Sunday, January 2, 2011

reaping what you sow...when a 2-year-old shows empathy

my grandfather is dying, and i have had some very tear-filled moments lately.

yesterday, my son saw me start to cry, and at first he thought i was laughing.  i said to him,"no boo boo, mommy's not laughing.  i'm crying.  mommy's sad."

he scooted over to me on the sofa, and hugged me and said, "sorry mommy. sorry mommy."  then he gave me a kiss on the mouth and hugged me some more.  a few moments later, he ran to the bathroom to get "mommy tissue.  wipe the tears."

i think it was my single-most rewarding moment as a mother to date (which is big, because there are a lot of them).

i always give him a kiss and a hug when he's crying and tell him that i'm sorry that he's upset, hurt, etc....

it just goes to show that he is constantly learning from my behavior.

image via here.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

i love when mainstream media picks up stories like this...

on the front page of right now, there is a story about a woman who had a successful vbac at home.  read it here.

my favorite part is the last line.  a quote from her saying:

"Once you have that experience there's no other way to go, being in the comfort of your home without any unnecessary interventions and feeling like you're in charge"

Thursday, November 18, 2010

on the fence about cord blood? this may help...

i have done previous posts on cord blood.  we all have our opinions about it, right?  here is an article on today's about how most kids cannot be treated for the very diseases that the banks advertise (leukemia, sickle cell anemia and more) with their own cord blood cells, because the cells have the same "problematic dna".  here, this pediatric bone and marrow transplant doctor, haydar frangoul, says it better:

"it would be ridiculous to use the child's own cells.  it would be like taking someone with cystic fibrosis who needs a lung transplant and giving them back their own diseased lung."

the article has good info on how there are now free public banks that we will likely all benefit from in the future.  plus, as suspected, the private banks will have an abundance of cord blood that may not be able to be used for the original newborn donor.

photo via here.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

ever wondered what to replace your mercury fillings with?

i have.  i know there are composites, but don't they have bpa in them?
when the mercury fillings are removed, don't you consume some?

this area can all be a little overwhelming.  mercola has a brand new article that can help us all decide what to do when we need a filling or want to have a mercury one removed and replaced.

read more here.

photo via here.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

the switch witch : this candy-removing fairy gets major props

my awesome osteopath let me in on the best idea ever if i do not want to give my kid candy on halloween...

that idea is the SWITCH WITCH!  this bitch (i can't resist, i'm so excited) pops over to your house after a nightcap with the tooth fairy and takes your kid's candy to "all of the children in the world who do not get any candy on halloween." yes, the quotes were intentional. yes, the candy goes into the trash can.  and no, i do not normally condone lying to your kids.  though, i absolutely support you finding a way to get your kid's candy to all of the candy-needing children in the world if you have the means.

on the upside, you can go crazy and ask your kid to pick the ONE piece of candy that he would like to keep for himself before being so generous as to "give the rest away" the trash can.  i mean to the children of the world.

photo via here.

hyland's teething tablets recall

on october 23, 2010, the fda issued a consumer safety alert for hyland's teething tablets.  ugh, we use those all of the time.  please read more here or here.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

huge sale at sckoon organics!

i cannot tell you how many pairs of the above flared organic cotton knit pants we have purchased since my son's birth 2 years ago...4? 5?  we even bought some for him to grow into.  they are so adorable on! anywhoo, sckoon organics makes 'em ($10 right now!), and the site has a great sale going on....up to 65% off!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

womb to world workshop with anna verwaal in los angeles

we had 2 incredible doulas at our son's homebirth.  and they are both involved in this once-in-a-lifetime workshop!  danielle marie gutshall is hosting and organizing anna verwaal's workshop.  this is like anna's seminar that my husband went to 2 years ago (it was specifically for dads that day), and he called at the end saying, "we're having a homebirth!  done deal."

a little info:

