January 26, 2010

Great Books for Raising a Healthy Child

Speaking of birth...If you are expecting a sweet bundle of love or already have one, here are a few great books to add to your library.

Preparing for Birth

Birthing from Within by Pam England - Good resource for preparing for the spiritual and physical reality of childbirth without creating anxiety in the reader. It's one of the only books I read on the subject that explores a woman's expectations of childbirth and offers a review of options without condemning the reader if she has chosen a hospital birth. If you're going to buy a book on the topic, skip the "What to expect..." books (they list everything that can possibly go wrong - like your mind doesn't explore these possibilities already!) and just read this one.

If you're looking for a month by month or week by week update on what's going on with your body and your baby, there are some great - FREE - online tools that aren't so scary!

Herbal for the Childbearing Year, Susan Weed. Great book on healthy herbs for moms before, during and after pregnancy. Susan Weed is definitely a very earthy person but has an encyclopedic level of knowledge about herbs. I refer to this book frequently.

After your baby arrives

The Baby Book - Dr. William Sears and Martha Sears R.N. - The main reason I love this book is that it is awesome for the middle of the night when your baby is crying and you're trying not to freak out. It is a sort of middle of the road book - empowering parents to understand basic stages of growth and common baby ailments. Dr. Sears does advocate immunization but gives parents suggestions for what to do before running to the doctor. I avoided a lot of unecessary doctor visits with this book. Oh, and besides running a very successful pediactric practice, this couple has raised eight children of their own! One of their sons is on an afternoon show called "The Doctors".

Smart Medicine for a Healthier Child - Zand, Roundtree and Walton. My sister-in-law bought this book for me. It also lists common childhood ailments and different treatment modalities for each ailment, including Herbal, Nutritional, Homeopathic or Allopathic (what an M.D. would prescribe).

I am passionate about being educated about health. We moms are our families' best doctors. Our intuition gives us insight into our kids' health even before we can feel that they have a fever. Our love for them gives us the strength to stay up all night when they're sick. But education give us confidence that we know the best course of action for a sick little person - whether that's a home remedy and rest or a trip to the doctor. Now that's a good feeling.

Blessings on you as you "doctor" your family. Hope these books help!

January 12, 2010

Just a little birth faith...

I ran across a great post today on Busca La Luz's blog, Birth Faith. She brings up some great points about birthing positions and how woman lose about 20-30% of their pelvic floor by laying on their backs during birth. I first came across this information in Pam England's book, "Birthing from Within".

Take a minute to think of the ramifications of this information. Women lie on their backs in birth for a few reasons, among the most common...
1. They are being administered an epidural and/or pitocin and are attached to a monitor.
2. The doctor can "see" what's going on better that way. It has nothing to do with making birth easier

As a result, labor for a woman on her back may not progress very quickly because her pelvis is compressed as much as 20-30%. Is it any wonder so many women are given episiotomies and/or a c-sections?

I can attest that being upright and mobile made the birth of my second child a very different experience from the first. The first time, my 30+ body, giving birth for the first time seemed to be saying, "You want me to push WHAT out of my WHAT????" I found the hospital atmosphere uncomfortable and my labor progressed slowly. Twenty-eight hours after my water broke, many physicians would have counseled me to have a  c-section.

Fortunately, my physician believed that letting my healthy, un-distressed baby find her own way out was far safer than opting for a surgical delivery. She did offer the option of pitocin and an epi - which I took. And, lucky for me, my daughter did find her own way out without surgery. The second time, I was comfortable at home with my midwife and moved around naturally, doing chores around the house till I felt ready to get down to business. A good use of all that "nesting" energy! This time, my labor only lasted 5 hours.

I do believe there are times when a c-section is a wise choice. I just don't believe it's necessary as often as it's performed. Regardless, I do NOT believe in condemning women for their delivery choices. We need to encourage each other, educate ourselves on birth and trust our inner wisdom and our bodies!

Take a little hike over to Busca's blog. She does a great job researching the subject of childbirth and is committed to providing balanced, interesting information about making the experience of birth a beautiful thing.

January 11, 2010

How love changes us...

