I’m a Simpson, you’re a Simpson…

Wouldn’t you like to be a Simpson too?

Our family as the Simpsons

I was browsing mommy blogs over on The Mom Blogs and found this link to Simpsonize Me over at Flakes of Bran (where she has a lovely Simpsonized version of her own family) . The temptation was too great. I had to play myself. πŸ™‚

After I created each of us (well, Jody did his own), I went into Photoshop and played a bit more, assembling us together for a family pic and adding a few personal touches. What do ya think? πŸ™‚

Well, what are you waiting for? You know you want to go Simpsonize yourself too! πŸ˜‰

A consumer is born

Walmart

A conversation between Jody AKA Daddy and Ava (3) as they were out in the car running errands on Sunday.

Ava: “I don’t want to go home. I want to go to Walmart.”

Daddy: “We don’t really go to Walmart, we go to Target.”

Ava: “We shouldn’t go to Target. That’s what the girl said.”

Daddy: “The girl? Where at?”

Ava: “The girl and the boy who was making pictures.”

Daddy: “Why do you want to go to Walmart?”

Ava: “I want to buy everything that I want.”

Apparently Walmart is recruiting them young these days.

The funny this is, we really don’t go to Walmart, so I’m not sure where she got this idea, though Jody suspects she overheard someone talking about Walmart while we were at the mandala creation on Saturday. Despite that fact that we don’t do Walmart, Jody decided to take her anyway to give me some extra time without them in the house Sunday morning.

After hanging out at the “Supercenter” for a little while, they headed to the parking lot. As they were walking out, Ava said she wanted to go back in. Jody asked her why and she replied, “I want to buy flowers for mommy.” Awww. Walmart or not – who can argue with that? πŸ˜‰

And don’t you just love that picture? God bless the Internet.  

You know, for kids

Breastmilk makes my tummy yummy

Today, Aug. 7, marks the last “official” day of World Breastfeeding Week. However, because there is still quite a bit on the subject that I’d like to write about, I plan to blog more about breastfeeding throughout the month of August.

If you are a breastfeeding mama, you might want to consider adding some children’s books about breastfeeding to your library. They are fun to read with your nurslings (kids love reading about one of their favorite things – mama’s milk!), and also come in handy to read to slightly older siblings when a new baby joins the family. The good news is there are several great books out there to choose from.

We have I’m Made of Mama’s Milk by Mary Olsen and Breastmilk Makes My Tummy Yummy by Cecilia Moen and I like them both a lot. I wish I’m Made of Mama’s Milk had better quality pictures in it, but the story and rhyming are fun nonetheless. Breastmilk Makes My Tummy Yummy also has some cute rhymes in it, and includes drawings of children of different ethnicities breastfeeding, as well as toddlers nursing and tandem nursing. Both books have been favorite bedtime stories in this house with Ava, and I’m sure they will continue to be appreciated by Julian as well.

Another breastfeeding book that we will be adding to our library soon is Near Mama’s Heart by Colleen Newman. I won this book from the Attachment Parenting International online auction, and am excited to get it. Near Mama’s Heart, with colorful photos of nursing babies and their families, describes the power of breastfeeding from a child’s perspective.” (It is also available in Spanish.)


Here are some more books about breastfeeding for kids:

Mama’s Milk by Michael Elsohn Ross

The Best Gifts by Marsha Skrypuch

We Like to Nurse by Chia Martin

and

Michele: The Nursing Toddler – A Story about Sharing Love by Jane M. Pinczuk (I’m especially interested in learning more about this one since it’s specifically about a nursing toddler. Might have to buy a copy.)

Another book I found while browsing Amazon that’s not specifically about breastfeeding, but is all about baby wearing is A Ride on Mother’s Back: A Day of Baby Carrying around the World by Emery Bernhard. It looks like a great book to add to any AP-friendly children’s library.

I’d be happy to add more children’s books about breastfeeding to the list if anyone knows of more. Thanks!

Here are the rest of my posts about breastfeeding from the past week:

Lastly, thank you to everyone who sent in your breastfeeding pictures for the collage. I will be sharing it later in the week. πŸ™‚

Edited to add: Elizabeth at The Whole Family is giving away a set of 10 breastfeeding encouragement cards in honor of WBW.
The cards say:
“I just wanted to pass along this little note to let you know how much I appreciate seeing you, a fellow mother, nursing your child in public. You are setting a wonderful example for other mothers and future mothers and showing our children how normal yet beautiful breastfeeding is.”
Want to win? Go check out her giveaway.

