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Hi friends! How ya been? ūüôā Life is good here…I am just enjoying my little FOUR MONTH OLD! (Can you believe it?? :))¬†I’ll share her four month shot with you just as soon as I get it from my sister-in-law, who was gracious enough to take¬†this month’s photos¬†for me when we visited them in Raleigh last week.

In the meantime, here’s another thing I’m excited about…the fundraising kick-off event for the proposed Atlanta birth center! Mayim Bialik will speak, and birth and pregnancy vendors along with the best care providers in Atlanta will be in attendance. $15 gets you in and to hear her speak, and $100 allows you to meet Mayim, chat, and sip a mocktail. All proceeds go toward the birth center, which is the brainchild of Intown Midwifery and will be the first and only (so far) freestanding birth center in Atlanta. We need a birth center in Atlanta!

Do any of you live in Atlanta? I will be attending this event and would love to meet you. If you will be there too, please let me know! Much love to you.

3 months

FJ was three months on the 12th. Sorry I’ve been a bit MIA…focusing on her, beginning my childbirth educator certification process, and making new friends (crucial to my sanity as a new SAHM.) Here’s her three-month photo. Hope you are all doing well!

three months

My first Mother’s Day¬†gift was one I hoped for and is the best one I could have imagined…and is BIG news in my stay at hom mom world!¬†I am signing up today to become a certified childbirth educator through CAPPA — I am so excited that I will soon be helping other women on their journey to motherhood! (Hey, if I can observe your birth in the Atlanta area, please let me know! I have to observe a couple as part of my certification.)

I also got a card from FJ and a card from hubby that made me cry; his said I was the best thing that ever happened to him. He and I also went on our first date without FJ yesterday. We left her for almost two hours with my friend while we walked to lunch at a place with an amazing patio in our neighborhood. When we left the house my shoulders were tense and tight, and all I could think about was what FJ might be doing.  After lunch I was happy and as calm as can be expected, but so ready to get back to my baby.

And for the record, it’s HARD to explain attachment parenting to caregivers. When and how does she nap? Uhh, there IS a basic rhythm to her day, but she naps when she’s tired, and probably best on you!! And when does she eat? Watch her hunger cues…? (Does anyone know any good resources for attachment parenting babysitting tips?? I googled for help the other day but didn’t find anything useful.)

How was your Mother’s Day weekend, American¬† gals? Link up to your blog if you’ve blogged about it. Much love to you.

The most magical sound in the world has to be your child’s laughter. We heard it for the first time yesterday. Hubby was making faces at her and she let out several utterly adorable giggles, one after another. The night before we thought we heard one small laugh escape, but last night we were certain.

I have a book on birthday celebrations and was perusing it recently for first birthday ideas¬†(don’t ask me why — she’s not even three months yet!) and was so interested to read this passage:

“There is an old Navajo tradition of the ‘Laugh Day’ which was given more significance for a child than their birthday.¬† It was on ‘Laugh Day’ that the child was truly seen to respond to life, with a joy freely expressed.¬† The person for whom the baby had first laughed was assumed to have a special relationshipwith the child and was therefore invited to become godparent.¬† In this way it was laughter which began the developemnt of a spiritual life.”

Wow, typing this just now truly brought tears to my eyes as it was my husband who brought out that spark in our daughter and elicited her first laughs.¬† Of course he can’t be a godparent as he’s an actual parent, but I know he will nurture her spiritual growth throughout her life.¬† I love the idea that this marks a beginning of FJ existing as a multidimensional person truly interacting with the world around her.

May 1…FJ’s laugh day.¬† Do you remember your child’s ‘Laugh Day?’

FJ

This is not a photo of FJ on her actual laugh day, but it looked similarly sweet.

my labor beads

My favorite part of my shower for FJ was when my friends and family each selected a bead, wrote me a wish for my upcoming, unmedicated labor, and strung it on a necklace for me to hold or wear during labor.  During the time those wishes were shared I laughed and cried, and knew something very special and sacred had been created for my birth.

Birth blessings

During my short labor, I held my necklace almost the entire time, focusing largely on the strength of women who have come before me and who will come after me, as well as those who directly offered me the wishes and hopes for my labor. I remembered my friends’ and family’s words of wisdom, encouragement, and love — and was comforted.¬† I took this idea from the ideas of mother blessings or blessingways, and I think for our next child I’ll focus even more heavily on the idea of a mother/father/baby blessing, rather than on traditional gifts.

After my shower, I put the cards the wishes were written on into a scrapbook, and looked at them in the days leading up to FJ’s birth. Now I’m looking over them again and sharing them with you:

I wish for peace to surround you and to enter your heart as you bring Miss ___ into the world

I hope that you can remember your strength during labor and that you feel empowered and loved as you give birth to your baby girl. Wishing you a very memorable and magical moment.

