Friday, March 27, 2009

Breastmilk Pumping in the Workplace - Maine

According to Represenative Melissa Innes, the Labor Committee voted unanimously to pass the nursing bill out of committee, and send it to the House floor for the big vote.

This is the text of the bill:
"An employer, including the state of Maine and its subdivisions, shall provide adequate unpaid break time or permit an employee to use paid break time or meal time each day to allow an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for up to three years following child birth. The employer shall make reasonable efforts to provide a clean room or other location, other than a bathroom, in close proximity to the work area, where an employee may express milk in privacy. No employer shall discriminate in any way against an employee who chooses to express breast milk in the work place."
Definitely a great step forward. And as an extended-nursing mother, I love that the timeframe is three years!

Christina @ Birthing Your Baby
Independent Childbirth Classes for Central Maine
New Mothers Support Circle

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Help from Good Guide

I know I'm not the only one who is sometimes overwhelmed by the number of choices available at grocery stores, health food stores, and pharmacies. Not to mention online options! For example, I would stand in front of the rows of bread, reading labels - which ones were 100% whole grain? which had no HFCS? how much protein per slice? About six months ago, I decided it would just be easier to bake my own bread, which I've been doing since. So that solved that decision - but what about body wash for the kids? dishwashing soap? etc & etc!!!

Well, the Mothering e-newsletter included a link to Good Guide this week and wow, let me tell you - I'm impressed. It rates products on a variety of scales, including the product's effectiveness, its ingredients, and how the company produces it. It also has links to buying products online.

If you find yourself picking up product after product to read labels, this website might simplify the process for you.

If you do go and look, could you please leave a comment about the products you looked up & what you learned? The only thing about this new site is it seems like it could be a little addictive! Maybe we could save each other some time if we compiled some information here...

Christina @ Birthing Your Baby
Independent Childbirth Classes for Central Maine
New Mothers Support Circle

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Free Postpartum Support Group - Central Maine

We're meeting again this Thursday, March 26th, from 10-11am, at the Winthrop United Methodist Church! We'll meet on April on the 9th and 23rd.

For more information, visit http://www.birthingyourbaby.com/postpartum.html

Christina @ Birthing Your Baby
Independent Childbirth Classes for Central Maine
New Mothers Support Circle

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Monday, March 23, 2009

Memories of Childbirth Pain

I read an interesting study over at At Your Cervix a few weeks ago. Here's a link to the article: Memory of labor pain influenced by a woman's childbirth experience, by Megan Rauscher.

Here's an excerpt:
"Research shows that for about half of women who give birth, memories of the intensity of labor pain decline over time. However, for some women, their recollection of pain does not seem to diminish and for a minority, their memory of pain increases with time.

The study also shows that the memory of childbirth pain is influenced by a woman's overall satisfaction with her labor experience."
I've read again & again that women who report feeling "satisfied" with their births are the ones who participated in making decisions about their care. As strange as it may seem to some people, it wasn't how much pain they felt or didn't feel - it was how safe they felt, and how much control they had over what happened to them.

So I'm not surprised that some these same feelings also impact the memory of pain. I believe that there can be a psychological component to pain, especially to pain during labor and birth. Not that I believe that labor pain is all in the mother's head! Just that there are psychological components that affect how painful labor seems - does mom feel safe? does she understand the normal birth process? does she have someone there to support her during the birth?
"Five years after the women had given birth, 49% remembered childbirth as less painful than when they rated it 2 months after birth, 35% rated it the same, and 16% rated it as more painful. 'A commonly held view,' Dr. Waldenström noted in an email to Reuters Health, 'is that women forget the intensity of labour pain. The present study...provides evidence that in modern obstetric care, this is true for about 50 percent of women.'

However, a woman's labor experience was an influential factor. Women who reported labor as a positive experience 2 months after childbirth had the lowest pain scores, and their memory of the intensity of pain had declined by 1 year and 5 years after giving birth."
Isn't that interesting? Positive experience = less reported pain during labor, and less pain remembered afterwards. I wonder if this would be an incentive to pregnant women to think about what a positive birth experience would feel like to them... and then help motivate them to do the work that is possible to do ahead of time (choosing a care provider and birth place, especially)?

