Category Archives: About Us

The Short Story

I married an entrepreneur. I knew this going into our marriage. He happened to be in an upcycle when we met – his business was growing, he was moving and shaking, the business grew – it was sold – money was abundant.

There came a period of introspection. Learning. Trying something different. It was good – but it didn’t feed his soul. Sprinkled in there were little comments that we were living outside of our means. It didn’t click until I saw that his stress levels were going up the longer he financed our lifestyle.

A little sub-text in the story was the unbelievable election cycle in 2016. I had this nagging feeling we had to cut everything loose just in case we wanted to be free to go anywhere in the world. I knew it would be hard to walk away from our comfortable home if we had a mortgage on it.

Then one night,  I told him the craziest thing I never imagined saying: Let’s sell it all. Let’s get rid of all the burden so you can create again.

Even though it killed me to say it, and it took me a long time to get there, I said it. I meant it…I know that the creative spirit is bound by temporal things, and I couldn’t stand to see my husband unhappy.  I couldn’t imagine how to invest in a start-up while having to contend with all our bills. We sold our vacation home in the Rim Country, we sold our beautiful home in the metro area, we cut back on all the extras that were a luxury. Thankfully, we were still able to provide all the extra-curricular activities for our beloved Sweet Pea Kids.

As the Master Planner would have it, there was a job offer for a start-up in Boston that came along around that time – selling everything made sense. Then that offer didn’t come through as we had hoped, however we were still in a place of having the flexibility to do whatever we wanted to do for our family. There was serious talk about moving overseas after the election results. I was tying up loose ends, continuing the purge process, and researching different places we might want to travel with the children.

Then a new door opened.

“Whatever” came along about a month after my husband walked away from the Boston opportunity.  After he did a few months of business consulting, we are “all in”. There have been months of travel to a different city. Single-mom status during the week. Quick hellos between the crazy weekend schedule we keep. Slowly finding ways for him to be home more and travel less as the company moves it’s home-base to Phoenix.

We have also learned to appreciate abundance in all things – our good health, our loving family, making joyful memories, the time when all six of us enjoy a meal at the dining room table without having to be anywhere else.

And we are happy. We listened to the still, small voice that was telling us to let go and trust God with all our heart, all our soul, all our mind.  I am glad we listened. I can’t wait to see where we go next.

Here are some quotes that remind us why we embrace the entrepreneur lifestyle. And to borrow a line from baseball, “Don’t get too high, don’t get too low”.

Image credit ~
Penny Chenery Quote: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/514325219922902808/
Secretariat Image: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/343681015286631944/

Finding Solutions

I keep waiting for life to get simpler.  We have downsized – we have simplified.  Or so I thought.

Then comes the last-minute rush to get out of the house and I realize that we really have a LONG way to go.

“Where is my (insert item here)?” 

“Who has seen my (I need it now here)?” 

“What do you mean you still haven’t packed your dinner or filled your water bottle?!?!”

 

It can become overwhelming.

One of the mantras we are working on that I have borrowed from the Birthing From Within classes that I mentor: NEXT BEST THING. It fits in with the idea of focusing on solutions instead of berating our children for not being ready…again.

What is the next best thing we can do in this situation?  Our answer has been to make a checklist so that we have a clear vision of what has to happen to get out of the house without anyone having a meltdown.

Puma and I are taking turns making “Get Out Of The House” checklists on our whiteboard.  This is going well when we use it.  We put it up the night before or in the morning.

Putting it up the night before lets them start getting used to the idea of planning ahead. And now, when the kiddos have break in during our homeschool day, they get to start working through their checklist. And then they can get back to playing when it’s not their turn with me.

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This is a Wednesday morning board – we are gone all day between their enrichment program and the dance studio; and soccer in this season!!

I am enjoying seeing Puma take charge of this project – I did the first two and she has pretty much taken over the rest. Every once in a while I get to sneak in a chart if I make it before she wakes up in the morning 🙂

It is great for each of the children to take some responsibility for their part in getting out of the house without anyone breaking down in tears, present party included. They can look at the board and figure out what they still need to do and have the pride of getting it done and checked off the list. I am a big fan of seeing them build self-esteem from personal accomplishment.

