Monday, April 27, 2009

Mom is Definitely Worth Celebrating!

Several years ago Corina Dubois, an incredible mom with an entrepreneurial spirit, launched what has since become a national movement, Celebrate Mama! This event which is usually held on the weekend before Mother's Day is all about MOM and making her feel special. The cornerstone is the Mama Marketplace where vendors have a wide variety of creative gifts for Mother's Day. Events in many locations have a raffle. They may also have a donation box for a local charity. Many locations also provide entertainment throughout the day.

Huntsville's Celebrate Mama!
In Huntsville, AL (the home of A Nurturing Moment and Conservative Granola Mommies) Valley Babies magazine will be hosting the 2nd annual Huntsville Celebrate Mama! this coming Saturday. We have over 30 vendors in our Mama Marketplace which will be in the Westin Hotel at Bridge Street Town Centre. Beginning at 11:00 we will have entertainment in the mall area. Local celebrity Lee Marshall, founder of Kids to Love will be with us in the morning. Later in the day we will have performances by groups from The Little Gym, Musicology, and Grace Lutheran School. Riviera fitness will get us pumped up and into shape! You can see the full schedule here.

Silent Auction to Benefit Choose Life
One of the key components of the Huntsville Celebrate Mama! is a silent auction to benefit Choose Life of North Alabama. Auction items include a night at the Marriott Shoals, Silpada Earrings, a Strasburg outfit, a home visit from a lactation consultant, gift baskets for moms, piano tuning and dozens of other great items! This year we are also beginning the Christian Schools for Life program. Grace Lutheran School is auctioning a full tuition scholarship, and Wall Highway Baptist Mother's Day Out is auctioning a partial tuition scholarship for next year.

If you live in North Alabama, I hope we'll get to see you Saturday. Stop by the Valley Babies table to say hi!

Friday, April 24, 2009

One Mom's EC Story

We have a guest blogger today, Beth Partain. I hope you enjoy her story about elimination communication.
The first time that I heard about EC was from a pregnant friend who was considering trying it with her child. My response was completely negative, there was shock, disbelief, and I am pretty sure that I said “that will never work”. To my friend, I am very sorry that I was not more supportive; all I can say is that I am working on it.
I did not give EC another thought until I was pregnant several months later with my first child. I scoured the internet for all the information that I could find. Then I did what every good American woman does, I bought a book. After reading it and discussing it with my hubby we decided to give it a try. The concept seemed very easy and very relaxed. I tried to talk about it with my friends and family, but I experienced the same reactions that I gave to my friend. In fact, the almost outrage from others that I would try something other than the traditional disposables until three, led me not to talk about it with anyone until my child was six months old.
So now that my daughter is 18 months old and potty trained. I feel like I can finally talk about EC and share some of the ups and downs of our experience with others. So how did we do it? By trusting our instincts and doing what worked for us at the pace that worked for us.