Finally, I was not surprised to see this information:
"The researchers also found that women who had epidural analgesia remembered pain as more intense than women who did not have an epidural, suggesting, they say, that these women remember 'peak pain.' However, their perception of how painful labour had been also declined with time."
Anybody care to share their memories of pain during labor? Any thoughts on how pain is perceived in labor, in relation to psychological factors? Or in relation to decisions made with the laboring mom instead of for her?

Christina @ Birthing Your Baby
Independent Childbirth Classes for Central Maine
New Mothers Support Circle

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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Links

Here are some links to blog posts I've enjoyed reading, these past few weeks:

Adventures in Diapering: 10 Baby Items I Love and 10 Baby Items I Can Live Without.

I second the recommendations for the Robeez, the framed backpack, and the Graco Booster Seat from personal experience. The bibs look they would have been great. In the "live without" post, I also second the experience of going straight from breastfeeding to cup-drinking, starting at around four or five months. I know that's not for everyone, but for those of us who don't need our babies to take bottles, and whose babies really don't want bottles, it can be a good strategy!

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Nicole at Bellies & Babies had several posts introducing super-cool birth stuff: Bloomin' Belly Soaps, BlessingWay Beads, necklaces and artwork.

If you're wondering what a BlessingWay is, Nicole also wrote a post recently about the origins of BlessingWays and how to plan one.

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Gloria Lemay wrote an excellent post called "Ways to Save Millions of Tax Dollars in Obstetrics" that I really enjoyed. What would happen, indeed?

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Kathy at Woman to Woman Childbirth Education has written a number of terrific blog posts lately, my favorite being "Seedlings" - partially because, I too, am starting my seedlings and am so excited for spring weather (it will come - it does every year!).

I also really enjoyed her post on why someone might choose unmedicated childbirth, "What About These People?" and her post that offers a different perspective on "'Losing It' in Birth".

Happy reading!

Christina @ Birthing Your Baby
Independent Childbirth Classes for Central Maine
New Mothers Support Circle
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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Essentials?

I've really been enjoying a series of posts at Eco Child's Play, a website the supports and promotes "Green Parenting for Non-toxic, Healthy Homes".

The latest post in this series is Baby Essentials That Aren't: Baby Food, by Heather Dunham. Other "essentials" discussed in previous posts include the crib, the bucket carseat, the stroller, diapers, tub, and brain boosters.

I thought these articles were fascinating and well-written, and they included lots of resources to learn more. This series is a great antidote to all the commercialism that swirls around pregnancy and postpartum parenting.

It's a crazy week here this week and I've been up many, many times the past two nights with a dog who is having digestive issues and needs to go outside every hour or two. Good times. So, this is going to be a week of link posts! Hope you enjoy!

Christina @ Birthing Your Baby
Independent Childbirth Classes for Central Maine
New Mothers Support Circle

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

From Lamaze: "Making Tough Decisions Without All the Facts"

I received this press release* from Lamaze International in my email inbox today and I am including it here because it highlights the importance of informed consent. Expectant families should not assume that the information needed to give true informed consent will necessarily be offered, should medications or medical procedures be recommended during labor and birth.

Making Tough Decisions Without All the Facts: How Inadequate Informed Consent Puts Childbearing Families at Risk

WASHINGTON (March 10, 2009)—Imagine you are a woman in labor and your doctor tells you that electronic fetal monitoring is necessary to record your baby’s heartbeat. Without any further information about the monitoring or its risks, you are given a consent form to sign. Believing the doctor is doing what is best for you and your baby, you sign. By neglecting to tell you that electronic fetal monitoring can result in labor complications and increases the need for cesarean surgery, your doctor has not held up his or her end of the informed consent process.

This shocking scenario plays out nationwide thousands of times a day across a range of procedures. The purpose of informed consent is to ensure that before a health professional or researcher does something to a patient’s body, the patient must understand what is being done and give his or her voluntary consent. But in all aspects of medical care, informed consent can fall short of the mark. In the instance of childbirth, women and their partners may be asked to make decisions without being well-informed of the risks and potential outcomes that can affect moms and babies.

“The fact that health care providers, whom society has been taught to trust, are neglecting to fully inform parents about risks associated with various procedures and interventions during childbirth is inexcusable,” says Judith Lothian, RN, PhD, LCCE, FACCE, co-author of The Official Lamaze Guide: Giving Birth With Confidence.