The holidays are over and our regular day to day activities have returned. With them arrived an incredible amount of clutter, despite all my cleaning out before the holidays. We received so much for Christmas - and I am truly grateful to those people who love my children and gift them with such lovely treasures. However, the treasures offer me a new challenge - to find places for all of them!

As you know, it's not my strongest gift to maintain the most organized house with small people running around. I should probably say that pre-kids and pre-husband, when I had my own apartment and worked a strenuous job, I needed a very strict schedule and clean space to maintain my sanity. I went to bed by 10 pm, rose at 4:30 am every morning to hike and was at work by 6:30 am. It worked for me and I liked the rigidity of my schedule.

But one day, my life changed. I fell in love. And, as my mother predicted (though I insisted she wouldn't be right), I fell in love with a musician. Not just any musician. A genius musician who read theory books because he liked them (weird, right?) and was always in a rock band. Of course, rock bands don't often finish playing before 10 pm. So, my schedule fell on it's head and it's never been the same since. Well, I wasn't satisfied just dating this guy, I had to go marry him, leave my job in aviation technology to pursue other things I loved - like music.

Funny things about musicians. Not only do they work late, they work often. It's the only way to do what they love and still manage to eat! As the years pass, I've embraced the reality that as musicians, we'll never have schedules quite like the rest of our friends and family. That's ok with us because we're doing what we love. But, I am also learning that within our own crazy schedule, we need to find a routine that works for us.

So, this week I made a small resolution. I'm going to go back to a more regular schedule - for my own sanity. For starters, it's going to include an earlier bedtime and an earlier morning, preferably before Destructo Girl (as we affectionately call our youngest) wakes. Hopefully, this will allow me to get into a routine that will help me to 1. Keep my house more organized, 2. Schedule more time to play with my kids (my biggest priority) and 3. Be more cheerful in general for my family and that musician guy I still lovely - madly. 

I'll let you know how it goes...

January 5, 2010

With my naked eyes...

Over the holidays, my husband's and my performance schedule required some crazy schedule juggling and my taking kids to babysitters (or waiting for babysitters to arrive). While my girls are great sports, unusual schedules take their toll on the best of us so I tried to move us quickly from one event to the next without rushing. Unfortunately, my most careful planning didn't leave a lot of time for me to primp before concerts.

So, I would run into the bathroom before each show and put on some makeup. One night, I quickly curled my eyelashes and reached up to stroke them with the mascara wand. Whoops! I missed. Hm. Strange. I swiped and missed again. Uh-oh. I began to experience an uncomfortable sensation in the pit of my stomach. Then, I looked closely in the mirror.


There were no eyelashes in the middle of my left eye! I grabbed the eyelash curler and looked at it. Yup. I hadn't pulled out one or two eyelashes but ALL SIX of the eyelashes in the middle of my lid! All right, so I didn't have that many lashes to begin with - the loss of them was still profound. I realized I'd forgotten to clean the curler the last time I used it. Ok, let me be honest. I'm not very good at cleaning this tool at all, let alone each time I use it. But, I didn't have time to feel badly for too long because I had to go to my concert. So, I threw my stuff back in my makeup bag and left.

As if this wasn't bad enough, the next night at another concert, I repeated my quick turnaround and makeup routine. If you can believe it, I pulled out the same curler and proceeded to rip the eyelashes out of my other eye! I couldn't believe it. In a day, I'd managed to forget the horrible experience of the preceding night and completely decimate what remaining lashes I had! I looked in the mirror and assessed the damage. My eyes looked - naked - but at least they matched.

I'll leave it to you to decide what the moral of this story should be. Be happy with my eyelashes without curling them?  Clean the curler? Leave more time to primp? Or, be willing to set new trends with bald eyes?

Regardless, I am happy to report that slowly but surely, my eyelashes are growing back.

January 4, 2010

Great giveaway of beautiful jewelry

Afternoon all ~

Sara Janssen over at Walk Slowly, Live Wildly - is starting off the New Year with a great giveaway from Lisa Leonard designs. To enter the giveaway, go here .

Good luck!
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