Let me start at the beginning.
After our daughter was born I completely forgot about EC for the first three weeks or so because it was hard enough to figure out how to work in my shower. Then one morning while laying in bed with hubby and baby, she pooped while sitting up leaned against my legs. While she was pooping I said “go potty.” Not the traditional words used to cue a baby, but it worked for us. The next several mornings the same thing happened and any time that we knew she was pooping we would put her in a sitting position with her diaper on and cue her by saying “go potty.” Daddy note: As she went and even today, we reward her by clapping.
I would say about two or three weeks later she was having bad gas pains and was generally unhappy, so after rubbing her tummy and bicycling her legs and nothing really happening, we put her in a sitting position and cued her. It was the light bulb moment! She looked at us and just started trying to poop--and she did! The excitement level in our house that day was like going to Disney world. We would continue to cue her when we knew that she had to potty, but that is all that we did until she was about six months old.
When she was almost six months and sitting with assistance we started putting her on the little potty when we thought that she needed to poop. I have to say that the first time she pooped in her potty we were ready to rent a billboard and announce it to the world. I don't think that “excited” explains how we felt. We concentrated only on poops thinking that it would be easier for all involved. It seemed like that was all it took and within 2 weeks she was pooping on the potty 9 out of 10 times that she pooped. That is how we continued for the next 7-8 months. Daddy note: I often tell people that no matter what they think about EC, at least my little girl goes poo in the potty and I am not stuck changing a smelly diaper. Occasionally we would catch a pee but it was not something that we worried about. I had in my mind that we would really get serious when she started walking, and for her that happened between 14 and 15 months. After that, when we got serious about it, it was only 2 weeks before she was having almost no accidents. At about 15 months she was pretty much potty trained, and wearing her big girl panties.
As we stand today we have good and bad days. Like any toddler we do have accidents but not so many that I feel like I need to put her in diapers anymore. The exception is that she does still wear a diaper at night - more for my convenience - and she does wake up many mornings dry. We have been very pleased with the relaxed nature of this potty training method, and we do plan on using it on the next. There are a few tricks that we have learned in our journey that may make it easier the next time around.
I found that cloth diapers made it easier for both baby and me to tell when she was wet which helped tremendously. Also, when she has a cloth diaper on I am less lazy. I will get up and take her to the potty and not think, “Oh, she can just go in her diaper.”
I think that our daughter would have done great without diapers earlier if I had not been waiting on my self-imposed time table.

So now I do all the things that I scoffed at before, I am a baby wearing, cloth diapering, EC practicing, granola mommy. That's ok, it works for me.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Baseball Boy Snuggles

Okay, I admit it, I'm fast approaching 50, and my nest is slowly but surely emptying. But we still have one who hasn't entered the foreign territory of Teendom quite yet. At 10 years of age, Child 4 is delightfully preoccupied with baseball, his fourth grade friends, Webelos, and Club Penguin. He can't wait for football sign-ups even though he will probably play as an "older, lighter" player in a younger category. That's simply a nice way of saying that he's just not a very big little guy! But there's a ton of heart tucked away in his little 65 pound frame! He idolizes his big brother who has always given 110% to every sport he's every played and seems to be following in those footsteps!

Nevertheless, when the weather gets bad, or he has a bad dream, or he just feels like a Mommy/Daddy fix, our 10 year old bundle of energy ends up snuggled right up next to us in our king-size bed. (Yes, we took Dr. Sears' advice that the best piece of baby furniture you can buy is a king-size bed! That was one of the smartest things we ever did!)

I've heard lots of moms wonder when they're going to get their kids out of their bed. I have to admit that there have been moments during the last 20 years when I longed to have my bed back to myself (with just my DH to snuggle)! And now we pretty much do have our wish. So that's what makes it so sweet when Child 4 comes in at 5:30 in the morning to get his snuggle fix.

If the truth be told, I think my DH will miss our baseball boy snuggles as much or more than I will when Child 4 decides he is too old for Mommy and Daddy snuggles. In fact, I've noticed that some nights when I work late and DH has gone to bed already, I go upstairs to find Child 4 snuggled right up to his Dad - and I suspect that was Dad's idea ("Why don't you just snuggle here with me a while, Buddy?") What a wonderful blessing to know he is growing up feeling secure and loved day and night. I'm so thankful that Dr. Sears taught us about the family bed. It has been a tremendous source of comfort, blessing and security for all four of our kids.

I guess once Child 4 decides he's too old...(I know that day isn't too far away) we'll have to hold out for Grandchild 1! Since we don't expect grandchildren in the foreseeable future, we'll have to hope and pray that Child 4 needs his baseball boy snuggles just a little longer!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Why Would Anybody Use Cloth Diapers??

I must confess that there was a time - about 21 years ago - when I myself wondered this very thing. Then I gave birth to my first child and tried to make ends meet on my husband's salary as a youth pastor! Breastfeeding wasn't just a choice, it was a necessity because formula was way outside of our budget. We did buy disposable diapers, but felt like we were just throwing money away with every pack we purchased. By the time our second child was born I was a firm Attachment Parenting advocate. I began cloth diapering primarily to save money, but also because I had discovered the awful truth about disposable diapers and landfills!

