Wednesday, May 18

Win an Ergo!!

Hey mamas! Wanna win an Ergo baby carrier? Comment here to be entered. That's all there is to it :)

Tuesday, March 1

Local Business Showcase: Hochstetler's Country Store

I want to high-light a local business here in Seneca that I think more people should know about. It's called Hochstetler's. This has become my new favorite place to grocery shop. The family who owns it are wonderful, friendly, and quick to help you find whatever you may be looking for. 
They sell raw milk here, as well as goat milk. Our family only drinks raw milk now, for the health benefits. They also sell whole grains in bulk, such as hard red winter wheat, quinoa, stone-ground grits, and whole oats. You can buy old-fashioned candy by the pound. Yep, you bag it yourself :)
They have also recently opened up a deli inside, where you can get fresh meats and cheeses cut to order, and sandwiches as well. Fresh-baked breads also line a table right in front of the register.
They do take EBT, which is a necessity of any grocery store for us.
This store can be found at the juncture of Wells Highway and Walnut Street. Where Bountyland and Tri-star Imports is.
If you are trying to keep your family healthy, get back to the basics, and keep your money in your community, then I highly recommend stopping buy and sampling the options that Hochstetler's has to offer.

Monday, February 14

So I'm gonna open a store...

Yep. My oldest son picked out a name for my new crochet business. Rows and Roses. Named after his sister. The way I look at it, I love to crochet, so I might as well be doing for others as well as my family. I feel a sense of panic when I'm about to finish a project, and realize that I don't have anything lined up. I seriously have to be crocheting something at all times. I am in love with wool, and it's use as a cloth diaper cover. I am making longies, shorties, and skirties like there is no tomorrow. I have started a Facebook page, with a Hyena Cart store to come (as soon as my beautiful, talented sister gets me some web design going on!). I will be purchasing only the most beautiful, soft, unique yarns I can find, yarns that really jump out at me, and using them to create custom pieces. I will not be stocking my store with actual pieces, but rather custom slots. This way, there is no chance of having something sit in inventory for months because it was the wrong size, or in the wrong color. Anyone interested in my work can take a look at my available yarn, and at my pictures of past works, and then let me know what they want me to make, and on which yarn.
I will be doing anything and everything I can find a pattern for. Also, play food and stuffed animals will be stocked from time to time.
Come check me out on Facebook. If you like what you see, "Like" my page. I'll be doing a giveaway as soon as I reach 50 fans.

Friday, January 28

The Invisible Mother

Someone on BBC posted this, after someone posted it on her Facebook. I DO NOT TAKE CREDIT FOR THIS! I just thought it was beautiful, it made me cry, and maybe someone else needs this today.

One of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?'

Obviously not; no one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible. The invisible Mom. Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more! Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this??

Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, 'What time is it?' I'm a satellite guide to answer, 'What number is the Disney Channel?' I'm a car to order, 'Right around 5:30, please.'

Some days I'm a crystal ball; 'Where's my other sock?, Where's my phone?, What's for dinner?'

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history, music and literature -but now, they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going, she's going, she's gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. She had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when she turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, 'I brought you this.' It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: 'With admiration
for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.'

In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: 1) No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names. 2) These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. 3) They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. 4) The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A story of legend in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, 'Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof, No one will ever see it And the workman replied, 'Because God sees.'

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was Almost as if I heard God whispering to me, 'I see you. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does.

No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, no Cub Scout meeting, no last minute errand is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become.

I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, 'My Mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for 3 hours and presses all the linens for the table.' That would mean I'd built a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, he'd say, 'You're gonna love it there...'

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible mothers.

Friday, January 14

A big round of applause goes to...

...South Carolina Medicaid! Never thought I'd be saying that, but right now I am so proud of them! I just received a notice in the mail, saying that due to lack of funds, they will be scaling down what benefits they will be offering. At first, I uttered a long-suffering sigh because, let's face it, nobody wants to hear that their kids may be losing health benefits. But THEN, I started reading what they are doing away with, and guess what? No more routine infant circumcision!! I am so happy about this. It's time more people realize that this tradition of mutilation is UNNECESSARY, as well as incredibly painful and dangerous. Circumcision has killed more babies than you were probably aware of. The out-dated idea that getting your child circumcised will protect him from diseases and be cleaner has been turned on it's ear by the World Health Organization. It has, however, been proven that men who are intact experience heightened sensation (which is a good thing, right?). 
Unfortunately, I learned about all of this a little too late for my poor boys. I was led to believe that not only was it healthier for them to have them mutilated, but that it was also somehow important that they "look like everyone else." Oh how wrong! It is estimated now that over 40% of the non-Jewish American population is opting to leave their son's perfectly intact, the way that God created them, in his image. And there are many in the Jewish community that are now refusing to continue this trend of damaging their baby boys. Thank goodness!
I am so thrilled that the W.H.O as well as the Medicaid Agency are beginning to understand how unnecessary routine circumcision is. I just wish I had known the truth before it was too late. One day I will explain the importance of all of this to my two precious boys, and ask them to forgive me. 

