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Posts Tagged ‘doula’

My Crunchy Wishes for 2012

I was driving, so Michele snapped these pictur...

Because it’s a new year, I’ve been thinking about all the things I’d like to have/do in 2012.

There’s nothing set in stone and I have no idea how much of it will actually come to pass, but there’s nothing wrong with a little wishlist, right? And if you can’t share your random thoughts and wishes on your blog, where can you share them?

So here goes…


The idea of living sustainably/independent of mainstream corporations, etc. is a hugely fascinating one for me (though it’s something I still have a looooong way to go on).

But in that spirit, here are some of the things I would like to own/do to began attaining that goal:

  • A dehydrator. I have dreams of making jerky, fruit roll-ups, etc. and keeping my family in healthy snacks at every need.
  • Canning supplies. Because my gardening efforts were such a success last year, I have big plans for expanding this year – and I want to be able to preserve all that yummy goodness! Of course, this will also involve learning how to can things without giving us all botulism.
  • An indoor herb garden (plus lots of herbs outside!). I planted sage, rosemary, thyme, parsley, lavender and mint last year. The sage and thyme are actually still growing (outside!) and I continue to use them frequently. Thus, I want to do bigger and better this year – and make sure to dry and preserve those herbs as well (I’m afraid I was pretty crap with that this past year). Now I just need to find some space inside that won’t be destroyed by my daughter/dog/cat. Hmm….
  • A juicer. My husband loves juice. And no matter how much I tell him how worthless it is and how much it’s all sugar and how it’s not even real even when it says it is, he persists in drinking it. So I would at least like to make him real juice. And I admit I wouldn’t mind putting together some veggie juice concoctions for myself. So this is one of the wants on our list.
  • More cast-iron/glass/stainless steel. We’ve begun the process of converting all our cooking stuff to these materials, but we’re not where I’d like to be. It would be great if 2012 could see us there!

As these are mainly all to do with kitchen/cooking/food stuff, I’ll throw in a few goals I’d like to put into action this year. We’ve had great success with going paper towel free and become pros at separating our garbage, compost and recycling, but there’s still a lot more we can accomplish.

I think the biggest problem continues to be waste – mainly in Ziploc bags and food. I’ve been pretty decent in the past with washing those bags out and using more reusable containers and planning meals so food doesn’t get tossed, but we started slacking big-time when I went back to work. I don’t want this downward spiral to continue, so it’s something that’s on my list to work on for 2012.

Continuing with the wishes… Read the rest of this entry »

The Gratitude Challenge – 100 Things That Make Me Feel Thankful

Happy Thanksgiving Americans!

We’ve already done Thanksgiving here in Canada (way back in October! Weird, I know ;)), but being a born and raised American, I always feel justified in celebrating two Thanksgivings…we just move our November turkey day to the weekend.

This year I’m adding meaning to my celebration by joining the lovely Amanda Metro of Let’s Take the Metro in her Gratitude Challenge – basically, making a list (together with lots of other bloggers) of 100 things that make me feel thankful.

I’ll start with the warm fuzzies I know I’m going to get from writing this post and reading the others…and without further ado (in no particular order beyond the first two):

1. Baby Bean always tops the list! I am more grateful than I can ever say for this little girl who’s been so much more to me than I ever could have imagined…every day I love her more…every day she surprises me – if I had nothing else to be grateful for, she would make it all worth it.

2. The husband comes in at a close second. :) He is awesome and handsome and funny and loves me – I am thankful to have been married to him for 5 years now.

3. Sushi. What’s not to be thankful for?

4. Llamas. Same ? as above.

5. Pinterest. It’s awesome.

6. Good friends. You know who you are. I always wish we could live closer, but you are often in my thoughts and I couldn’t do it without you…

7. Bubbles.

8. Sunflower Seeds.

9. Music. Whether it’s driving home in traffic and having a favorite song come on (Foster the People, anyone?) or singing to Bean or listening to her sing – it always makes me feel better in so many different ways.

10. Cloudy days.

11. A chance to sleep in.

12. A night out with the girls.

13. Luther the dog (as much as he also frequently annoys me, I am very thankful for him).

14. Sage the cat (same aside as above).

15. A trip to the pumpkin farm (and the apple farm, and the berry farm, and the Christmas tree farm…)

16. Water. I love water. I love drinking it, swimming in it, walking in the rain, soaking in a bath, starting at a lake or the ocean, standing under a hot shower and letting it soothe me. I cannot emphasize enough how very, very thankful I am for water. Read the rest of this entry »

Becoming Doula

We have a doula

Image by JasonUnbound via Flickr

So much of my Becoming Crunchy journey has been about learning to value the natural, normal and real over the chemical, the technological solutions, the fake.

And it’s not that I hold zero value for those things – I think we have an amazing capacity as a race to be creative and come up with discoveries and solutions to things that truly need it; our problem is that we have the tendency to move on to bigger and better while simply throwing away whatever was before.

Of course, when I say we, I mean I – it wasn’t until the past year or so that I really started finding merit in being a ‘crunchy’ type, and as always I must give the caveat that I still have a ways to go…but it seems like I’m always finding new ways to move back into valuing what is natural and real, and lately the focus has been on pregnancy and childbirth in particular as I work toward certifying through DONA International as a doula. 

Over the past week I’ve had the amazing opportunity to attend a childbirth education class and a 2-day birth doula training course as part of the steps required for DONA certification.

