Friday, February 25, 2011


As parents I can only hope that we take the time to question the "norm". When we found out we were having a boy the topic of circumcision came up. My husband is circumcised so our instinct was that is "normal". Most men that we know are circumcised so there must be a reason that this procedure is done. Well...there isn't (unless for religious reasons) and it isn't even the norm anymore. For our generation about 80% were circumcised, now it is closer to 30%! We also asked ourselves, if there was a surgery to modify our daughters vagina to look more "normal" or prettier would we do it? Of course not. We couldn't even agree to put erythromycin in her (or his) eyes at birth but we were going to cut a piece of their body off for fun? I have heard stories of women who didn't research and regret it and stories of women who did research and their husbands vetoed their opinion because they want "like father, like son". Those stories hurt my heart for both the parents and the children. I am so glad that my husband doesn't want his son to be "just like him" he wants him to be better. We both want our kids to be better. So we make choices and open doors for sometimes difficult conversations so that they will be better.

Here are a couple of circumcision resources:
Dr. Sears
Peaceful Parenting- this one is really sad

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A view from the back(pack)

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air, water + earth

Sawyer is the air that surrounds me. I just want to breathe her in. Larger than life. Big as the sky. Always changing, fascinating. Leaves me aching for more beyond the horizon. Every sunset, every day, new + different.

Oakley is the water that quenches my thirsty soul. I drink deeply from her beautiful eyes- Bubbly + fresh, yet cool, calm, and consistent. Tranquil. The ocean has high + low tides, but remains reliable + steadfast. Day after day.

One equal fundamental element links them both.

Dennison is my earth. The ground I stand on. familiar terrain that gives my weary heart strength and from which I always spring anew. I stretch deep roots into him, and grow tall and strong because of him.

I love the world in which I live!
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Tuesday, February 22, 2011


lately Dennison (my husband) and I have been questioning exactly when to reign in our free-spirited two year old. Sawyer is so full of life! It thrills us to watch her jump and dance and sing and hug and LIVE! When we go to library storytime, she is hand-in-hand with the librarian- counting the other children, encouraging them to sing, vigorously shaking her tambourine. She seems so much...bigger than some of the other children.

I never dreamed someone so small could be so big. As a child, I was a reader. When I was growing up, if I did something that warranted punishment, my mom would withhold my books from me. "Go outside and play" was doom and gloom. It wasn't that I minded being outside, I just wanted to swing in the hammock and read while outside.

Sawyer has so much energy and life in her tiny body. It's a constant balance of letting her fly free and reeling her in, much like flying a kite. If you allow a kite too much leeway, it will get tangled in a tree or stolen by the wind. Not enough freedom, and the kite will never really take off- just skip roughly along the ground.

Every week we go to a preschool education program at the local zoo. It's designed for three to five year olds, but Sawyer has been doing a wonderful job actively participating, so I'm going to continue taking her. Usually only four other children attend with her, so it's a great environment to learn and explore. Last week, however, a mother's group attended, bringing at least thirty extra children in attendance. Needless to say, this greatly strained the relaxed, peaceful environment usually present.

I watched another "hippie mamma" at the table across from us. Hippie mammas can be spotted from a mile away. Usually wearing some sort of a baby carrying apparatus wrapped around our bodies. Something in our vibe or aura. Maybe it's from defending our right to nurse in public, or people questioning why on earth we would strap ourselves to our children during the day, or sleep with them at night. Regardless, sometimes hippie mammas wear a "don't jack with me" attitude along with their baby. This mamma did.

The class instructors specifically directed all children to free play with the homemade play-dough, water table, and puzzles for the first fifteen minutes of the class. The craft, painting a whale cut-out blue, was prepared and already pre-set on the table. The mamma nudged her son toward the painting table. He hesitated. I SAW the hesitation in his face. He knew he was going against the grain. Breaking the rules. He was wary. His mamma said "it's okay, go ahead and paint". A few brush strokes passed, when the teacher announced again "please stay away from painting until painting time" Again, he hesitated, and again his mamma encouraged. Another mother specifically addressed the mamma, stating that painting "wasn't allowed right now". The son set his paintbrush down, and went to work on puzzles. His mamma called him back, and told him to continue painting. She said "there's not enough activities for everyone. If they didn't want you to paint right now, they should have had more to do".

My heart ached for this little boy. His whole life he will be going against the grain. Like it or not. Please don't misunderstand me. I'm totally for questioning authority and re-thinking the way it "has" to be. HOWEVER, for the sake of our children and in respect of others, sometimes we must conform our way of life and thinking to others.