The Disposable Diaper Dilemma
Did you know that it is against the law in most states to dispose of human waste in landfills? Concerns about bacteria and viruses entering the ground water supply have led to these laws. Yet every year 18 billion diapers end up in landfills! These diapers will sit there for the foreseeable future because their components are not biodegradable. Many people are concerned about the long-term effects of landfills. Of course, disposable diapers aren't the only non-biodegradable product entering landfills. But they certainly contribute to the problem.

The Cloth Diaper Solution

Today's cloth diapers are definitely NOT the diapers your mother used! So many cloth diapering options are available for moms today, and the clean up isn't nearly as bad as it was back when I was dunking diapers in the toilet to get rid of the solids before I dropped them into the diaper pail. You can choose from an all-in-one diaper that combines absorbancy with waterproof protection. Another option is a fitted diaper with a waterproof diaper liner over it. If you're thinking rubber pants, think again. Diaper covers today are attractive, lightweight and easy to use. The least expensive option is prefolded diapers with a diaper cover. The days of diaper pins are long gone. Savvy moms today use Snappis diaper fasteners, a practical fastener that uses grips to hook the diaper fabric and keep it securely in place.

When it comes to clean-up, the coolest option is the Bum Genius diaper sprayer which attaches to your toilet's plumbing. Another option is the bio-soft liner which allows you to simply flush your baby's bowel movements. Cloth diapers need to be washed in hot water with soap that is free from all additives. Occasionally they will need to be stripped, as well.

Getting Started
When I began cloth diapering, I just went to the store and bought inexpensive prefolds and diaper covers that didn't always keep the wet in. Later a friend introduced me to fitted diapers and gave me a cloth diaper baby shower before my third baby. But I didn't know much about caring for my diapers. Moms today have so much information available at their fingertips. is a terrific resource for parents who are beginning to explore cloth diapering options. Many moms really enjoy the community of cloth diapering moms that they meet at A final resource that offers a wealth of information about cloth diapering is Just one quick word of warning... cloth diapering can be addictive! With so many cute patterns and great diapers to choose from, once you start, you just might not be able to stop!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Daniel Is an Adult!

Today Daniel, my 2nd child, turned 18. In the state of Alabama that means that he can now be drafted, go to big boy jail, and go to the mall unescorted (here in Huntsville) on weekend nights. He still can't own property or enter into a contractual agreement of any kind. And he can't drink...which isn't really a big deal because he doesn't really want to (and plenty of kids his age are getting DUI's right and left).

I've thought a lot about Daniel today and have come to the conclusion that all I can really do is thank God for the way he has turned out. Every time I asked him what he wanted for his birthday, he said that he really didn't need anything. He's content with what he has. That's a lesson a lot of adults need to learn! He's getting a new laptop for graduation next month, so we're settling for clothes and shoes (despite his protests that he doesn't need anything) for his birthday presents.

Daniel was our first child to experience the benefits of Attachment Parenting from the time he was born. He nursed almost immediately after the midwife delivered him. He slept with us, we wore him, and he even got to homeschool on year when we were home on furlough! He's been in Christian schools most of his life and has been blessed with terrific friends. But honestly, we've seen the Lord's hand on Daniel since he was very little.

He was only 2 1/2 when he asked me if he could know for sure he was going to Heaven. That morning he prayed asking Jesus to be His Savior, then ran into wake up his big sister to tell her the big news! He was 10 when he committed his life to the Lord's service. He plans to study International Affairs so that he can support himself and serve the Lord abroad.