While certification is a route that I’ve chosen toward becoming a doula, I do want to make note that not every doula is certified and that there are different organizations out there who offer certification – and that basically a piece of paper does not necessarily a doula make. :)

I chose the route of certification through DONA for several reasons: Read the rest of this entry »

World Breastfeeding Week

Doula (L) with newborn and mother

Image via Wikipedia

This week is world breastfeeding week, and I am so thrilled today to be guest posting at the Natural Parents Network – a very near and dear to my heart post that is co-written with fellow blogger, Krista of Think Mama, Think.

Krista came to me with the idea of writing a post together when she came across my own breastfeeding experiences on my blog and realized how incredibly similar they were to her’s. She wanted to explore together why our stories ended so differently – in hopes of helping other moms – and I was very happy to do so.

I wasn’t able to make breastfeeding work for me, but it is continually my hope that my story will help other moms move forward where I did not.

I’ve also become very determined to make it happen next time around!

I wrote 2 posts a few months back that I entitled ‘My Breastfeeding Mistakes’ Part 1 & Part 2. They were areas where I could see, with the benefit of hindsight and the perspective of several months, where I had ‘gone wrong’.

A commenter gently corrected me on calling them ‘mistakes’, and I am happy to quote Justine’s comment here as she is so right on, and this is the message I hope gets passed on: Read the rest of this entry »

Posting In Gratitude ~ July 16, 2011


Image by kateausburn via Flickr

I’m joining in with Amandra Metro, TouchstoneZ, and SchmoopyBaby in being thankful until “I absolutely exude gratitude”.

I must say ever since I started joining in with these posts 3 weeks ago I’ve seen quite an attitude shift in my life…guess they weren’t lying when they said to count your blessings!

This week I’ve been particularly grateful that I have so many amazing people to speak into my life and learn from, so I thought in this post and a few others upcoming that I would highlight some of those specific people and why I’m grateful for them.

So here goes…

This week I am grateful for: Read the rest of this entry »

Change is in the Air…

raining sheets

Image by mytimemachine via Flickr

At times I feel like this past year or so has been like the eye of the storm…and we’re about to head back into it.

But over the past week, I’ve felt a lot better about that prospect…

Essentially, I’ve been dreading the idea of going back to work in August for various reasons – it’s not what I want to be doing for the rest of my life, I hate leaving the Bean, in some ways it gives me an inferiority complex (I work in a coffee shop so I imagine people probably think I’m dumb), I wonder all along the way if we’re making the right decisions…

My dream would be to go back to school right now, but financially it’s just not possible for us. It will happen and I know that, but I am so not a patient person!

So I’ve been allowing all of it to frustrate me as the time looms ever closer.

But recently, for whatever reason, something shifted.

Maybe it’s some form of maturity (HA!) but I just realized: I have to do this. I may as well stop complaining and dreading it and just enjoy it (maybe it has something to do with all that gratitude floating around). Read the rest of this entry »

The Power of Women…the Power of Community

Cover of "Spiritual Midwifery"

Spiritual Midwifery

In regards to the lack of blogging this past weekend, I must explain that I became a little Ina May obsessed. :)

I spent all day Saturday listening to Ina May Gaskin speak at Victoria College on the U of T campus – an amazing experience, to say the least! I also spent the entirety of Earth Hour telling hubby what I learned that day (poor hubby!)…he was a good listener though.

I found my way to a few Babble blog posts that were written by or interviews of Ina May, and followed through hundreds of comments of debate that she actually participated in – quite interesting. I finished Birth Matters: A Midwife’s Manifesta, and got about halfway through Spiritual Midwifery, and the whole time I kept wondering…

Where was this woman and where were these books when I was pregnant??

Of course, they were around…I just didn’t know where to look for them. I read plenty of pregnancy books, but I didn’t really know much about the natural parenting movement until fairly recently. I didn’t really get the power of reading and hearing positive birth stories, and of surrounding oneself with a community of supportive women (whether that be in person or online – I believe they are both very valid).

I’m not even sure exactly how I got into it all…I think it was coming across some information about cloth diapering – the idea of it both (initially) repulsed and intrigued me. I started doing more research, and that was my entry way into the crunchy, natural, peaceful parenting world.

I resonated with it instantly, as I did with Ina May Gaskin as soon as I came across her as well. The minute I heard she was coming to Toronto, I knew I had to be there. I knew that seeing and meeting this woman even once in real life would be something I would want to tell my grandchildren about (as well as being incredibly inspiring for me).

And I honestly don’t believe this is simply because I’m a mother or because I’m attracted to things like natural birth and natural parenting…I really, truly believe that Ina May Gaskin is one of our modern day heroines – she is a champion for women (and children) whether they ever get pregnant and have babies or not.

And I felt that inspiration and power of being a woman and being supported by other women throughout this past weekend. Read the rest of this entry »

My Breastfeeding Mistakes

A midwife measures the height of the mother's ...


I am an aspiring doula and midwife, and though at this point I have no idea when I will be able to make those dreams come true, I am doing what I can to start making it happen.

So this week I started in on the required reading that is part of the certification from DONA International - the first step in a long (and hopefully awesome) journey.

The first book I picked up is Breastfeeding Made Simple: 7 Natural Laws for Nursing Mothers, by Nancy Mohrbacher & Kathleen Kendall-Tackett. Boy do I wish I had read this book when I was pregnant!

As you may know, I don’t breastfeed. And while I own that decision and believe I was and am doing the best I can do for my daughter, I do wish it had worked better for me. In the light of perspective – that whole hindsight is 20/20 thingI’ve come to realize some of the mistakes I made in my attempts.

And the reason I’m writing this is not to point fingers or justify or any of those defensive/offensive take a stand reasons, but to continue to reflect on what I’ve done, what I can do better, and how I might be able to help someone who is experiencing anything similar.

So here goes…

1. I did not take the time to rest and focus as much as I should have. Read the rest of this entry »

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