BSM – 8/6/07


Best Shot Monday – Buddhist Sand Mandala

My Best Shot Monday this week is actually four “best shots,” because I couldn’t pick just one to share of this beautiful art.

On Thursday and again on Saturday last week, I went to watched Kezang Dorjee, a Buddhist Monk from Bhutan, as he created a Buddha of Compassion Sand Mandala, all done by hand – sprinkling grains of sand with his fingertips in a slow, meticulous process. It was beautiful and amazing and I can only imagine the patience, training, skill and discipline that must go into creating one.

I learned, through the literature that was distributed at the mandala creation, that it is said that those viewing the making of a mandala are benefited through clearing obstacles in their life and purifying negative actions and karmas that have been done in the past. By concentrating on the image of the mandala, the viewer can experience blessings. Nice. I could always use some blessings. πŸ™‚

Below are two pictures I took on Thursday and then two more from Saturday (when he was getting closer to being finished with it).

I wasn’t able to attend, but on Sunday the sand was swept up as part of a mandala dismantling ceremony and was then dispersed into a nearby creek to return to the Earth. This process symbolizes the transience of life and the ideal of non-attachment to the material world.

Thursday:

Buddha of compassion sand mandala creation 1Buddha of compassion sand mandala creation 2

Saturday:

Buddha of compassion sand mandala creation 3Buddha of compassion sand mandala creation 4

I know that’s four pictures (instead of one) for Best Shot Monday, but I really wanted to show off the beauty of the mandala. After all of the work and energy that went into it, I feel it is deserving. πŸ™‚

See more pics from Best Shot Monday over at Picture This.
Oh, and please sign Mister Linky below if you participated in Best Shot Monday! πŸ™‚



Squirmy, the composting snake

A couple of months ago, after growing increasingly tired of the amount of food waste we were contributing to the landfills, I decided it was time to start composting in earnest.


We’ve had a compost bin for several years, but never really knew what we were doing with it, nor did we take the time to figure it out. So I finally asked my friend Nicole, who’s a master composter, what basic info I needed to get started, and I’ve been happily composting ever since.

our compost snake

We’ve got a little friend who’s taken a liking to our compost pile – Squirmy the snake. I’ve seen Squirmy hanging out in the bin a few times now. As long as she stays in the compost bin or the yard and not in the house, it doesn’t bother me. Although I did see Squirmy’s progeny the other day (just one lone baby snake), so it makes me wonder how many more we really have. Though with the dogs periodically in the yard, I wouldn’t think any snakes of reasonable intelligence would take up residence for very long. Right? Perhaps the compost bin is just a vacation home for Squirmy. πŸ™‚

Here are some tips Nicole shared with me about composting:

  • Basically you want to have approximately 50% “green” materials (wet, fresh) and 50% “brown” (dry).
  • You can compost all sorts of things: veggie waste, yard waste, shredded paper towels, sawdust/shavings, shredded cardboard, drier lint, etc. You just throw them in the bin and the microbes do the rest. If your bin doesn’t touch the ground you’ll need to throw some soil in it so it has microbes.
  • Ideally you need to keep it as moist as a wrung out sponge. Beyond that how you tend it depends on how fast you want compost.
  • I mostly just want to divert waste from the landfill so I just toss stuff in and stir when I remember (2-4 times per year). If you want compost more frequently you can stir every 2 weeks or so. You don’t want to stir too often because the compost heats up as part of the mechanism of the bacteria that breaks to food down and the process stops if you stir it too soon and it loses heat.
  • Compost bins can attract animals (like mice and, apparently, snakes). To avoid that you can dig down a little and bury the new stuff as you add it so the animals can’t smell it.

Like Nicole, I’m primarily concerned with diverting food waste from the landfills, but not necessarily with making great compost to use often (although now that I’m getting more interested in gardening, maybe I will change my tune). I just wanted to mention that you can compost your food scraps, without actually needing the compost for anything. πŸ™‚

Since I’ve started taking our food scraps (carrot peelings, egg shells, corn husks, leftovers gone bad, avocado peels, watermelon rinds, etc.) out to the compost bin, I’m amazed at how much we actually used to throw away on a regular basis. “Yard trimmings and food residuals together constitute 23 percent of the U.S. waste stream, as documented by EPA.” I’m happy to make a small dent in reducing the landfills. Imagine if everybody composted their food scraps, even part of the time? We could make a big difference. πŸ™‚

For more information about composting, visit Composting – Basic Information.