As we approach graduation, I realize that his story is only just beginning. I can't wait to see how the plot twists and turns. I know there will be amazing ups and downs. But through it all, I have the confidence that He has a secure faith in God that has been shaped throughout his life thanks to the Biblical principles of AP!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

My 17 yr. Old Son's Story

Today's blog is a little different...I didn't write it, my son Daniel did. He often texts stories to a friend of his as she's going to sleep. Last night she needed to stay awake for a while, so she asked for a suspenseful story. As he began texting, he wasn't sure where the story would go. When he got home last night he told me the story and I asked him to share it here with you. I hope you enjoy it...and yes, this boy is definitely a product of AP!!!

A sage green truck sped down an old road to the country. The lights were off and the driver was being very quiet. He pulled up to a dark red barn and looked around before uncovering the truck bed. He pulled out seven boxes and buried the contraband in the straw.
The police caught up with him six miles down the road. The officer in charge said that if he told them where he hid the Bibles and gave up his Christian brothers he could live; the man smiled and replied, "For me to live is Christ; to die is gain." They pulled him out on the side of the road and beat him. He prayed to God and praised Him for allowing him to die the same day his Savior did. The officer walked over, shot him in the heart, then kicked him in the side.
The next day the police officer who killed the man opened up his file of paper work and on the the top of the stack was Romans 12. Every day after that a new piece of paper appeared on his desk; each paper was a sheet out of the Bible. This kept happening until one day he read that if we acknowledge Christ in front of men, He will acknowledge us in front of the Father. Knowing it would cost him his life, he preached to the whole police station. Forty-three days after the man with the Bible was killed, the Great Commission was once again being fulfilled following 13 years of suppression by a godless regime.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Attachment Parenting, Trust and Good Friday

I've done a lot of reflecting today on what Good Friday means. First and foremost is the obvious significance of this day to all who embrace the Christian faith. We remember the suffering and sacrifice of our Savior as he experienced utter separation from God the Father while he hung on the cross.

However, as an attachment parenting advocate, my thoughts today wandered beyond the obvious Good Friday implications. I recalled the first book I ever read by Dr. William Sears, Christian Parenting and Childcare. One of the things that grabbed my attention 20 years ago was his assertion that parents who teach their children to trust by meeting their needs during infancy are laying the foundation for a lifelong trust in their Heavenly Father. My first child was 6 months old, and we had been following parenting advice that led us to leave her in her crib crying when it was bedtime. Don't get me wrong...she had nursed; I would sing to her and pray with her, but then I'd lay her down and the screaming would begin. I was so afraid of spoiling her or letting her manipulate me that I wouldn't pick her back up. So she would cry in the nursery, and on the other side of the wall, I would sob in my bedroom. It was awful! Dr. Sears' words gave me the freedom I needed to trust my instincts and soothe her to sleep. Before long we were co-sleeping, and the rest is history!

As subsequent babies arrived, we practiced the wonderful principles we had learned from Dr. Sears from the time they were born. We met needs and taught them to trust their ability to communicate with us. It is interesting to note that as our first child went through her teenage years, we had serious trust issues. Our second child will be 18 this week, and although he isn't perfect, he's never given us reason not to trust him. Now that our third child - another girl - is in her teens we are seeing the benefits of attachment parenting with her, too.

For a Christian parent, the greatest joy of all is seeing your children follow the Lord. I'm convinced that Dr. Sears is right on target when he says we're laying the foundation for a life of trust in God. My second child can't really remember a time when he didn't trust the Lord. His faith has grown and matured as he has grown, but He has always trusted. Child 3 is strong in her faith, too. It's important to her to please the Lord. Child 4 is only 10, but we see strong evidence of faith in him, too.

If I could change one thing about my parenting, I would give my precious firstborn daughter the same trust advantage that her siblings have. I do believe the verse that says, "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it." We have sought to give all our kids a strong foundation of faith, and I believe that ultimately all our kids will live their lives for the Lord. But daughter 1 missed out on those crucial first 6 months of trust-building, so it may just take a little longer! Nevertheless, the Resurrection which we will celebrate on Sunday fills my heart with hope!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Mom to Mom Support

Why is it so important for new mothers to get support from other mothers? I'd love to hear your opinions on this question, but I'm going to offer several reasons why I think every new mom needs strong peer support.

