BSM – 5/21/07

We had a beautiful weekend here! Julian went for his first ride in our backyard swing and enjoyed the heck out of it, and Ava enjoyed pushing him and time in the swing herself, so “fun in the backyard” is my theme for this week.

I couldn’t pick just one picture to share (I never can), so I’m sharing a few of each of the kids, all taken on Saturday, May 19.

Ava pushing Julian on the swing - 5/19/07Julian giggles with delight - 5/19/07Julian watches his big sister - 5/19/07

Ava playing in the rocks - 5/19/07Ava in the swing - 5/19/07Ava in the swing - 5/19/07

Thanks for looking. šŸ™‚
Be sure to visit Picture This to see what everyone else is doing for Best Shot Monday.

The great Nestle boycott

**Please note: there is now an updated Nestle boycott list as of 10/7/09. Thanks!**

Perhaps you’ve heard about the Nestle boycott before, but never really understood why it is going on. I hope the information below, including a list of all products Nestle sells, will be helpful in your quest to educate yourself on the subject.

Here’s an article – Eye witness evidence of NestleĀ© malpractice on eve of demonstration – with links to several other sites/articles on the topic.

NestleĀ© is the target of an international boycott because of its aggressive marketing of baby foods. A newspaper article and new film reveal how NestleĀ© continues to undermine breastfeeding, breaking international marketing standards, where laws have yet to be introduced and enforced.

See also, Formula for Disaster – a five part UNICEF documentary series available on YouTube.

This eye-opening documentary reveals how the marketing of powdered milk has caused fewer mothers to breastfeed in the Philippines – including those who can ill afford artificial milk and suffer its harmful consequences. The milk companies’ formula for profits is a formula for disaster.
Part 1 of 5
Part 2 of 5
Part 3 of 5
Part 4 of 5
Part 5 of 5

From UNICEF – Rally for breastfeeding – Mothers demand truth about infant formula

Over 100 formula feeding mothers and their babies protested in front of infant formula manufacturers’ offices, claiming milk advertisements have deceived them into giving their babies infant formula instead of breastmilk.

“My message to the milk companies is to stop deceiving those who buy infant formula,” says Nadine Sylvano, mother of five children. “They say that their milk is good for children’s brains, will make children healthy, stout and give strong bones. But it’s not true.”

Also check out Baby Milk Action

Baby Milk Action is a non-profit organization which aims to save lives and to end the avoidable suffering caused by inappropriate infant feeding. Baby Milk Action works within a global network to strengthen independent, transparent and effective controls on the marketing of the baby feeding industry.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 1.5 million infants die around the world every year because they are not breastfed. Where water is unsafe a bottle-fed child is up to 25 times more likely to die as a result of diarrhea than a breastfed child.

That is why a marketing code was introduced in 1981 to regulate the marketing of breastmilk substitutes. Companies continue to violate its provisions. Find out how Baby Milk Action works to stop them and how you can help.

Baby Milk Action is not anti-baby milk. Our work protects all mothers and infants from irresponsible marketing.

There is even more information available on Wikipedia.

…Knowledge is power….

Poster credit: Rachael Romero, SFPB

Updated on 9/30/09:

