My archives might be a little outdated especially the older blogs. My links above are all new and current.

I have only positive things to say about Permission to Mother, an autobiographical account of a thoughtful mother and clinician who courageously writes from her heart, soul, brain, and personal experience; who is open to change in her views and opinions and is not guided by the safety of rules of any group or the status quo; she is guided by love and openness to the experiences life brings her and her family. Her process benefits her and those around her and those who read her words. And to add to that, the writing style and story telling ability here make it a very enjoyable read speckled with both the humor and seriousness of life. ~Laura Keegan RN FNP, author of Breastfeeding with Comfort and Joy

Readers enjoy your feedback and Reviews (82!) on amazon. Kindle Version Available!

Please Join me on Facebook at Punger Family Medicine.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Treasures from this Past Week

No electronics TODAY and no training wheels either!
My boys had lots of fun with their third cousin Anita at Grandma's house. John's father's sister's daughter (in case you are wondering). She looks like my boys, doesn't she? She's pretty cute.

David was willing to take a photo. For once there is no goofy smile.

And they played and played.

They played card games.

They played worms.

William played, too. They kind of all dress alike, too.

They pulled down the Spanish Moss.
And they made a nest. Don't they make a good bird family?
(Creativity is amazing and doesn't need electricity or batteries.)
And Finally, here is a cosy hug from Scott to his Grandmother.

My mother posted her treasures (me and Carrie) here.

Little House Books for Boys!!

For at least 30 years, I've hung on to my Little House on the Prarie Books. They have moved with me many times and most recently sat out in the garage in box never emptied from the last move. I've wondered if I'd every be able to enjoy those stories with my boys. I've thought of tossing them out with their yellow and very frail pages and buy new books. When I looked at the newer edition, they just don't have all the illustrations my old ones have. So, I've hung on to them.

I've tried to get my three sons interested in them. I bought the toddler/preschool (lift the flap) picture version years ago. No success. About a year ago, I tried the approach by starting with Farmer Boy. We read a little in to it then got side tracked. Everytime I go onto a homeschool website and read about themed units based on Little House my desire to get my boys interested stirs me. I kind of gave up trying to get their interest.

Recently after reading A few Great Illustrated Classics, Scott announced that Swiss Family Robinson was his favorite. He liked the adventure after adventure all alone on an Island with all the animals.

Hmmm... this is my opportunity!

"Scott, I know another series where a family lives all by themselves and does everything alone. Little House on the Prarie."

Grudgingly: "Alright mom, I'll try it."

I started reading the first book out loud , Little House in the Big Woods. The other brothers listen, too. I feel like it is FOR us. It is right where we are at. In fact it is a boy book: hunting, trapping, guns, making bullets, animals, fire, treats, log cabins and more. There is no resistance now. I am certain we will enjoy this series now! I am looking forward to the next opportunity to read more!

I was pretty impressed with the meat smoker Pa made out of a hollowed tree stump. John smoked a turkey recently in an aluminum smoker from a home supply place. I like Pa's way.

You will probably hear more from me as we slowly move through the series. One thing I want to know is why Laura Ingalls Wilder doesn't mention birth or breastfeeding, ever. Or have I just forgotten and will find the info as I read more. You would think that living in the woods by themselves "Baby Carrie who was too small yet to know who Santa Claus was" may have been a medically unassisted birth (everything else they did was independent!). And you would only hope the babies were all breastfed and not drinking milk expressed from the livestock.

Any Laura Ingalls Wilder fans know the details of birth and breastfeeding in this family?

Anyone have great ideas for activities that go along with the series to maintain my boys interest?

My sister and I loved this stuff growing up. Check out the blog about my sister in her Holly Hobbie bedroom.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

40 Pounds of Grapefruit

Well, I didn't get my produce from co-op this week, however, I found another little gold mine--John's mother's citrus trees were ready for harvest!!

Yea! This is the big catch!

