Tag Archives: babies

Breastfeeding is Awesome! (Usually)

My one and only super controversial, highly scandalous breastfeeding photo.

My one and only super controversial, highly scandalous breastfeeding photo.

August 1-7, 2014 is world breastfeeding week. We don’t often think of things on such a big scale but, if you look at the World Breastfeeding Week website you begin to realize that breastfeeding is so much more than one woman choosing to provide food for one child.

Breastfeeding is taking a step toward eliminating world hunger.

Perhaps finances had nothing to do with your own personal decisions regarding breastfeeding but there are millions (billions?) of women in the world for whom infant formula is difficult or impossible to pay for.  The “normalizing” of breastfeeding in America and around the world helps prevent these women from being marginalized in some way.  When it is no bigger deal for a woman to nurse her hungry baby or pump breast milk at home, at work, or in other public venues as it is for her to give him a bottle, then we will have removed one major obstacle that stands in the way of breastfeeding success for many new moms. That is removing one major obstacle that may be standing in the way of many babies getting the very best possible nutrition!

Breastfeeding is good for the planet.

Bottle feeding creates waste. Formula cans and scoops, the foil seals that cover them, bottles, nipples, and special brushes for keeping everything clean are all items likely to end up in a landfill.  They are often made of plastics which are made from fossil fuels. Formula, whether soy or dairy based, requires a great many resources to create, from both an agricultural and manufacturing standpoint. It has to be shipped to the stores which is more fuel. Breast milk? The moment a baby is born (more or less) it’s just… there. No waste. No byproducts. A perfect system of manufacture and delivery from mom to baby.

Breastfeeding creates a healthier society.

Both moms and babies reap various health benefits from nursing. It’s not just the nutritional aspect. Everything from postpartum bleeding to breast cancer to the infant’s chance of catching a cold is reduced when a mother chooses to nurse, even for a very short amount of time.

One happy, healthy, chunky little breastfed boy.

One happy, healthy, chunky little breastfed boy.

Breastfeeding can be incredibly difficult and no woman should feel shamed if she chooses otherwise!

Whoa… did I trip you up there?  Read that again, please.

NO woman should feel shamed if she chooses not to breastfeed!

Breastfeeding was a great experience for me. The issues I dealt with were relatively minor and easy to overcome. I had a very supportive spouse and doctor. I had plenty of milk (perhaps a bit too much) and time to nurse my children.

Things don’t work out that way for everyone. I can’t imagine nursing multiples! Even discounting everything else the time involved would be astonishing.

Some women have to work outside the home. Even if their employer is supportive of their need to pump breast milk, pumping is not the same as nursing. It may affect their supply or the baby might not accept the bottle, or refuse the nipple after having had the bottle.

I could go on and on with a hundred different scenarios, but my point is that I truly believe with a powerful passion, that breastfeeding is best for mother and child and for society and should be supported and promoted in every way possible.

I also believe very deeply that we, as a society, need to keep in mind that every woman and every family is unique and what is good and right for one may not even be a viable option for another. In our zeal to mainstream an excellent thing we must not become so extremist that we demonize a healthy and valid “second option.”

Support nursing mothers! Support bottle feeding mothers, too! Because we moms are all working hard to do what’s best for our families and, frankly, we’re all exhausted and need a little help now and then.

I would love to hear about your thoughts and experiences regarding breastfeeding!

Breastfeeding is Awesome! (Usually) | LazyHippieMama.com

Are you, too, seeking to save the earth, promote world peace and raise productive citizens without expending too much effort? 

Why not follow Lazy Hippie Mama  by emailFacebookGoogle+Twitter or Instagram to get all the updates?  

If we work on our goals together, they may be a little easier to achieve! 


The October Daily: Citrus Blossoms, Cigarette Smoke and That Newborn Baby Smell


Name at least 3 scents that trigger a good or bad memory.

When my husband and I first fell in love the orange blossoms were in full bloom in Arizona and the desert air was saturated with the heavy perfume of the citrus trees. It has to be the smell of heaven!

If you’ve never smelled citrus blossoms, imagine being wrapped in a silk blanket, still warm from the dryer while sipping the freshest, coolest, sweetest orange juice you’ve ever tasted.  Now soak that in a heavy dose of young love and you will know why that is my most favorite scent in the whole world.

young couple with sorcerer Mickey

We look so…. young!

Vintage ad for Wonder Woman and Spiderman Underoos underwear for kids

The second scent that comes to mind is cigarette smoke.  Other people say they hate it but, to me, it is the scent of home.  My parent divorced when I was quite young but, before that, we had a beautiful big farm house. My older sister hadn’t left for college yet. I spent my days playing Wonder Woman in my Underoos in the back yard. Life was good and safe and pure and it smelled like my dad’s cheap cigarettes and I loved that. I still do!

The third is lavender baby lotion.  It was the scent of my sweet, beautiful newborn baby girl’s soft skin and I spent countless hours holding her, marveling at her perfectly formed little face and breathing in that scent.

Newborn baby girl all wrapped in her warm blanket and sleeping sweetly.

Are you, too, seeking to save the earth, promote world peace and raise productive citizens without expending too much effort?