A recent article published in The Journal of Perinatal Education reveals how sub-par information provided by health care providers undermines the purpose of informed consent. This results in parents having incomplete information when making decisions with potentially grave implications, such as whether or not to use medication or submit to obstetrical procedures during childbirth. The Milbank Report, Evidence-Based Maternity Care: What It Is and What It Can Achieve, found inadequate informed consent processes to be a major barrier to women benefiting from evidence-based maternity care.

Lamaze International, an organization committed to ensuring childbearing families have access to information on the benefits of healthy birth practices, offers resources to help parents talk to their health care providers. Free tools include the Lamaze...Building Confidence Week by Week weekly e-mail series and the award-winning Lamaze: Pregnancy, Birth & Beyond magazine to help parents speak to their health care providers about a range of pregnancy and birth related issues.

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*Does anyone know if it's okay to a copy press release like this, into a blog? What's the copyright protocol?

Christina @ Birthing Your Baby
Independent Childbirth Classes for Central Maine
New Mothers Support Circle

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Saturday, March 7, 2009

Diddos for Kiddos Consignment Sale - May 2009

For all of you Diddos for Kiddos fans - here is the spring information:

The spring sale is at the St. Paul Center (136 State Street) in Augusta. The sale dates are Saturday, May 2nd, from 8am to 6pm and Sunday, May 3rd, from 8am to 4pm. The Sunday sale is half-price on all items.

There is also a consignor sale on Friday, May 1st. For more information on consigning, or about the sale, click on this link to the pdf brochure.

On a personal note, I've been consigning at this sale for years. Not to make money, because most of my kids' stuff is handed down to my sister & her children. I consign just to get to the presale! And it is so worth it. I never come home with the same ratio clothes/toys - sometimes one kid gets way more than the other. But it works out perfectly for me to get some of their spring/summer clothes and birthday presents (May & June birthdays) at the Spring sale, and some of their fall/winter clothes and Christmas presents at the Fall sale.

I also make it a "girls night out" and go with a friend - each consignor gets an extra ticket to the sale - so we go to the sale and then out to dinner.

Maybe I'll see you there...

Christina @ Birthing Your Baby
Independent Childbirth Classes for Central Maine
New Mothers Support Circle

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Thursday, March 5, 2009

Qualifications

I posted the "You Get Your Hair Done by a Doctor?" Sweet Surprise advertisement yesterday, soliciting comments.

Kathy, of Woman to Woman Childbirth Education, commented
"Y'know, I read something recently that said something along the lines of HFCS and sugar being "nearly identical" or "almost chemically identical." Hmm, well, oxytocin and Pitocin are exactly identical... but one crosses into the brain and makes the mother feel good and has benefits for the baby, while the other just makes her uterus contract and slams her baby. So, maybe they're not as "identical" as they thought, hmm? :-)".
I hadn't even thought of that! But I do think it's a very interesting thought, and it does connect the ad with birth... which was what I thought about the first time I saw it. It totally raised my hackles because it shows a woman elevating her doctor as the only credible expert. The way I read the ad, it simultaneously elevates the doctor, puts down the hairdresser, and attempts to make the woman who considered her hairdresser's opinion seem foolish.

I realize that it is no small thing to go through the education and training necessary to become a medical doctor. This eduction, training, and practice should certainly lend weight to a doctor's opinion. However, I also believe that good information is usually available to all intelligent people who take the time to seek and evaluate it. Even if they're "just" hairdressers... or everyday moms... or construction workers etc. & etc. I truly resent the insinuation that the hairdresser has nothing of value to add to the conversation.

Especially because the advertisement was created by Sweet Surprise, according to their website titled "High Fructose Corn Syrup Health and Diet Facts". Facts according to whom?? Facts according to the Corn Refiner's Association, that's who:
"The Corn Refiners Association (CRA) is the national trade association representing the corn refining (wet milling) industry of the United States. CRA and its predecessors have served this important segment of American agribusiness since 1913. Corn refiners manufacture sweeteners, ethanol, starch, bioproducts, corn oil, and feed products from corn components such as starch, oil, protein, and fiber."
Not that they might have a stake in it, or anything...

And those are the thoughts I applied in my head to birth: don't devalue the laywoman who has made it her business to learn about birth, just because she doesn't have a medical degree; and don't underestimate the strength with which people will fight to keep their power, and the dollars that come with it.