Synchronized breastfeeding worldwide on Aug. 8

Synchronized breastfeeding worldwide

Have you heard about this?

Advocates of breastfeeding in the Philippines will lead 20 other countries in the first-ever global synchronized breastfeeding event next week. Their goal is to promote breastfeeding as still being best for babies.

Organizers of Nurturers of the Earth said the Synchronized Breastfeeding Worldwide event will gather mothers from 21 nations across the globe. On Aug. 8 at 10 a.m. in their respective time zones, mothers will breastfeed their babies.

Mothers from countries such as Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Canada, Colombia, Cyprus, Dominican Republic, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, the United States, Uganda, the United Kingdom, and Ukraine were expected to participate in the event.

So all we have to do to participate is breastfeed our child at 10 a.m. (our local time) on Aug. 8, right? Anybody game? I hope to do it. We have tentative plans to go to my midwife’s social that morning and we may be in the car at 10 a.m., but I will try to sneak in some nursing before we hit the road. There’s always time for a little mama’s milk. πŸ™‚
More info about the synchronized breastfeeding event can be found here.

I feel that something like this that draws positive attention to breastfeeding is especially important to support in light of information like this article from the Associated Press saying that more moms in the U.S.A. are breastfeeding, but they are quitting way too soon.

Nearly three-quarters of new mothers in the United States are breast-feeding their babies, but they are quitting too soon and resorting to infant f*rmula too often, federal health officials said Thursday.

A government survey found that only about 30 percent of new moms are feeding their babies breast milk alone three months after birth. At six months, only 11 percent are breast-feeding exclusively.

F*rmula isn’t as good at protecting babies against diseases, eczema and childhood obesity. Ideally, nearly all mothers should breast-feed their babies for six months or more, said David Paige, a Johns Hopkins University reproductive health expert.

Only 11 percent exclusively breast-feeding at 6 months? Ouch. Those numbers are awfully low. πŸ™

The government announced goals for 2010: getting 60 percent of women to breast-feed exclusively for the first three months and 25 percent through six months.

Let’s hope that continued breastfeeding education and more support for breastfeeding moms, including working moms, will help the U.S. achieve and surpass that goal.

F*rmula was typed without the “o” above to protect my blog from f*rmula ads.

The great stroller misadventure

Unlike the majority of July, August’s temperatures have, so far, not been nearly as sweltering. That being the case, on Friday I decided to load the kids up into the double jogging stroller for a long walk to the park (the one that’s 1.5 miles away – hey, that’s a long walk for me. ;)).

Ava & Julian in the stroller 8/3/07

Apparently, it wasn’t as cool out as I thought it was and I soon started to sweat, but the walk was good for me, it was nice to get out of the house, and the kids were having a good time.

On a bridge 8/3/07

We made it to the park and there was much swinging to be had.

Julian & Ava swinging 8/3/07 More swinging 8/3/07

After about 30 minutes, the clouds cleared and the sun really started beating down on us, and I decided we should head back towards home. We started our walk back and I noticed something funny about one of the rear stroller tires – namely it was making a “tooting” noise that was cracking Ava up. I figured out that it was leaning in at a wonky angle and rubbing on another part of the stroller. I periodically had to straighten it back out, but it wouldn’t stay that way for long. (Now that I look back at my pictures, it seems it was bent from the start of our walk. Hmmm.)


We got about half-way home when the damn wheel wouldn’t straighten any longer and I had to ask Ava to walk so that I could hold that side of the stroller up while I pushed Julian.

No sooner did I lift it off the ground did that damn wheel fall right off and the connecting part was bent too! D’oh! No more wheel for stroller. (Doesn’t Julian look pissed here? LOL)

No more wheel for stroller 8/3/07

Not excited at the prospect of having to maneuver home a busted stroller with two kids in tow, I decided to ditch the stroller next to the stream, with plans to recover it later in the day after Jody got home with the car. I even put some branches in front of it to help camouflage it. πŸ˜‰ LOL

The stroller concealed (Ha!) 8/3/07

Unfortunately, I didn’t bring my Ergo with me, so I had to carry Jules on my hip for the walk back, while Ava happily (thank goodness!) walked and even carried her water bottle which helped me out a ton since my pockets and hands were loaded with everything else (keys, cell phone, tasty granola bars that we made on Thursday, camera, Julian’s toy) we had with us in the stroller.