Thank you to Julie for reminding me to get a list of Nestle’s products, which are included in the boycott. According to NestleUSA.com, here is a (very LONG) list of their USA brands. (The Nestle UK brand list can be found here.)
* 100 GRANDĀ®
* ADDITIONS
* AFTER EIGHTĀ® Biscuits & Mints
* ALBERSĀ® Corn Meal and Grits
* ALPOĀ®
* ALPOĀ® COME ‘N GET ITĀ®
* AQUARI-YUMS cat treats
* BABY RUTHĀ®
* BACIĀ®
* BEGGIN’ STRIPSĀ® dog treats
* BENEFULĀ® dog food
* BIT-O-HONEYĀ®
* BOTTLE CAPSĀ®
* BUITONIĀ®
* BUITONIĀ® Risotto & Foccacia Bread Mix
* BUSY BONE dog treats
* BUTTERFINGERĀ®
* CARLOS VĀ®
* CAT CHOWĀ® cat food
* CHEF-MATEĀ®
* CHEW-RIFIC dog treats
* CHUNKYĀ®
* COFFEE-MATEĀ®
* COFFEE-MATE LATTE CREATIONS
* CROISSANT POCKETSĀ® brand sandwiches
* CRUCIALĀ®
* DELI-CATĀ® cat food
* DOG CHOWĀ® dog food
* FAA
* FANCY FEASTĀ® cat food
* FRISKIESĀ® canned & dry cat food
* GOBSTOPPERSĀ®
* GOOBERSĀ®
* GOOD STARTĀ® Infant Formulas
* HI PROĀ® dog food
* HOT POCKETSĀ® brand sandwiches
* KIBBLES AND CHUNKSĀ® dog food
* KIT ‘N KABOODLEĀ® cat food
* KITTEN CHOWĀ® cat food
* KLIMĀ®
* LA LECHERAĀ® Sweetened Condensed Milk
* LAFFY TAFFYĀ®
* LEAN CUISINEĀ®
* LEAN POCKETSĀ® brand sandwiches
* LIBBY’SĀ® Pumpkin
* LIK-M-AIDĀ® Fun Dip
* MAGGIĀ® Seasonings
* MIGHTY DOGĀ® dog food
* MILOĀ® powdered beverage & ready-to-drink
* MINOR’SĀ®
* MODULENĀ® IBD
* MOIST & MEATYĀ®
* NANĀ® Infant Formula
* NERDSĀ®
* NESCAFEĀ®
* NESCAFEĀ® CafeĀ© con Leche
* NESCAFEĀ® CLASICO (soluble coffees from Mexico)
* NESQUIKĀ®
* NESTEAĀ®
* NestleĀ© Healthcare Nutrition
* NESTLEĀ® JUICY JUICEĀ® 100% fruit juices
* NestleĀ© FoodServices
* NESTLEĀ® ABUELITAĀ®
* NESTLEĀ® CARNATIONĀ® INSTANT BREAKFASTĀ®
* NESTLEĀ® CARNATIONĀ® Malted Milk
* NESTLEĀ® CARNATIONĀ® Milks
* NESTLEĀ® CRUNCHĀ®
* NESTLEĀ® dessert toppings
* NESTLEĀ® European Style Desserts
* NESTLEĀ® Hot Cocoa Mix
* NESTLEĀ® Infant Formulas
* NESTLEĀ® MIlk Chocolate
* NESTLEĀ® NIDOĀ®
* NESTLEĀ® SIGNATURES TREASURESĀ®
* NESTLEĀ® SIGNATURES TURTLESĀ®
* NESTLEĀ® TOLL HOUSEĀ® Candy Bars
* NESTLEĀ® TOLL HOUSEĀ® Morsels & baking ingredients
* NIPSĀ®
* NUTRENĀ®
* NUTRENĀ® GLYTROLĀ®
* NUTRENĀ® PULMONARY (formerly NUTRIVENTĀ®)
* NUTRENĀ® RENAL (formerly NUTRIRENAL)
* NUTRENĀ® REPLETEĀ®
* NUTRIHEAL
* NUTRIHEPĀ®
* OH HENRY!Ā®
* OOMPASĀ®
* ORTEGAĀ®
* PEPTAMENĀ®
* PERUGINAĀ® Confections
* PIXY STIXĀ®
* POWERBARĀ®
* PRIAĀ®
* PRO PLANĀ® dog and cat foods
* PURINA ONEĀ®
* PURINAĀ®
* PURINAĀ® ESSENTIALS cat treats and dog treats
* QUALITY STREETĀ®
* RAISINETSĀ®
* RENALCALĀ®
* RUNTSĀ®
* secondnatureĀ®
* SNO-CAPSĀ®
* SPREEĀ®
* STOUFFER’SĀ®
* SWEETARTSĀ®
* T BONZĀ®
* TART ‘N TINYSĀ®
* TASTER’S CHOICEĀ® instant coffee
* TENDER VITTLESĀ®
* TIDY CATSĀ®
* TRIOĀ®
* VETERINARY DIETS
* WHISKER LICKIN’SĀ®
* WONKAĀ® products
* YESTERDAY’S NEWSĀ®

Nothing but the truth

A while back, I challenged myself and any bloggers who wanted to participate “to post about a topic of your choosing on your blog with complete honesty. (Maybe it could be a topic that youĆ¢ā‚¬ā„¢ve avoided writing about in the past, but really want to put out there.) Then you can respond to let me know that you posted and IĆ¢ā‚¬ā„¢ll link to everybodyĆ¢ā‚¬ā„¢s raw, honest posts.”