It Helps the Learning Curve
No doubt about it, becoming a mother definitely entails a pretty significant learning curve. You can take a breastfeeding class, a parenting class, and even an infant health and safety class, but that's no substitute for the on-the-job experience you get once baby is actually here! Being around other mothers who have already been where you are helps in several ways. First, you learn by watching them. You learn what works and what doesn't work. Although every baby is different, you may pick up techniques that will work with your baby. Also, as you develop relationships with other mothers, you build a resource network of people you can go to for advice in various situations. Finally, as your own mothering skills grow, you begin to find that you are able to help other mothers. The sense of well-being you receive from helping someone else may even help you maintain a healthy sense of emotional well-being.

It May Help Alleviate PostPartum Depression
Many women experience a day or two of "Baby Blues," but some women actually enter into a full-blown postpartum depression or PPD. The combination of hormonal changes with new stresses in her life may predispose some women to depression. Participation in a Mom to Mom Support Group may not completely prevent PPD; however, it may help to alleviate some of the symptoms and lead to a quicker recovery. Isolation only makes depression worse; so mothers who interact with other new moms generally have an easier time recovering.

It Helps You Meet Other Women Who Share your Life Circumstances

Finding a Mom to Mom Support group helps you build friendships with other women who are at the very same place in life where you are. If you have a baby before your friends do, you may find that you just don't have as much in common with them after the birth. You might even realize that you long for the company of other women who are also experiencing motherhood. In a Mom to Mom Group, you can meet a variety of women and figure out whom you want to get to know better.

Finding a Group

There are several ways to find a local support group. Depending upon your community, one or more of the following might work for you.
1. Ask other mothers. When you meet another mom, find out if she is part of a group. If you're outgoing, you might even approach other moms in the park or library to begin a conversation.
2. Look at your local community calendar. Do you have a TV news station? How about a local parenting magazine? Usually these media outlets have calendars which list events in the community.
3. Find a La Leche League group. La Leche League is the largest international breastfeeding support program. If you are nursing, you'll receive a wealth of information, encouragement and support from La Leche League. This website will help you locate a local group.
4. Find a MOPS group. MOPS stands for Mothers of Preschoolers. This national organization has meetings for mothers of infants through pre-schoolers. You can click here to locate your nearest group.
5. Go to to see if there are any local meetup groups for moms in your area. Possible groups include Mommy Milk Meeup, New and Expectant Parents Meetup and Attachment Parenting Meetup. Most meetup groups have a message board moderated by the organizer where you can give and receive great advice.

If you find that you're having a tough time getting yourself motivated to get out the door with your baby, then that's a sure sign you REALLY need to do just that! So find a way to meet other moms, drop your baby into a sling, and off you go...remember, you're doing this for your own mental health! After all, doesn't your baby deserve the healthiest mom possible?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Let's Give Away Some Baby Legs!

I'm really enjoying blogging. I love to write. In fact, I'm working on getting my first book published: Breastfeeding: God's Amazing Design for Moms and Babies But that's another blog for another time!

We started the Conservative Granola Mommies Blog because that really seems to be our niche at A Nurturing Moment. We have a good assortment of slings and cloth diapers. We promote Attachment Parenting. Since I'm a lactation consultant, we obviously support, promote and encourage breastfeeding; in fact, we're always adding fun new accessories for breastfeeding moms. So we thought it would be fun to reach out into cyberspace and connect with other moms who are doing some of the same things. We're not fanatical or rabid; we just want to help all moms learn to trust the wonderful maternal instincts that God gave them!

Over the last couple of months, it's been exciting to see our webstore grow and to have new friends following our blog. So we decided to have a contest. Once we have 30 followers, we'll put everybody's name in a bowl and give away a pair of Bum Genius Baby Legs to one lucky winner.

Help us spread the word about Conservative Granola Mommies, and let's see if we can't give those Baby Legs away this weekend!