Why not follow LazyHippieMama on WordPress, by email, Facebook or Twitter to get all the updates.

If we work on our goals together, they may be a little easier to achieve!  


I’m Going to Attempt to Break The World Record I Helped Set



Last year I broke a World record!

Well…  8,251 other moms plus their babies and I broke it.  In April, 2012 parents and caregivers at 256 locations in 15 countries simultaneously changed all their babies out of cloth diapers and into cloth diapers.


To show how easy it is to use cloth diapers!  It’s also environmentally friendly, super healthy for babies  and oh-so-stylish.

You just can't be this awesome in paper pants!

You just can’t be this awesome in paper pants!

Tomorrow we’re going to do it again!  This time there is a brand new FABULOUS cloth diaper store (They’re online if you need the hook up.  Check them out!)   just a mere 5 minute walk from my house that is a certified host location so there’s no 50 minute trek to the big city. This means I don’t have to burn fuel to promote sustainability.  That’s a good thing!

I thought about using this post to wax poetic about all the reasons I love cloth diapers.  I thought about sharing tips if you are thinking of switching but, in the end, I realized that I  just wanted to brag that I’m in the Guinness Book of World Records.  Also, that I’ve had my best  (busiest/most positive response) blog week ever.  If you’re reading now, thanks for making it even better!

Hope your weekend is full of fun and laughter and joy.  Don’t forget to watch for miracles, they are all around you if you just make the effort to notice.

Are you, too, seeking to save the earth, promote world peace and raise productive citizens without expending too much effort?

Why not follow LazyHippieMama on WordPress, by email or Facebook to get all the updates.

If we work on our goals together, they may be a little easier to achieve!  

A Little Help, In The Middle of the Night (AKA – Stuff to Make You Laugh)


Chubby Hippie Baby has croup.  Eesh.

image from edge-of-the-sky.blogspot.com

image from edge-of-the-sky.blogspot.com

At this point, he just sounds sort-of hoarse, like he got little over-enthusiastic screaming at a rock concert or something.  The first night, however, was very scary.  He truly couldn’t get any air and we ended up spending the night at the children’s hospital.

The thing about croup is that kids don’t really seem too bad during the day but, for some reason, nature has played a sick-twisted joke on exhausted parents everywhere, because as soon as the sun sets the symptoms of coughing and wheezing and generally sounding like one is drowning kick in.  Of course, babies don’t rest well while coughing and wheezing and feeling like they’re drowning and, as any parent can tell you, if baby doesn’t sleep, no one gets to sleep.

Being awake around the clock for 4 days in a row gives one a fair amount of time to think… though, admittedly that thinking process becomes progressively more erratic sometime after day 2.

At 4am today, for example, with the 914th episode of Blue’s Clues that I’ve seen in the past few days playing quietly in the background, I thought about how I could help my fellow up-all-night-for-various-reasons parents.  I decided that, if I could have anything at that very moment I would wish for hot coffee and something to make me laugh (for in laughing we cast aside the other choice… crying).

I can’t give you coffee.  Because…  you know…  you are there and I am here.  BUT, I can give you justification to drink more coffee.  I once learned that drinking vast amounts of coffee will, over time, lead you down the path of immortality.  John Tesh told me so.  So, stop hesitating and go pour yourself a cup o’ Joe.  It does the body good!


As for laughter… here you go… 5 things that will make you laugh.

1)  The banana slicer.

A friend of mine recently posted this  link to Amazon where one can apparently buy a tool specifically designed for that oh-so-difficult task of slicing bananas.  Read the reviews.  You will laugh, I promise.

I give you the Hutzler 571 Banana Slicer

I give you the Hutzler 571 Banana Slicer

2) The Backin’ Up song.

This just cracks me up, and I can’t help but admire the cleverness, creativity and available spare time of the people who made the re-mix.  But be warned.  This song will randomly pop into your head and stay there for weeks on end for the rest of eternity once you watch this.

3) What Celebrities Would Look Like If They Moved To Ohio.

Someone emailed this PDF file to me at work and I laughed so hard I cried.


4) Statue attacks.

I think it’s just the idea of Ronald McDonald slapping the crap out of somebody that really gets me.  I bet he ordered the salad.

Image from oddfunny.com

Image from oddfunny.com

5) These pranks.

This is one of those things that build and build and gets funnier and funnier the longer you watch.  I think the Jesus humor is the funniest because, for some reason, Jesus humor is almost always hysterical to me.

So there you go.  I hope it helps.  Hang in there, sleepy moms and dads.  You’re not alone and you will get to sleep again…. some day. I think. Dear God, I hope so.    In the meantime, just keep laughing.


6) No More News

Handsome Hippie Hubby said, “You have to include the “no more news” video! It’s hysterical!”  And so it is.  Enjoy!

Are you, too, seeking to save the earth, promote world peace and raise productive citizens without expending too much effort?

Why not follow LazyHippieMama on WordPress, by email or Facebook to get all the updates.

If we work on our goals together, they may be a little easier to achieve!

Is Home Birth A Scary Option?


I have been asked, over the past 2 years, how I could possibly be willing to “take the risk of giving birth outside a hospital.”