My picking partner, Esther, John's cousin, climbed the tree. Look she is wearing heals. Fortunately for me, she did not want a single one to go to waste.

I got:

40 pounds of grapefruit. I weighed it when I got home. Irma did not want to use any of them. I took all I could except for what her other visitors wanted before they flew out. This juice is delicious. I will be drinking lots of freshly squeezed grape fruit juice in the upcoming days. if grape fruit juice helps you lose weight, I will know. I have plenty. I did not climb the tree. Esther got it all. My job was to wash and juice.

20 pounds of lemon. The are big huge sweet lemon. I would have taken more but Irma uses lemon everyday and stopped me from picking all. I am using lemon nearly everyday, too. My boys love it!

10 pounds of tangerine These have many seeds so I've juiced most of them already. They are delicious. The boys love the juice.

4 passion fruits and a passion fruit plant. :) Where will I plant this?

Lots of bay leaves. Yep, she has a big, huge bay bush in her yard.

In Green Smoothie Girls 12 steps to better nutrition, this would be step 5, plant your own garden. See my last container garden post (my garden has taken off since then). If you can't plant your own garden or have everything, she suggests to share one. I'm not sure I am sharing, maybe happily taking. I have posted before about some of the other steps and I will mark them with a "12 steps" label.

One more interesting tree in Irma's yard: a pomgranite tree. Isn't the little pomegranite cute? Next year I hope this has tons of fruit!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Lighting Candles

Setting the Candles

Fourth Night @ Grandma Irma's (This menorah travels. See previous post.)

Sixth Night

David on the 7th Night "Can I roast marshmallows?"Scott " What's in that bag on the table."

William "That bag better be for me."

One more crazy night to go... And No David, the candles are to admire. They are not for cooking or warmth.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Playing Cards with the Big Kids

David finally went to sleep, so I could play with the big kids: William, Scott, and Anita(more about our new buddy later). I slipped a cloth diaper on him after he fell asleep and went out to play cards with the others.

I am about to win the game and I see David half-awake, half asleep, with his diaper hanging off and walking about looking for me. I went after him. David usually won't nurse in front of people other than family he knows. He looked so sleepy like he wouldn't fight me. I hated to give up my position in the game by forfeiting to take him back to bed. I decided to bring him to the card table. I wrapped him in his blanket. His diaper had fallen off. I sit. I put him in my lap and unhook my bra. He latches. I use the blanket to cover him up and keep him warm. I didn't "need" privacy, but I thought I'd keep him cozy and create his own space to sleep.

The kids are cracking up. ((I am not funny to look at.)) I was totally perplexed. Finally, I realize David bottom is showing. Oops! I had pulled the cover up to over his head and at the same time pulled the blanket off his cute little butt.

Anita won that round...

Thursday, December 25, 2008

David's Quote of the Day

"I'm not spoiled, I am cute!"

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Carrie, had a great idea!

We made piles and piles of latkes also! I know you are dying to know when these boys opened their presents up see previous post). The first night of Hanukkah they opened a present from John and I.
The next night we are finally at my mothers and we made the latkes with her. I like that this year in my mother's house the focus was on Hanukkah and not on trees and December 25th. But I didn't know it would be like this beforehand. I like that we can share making the latkes together. Her cooking focuses on taste and budget. My food preparation (don't always cook, per say) has been focused on meticulous nutrition and organic. Years past I never entered the kitchen. We are sharing our opposite perspectives. The sharing is what I like. I don't need "gifts" for myself. I'd prefer not any at all. The boys opened presents from my Mom on the 2nd night and got some gelt.

The third night we were in the Magic Kingdom of all places. My spoiled rotten, xbox and weapon loving kids loved it ( I had my doubts if they would appreciate it). They never should a sign of being bored or tired (just hungry). What a nice present for them! There is more gifts too (they are making out like bandits this year).

Tonight we are heading to John's mother's. She celebrates "Christmas Eve." There is going to be a ton of people at her house tonight and then everyone goes home. Some people I barely know. And tomorrow will be a quiet day. Finally.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Do We Do Gifts for Christmas or Hanukkah?

