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Category Archives: Parenting

Classes and Free Events, July and August

Upcoming events:

NB Parenting Series:  “Try to See It My Way“:  Tuesday July 10, 6pm  “Why is my baby crying? Is this normal? I don’t understand what she is trying to say!”  Come learn about infant communication and cues. We’ll also discuss birth bonding, attachment theory, soothing skills, and finding balance. Plus lots of tricks for calm parenting. Babywearing lessons included!  

Greenville Babywearing Group:  Wednesday July 11, noon

Cloth Diaper 101:  Saturday, July 14, 1pm  I’m possibly teaching this class while the instructor is on maternity leave.  Join me as we discuss the many options for cloth diapering.  Dads are encouraged to attend!

NB Parenting Series:  “Breastfeeding“:  Tuesday July 17, 6pm  In our breastfeeding class, we’ll learn about the biology of breastfeeding. We’ll discuss common issues, finding help through community resources, and returning to work.

NB Parenting Series:  “Now What?  The First Six Weeks Postpartum“:  Tuesday, July 24, 6pm  The first six weeks can feel like a whirlwind of emotions and the learning curve may seem steep. Learn what to expect during the postpartum. For mom, we’ll discuss physical changes, healing from birth, and creating a postpartum plan. For baby, we’ll look at common issues such as jaundice and gastric changes. And we’ll learn about baby care basics, newborn procedures at the hospital, and vaccine choices.

Blessingways:  A Gathering of New and Expectant Families:  Saturday, July 28, 2pm.  It is my month to host!  Our birth story will be a Hypnobabies birth.  I will talk myths and truths about hypnosis for childbirth. Is it pain-free or all smoke and mirrors? Come find out.

NB Parenting Series:  “Sleeping Like A Baby“:  Tuesday, July 31, 6pm  *Yawn* Who came up with the phrase “sleeping like a baby” anyway? Learn about the physiology of infant sleep. We’ll talk about naps and nighttime parenting. And, of course, tips and tricks for getting restful nights for the whole family.

NB Parenting Series:  “Having a Baby without Breaking the Bank“:  Tuesday, August 7, 6pm  Having a baby does not have to put a giant hole in your wallet! Learn practical tips for DIY, saving money, and what is safe to buy used. In fact, saving money can also be a sustainable and non-toxic choice. We’ll talk about creating a lean and green baby registry. What do you really need to raise a baby?

New Hypnobabies Series:  Begins August 8 from 6-9pm in Greenville.  We’ll meet for six weeks.  I have two spaces remaining. 

NB Parenting Series:  “Parenting the First Year“:  Tuesday August 14, 6pm  What is baby-led weaning?  How can I make my house safe for a crawler?  Parents have many decisions to make the first year. This class will discuss solid-feeding, safety, teething, discipline, learning through play, and infant development

I also (still!) have doula openings for August.  Email me at j_byers@bellsouth.net

My Mother’s Day Manifesto

I’ve noticed that people on the interwebs are becoming increasingly prickly.  Maybe it is because everyone has a soapbox platform now.  We blog, tweet, facebook, comment, vlog.

Hey, I get it.  I’m doing it now.

But this phenomenon has turned every news article, research study, opinion piece, heck–even the obituaries into an opportunity to express one’s anecdotal experience.

Laboratory of one.

Want an example?

I read an article about a kindergarten kid who was forced to sit in her own feces during testing.  Terrible story about a specific incident.  I knew what I would read in the comments.  “That is why we homeschool.”  And, “If you have a kid about to enter the odd social experiment American public schools have become I fear for you.”  Over 1000 comments.  Ad nauseam.

A study that shows breastfeeding boosts immunity?  You guessed it:  “Well, my kid wasn’t breastfed and he never got sick.  Not once.”

A soccer team gets sick from germs on a reusable bag.  “Please hippies, stop using your reusable bags.  You’re going to kill the rest of us.”  Real comment.

Can we please stop taking everything so personally?  Everything isn’t about you.