One person asked if my “ideal birth experience” was “worth my baby’s life.”

Another actually compared it to child abuse or neglect.

I’ve tried my best (and occasionally, but not always, succeeded) to discuss these matters calmly.  I understand that people are coming from a place of concern.  Everyone wants whats best for every child.

I want what is best for my children.

I have put off writing about this here, though, for a few reasons.

Number one, I have a hard time writing a focused post of a few hundred, or even a few thousand, words on this topic.  I believe there is a lot to be said.

Number two, I wasn’t sure which aspect of the whole world of natural childbirth and home birth and c-sections and more I wanted to write about.  It’s an issue near to my heart.  Women are extremely passionate about this topic!  It’s not just our feelings on the line.  Our birthing stories are something akin to the war stories from the survivors of great battles.  We need to think about them and talk about them to process the enormity of the event and the only people who really understand where we are coming from are other women who have also “survived.”

Then I read an article on Cafemom entitled, “James Van Der Beek’s Wife’s Scary Home Birth Wasn’t Worth the Risk.”

As it turns out, Mrs. Van Der Beek’s story isn’t so very different from my first birthing story and, somehow, I felt I needed to defend her choice.  Because I chose differently and I’m not sure I did the right thing.  There’s really no way to know.  But I understand why she did what she did and I wonder, if I knew then what I know now, if I’d have done the same thing.

I’ve read a LOT and here is some of what I have learned, summed up for those who care to know why some women would “risk their lives and the lives of their children” by giving birth – even a “high-risk” birth – outside a hospital.

*A note here for my international friends:  I can only write about what I know, here in the USA.  Unless specifically noted, my facts and figures all refer to American births.  Please, by all means, share your thoughts and experiences from your own countries and cultures!

I’ll start with the hard facts that don’t tend to cause too much debate.

First, giving birth now-days, regardless of the specifics of where/when/how, is safer than it used to be.

At the beginning of the 20th century, for every 1000 live births, six to nine women in the United States died of pregnancy-related complications, and approximately 100 infants died before age 1 year (1,2). From 1915 through 1997, the infant mortality rate declined greater than 90% to 7.2 per 1000 live births, and from 1900 through 1997, the maternal mortality rate declined almost 99% to less than 0.1 reported death per 1000 live births (7.7 deaths per 100,000 live births in 1997)

source: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm4838a2.htm

Do bad things happen?

Yes.   Women and babies die.  It is rare, though.  It is, by far, the exception and not the rule, but things can and do sometimes go wrong.

What the numbers, above,  tell me is that the argument, “Women gave birth vaginally to premature breech quadruplets in caves without pain killers or antibiotics and they were fine,” is not valid.  They weren’t fine.  If they were it was a miracle.  (Yes, I realize that’s an exaggeration.   But you get the idea). Medical science has come a long way and saved a lot of lives and ought not be discounted.

Another important number is this one:

Around 34 percent of US births are via cesarean.

This puts the US well behind the astounding cesarean rate of 49% in China but still ranks us among the most surgical deliveries in the world.

In the Norwegian countries, the rate hovers around 14%.

Consider that Sweden , Norway and Finland are ranked as 3 of  the top 5 nations in terms of maternal/infant mortality.  They must be doing something right!

The US ranks 34th and China 94th (out of 194).

Obviously doctors are performing more risky surgeries than are really medically necessary.

Another statistic:

81% of women who give birth in hospitals in the US are given Pitocin.

In about 3% of births it is medically necessary.

And finally, consider this:

I couldn’t find an exact number because there are so many variables, but receiving prenatal care from an OB/GYN and giving birth vaginally in a hospital runs anywhere from $5,000-15,000, for a healthy woman, depending where you live.

Prenatal care and delivery by a Certified Nurse Midwife costs about $2,000 – 5,000.


So, now back to the question, “why would you take the risk?”

There is a cycle that happens with the standard, modern American labor and delivery.

It starts when we assume that every baby is going to be born at EXACTLY 40 weeks.  It doesn’t really work that way, of course.  Only about 5% of babies are born on their “due date.”  Any medical text will tell you that a baby born anywhere after 37 weeks gestation and before 42 is “due.”  That is why, in some cultures, women are given a “due month.”

Further, we watch TV shows where a woman happily walking around the mall feels a sudden twinge and, 20 minutes later, has a baby.

We are a society that is impatient and always on schedule.

The reality is, early labor can go on for weeks and a woman may or may not even be aware of it.  That’s why, at a 37 week check up the doctor may tell you that you are starting to dilate and, at 40 weeks you still don’t have a baby.

And then there is the cultural idea that we have control of everything.  We know what is going to happen and when and where and we schedule our work and social lives and everything else as if we have absolute control of the universe.

So take all that, and throw it in a pot.  Then add a large dash of doctors who would rather deliver a baby at 2 in the afternoon on a Wednesday than 2 in the morning on a Sunday and you end up with an induction rate of about 22%.

So, many women are forcing their bodies into labor when neither they, nor their baby, are ready and there is really no medical reason for it most of the time.

Ever try to force out a poo when you weren’t ready?  How’d that go for you?  Hmmm… just a thought.


Then you have the rest of women who show up at the hospital having gone in to labor all by themselves.

