Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Layered Learning

I was at a loss the start of the school year on how to manage both my second grader and my kindergartner. My 2ND grader was used to having me all to herself for school, and really did not like having to share. My kindergartner needs a lot more hands on help. My morning would go something like this; I would be helping one child, and the other would constantly interrupt and try to get my attention. Back and forth, all day for the first week. I knew that this could not go on and be a healthy, fun school year for all of us. I also wanted to be the most time efficient considering I have 2 other children not yet school age. So now we do what I've nicknamed Layered Learning. This would probably seem really obvious to all of you reading this, but I'm quite proud I thought it up. Every subject, we do at the same time. I just gear it to each kids level of learning. I do spend one lesson a day with each alone, usually Language Arts. They really bloom under the one-on-one contact. My 3 year old is even sitting with us and demanding a lesson to do. I purchased the Handwriting without Tears curriculum, and there's these wooden shapes you can use to form the alphabet. So she sits down and matches all the pieces to the letter pages. We are all really enjoying school now. Since we are all doing the same lesson, they are both getting my attention at the same time and all the struggle is gone. Sometime it takes me awhile to figure out practical solutions, so I was really stoked to come up with such a neat solution.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

What I'm making for dinner

Red beans cooked with whole peeled tomatoes and basil
Brown Rice
Crockpot Drumsticks
Yogurt cheese

I started by putting the beans in the crockpot. I added salt, pepper, garlic powder and frozen chopped basil leaves. I would have added onions too, if I had remebered. I covered generously in filtered water, than added the chicken and the tomatoes. # hours later, I realized it wasn't going to cook in time, so I transferred the beans and liquid to the stove and left the chicken in the crockpot. I'm glad the chicken cooked for a while with the beans, though-the beans have a richer broth and the chicken had time in the spices. We usually eat this dish with sour cream but I am on a new food budget where I don't buy anything that's not 100% healthy and low fat. I have a ton of yogurt so I decided to make yogurt cheese. All it takes is a coffee filter and a mason jar. Put the coffee filter in the jar and rubber band the top around the jar. Mix some yogurt with salt, spoon into the filter and than wait. I'm going to add green onions from my friend Beth's garden when it's done, and maybe some garlic and fresh basil. Great, tasty alternative to sour cream!

When the beans are done I am going to cook some brown rice.
When it's done, you just lay down a circle of rice, top with beans, top with chicken, add yogurt cheese.
My kids really like this dish, surprisingly.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Labor Pro

The most important thing I've learned as a doula is how to read a labor. I can tell, just be looking at a women through her contractions and how she acts between them, what stage of labor she is in. It's an art, not a science, and of course there are some women who are the exception. It's an art, born of respect, love, patience, and time. One of my biggest frustrations in a hospital is the litigation based care. Women labor best if they are uninterrupted. How easy is it to create a pattern and rhythm if you are being poked and prodded and belted? With a doula it is definitely easier, but still hard to keep momentum. And I have seen women told over and over "this is what is best for your baby" blah blah blah. In research studies, intermittent monitoring is just as safe. They need that 20 minute strip every hour in case you have to go to trial. (I am not talking about high-risk cases, by the way. Or if you are undergoing an induction. It is vital in those cases to be continuously monitored, because Pitocin can really stress a baby.) A women needs to move doing labor. A women needs to feel in charge and powerful during labor.
The saying "less is more" is absolutely true about labor and birth. But just when I thought it couldn't get any worse, I found this. This really has the potential to invade hospitals and become the new standard of care.

Labor Pro

Labor Pro is “a novel labor monitoring system that using ultrasound imaging measures continuously and objectively measures fetal position, presentation and station along with cervical dilation. Labor Pro quantitatively assesses and records vital labor parameters in real-time to enable obstetricians to make informed and accurate decisions throughout the labor process to improve both the quality and cost of obstetric care."

