Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Ultimate Blog Party

The Ultimate Blog Party starts today! Head over to 5 Minutes for Mom to add your blog to the list of party locales! I haven't been getting much traffic lately, and I'm ready for some fresh inspiration. In the meantime, I'll join Laura's blogging meme...

Five Reasons Why I Blog...

  1. Because I love to write, and it's always nicer if someone's there to read it.
  2. Because I can't seem to remember anything unless it's written down.
  3. Because I like sharing my faith and what I'm learning with other people.
  4. Because it's fun to meet like-minded moms online.
  5. Because it makes feel like a rock star to know strangers are reading about my life.

Now, go join the party! And don't forget to leave me a comment to let me know you were here. :)

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Rest, Grace and True Freedom

"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me - watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."

Matthew 11:29-30 (MSG)

Friday, February 09, 2007

The meeting

Well, as usual, things didn't turn out quite like I'd expected, but it was good anyway.

Puffer woke up around midnight last night in a lot of pain with a swollen jawbone, so I had to take him in to the doctor this morning when I would have been heading to the La Leche League meeting. UberDad and I thought maybe he'd just been gritting his teeth too hard while playing Bionicle and during kung fu class yesterday, because he does get very focused and tenses up his face when he's concentrating. But the doctor thinks he has an infected salivary gland, so she prescribed antibiotics. He hasn't been on antibiotics since he was a toddler, and we didn't finish that round because they made him sicker than he'd been before taking them. So, hopefully he'll be okay this time.

We got in and out quickly, and made it to the meeting 30 minutes late, but before they'd really gotten started. There were lots of boys in the 2 to 5-year-old range, so mine had a blast. The moms chatted about nursing in public, jaundice in newborns, how to cook and clean while caring for small children, nighttime parenting, and more for a solid two hours before babies started fussing for lunch and naps. Robin and Jenny didn't make it, but I'm sure they'll try again. The bummer about meetings being only once a month is that if you miss one, it's such a long wait until the next one.

I really enjoyed being able to talk about my nursing experiences, and answer questions for some of the new moms. I just hope I didn't talk too much! Sometimes I get a little excited about my favorite subjects and can't shut up. I bit my tongue as much as I could.

So, I still have to figure out where I'm needed most next. Should I start the process of becoming an LLL leader? Should I start a birth-focused support group similar to LLL? Should I teach formal childbirth classes and earn a little money? Should I start a support group/reading club for people who are serious about becoming better parents? Should I stick to knitting and make soakers I can sell in the co-op? Or should I get back to writing and come up with something to submit to a homeschooling or life learning magazine? I'm not feeling as inspired on that last one.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Expanding the Tribe

I've been feeling a surge of social and creative energy the last two weeks that has me feeling all rosy and glowing on the inside despite the nasty gray weather. After the holidays I just needed some down time to chill out at home, and having The Cold Virus That Never Ends certainly helped with that. We took time to finish reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, watched movies, played games, did science experiments, and I finished up some knitting projects. We went to the beach that one weekend, went to Chuck E Cheese with my friend Kate and kids, and hung out with our small group on Monday nights, but besides that, we didn't get out much. Okay, so maybe that was enough for one month. :)

Nonetheless, my mood changed a couple weeks ago, and I've been dreaming up all kinds of new projects -- and meeting new people at the same time! I met another local crunchy mama, Robin, through, and we chatted a bunch online. We're going to meet at a La Leche League meeting on Friday. The group is just getting started again after the last leader left to work in a hospital as a lactation consultant, and it's being held at The Mothers' Cooperative, a new local natural parenting shop that another cool mama opened in September.

I finally went to check it out last week after chatting with Robin, and realized I'd met the owner last spring at a homeschooling park day. We were both six months pregnant at the time! I have talked about opening something like Louise's store for a long time, but didn't have the drive to work that hard. I am SO thrilled that she did! We talked at full-speed for two hours while the boys bounced the birth balls around the classroom in the back of the store. That got me thinking about renewing my childbirth educator certification and figuring out a way to do classes or start up a birth support group. I'm still working on that.

Last week I also decided I wanted to get a Family Fun Night started at church to connect all the young families who tend to disappear as soon as the service is over on Sunday, rushing home to feed hungry kids and get toddlers down for naps. We are blessed to have close friends at church who we've known for a long time, but there really isn't anything to invite new people to. The Purple Flowers' house is pretty packed when we all show up for Wii Knit, and our house isn't much better when it's our turn to host. So, I've got a Movie Night on the calendar for March, and now we just have to get a flyer made and start getting the word out. I'm excited that this is something I can invite everyone to because it'll be in the parish hall, so there's plenty of room!

Then last weekend I found out about the LIFE is Good Unschooling Conference in Oregon. And I actually cried. I'm such a dork. But the thought of having a chance to hang out with not just one or two, but dozens of people who have the same crazy perspective on parenting and life that I do -- and in Oregon, where so many of my happiest childhood memories took place -- was almost too much. So, UberDad said I have to go. Even though it means driving up with the three boys by myself because he can't get time off from school to go with us.

Fortunately, the Purple Flowers want to go, too! That'll make it extra fun, and much easier for me to think about juggling everybody's needs, 'cause I'll have an extra pair or two of hands around when needed. And really, there will be lots of moms with babies, and I know everyone there will be helpful, because they've all been there. I know I won't connect with everybody, and I'm even a little nervous about not measuring up to my own expectations in front of people, but STILL. It's pretty darn exciting.

And I've met ANOTHER semi-local Christian unschooling mom, Jenny, through the conference list! She lives near Kate, so I'll probably stop by on our way to Kate's house next weekend for her son's birthday party. Plus, Jenny's a La Leche League leader, so she's going to try to make the LLL meeting at the Mother's Cooperative on Friday, too!

It's really such a small world. And I'm so glad to finally have the energy to expand my tribe a little. With half of my closest friends either working full-time outside the home or living out of town, it can be hard to stay connected with everyone. But I'm really trying to make time for my nearest and dearest, and also be open to gathering more kindred spirits around me.

I hope there'll be room in that classroom for everybody on Friday, because I swear I'm inviting every breastfeeding mom I know. I even met someone at Trader Joe's today and invited her! She was wearing her baby boy in a beautiful sling, so I had to ask her about it.

I'm so excited about having so many crunchy moms together at one time, I can hardly stand it.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Kindness begets kindness

"It's okay to be kind to our children. It's okay to give them a feeling of abundance. Knowing that their own needs and wants are valued will only make them want to help others to meet their needs and wants too. Kindness begets kindness."

Rue Kream,
Parenting a Free Child
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