10 December 2012
06 December 2012
19 October 2012
There were times I just was so "touched out" when you were little and now I will feel lucky if you let me hug you for more than a second today...it goes fast, people! I've still got little ones who are happy to cuddle, but someday I won't and I try to remember that every day.
Happy birthday, sweetie. Fifteen is a long time to have been a mom - feels like a lifetime and an instant all at once.
14 July 2012
( and bid on my belly cast kit so I don't feel like a loser! ;-)
12 July 2012
I send good thoughts to all for whom today is dark in spite of the sun.
18 June 2012
My thought for the day as I plan to attend another damn Board of Education meeting tonight and make plans to go to hearings over the summer about two great teachers denied tenure, oh and try to help people have the births they want to have whenever possible:
History is filled with situations where most people shrugged their shoulders and said, "what can we do? it is the way it is" about any number of things...while others persevered on pushing the proverbial boulder up the damn hill...and eventually things changed.
If each of us is not willing to stand up and speak out when we see something we don't like being done by a power structure, then nothing will ever change.
I think it's getting to be about time for some "Speak truth to power" and "Power to the people"
I am Sisyphus - are you? 'cause this boulder is too heavy to move it by myself. ;-) Join me - it will even be fun - I'll bring the iced coffee.
15 June 2012
16 May 2012
15 May 2012
ACNM Releases Research Showing Significant Midwifery Care Benefits
..."In addition to improved health outcomes, midwives’ high-touch, low-tech approach to care is associated with lower costs for clients and insurers. Midwives’ judicious, evidence-based use of technology results in a reduced likelihood of unnecessary interventions, including cesareans – a practice in the United States that dramatically increased in less than 40 years from 5 to 33 percent.[ii]..."
13 May 2012
Together, Mothers Are Powerful.
Last month’s furor over the remarks of political pundits and candidate’s wives launched a flurry of conversation among mothers.
Mothers have a voice of their own to add to the discussion. Authors, activists and others have been writing and identifying the issues raised this political season for decades, and women have been listening, again and again.
It’s time for mothers’ own voices to be heard.
We are a bi-partisan coalition of women’s organizations, experts, and writers who have diligently worked on bringing mother’s issues into the mainstream political discussion.
Some of us are advocates, and some are community organizations. Many of us are authors and experts about mothers’ lives as well. All of us recognize the value of a mother's contribution to her family, both the paid and unpaid work that women do.
Our message is simple: all mothers need more support.
This Mother’s Day we want to get the word out about our ideas, our work, and our priorities. We offer the following list to provide resources for real information and places for women to gather for intelligent discourse on the many problems — and solutions — to the issues facing mothers and families.
We offer this list as an alternative to the tired and cliched coverage of mothers in the mainstream media.
Please join your voice with ours this Mother's Day. Together, Mothers are powerful.
* * * * *
Author, The Price of Motherhood
Co-founder “MOTHER: Mothers Ought to Have Equal Rights”
Past President, Mothers & More
08 May 2012
Coincidentally, I was in my middle son's 5th grade class this morning to help the kids thank their wonderful teacher - the kids were thrilled to show him what they had made and I think the teacher was truly touched...they all have some great memories so far this year.
On National Teacher Day, I'd like to thank just some of the important teachers I've been blessed to have:
my parents, Cindy & Denny Collins, k-3 (home schooled); Mrs. Bramlett, 4th grade; Mrs. Flemming, 6th grade; Mrs. Snead, 7th grade; Polly Field, 10th grade; Janet Schneider, 11th/12th, Goeffrey Reeves, undergrad; Debra Pascali-Bonaro, DONA certification and beyond; Deborah Flowers & Ina May Gaskin, midwifery assistant program at The Farm. And my kids, every day, whether I like it or not!
What about you - who would you thank if you could?
07 May 2012
9:30-11:00 am. Please note our new meeting day!