If they labor “too long,” even if there is no sign of distress for mother or baby, they are given Pitocin to speed along the process.

If they are in pain, they are immediately given drugs.  While many women are all for the pain relief, they may not realize that the drugs almost always slow their labor.  And, again,  if they labor too long they will be given Pitocin to speed things up.

Why do we need to speed things up?  Well… for all the same reasons we tend to induce.  Also, because insurance companies won’t pay for a woman to labor in a hospital for 2 or 3 days.  So, as is far too often the case, businessmen with no medical training are dictating health choices for women and babies.

Whether it is used to induce or to speed labor, Pitocin causes very hard contractions;  Much harder than most women experience naturally.  Many babies respond poorly to the stress involved and those women are now in need of a c-section.  For many women who had been laboring naturally or with minimal pain relief, the new, stronger contractions become too much and they need an epidural.

This may be a good time to mention that an epidural is a major medical procedure, not just “a shot.”  That’s why it needs to be given by a trained anesthesiologist and why the mother and baby need to have oxygen available and be hooked to heart and breathing monitors.  And they do go wrong.  A lot.  I couldn’t find a solid number, but I personally know 6 women, off the top of my head, that had serious long-term complications from their epidural.  One of them went into cardiac arrest.  I don’t think my loved ones are so different from yours.

Once a woman has had an epidural, she can’t get out of bed.  She must give birth lying down – the single worst position for giving birth.

Of course, lying down slows labor….  yada yada yada…..

More c-sections.

Every intervention increases the chance of having to intervene further.  Each intervention carries its own set of risks and consequences.  Remember those 40 weeks when you wouldn’t take an Aspirin or drink a Diet Coke?  Now all of a sudden narcotics are OK?

A woman who has a c-section has a longer recovery time, a higher chance of infection, a higher chance of severe bleeding, a higher chance of scarring and difficulties with future pregnancies and deliveries and much more.

C-section babies tend to have more breathing difficulties, feeding difficulties, low APGAR scores, and more.

Even if she has managed to get through labor and delivery without major medical intervention, it is more likely in the hospital that the baby will be taken away right away, given a pacifier or supplemental feeding, or given other medical treatment, such as vaccines, that the mother may not even be aware are taking place.

None of that even touches the concept that the woman is laboring and delivering her newborn infant into a building full of people with fatal, contagious illnesses. That always creeped me out a little.

OK – maybe hospital birth has its drawbacks – but what if?

That’s the rub.

It’s always the question.  “OK, OK.  I get all that.  But what if something goes wrong and you aren’t at a hospital?”

To answer that you have to understand what a midwife is and what she does.

A Certified Nurse Midwife has gone to college and earned a Bachelor’s degree in nursing.  Then completed years of additional school work, specifically in obstetrics.  Then completed an internship under another, experienced midwife.  In short, she has almost as much training as a doctor, but her training has been more specialized in a single, pinpoint area of expertise.  She probably has little or no training in surgery.  An OB/GYN is considered a surgeon.

There are “direct entry midwives” as well, and people who choose to have an unattended home birth, but that is so rare in this country that it is almost unheard of.   In fact, in some states, both of these things are illegal.

Most midwives will do all the prenatal care that you would expect from a physician.  They will test glucose levels and heart rates and take measurements and ask you to pee in a cup.

If these tests show ANYTHING wrong, they will send you to a physician.

They will watch a woman as she beings the early stages of labor.

If there is ANY sign of something being wrong, they will send her to a physician.

They will sit with her constantly through her labor (I have never heard of a woman under constant one-on-one care in a hospital) and at the first sign of a problem will have her transported to a hospital.

Once the baby is born, they will stay with the mother for several hours. (Again, how many women have such attentive care in a hospital?)

If there is any hint of a problem with mom or baby they will have them transported to a hospital.

Midwives are trained to spot the tiniest speck of a problem and react to it quickly.

With my second baby, a problem came when measurable contractions, lasting for several days (though far apart and not terribly powerful) continued past 42 weeks without much progress.  The midwife sent me to a specialist.  He recommended a c-section.

As it turned out, the baby had a true knot  in his cord.

“And to think! You almost killed him by trying to birth in a birth center!” More than one person has insinuated to me.

No.  I trusted my midwife to spot a problem.  She did her job.  My baby and I were just fine.  We were never in any danger because we were under the expert care of a trained professional.

A dear friend had an issue of bleeding after her delivery.  The midwife called an ambulance and had her transported to the hospital where they took care of it.

The midwife did her job.

You see, the vast majority of women who have had healthy pregnancies, are quite capable of having a healthy delivery.  Even if there are unusual circumstances, such as a breech baby, a woman is often able to have a successful vaginal birth. A trained professional should be able to deliver the baby, OR spot a problem in plenty of time to call in help from a specialist.

The instance of “something going wrong” that is so unexpected and so sudden and so severe that a woman or her baby wouldn’t be able to get to a hospital for help is one in a million.  She is more likely to be in a car accident on the way to the hospital.  (I didn’t actually run the numbers on that.  It’s just an educated guess.)

The instance of “something going wrong” because of all the interventions that the hospital requires is not really very unusual at all.