I hope for you and Baby ____ a peaceful, healthy delivery. At the end of your labor will be the most amazing miracle and moment of your life. You will be amazing and strong. Lots of love!

I hope you have a fast and smooth delivery of baby ___. I wish you the best…and a healthy baby.

I wish for you that your birthing plan can be fulfilled and that things progress smoothly and peacefully. I also wish for you that [Hubby] doesn’t pass out…haha…just kidding!

My wish for you is strength and focus.

My wish for you is to have a safe and healthy birth. I hope it comes easy for you with the least stress possible.

My prayer is that your delivery will be quick.

My wish for you and the baby is health. Lots of love!

My wish for you is bravery. [*Note: This one was from my nine-year-old niece — how AMAZING and insightful is she!!?!?]

My wish for you is to remember that the pain has a purpose. As soon as your eyes meet hers — it’s a magical moment and you realize all good things in life take hard work.

I wish you a calm and speedy delivery. Let go of stress and just breathe (and push, push, push!) I picked a textured bead that will help distract you from any pain. [*Note: I remembered that this friend did this, and it did help!]

This may (or may not) sound strange, but I found labor to be very empowering. It’s pretty amazing what our bodies are capable of doing in order to bring a new life into the world. We are women, hear us roar!!!

I pray that you will have the strength of all the women who have gone before you, the courage of a thousand warriors, and the peace that comes from knowing the love to come will be greater than any before. Love you!

I love you sweetheart and know everything will go well during your labor and birth.

I love you so much and am very proud of all you’ve done with your life. Cherish all the memories of your preganncy, labor, and birth because when they hand you that beautiful life you’ve created, it will have been worth it!!

I am so happy to say all these prayers and wishes did come true.

Hey guys! I’m happy to share that I’m today’s guest photo on the 365 Days of Breastfeeding. Check it out here! Guest spots are posted every Monday, but the blog author’s daily photos of her breastfeeding her cutie pie are super adorable and I enjoy seeing them in my blog feeder every day. Enjoy!

Today I got a much anticipated package in the mail from Green Mountain Diapers — my first foray into the world of cloth diapering! Coincidentally, this Saturday is Earth Day…truly a coincidence. So why now, you may ask? I have just been doing a lot of thinking about how much waste we generate from our disposable diapers…it is truly SO much non (or barely??!?) biodegradable waste that it makes me sad to throw it down our trash chute every couple days! Not to mention the high cost of disposable diapering; I think in the end we will actually save money (over the long run) if we switch fully (or mostly) to cloth diapering — especially, as my friend reminded me, since cloth diapers can usually be passed down to your next or another child.

For now we are trying what appeared to be one of the most economical of the seemingly endless cloth diapering choices — prefolds paired with covers. I bought a couple types of Bummis covers as I read they are good for chubby little legs (which FJ most certainly has.)¬†In fact, I just posted a photo of the covers we bought on our Tumblr site — if you check it out close to when I publish this post it should be one of the most recent if not the most recent photo there. ūüôā Right now I have my prefolds washing and drying (and washing and drying and washing and drying and…you get the picture) so they are absorbent and ready to use.

As I am TRULY a newbie in the cloth diapering world, I thought I’d share with you some resources I used to get started, and some interesting articles and pointers I’ve found along the way:

  • Natural Parents Network did a good round-up/summary of cloth diapering here.
  • For all its horrible webpage formatting, I found Green Mountain Diapers a good resource. In particular, check out their new to cloth page.
  • Some of the lingo is different (if you’re from the US like me) but Alternative Mama wrote a beginner’s guide to “cloth nappies” that’s full of helpful information.
  • The Subfertile Frugalista is doing a Cloth Diapering 101 week in celebration of Earth Week. Check out her first post here.
  • Jillian’s Drawers offers what looks to me like a pretty cool cloth diapering trial program. Have you ever done one of these trials??? I’d love to hear from you if so! I love the idea of trying a lot of kinds to see what works best for us (alhough knowing me I’d fall in love with the most expensive option. ;))
  • Already an expert at cloth diapering? Write for Natural Parents Network’s cloth diapering book.

Do you cloth diaper? What do you find to be the best kind of cloth diaper solution for you and your family? I keep hearing great things about AIO or AI2s (forgive me if I’m writing the acronyms incorrectly — All in Ones and All in Twos are what I mean :)) but to me that seems to be substantially more expensive as in most cases for those you have to wash the entire thing each time (except in the case of snap-in liners instead of pockets.) I do like the idea of something wicking the moisture away from FJ’s bum instead of sitting closer to it, like it will with the prefolds. Whatcha think?