In case you were expecting this post to actually be about high fructose corn syrup, here is a sampling of the interesting links I found:

The Murky World of High Fructose Corn Syrup explains the process of making high fructose corn syrup, as well as how the production of high fructose corn syrup fits into the big picture of big farm and food conglomerates:
"The development of the HFCS process came at an opportune time for corn growers. Refinements of the partial hydrogenation process had made it possible to get better shortenings and margarines out of soybeans than corn. HFCS took up the slack as demand for corn oil margarine declined. Lysine, an amino acid, can be produced from the corn residue after the glucose is removed. This is the modus operandi of the food conglomerates--break down commodities into their basic components and then put them back together again as processed food."
Here's what the Mayo Clinic says about HFCS, including that
"research has yielded conflicting results about the effects of high-fructose corn syrup. For example, various early studies showed an association between increased consumption of sweetened beverages (many of which contained high-fructose corn syrup) and obesity. But recent research — some of which is supported by the beverage industry — suggests that high-fructose corn syrup isn't intrinsically less healthy than other sweeteners, nor is it the root cause of obesity."
Maybe you've heard about mercury in high fructose corn syrup? You can read more information on Web MD, including a list of the 17 products that tested positive for mercury.

The Washington Post also reported on mercury and HFCS, in "Study Finds High-Fructose Corn Syrup Contains Mercury." Here is part of that article which I found interesting,
"HFCS has replaced sugar as the sweetener in many beverages and foods such as breads, cereals, breakfast bars, lunch meats, yogurts, soups and condiments. On average, Americans consume about 12 teaspoons per day of HFCS, but teens and other high consumers can take in 80 percent more HFCS than average."
Okay, that just grosses me out: there's HFCS in lunch meat?? The article goes on,
"Mercury is toxic in all its forms. Given how much high-fructose corn syrup is consumed by children, it could be a significant additional source of mercury never before considered. We are calling for immediate changes by industry and the [U.S. Food and Drug Administration] to help stop this avoidable mercury contamination of the food supply," the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy's Dr. David Wallinga, a co-author of both studies, said in a prepared statement."
About a year ago, the Washington Post published a very informative article about the impact of HFCS on health - the health of our planet, "High-Fructose Corn Syrup: Not So Sweet for the Planet."

Apparently I'm not the only one insulted by the "Sweet Surprise" advertisements. Marion Nestle, author of the Food Polictics blog, writes that
"OK, so lots of people think HFCS is the new trans-fat. It isn’t, but is insulting your intelligence an effective way to deal with that concern? It’s hard to know what on the website is most offensive: the videos of dumb people being condescended to by friends who think they know better (and what’s up with the race and gender combinations?), the slogans (“HFCS has no artificial ingredients and is the same as table sugar”), the quiz questions (“which of the following sweeteners is considered a natural food ingredient: HFCS, honey, sugar, or all of the above”), or the take home message: “As registered dietitians recommend, keep enjoying the foods you love, just do it in moderation.”"
Nestle continues:
"Let’s agree that HFCS has an enormous public relations problem and is widely misunderstood. Biochemically, it is about the same as table sugar (both have about the same amount of fructose and calories), but it is in everything and Americans eat a lot of it—nearly 60 pounds per capita in 2006, just a bit less than pounds of table sugar. HFCS is not a poison, but eating less of any kind of sugar is a good idea these days and anything that promotes eating more is not."
"Ad Wars: Is High-Fructose Corn Syrup Really Good for You?" was published in Time Magazine, and brings up what I believe is one of the most important points.
"The commercials claim that just like sugar, high-fructose corn syrup isn't unhealthy when consumed in moderation. But it's hard to know exactly how much of it we're actually consuming because it shows up in so many unexpected foods. "It was in my children's vitamins!" said Elise Mackin. Because high-fructose corn syrup extends the shelf life of foods, and farm subsidies make it cheaper than sugar, it's added to a staggering range of items, including fruity yogurts, cereals, crackers, ketchup and bread — and in most foods marketed to children. So, unless you're making a concerted effort to avoid it, it's pretty difficult to consume high-fructose corn syrup in moderation. "We did a consumers survey," says Doug Radi of Boulder, Colo., based Rudi's Organic Breads, "and less than 25% of them realized that high-fructose corn syrup is commonly used in bread.""
Yes, bread! For the past thirteen years or so that I've been buying my own bread, I've almost always chosen whole-grain breads - partially for taste, and partially for nutrition. A while back, I realized that seeing "made with whole grains" wasn't a good indication of nutrition, because bread that was mostly processed flour could still be labeled that way. So I got all vigilant about it, and only bought breads that listed a whole grain flour first, or that were labeled as 100% whole grains. Country Kitchen, which is a local company, made one of the best-tasting, most-affordable 100% whole wheat breads, so I had been buying that for years. Then the whole HFCS thing came up. And that's when I threw in the towel and became my own bread baker.