It helps me feel less overwhelmed, the “I have to do it all” feeling that I find self-defeating and pitiful. Having the markers right there on the board so each Sweet Pea can take charge of their destiny is amazing.  They help, I can take care of what I need to in a timely manner, and we are leaving early which makes our time-driven children VERY happy.

And who knows…if they take after their father and design the latest and greatest in software, they better get used to using whiteboards and dry-erase markers.  This is a good start!

Fessin’ Up

I want to take a minute to make something very clear because two people have made comments along the same thread in the same week.

My base belief is that those of us who choose to function in society are doing the best we can with what we have.  I try not to judge myself against others because the other thought I remind myself is that no one is perfect. We are all disorganized somewhere, and some are just better at hiding it than others. 

I am writing today as a reminder: When you look at someone, try not to assume that they have it all together or judge yourself for not doing enough…because unless people “fess up” like I am about to do, then they may look like they are, “doing it all”. In reality they are just getting along as best they can like everyone else.

Comment 1: “You had time to make dinner for all your kids?”
Because mama saw me at the dance studio with our little IKEA bento boxes at the studio, which our kiddos take because we hate buying fast food.

Answer: Our nannies cook. I make sandwiches and cut fruits and vegetables. When the nannies pack the boxes, there are meals in them. When I pack the boxes, there is *cold* nutritious food in them.

Comment 2: “How are you doing? Because you give, give, give and I want to make sure you are taking care of you.”
From a friend of the family we see on a weekly basis and who we interact with professionally in our birth classes. He sees what I do on social media and all the events we host/attend.

Answer: I am doing great. You know why? Because my amazing husband works his a** off for our family, and we make the choices that allow us to afford 2 **amazing** nannies that do all the cooking and the laundry, or at least 95% of it. Which frees up my brain and my time to do everything I love to do, which is give to our family by homeschooling, and to our community by teaching classes and promoting or attending events that support pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, and the family.

AND AND AND all our children are out of diapers AND they are all potty trained. It’s hard to understand just how momentous that is until you see a mom up to her eyeballs in babies and toddlers (that of course she loves very much, just like I loved our children so very much when we were in that stage). “No diapers, no accidents” is such a huge new milestone I am finally embracing; instead of grieving the fact that I will never birth again.

So even though I put on a good front, I have a huge amount of support that makes it all work…pretty well on most days.  If I am tired, I get snappy; if I am sad I cry, just like every other human parent out in the world.  Since we’re doing true confessions here…sometimes it gets worse than that. I had a meltdown in a parking lot last May and I was reminded of my humanity again in February of this year.

Just like many of you, I have days when I am completely overwhelmed, and I have days when I am filled with joy…sometimes in the same day. What is amazing is that as our children grow, they are helping more and that makes it all worth it. They are starting to take ownership for their part in making our family run smoothly, and they are funny and giving and helpful. They are also putting us through growing pains again as we are approaching the teen years. I love it all and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

 There is one more thing I want to add: aside from all the earthly support and help that I have, I have an awesome God.  He lights every step of my journey on a daily basis.  I have lived through dark days when I tried to run away from my faith. Then I was welcomed joyfully back and have walked with the Holy Spirit in my heart every day since then.  I am by no means perfect, however I know that I am loved. That makes it all worthwhile and so very doable.

A Sleep Story

Sleep. Glorious sleep.

We just did our cry-it-out talk in our Bradley class on Saturday. We do encourage our students to co-sleep with their infants, for at least nine months after their sweet pea’s Birth-Day, based on Ashley Montagu’s theory of “nine months in, nine months out” as the completion of the human gestation cycle (read more HERE). We offer several reasons why it’s important to consider other sleep strategies besides Cry-It-Out (CIO). You can check out our VLOG and blog tomorrow on SPB for more on that 😉

One of our students who is an avid reader pointed out that she had read that it is best to put infants in their own room between 6-9 months, or else the transition to separate sleeping quarters may be more difficult.  My only response to that is that each family needs to choose what is right for their situation.