I tried not to post about the holidays, but I am caving in...

I grew up with a secular Christmas. Santa always brought tons of presents for me. In fact, I got tons of presents through the college years and even the first few years of marriage with kids. I was trying to think back to my fondest memories of Christmas growing up and why we put so much importance on this one day. The one that stands out to me the most is when we were with my Aunt and Uncle and cousins and Grandma and we savoured opening up presents and the "fun" of opening presents lasted all day. That was the only year quite like that--all together. The more mature and philosophical I got, the commercial side of all this really bothered me.

Having my own kids, I thought I owed them the anticipation of Santa coming and the memory and some tradition. In the early years we did it. We stayed in our home, opened presents in the morning, blah, blah, blah.

I remain disturbed by the entire holiday season. I asked my kids a few days ago which Christmas was their favorite. They told me the one when Uncle Ed and Grandma and everyone came to our house. (I don't remember which one that was... maybe that was Thanksgiving?) I asked them what was their all time favorite Christmas present. They didn't know. But I had another reason for asking about their Christmas memories.

You see, I am not good at making the perfect holiday, especially Christmas. Christmas seems to demand everything I am not. I don't like entertaining or hosting. I don't like meeting deadlines (like the December 25th deadline). What's wrong with being thoughtful year round? I am not good at presentation and gift wrap. I am not crafty. I can't seem to find that perfect gift and create a feeling of miracles and magic as every Christmas book and movie can. I don't like crowds. I can't seem to hide the gifts. I can't seem to hide the fact that I am wrapping gifts. I don't like my kids thinking Christmas is the only day of the year worth a damn. Everyday is special in its own way. I AM Jewish.

I have one child who has trouble with his emotions and anticipation and then the aftermath of "is that all." It's just a diatribe. I can't give him a miracle on 45th street. Why do they anticipate it so. We talked about coping with his feelings this year. I got rid of as many Christmas books and movies so we don't keep reminding ourselves of the specialist (not) day of the year. He loves that we are going visiting and loves the gift he knows he is getting, but he yet he can't cope with the range of feelings of surprises and expectations (I know this because he went to bed with tonight with his tears that I have come to recognize from previou holidays.) . For the most part he is like me; the holiday is too much. He is too young to have this insight. At least I can recognize what bothers me about the holiday. Anyway, I thought I could simplify a bit... if I knew what was important to them, I could focus on that.

We tried the Hanukkah gift giving thing over the years. Hanukkah isn't even a gift giving holiday. It's commercialized, too. For the most part it seems our kids get gifts all month long (Nannies, Grannies, etc... they are really loved.). This year I thought it would be a good idea to spread the gifts over 8 days. But for one, we got the boys fitted for bikes and helmets. This wasn't the kind of thing I could just surprise them with. They are properly equipped to ride long distance with me. Scott's bike is home already and William's bike will be in soon. Does it matter what holiday the bikes are given for? The most important thing is we are going to do something together with those bikes.

We have a few little odds and end gifts to give them. We are going to be going out of town. It's hard enough packing all our gifts for family, let alone take our own kids gifts wrapped up. There is not enough room in our car to waste space like that. Wrapping and bags often looks damaged after having traveled in and out of families homes.

I think tomorrow morning will be the day we open any gifts. I'll clear the table now (we haven't done a tree in a few years) so they have their things tomorrow. Then we can try to finish packing. Heck, it's like there isn't even time to savour the gift opening. Maybe I should just tote the packages along until a quieter day? I hate to say it, but the quiet day will be Christmas when everything is closed. One achievment over the years-- the two oldest know who Santa is. I am not sure that my youngest distinguishes Frosty from Santa from Rudolph. Goes to show the de-emphasis on all this we have achieved.