Meetings are ALWAYS FREE of charge. Moms, Moms-to-be, babies and children are all welcome. Although we have a monthly topic, all questions and issues will be addressed. One-on-one assistance with a Leader is available in the half hour following the meeting.
May 10 Advantages of Breastfeeding
June 14 The Baby Arrives: The Family & the Breastfed Baby
July 12 The Art of Breastfeeding & Avoiding Difficulties
August 9 Nutrition & Weaning
new meeting location for 2012!
Aleksandra (973) 744-2971 Andrea (908) 810-5645 Emily (973) 218-1122 Miriam (973) 533-6887
Free LLL Magazine New Beginnings
Free LLL Magazine Breastfeeding Today
03 May 2012
02 May 2012
I always write my cell in their backpacks, jackets, lunch boxes etc. rather than their name and address/home phone for obvious reasons...
As for ideas about arming your little kids with your contact information when they are too young to remember it and will be out and about in big, public places (like field trips, travel...), here are some of the suggestions I heard:
- get dog tags made up with parents' names and cells, to be worn under shirt and shown only to another mom or person in uniform if lost
- put your business card in their pocket/sock etc.
- write on their belly
- get personalized temporary tattoos made up for special outings
11 April 2012
It's laundry time again...but when is it not?
I was just cheered by a devious thought: I could declare unmatched SOCK BANKRUPTCY...just toss them all away or donate them to some worthy sock puppet maker and be done with it.
But first, some questions:
How do my children get so many holes in their socks?
And that age-old conundrum, where the hell do all the missing socks go? Maybe they are all under couches and kid beds from hasty room clean ups after I've yelled and threatened?
I usually put my own socks (just my own, alas) in a bag so they don't get lost. But I slacked on this lately and have paid the price...I'm missing two favorites. sigh. I hate laundry and I hate missing socks.
I just keep reminding myself how freaking easy I have it since I don't have to haul all our dirty clothes and linens to a laundromat or hand wash them in a river of questionable cleanliness or whatever.
But back to sock bankruptcy...is everyone else already doing this except me? Anyone willing to join me?
*I didn't make this sock puppet
05 April 2012
Lucky for me, my oldest son has a "tell"...he does something with his face when he's not being, shall we say, completely honest. I've told him this but not what the sign is...I'm not stupid! Interestingly, my husband gets almost the same expression when he's being a bit dishonest.
If you would like to know some of the signs that your kid, or anyone, may be hiding something, check out 10 Physical Signs a Child is Lying to You
*for info on the Pinnochio image above, look here
27 March 2012
I started a sewing class tonight and brought my trusty machine bought for me when I was a little kid. I was interested in making all sorts of projects - I made "rugs" and cut up an awful lot of pillow cases once to make a "lab coat" for the science lab I was making in my closet (oy!). In high school I was queen of modifying my clothes - think unflattering peg leg jeans...
Sewing on the machine tonight made me think of my mom fondly. Sure, she made me a few hideous outfits on that machine (I recall, in particular, a polyester coulott jumpsuit which thankfully got caught in the chain of my bike) , but also some cool stuff - lots of Barbie clothes which must have been super hard to make.
Anyway, I think it was a cool gift for her to have given me...I miss her.
21 March 2012
08 March 2012
registration for the 2012 Conference for LLL of the Garden State is now open. The conference is April 20-22. Please visit www.lllgardenstate.com to download the 2012 Conference Registration Booklet and Registration Form. A fantastic weekend is planned and we hope to see you there!
Of course, babies and children are welcome at all of our meetings. Refreshments are served and free informational reprints are available. As a mother to mother support group, meetings are a wonderful place to ask questions to other moms who have "been there & done that".Membership: While a mom does NOT need to be a member to come to a meeting and receive the support she needs, we ask moms to consider membership if they feel they are benefitting from the group. We are a volunteer nonprofit Group and all membership fees go directly to helping moms and babies. Membership is $40 per year and includes access to our lending library and discounts for conferences.If you have any questions about the meeting or individual questions about breastfeeding, please call one of the Leaders; Aleksandra: , Andrea: Emily: , or Miriam .