Cloth diapers vs. disposables.  Breastmilk vs. Formula.  Bed-sharing vs. Crib-sleeping.  Free-Range vs. Helicopter.  Public school vs. Homeschool.  Hospital vs. Homebirth.  SAHM vs WOHM.  Vaccinations, Cry-it-out, Attachment Parenting, Child-Led Weaning.

Guess what?

At the end of the day, these are not moral decisions.  They are choices.

I know they are important choices to the parents making them.  But in the scheme of things?  These are distractions to bigger issues.  And bottom line:  who cares what choices other parents make?

The so-called Mommy Wars keep us busy fighting petty battles.

I admit that when I was a new mom, high on oxytocin and prolactin, I proudly stamped the labels after my name.  Have you seen such?

NorahsMom: non-CIO, babywearing, cloth diapering, co-sleeping, no-circ, waterbirther.  Go ahead.  Google me.  You’ll probably find pages of forum activity.  You’ll find me all fluffed up with icons and smileys.  Full of advice.

Embarrassing.  Ridiculous.  Thank goodness I realize now we’re all pretty much clueless, hanging on by a thread, and doing the best we can for these children we love.

Listen mamas.  There are real issues that involve moral decisions.  Issues like maternity leave, access to healthcare, toxic food and products, children without mothers, maternal mortality and morbidity.  There are children who are trafficked and children who work on coffee plantations.  Why aren’t we taking our fierce mama bear selves and fighting about that?

I write a blog about my life, my work, and my choices.  My life.  My work.  My choices.  I parent in the way that feels normal.  To me.  And yes, I advocate for natural birth and cloth diapers and the like.  I’m passionate about these things.  But I do not assume these translate into roadmaps for other families.

Yesterday when I overheard some women talking about attachment parenting in a dismissive and demeaning way, it made me angry.  But then it made me wonder, when have I done the same?

The so-called Mommy Wars keep us busy fighting petty battles.

Polarizing us.

Paralyzing us.

A mom is a powerful force.  With our multi-tasking skills, our sacrificial love, and our relentless desire to protect, we are unstoppable.  Sounds a bit like a superhero.

Alright, I admit I am caught up in the Avengers.  Maybe I am dreaming of a Mothers Initiative.

So I’ll start small.

I’ll start with not taking everything personally.  And taking a step away when I get too close to the choices I’ve made.  My fight is not with other mamas.

We are on the same team.

(And while we’re talking teams, can we please pick out some uniforms à la avengers?  Something high-tech with snazzy gadgets?)

Ordinary Days

Today was such an ordinary day.  The sort that I imagined when I became a mostly stay-at-home mom.

The girls jumped into my bed at 7:30.  I drank coffee.  They ate pancakes.  I made lists.

We went to the dry cleaners, the library, and the grocery store.

Note to self, when asking the 6 year old to dress the 2 year old, check to make certain the 2 year old is wearing underpants prior to walking into the grocery store.  Particularly when the 2 year old is sporting a tiny sundress.

Norah glammed out. Cedar sans underpants.

At the grocery store, I pushed that wretched cart with the red car in front.  One steering wheel was missing so I had to facilitate driving disputes through the entire trip.  I lasted six years before caving to that horrible shopping cart.

I digress.

There was some home-learning, lunch, and exercise.

I tried to do yoga but Cedar pounced on my back during downward dog.  I have a very sore wrist now.

I talked to a couple of friends on the phone, tidied up work appointments and schedules, paid a bill, texted breastfeeding help to a former client.

I even made cookies.

I cooked a big meal and delivered it to a family.  Picked up our produce from the co-op.

I made salsa, drank sparkling pink lemonade, and tucked children in bed.

Then I snuggled on the couch with my hard-working husband to watch Star Wars.

Such a very ordinary day.  I wore yoga pants and tennis shoes all day.

So unlike day before yesterday when I unexpectedly caught a baby in a couple’s bedroom.  My hand on her head as she scrunched her face and then drew her first breath.

You never know what the days might bring.  The ordinary days confuse and surprise me as much as any other.

I read this blog post today about how the days we fail do not define us.  Wow, I rest in that.  Days like yesterday when I was, as stated by the 2 year old, “the meanest mommy ever, ever, ever.”  Then I realize that none of my days define me.  Not my ordinary mundanes or the outstanding over-the-tops.