Now, in a perfect, rainbow-colored world, a woman would be able to have all the medical wonders of the hospital close at hand AND have the leisure to labor and deliver without being forced into one unnecessary medical intervention after another for the convenience of her doctor and the insurance companies and God-knows-what other reasons.

But that’s not how it is.

Hospitals won’t let you labor a long time because you’re taking up bed space and the doctor has other appointments to take care of.

You can’t attempt a VBAC because the insurance company doesn’t like the increased risk.

You can’t let your baby lie on your tummy until the cord stops pulsing because there just isn’t enough time to hold up the assembly line like that.

You mustn’t labor in the tub.  It makes it harder for the nurse to do her job.

You can’t walk around.  You might disturb the other patients.

You can’t eat or drink (at a time when you are expending more physical effort than perhaps any other moment in your life!) because it could be dangerous if they have to knock you out… which is likely because of all the interventions!

Hospitals are so used to treating birth as a medical procedure that anyone who wants to attempt it as nature intended is seen as weird or difficult.

And so,  more and more women are simply weighing one set of  risks against another and choosing to trust their bodies and their medical care providers to know if a hospital is really necessary.

It’s not about a woman’s “dream of giving birth in her own bed” as the article accused.  That may be a factor, but I don’t know anyone who chose a home birth or birth center birth for such a lame reason.  I mean… good grief… I chose my son’s car seat because I liked the color.  Not ONLY because I liked the color. Give women a little credit, already!  We aren’t that shallow.

I imagine that Mrs. Van Der Beek felt much as I did.  “I believe I can do this and if there is any sign I can’t, my midwife, whom I trust, will keep me and my baby safe.”  She wasn’t birthing alone in a barn, for goodness sake!  As it turns out, she and baby were just fine… which is only to be expected from a young healthy woman who had given birth before and who was under expert care during her delivery.

When you look at all the facts, it wasn’t such a “Scary Home Birth” at all.  I’ve heard dozens of hospital birth stories that are far more nightmarish!

Maybe the media needs to spend less time judging the choices of individual women and more time pushing our society to provide better, more informed care for everyone.

Me, Making Excuses


Remember the scary potty from “Look Who’s Talking Too?”

Well… before vacation I kept saying, “the baby is showing an interest in the potty.  We should probably start considering toilet training.

But it’s just silly to do that, right before a big trip.  All those hours in the car, routines disrupted, sheer exhaustion, over-stimulation… better to wait.

Now vacation is over.

To train or not to train?  That is the question.

There are a lot of moms who can’t wait for the day their kid is out of diapers.  No more scraping stinky poo off the baby!

I don’t really feel that way.

Diapers are REALLY convenient.   I use cloth so, now that I have my stash all set there’s virtually no expense.  And if I’m in the grocery store and my boy pees in his diaper… no big deal.  I can finish up what I’m doing and clean him up when we are done.  No worries!   If he falls asleep on the four-hour drive to my sister’s house, I’m not at all concerned.  He’s wearing a great diaper.  If he suddenly gets the urge while we are at the fair, miles from any bathroom other than a horrible stinky port-a-potty… let it go, son!  The diaper will catch it.

If I potty train him and he says he has to go, I will have to drop EVERYTHING and take him to the potty.

My best friend remembers me doing this in the middle of a parade once with my daughter when she was three and bundled in 63 layers of clothes including snowpants.  We were desperately running in and out of stores looking for a place that would have mercy on us because when a toddler says they have to go, they are saying, “it’s starting to come out RIGHT NOW.”  Washing those 63 layers (not to mention defrosting her wet, frozen tushy) would be WAY more work than changing a diaper!  I knew if we didn’t get to the potty fast enough there would be tears and frustration and the Christmas Festival would be over for our family.   Oh, how I longed for the days of the diaper!

And that phase lasts for years!  It seemed she didn’t really get the idea of “holding it” until she started kindergarten.

You would think, having done this before, it wouldn’t be that big a deal.


I suppose I can’t leave him in diapers forever.  Especially since, being the biggest baby in the world, he is outgrowing everything – even the “one size fits all” cloth diapers.

What’s a mom to do?

I asked my good friend, Google, what I should do.  He (I’m quite certain Google is a male since he thinks he always has the answer and often tells me he’s feeling lucky) told me that a child is ready to be potty trained when they wake up dry from naps and have the ability to pull their own pants down.  

By this rationale, my sister has one kid that wouldn’t have been potty trained until the 4th grade.

Kidsdr.com says that I should train him at 28.7 months.  If I wait until 31.7 months he’ll have urge incontinence and other issues for years to come.

Geez!  I better mark my calendar or something!

Let’s see, 24 months will be next June 7.  It usually gets pretty warm by late May.  Maybe I’ll just strip him naked when we hit 80 degrees and spend the whole summer outside cheering every time I see him go.  That way, by autumn, he should have caught on and we can add pants before the snow flies.

More importantly, we will have come in under the crucial 31 month deadline!


Do I think that those numbers are entirely arbitrary and nonsensical?



I like this plan!

Because it means I don’t really have to think about it for the better part of a year.