27 February 2012
ICAN of Greater Essex County Meeting dates
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Held @ Seton Hall University, South Orange
Arts & Science Building, Room 208A, 6:30 pm
This is shaping up to be an exciting year for ICAN of Greater Essex County!
We will be hosting our first meeting of 2012 on Tuesday, February 28 @ 6:30 p.m. Trish DeTura*, RN, CNM, MS will presenting on Mayan Abdominal Massage and about how it can help moms recovering from birth, particularly our moms who have had c-sections! Not to be missed!
We will be celebrating our first anniversary this March.
Elaine Diegmann, ND, CNM, Director of the Nurse-Midwifery Program at UMDNJ will be presenting in April. She will speak about the work happening at Newark Beth Israel to reduce their c-section rate and to move from Worst to First! Trish DeTura will also give an encore presentation for those who could not make the February 28th meeting. So excited to see the transformation in our community! If you plan to attend any of the meetings, please RSVP either by email or on our Facebook page, under events. Looking forward to seeing you at the next meeting!
* Trish is amazing - you owe it to yourself to get in to see her!
24 February 2012
Do yourself a favor and check out Ups and Down's Syndrome with sabrina bean photography. I bet it will change you in some way...I found this very touching, for I was once the doula in a very similar situation and that baby is surpassing all expectations now, just like this little girl...happy birthday to her.
The poem from their doula, which could apply to anyone's birth story:
“When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip – to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It’s all very exciting.
After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, “Welcome to Holland.”
“Holland?!?” you say. “What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I’m supposed to be in Italy. All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy.”
But there’s been a change in the flight plan. They’ve landed in Holland and there you must stay.
The important thing is that they haven’t taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It’s just a different place.
So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.
It’s just a different place. It’s slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you’ve been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around…. and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills….and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.
But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy… and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say “Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go. That’s what I had planned.”
And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away… because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.
But… if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things … about Holland.
23 February 2012
21 February 2012
18 February 2012
middle kid, age 11: "there's the bikini tree!"
youngest kid, age 7: "those aren't bikinis, they are bras"
middle: "same thing"
youngest: "actually, they are not the same thing"
I don't know why this struck me as funny, but it did
A nice moment later in the day: the youngest one (on skis) towed his snowboarding brother over a flat part so they could both get to the fun part faster. I heart them.
15 February 2012
Have you ever thought about writing and sharing your birth story? Birth stories from all women, including minority and/or immigrant women, and the voice of midwives and doulas are wanted for a book about birth stories from the perspective of the midwife, doula, and mother. If fathers want to write about the birth experience as a result of supporting and witnessing their wife's birth, they are welcome as well. All birth stories will be accepted regardless of the outcome. For example, still born birth stories. Share your birth story and email it to me.
For more info, contact email@example.com. You may send your story in English or Spanish. The first draft is due by March 31st, 2012. Please help spread the word. Thank you!
14 February 2012
Can't hurt & might very well help your baby be in the best position (anterior vs. posterior/"back labor") for an easier labor and a lower chance of c-section ...check out this important topic on ICAN's blog or go to the wonderful source, Spinning Babies - I have studied with Gail Tully, of Spinning Babies & it's amazing information
2 second take-away: think of your belly as a hammock and spend time each day belly-forward to encourage your baby to settle it's back into your belly hammock
NJ folks, NJ's cesarean rate is among the highest in the nation - looks like we lost the dubious distinction of being number one to LA last year; NY is not far behind.
While it's great news that there was a measurable decline in cesareans from 2009 to 2010 (according to most recent stats available and thought to be because fewer teens, who are at high risk for cesarean, are giving birth), it's still way too high. Childbirth Connection (a wonderful resource, if you don't already know it) notes that,
The best outcomes for mothers and babies appear to occur with cesarean section rates of 5% to 10%. Rates above 15% seem to do more harm than good (Althabe and Belizan 2006)Time magazine photo
11 February 2012
When I was in high school, one of my dear friends was from Belgium and I spent a lot of time at her home. I'm pretty sure my friend just wished her parents were more American and I know I wished mine were the least bit European.