So here it is, a list of our honest posts. Thank you to each of you for accepting the challenge, opening yourself up and sharing with the rest of us. I appreciate your honesty.

Caroline of Known Knowns wrote I should be excited

Julie of ChezArtz wrote about The Truth

Heather of Thoughts and Stitches wrote about feeling Kinda sad thinking about things

Heather of A Mama’s Blog wrote about getting Back to reality

Jazz of Finery in Life wrote a Clarification

And then there was my own post – The truth will set you free

If I overlooked anyone’s honesty posts, please let me know and I will add you to the list. Thanks again. šŸ™‚

Here’s to more honest writing from all of us in the future!

A perfect kind of day

Ever have a day where it seems everything is going your way? Where you are almost afraid to stop and take notice of what a great day it is for fear of jinxing yourself? Today was that kind of day for me.

It didn’t start off perfectly though. I woke up with the same migraine that I’d gone to bed with last night. But after drinking a cola drink (the caffeine helps), I started feeling better. From then on, it was an awesome day, complete with sunshine and temps in the 70s.

Ava watched a bit of TV (Sesame Street) in the morning while I got a little me/computer time in. Julian took a nice long nap which allowed me and Ava to read some books together, eat lunch and bake cookies. I also got a load of laundry done – even folded and put away (which is the hardest part for me).

This afternoon I took the kids to the library for a bit. They have a big puppet playhouse there that Ava loves, complete with tons of puppets. Today, however, she noticed that there were only a few puppets in there. She asked me where they all were and I suggested that maybe some of them had to be washed, but we could ask one of the women who worked in the library if she knew. So we went up to the desk together to ask and the woman told us Ava was the first child to ask about the puppets. Turns out they had to “retire” a bunch of the old ones, but had a whole bag of new ones to replace them – they just hadn’t put them out yet. But since Ava asked so nicely she brought out the new puppets and, Ava and a new friend she made today had a great time playing with them.

She and her new friend also “read” some books together. Ava “read”: “Bears All Around*” (the title she made up) “by Eric Carle” (it wasn’t really by Eric Carle, but I was enjoying her “reading” too much to point that out). Then she went through the book and “read” it to her friend, while they both giggled at just about everything that came out of Ava’s mouth. It was pretty darn sweet.

After the library, we stopped at Vitamin Cottage to pick up a few things we needed. Ava’s favorite VC employee Aruna was working and Ava greeted her with a big hug. The shopping trip went off without a hitch, I got to use my new cloth grocery bag (a freebie from Wild Oats) and we were soon back in the car driving home.

I read Ava one of her library books, then she went outside to play while I started on dinner with Julian in the Ergo. I decided to try a new recipe – Spring Pea Tarts – from this month’s “Vegetarian Times.” (What luck that it’s also the featured recipe of the week on their website, so I can share it without having to type it out myself!) I modified it a bit since I didn’t have a pastry puff, and used a spelt pie crust that I picked up at VC instead. And I didn’t have time to let it chill for 2 hours, but it was delicious anyway, and I’ll definitely make it again. šŸ™‚

Jody got home in the middle of my dinner prep and took Julian off my hands. Then we had a couple contractors come by to give us more estimates on fixing our bathroom, since the guy we thought we were going to have do the repairs never returned emails or phone calls.

Ava was a joy to be around pretty much all day. Not that she’s normally a pain, but she is almost 3 and she does have a way of pushing my buttons from time to time. Not today. There was no whining, no discipline issues, no time outs (for Ava or mommy), nothing bad at all to speak of. And Julian was his usual happy-go-lucky self. It truly seems that everyone got their needs met today. Amazing.

The night has ended well. Both kids are sleeping. The crickets are chirping outside my open window. I’m taping LOST (my guilty pleasure) and Leno to watch them both later. I’m going to head downstairs now to enjoy one of those cookies we made and talk with Jody for a bit.

These kind of perfect kind of days don’t happen often so I’m basking in the glow of it right now. Life is good. šŸ™‚

*The title she came up with (“Bears All Around”) cracked me up because she was recently looking at “The Baby Book” by Dr. Sears at our house and when I asked her what she was reading and she said “Babies All Around.” Apparently that’s a theme now.