My identity does not come from my days.

My identity does not come from my days.  My kids.  My husband.  My job.  My success or my failures.  Who likes me or who doesn’t.

May I be ever mindful of this Truth.  And learn to rest in it.  Then perhaps I will scrunch my face for that big effort to take a new breath.

The old has gone.  Behold, the new is here.  

Clever as clever

When I was five,

I was just alive.

But now I am six,

I’m as clever as clever.

So I think I’ll be six

now and forever.

(from “Now We Are Six” by A. A. Milne)

An update on Norah:

Truths

*  She has incredible self-discipline.  I’ve mentioned this trait before but wow.  At the Christmas parade, she gathered only the candy she felt appropriate.  Leaving pieces on the ground all around her as other kids eyed them.  While Cedar gobbled up as much as I allowed and then cried “CANDY!” all the way home, Norah admitted she had not eaten any because she hadn’t had dinner yet.  After dinner she ate a single peppermint.  One of many examples.  It truly is extraordinary.

*  Her favorite food is brussel sprouts.  Don’t look at me.  I hate brussel sprouts and following a vicious brussel sprout incident from my childhood, I vowed never to feed the evil things to my kids.  Her other favorite foods are raw turnips, green peas, and roasted okra.  But I cannot get her to drink much of anything besides hot chocolate.

*  She is smart.  In that sharp, scary way.  She has a no fluff learning style and prefers math, handwriting, and science to reading and history.  While I like to try out different methods and change my mind about everything, Norah wants all things to stay the same.  Forever.

*  She loves snuggles.  Cartoons.  Unlined paper.  Journey (yes, the band).  Playing her tin whistle.  Classical Music.  Pretending to be “mama” to her stuffed animals.  Her nature table.  Science lab.  Anatomy.  My iPad (especially the camera feature).

*  She adores art and has some nice pieces from museum classes.  She despises crafts at home.  I have learned that we cannot do crafts together.  Usually one or both of us end up crying.

* She wants to be an architect when she grows up.  And she is already an inventor.  She plans to open a business inventing things.  For those of you who didn’t see my facebook post, she plans to invent holograms so that Daddy and Papa won’t need to work.  The hologram will stand in.  When asked why Mommy didn’t get a hologram, she responded, “Mommy doesn’t work.”  She is designing a baby brother which she expects to animate using a placenta (presumably to be filched from one of my clients).

* She makes friends easily and is gracious with smaller kids.

The Questions (a sample of questions she asked in the last few days)

* Why do Buddhist monks like orange so much?

* What part of our body did God make first?

* Why don’t carrots have seeds?

* Do Buddhist monks like carrots?

* How are babies made?

* Who wrote Korobushka? (yeah, I had to look it up, too)

* Do we thank the farmer or God for this potato?

* Can we go to Cambodia for my birthday?

* Why is the sky different colors of blue right now?

* What is the difference between karate and kung fu?

* What do tadpoles eat?

* Where would I go if I were very small and got flushed down the toilet?

* Is Papa really doing magic when he drives with no hands? 

The Challenges

* Homeschool is harder than I expected.  More from personality.  Mostly mine.  It has revealed selfishness and impatience.  Ugly stuff.  Also, there is tension between being comfortable with letting her play most of the day and fearing that if I change my mind and send her to public school, she’ll be behind.  Because she plays most of the day.  I think play is where most learning occurs at this age.  Public school disagrees.  I don’t have a crystal ball.   Tension.

* Norah has a phenomenal memory for details.  I don’t.  She can remember what kind of car someone drives, what color pants someone wore (turquoise or cerulean), etc.  I’m much more into narrative and feelings.  Because I don’t remember as she does, she thinks she is smarter than me.  And has said so.  This issue adds to challenge number 1.

* And she is cautious.  Afraid to be alone.  Often helpless (perceived or real).  Complains of odd and specific ailments–“my elbow feels like my nose when it is about to sneeze.”

