Crunchy Domestic Goddess Year in Review – 2007

Kelli at There is no place like home and Steph at Adventures in Babywearing both inspired me to do my own year in review post. They both posted the first sentence of their first blog post of each month, but I’m changing the “rules” for my blog and doing things a little differently. Instead of taking the first sentence from the first post of each month, I’m selecting the first sentence (or few sentences) from one of my favorite posts from each month and including a link to that post as well in case something piques your interest. (Yes, it took a lot more time to do it this way, but it seems I’m all about making things more difficult challenging for myself.) By doing it this way I hoped to select posts that best represented my blogging throughout the past year. 🙂

The CDG Year in Review

JANUARY
I’m not a big fan of Dr. Phil, but was happy to learn he was having the Sears doctors (Dr. William Sears and sons, Dr. James Sears and Dr. Robert Sears) on a show on Friday called “Young Moms Ask the Experts.”From The Sears doctors chime in on CIO and other parenting topics

FEBRUARY
One of Ava’s books about nursing (Breastmilk Makes My Tummy Yummy) contains a picture of a mom nursing a toddler and a baby and states: “Two can breastfeed without fuss, there is room for both of us.” On Wednesday night, we – me, Julian and Ava – experienced that for the first time. — From Room for two

MARCH
It’s the little things that make me appreciate just how much I love my kids.
Like the new lip-smacking sounds that Julian makes.
Like the way Ava kissed my arm a few times while falling asleep tonight. — From The little things

APRIL
In the spirit of putting more of myself “out there,” here it is, as promised – my completely honest post. — From The truth will set you free

MAY
As I set out driving Friday night to hear Ina May Gaskin – called “the mother of authentic midwifery” by Midwifery Today – speak, I was filled with nervous excitement. When I was about 10 minutes out from the church in Lafayette where the event was taking place, a friend of mine called me to say she was saving some seats for me and other friends of ours and she was able to get pretty close to the front. I felt like a teenager going to a rock concert. — From An Evening with Ina May

JUNE
On Sunday morning, Jody, Ava, Julian and I braved the record-breaking 100 degree heat to attend the National Mile High Breastfeeding Celebration in Denver hoping to help break a record of a different kind. — From National Mile High Breastfeeding Celebration


JULY
Some days you have to throw out your plans and just go with the flow. Today was one of those days. — From Go with the flow

AUGUST
As parents, we do the best we can to ensure our children have the very best start in the world. We may breastfeed them, make their baby food from scratch, buy organic and whole foods, childproof our homes, teach them not to talk to strangers, and a myriad of other things. We trust that when we buy age-appropriate toys for our children, that they will be safe and not pose a choking hazard nor contain toxic elements… – From Tots, toys and toxic paint don’t mix

SEPTEMBER
I tend not to write much about celebrities on my blog. As a general rule, I find there’s just too much other stuff going on in the world (especially my family’s world) for me to discuss who’s doing/saying what out in Hollywood. But when I heard that Brad Pitt (and then Kevin Kline) recently made comments about co-sleeping… – From What I believe: Brad Pitt, Kevin Kline on co-sleeping

OCTOBER
Halloween is right around the corner, but in light of my recent discoveries about damaging effects of artificial colors and flavors (and petroleum and coal tar) in candy, I haven’t been feeling very excited about a holiday that promotes candy consumption. — From Amy’s Halloween Candy Alternatives

NOVEMBER
It’s been just over a year since my baby boy made his amazing entrance into the world, and yet, I never posted his birth story on my blog. So here it is one year later – in it’s full, unedited (LONG) glory (altered only to change the midwives’ names to first initial) – for your reading pleasure. — From One year later – Julian’s (footling breech) home birth story

DECEMBER
In light of articles like this one, stating that as recently as Nov. 20, hazardous toys (containing high lead levels and other dangers) were still being found on the shelves in stores like Target, it’s validating (but really no surprise to me) to read that Simple Retro Toys May Be Better For Children Than Fancy Electronic Toys. — From Simple toys better for children

If you wrote a year in review post (of any kind) on your blog, please add a link to your post in the comments. 🙂

Happy New Year!