That's right: I make two loaves every week and half or so, and I get to know exactly what's in it. I have a thirty-year old stand mixer that makes it easy - takes about fifteen minutes to make the dough and then only a few more minutes to punch it down, shape it, and slide it into the oven. I've even learned to cut the thin & straight slices!

If you're interested in becoming your own bread baker, here are a few homemade bread recipes that are easy and nutritious. They're the ones I make over & over again...

Light Wheat Bread
from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice

2 1/2 cups (11.25 oz) unbleached high-gluten or bread flour
1 1/2 cups (6.75 oz.) whole-wheat flour
1 1/2 tablespoons (.75 oz.) granulated sugar or honey
1 1/2 teaspoons (.38 oz.) salt
3 tablespoons (1 oz.) powdered milk*
1 1/2 teaspoons (.17 oz.) instant yeast
2 tablespoons (1 oz.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups (10 oz.) water, at room temperature

1. Stir together the high-gluten flour, whole-wheat flour, sugar (if using), salt, powdered milk, and yeast in a 4-quart mixing bowl (or in the bowl of an electric mixer). Add the shortening, honey (if using), and water. Stir (or mix on low speed with the paddle attachment) until the ingredients form a ball. If there is still flour in the bottom of the bowl, dribble in additional water. The dough should feel soft and supple. It is better for it to be a little too soft that to be too stiff and tough.

2. Sprinkle high-gluten or whole-wheat flour on the counter, and transfer the dough to the counter, and begin kneading (or mix on medium speed with the dough hook). Add more flour if needed to make a firm, supple dough that is slightly tacky but not sticky. Kneading should take about 10 minutes (6 minutes by machine). The dough should pass the windowpane test and register 77 to 81 degrees F. Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it around to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.

3. Ferment at room temperature for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until the dough doubles in size.

4. Remove the dough from the bowl and press it by hand into a rectangle about 3/4 inch thick, 6 inches wide, and 8 to 10 inches long. Form it into a loaf by working from the short side of the dough, rolling up the length of the dough one section at a time, pinching the crease with each rotation to strengthen the surface tension. It will spread wider as you roll it. Pinch the final seam closed with the back edge of your hand or with your thumbs. Place the loaf in a lightly oiled 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 inch bread pan; the ends of the loaf should touch the ends of the pan to ensure an even rise. Mist the top with spray oil and loosely cover with plastic wrap.

5. Proof at room temperature for approximately 60 to 90 minutes, or until the dough crests above the lip of the pan.

6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F with the oven rack on the middle shelf.

7. Place the bread pan on a sheet pan and bake for 30 minutes. Rotate the pan 180 degrees for even baking and continue baking for 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the oven. The finished loaf should register 190 degrees F in the center, be golden brown on the top and the sides, and sound hollow when thumped on the bottom.

8. When the bread is finished baking, remove it immediately from the loaf pan and cool it on a rack for at least 1 hour, preferably 2 hours (yeah, good luck with that), before slicing or serving.

Makes one 2-lb. loaf

My Mom's NO-KNEAD OATMEAL BREAD

2pkgs (or equivalent) active dry yeast
1 1/2 C boiling water
1C quick cooking oats (I use regular oats)
1/2C molasses
1/3C butter
1T salt
6 1/4C white flour (I do 3C whole wheat; 3C-ish white)
2 slightly beaten eggs

Soften yeast in 1/2C warm water. In a large bowl, combine the 1.5C boiling water, the oats, molasses, butter and salt; cool to lukewarm. Stir in 2C of the flour; add eggs; beat well. Stir in the softened yeast; beat well.

Add remaining flour, 2C at a time, mixing vigorously after each addition, to make moderately stiff dough. Beat vigorously til smooth, about 10 minutes. Grease top lightly. Cover tightly; place in refrigerator at least 2 hrs or overnight.

Turn out on well-floured surface; shape into 2laves. Place in 8.5 x 4.5" loaf pans. Cover; let rise in warm place until double 1-2hrs. Bake at 375 for about 40 minutes.