Fast Friday – There is Such a Thing as “Too Natural”


I am very much in favor of eating a diet full of natural foods.  I say, get rid of pesiticides, genetically modified food, hormone injected meats and so forth.

Eat the Earth, I say!

Here is a picture of my Little Hippie Baby, earlier this week, doing just exactly that. 

I didn’t mean for him to take me quite so literally. 

A day or two later I washed a load of cloth diapers.  When it was done, I found this in the bottom of my washer.

image from cmgc.co.nz

Well… ok.  Not literally.  I didn’t think to take a picture of what I found.  It was actually just one rock, about the size and shape of those pictured.

But still…


So, apparently, you CAN actually eat the Earth.  But you shouldn’t, because it’s hard to digest.

Have a great weekend, dear readers.  Get your hippie on!  God willing, I’ll meet you back here next week.

image from jokearoo.com

Recycling, Baby Birds, Nasty Colds and Other Unrelated Items


I’ve realized that I’ve asked for help and told the beginning of some stories without sharing the conclusions of how things worked out.   I hate to think of you all, dear readers, out there in the wide world losing sleep over my blog!  No doubt you’ve been lying awake wondering, “Did garlic cure her horrible cold?”  “Did the bird survive?”

Wonder no more, my friends.  Tonight you can rest soundly.

Here’s the Hippie Family Update:

I had a horrible cold.  It was awful.  The worst I’ve had in a very long time.  I was offered tons of fabulous, loving, caring advice.  I ingested a small field of garlic, nearly drowned in lemon juice, marinated myself in tea, gained 5 pounds from putting honey in everything, and even found a ready-made green smoothie (complete with garlic and Echinacea!) at Meijer that wasn’t totally horrible.  I consumed at least a pound of ginger, in various forms.  I drank a hot toddy, complete with whiskey (Sweet Hippie Daughter commented, “This medicine smells like beer!”) and I succumbed to over the counter medicine and took NyQuil so that I could get a decent sleep.

I’m still getting over my cold.  It’s better, but not totally gone.

The only advice I got that REALLY seemed to make a major difference was, “Whining will help.”

Thanks for trying, though.


Carlos the Blackbird lives on!  Much to everyone’s surprise.  I’m trying not to get too attached because, well… you know.  But it’s been three days and he is getting noticeably stronger and shedding his little fuzzy baby feathers for some fairly sleek-looking bigger ones.  He’s even starting to “toddle” around on the table when we take him out to feed him.

The whole family is rooting for him now.  Here’s hoping he makes it!


The water bottle project continues.  The silicone is working beautifully and holding through all sorts of weather conditions.

It was slowed because of some freakishly insane heat.  I just wasn’t motivated to sit in my yard and play with the recycling when it was 100+ degrees out!

It’s cooled off a bit now, though, and I’m making progress.  Sweet Hippie Daughter has figured out what it is… can you?

Here’s hoping that it actually gets done before the snow flies!


Because they realized how astonishingly cool my blog is, Handsome Hippie Hubby ,  Crazy Hippie Drummer   and Sweet Hippie Daughter (actually, hers isn’t really up and running yet, but check back soon!) have all started their own blogs.

You should visit them and see why it is so easy for me to live my life with a smile on my face when I’m surrounded by these amazing people!


It’s VBS week, starting next Monday, and I have the privilege of being a part of it.  If you don’t know what VBS is… think summer day camp for kids, with a Bible-centered theme.

This week is all about decorating and taking care of all the last-minute details. 

If you are a praying person, send some prayers this way, that the volunteers and the children attending will have happy hearts, full of praise and that it will be a safe week and a great experience for all.

I’m sure there will be more about VBS over the next several days since that where the largest chunk of my brain is right now.

Once we wrap up VBS, it will be time to focus on our first year of homeschool!  I’ve been looking at curriculums and registering for various activities.

We need to buy a french horn.  SHD is very excited about that part!

It’s going to be great fun!


And now,  I’m off to paint a giant shark.

Enjoy your Wednesday!

Terrorism, Fashion Faux Pas, and Other Dangers To Your Baby


“Yo! Mama! I only ride in NEW car seats, hear?”

I’m having a problem writing this post.  I can usually knock a post out in an hour or so but this one has been dragging on for days.  You see, it’s important to me to be fun and entertaining and helpful.  But, for some reason, this subject makes me a crazy ranting maniac.  And it makes me defensive.  And perhaps a little guilty.  And then I get mad for feeling guilty.

I explained the situation to the Handsome Hippie Hubby. He’s generally more rational than I am.  I think that, as a rule, men are that way.  I’m a hippie. I’m not a feminist.  I truly believe that, with the rare exception (hats off to you, Hillary!), women are gigantic balls of wild emotion.  We are smart and tough and clever and funny and strong.  And we are emotional.  Anyway….  He suggested that I write a post about how hard it has been to write this post.

You see, this isn’t a new issue in my mind.  I’ve been considering this since I got pregnant with my daughter, eight years ago.  I was told I MUST NOT buy a used car seat.