However, she is not cautious about science!  She has studied a sheep’s heart, given a pygmy hedgehog a bath, built a catapult, and touched all manner of slithery things this year.

The Thai Tooth Fairy

Our six year old, Norah, has an interesting arrangement with the Tooth Fairy.  For each lost tooth, she alternates getting money with getting sparkled. 

I would like to interject that while some of Norah’s friends get paper money, (“the green kind, mama!”) Norah gets the silver kind. 

We expected Norah to lose a tooth in Thailand.  But I wasn’t concerned because it was money time.  Not sparkle time.  I even had a plan to give her a U.S. quarter, Thai baht, and Khmer Riel. 

A few days into our vacation, Norah’s tooth was disgusting.  It was so loose, that when the wind blew, her tooth moved.  And she loved it.  She loved grossing everyone out.  Here she is singing and trying to make her tooth look as Nanny McPhee as possible:

Of course she couldn’t eat much with her tooth hanging loose.  So, she got sick.  And threw up in my cereal bowl at breakfast.  In front of the entire resort.  And since the kitchen staff didn’t speak English, I wasn’t about to hand them a bowl of puke.  I ran to the road and disposed of it in a public trashbin.  Then returned the bowl to the kitchen.  Gross. 

Scott and I sat Norah down and gave her dire threats and warnings if she didn’t pull the tooth.  We may have mentioned feeding tubes.  I mean, as a homeschool lesson.  Education is important. 

Regardless, she FINALLY pulled the tooth.  And happily announced just before bedtime that she had decided to be sparkled instead. 

We’re in a remote beach town community whereabouts in Thailand.  Where am I going to find glitter??

Around 11pm, I ventured into the dark resort dining room to make a press of coffee.  And I look around.  I see Christmas decorations.  I see seashells covered in silver glitter!  Hmmmm.  I rummaged around the dining hall and found a stash of glue and glitter!  What are the chances?  

Then the night security guard busted in to see what I was doing.  I smiled and waved gesturing to the glitter.  He didn’t speak English either.

Strange American.

Back in my room, I covered some of seashells I found earlier that day with glitter as a tooth fairy gift.  Then I carefully painted glue/glitter fairy footprints on Norah’s arms and cheeks.  And sprinkled gold star confetti from the craft stash around her covers and floor.  And certainly, I left a note from the tooth fairy. 

She was thrilled.  All was well.  The tooth was gone, the day was saved.  Her appetite returned.  My cereal bowl was safe.

I’m sorry about the puke story.  I really wanted you to feel how this tooth was affecting our vacation.  While gross, I maintain its relevance.

Planes, Tuk-tuks, Song Taus, Vans, Shuttles, Mopeds, Taxies, Boats,and KIDS!

Travel with kids is challenging.  And it is endearing!  Seeing experiences through their eyes is the best!  Here is a summary of travelling to Thailand and Cambodia with my 6 year old and 2 year old. 

Preparation

For a few weeks before take-off, I prepared the girls.  We looked at pictures of the plane and I showed them what their seat would look like.  We practiced buckling up and talked about what take-off would feel like.  We gave them new bags and let them select special toys to pack.  I also prepped them for airport security. 

I stalked travel blogs and processed my fear with anyone who would listen.  Over and over.

I packed my Osprey bag o’ many pockets with everything I could think of:  healthy snacks, homeopathic remedies, changes of clothes, wet wipes, diapers, hand sanitizer, gum, ginger, peppermint oil, small trash bags, neck pillows, a few surprise toys, iPad loaded with WonderPets, trayblecloths, and every trick I could think of. 

Checking my bag one more time.  Can you feel my fear?

 

Security

Departure security was a breeze.  We had to go through once in Atlanta and again in Korea.  The girls were champs.  I was thankful I read ahead of time that kids no longer need to take their shoes off.  I saw some parents dealing with kid shoes when they didn’t have to.  When we left Cambodia, Cedar got a pat down.  She was furious but complied.  The worst security was returning to Atlanta.  After going through customs, we had to go through security again (!! after we landed, grrr).  My foggy brain wasn’t on top of it.  I didn’t realize Norah had a bottled water from the flight.  She got into a screaming match with a TSA agent when her water was taken.  It was ugly.  Meanwhile, I inadvertently took a set of silverware (knife included) from the plane which made it through without notice.  I guess everyone was distracted by my 6 year old screaming. 

