BBH TV, Motherhood, Reviews

Mama Natural Review

1 Comment 06 April 2012

Genevieve aka MamaNatural

I’m a big fan of Mama Natural!

Are you?

Chances are you may have seen one of Mama Natural’s videos making it’s way ’round the web.

Her crazy awesome video, Sh*t Crunchy Mamas Say, went viral with well over 450,000 views (the sequel, Sh*t Crunchy Mamas Say Part 2, was equally as brilliant).

The woman behind the curtain is Genevieve, woman and mother, new-ager and wellness uplifter.

One thing I love about Genevieve, even more than her tips for getting the stink of out cloth diapers and other natural home remedies, is her uncanny ability to infuse facts with humor.

She does a brilliant job in this hit video, Circumcision Facts & Myths, blending a bit of humor and clearing up a lot of misconceptions about this very personal topic.

The information she provides is unbiased – it’s evidence based and I love that.

One big thing we agree on: natural birth rocks, no matter where it takes place. But Genevieve is also a home birth advocate. Whoo!

We also see eye to eye on good nutrition, breastfeeding, saving the world, and much more.

Learn more about the dynamic duo in this short video Genevieve and her husband Mike, (her husband and “special sauce” behind the MamaNatural website) put together, 10 Facts about Genevieve & Mike.

Then take a gander at MamaNatural’s YouTube channel. Block off a good portion of your day, because I bet you’ll be watching for awhile. Genevieve puts out two videos per week! Here’s the link to her website as well: Mama Natural.

So why I am ranting and raving about MamaNatural?

Because Genevieve will be a guest on Bring Birth Home TV, this  May 30th at 9:30 PM EST.

Save the date!

That special hour long episode is going to rock.

BBH TV will be taking a hiatus until then.

Sad, I know. But I’m working on something BIGGER. It’s taking up all my focus.

To take it’s place, Bring Birth Home will be posting NEW home birth stories every Wednesday night, and adding a new HBAC section to the birth stories pages. Yipee!

 

Motherhood, Uncategorized

Living in Alignment

3 Comments 02 April 2012

What happened this weekend was a great example of what it looks like for me to live my life in alignment.

Living in alignment with our true selves has been a regular topic of discussion in the Walker household of late.

Alignment means/goes somewhat like this:

  • Does this feel in sync with my inner constitution? Such as, does this feel like the me that inherently am? Or am I doing this for someone else or for some other shallow reason (ie, for the sake of earning money or impressing someone)?
  • Does this make me feel alive or dead? (does it light my fire or throw a big ‘ole water bucket on it)
  • Does this follow the same path that my goals follow? Or will it take me off track, leading me away from my goals?

You get the point.

We believe we will be happier and healthier if we love life more, hate life less, and stay “on course” with out goals.

Giving birth at home was definitely an example of living in alignment. Read my birth stories here and here.

So getting back to this weekend…

Saturday: Valley Family Visit

Joe, aka Empowered Papa

Joe and Andrea Valley get my big fat stamp of approval!

Awesome people. Totally living in alignment. Friends for life.

Andrea and I made dinner while Joe, Eric and the kiddos ran around the house like and played crazy music on the keyboard.

Aztec Salad: mostly raw, vegan, gluten & dairy free. YUM.

 

Homemade pizza for the kids.

Joe took this one of us!

Playing during sunset

Find out more about Empowered Papa!

Sunday: My first guitar show in a LONG time.

Me & my lovely side-kick.

I call this living in alignment because I love playing the guitar. It’s a part of who I am.

But it also presented a test. I learned a lot from the experience.

See my daughter sitting up on the stage with me?

If I hadn’t allowed her to sit next to me, there would have been a major shit storm. A serious meltdown. I wouldn’t have been able to go on that stage without Ella bawling her eyes out and screaming for me to pick her up.

So I thought, you know what? This is okay. I know she’s going through a very attached time period right now.

Recognizing this, seeing the tears well up in her eyes, I asked her if she’d like to join me on stage. She happily accepted my invitation.

And so, for the 45 minutes that I played my set, Ella sat silently next to me on that bench (except for one interaction when she pointed out the huge moose that was hanging on the wall. She also handed me pick when I needed it).

Eric wore Lucan in our Ergo and took photos (yes, he rules!).