Makes 2 loaves

And Whole Wheat Bread with Wheat Germ and Rye
from Cook's Illustrated - The New Best Recipe Cookbook

2 1/3 cups warm water (about 110 degrees)
1 1/2 tablespoons instant yeast
1/4 cup honey
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 C rye flour
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
3 cups whole-wheat flour
2 3/4 C unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the work surface

1. In the bowl of a standing mixer, mix the water, yeast, honey, butter, and salt with a spatula mix in the rye flour, wheat germ, and 1 cup each of the whole-wheat and all-purpose flours.

2. Add the remaining whole-wheat and all- purpose flours, attach the dough hook, and knead at low speed until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface. Knead just long enough to make sure that the dough is soft and smooth, about 30 seconds.

Note on hand kneading: Mixing the water, yeast, honey, butter, salt, rye flour, and wheat germ in a large mixing bowl. Mix 2 3/4 cups of the whole- wheat flour and the all-purpose flour in a separate bowl, reserving 1/4 cup of the whole-wheat flour. Add 4 cups of the flour mixture to the wet ingredients; beat with a wooden spoon 5 minutes. Beat in another 1 1/2 cups of the flour mixture to make a thick dough. Turn the dough onto a work surface that has been sprinkled with some of the reserved flour. Knead, adding only as much of the remaining flour as necessary to form a soft, elastic dough, about 5 minutes. Continue with step 3.

3. Place the dough in a very lightly oiled large bowl; cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm, draft-free area until the dough has doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

4. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Gently press down the dough and divide into two equal pieces. Gently press each piece into a rectangle, about 1 inch thick and no longer than 9 inches. With a long side of the dough facing you, roll the dough firmly into a cylinder, pressing down to make sure that the dough sticks to itself. Turn the dough seam-side up and pinch it closed. Place each cylinder of dough in a greased 9 by 5-inch loaf pan, seam-side down and pressing the dough gently so it touches all four sides of the pan. Cover the shaped dough; let rise until almost doubled in volume, to 30 minutes.

5. Bake until an instant thermometer inserted at an angle from the shot end just above the pan rim reads 205 degrees, 35 to 45 minutes. Transfer the bread immediately from the baking pans to wire racks; cool to room temperature.

Makes two loaves.

Do you have a favorite bread recipe? A story about reading the label & seeing HFCS listed in an unlikely-seeming food? An advertisement that aggravates you? Leave a comment & add to the conversation...

Christina @ Birthing Your Baby
Independent Childbirth Classes for Central Maine
New Mothers Support Circle

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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

You Get Your Hair Done by a Doctor?

I bet you've probably seen the "Sweet Surprise" commercials and print ads defending high fructose corn syrup.

What do you think of this one: You Get Your Hair Done by a Doctor?

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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Preserving Memories

I've admitted before that I wish I'd been more faithful in keeping a pregnancy journal with thoughts and especially photographs from my two pregnancies. Once I started a family blog, and made a commitment to keeping it up-to-date for our long-distance family members, I've done a lot better. And someday (when we have more money!), I have a system I want to implement with binders and photo pages and the photos I've stored in Snapfish. It turns out that, although I bought and was given a bunch of scrapbook supplies, I'm not really a scrapbooker. And that's okay, right? Right.

Anyway, I've come across some really cool ideas lately that appeal to me even though I'm not a scrapbooker, and I want to be sure to pass them on to you. These are the kind of easy projects I wish I had done:

Scrapbooking Your Belly Shots and Scrapbooking Baby's First 12 Months, both from Adventures in Diapering.

If you want video inspiration, here is a video from Mothering Media, showing how one mom turned her pregnant belly into a work of art.

If you are a scrapbooker, here is the site for our local scrapbooking guru, Cheryl Freye. I especially want to highlight the FREE Baby & Toddler Webinarscoming up over the next two weeks - what a fantastic opportunity to learn more about preserving your memories.

And finally, a professional archivist's take on digital storage, in case you, like me, are holding on to cd's full of photos. Because as Cheryl wrote in her email, "You'll never reminisce over your zip drive .......albums make the memory."

If you have want to share any of your ideas on how to preserve memories, leave a comment!

Christina @ Birthing Your Baby
Independent Childbirth Classes for Central Maine
New Mothers Support Circle

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