Ha. Ha. Inside I am laughing as I said that. Our own family is a perfect example of waiting too long. And…I wouldn’t have it any other way.

  • I like being able to hear our children sleep, and I don’t want electric monitors interfering with the re-charging their body is doing every night.
  • The quality of their breathing helps me assess who is well and who is on the brink of an illness. If I hear them snoring or sniffling in their sleep, I can adjust their diets and take more care with their dressing to try and head off any illness. (sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but at least I am aware!)
  • I sleep better knowing that my children are not likely to be kidnapped out of their rooms in the middle of the night. The Elizabeth Smart story ruined me for ever wanting to have our children sleep alone.
  • It makes my husband and I creative to keep our intimate life alive and well…and as I will occasionally point out in our classes, our co-sleeping arrangement did not serve very well for birth control.  We do not engage in our intimacy when our children are around…so I will leave other options to your own imagination.

Are these great reasons for continuing to co-sleep with all of our children? Maybe not for you, however, they work for our family.  Our bedroom is large and we have a king bed, two oversized chairs, a recliner, and a toddler bed in our room. In addition, sometimes the children like to make their own nest on the floor – we are open to any kind of arrangement that lets everyone sleep comfortably.

I will close with saying that all of our children have their own “regular” beds in rooms that are separate from ours. During the day, those beds are used for naps.  Every once in a while, they want to sleep there overnight and we honor that as part of their exploration of growth and independence.

Otter wants me to sleep with her when she wants to be in her own bed at night, and that’s okay with me, too. I have never understood why adults, who like to sleep together and are supposedly “emotionally mature” adults, expect emotionally immature children to be okay sleeping alone. It makes sense to me that our children crave our company during waking or sleeping hours, until their confidence grows and they are ready to strike out on their own.

I won’t lie – I enjoy the occasional nap when I have the bed all to myself, and I’m not struggling to find a pillow or a blanket that I can  use just for me. However, snuggling a sweet child who is going to spend the majority of their life away from me is a “memory treasure” to store for the days when we are empty nesters and our children are off building lives of their own.

 

 

Rally for AZ Midwives

It is time to stand up with our Arizona Midwives again. A law revision by the Arizona Department of Health Services (“ADHS”) that became effective in July of 2013 opened up the possibility for some Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC) clients to access homebirths legally in Arizona. Along with the access to homebirth care for some families, some other unwelcome mandates were added into the Midwifery Rules and Regulations.

HERE is a link to the current regulations. Under these regulations, I would have been placing our midwife in direct conflict with her beliefs and the expectations of the state.  Here is why:

Midwives believe in watchful waiting: watch the mother, monitor the baby, and only “do” when the situation warrants more of whatever needs to be done to ensure a Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby outcome.

As a patient, it is my right to decline someone’s hand penetrating my body when I am in the throes of labor. In the hospital setting, it is virtually impossible to assert this right. After discussing past sexual abuse with my midwife, and how I experienced vaginal exams as the most painful part of labor, she agreed that we didn’t need to do any during my birth if everything remained healthy and low-risk.

I did not need vaginal exams to tell me that my labor was progressing. I could tell that things were moving along by the way contractions got steadily stronger, longer, and more frequent. I could tell as my left-brain turned off and I entered “laborland”, a place of intuition and sensation.

Our midwife and her team of students watched, waited, and monitored throughout the labor. All my vitals remained steady throughout the entire time.  Our Sweet Pea was amazing every time she was monitored. So they kept watching, waiting, and monitoring.

For once, I had a birth with no hands in my vagina!! It was amazing!! And the baby came out!!!   Under today’s regulations, that birth would be asking my midwife to choose between her conscience and the state.

It seems like such a simple request: birth without vaginal exams. Birth without the invasion of my body. Yet the state of Arizona has decided it knows better and it is denying my right to a peaceful, non-violent birth.