She talked about it for the rest of the night, all the way up to bedtime when I asked her what she remembered enjoying through her day – it’s one of our nighttime rituals. Ella said, “sitting next to you at Old Dog on the bench when you played your guitar!”

This is a perfect example of what I mean when I talk about living in alignment. 

No, Eric was not going to take her out to the car to cry it out while I played my songs.

No, my grandmother was not going to distract her with a Shirley Temple from the bar.

My daughter sat with me on the stage and it was great. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

I am in love with my life and with creating a life that I love! This weekend was a testament to that. 

**

How are you practicing living in alignment? Any stories to share? I’d love to hear from you in the comment section below!

Breastfeeding, Motherhood

The Safest Place to Share Your Story

4 Comments 23 March 2012

I’m going to let you in on a little secret today.

This one tip will reveal how to do whatever you want.

Here’s the deal:

I’ve been watching mamas get sad, upset and downright pissed off too often and for too long.

Time for this nonsense to stop. It’s totally unnecessary. And this is a choice we can make today.

It’s time for you to have the freedom to share what you want to share without “the man” telling you what is inappropriate.

And we all know breastfeeding is NOT inappropriate.

Neither are photos of birth. Or placentas. Or nakie bums.

If you haven’t figured out what I’m talking about yet, let me spell it out for you, and I’ll provide the perfection solution too!

Problem: Facebook deletes breastfeeding photos, birthing photos and sometimes placenta (?) photos.

Solution: Post photos on your own turf.

Description: Mark Zuckerberg owns Facebook. We do not. He makes the rules there. We do not. Sure, you can rant, rave, get mad, contact the local papers, perform a breastfeeding rally online or off.

And that’s fine.

If you want to spend your time trying to change the establishment, go at it. Good for you. Not going to stop you. I’ll even clap standing.

BUT…

If you just want to share your beautiful nursing babe and self, for heavens sake, please just start your own blog.

It’s so much easier.

I could never share this photo on Facebook!

No headache. No heartbreak. No getting mad at whichever “friend” reported your gorgeous, natural photo.

Take charge of your photos. Own it. Post without fear.

See, when you’re sharing a status update, posting a photo or sharing a video, you’re telling a story.

Your story.

Why should we continue to share our lives on a public domain that we don’t own, when we can document it all in a safe place that WE own?

Solve this conundrum and start your own blog. 

Here’s my example on Tumblr – a SUPER easy blogging platform that literally takes a few minutes to set up.

The Only Place Breastfeeding Photos Are Safe

So post away friends!

Let it be nude! Show off your nipples! Heck, you can even share your birth photos. IT’S YOUR SITE.

You really can do whatever you want.

Be free, beautiful!
Kaitlin

p.s. the best practice is to buy your own domain name, (or url) too – like I’ve done here with BringBirthHome.com. I haven’t done so yet with the Tumbrl blog, but plan to. For now the domain name is KaitlinRoseBlog.Tumbrl.com. That’s the ultimate form of ownership. You pay a small annual fee.

Motherhood

Soul Sunday: Miss Independent

No Comments 18 March 2012

Last week, she wouldn’t let go of my hand.

Yesterday, she walked outside and up the hill with two friends.

The door clicked shut behind them (and between us).

She didn’t look back.

She didn’t call for me.

In an instant, I sensed her confidence building.

I felt hopeful.

Proud.

This is pre-school readiness.

This is the beginning of something new:

Independence.

Motherhood

The Much Needed Refresh Button

7 Comments 12 March 2012

I’m usually feeling a bit down by the end of Winter.

It’s rare to find anyone in Michigan who isn’t ready for Spring by the end of February/beginning of March.

Couple feelings of irritability and general “blue” vibes with having two energetic  children bouncing off the walls.

Then couple that with the fact that I haven’t had a daytime trip to a coffee shop to write, (one of my all-time favorite activities) or a date night with Eric in 8 months.

Honestly, sometimes I just sit on the couch and think, man, I’d really like a vodka tonic and a cigarette right now.

(that was my previous life!)

Well this past weekend, I got a chance to hit the Refresh button.

Thanks to Eric’s mom and step-dad, who surprised us with an overnight trip to the Amway Grand hotel for Eric’s upcoming birthday.

We packed our bags Saturday morning and made the 45 minute drive to Grand Rapids.

Ella was SO excited when we told her about the pool.