Best Shot Monday – 12/31/07 – Enjoy the silence

This shot is from our recent roadtrip to Kansas and was taken with our new point and shoot camera (that Jody picked out) – the Canon Powershot A720. The kids did really well with all of the driving, but I’m definitely glad that we decided to break up the trip into smaller chunks (about 4 1/2 to 5 hours each day). The times that they both slept were particularly nice for Jody and I to catch up and talk without interruptions. Ahhh. That was nice. 🙂

Sleepyheads on our trip to Kansas - 12/23/07

The first person to correctly identify the band who the sang the song used in this post title wins! Wins what you ask? Oh, nothing really. But you’ll be a winner! 🙂

You can see more of Best Shot Monday over at it’s new home at Mother May I.

Best Shot Monday

The dangers of cable TV

On the last day of our trip to Kansas, while we were waiting out the winter storm in our hotel room, we finally switched on the TV (the first time the whole trip) to entertain ourselves. What channel of the hundred or so available to us did we end up on? The DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Network.

Being that we only have basic cable (translation: about 5 channels worth watching) at our house, the DIY Network was new to us. Jody and I sat there a bit mesmerized as show after show came on about how to organize your garage, how to get your house ready to sell, how to landscape your yard, etc.

I’m a bit embarrassed to admit we watched about four half-hour shows (the shows were like crack I tell you) and I came away from it buzzing with excitement and telling Jody all of the plans I had in store for our house. We want to sell ours in the next couple of years, but we know we have a lot of work to do on it to make it really desirable to potential buyers.

When we got home, however, and I looked around my house, all I saw was clutter, clutter, and more clutter. (It doesn’t help that we have a huge train table that Santa brought in the middle of our already small living room. I have to remind myself that that won’t be it’s permanent home. It will be moving upstairs to the office.) And my big ideas of replacing mirrors and light fixtures and adding cabinets in the bathrooms seem grossly insignificant compared to massive amount of decluttering and organizing the house is really in need of.

Last night Jody checked our cable company’s web site to see if DIY Network is available here and I’m actually a bit relieved that it is not. I could see myself easily get sucked into watching all of the shows about home renovations and projects, while in the meantime my house becomes more and more cluttered. Quite honestly, we don’t need the extra cost of adding more channels to our service anyway. I can be content with the fact that they have a web site – DIY Network – where I’m sure I can get a ton of idea if ever I need them.

While I’m not really saying this is one of my new year’s resolutions (because I don’t do resolutions per se), it is one of my goals for 2008 to continue to declutter and organize my house. It was a goal for 2007 as well and while I know I made some strides in that area, it is an on-going task and there is still much work to be done.

I’m not going to give up on my little ideas for home improvements (I love the challenge of looking for a good deal on home decor items), but I know that a fancy mirror in the bathroom isn’t going to sell the place if the rest of the house looks like a bomb went off. 😉

I have some more goals for 2008 – some are very similar to my other goals for 2007, but I will write about those another time. For now, since Jody and the kids are out of the house, I need to go do a few minutes of decluttering to help myself feel better.

Home, sweet (sickly) home

Just a quick post to say that we arrived home safe and sound this afternoon. The roads had been cleared and the drive was pretty uneventful, which is how we like it. We had a good time on our trip, but damn, it’s good to be home. (Isn’t it always?)

I came down with some wicked cold yesterday (fever, runny nose, aches, chills) and am looking and feeling downright miserable. After over-doing it this evening trying to get the house in order, piles of dirty clothes washed, etc., I just finished drinking my Cold Snap and am off to join the kiddies in bed in hopes that I can kick this illness to the curb before it kicks me. Julian has had a similar illness for a few weeks now too – the same thing Ava had for 5 weeks and Jody had for several weeks as well. The family that loves each other, shares with each other – germs included. Isn’t that how it goes? 😉

For those of you who’ve been checking in regularly during my absence, thank you. 🙂 I had hoped to post a bit more while we were away, but there just wasn’t the opportunity. And I have to admit that the blogging break was good for me too (though I did miss checking in on everyone). More about our trip and some pictures later. For now, I need my rest (somebody needs to go grocery shopping tomorrow to fill our empty fridge 😉 ). Wishing you all a peaceful weekend.