Good finds, good deals, good golly – we spent a lot of money

As you know, this past weekend I participated in the Just Between Friends sale – a huge consignment event with over 300 consignors. Jody and I went to the pre-sale night, for consignors and friends only, and came away with quite a bit of loot.

I hit the clothes racks with Julian in the Ergo while Jody and Ava walked around looking at other things. I had picked out several items for Ava when I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned around to see Jody wearing a big backpack and Ava riding high in it, grinning from ear to ear. “I’m in a backpack!” The pack – Kelty Kids Back Country – was in great shape and, although we haven’t done much hiking in a while, we decided to get it. Even if we don’t use it much, I think we can resell it for what we paid for it.

Kelty Kids backpack

After making my way through the girls’ clothes, I headed over to find some things for Julian. Not long after I’d started looking, Jody came back, this time wheeling Ava around in a double jogging stroller. Apparently she was getting to try out several modes of transportation that night. šŸ˜‰ We had previously talked about getting a stroller, so I was cool with getting it. I had actually been eyeing that one when the owner dropped it off earlier in the day.

I took the kids out in it for a test run on Friday. The front wheel pulls a bit to the right, but I think we can fix that without too much effort. Julian fell asleep in it, so that’s a good sign. I parked him under a tree, then Ava and I had some fun playing in the park.

Julian and Ava in the new jogger 5/11/07

Back to the sale…
As for clothes, I ended up buying for Ava (all size 4T):
3 dresses,
3 shirts,
2 tanktops,
3 shorts/skorts,
and 1 pair of capri pants.

And for Julian (some 12M, some 18M – yep, he’s huge and not quite 6 months old yet):
3 rompers,
4 shirts,
2 onesies,
1 pair of pants,
1 pair of overall shorts,
5 bibs (the way he drools, he goes through them like there’s no tomorrow),
1 sun hat (new with tags),
and a bathing suit with matching robe.

Combine that with what they already had and I think the kids are definitely set for the summer. šŸ™‚

We ended up spending a bit more than I’d planned, but I feel like we got a good deal on everything we bought, and we should get some use out of it all, so it was worth it. One of these days, I just might show some restraint when it comes to these sales. But with such great deals, maybe not.

I’ll find out how much money I made off the items I consigned when I get my check in the mail in two weeks. Hopefully it will make a dent in what we spent. šŸ˜‰

New home birth resource



I just wanted to let you all know that I have started a new page on my blog devoted to information about home birth. You can get to it by using the link at the top of the page in the right-hand corner called “home birth resource.”

On it, I will post news articles, statistics, birth stories and more all related to home birth. I hope to add to it on a regular basis, so that it can be a great resource for anyone contemplating a home birth or just looking to learn more.

I was thinking about doing a similar page on breastfeeding information, but I just don’t have the time to commit to that right now. I’m amazed by how many articles are written about breastfeeding. I might tackle that project later.

I’m hoping to redo my blog in the semi-near future and have a lot of ideas floating around in my head on things I’d like to do with it. Stay tuned. šŸ™‚

Ricki Lake to appear on Leno

From “The Business of Being Born” mailing list:

Ricki will be appearing on Jay Leno tomorrow night, May 16th. (NBC, 11:35pm EST.) So tune in, as there is sure to be talk of Ć¢ā‚¬Å“The Business of Being Born!Ć¢ā‚¬Ā

I will plan to tape it, watch it and hopefully report back.

Free the placenta!

Ann Swanson, a Hynobirthing Childbirth Educator, recently gave birth to her second child, a daughter, at Sunrise Hospital in Nevada. Knowing that she developed postpartum depression after the birth of her first child, she wanted to combat it this time around by having her placenta dried, ground into a powder and encapsulated for ingestion – a practice known as placentophagy. However, the hospital would not release her placenta – the life-giving organ that provided nutrients to her baby in utero – citing health reasons, though Ann has neither HIV nor Hepatitis. The hospital stated that the only way she may be granted access to the placenta was to obtain a court order. She said, “it was never my intent to file a lawsuit, but I have definitely been pushed into doing just that.”

Unable to find an attorney to take on her case pro bono, Ann is representing herself, which means she is responsible for all legal filings and costs. She had an injunction today and is starting a campaign to pass legislation that makes it illegal for hospitals to refuse women the rights to their placenta (provided it is determined to be non-infectious).