I want Sawyer to understand that she can run and jump and sing and play- just not in someone else's personal space (or at least not TOO much in another's personal space). I want her to question authority- as long as she can respect chosen leaders. Every week, we make a point to thank each "teacher" we come into contact with. It's so important to learn respect for our leaders. Leaders at the library. Leaders at the zoo. I firmly believe that if you are respectful toward others, people will grant you allowances. This will let you dance. and sing. and laugh. and question...and soar like a kite.


Friday, February 18, 2011


Why are we so tough on other women? Women we know, women we don't know. Doesn't seem to matter. They judge us, we judge them. Some of us may not admit it, because most of us aren't proud of it. So why do we do it? Why is it so hard to accept that one word: Mom, Woman, Sister, Friend ect... can mean something different to each person? I don't say that I'm proud of my choices so that you can feel bad about yours. I say that I am proud of my choices because while they aren't always easy, they are the right choices for me. Lets be proud of each other, encourage each other, support each other in all walks of life because we are alike in at least one way. We are women. Decendants of Eve. Sisters. Let us lead our daughters by example of love, acceptance, forgiveness, and grace. So that they don't make the same mistakes that we do. Happy Friday! Hope you get to spend time with women you love this weekend. I do!!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

friday re-fresh

so, in my former life, I created, owned, ran, and loved a floral + event design studio called "Wild Poppy". Sometimes in the midst of my daily run of diapers, singing songs, wiping noses, and reading books, my mind strays...would it really be better for me, and in turn my family, if I returned, even if just simply part time, to the outside world?

Last Friday I had the opportunity to re-enter the working world. (actually earning a paycheck!!) The local flowershop on the square was needing seasonal help for the Valentine's weekend and hired me as a designer. I was thrilled. My husband would watch the girls Friday night, all day Saturday, and all day Sunday- popping in as needed for me to nurse Oakley.


Three hours into my working evening on Friday, Dennison came by with the kids. Sawyer was still in good spirits- high from spending so much time with Daddy. Oakley was falling apart. Literally. In every sense of the word. Her sweet beautiful baby skin was blotchy from crying and her clear blue eyes filled with watery tears. She and I had never been apart for more than fifteen minutes. We sleep together. Take showers together. I wear her in a sling. I took a deep breath, fighting back my OWN tears- I never wanted my babies to feel this way! I just needed a I gave my sweet nursling "nie nie", gave Sawyer kisses, and helped Dennison load the girls back into the car. He called an hour later- they were having a major meltdown. All the way home, Sawyer couldn't stop crying "but we CAN'T go home without Momma!" and of course, this was making Oakley cry even harder than she was. "me time" was quickly turning out to be a selfish choice.

I have no doubt that right now, exactly where I'm at in my life, my place is in the home with my babies and my husband. It's so easy to glamorize "something different" and "me time". I need to find my "me time" in the midst of my everyday. How can I shave off a few seconds here, and a minute or two there, and come up with some truely peaceful moments in my day? After all, quite honestly, that's what I'm after. I love my children. I can be around them all day and STILL want to breathe them in at night. I need to learn to be more peaceful and zen and appreciate small moments so my frustration doesn't build so much that I feel the need to get away from the very thing I've always wanted.

It was odd to work at the flower shop and honestly not think about the kids for MINUTES at a time. I was shocked that this was even possible. My entire being is usually so consumed with thoughts of everyone else- how's Denn at work? what do I need to feed Sawyer more of so she'll poop? when should I introduce avocado to Oakley? While working, literally 10 minutes would fly by before I would stop and wonder how my little family was faring without me.

I also realized that anyone can do flowers. Well, almost anyone. They may not be able to add the special touches that I can, but who cares? They're beautiful and stunning I'm raising strong, beautiful, independant, smart, funny, happy children. Nobody can do that better than me. At least not for the two kiddos I've got right now.

Working outside the home? I hated it. And loved it. And, as I reassured my sobbing two year old, I'll never do it again. At least for the next five years. At least.


Saturday, February 12, 2011

What a difference a week makes!

Last week I called Heather in tears. My 2yr old and 9 week old have had 3 colds in 6 weeks. We have left the house as a 3some a handful of times and I was/is feeling lonely. Trying to adjust to this wonderful change that is our baby boy, while staying healthy and home.

