Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day Ideas

I understand the adrenaline rush of buying something you want or even need. (I get excited about buying nice cheese or fresh vegetables at the grocery store.) However, I am SO sick of celebrating Earth Day with sales, coupons, giveaways (although some giveaways/re-homings are good - but do take into consideration the shipping --> emissions, etc).

How 'bout taking a walk, planting some flowers, signing up for a CSA (community supported agriculture share).

goodmama is a blog I happened to stumble upon which had some great, usable tips:
dryer balls (save money, energy and if you already have the wool yarn lying around... you aren't buying anything
cloth diaper economics (just for those who question why i cloth diaper... $ and the planet - it adds up)

Finally, this sums it up fairly nicely for me.

Have a wonderful Earth Day (happy Mother's day, earth thanks for everything you do.)

Monday, March 29, 2010

On the beauty of pregnancy and birth...

I can't believe that I'm saying this but, I came across something today that made me *almost* miss being pregnant and the anticipation that brings... More accurately, it made me mourn that I will likely never give birth again, never hear my own first baby-cry again. I never thought I was one of those birth-junkie types. It also made my (only slightly) question my decision to get a degree in library science instead of nurse-midwifery - the primary factor being the family-friendly nature of being a librarian over being a midwife - although I suspect I'll revisit my decision many times in the course of my years.

This post isn't a forum for me to debate my school and career decisions though. I'm really looking forward to seeing this movie. Le Premier Cri looks beautiful, exquisitely filmed, capturing the strength of the women involved and the power of birth.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Earth Hour

How did you spend your Earth Hour?

We lit candles in preparation... Here's a pair on a repurposed butter dish.

I spent the hour with a wee babe (OK, not so wee) sleeping blissfully while I journaled his long-over due birth story. Can't believe I hadn't written it in his journal yet.

Time well spent.

Friday, March 26, 2010


So... I just stumbled on a blog that really steams my grits. The Homebirth Debate captured my attention with its title. I thought, "How great! Somewhere women can become educated about the pros and cons of hospital and homebirth [or unassisted or whatever one might choose]." What a misnomer! That I'm even dedicating a post to the blog irritates me, I just can't stop thinking about the amount of incorrect, incendiary information on that site.

"Dr. Amy" [credentials in question] is a pundit on the subject of birth, espousing her own beliefs with little regard for others opinions or the facts in her O'Reilly style "No Spin Zone."

As someone who has had two wonderful births (she only uses "natural" in quotes and a derogatory fashion), the thought that this women claims to care for women is ludicrous. She returns to the mentality that epidurals are a feminist-drug - allowing women to escape from the pain of labor so that they are equal with men. I will not try to explain why that is ridiculous here - there is plenty of information out there on what can go wrong with epidurals, designer births, etc. Birth moved out of the home into the hospital because that was supposed to make it safer, but what we see is monitoring which leads, too often, to unnecessary intervention.

This tirade is not to say that I don't support all my sisters out there who want or need medical assistance during their births - I certainly believe that drugs and intervention have their place - just not in a normal, natural birth - when a women desires a drug and intervention-free labor.

Dr. Amy bashes midwives, waterbirth, homebirth, women who feel they were wronged during their births - think a PTSD-induced birth trauma scenario. It all just left me feeling yucky.

Dr. Amy has now moved her blog to the Skeptical OB - the comments on c-section there seem a *little* less biased but also just less opinionated - she states the "facts" - albeit one-sided that support her opinion.

I have to stop here because, well, I've already taken up too much space with this nonsense.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Long December... and January and February and...

So we've all heard enough about the weather, and we've certainly all had enough of the weather. As I sit here typing this, some awful sludgy-snow hybrid is falling out of the sky. And I'm usually one to like the white stuff but this has gone on long enough...

It seems that all mothers of young children are looking for ideas to keep busy while we try and wait-out Old Man Winter. I know I'm one - indulging in my inherit shyness and homebody-ness (?), I've almost enjoyed certain aspects of the long winter - indoor picnic anyone?

Using finger paints in the shower is one way we've staved off the winter blues.

Oh, and did I mention both child and artwork are easily cleaned?

Monday, March 15, 2010

VBAC OK'd by National Institute of Health

For years, the rate of VBACs (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) has fluctuated wildly. Finally, NIH has come to a concensus that trial of labor after cesarean is usually safe for mother and baby. With the high rate of maternal morbiidty and mortality (not to mention a very high rate of infant mortality) in the United States, perhaps our health leaders are starting to attempt to solve this problem.

Intially, cesareans may look good on the surface in our busy times - they can be scheduled by a busy mother - but, they mean that a woman spends more time in the hospital and faces greater rate of complications. Elective cesareans are only helping the doctors who can schedule them, and look good saying "I did my best" regardless of the outcome.

Please read about the NIH's findings here.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Foodie Friday: Mashed Potato Enchiladas

Whenever I introduce these to someone they usually question me - What are you trying to feed me?! - the name is a little strange. But, I guarantee they are delicious, comforting food that even meat-eaters will love. Potatoes and dairy form a complete protein which satisfies on so many levels.

This recipe makes a lot, and takes a few steps... but they freeze beautifully (if your family is on the smaller side and you actually have any left).

Without further adieu, here is the recipe:

5 lb. bag red-skin potatoes, partially peeled and cut into rough 2 in. cubes
1 bag 8-in whole wheat tortillas
1 lb. block cheddar, shredded (I use white cheddar but it really makes no difference)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium sweet onion, large dice
1 1/2 c. sour cream
2 15 oz. cans (red) enchilada sauce (you won't need it all)
1 Tbs. butter or olive oil
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place potatoes in a large stock pot with water to cover and a dash of salt. Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are soft, then drain.

Meanwhile, saute onions in butter or olive oil until soft and fragrant (about 7 minutes), add garlic and cook another three minutes or so.

Brush tortillas with enchilada sauce, cover with tin foil and place in oven for about 5 - 8 minutes.

Once potatoes are drained, return to pot and add 1/3 cheese, garlic and onion mix, 2/3 can of enchilada sauce, and sour cream. Mash together until well combined.

Pour enough enchilada sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 pan to cover.

Fill warmed tortillas with potato mixture and place in 9x13 pan. Drizzle with enchilada sauce. NOTE: this is to taste - however, using a lot of enchilada sauce can turn dish into a casserole (which still tastes great) instead of individual enchiladas. Cover with remaining cheese and place in oven for 35 minutes - until cheese is bubbly (and browned if you like).

These are great with a fresh salad or green vegetables.