Who are the workshops for? 
This profoundly transformational and highly informative course is designed for birth 
professionals, midwives, doulas, childbirth educators, birth related body workers and 
healers, prenatal yoga instructors, couples planning to conceive or currently pregnant 
and anyone seeking to understand, prevent and heal from birth imprints & trauma 
How are the workshop presented? 
Audio-visual Power-Point presentations containing text and photographic 
  documentation of Anna’s clients and their babies experiencing all kind of birth 
  scenarios. (All stories told and photos used with permission) 
Various current DVD’s on birth, breastfeeding and bonding. 
Do I have to attend all three days or can I just take one? 
Each separate workshop is about a different aspect to do with birth and can be taken by 
it self. How ever the workshop series is created to take the participant on a journey, 
from the past, through the present into the future. This will lead to an understanding of 
how all aspects of birth affect the journey. Where we are in our consciousness, 
emotionally and spiritually greatly influences and shapes the physicality and outcome of 
the birth journey whether you are a doula, midwife, or parent-to-be. 
Who presents the workshops? 
Anna Verwaal, RN, CLE, born and educated in the Netherlands is a Maternal-Child 
Health Nurse, Conscious Conception & Birth Consultant, Labor- & Post Partum Doula, 
UCLA Certified Lactation Educator and Birth Photographer. 
Anna lectures internationally and teaches workshops about the cellular memory of the 
birth experience, the physiological & hormonal blueprint for birth & bonding as well as 
the deeply psychological, emotional and spiritual aspects of giving birth. Her experience 
is based on working for more than 25 years in various countries as a nurse and doula 
along side perinatologists, obstetricians as well as (indigenous) midwives attending 
hospital, birth center, home, lotus- and nature-births. Currently Anna lives in Santa Fe 
and is working on a photo book of birth. 

Workshop location and directions 
Bini Birth Loft, 5355 Cartwright Ave. Unit 313, North Hollywood, CA91601 
Workshop Dates & Times 
October 9, 2010 from 9-30 AM until 5.30 PM 

photo from anna's website.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

birth rape

"birth rape" interesting and controversial term, no doubt.  a recent article out of sydney, australia discusses:

"We have previously discussed studies linking difficult births with post-traumatic stress disorder and post-natal depression, the result of which has left some women reluctant to consider pregnancy and childbirth again.
But couple a horror birth with a doctor, midwife or healthcare professional who has little regard for the labouring woman and penetrates or examines her without consent, using instruments or his/her hand, and the controversial notion of “birth rape” is born.
Examples of birth rape include internal vaginal examinations without consent, breaking membranes without consent and inserting of forceps and other instruments into the vagina against the mother’s wishes.
Some women who claim to have experienced birth rape describe incidents where doctors or midwives made belittling and degrading comments when they could not birth fast enough, stitching lacerations without anaesthetic and inserting catheters without warning."

what's really interesting to me is how, in the comments section below the article, the aussie women are beside themselves at how "ridiculous" this all is.  while in the american women here can really relate.

photo via here.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

"amazon mom" new discount club on amazon

ok, here's what i understand this brand-new moms club to be:

*not just for moms, but any caretaker
*30% off diapers and wipes that you have signed up for as a  scheduled delivery
*free 2-day shipping for the first 3 months.  it continues like this : for  every $25 you spend in the baby department, you earn a month more  of free 2-day shipping.
*emails from amazon about discounts and helpful product  recommendations.

i loooove this since i am already buying nature babycare diapers off of amazon, so it's aaaallll gooood!

your flu shot this year contains the swine flu vaccine

the vaccines are not separate like last year.  major health problems for people of all ages, and some deaths, are arising all over the world from the h1n1 vaccine.  to avoid the flu, you must try to maintain a healthy immune system that can fight off bad bacteria and viruses.  be sure to stay on top of your vitamin d3 intake (10,000 iu/daily).    more on d3 here.

for most of us, any flu is worth a crummy couple days in bed compared to the mysterious harm of vaccines.

read more here.

photo via here.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

happy birthday to us!! baby manual is all grown up....

baby manual was born one year ago today, on labor day 2009!  are we walking yet?  are we sleeping through the night? are we still on the boob?....who cares?!

it's been a fun run with 207 posts and counting!  thank you so much for the loving and wonderful support of our amazing readers all over the world.  please keep sharing and continuing to help us build a community for conscious, crunchy parenting from the heart....