They were stylish (I still have a scarf brought back to me from an annual "boring" Belgique trip) and, although their home was not particularly fancy, their creature comforts were all new to me...I grew up with 50/50 poly blend sheets & Dial soap while they had fluffy duvets with smooth cotton covers and exotic-seeming personal care products. Needless to say, I have had duvets with high thread counts since I started buying my own bedding (so much easier to make the bed) and believe that the items we use and touch every day should make us happy: I have a thing for nice soaps, lotions and potions...and kitchen tools!
It was at this home that I first had Nutella and "real" butter outside of a restaurant bread basket; we were a margarine household. I once saw her mom making mayonnaise with an immersion blender and it was a revelation - I didn't even know this was something one could make and had no idea what the implement she used was...my home strictly featured Miracle Whip from the jar. So many good things were had for the first time there - Olive Oil, boiled eggs served in egg cups, amazing cafe au lait. My mom was a very good cook but she also relied heavily on Hamburger Helper-esq food for weeknight meals.
I recall her mom throwing together (according to her) one meal in particular: lean pork chops sauteed in a bit of Dijon mustard with capers and herbs, because that's what was in the fridge. It was at least 25 years ago and I still remember a light bulb going off and thinking, "this is the way I will cook someday".
And you know what? I do. Of course I have many cookbooks and look to them for inspiration, even following recipes often. But I'm mostly an improvisational cook, sometimes employing my own immersion blender! The recipe calls for hazelnuts? Why not try walnuts or pine nuts? It's about about layering and deepening flavor profiles, even if the recipe doesn't suggest something or I don't have a particular ingredient. What's the worst that could happen? Just maybe it will be even better. It's part of what makes cooking fun for me. It's actually how I approach most things in life, I think - perhaps because I'm often too lazy to read the instructions! I sometimes wonder if my kids would prefer the Hamburger Helper, hold the capers - maybe the pendulum swings with each generation...
Very often when I'm cooking, I think of my high school friend's home and the debt of gratitude I owe to her family - their influence has made my life more comfortable and the food I prepare more inventive. Thank you, famille Goffaux!
09 February 2012
This was broadcast earlier in the week on Progressive Parenting on Blog Talk Radio. I found the host's introduction tedious (sorry), so don't give up...Dr. Fischbein is worth the wait - lots of great, crystal clear information for those seeking a VBAC.
And for those who have not yet given birth, remember that avoiding the primary cesarean is the best plan of all.
Read more about Dr. Fischbein
I am blessed to regularly work with several care providers who value and actively support VBAC for my clients...the good ones are out there and finding true support rather than mere tolerance is key. If your gut is not agreeing with your ears, go with your gut.
For more information on VBAC, check out ICAN & VBAC.com
Begin standoff - refuse to pick up oldest kid's clothes off the floor of bathroom; remind him to pick them up, as they are his. How long will it take to elicit action? Who will blink first?
Subject will kick them further away, but not actually pick them up...for 2 showers/2 days thus far...must stay strong & get tougher. Pull to have clean bathroom floor is overtaking.
Perhaps this is an excuse to go shopping for "laying down the law & not raising a slob" outfit/accessories.
07 February 2012
Are you like me and can't get enough of all things Downton Abbey, but especially the millinery? We are in good company - see what "I Should Have Been A Blogger" has to show & tell on the topic...fun!
I was born in the wrong era - I long for these hats..I love the clothes too, though they are all wrong for me.
06 February 2012
Today I drove past a home up the hill from me that looks to be undergoing renovation and it made me remember dropping someone off there years ago. She was a quite old woman who tapped on my window while I was in the train station pick up traffic. She asked me if I might run her up the (formidable and just under 1 mile) hill, as she was not feeling up to the walk - she called me "dear". I thought it was cool of her to just ask for what she needed - it was an "it takes a village" moment that I enjoyed.