As an adult, one of my favorite Christmas memories is going to Christmas Eve service with my friend (my kids and John and her kids and her John). Then we went to another church for the outdoor nativity. It was really interesting to learn about her Eve festivities and see her house simply decked out with her homemade ornaments. I see that my best memories (and the kid's) are the times surrounded by lots of people. The gifts have nothing to do with the long term memory. But boy, do we place so much focus on them....

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Gorgeous Day Today

Today must have been the most gorgeous weather ever. I hurried out to the Farmer's Market this morning thinking it would get super hot by noon. I won't be able to pick up my produce at co-op this week, so it was priority to stock up today. To be honest, I have fallen in love with the locally grown mixed greens. My kids are even eating salads now!! There is such a big difference between the freshness of the local produce (picked the evening before) and anything, I can get at the grocery store.

Our farmer's market is on the water. See the photo in the right navbar. The boys like to snack on fresh bread or boiled peanuts (but they like my boiled peanuts better, yeah!!) while I pick out produce.

The market is not really that close to us and it takes up a whole morning and I can't make any other errands on the same outing because the food would spoil in the hot car.

However it was so pleasant and refreshing outside today. I remembered that the U-pick hydroponic farm had a special on strawberries this weekend and so the boys and I headed to pick strawberries. We picked about 15 pounds! Yum, Yum, Yum. Lot of pesticide-free Strawberries.

After getting home and unloading. Scott, David, and I, got on our bikes, went to the playground and enjoyed the rest of the day outside.

Today we've had our yummy salads, strawberry milkshakes (with almond milk), strawberry dipped in (my kind of) chocolate, and fresh bread. I put some stuff in my dehydrator. I made Raw Brownies (Scott approved). My windows open. The breeze was lovely. John worked about 12 hours today. He missed the fun. This was suppose to be the first day of our break together, but the doctor covering for him had a family emergency.

None of this was what I had planned for today. So much to do for holidays and getting out of town..... oh, but it was so nice to play all day worry free.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Grab This Button!


Just copy and paste this code:

It's pretty cool that I figured out how to put the code in in a box, isn't it? :) NatetheGrate gets the credit.

Next I might try to make a few more buttons (or refine the details of this one). So check back.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Flexibility in Unschooling

Unschooling gives me much needed flexibility in my busy schedule. Here is an example of how I've weaved William's math into my busy life.

The great thing about unschooling is that you can concentrate on one area at a time or themes. Although, I we are covering Social Studies, Science, and Language Arts year round, mostly informally and sometimes with lots of structure, we haven't concentrated on structured Math. It was my intent to have William start virtual 6th grade Math in the Fall. HOWEVER, when I realized I still had to take my exam, I was not in the mood to put up with outside accountability (more stress) for something as silly as math curriculum. I was also concerned that he wouldn't be able to work at that level without prior structured instruction. I am not sure that I would be able to help him.

Solutions seem to come together. William has rejected math workbooks up to this point. We finally found DK Math Workbooks. Lots of work sheets that get right to the point and not a lot of BS. Each work sheet introduces one new idea. I had him start with the 3rd grade one and do six pages a day at least. He finished it in no time. Much of it was easy, but I also know now he didn't "miss" anything. Then he started the 4th grade version progressively increasing the complexity. We are about to start the 5th grade work book. He is going to continue them through the month (when most kids are on break). Why interrupt some great learning momentum for no good reason? By the end of January we are scheduled to begin the virtual school 6th grade Math curriculum. By now I am confident that he'll have all the skills he needs for success (I'm more confident that I know what he needs to know) and I should be able to keep him on pace. It's a lot of math all at once, but he is not responsible for other academic classes at the same time, so he can truly focus.

I see how much he has progressed. With so much concentration on math, the skill has overlapped onto his other activities and the younger brothers have picked up some extra understanding of fractions and angles. William's handwriting and fine motor has improved noticeably.