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

not sure i can ever get a dog from a breeder again...

what in the heck does that have to do with what i normally post about?

well, a friend recently got 2 sibling puppies from a breeder.  she was talking about how they cried all night the first couple of nights, and it made me realize something that i had never really thought about before.

puppies are taken away from their mothers usually around 6-10 weeks of age.  they are removed from their frolicking pack of siblings, sometimes a present father, and a mother who nurses and keeps them warm.   their new human family typically puts them in a cage, feeds them dry, unhealthy dog food, and leaves them alone for long periods of time.

this goes against everything i now believe as a mother.   don't you think if people choose to breed their dogs, or buy from a breeder, they should consider how traumatic this separation is?

photo via here.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

i've been reading up on weaning *sniff sniff*

i'm not positive why, but ever since my son turned one (9 months ago), i planned on nursing him until he was 2.  well, his 2nd birthday is approaching in a few months, so i've started reading some books on weaning.  i had always hoped that, by some miracle, maybe he would start to wean himself around this time.  yeah, i apparently totally pulled that one out of my ass.   here is one of many quotes (all in the same vain) about self-weaning that i have come across:

"Children allowed to wean themselves--that is, to end breastfeeding without hints, bribes, bottles, or other encouragements--seem to do so usually between ages four and six."

that's right ladies and gentlemen, ages FOUR and SIX....hmmm....

ugh, sometimes i wish i lived in mongolia or among the sioux indians, so i didn't even have to think about this weaning stuff.  not sure of my decision yet...

this one, from the nursing mother's guide to weaning, slayed me:

"But pressure to wean may come from people outside the immediate family. 'I really should quit,' said a four-year-old, like an addict nearly ready to kick the habit. 'You know, Bill quit.'  Another child, a four-and-a-half-year-old whose friends had teased her for nursing, couldn't openly discuss her confused feelings at first.  'I don't want to nurse...I hate you,' she told her mother, starting to cry.  When questioned, however, she explained the problem: 'I want to stop and I have to hate you so I won't want to nurse anymore.  I hate your breasts.' "

UPDATE: so a little more than a year after i wrote this post, as my son approached his 3rd birthday, i weaned him.   i was SO ready.   we had gotten nursing sessions down to once a day--upon waking in the morning.   in the previous months, we had narrowed down to 3 sessions, then 2, then just the one in the morning that i mentioned.   he finds comfort in his paci and still wants to cuddle and hold my boob at times, so i'm ok with that for now.   though i try to keep the boob holding to a minimum.   i was able to talk to him and explain all of this weaning to him in advance, so it wasn't super emotional for him.   he is still very cuddly with me.  we hold hands a lot while cuddling.

some books if you're pondering weaning...

when looking into buying parenting books, i tend to check out the reviews on amazon, and i also peruse our fabulous pediatrician, jay gordon's, newest addition to his website--"recommended reading"!

i must say that when i recently purchased the 2 books below, i expected pages upon pages of information of HOW to wean. strangely, each has only about 10 pages on actual weaning techniques.  the books mostly explain all angles of weaning--emotional, hormonal, logistical, causes, historical weaning....

though i expected the books to have more info on technique, i was not disappointed.  i am happy that i learned so much about such an important area of parenthood...did you notice how i didn't say motherhood?  although, weaning is ultimately under a mother's control, dad should have input too---and both books have sections for dads.

the books are:

the nursing mother's guide to weaning by kathleen huggins, r.n., m.s. (2007)

mothering your nursing toddler by norma jane bumgarner (2009)

Monday, August 23, 2010

anyone interested in learning about nutrition?

after speaking with a friend yesterday about our toddlers' nutrition, i became inspired to write this post.  i'm not going to launch into a whole campaign here, but if you're interested in learning about what the best things to do for your body are, stick around.  these are the token books that changed my life and opened my eyes to what the body needs to stay healthy:

1.  ten years ago i read dr. nicolas perricone m.d.'s book the perricone prescription.  i instantly wanted to become a doctor....yeah, that didn't happen (i'm sure you hadn't noticed).  anywhoo, perricone is on the forefront of science and nutrition.  whereas i would recommend that you read the perricone prescription, i would probably moreso recommend that you get his recent 2007 book or even pre-order his september 2010 book.   this of course, because these newer books will no doubt have the most up-to-date information.  p.s. do not be scared by the over-abundance of [his own facial] plastic surgery, focus on skin-care, or his titles about gotta trust me here.  his books are about your entire body and are extremely informative and eye-opening.