When we flew from Bangkok to Phnom Penh, Scott flew back to the US.  I failed to prepare Norah for this separation which happened rather quickly.  So going through passport control and security in Thailand?  Norah was crying and yelling, “I want my daddy.  Don’t take me from my daddy.  Daddy!!  Daddy!!  I don’t want to go with YOU!”  I didn’t think I would make it through with my apparently abducted child.  I was also afraid she was going to bolt when we had to walk through the metal detectors separately. 

The Flights

Except for the flight-we-will-not-speak-of, the flights were smooth.  I wasn’t able to sleep or relax and had to be creative to stay one step ahead of the girls, but I was happy.  The first flight I ever took my children on was 15 hours!  Where is my medal? 

  • I used a babyleg to cover Cedar’s buckle during take-off so she would be less inclined to unbuckle.
  • I removed the girls shoes right away to minimize accidental kicks to the seat in front of us.
  • I asked the flight attendant to disable the “call” button on Cedar’s controls.
  • I filled a prescription of Valium for my sweet husband.
  • I packed kid-friendly headphones for the girls and Scott packed a splitter so they could watch the same screen.

We also packed LIGHT.  No stroller or carseats.  Minimal luggage.  Smallish soft-structured carry-on bags.  I know many parents have to travel with gear.  I don’t think I would have managed that gracefully.   

Korean Air was amazing.  There was always a flight attendant walking around with someone’s baby or toddler.  They tried so hard to convince Cedar to go with them.  She wasn’t falling for it.  They kept the kids on a sugar-high which I wasn’t thrilled about.  Every time they saw a child, they offered candy/brownie/cookie.  An example of the kid’s meal:  corndog, spaghetti, potato chips, yogurt, juice, pudding, candy bar, brownie, bread/butter/jam, and tiny packaged snacks I didn’t recognize.  Even the breakfast meals looked like that.  It was astounding. 

Other brownie points for Korean Air: 

  • They were very much on “crying child patrol.”  If a child was fussy, they must be soothed at all costs.  Which meant, even if the seatbelt sign was on, I was encouraged to hold Cedar.  Children were allowed to break any rule. 
  • The toys they gave the girls were perfect.  Magnadoodles, aquadoodles, colored pencils, crayons, stickers, stencils, coloring books. 
  • There were video games, kids music, good movie choices, cartoons, and read-aloud books. 
  • Soft blanket, pillow, bottled water, slippers, toothbrush/paste, wet wipes, headphones in every seat.
  • Lots and lots of food and drink.

At one point, I thought “Wow, this is started to get really challenging.  We must be almost there.”  That is when I took this picture.  Yep.  Only half-way. 

The final return flight was the best.  Norah sat with my mom on a different row.  Cedar slept 10 of the 14 hours!  Of course, much of that was ON me which meant I didn’t get to move much. 

Jetlag

The time difference was 12 hours.  When we arrived in Thailand, jetlag only affected Cedar.  The first night, she stayed awake crying, “It NOT nighttime.  It NOT.”  In a bleary daze, I decided to give her half a melatonin that I’d brought for us.  She was asleep in 15 minutes.  So I used the melatonin for the first few nights. 

Coming home, the jetlag hit both the girls.  And for almost a week, they woke between midnight-3am asking for breakfast.  Ah well.  I just got up with them, poured cereal, and put a movie on.

They loved every type of transportation we tried.  I worried we would never get them buckled in carseats again! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P.S. one of the strangest things I saw:  A woman with a newborn in a bucket-style carseat.  The baby was strapped in.  But the woman was carrying the carseat while riding on a moto.  The carseat was sort of dangling from the side.  A man was driving and a toddler was seated between them.  I’m not sure why she bothered with the carseat. 

Before the good, the worst.

I’m going to tell you how amazing and better-than-expected flying with my kids was. 

But first.