The flexibility is an element of unschooling that I appreciate I am going to start Scott in these workbooks soon. I am certain I would not enjoy madatory school attendance.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Winter Vegetable Medley

I don't mean to be repetitive with these list, but it helps me to do this. It helps me keep track of what's not used up and I can keep some quick links to recipes and ideas I find. It reminds me of the variety of food I am using. I rarely have to toss anything. Next pick-up I won't be able to get my share and I have a sub. I will miss my produce very much. I am kind of sad about it. I'm thinking I could probably easily go through 2 shares. I might have to try that once.

This is what I am doing with this weeks stuff. Much of this will be used raw. (Fresh fruit and veggies, sprouted, smoothies, juice, marinated, and dehydrated are all considered Raw). I love trying these new things. With so much sprouting (almonds and alfalfa and more) I do feel like I have more energy and I can tell a subtle difference after a cooked meal. I am having Raw at every meal. My kids (David and Scott) had alfalfa sprouts today on sprouted hummus and they liked it... well, they ate it, pretty cool.

red beet- not sure yet, might juice
cucumber-marinated with balsamic and EVO, s&p and fresh dill from my patio garden(!)
carrots - I use carrots in lots of ways like salads and juicing. I'm going to do this again: Carrot w/Ginger Dressing Thanks Lauren for sharing it.
colossal garlic - I minced garlic into anything I can
green leaf lettuce -salads
rainbow chard- going in smoothies, a quarter of a lemon rind neutralizes the bitterness of greens
yellow squash - Sprouted almond pate
green pepper - I gave 3 of 4 to Lauren. John said he'd like one sauteed with onion.
assorted winter squash- I picked spaghetti squash and I it as soon as I got home with tomato sauce and pesto I had left from previous days.
rutabaga- Is this the same as turnips? Not sure yet what I'll do.
Florida avocado - Mine ripened in a bag with banana just like Gerrie said and I am ready to make guacamole
granny smith apple- Snacks, smoothies, I'll probably juice some apples and pears
anjou pear
banana - Some of these will go in my new dehydrator along with spouted almonds and other treats.

Fruit share folks:
satsuma mandarin- oranges are a favorite snack of the boys
blackberry-I forgot these are berries and not cell phones. :/
pineapple- cooked on chicken with our own teriyaki sauce (I used the recipe from GSG e-book teriyaki almonds.) I put my pineapple tops in to the ground. Jensen Beach (not to far away)is the pineapple capital. Someday I know I'll be eating my own homegrown pineapple. :)

A case of apples by special order

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Things I've been Doing and Thinking

  • We removed the training wheels from David's bike on Sunday "just to see." He didn't ask. John and I had some alone time with David while his brothers were in Hebrew School. David did great. I ran with to get him started and it only took 2-3 tries for him to balance. (Yes, I R-A-N.) A few more tries and he was starting by himself. He is so proud of himself! I was so sore the next day.

  • Taking advantage of David's joy of learning, we continued to make a lot of progress in learning letters. He likes learning. He is the first son, who is proud to learn and be smart.

  • Taking advantage of the fact that running didn't kill me, I ran "3" laps on the treadmill. Walked one, ran one, walked one, ran one, walked one, ran one then walked a few more... hope I am not sore tomorrow.

  • I've gotten 3 e-newsletters this week from a prominent local Women's Gynecological and Obstetrical Group. They are heavily promoting aesthetic services and that department is growing so much they are going to have a separate entrance and waiting area for this clientele. Well, you know if I am having botox and such I would not want to sit in a room full of gravidas, (haha), not. The truth is if I was pregnant I don't want to sit in a room with people who hate how they look when I am trying to find my inner beauty and strength so perhaps its good to move the ugly people away from the radiant soon-to-be mothers-- a blessing-in-disguise.

  • I got brochures from Radiology groups now offering token prenatal ultrasound. C'mon specialist can we stick with healthcare and promoting wellness. Token ultrasounds ranks as absolutely unnecessary and can be harmful. (I know a lot has been written on this topic... any childbirth educators have a good link so I don't have to re-invent the wheel? )I received a request from a prenatal imaging group wanting to talk to me about the birth community. As I type this out, it dawned on me, they were approaching me to solicite me about being a franchise. NO WAY! I knew their e-mail looked suspect.