I don't know about you but I am definitely someone who likes to go, go, go. For years, while working in the fashion industry, I complained about the go,go, go but now I see that I thrived on it. After Lily (my first was born) it took me 6 months to slow my brain down. As the mother of an extremely needy child, Lily came out screaming. She screamed a lot her first year of life. Everytime we got in the car she screamed. Me, so used to go go going would just drive, a bit too quickly, to where ever we we going. We would arrive frazzled and exhausted. When I met Heather, who has a daughter much like my own, I asked her "What do you do when she screams in the car?!". Her response, so simple, but so life changing for me, was "I pull over."....DUH! Why was I always in such a hurry to get to the store, or my parents house, or the library? I was no longer punching a time clock, Lily was/is my time clock. At that moment I started to adjust my thinking. To be what my children need, when they need it. Within reason of course!

Our days started to become more "normal". We planned playdates, visited the library, went to the park. If it was a rough day we canceled, if we had to pull over we were just late. It felt nice to get in a groove. It felt nice to be meeting my childs needs and having adult conversations with other moms. Our groove seemed short lived since when Lily was 13 months old I got pregnant with Dawson. With morning sickness and being tired and our dear friends and almost daily companions moving away, we stayed home more and I focused on getting through each day while still entertaining/growing Lily.

Towards the end of my pregnancy the lonliness set in. I noticed myself becoming more and more insecure and grew tired of giving so much to my daughter and not enough to my husband which contributed to my insecurities. Now 2 months after having Dawson I am struggling to get back to my "normal". Trying to figure out how to meet the needs of my husband, my 2 children (1 who is still extremely needy, wanting to hold my hand 24/7 but redeems herself by telling me I'm her "fwend" and giving me hugs and kisses, and 1 who is nursing every hour 24/7), my home, and my own needs which these days are daytime companionship. Last week I felt like I was drowning in these emotions. I found myself wondering Am I the only Stay at Home Mom that feels so alone? Why doesn't anyone talk about it? Why don't we reach out to other mom's in the supermarket, mall, or park? This week, with the kids feeling better I decided to try and get a grip on things. I printed a daily/weekly chore list to check off each day, we went to the store, to a music class, to play with friends. And overall it was a good week. The kids were in good spirits, healthy, and happy. Lily is learning so much right now. She is saying her letter sounds, it is amazing to see the fruits of my labor! And overall I feel good. I hope you feel good today too!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

stopping to smell the babies xo (Sawyer's last day to nurse)

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Breastfeeding in publix (or any other grocery store...or anywhere else!)

Where do you nurse your baby? When Sawyer was "new", I would leave the room (if we were home + around fam or friends). If we were running errands, I would trek back to the car before nourishing her.

With Oakley- I nurse anywhere + everywhere. A few months ago, I finally figured out how to nurse in my Boba baby carrier (its basically like an Ergo) and that even ELEVATED my ability to NIP (nurse in public). I nurse Oak when we're grocery shopping, in a busy mall, or on a nature walk in the park.

Boldly nursing feels very freeing. It feels good to not feel ashamed to nurse. To feel proud of my body's ability to produce nourishment for my child, and my choice to not use formula.

However convenient, NIP makes me take a slight pause. Am I robbing Oakley of a quiet, peaceful, loving interaction by "nursing on the fly"? Have I gotten too comfortable, too confident with breastfeeding? Is my ability to facebook or text while nursing really elevating our bonding time together?

Its important to be able to multi-task and be flexible in situations. I believe it helps our children better at adapting to new surroundings + happenings...however, throughout our crazy hectic day, don't forget to stop and smell the baby.

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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

crafts for toddlers

I'm trying to "bloom where I'm planted" so to speak, so I've recently become involved in a local mom's club. In the spirit of biting off more than I can chew (something I have a habit of doing), I have offered to host arts/music over at my house every Tuesday. Starting March 1st.

That sounded SO simple when I suggested it.

In trying to lesson plan, I'm finding it difficult to find different crafts for young toddlers. Sawyer is 26 months old, and the age range of kiddos is probably early two to four. hmmm...

Every craft I am coming across seems to complicated for such little hands. I need inspiration + suggestion!! I will update as I find things, and post pictures as projects are completed.

Here's to a crafty month of March! :)

our goals are simple

as women, mothers, and friends, our goals are simple:

love our husband(s) and babies. be kind and generous to those in our lives. to learn and to help teach. strengthen our faith and the faith of our family. be gentle to the earth and its inhabitants. stop and smell the roses (or at least the crayons!)