I need to describe the one flight on which it all fell apart.  The flight on which I was that passenger.   The flight on which everyone saw my breasts.

You read that correctly.

It was the one flight I wasn’t concerned about.  We were leaving Cambodia at midnight on a five hour flight to Korea.  I felt confident the children would sleep.  They were already drifting off during the tuk tuk ride to the airport.  

The seats were three on each side with one aisle down the middle.  Norah was at the window, I had the aisle seat, and Cedar was between us.  Scott had already returned to the US.  My parents were on the flight but seated in a different section. 

Take-off was fine.  The girls drifted to sleep as expected.  I watched “The Help” and had a glass of wine.  A few hours before we were scheduled to land, the lovely folks at Korean Air thought we needed meals.  The girls were curled up in their seats.  Never one to waste food and wanting to be prepared in case the girls woke, I took the food.  It was a bad move.   

Picture it:  three trays down.  loaded with food and beverage.  no wiggle room.

And Cedar is startled awake suddenly screams like her arms are being ripped off.

Good morning, everyone.  Let me introduce myself and my precious toddler.

Cedar is screaming and thrashing and twisting.  She’s slippery when she arches her back and straightens her arms.  Now, I have a emergency preparedness plan for just such an event.  I read it on a travel blog.  Take the child to the bathroom and lock yourself in until the child calms. 

Ok, step one.  Somehow get out from under the food trays.  I stack my tray on top of Norah’s (who is mercifully still sleeping).  I grab Cedar and stand up on my seat.  This perch reassures the other passengers that the child is not being tortured.  I want to make sure everyone can see us clearly.  We stumble into the aisle only to realize we are blocked by the first class curtain on one end and the food cart on the other.  A nervous flight attendant runs to me and asks me to “just wait, miss, until the aisle is open.”  Um, ok.

We wait.  And Cedar continues to scream.  It doesn’t let up.  At all.  I try everything.  Yes, even the rescue remedy.  So I do the one thing I said I wouldn’t do:  I whipped out the boob.  No modesty.  Whipped out.  A phrase I hate and claim breastfeeding moms don’t really do.  I did that.  And you know what?  Even that didn’t work.

Finally, the aisle cleared and I carried/lugged/dragged my thrashing child (trying to keep passengers from getting kicked in the head) to the bathrooms.  Which, don’t you know it, were all occupied.  While we waited, sweet flight attendants showered Cedar with chocolate and candy.  Under normal circumstances, she would have been in heaven.  In her screaming banshee state, it made the crying worse. 

Once in the bathroom, eventual calm descended.  She nursed for a little while with those awful hiccup noises.  I began to pep talk her for the walk back to our seat.  She seemed ready.  I let her open the door.  And we made it three steps before the crying began and we bee-lined back to the bathroom. 

Repeat.

This time, I decided to carry my 29 month old child while breastfeeding down the narrow aisle crowded with recently fed passengers waiting for the bathroom. 

“Why hello there!  Have you seen my breast yet?”  “Did you get a good look at my crying toddler?”  “Yep, that’s my boob there.”  “If I can just squeeze by you?”  “Oops, sorry, didn’t mean to knock you in the head with that.” 

We crawled over and into our seats (the food was still there).  I was terrified to stop nursing the child.  Finally, the uneaten food was removed and we began our descent.  And guess what?  

Norah woke up screaming.  Her ears hurt.  And that made Cedar start crying again.  BOTH.  OF.  THEM.  CRYING.

I was prepared for ears.  But on the previous three (!) flights, there had been no ear complaints so I had to dig for the homeopathic ear tablets and gum.  Norah loves medicine and responds well to placebo.  I told her it was powerful medicine and would work immediately.  She went to sleep within 10 minutes.

And then Cedar went to sleep. 

And because we were flying blessed Korean Air, they did not make me (1) buckle my sleeping children for landing or, (2) cover my boob.  The flight attendant even brought me a hot tea.

In Korea, we headed straight to a playground where (still shaking) I prepared myself mentally to board a 14 hour flight.  I seriously considered calling my friend, Kimmie, who lives in Korea to ask if we could move in with her.