I hope it's her renovating her home and if it's not, I hope all is well with her, even if that means she's passed on.
03 February 2012
Does the Susan G. Komen organization's reversal of their new (now old) grant funding criteria that would make Planned Parenthood ineligible for future grants really change anything? I'm not so sure - time will tell, I guess. I'm going to be paying attention and I bet a lot of other people will too - it will take them eating a bit more of that old humble pie in order to wash the bad taste out of my mouth.
According to an article on today's Huffington Post:
To be clear, Komen's apology is not a promise to renew Planned Parenthood grants. It's a promise to "continue to fund existing grants" to the organization -- which it was already planning on doing -- and to make it eligible for future grants. At no point in the press release does Brinker promise that Komen will renew grants to Planned Parenthood.
The upside: Planned Parenthood received a lot of donations to be used for healthcare and perhaps people, and voters, had a wake-up call about transparency in the organizations we support and the corporate and political alliances that might be influencing their missions.
02 February 2012
Irony, thy name is the US Postal Service ...looking through mail from the last couple of days, I found a postcard for Susan G. Komen/Race For The Cure organization reminding me of all the races I could join in and support...um, no.
Instead, I will support Planned Parenthood - the place that provided me with well-woman care, including breast exams, pap smears and birth control when I was a student and before I had a job that included insurance...ya know, the 97% part of what they do.
I support my friends who are very involved and give their time and energy to local races/events/fundraising for SGK. But I can't support the organization until they reconsider this decision...the organization should not be making healthcare political, but now that they have, so am I. I stand with Planned Parenthood.
31 January 2012
Today, walking to our car after his weekly speech therapy and talking about homework, my 7yo son began reminiscing about when times were easy...afternoon preschool.
"Remember when I was little and we could just play all day at school? We just made stuff and had fun. No homework...that was pretty great"A lady passing us on the sidewalk must have overheard and gave me a big, knowing smile. I didn't have the heart to break it to him that, well, it's kind of downhill from here if he's already feeling that way! Poor bubby...
So we are going to make some banana bread to celebrate the halfway point of the school year (tomorrow is the 90th day and they are celebrating) - and we will try to enjoy this moment, right here, right now.
In US Magazine, Jenna Fischer of The Office says losing the weight she gained while pregnant has not been the breeze she had heard it would be, but that's OK
"I think I'm just going to be a little bit bigger for a little bit longer," Fischer said, "and that's fine with me."
28 January 2012
"Mom, do you think it's time to take everything out of the pantry and get rid of what's old? It looks kind of messy."
This from a boy who has to be completely hassled to clean up his room most of the time. But he is the kid who watches HGTV with me - maybe he has inherited my nesting/organization/design urges. The funny thing is that I had been thinking exactly the same thing about the pantry the day before. I guess I have my weekend project - maybe I'll get him to help.
27 January 2012
Shannon Earle holds her new baby Kiera Breen Earle, moments after she was born at their home last year.
You can read about the 29% overall (more for older white women) jump from 2004-2009 on the NPR site, on "All Things Considered", but there is also a handy link where you can listen...nothing soothes me like the clear, melodic and in-depth reporting of NPR.
"It's as safe for women who are at low risk as hospital birth for low-risk women but with significantly reduced rates of preterm birth, low birth weight, unnecessary caesarean sections and also very high rates of maternal satisfaction," says Katherine Prown of The Big Push, which is advocating for legalizing midwives in more states.
Babies born at home were less likely to be born prematurely or underweight, the analysis found. And for many women with uncomplicated pregnancies, home birth can often be a fine alternative, experts say.
26 January 2012
As seen on BLUE MILK
Image credit: “Yo Mama” breastfeeding her daughter while sitting with her teammates from the Anarchy Angels Roller Derby Team (photo by Russ Desaulniers) via Avital Norman Nathman.