The craziest part of the story? The ADHS has been aware that their rules and the enforcement of said rules place midwives between their clients and the law *for years*. And they still haven’t done anything about it.  You can read the court proceedings HERE (see Page 4, Section 12) where an ADHS representative admits this in court. In spite of the judge recommending that the ADHS address these conflicts, they still haven’t done anything about it.  Read the midwife’s account of these proceedings HERE.

Now it’s time.  I am standing up with our midwives and saying NO THANK YOU to the Arizona Department of Health Services.  Will you join us?  The information for the rally can be found at this social media event RSVP HERE

(IF you cannot attend in person, join the virtual rally group here. Social media links for elected officials and ADHS will be posted + hashtags at 9:00 am on 11/05/15.  Check back into the virtual event page from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm for more updates and posting requests from the organizers. Thank you in advance for joining the virtual rally!)

Information from the AAM event page:
“Arizona Association of Midwives (AAM), with the support of community members and everyday families of Arizona will rally in front of the Arizona Department of Health Services, at 11am Thursday, November 5, 2015 to demand that the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS), along with the State of Arizona elected officials, including Governor Ducey, stop the bureaucratic persecution of, and instead, publicly support the Midwives of Arizona in providing safe preconception, prenatal, labor and birth, and postpartum care to the families of Arizona. The rally will coincide with a special announcement by AAM.

“Arizona midwives want to provide safe and ethical, evidence-based care to the growing families in our state. ADHS has said they just want compliance with their rules. ADHS relies on said rules to coerce and force people into mandatory medical care, mandatory testing, and mandatory vaginal exams, mandatory hospital transports for non-emergent or contained emergency situations.

“IF a midwifery client declines any of these, they are no longer legally allowed to be cared for by an Arizona Licensed Midwife. Not in that moment and not for the rest of their pregnancy or postpartum. Midwives have protecting their clients from these mandates and the response from ADHS has been to threaten, harass and persecute.

“Midwives are being persecuted and harassed for providing safe, evidenced-based and consensual care to their clients. Since the new rules and regulations for Licensed Midwives came into effect in 2013, 22 midwives of the 74 currently licensed in AZ have been sanctioned by the ADHS for any number of “offenses.” These offenses include respecting their client’s ability to opt out of testing, procedures, hospital transfers or for continuing to see their clients after resolved complications.

“ADHS current interpretation and enforcement of midwifery rules is in direct conflict with the midwifery model of respecting clients rights to low intervention practices and informed choice.

“This is shameful and illegal!

“AZDHS and the State of Arizona need to stop persecuting midwives and need to start embracing them as a means to reduce infant and maternal mortality in the state by way of providing thorough and professional maternity care at home and outside of the hospital.

“The Arizona Association of Midwives is taking action on behalf of all growing families in the state to ensure that their healing hands are not tied with red tape when it comes time to welcome new life into this world.

Please join us at the rally, come hear the announcement, stay informed!”

Tale of a Chiro Convert

We invite our chiropractor to come speak to all of our childbirth prep class students.  If you had told me 7 years ago that this was going to be true, I would have laughed you out of the room.  Here is my story – maybe it will help you understand why people choose chiropractic care if you are on the fence about going to go see one for care.

I was terrified of chiropractors.  In my mind, they were back-crackers.  I have a vivid memory of my childhood dance instructor, who I revered, going ballistic when she saw some of my classmates walking on each other’s backs.  She admonished us to NEVER risk injury to our back, or we would live to regret it when an injury prevented us from dancing, or doing anything else we wanted to do. There was no way a back-cracker, or “chiroquacker” as I called them, was ever going to touch me!!

As an adult, I became a student of yoga.  This study also emphasized the sacred spine, the lifeline of all health. Except, our instructors had a working relationship with a chiropractor and there was a reciprocal discount between the studio and his office. I chalked it up to a crazy idea and I wanted nothing to do with chiropractic care.

Fast-forward to July 2009.  I was pregnant with Charger, and at my 32-week check with our one of our OBs, he informed the student nurse that the baby was breech. No thought to mention to me that I might want to do something to change that.