Winners of the Holiday Give-away

Thank you to everyone who participated in this give-away. It means so much to me that you would repost this information on your blog or space with lots of kind words and place reviews on amazon. I also found some new blogs through your entries. :)
Now its time to announce the winners!

1. The first winner drawn by William is MamaK-- her comment was...
I first heard about your book on your myspace site, which I think I stumbled onto because of some common interest ... birth, maybe, or something like that.

2. The second winner drawn by Scott is Allana Martian-- her comment was...
Ok, this is my 2nd entry in your giveaway! I posted in my blog. :-)

Here is her post announcing the contest.

3. The third winner drawn by David is Beck R who entered all three chances-- her comment was...
Hi! I entered a review awhile ago. Your book is great! -Becky R in NJ

This is her review on amazon. She was one of the first to enter a amazon review!
Must read for every pregnant couple!, February 20, 2008
By Rebecca J. Rivera - Feb. 20, 2008,
"I devoured this book the same day I received it. It is so good. It made me feel good about nursing my youngest for so long with no support. This book will inform you as well as entertain you. In addition it will change the way you see pregnancy, childbirth, and nursing. It will make you think, "I have a choice in all this." I thought I had to do exactly what my doctor said, even when it was not best for me or my babies. The author is a real person and that is conveyed as well. I will be buying this book as a gift for pregnant woman in my life."

She also shared the contest on her blog.

Email me privately to give my shipping info denisepunger at hotmail dot com.


Lastly, there is still time to order through amazon or through my office store to guarantee Holiday delivery.

Monday, December 8, 2008

I had sprouted almonds last night!

A few weeks ago, I posted about getting Raw Almonds, right from California. Gerrie, from my local produce co-op organized this and I have 25 pounds of almond in my 'fridge. The stores can't sell raw almonds; they are flashed pasteurized and labeled as natural almonds. Raw almonds can be soaked overnight and that germinates them and awakens all the enzymes in them that make them 200% more nutritious.

"Soaking," "sprouting," or "germinating" all mean the same thing. I've been looking forward to finding some recipes to use sprouted almonds that doesn't require special equipment and this is the first one that I made last night. It is from earthmother's post.

Waldorf Salad

1 head Romaine lettuce, chopped into bite-size pieces
2 Fuji and 2 Granny Smith apples, cored and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
3 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 C red seedless grapes
1/2 C raisins
1/2 C walnuts
1 C Almond Mayonnaise (recipe below)

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and toss well.

Almond Mayonnaise
from Rawsome! by Brigette Mars

1 C almonds, soaked overnight & rinsed
1/4 C water
1/2 tsp Celtic salt
4 dates, soaked 20 minutes
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 C extra-virgin olive oil

Combine all ingredients except the olive oil in a blender and blend until ground and thoroughly mixed. While blending, slowly drizzle in the olive oil as the mixture thickens.

This was a yummy salad with extra healthy dressing and I got to use the extra dressing today on my lunch salad. I will probably use the Almond Mayo for other things too. I am very happy with how it turned out!

I am going to soak some almonds overnight and make nutmilk in the morning. Here is a few ways to do that.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

David's Song

Scene: David Jumping on the bed and Singing:

What's round
Has milk in it
and it bounces all around?
It's my night-nights!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Holiday Give-Away

I'd like to give three Permission to Mother books away before the holidays. There are three drawings and three blog posts to respond to.

The first way is simply to answer the question below in order to have your name entered into a drawing to win.

I'll enter every one's name who answered the question into a drawing and announce the winner on my blog next Thursday, December 11th. Comments need to be received before Wednesday, December 10 at 11:00 pm. I'll mail it to you if you are outside my county, otherwise I'll hold it for you at the office. Everyone is eligible, even if you already own a copy, and entered before and even if you won before.