Next up:  how awesome flying with children is!

First Classes for 2012

Hypnobabies Childbirth Series:  1 space remaining in the February/March class.  3 spaces remaining in the March/April class.  Both classes will meet in Greenville on Thursday evenings for six weeks.  Email for details (j_byers@bellsouth.net).

Natural Baby Parenting Series:  I’m excited to teach this series again for Natural Baby.  Beginning January 25, six Wednesdays of classes for new or expectant parents.  Couples/Individuals may register for individual classes or the entire series.  20.00/couple/class or 80.00 for the entire series (must be paid in advance).  6pm-7:30pm.  Here is the schedule:

January 25: “Try to See It My Way: How Babies Communicate” (newborn behavior, birth bonding, attachment theory, soothing skills, and finding balance)

February 1: “Breastfeeding” (initiation, physiology, common issues, finding help, returning to work)

February 8: “Now What? The First Six Weeks” (care for mom and baby, baby basics, postpartum concerns, creating a lying-in, jaundice, circumcision, and vaccine choices)

February 15: “Sleeping Like a Baby” (the normal course of infant sleep, nighttime parenting, circadian rhythm, and naps)

February 22: “Having a Baby without Breaking the Bank” (creating a smart baby registry, DIY tips, cloth diapers, going green can be budget friendly, what is safe to buy second-hand, top toxic products you don’t need)

February 29: “Parenting the First Year” (solid-feeding, safety, teething, discipline, learning through play, development) 

Register by emailing j_byers@bellsouth.net or rsvp’ing on Natural Baby’s facebook page under the events tab.

Catch my breath

I’m still here!  Happenings:

I had an epic birth to end the year.  40+ hours unmedicated and unaugmented with 5 hours of pushing!  Births like those affect everyone in attendance.  Watching a woman of determination and faith.  Witnessing her power.  Oh, it was incredible.  I hope she’ll permit me to blog a bit more about it. 

I’m prepping to spend almost three weeks in Thailand and Cambodia.  Skulking around “travel with children” forums.  It seems there are two attitudes regarding flying with children.  1)  Don’t.  Children are demon spawn and belong in the cargo hold.  or 2)  “I’ve never had a problem with my children because they (and I) am perfect.”  When kids misbehave, it is clearly the parent’s fault. 

There are also strong, judgemental opinions on medicating children for flights.  So, will I be medicating my fiery 2-year old who freaks out when riding an elevator?  Well, I won’t be sharing it here!  Too many strong opinions on that one! 

I’m teaching two classes this week.  Tomorrow (Tuesday) is “Sleeping Like a Baby” and this weekend is “Positive Discipline for Toddlers and Preschoolers.”  While I’m an educator for the first class, I’m a facilitator for the second.  In other words, I would not presume to teach discipline.  Ha!  I’m simply facilitate learning for that one!  See the difference?

Norah’s birthday is this weekend.  She doesn’t like change so that makes it easy.  We simply replicate what we do every year.  Small, family gathering.  Scott will leave a scavenger hunt for her while he is at work.  I’m tentatively adding a few changes.  Norah does not approve of a hot chocolate bar but I’m doing it anyway. 

I put together a “Breastfeeding Support Basket” for an online auction.  My friend, Rachel, is adopting.  Go bid!  The auction closes Dec. 9!

Scott is spending his spare hours playing Santa in his workshop.  I love the smell of wood shavings. 

“Now what? The first six weeks”

This one-time class is coming up next Tuesday in Greenville.  RSVP here.

Description:

The first six weeks can feel like a whirlwind of emotions and the learning curve may seem steep. Learn what to expect during the postpartum. For mom, we’ll discuss physical changes, healing from birth, and creating a postpartum plan. For baby, we’ll look at common issues such as jaundice and gastric changes. And we’ll learn about baby care basics, newborn procedures at the hospital, and vaccine choices.

20.00 per student/couple the night of the class. Please RSVP so I know how many will be attending.

This class is appropriate for parents-to-be or new parents. Babies are welcome in class.

And it is not too late to RSVP for tonight’s Breastfeeding Class.