Because all of these things will take money, donations are needed. A PayPal fund has been established to take the donations : LegalizePlacenta@PlacentaBenefits.info – Go to PayPal.com, select the Ć¢ā‚¬Å“Send MoneyĆ¢ā‚¬Ā tab and then fill out the Ć¢ā‚¬Å“Send MoneyĆ¢ā‚¬Ā form on the right hand side of the screen. Any amount, even if it’s only $1 or $5, will help offset her fees. If more money is received than needed to cover the injunction, the excess will be used for other legal placenta issues and passing legislation.

Ann said, “If the issue was just *my* daughterĆ¢ā‚¬ā„¢s placenta, I would drop the issue. However, the issue is much larger and it affects all women.”

Read more about Ann’s story in an article in the Las Vegas Review-Journal – Making pills from placentas, and a follow-up story – SUNRISE HOSPITAL: Placenta befouled, mom told. Because the hospital has now said the placenta is contaminated, Ann no longer has plans to ingest it, but does still want the organ “for the principle of the thing” so that she can plant it. You can also follow Ann’s story and another woman who also was denied her placenta at a different hospital in NV, by reading Diva/Mama‘s blog.

ONLINE PETITIONS:
Sign the petition to the medical establishment to Release Placentas to Mothers. (For anyone to sign):
Petition to release placentas to mothers

Sign the petition for the Nevada legislature, and should only be signed by residents of Nevada. This one will be used to create a state law giving mothers the right to take their placenta from the hospital.
Create NV state law

Are you wondering why is this so important?

Eating the placenta is known as placentophagy. It is practiced by most mammals in the animal world, including many primates. This excludes the majority of humans.

However, there are some that proport that eating the human placenta can help with ailments from postpartum depression to postpartum hemorrhage. There are some midwives and doctors who use the placenta medicinally in the early stages of postpartum because it is high in progesterone and has small amount of oxytocin. This supposedly helps stem bleeding after birth and causes the uterus to clean itself out. Some forms of Chinese medicines also contain parts of human placenta. — From About.com

For the record, I haven’t mentioned it here before, but yes, after my home birth I had my midwife dry, power and encapsulate my placenta (she calls it “placental medicine”), which I took for a few weeks following Julian’s birth. (I would never have eaten it raw or cooked – I’m too squeamish, but when it was in the capsules, it wasn’t a big deal to me.) I do feel that it had a very positive effect on my emotional well-being and my healing from the birth. I am saving the remaining pills for either Julian when he gets older and goes through a major life transition or for myself for menopause. The placenta is such an amazing organ, why throw it away when it has so many health benefits?

My Motherā€™s Day

Amy, Ava and Julian - MotherĆ¢ā‚¬ā„¢s Day 2007

I had a wonderful Mother’s Day. Jody made us breakfast, which I ate while I opened cards from him, the kids and my parents. After the kids had baths, we picked up a yummy spinach salad, some pizza and banana bread pudding from Whole Foods and went to our favorite picnic spot on the Boulder Creek for lunch. The skies looked like they might open up and sprinkle a spring rain on us, but they never did and eventually the clouds cleared a bit. We had a nice relaxing time eating, walking around, playing and breathing in the fresh air.

Ava 5/13/07 Flower child 5/13/07 Julian 5/13/07 BlowinĆ¢ā‚¬ā„¢ raspberries 5/13/07

(Don’t ya just love Ava’s dress? I got it at that big consignment sale for $5!)

After our picnic lunch, we headed over to Pearl Street Mall (an outdoor pedestrian mall) to take our annual Mother’s Day picture in front of the tulips. I’ve had a picture taken there with Ava for the past two years, so, of course, we had to do it again this year and keep up the tradition. šŸ™‚

MotherĆ¢ā‚¬ā„¢s Day 2005 Mommy and Ava – 2005
MotherĆ¢ā‚¬ā„¢s Day 2006 Mommy (pregnant with Julian) and Ava – 2006
MotherĆ¢ā‚¬ā„¢s Day 2007 Mommy, Ava and Julian – 2007

After playing on the mall for a bit – there are some rock gardens that Ava has a blast playing in – we headed home. I made a quick and easy dinner of tacos with Smart Ground and, with the kids in bed, I’m thinking of turning in early and catching some extra Zzzzzzs.

Hope all of you mamas out there enjoyed a nice day!

And Happy Mother’s Day to you, Mom. Thank you for giving me life and helping me become the person I am today. šŸ™‚