2.  after reading in perricone's books about the damage that a high-glycemic diet (SUGAR!) can have on the body, i read the zone by barry sears.  did you know that eating a baked potato has the same effect on your blood sugar levels as downing 8 spoons of sugar? again, try not to be deterred by the book's mention of weight-loss, etc. these guys gotta sell books, and god knows americans want to know the secrets of weight-loss, so....

3.  now after all of this, if you are curious about the quality and sources of food in america, you will definitely want to read the omnivore's dilemma by michael pollan.  this book is a bit of a bible to us organic hippies.  it left me talking about corn corn corn to everyone i came into contact with for days.  weeks....

if you would like to stay in the loop on up-to-date nutrition, check out and sign up for his email newsletter.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

finally a hooter hider that's subtle, sophisticated, and doesn't cook the baby in this heat.

as any of my friends can tell you, i am no hooter hider.

that came out wrong.

what i'm trying to say is that when i nurse my son, i do not feel compelled to hide my breast.  i'm not sure if it's my breastfeeding-activist-in-training side coming out or just a lack of embarrassment since my breasts can hardly been seen by the naked eye anyway.

if you ARE a hooter hider, rejoice!   there is finally a hooter hider cover up that does not resemble a tent with a print that lady miss kier would've worn in the "groove is in the heart" video....that all the while traps heat like a locked car in the summer.

baby bond has created a beautiful, minimal cotton jersey hooter hider in chic solids (charcoal, chocolate, black, navy $35) that comfortably crosses your chest like a simple baby sling with a small opening for your breast.   they have 3 different styles, one of which (see photo above) can cover your breasts for top of shirt nursing or can cover your post baby belly for those who prefer to lift their shirt to nurse (see photo below. your own shirt covers your breasts in this set up).

check them all out here.

Friday, August 20, 2010

tres chic custom co-sleeping!

i love love love this little custom co-sleeping roll-away bed that interior designer david kaihoi made for his daughter.  it is so genius!  i recently stumbled across it in house beautiful's "is small the new big?" issue this summer.  what i love most is that kaihoi proudly displayed that his daughter co-sleeps with him and his wife.  ok, fine, they live in a postage stamp-sized (yet fabulous) new york city apartment and would not be able to actually wear clothes from the closet next to the bed if it didn't roll away, but at least he showed it in the photo---so kudos to him!!

my 200th post...woohoo!!

i am only a couple of weeks away from my one-year-old birthday here at baby manual and now have 200 posts under my belt...phew!!

Friday, August 13, 2010

what if your kid asks if you smoked pot?

ask them to define when exactly that they're talking about?

have you asked your pediatrician about this one yet?  we have, and our son is only 20-months-old.  have you tossed this one around at a dinner party?  the last time we did, we learned that our friend was mixing a perfect dry martini by the age of 12 every night to serve his doctor father when he walked in the door.  the same father that busted him for smoking cigarettes and said," if you want to smoke, then you can only do it if you do it in front of me."  his father smoked.  that took care of that.

i always figured that i was never interested in pot, because i knew that my parents smoked it.  i'm seeing a pattern here.  should we parents just all partake in booze and drugs and then our kids won't think it's cool?....they will rebel by not doing drugs instead of doing them.'s a thought.

should i be more concerned in the future about walking by "the green easy" marijuana dispensary shop around the corner with my 5-year-old and him asking me what they sell?

if you're curious how in the heck you'll handle this one with your kids, you may wanna check out this quick-read new york times article.

photos via here and here.