“Why?” I asked them.   And they answered that there are two main reasons.  The first is that a car seat involved in any accident, even a minor “fender bender” may have damage that is undetectable to the naked eye.  The plastic can become weakened or fractured and will not be as durable in subsequent crashes.  The second reason is that plastic becomes brittle over time.  That is why, if you look carefully, you can see an expiration date on the bottom of modern car seats.  All of them in our house are stamped to expire about 6 years after manufacture.

“OK.”  I thought.  “That makes sense.  But what if I’m buying from someone I know and trust who has told me that they’ve never been in an accident and the seat is only a year or two old?”

“NO!”  They insist. Car seats MUST BE PURCHASED NEW!  In fact, in some states they have made laws against selling used seats.  No matter what.

This just irked me.

irk  (ûrk)

tr.v. irkedirk·ingirks

To be irritating, wearisome, or vexing to. See Synonyms at annoy.

Yes.  I was irked.  I hate buying new.  It’s expensive.  It’s wasteful.  How many perfectly lovely, well kept infant car seats were used for 6 months and chucked into a landfill because of them and their ridiculous rule?

Later, the issue became drop side cribs.  These cribs, which if you are over the age of 15 you almost certainly DID sleep in for the first year or two of your life, are now widely known to be the equivalent of laying your helpless newborn to sleep on a rusty bed of nails surrounded by hungry lions over a pit of boiling oil.

They have been added to the recall list along with  cribs with slats that are not of a certain strength, in case your infant is karate-chopping his way free of confinement.  Also unsafe are cribs with slats that are more than 2 3/8” apart.  Note the specificity there:  Not 2”, Or 2 ½”.  They have decided that 2 3/8”  is the magic number.  1/8 of an inch wider and your baby will be able to slide through the bars like rubber man and injure themselves.

I was curious.  How many injuries actually occur in drop side cribs?

Google tells me 10,000 per year.  Wow!  That’s a lot.

But WAIT! Hold on! Stop the train!

If you click on the link that is ALL of the accidents that occur in ALL kinds of cribs and playpens.  The vast majority of these injuries came from toddlers trying to climb out and falling.  They didn’t have anything to do with the drop-side.

So, how many children actually die in these cribs?  According to this link on What to Expect, there were 32 in 10 years.  Please don’t think I’m calloused to the horrible experience of these parents.  If it were my child… I can’t even imagine.  It makes me feel ill to even consider it.  But if you consider that number – 32 in ten years – out of the millions and millions of babies who slept in these “very dangerous” cribs, it’s infinitesimally small.

By comparison, 160 children under the age of 14 died from choking on food items in the year 2000 alone.  Perhaps there should be a law that children under the age of consent are only allowed to eat pureed food to prevent this.

Because of the recalls that come in so fast and furiously on cribs, resale shops have given up trying to sell them.  So, again, the only option is to throw your perfectly good used crib into the landfill and new moms need to buy new cribs.  EXPENSIVE new cribs.

If my father could see me right now he would say, “you’re rolling your eyes so much they look like two oysters in a bucket of snot.”


But then…

The icing on the cake…

The one that pushed me over the edge….

The thing about which I have been ranting for days:


Wealthy American suburban housewives are having FITS because there are people selling fake Ergo baby carriers.  Can you believe it?  Gasp! I KNOW, RIGHT?!?  How dare they make a knock off of a carrier that costs $160 or more?

According to what I read these carriers come in Ergo boxes, with Ergo DVDs.  The buckles are EXACTLY the same. The zippers are EXACTLY the same.  The stitching is EXACTLY the same.  The fabric is a slightly different color and the straps are not as well-padded through the shoulders.

“It’s not safe!” They say. “Our children must be protected from the knock off!”

Furthermore, since there is no way to know who is making these death-trap baby carriers you could, by purchasing one, be supporting terrorist activity.  Is there actually any evidence that terrorists are selling fake Ergos to unsuspecting suburban mothers in order to laugh at their unknowing fashion faux pas behind their backs? Nope.  Not a bit.  BUT… you never know.

I’m not making up these reactions.  Feel free to read them for yourself  here and here.

Let me say, I think that counterfeiting is wrong.  It’s illegal and immoral.  It hurts legitimate business owners when you buy “fakes.”  But I don’t think that, if you find you have inadvertently ended up with a knock-off, your baby (or the general population of the USA) is in any immediate danger.

I would suggest that, in order for us all to keep our children safe, we just pop them into a hermetically sealed plastic bubble from birth until puberty but we all know that the BPA in plastic causes brain damage.

OK.  So maybe I’m a bad mom.  I don’t think I’m so awful.  I love my kids so very much.  I don’t want them to be hurt.  Not ever.  But at what point does our desire to protect our children just cross the line into total lunacy?  Can you imagine your great grandmother having a conversation about the dangers of knock-off designer baby carriers?  They probably carried their kids in an old rag, slung over their shoulder and tied in a knot across their chest.

And what about the waste?  The incredible MOUNTAINS of waste that we are creating in the name of safety?  How safe will our kids be when they are living in “Water World?”

What say you, dear readers?  Am I the only one that thinks we’ve lost our collective mind?  Or am I just a mom who doesn’t care as much as she should?

Hey… Handsome Hippie Hubby was right!  Starting out that way did make it easier to get all that out!  Well done, my love.