On our way

It turned out that I did not have the opportunity to do any blogging on our trip. Last night was my first real chance, but a shitty (and I mean SHITTY) WiFi connection at the Days Inn in Hays, KS, and an insomniac child (Ava) prevented that.

We’re on the last leg of our way home today and supposed to run into a winter storm warning for pretty much the entire way. Please keep us in your thoughts that this last day of traveling goes as well as the rest of our trip has. Other than some overtiredness, the kids have done amazingly well with all of the driving, visiting, etc., and we’ve had a good time.

Best wrap this up and upload it while I still have a connection. More posts will be forthcoming once we are back home sweet home.

UPDATE 1:43 p.m.: We decided rather than risk it, we will spend another night in Kansas. We drove about 120 miles today to get to Colby, KS, where there’s an indoor swimming pool, hot tub and good WiFi at the Days Inn. We’ll stay here for the night then venture out again in the morning after the snow, ice and fog have passed.

Best Shot Monday – Merry Christmas

We’ve arrived at our destination in southern Kansas and are here for the next couple days to spend the holiday with Jody’s side of the family.

Since I finally got my cards in the mail on Friday, I figured it was now safe to post the finished product here. The picture wasn’t exactly what I was going for (I don’t think it ever is when more than one child is involved), but I still liked it.
Our 2007 Holiday card

Hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday!! 🙂

Packin’ up and movin’ out

Since you all might be sick of looking at “penis” at the top of my blog, I figured I’d get a post up before Christmas – just cuz I’m nice like that. 😉

I got all of my Christmas cards in the mail (finally!) today. Hooray!

And Jody and I met with Ava’s Waldorf preschool teacher tonight for parent-teacher conferences. Who knew we’d already be in for that with a 3-year-old. The conference went very well. It was great to hear more about Ava from someone else’s perspective and how she well she’s acclimated to preschool. I may blog more about the conference another time (when I have more time to spare).

We’re packing up and heading out tomorrow morning (or afternoon based on how quickly we get our crap together) for a road trip to southern Kansas to celebrate Christmas with Jody’s side of the family. We’re only driving half-way there tomorrow, then the rest on Sunday since the thought of trying to do 9 hours of driving in one day with two small children is not my idea of a good time. 😉 I think breaking up the trip will go much better for all of us.

We haven’t yet turned Julian’s rear-facing car seat around (even though he’s a year old now), because he’s stayed relatively content with riding that way and it’s much safer that way (12 mos. and 20 lbs. is actually the minimum requirement for rear-facing). However, I think we are making the switch tomorrow which will hopefully keep him riding happily longer and will also allow Jody or me (the passenger seat) to recline and move back the seat a bit more, which will hopefully keep me/Jody riding happily longer as well. 😉 I’d love to keep him rear-facing longer just because it is so much safer, but with all of this driving ahead of us, for my and Jody’s comfort (neither of us like riding with our legs all scrunched up and our seat-back straight up) and for the sanity of all, I think this is a good time to make the change.

I’ll likely be blogging during the trip as Jody will have two (count them – one, two) laptops (from work) with him. (Woot!) They may not be lengthy posts, but I might upload some pictures and whatnot. Then again, I might have some great wisdom to share. Ya just never know. 😉 Speaking of pictures, Jody bought a new P&S camera yesterday. It seems to be a vast improvement over our old one, though I can’t even remember at the moment what kind it is. Anyway, it’s going on the trip with us.

I must get myself to bed in the very near future so I can get up and pack our bags in the morning. Oh, and finish laundry too.

Wishing you all a safe and happy long holiday weekend. 🙂

Protecting the penis

Thought that might get your attention.

I wasn’t sure I was going to blog about this, but the more I thought about it, the more I felt it needed to be shared.

Last week I took Julian to the doctor for his 12 month check-up. Other than the cold he seems to have caught from his big sister and daddy, he did very well. He measured 32 1/2 inches tall (95th percentile) and weighed 24 lbs. 8 oz. (50th percentile). The exam was going smoothly until the part where the doctor opened up his diaper.