Before our 36-week appointment, I had growth ultrasound to see how big Charger was. I consented to this because my primary OB wanted to know if she would need extra hands during the birth “just in case” – Night Owl was an easy 11 pound, 1 ounce delivery – surprise! She didn’t want any surprises this time. The ultrasound showed that Charger was still breech!!  The ultrasound tech mentioned that if he was a persistent breech, my doctor would want to schedule a cesearan.

Cue FREAK OUT!!! I was speechless at the idea of a surgical birth and recovery with two toddlers running around. I looked for everything I could on the Internet to see what I could do to get this baby head-down.

At our next appointment, I took the list I had compiled and went through it with our primary OB.  She checked off the ideas she was comfortable with, and I set all my intention on having a vaginal birth with a head-down baby. (Read more about that HERE.)

The combination of things we tried got Charger into a transverse position. That position was still most definitely a cesarean birth – there is no other way to birth a baby who is lying sideways in the uterus. Last on the list of things to try was to have a chiropractor do “The Webster Protocol”.

As things worked out, all three people I asked for a recommendation gave me the same name: Dr. Kevin Ross. So with a wish and a prayer I went to see him.  To my surprise, he was very kind and took the time to explain to me what chirpractic care is, what it isn’t, and what I might expect from The Webster Protocol (click HERE for an explanation of what it is from Dr. Ross).

It wasn’t as scary as I had imagined – my back was still in one piece and I actually walked better after my first adjustment. And, The Webster Protocol worked for us!! I think I had a total of three visits before Charger turned head-down on his own, and then I kept going 2 times a week to make sure things stayed balanced.  He was borh eight days after turning head-down.

What really sold me on continuing care with our chiropractor was the new baby check that we did around 10 days postpartum.  I had a huge and painful learning curve when I was breastfeeding with Puma, and another painful initiation of breastfeeding with Night Owl.  It took 6-8 weeks with both of them for nursing to be less painful. Before that, it made me cry every time I nursed on the left side.  It’s a miracle that we breastfed at all: if it wasn’t for the fact that I had seen it as a child and an amazing support system, we would have quit after the first week.

Charger and I started out the same way – it was excruciating to nurse on the left side.  Dr. Ross did one little tiny adjustment on Charger.  The next time I put Charger to the breast to nurse – flowers bloomed and angels sang. It was a miracle!! Pain-free!! And it never hurt again.

After that, I was hooked.  We continued care all through Otter’s pregnancy.  Being pregnant with my fourth, and having a 6, 4, and 2 year olds to care for was a little daunting given the demands of pregnancy in my body.  There had been days with all three previous pregnancies where I literally crawled around the house in the evenings because walking was too painful.  When I could “walk” in late pregnancy, I waddled. I believed my body did not like being pregnant.

That pregnancy taught me the benefits of chiropractic care as the body changes through pregnancy. It was my best pregnancy ever!! I had more energy, I was virtually pain-free, and I was able to walk from day one until the day of her birth *without* waddling. It turns out my body needed some pubic bone adjustments along the way to resolve that excruciating pain that made me crawl or waddle in late pregnancy. Dr. Ross also did “Webster checks” every session to make sure that my body would encourage a head-down baby. By that time, he had also started using KST in his office, and that allowed me to connect with our Sweet Pea in a whole new way.

Our whole family has been going to see Dr. Ross for 6+ years. Daddy Bruss and I are in the best health – we rarely get sick, and when we do, it doesn’t last very long.  We have also learned much more about natural living with Dr. Ross’s guidance – his wisdom has forever changed the course of our family’s health.

The biggest beneficiaries are our children. From an early age, they are learning that their body is a wonderful machine with the ability to heal itself.  As soon as something is misalinged, Dr. Ross does a child-appropriate adjustment and they are off and running. The same holds true for them: they are rarely sick. For the most part, rest and hydration kick any illnesses in less time than is typical. They are also learning that their body is capable of healing itself. Medication is rarely necessary, so they are not learning that drugs are a panacea for every ache and pain.  First we ask Dr. Ross, and then we usually follow whatever course of action he recommends based on their needs.

