Monday, June 25, 2012

Preschool / Totschool: Letter E

E was for elephant, ear, and echo this week!  We learned about the parts of a plant, searched outside and found plants (with roots), and them correctly labelled the parts for science time.  We didn't have an art activity this week since I spent Friday morning at a beautiful birth!

On Wednesday the entire school room was moved from upstairs to where our living room was!  I am loving having it downstairs so that "school" can be a bigger part of our day. Pictures to come!

Thursday, June 21, 2012


Want. To. Get. Fit.  I just have not made the time.  Until now.  No computer after the kiddos are in bed until:

M, W, F:

T, Th: 30 min of Pilates (yay free YouTube videos)

Each morning the kids and I have been and will continue doing our kids yoga and movement/dance videos from YouTube.  

Ready. Set. Go!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Preschool/Totschool: Letter D

D was for dog, deer, dolphin and Dad this last week!  We went on a nature color scavenger hunt for science time, and did leaf rubbings for art.  It was a fun weekend spending time with dads/grandpa's and celebrating my youngest cousin's (on my Dad's side) graduation - I feel old!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Pink Kit

I am SOOO excited to share this birth resource I have been devouring over the last 2 weeks! I discovered the Pink Kit as I was searching for an online/independent class option for my clients.  I was about to give up and create my own when I found the Pink Kit.  It was exactly what I didn't know I needed! =)  I have been using ICEA/Lamaze materials in my CB classes and with my doula clients, but I didn't think they were feeling really prepared and confident about the upcoming birth.  I felt like something was missing.

After being flooded with the "choices in birth" message (which is a great message!) this last 18 months as I have become a doula and CBE, I had forgotten that it was just as much (if not more) about the SKILLS that I had learned and used during my birth with Kyla than it was about the choices I had made that made it a positive experience.  It was Kyla's wonderful birth that had led me into this field.  This all came back to me as I read/watched the Pink Kit materials.

In the Birthing Better Pink Kit, there’s not a lot of “information.” You can find childbirth information in most childbirth books. When you attend your childbirth class, often called childbirth education or childbirth preparation, you will be given a great deal of information, education, and knowledge which is vitally important in order to make your Birth Plans, exercise your choices, and learn about the process of labor, Caesarean delivery, pain relief, and newborn care. But there is little specific childbirth preparation except making a Birth Plan. Where are the skills? The Pink Kit is FULL of childbirth skills.

Your Pink Kit connects your pregnancy with
- preparing the pregnant body to give birth and let out a very large object.
- learning skills as both mothers- and fathers-to-be so that you will work with your baby’s efforts to be born.

The one thing you can know about birth is that yours is going to happen. Being pregnant means you are 100% guaranteed to do this activity. The Pink Kit gives you the skills to work together (along with your partner) so that is is a positive activity for all. That is why you must practice these skills until they become default behaviors for when you are ready to give birth, regardless of what type of birth you have. 

Childbirth is an activity, which means you have to take actions. Skills are how you do the actions.  Your strength, your sense of control, during the whole birthing process will always lie in your ability to use your skills to create actions and respond to your baby’s actions and other factors. Actions based on a good foundation of skills can be adapted in the moment to suit any situation. This means you can feel great about your management abilities even if the events are less than perfect or if you don’t like a single minute of the experience.

My personal encounter with birth skills:
My first birth with Keanan was not a good experience.  I remained curled up on the hospital bed dreading each coming contraction.  It was long and horrible.  With Kyla I knew that I needed to do SOMETHING to prepare.  So I practiced relaxing and breathing methods from a book I borrowed from a friend.  I also practiced some positions from another book.  Zac reluctantly did some of these practice sessions with me.  This labor was night and day to my previous one.  Besides being aware of my choices (which I also self learned) I had a few skills to help with the intensity.  I stayed upright the entire time, never made it to the hospital bed.  Kyla was born on the birth stool after 2 pushes and 1/2 the labor time as my son.  I was so happy with this experience.  And Zac felt like he was an active participant - he was very grateful for our practice sessions.  I used only two of the many skills that parents can learn from the Pink Kit, and it made all the difference in the world.  Why didn't anyone tell me about this for my first birth?

The Pink Kit helps you prepare for birth by guiding you in becoming familiar with your body. You and your partner "map your pelvis" which aides in determining which positions/movements are best for you - everyone is a little bit different. There is also an audio CD titled "The Internal Work" which gives you and your partner exercises to do daily (after 32 weeks) to help minimize trauma to your birth canal. There are breathing skills, communication skills, skills for relaxation, skills for working with your bony and "soft" pelvis - the list goes on! This resource is designed to be started any where after 24 weeks - giving you plenty of time to learn and practice these valuable skills.