Some history here, for those unfamiliar with the state of my son’s penis (uh, that was odd to type), Julian is intact, as in not circumcised. If you’d like to read about how Jody and I came to that decision, see the infamous “The Circumcision Post.”

Anyway, upon opening up Julian’s diaper, the doctor proceeded to retract Julian’s foreskin a bit so that the head was exposed. She had never done this before and I had no reason to suspect she was going to so I didn’t launch into the whole “He’s not circumcised. Please don’t mess with his penis” diatribe. I just stood there, rather in shock at what had just happened.

Julian began crying shortly thereafter, though I don’t believe it was because of what she did with his penis. He was tired and probably just sick of being examined. So I picked him up and comforted him all the while wondering what the hell just happened, but I didn’t say anything. I didn’t ask why she retracted his foreskin. I was like a deer caught in the headlights. And I left the doctor’s office feeling like I had allowed my son to be violated and that I’d failed him.

A few days later, I posted a message to one of my Yahoo Groups – a group of friends I have known for the past three-plus years, explaining what had occurred and asking them what the doctor may have been doing and also confessing my guilt of feeling like I’d failed to protect my son.

A bit of trivia for those of you unfamiliar with uncircumcised penises – the foreskin should never be forced to retract before it is ready. Any retraction of the foreskin before natural separation has occurred, as early as age three, but as late as early adulthood, can cause irreparable damage through bleeding and the formation of adhesions.

One of my friends, who is a former physician’s assistant, pointed out that the doctor may have retracted the foreskin slightly just to see if it was clear of irritation, and to see that the urethral opening was centered.

Another mentioned that before her child’s doctor examines her son’s penis (which included gently retracting it as far as it will naturally retract), she first lets her know what she is going to do.

Another retold the story about when her son’s doctor forcibly retracted his foreskin (and he had been circumcised) to the point that it bled and caused him great pain. She has since changed doctors and reminds the doctor before each visit that he is not to touch the child’s foreskin.

Still another mentioned that her doctor gently slightly retracts both of her sons’ foreskin to look at the boys’ urethra. However, she also brought to my attention a document called the “Intact Care Agreement” that states that even gentle stretching of the foreskin is too much and there is no reason to touch a boy’s penis during an exam.

Each also mentioned that I shouldn’t be too hard on myself for what happened. We can’t protect our children all the time, but when something does hurt them, we can prevent it from happening again. It was that bit of advice that made me decide I should blog about it in hopes that I might help someone else.

I looked up the Intact Care Agreement online and found this – an agreement that the parents and health provider can sign and then have on record at their doctor’s practice.

While I’m left slightly confused as to what truly is the proper care for an intact penis, I think it is probably safe to say that in the vast majority of situations, there is no need for a doctor to try to retract the foreskin at all. I don’t feel that what Julian’s doctor did hurt him, but I don’t know that it was really necessary either. I do intend to talk to her about it since I’m going in for my yearly exam (also with her – she’s a family practioner) at the end of the month. I may or may not ask her to sign the Intact Care Agreement, but I am going to mention at every doctor’s visit that the doctor MUST ask me before touching my son’s penis. I think if she would’ve told me what she was going to do and explained why, I would’ve taken the whole situation much better. But because it was such a surprise to me, and because I remember reading time and time again that no one should retract a child’s foreskin except for the child himself, it took me very off-guard and left me feeling like I was to blame.

I guess the moral is live and learn and then spread the word so that others may benefit from the knowledge as well.

Green Girly Gift Guide winners!

Congratulations to the winners of the (mostly) Green Girly Gift Guide prizes. Thanks to the random number generator at random.org, the winners are as follows:

Tees for Change t-shirt goes to: Phyllis of Ima on (and off) the Bima

Mama Needs It $25 gift certificate goes to: Christy (no blog listed)

What’s Cooking Weekly 6-month subscription goes to: Casey Berberich (no blog listed)

HP Photo Books go to: Katie Payne of Payne Family Adventure and Michele Judd of Life in the Old Pueblo

I will be emailing each of the winners later today to get mailing addresses where needed.

Thank you! 🙂