She talked about it non-stop, (literally) until we finally said “YES! Right now!” and changed into our bathing suits (we ended up hanging out in the jacuzzi because it was warmer. No complaints here!).

It was a blast to be somewhere different. Somewhere I’d never been before. I love that.

And it was great to be able to grab a bite to eat and set the dishes down at the sink for someone else to wash and put away!

Thrilling, I tell you. Thrilling.

I found myself exhaling sighs of relief more than a few times.

Now granted, staying in a hotel with two kids is a bit of work in itself.

We did a lot of chasing.

A lot of “in a minute, sweetheart.” We had to take turns walking Lucan around restaurants and reminding Ella not to jump on the gorgeous ornate couches in the lobby.

Ah, but it was such a rare treat. The last time I stayed overnight in a hotel was when my mom and I saw Wicked in Chicago, summer of ’07. Wow!

I indulged myself in lattes and chocolate croissants. Felt fancy in my pencil skirt at dinner.

Ella got one on one time with Granny and her Aunt Sarah.

The funnies thing about the whole excursion was how much it made me appreciate home.

Yesterday was the warmest and sunniest day of the year so far at 63 degrees.

We walked in and opened the windows. A soft breeze came in off the lake.

The kids went into the living room and eagerly played with their toys as if they hadn’t been home for a week!

I put away dishes from the dishwasher and scrubbed down the kitchen…I love my kitchen when it’s sparkling clean.

And for the first time in a long time, being home didn’t feel like a chore.

Dishes didn’t feel like work.

It felt like life.

My life – the one that I love so much.

I realized just how vital a break is.

After not getting a true break for such a long time, I can now better understand why walking away from it all is really like hitting the refresh button. I feel refreshed!

But best of all, I feel sane.

I don’t feel like snapping at my beautiful children. And my back feels great after that long jacuzzi soak.

Today is Monday, and I feel great.

Thanks again Ruth & Louie!

 

Motherhood, Uncategorized

Death of the Ant

9 Comments 08 March 2012

This morning, Ella and I had our first conversation about death.

“Mom, what happened to this ant?” Ella asked.

Just a few moments ago, this ant had been scurrying around the kitchen floor while we made breakfast.

“Oh, it looks like that ant got squished. One of us must have stepped on it accidentally. We didn’t mean to.”

“What is it doing now?”

“Well, honey…come here. I’ll tell you what happened.”

I crouch down next to Ella. She’s sitting in front of the ant with her legs on either side of it’s tiny body.

“Ella, I’m going to teach you a new word. Are you ready?”

She stared intently into my eyes and nodded.

“The word is death. This little ant got squished and died. It can’t move or run around anymore.”

Ella thought for a moment before saying, “it can’t run?”

This was turning in to a delicate situation. Fast.

“No. It cannot.” I replied calmly.

Ella’s eyes began to water. Her lip began to tremble and pucker. Crap.

She cried hard. More like a wail.

I scooped her up into my arms. Pecans tumbled out of her lap onto the floor.

Her head on my chest, we sat on the couch. I let her cry it out, petting her head.

“You’re sad about the ant.”

Louder sob.

“It’s okay to be sad.”

This went on for about five minutes.

Finally, she looked up at me and said, “the ant died now?”

“Yes, but you know what honey? It’s okay! I’ll tell you why. There is another word I want to teach you.”

She stopped crying completely now and waited for me to speak.

“This word is soul.

Every one and every thing has a soul. It’s what we are on the inside. Our heart. Our mind…

and you know what?”

“What?”

“Our soul NEVER dies.”

Ella looked relieved. Excited even.

“So honey, even though that ant’s body is crumpled up on the floor, it’s soul, it’s inside, is still alive somewhere, we just can’t see it. But maybe it will come alive again as another ant someday.”

I could tell Ella thought this was cool.

“A big one?” she replied.

“Yes!” I said, enthusiastically.

“As big as the sky! With WINGS!” Ella exclaimed.

“Yes, honey. A really big, happy ant that can fly.”

And with that, Ella scooped back up her pecans, and asked to see the ant again. I hadn’t yet removed it from the kitchen floor.

From the next room I could hear her, talking to the dead ant.

“It’s okay ant,” she told it’s body. “You’ll be a big ant again some day.”

And that was our first experience with death.

I’d say it went really, really well.

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