After a fair bit of walking, Ava wanted to play and I wanted to rest, so we decided to take a breather at the park by our house. Refreshments were needed. Thankfully, we still had water and there was plenty of mama milk to be had as well.

Ava has some water 8/3/07 Julian has some mama milk 8/3/07

After the refreshments, much playing and silliness ensued.

Goofing around 8/3/07 More silliness from Ava 8/3/07 Julian says, Ò€œParks are fun, mama!Ò€ 8/3/07

Despite the unexpected wheel mishap and a sweaty mommy, we had a very fun afternoon. πŸ™‚ I’m so glad I grabbed my camera at the last minute so I could document the whole thing. hee, hee.

Unfortunately, the stroller recovery mission that night didn’t go as planned. When we went back to retrieve it (about 4 1/2 hours after I left it), it had been moved and the wheel had been taken. Ugh! We looked all over to see if maybe someone tossed the wheel in the stream, but had no luck finding it. So now we need not only to fix the wheel but to buy a new one as well. Oh, bother.

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**UPDATE** – The winner of the Cute As A Bug t-shirt giveaway is Melody of Slurping Life. Congratulations, Melody! And thanks to everyone who entered! πŸ™‚ Stay tuned for more contests in the weeks ahead!

“License” to breastfeed and the law

International breastfeeding symbol

It’s Day 3 of World Breastfeeding Week and I’m continuing my celebration. πŸ™‚

I feel very fortunate in that I’ve never had anyone approach me with a negative comment or look while I’ve breast-fed my children in public. Unfortunately, many other mothers have not been as lucky. And because there are disapproving strangers out there, it’s important to know that there are laws that protect breastfeeding mothers’ rights. Babytalk came up with a “license to breastfeed” card that a nursing mother can carry with her to flash to anyone who tries to dissuade her from feeding her child. It’s sad that in this day and age there has to be such a card, but it’s good to know your rights and to be prepared to share them with others.

The symbol at the top of this post is the International Breastfeeding Symbol. For more information about the purpose of the symbol and how it can be used, visit Mothering’s breastfeeding symbol activism kit.

Here are your last reminders…

  • Today is the last day to enter my latest t-shirt giveaway from my new store, Cute As A Bug. You have until 11:59 p.m. The winner will be selected and announced tomorrow, Aug. 4.
  • If you haven’t yet done so, please send me your nursing pictures for inclusion in my WBW breastfeeding photo collage by Aug. 4. Thank you!

FYI – A picture update of the kiddos is coming soon, as well as some pics from the Tibetan Buddhist sand mandala I went to see yesterday as it was being created. There’s so much going on this summer and not nearly enough time to blog about it all. πŸ˜‰

I won, I won! – and more contests

We interrupt the World Breastfeeding Week celebration here at Crunchy Domestic Goddess for this important announcement…

I found out today that I’m the winner of the Skimbaco shoe contest over at Mod*Mom! Yay! I’m a weiner winner! These are the shoes I chose for Miss Ava. Aren’t they cute?! I was going to go with some of the tennis shoes, but we recently bought her a new pair, so she gets adorable Mary Janes instead. πŸ™‚ Skimbaco has tons of cute clothes and shoes for babies, boys and girls, and they are based in CO too!

Since we’re on the topic of contests (it is the summer of contests out here in the blogosphere), I might as well mention some others I’m currently trying to win. πŸ™‚

This may very well be one of the coolest contests I’ve seen yet. 5 Minutes for Mom is giving away an Insignia 37 inch flat panel LCD HDTV, courtesy of Best Buy. How sweet is that??! Nobody else enter so my chances of winning are better. Head on over and enter today. πŸ˜‰

This is also cool. Love Shak, Baby is giving away $250 Gift Card to two readers to be used at the Gymboree store or Gymboree online.

That’s all for now. We now return to our regular scheduled breastfeeding celebration. πŸ˜‰