A Hippie Mama Peace Rally


Our beautiful boy has arrived! OK… yes… I know he looks kind of like Rocky Balboa after the fight.  But he was beautiful to us.

I’d like to stage a peace rally.  And I want to invite you all to participate.  I’ll tell you all about it.  But first I have to tell you this:

Tomorrow my baby boy will be one year old.  I have very mixed feelings about that.  Unless the universe intervenes in some highly unforeseen way, he’s my last baby.  And, of course I’m happy that he is growing, but I’m sad that his infancy came and went so quickly.  It all just seems like a whirlwind of sleep deprivation and busy-ness.  In the past year, though, I’ve come to understand, in my completely, totally, absolutely unbiased opinion, that he is the smartest, cutest, funniest, most talented, perfectly fabulous baby in the entire world.

Allow me to brag for a moment, if you will…

When I first found out I was pregnant my doctor ordered an immediate ultrasound due to problems I’d had in the past.  That ultrasound, and the 2nd ultrasound, and the 3rd ultrasound showed that there was no baby.  There was just an empty sac.  But the FOURTH ultrasound… almost a full month later… showed my strong healthy little bean with his perfect heart thumping away.  Ha!  My baby had his own way of doing things even when he was just a microscopic ball of goo.

At 34 weeks I started having contractions.  They were sporadic, but strong.  “Stay in there,” we told him.  “Hold on tight. You need to grow a little more.”  And he stayed.  All through week 34. And week 35. And weeks 36, 37 and 38. And week 39. And 40. And 41. And 42.  Finally, we sent someone in to get him.  He’s a very good boy.  He did EXACTLY what we told him to do!

He was born weighing 9 pounds, 4 ounces.  A big strong baby boy!  On day one he could lift his own head and bear some weight on his legs, when supported.  I’m sure this had something to do with me being pregnant for 10 1/2 months (do the math… 40 divided by 4 weeks…). But still!  At six months he was crawling all over the place, eating needles off the Christmas tree and generally getting into everything.  At eight months, 3 days he took his first step. Saints preserve us!

And he talks! I’ve been told that boys’ language develops more slowly than girls, but this Hippie baby already has a whole pocket full of words that he chants like a mantra while going about the baby business of exploring the world.  “Mamamamamamamamamama.”  “Byebye!Byebye!Byebye!Byebye!”  And, most recently, my personal favorite, “Butt!Butt!Butt!Butt!”

His dance moves are a little…. uhm…. well, let’s just say that, with Handsome Hippie Hubby and I as parents he was never destined to be a dancer.  But what he lacks in skill he makes up for with enthusiasm.

So, you see?  Obviously, he’s a genius.  No doubt about it.  And I know why.

It’s because I breastfed him and used cloth diapers.

What?  You disagree?  WELL! Now we shall go to WAR!

At least, that’s what I understand from recent media.  I’ve been told that mommies are having WARS.

My dearest friend has a baby, a few months older than mine.  He’s never had a drop of breast milk and she wouldn’t dream of putting him in any kind of diaper that couldn’t be thrown away.  And he is bright and smart and healthy and strong.  And, admittedly, a much better dancer than my son.

A woman at church told me that, when her children were babies, she couldn’t bear the thought of them eating bland foods.  So she added salt and sugar to their baby food.  *GASP!*  Guess what?  They are all healthy, productive adults today.

When my sister’s twins were born she had four children, under the age of 3.  Do you honestly think she cloth diapered and breastfed all of them?  Are you nuts?!?!  I was in awe of her that they were all diapered, in any form, and that she did manage to nurse the babies for a while before switching to bottles.

Author Jill Churchill once said, “There is no way to be a perfect mother, and a million ways to be a good one.”

Amen, sister!  Preach it!

Some mothers feel they can serve their family best by going to work to earn money which they, in turn, spend on the things their family needs and wants.  Some feel it’s best they stay home with their children. Some breastfeed.  Some use bottles. And the media will have us believe that moms are waging war over these differences.  But is that the reality?  I mean… if I see a mother neglecting her children or abusing them in any way… THAT is something worth going to battle for.  But, with rare exception, moms love their children.  A lot. More than anything else in the whole wide world.  More than they ever loved themselves.  More than they ever thought they could love anyone.  And, based on their own life experiences and culture and abilities, they make the best choices they know how for their precious little ones.

Moms love their kids.  It’s what moms do.  And they do it the best way they know how.

And so, I’d like to stage a peace rally.  I would like all the mothers of the world…

the ones who ONLY use silver flatware and the ones who spit chewed up food into their baby’s mouth… the ones who bust out a boob in the middle of the mall and the ones who can’t fathom not using a bottle… the ones who work their bums off in a job outside the house and the ones who work their bums off taking care of the house…..

to unite.  Let us, metaphorically, join hands and sing folk songs and celebrate our love for our children.  Maybe, when the media sees our sweet peaceful non-resistance and our united front in caring about the mental, emotional and spiritual health of the children of the world they will stop their ridiculous reporting on issues like the appropriateness of breastfeeding a toddler and they will turn their attention to helping kids who don’t get fed at all.  Or any other number of issues to which attention needs to be given.

Happy birthday, sweet boy. You are loved.