The website lists Labor Pro’s capabilities as able to:

* Determine continuous station & position of fetal head by ultrasound imaging,
* Provide radiation-free pelvimetry & birth canal modeling.
* Perform one-step computerized “non-invasive” trans-vaginal digital examination (I
* Determine intermittent or continuous accurate measurement of cervical dilatation
* Record comprehensive labor data recording

It also touts its “unique benefits” as the following:

* Non-invasive, precise measurement of station & position
* Improves assessment of non-progressive labor
* Supports decision-making before operative delivery
* User friendly, on-screen display of all labor parameters
* Enhances patient comfort and sense of security

First you have to place “just four little electrodes” externally on the mother’s pelvis in order to continuously assess fetal station and position and also enables the user to ”recognize CPD early”. Second you just have to clip (or screw) “just a few position sensors” to the woman’s cervix to accurately and continuously measure cervical dilation. And third you just have to screw “just a small little electrode” into the baby’s head.

According to Frost & Sullivan, the organization that awarded Trig Medical for the Labor Pro technology, “The Labor Pro is staff and mother-friendly and requires only basic training in ultrasound usage, obviating the need for an obstetric ultrasound expert,” adds Ms. Prabakar. “Moreover, the technology employs non-invasive, radiation-free pelvimetry as well as a single-step computerised digital examination. All labor progress tracking data including the fetal heart rate monitor are integrated in the Labor Pro display and automatically recorded by the system, which helps reduce staff workload.”

This is absolutely horrendous. That a company would even think this was a good idea!
One thing that really concerns me is the chance for serious infection. All those wires are just like a superhighway into the uterus. Hospitals are not clean places. MRSA is a big threat. Constant cervical checks are bad enough. This is a disaster.
People need people, not machines.

Thursday, September 03, 2009


I became a doula originally because I love babies. Over time, well still doing it for my love of children, my focus had broadened. I love mothers. Watching a women find her strength and motherhood in the midst of a birth is why I am a doula, now. If I can be any help at all to support a women transforming into a mother of one, or two, or five, well, I feel like I am doing what I was born and created to do. One day, Lord willing,I will be able to do that full time. For now, I feel like I am turning my daughters into doula's. In a spiritual sense, because a doula is basically a servant, a mother to mothers, someone who helps in the birthing process. And there are all sorts of births, all over the world. Spiritual birth, ministry birth, physical birth. I am honored to be a doula in the literal and spiritual sense.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Dalai Lama, a lifelong champion of non-violence on Saturday candidly stated that terrorism cannot be tackled by applying the principle of ahimsa because the minds of terrorists are closed.

"It is difficult to deal with terrorism through non-violence," the Tibetan spiritual leader said delivering the Madhavrao Scindia Memorial Lecture here.

He also termed terrorism as the worst kind of violence which is not carried by a few mad people but by those who are very brilliant and educated.

"They (terrorists) are very brilliant and educated...but a strong ill feeling is bred in them. Their minds are closed," the Dalai Lama said.

He said that the only way to tackle terrorism is through prevention. The head of the Tibetan government-in-exile left the audience stunned when he said "I love President George W Bush." He went on to add how he and the US President instantly struck a chord in their first meeting unlike politicians who take a while to develop close ties..

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Elisabeth Charity Clementine
born September 23rd 8:12pm
9 pounds 9 ounces
18 inches long

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

If you are a Christian, and are really considering voting for Obama
this is the issue

"The way I understand it, the Infants Born Alive Bill was introduced to the IL Senate and Obama voted against it because he wanted it to have the same language as the Federal Born Alive Bill. When the bill was re-presented containing that clause, Obama voted against it again. So, given the chance, twice, to vote against infanticide, Obama voted for.

He also lied about all of this earlier in the campaign, before admitting that he was lying.

Obama has the most liberal voting record you can have on the issue of abortion. He does not, like Joe Biden, draw the line at the savagery of partial-birth abortion - he sides with the scissor, the vacuum and the death. He does not draw the line (as Nancy Pelosi and even Hillary Clinton do) at infanticide. He says, “that baby was supposed to be dead; let it die.”

Sen. Barack Obama doesn’t seem comfortable, at all, straying from the side of death.

None of us is God, none of us has perfect wisdom…but for that reason alone, if you’re not “morally” sure about something, if you really think that theologically and intellectually it’s all “above your pay grade,” then shouldn’t you err on the side of life? Not on the side of death?

It occurs to me that in this election - more so than any election in recent memory, we have the “clear choice” that Moses also gave to the people:
I call heaven and earth today to witness against you: I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life, then, that you and your descendants may live, by loving the Lord, your God, heeding his voice, and holding fast to him. (Deuteronomy 30:19-20a, New American Bible)"
found on The Anchoress blog site