16 January 2012
I feel like I'm wearing the social media equavilent of mom jeans in a low rise world. (don't get me started on muffin tops)...Me - a fairly tech savvy person.
So I guess I signed up for LinkedIn a million years ago and feel like a jerk everyday when people want to "connect" and I don't even know how. Am I offending people? Should I find the info and get going on it? Can't we just stay connected via Facebook or email?
And then there's Twitter...I have an old account. The crappy thing is that someone already had doulamomma, DoulaMomma and DoulaMomma1, leaving me with @MommaDoula (edited to add that I am now @DoulaMommaKC). oy - not that I know how to tweet. I know hash tags are involved and that I thought hash tags were the pound symbol...sigh.
I feel like some old gal at the Senior Rec Center needing to get one of the volunteer "young people" to help me figure it all out.
And now Skype - need to figure that out too for a project - how will I ever remember all these passwords?
I'm feeling like pony express or carrier pigeon was not such a bad thing. How much can any one person keep up with? I'm tired and cranky and need to have more coffee...and maybe a muffin.
picture of stone tablet above is this
15 January 2012
This is from maybe two years ago...
birthday greeting from Grandma
I remember the night you were born - L was sleeping at our house and I woke him up after your father called to tell us you were ready to come to us.
It was very cold that night, but L was very excited and didn't mind waking and facing the cold. On the way over, when we got near the George Washington Bridge, there were detour signs because of construction.
Grandma and L got lost...
By the time we reached the birthing center, you had already arrived. I specifically remember the joy in your mother's and father's faces just looking at you!! Everyone was thrilled to welcome you onto this planet!!
Each year as you grow, I see you loving this world and all those around you as much as they love you!!
Love, hugs and kisses.
10 January 2012
Get it? Produced? Because even though they are new parents, however they got there (surrogate and fake baby bump? Cesarean? Vaginal? Hard to tell with all the rumors circulating), it seems like quite the production. I do feel better about the story now that the NY Times has weighed in and not just the (Fox owned) NY Post! In that article, a new mother impacted is quoted as saying, “I guess that was the only special event happening in the hospital”.
Case in point, check out the song Jay-Z has already released (that was fast!):
Glory - Jay-Z feat. Blue Ivy Carter
For private people, it seems kind of wacky to sing about miscarriage, conception place and, well, a touch odd to discuss death by liver failure while celebrating a new baby. But also it seems like the baby is all about being an extension of them as parents. I know that's not uncommon, but it seems especially true here.
I do like the line, "life is a gift, open it up" and of course, the baby crying - sweet.
However this baby Blue got here, I hope she is healthy and happy. I also hope that however Beyonce became a mother, she feels great about it...truly.
08 January 2012
Read news article here.
04 January 2012
My momma-heart was warmed on this frigid day by seeing my oldest helping his brothers gear up for their first evening of ski club (oldest starts next week, though he's already been boarding this season). He loaned his gear bag fairly willingly and helped my middle son figure out how to get his snowboarding boots on/strap in to board and gave advice on the mountain (he's familiar with it, having been in the same club when he was younger). Because my middle son is making the switch from skis to a board, I think he knew my youngest might be a bit envious and so it was nice to see him complementing youngest's super cool "pro looking" skis.*
Great also seeing my guys pop out of bed this morning and then rush home from school, just so excited to get out there. They didn't even care much about what snack to take and were not grubby about how much cash I was handing out for dinner. My middle even agreed to have his little brother sit near him (but not with!) on the bus.
Hope the lame pocket warmers are enough to keep them enchanted!
*here's a tip: your old gym bag with slot for yoga mat makes a great ski bag for a kid...skis slid right in where yoga mat would go. You're welcome! ;-)
03 January 2012
I think you will be a powerful and dramatic soul given that you were born at the peak of opera music, "Flower Duet" by Lakme...so that meteor shower due tonight must be a special welcome from the universe just for you! Welcome baby Gabriel!