In fact, one of our pediatricians thinks we had left the practice since it was so long between visist with them. I chalk it up to saying our prayers, taking our Juice Plus, drinking lots of water and getting adjusted 🙂

So that’s our story. Please leave me a comment if you have any questions about our experiences.

Find out more about Dr. Ross and his practice HERE

 

Monday Musings: Does labeling make sense?

Ok – true confession #2 on this blog: while I am really great at organizing events, I would hate for anyone to see the messiest room in our home.

It used to be our bedroom. I got that in order so that I could sit at my desk and write notes, and because it REALLY needed to be done.  Aside from the piles of things on the desk, there had been a 6′ banquet table in our bedroom since last November.  It became the collection point for all things around the house that didn’t have a place, and I didn’t want to deal with at the moment that I was picking them up. And it was a disaster…by that I mean that I was using the tabletop *and* the space below it.  I don’t have a picture.  Even if I did, you wouldn’t see it, because I would be too embarrassed to share it. I think you can imagine how terrible it was.

Enter summer vacation.  We got to visit a friend’s new home this summer, and seeing her home completely inspired me to get a handle on the clutter and take back my home.

This mama has practically EVERYTHING in their home labeled.  And not just a label-maker on steriods kind of labeling.  She has taken the time to either hand-write or jetprint tags for every bin or basket in their home.  Then she cuts them out and attaches them to a cute backing paper.  Sometimes it’s a simple pattern-printed or bright color cardstock mat; others are die-cut into cute flower shapes.

All her kiddos have been reading by the time they start kindergarten.  Talk about print-rich environment!!!  Oh My Gosh…lightbulb moment!!  Every day, her children are interacting with letters and words.  It is no surprise that they are reading early – they are tieing physical objects to words every time they take something out or put something away.  I am guessing those letters start to make sense and correlate to sounds after a while, and some very organic learning is going on!!

So when we came back from our summer home, I tackled our bedroom.  I was determined that if this mama could be clutter-free, so could I.  All it takes is a little focus, right?

So my piles disappeared, give-away bags filled up…so did the recycling and the trash.  I made good use of my favorite item at IKEA, these nifty little “S”-shaped hooks to hang up all my bags and clear some shelf space for seasonal clothing items.

Then I hit Otter’s room.  She is the only one still not reading, so I went through and organized all her toys, and then labeled all her boxes and baskets. Next task: label her clothing drawers.

As for the other children,  Puma wants to make her own labels. The boys have labels on their baskets already, courtesy of the embroidery option from PBK.  I will leave their rooms for now, since I have a couple of other rooms in mind…

I  want to label the schoolroom and the kitchen since that is where we spend the most time as a family and both are high-traffic areas for the children.  I also take the time to make every label bi-lingual so that the Sweet Pea Kids are seeing everything in English and Spanish. I have to be patient and double-check all the spellings and accent placements in Spanish. I am giving myself a grace period to get that done – plan is to be close to where I envision by Christmas-time.

Now “that room” is my husband’s office, where there are still 15 boxes of stuff that I haven’t wanted to deal with since we moved our schoolroom last spring.  I promised Puma that we will each do a box a day, and do them together.  She has her own pile of stuff and boxes since she emptied everything in order to move rooms, and we didn’t want to unpack things until her room was painted.  Now it’s painted, so the work of sorting, stashing, and trashing starts on Tuesday.

Wish us luck!! I am looking forward to getting rid of all the boxes, once and for a while, anyway.

What about you? Have you ever thought about labeling around your home? Why did, or didn’t you?

 

Wishing You All Good Things…

Thank you to all of you who have been faithfully following the blog, and big hats off to Cassandra who has managed to keep blogging  while being beautifully pregnant and chasing around her very active toddler.