What I love about the Pink Kit is that there is no birth philosophy connected to it, unlike all other childbirth"methods".  It provides ALL women with valuable birth skills.   Epidural/medicated, "natural", VBAC, or caesarean births - it doesn't matter.  The Pink Kit is for ALL types of birth.

I also love how the Pink Kit is just as much for dads/partners as it is for the expecting moms!  Partners can feel prepared and confident in knowing they can actually support the moms, beyond giving them water and an occasional back rub. The Pink Kit FULL of wonderful birth stories showing how couples used their skills and worked together for an amazing birth.

Don't let birth " just happen" to you - be prepared with skills for any situation. Birth is what you do, being born is what your baby does. Do this together with skills from the Pink Kit.

You can read more on The Pink Kit Page of my website. I am now partnering with Common Knowledge Trust (creators of The Pink Kit) as an affiliate, working to bring the director to Tacoma to speak, and possibly more. Please pray for God's wisdom and perfect timing in all of this.

This is a movement - creating a skilled birthing population! I want to spread the word about this awesome resource and will be offering it to all my doula clients - others can buy it from my website =)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Quote of the day

If it's important to you, you WILL find a way...

... If not, you'll find an excuse...

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Time for a change!

I am soooo excited!  We are doing some major remodeling/rearranging in our house!!  I'll leave you in suspense and share more as it progresses =)

Friday, June 8, 2012

Preschool/Totschool: Letter C

We had fun with cats, cows, and caterpillars this week!  Our science project was watching carnations change color after we put them in different colored water.  Our art project was decorating and making paper plate tambourines.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

9 years ago today...

We shared our FIRST kiss!  I love you more now than ever - Happy Anniversary honey!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Happy Birthday Keanan!

Yesterday my baby boy turned FOUR!  How in the world did that happen??  We are so proud of the young man Keanan is becoming.  He makes us laugh and cry (mostly laugh), is silly and smart, funny and very serious (especially when telling a story), kind and sometimes not so kind (mostly to his sister), a blessing from God and a joy to our lives.  We love you Keanan, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Preschool / Totschool: The Story About Ping

We took a break from our normal school routine last week and "rowed" the Story About Ping!  This means that I was using the curriculum called Five in a Row - using classic children's literature to inspire investigation and learning of other topics.  We read the story every day and then jumped into different activities.

For example, one day we learned about buoyancy and experimented with things that sink and float in the bathtub.  We also read a book called "Ducks Don't Get Wet" and did an experiment with oil and water.

On another day, we found China on our world map, made Chinese flags, read a library book about China, and learned how to say "hello" and "I love you" in Mandarin.

On the last day, we read another library book called "Duck in a Tree" explaining the life cycle of a duck and then went to the park to feed the ducks!  There were even some ducklings that came out to eat our bread crumbs =)

It was a great week with lots of fun and learning.  Homeschooling or not, I highly recommend Five in a Row (great for summer learning)!

Friday, June 1, 2012

And then I was ME!

This last week has been tough.  The kids have been acting out, being mean to each other, whining, crying... you get the picture.  This morning was especially bad.  I lost it numerous times - yelling, being really short, harsh, and spanking more than usually (*gasp* yes, we spank as a last resort on occasion).  I finally caught my breath at nap time and started lamenting to God (who I hadn't really talked to up till now in the day).  The Holy Spirit smacked me in the face, and then I was ME!!

I have been physically present with me kids, but I haven't really been here.  I ignore them while reading a blog, working on a doula or CBE project, cleaning the house...the list could go on.  Then I find myself constantly putting fires out, losing my cool, and everything melts down. This is not okay.

I have been reading in Ruth this week and was really struck by the sweet love story between Naomi and Ruth, between Ruth and Boaz, and most of all between Naomi and baby Obed.  Naomi's joy was returned to her in the form of this sweet baby boy. She held him in her lap and cared for him.  Tears were streaming down my face when I thought about the fact that my baby boy is turning 4 on Sunday.  I have not been treating him like the treasure and joy that he is. I have not been showing him and his sassy sister the extent of my love for them.  My heart hurt today as I confessed these things to God.  More tears streamed down my face as I apologized to my children after nap time for the way I had been acting and the way I had been treating them.  They were very concerned, but I think they understood.  We had a wonderful afternoon playing together.

Don't get me wrong, there are still consequences for my kids' actions.  They will still disobey even if I am fully engaged all of the time. But it is 100% worse when I am not.  I realize that this is going to be a continual struggle for me as I have a bit of OCD tendencies when I start some project or idea and don't want to stop what I am doing.  I also rely (too much) on the internet to feel connected to the outside world and am therefore on it A LOT.  So I greatly covet your prayers.  This moment in my life is going so fast - I don't want to miss it or them.

Thank you Lord for your word and the story of Ruth, for your Holy Spirit to open my eyes, and for my children to teach me how to live now, in this moment, for you. AMEN.