Friday, December 24

Back to Nature

Usually over the Christmas season, I try to look back over the year, thinking, what have I accomplished? What have I learned? How has this year been better than the last? Well, this has been my year for what I'm calling Major Child-Rearing Overhaul. I have discovered so many things this year, as far as raising my children. I have definitely learned that in almost all cases, the farther back in time you go, the better. Here are a few of the major things I have learned in 2010:

  • Breastfeeding is amazing. It is the perfect food made just for your child. Artificial formulas don't even come close to providing the proper nutrition. Sure, they'll keep a baby alive and functioning and gaining weight, but Big Macs will do that for your toddler, too. It is much easier than using formulas, too. No getting up in the middle of the night to fix a bottle, and then sit and feed. Just pop the boob out in bed, and let baby have her fill! Lol.
  • Which leads me to the next point: co-sleeping. Cribs are still a reletivly new idea. Cultures around the world, since the beginning of time, slept with their babies. The baby stays warmer, can eat whenever she chooses, and both mama and baby get more sleep, as well as better QUALITY of sleep.
  • Cloth diapers. Cheaper than disposibles, less waste, no chemicals against little one's skin. Disposible diapers companies have got parents thinking that drier is better, and wetness causes rashes. In all actuality, it's the chemicals in diapers that cause the rashes, and when a baby has spent her entire life thus far feeling DRY, instead of knowing when she's wet, it makes potty training that much harder.
  • No more vaccinations for us! I have done massive amounts of research, and have come to the realization that the risks of vaccinating FAR out-weigh the benefits. First of all, they are not guarenteed. You can be fully vaxed, and still get the diseases you were vaxed for. Second, it amazes me what they put into these vaccines: aluminum, mercury, formaldehyde, even cells from aborted fetuses. Don't believe me? Ask your ped. If he says it's not true, he's lying; find a new one. And finally, what's so bad about getting chicken pox or mumps anyway? These are typical childhood illnesses. If your child has been exclusively breastfed for the first 5-6 months or her life, you've been up on taking your vitamins and whatnot, then they should recover fairly quickly, and THEN be immune. I had chicken pox as a kid, and seriously, it only really really sucks for a day or two. And by the way, there hasn't been a report of wild polio in like 60 years here in the US, and Hep B is only transmitted through needle-sharing and unprotected sex. Sorry, but I just refuse to pump my tiny baby full or heavy metals and dead fetus cells to protect her from something she's not going to get anyway.
  • Drying clothes outside. It's free!! Gotta love free. Plus, the sun is a natural stain remover and brightener, so there's no more need for bleach or Shout. Awesome.
  • Babywearing is a big one. I just discovered this with my third (and final!) baby. I so wish I had known about this before. Women in cultures all over the world wear their babies wherever they go. Babies who are worn cry less, and are more secure and sleep better. Plus, your hands are free for cleaning, shopping, whatever! 
I hope this has been as insightful for you as it has been for me. I could surely go on and on, but I have three kids still in jammies, and I seriously need to stop now. I hope everyone has a very Merry CHRISTmas, and a great new year. I'll be back to blogging sometime after the first. God bless!

Sunday, November 28

My cloth diaper stash :)

For some reason, I just felt like taking a pic of my stash. This isn't everything; there are a few in the wash, and, as always, a few more on the way ;)

Up top are my prefolds, Flip organics, and 4 grovias
To the left, night-time diapers. From top: Bummis Bamboozle stretch fitted, Spicy Kolache fitted tester, Summer Sky Bamboo fitted, The Giving Tree fitted tester
Top row, brand name diapers: Babykicks, two Drybees, Kawaii
Middle Row, WAHMs: Bunkyfluff tester, Summer Sky Bamboo, Full Tilt tester, Two Anna Banana's
Last row: from-swap pink, from-swap owls, Kissaluv fitted, from swap pink fitted
Right column, covers: two Baby Beehinds, Blueberry, Flip.
 I love my cloth! I want more, and more, and more! They are so cute. I seriously never thought I could ever say that I enjoy diaper changes. You just don't get the same kind of love from 'sposies. These make every diaper change an exciting experience.