We have had a full season in the Bowman House.  The boys enjoyed soccer for the first time, and Coach Bruss got to be a soccer coach instead of a birth coach!! He really enjoyed that.  I attended my final birth for my DONA doula certification…now I just have a pile of reading to do and paperwork to turn in.  Bradley™ Day was amazing…I will try to update that site while we take a break from homeschooling so I can upload the pictures to the website…you can see them HERE for now.  And homeschooling is almost on schedule – LOL.  It has been fun watching all our children grow through these first few weeks – Otter has mad scissor skills for a 3yo, Charger is learning to read (!), Night Owl is crazy good at math and is getting more motivated to read on his own as he hears his brother learning, and Puma is just all-around awesome – she is growing in her reading, writing and math skills, as well as learning how to do some sewing handwork.

To close out the year, I want to share these holiday wishes with you…

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Angels to guide you and keep you safe on your journeys…

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Angels to guide you and keep you safe on your journeys

Starry nights to wonder at the marvel of creation and reflect on the promise of the Star of Bethlehem

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Starry nights to wonder at the marvel of creation and reflect on the promise of the Star of Bethlehem

That your holiday dreams come true…even if they don’t come to fruition exactly as you imagined, may you find creative solutions so that you remember the love and joy as you create memories.

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That your holiday dreams come true…even if they don’t come to fruition exactly as you imagined, may you find creative solutions so that you remember the love and joy as you create memories.

Time to breathe in peace amidst the hustle and bustle so that you can radiate love and calm as you walk with your Sweet Peas

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TIme to breathe in peace amidst the hustle and bustle so that you can radiate love and calm as you walk with your Sweet Peas

A year of enjoying creation with your children…more time outdoors in the sunshine and fresh air with your Sweet Peas in 2015.

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A year of enjoying creation with your children…more time outdoors in the sunshine and fresh air with your Sweet Peas in 2015.

We are setting the intention for daily walks so that we can all get our daily dose of Vitamin D and teach our Sweet Peas good habits for a lifetime of health and vitality.

I will be back in 2015 with more regular posts.  I am committing to posting at least once a week, and more often as I get parenting questions from our students and can carve out time to blog between homeschooling and the other activities the SPKs.  I have all these pictures to share with you that just haven’t made it on to the blog – we have had so much fun with our preschool playdates and those will turn into blog posts so you can see the activities we are doing.  I also have great notes to share from the Birth Without Fear Conference…OMGosh it was A.Ma.Zing.  Lastly,  I can’t wait for Cassandra to share her thoughts on parenting two after her baby arrives safely earthside and she starts writing again after their babymoon…

Happiest Holiday Wishes to you and yours!! Be sure to tag us on social media so we can see how you are enjoying your holidays with your Sweet Peas <3

UPDATE: Where in the world is SPF?

I am still completely engrossed homeschooling our four Sweet Pea Kids.  It is going so well – so far we are seven weeks in and this year has been a dream…maybe because I am not stressing myself out with too many “balls in the air” or “irons in the fire” or “insert your metaphor here”.

There is still one doula/student baby due in November…and just in time for that birth I have an awesome bag with all the pockets and zippers and organizing spaces.  I love the mermaid-water theme for birth – what do you think??

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Right now we are in Austin, TX so I can attend the Birth Without Fear Conference – SO EXCITED!!  I opted for this instead of a Mommy-Con event this year.  I am looking forward to enjoying it as a recharge for our Bradley Method classes.  My plan is to fill up my notebook with lots of notes for inspiration and maybe, or maybe not, turn them into blog posts over on our Sweet Pea Births blog.

It is also the last day for an online auction to benefit Julie of The Progressive Parent.  Pictured below is the Sweet Pea Births Prize Package for the Silent Auction:

Make your bids HERE:

http://www.32auctions.com/JulieAndKids

You do not have to be local to Arizona for the Healthy Pregnancy Class.  If you have an internet connection and a webcam, I would be happy to teach you over the internet! I will put the class handouts in the mail with the other items in the prize package.

Here is a a note from Amy Brown of Zen Parenting that explains more about the fundraiser:

Our beloved Julie of The Progressive Parent needs our help. A silent auction will be held in her honor Wednesday, October 22nd at 6 a.m. EST through Friday, October 24th 10 p.m. EST. This will take place entirely online.

Your contributions will go directly to Julie and her children, making it possible for them to experience the independence we all enjoy and take for granted – the freedom of owning a car.

