulder too much after a while. Although I did try tying this wrap with a sailors knot and put Ronan in and it may be more comfy than my ringsling but this one is too long. I'm going to buy more fabric and make me a rebozo next! (I ended up getting a little over 3 1/2 yards). I'll be able to do a short wrap cross carry, and hip cross carry with it... I'll post it later.

With all the different carries and variations it sounds confusing, but the versatility is the beauty of a wrap. I think once you figure out which works best for you in different situations you won't even have to think about it anymore.

For me.... For around the house in the early days/weeks, when the baby is nursing frequently, I'll prob use the FCC. When he/she starts going longer between feeds and staying awake longer, I'll use either DH or WP to get things done and play with my other little ones.

For grocery shopping, and long outings, PWCC, unless I think it's too hot, then FCC. If baby needs a view I'd switch to a back carry, probably DH to take advantage of my pouch, unless I just end up finding another more comfy or secure.

For short trips that I won't be standing a lot I think I'll try the Kangaroo carry.  Or just pull out my New Native pouch sling. I also like it for wearing a baby down because I can take it off and lay the baby down without having to take the baby out and disturb them.

Happy Babywearing!