Zen Parenting and all the other generous donors hope you’ll find it in your heart to give freely as we continue to work toward our goal for Julie. People helping people – that’s what it’s all about.Happy bidding! And may the odds be ever in your favor. (That’s right, I said it.)

Zen Parenting for The Progressive Parent

Zen Parenting and The Progressive Parent are so-called “mommy blogs,” but really so much more. The two of us have grown up together in the blogosphere. In the process, we’ve become close. In the process, one of us lost a child to sudden unexplained death in childhood (see SUDC.org). In the process, we became a support system to one another. In the process, we got here, where Zen Parenting is doing her part to help The Progressive Parent, because, we are all one, we both live by the philosophy that to whom much is given much is expected, and we are looking to be examples of compassion and love for our children and our children’s children.

The last thing going on is all the planning for the Bradley Day Family Picnic.  Yours truly is heading up the committee that is organizing an event to promote Dr. Bradley and healthy pregnancies-birth-babies-families.  You can read more about that event HERE.

Here is your invitation to join us:

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So that is what is going on in our world…we are excited for Cassandra’s upcoming birth…we will be back to more regular posts once she settles into her new normal after her babymoon and we get these events behind us and there is more time to be on-line.

Thank you for checking in with us…we’ll be back soon!!

Ten Things You Don’t Know About Me…

This is one of “the games” on Facebook right now.  Since this is a sharing kind of place, and I am not “friends” with all our readers, here is what is on my mind today:

Here are 10 random things about me:

1. My earliest memories are of living in Italy. We lived there when I was 3-4.5 years old. Some of the ones that stand out: hiding from the doctor who gave me my shots, sitting next to my mom in bed when she was nursing my sister, and walking down the lane to get food from a neighboring farmer. I also remember going to a bakery for *the best* focaccia bread ever.

2. When I was little, I wanted to be a ballerina and a teacher. Although I never became a ballerina, I did pretty well as a professional ballroom dancer and in the dance “business” end, and I am teaching almost every day.  I have taught ballroom dance, dance studio staff, and business managers.  Now I teach pregnant couples and our children.

3. When I was 20, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease, a type of hypothyroidism. I was told at the time that I would probably never have children.

4. When we married, our priest said a blessing over us as part of our marriage ceremony (in Central Park, NYC!). I felt the biblical “opening of the womb”, and clearly, we have had little problems conceiving. So blessed to have carried four children to term.

5. I have a running list of questions that I would like to ask God when I cross over. If not with Him directly, I hope we all get a personal conference with someone who has a direct line to all the answers. Do you think they have a Dewey decimal system, or Wikipedia, in heaven?  Also on my crossover wish list: I am looking forward to meeting angel children that were carried and never born on earth.

6. Among “best” decisions I’ve made in my life was to join a sorority.  I am in Delta Phi Epsilon, and the women I have met and still keep in touch with are amazing, lovely, inspiring, and encourage me to be better every day.  I wish we were closer, and on my bin list is to start an alumni chapter in my area.

7. If I could do anything in the world and know I would succeed, I would like to climb Mount Everest. In reality, I hate the cold weather and I will never aspire to that, although I would like to visit Nepal someday.

8. I wish I/we had the means to give every child in need, the education they need to follow their dreams.

9. Much to Puma’s embarrassment, stories that inspire me by their great lesson, valor or sacrifice make me cry. I cry more often than I care to admit when we are reading out loud. Thank goodness that there are as many humorous stories as there are inspiring stories.

10. I still get stage fright. Before every first class of the Bradley series, my body and my mind are not friends, and I can’t eat all day long. After that first class is over, I am ravenous and excited and can’t believe that I made a big deal about it…until the next series is about to begin.

Things that I hope you all know about me: I feel blessed to have married the most perfect man for me, we love our children, and we live to make a difference. It is my/our hope that we leave a legacy for our children, and that “the dash” is a worthy one.

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Please “play” here if you are so inclined…leave me a comment with some random facts about you – you pick the number 🙂  I would love to learn more about you!!