My book makes a good present for the holidays, birthday, or new baby. You need to be available on Thursday to give me delivery information if you are out of town. I am offering the book at $20.00 in the office and on my
store through December 15th to guarantee Holiday delivery.

A very easy Question (which may be redundant for some of you):

How did you first hear about my book?

The second way to enter this give-away is repost the give-away information on your blog, facebook, myspace, digg, etc.... The way you enter this contest is by letting me know that you've re-posted in the comment section of this post.

I'll enter every one's name who reposts and lets me know in the comment section of this post and announce the winner on my blog next Thursday, December 11th.

Comments need to be received before Wednesday, December 10 at 11:00 pm. I'll mail it to you if you are outside my county, otherwise I'll hold it for you at the office. Everyone is eligible, even if you already own a copy, and entered before and even if you won before. My book makes a good present for the holidays, birthday, or new baby. You need to be available on Thursday to give me delivery information if you are out of town.

I am offering the book at $20.00 in the office and on my
store through December 15th to guarantee Holiday delivery.

The third give-away is in appreciation of my readers that have posted a review of Permision to Mother on

I really appreciate the reviews and feedback that get posted on-line. At amazon it keeps my book from falling to the bottom of cyberspace pile of books. I enjoy reading your reviews. Other readers, followers, and potential readers also benefit from your thoughts and like to know how the book helped you. (Right?)

The way to enter this give-away is to let me know in the comments section that you have posted a review. Of course, I probably know that, but it lets me know you want to enter to enter. It's not to late to enter your review now. If for some reason you don't want to enter the give-away, but want to post a review by all means post.

You do need to have an active amazon account to post at amazon. You also must have read the book to post a review.

The details are the other details are the same:

Comments (and the amazon review) need to be received before Wednesday, December 10 at 11:00 pm. I'll mail it to you if you are outside my county, otherwise I'll hold it for you at the office. Everyone is eligible, even if you already own a copy, and entered before and even if you won before.

My book makes a good present for the holidays, birthday, or new baby. You need to be available on Thursday to give me delivery information if you are out of town.I am offering the book at $20.00 in the office and on my store through December 15th to guarantee Holiday delivery.

Unwinding and Catching Up After THE Exam

This test is over...
My mind is still unwinding(this may be a warning as you read). I don't know when I will receive my score. The two optional sections I chose to do were Ambulatory Care and Pediatrics. I figured that the Maternity Care and Women's Health Section didn't work for me last time, so why stick with them. Picking Ambulatory Care was a good choice. It seemed real relevant and comfortable.

I knew not to plan anything extensive for the Holiday. I wanted to keep it simple and not get overwhelmed so I can stay focused on my test preparation. I planned to stay home and prepare a simple meal for me and the boys. It's been a long time since I have gone home for Thanksgiving: Dividing time between family, being out-of-state, small kids, taking call, etc...

Turned out that the real treat this year was that my mom came to me!

I have never cooked for Thanksgiving for anyone but me and the boys (if you call my minuscule meal cooking). The boys just want what they are use to so I always felt like it was a waste to do much extra. With my mother, we got to enjoy preparing a Holiday feast together. I had tons of veggies through the co-op and bought about every other seasonal fruit and vegetable I could find. I got an organic turkey through the co-op. I'm glad my mother could lead the way for roasting that bird. She brought a casserole (Jewish Noodle Pudding) she prepared ahead of time. She has always made great stuffing. It's worth telling you what goes into it (and I'll remember for next time): Sauteed ground up mushrooms (the only way I can stand them), zucchini, celery, onions, carrots, and apple, walnuts, fresh sage, rosemary, thyme, parsley, parsley, s&p, and bread crumbs (from bread I made).

It was great to have something familiar from mom on the table. We used up almost all my other veggies: home-made cranberry sauce (this is fun to make!), fresh very lightly steamed green beans (no fried,onions,stringbean casserole, in fact never had that), steamed potato casserole, (no marshmallow, sweet potato casserole, never had that either) and some other things she tried with squash and eggplant. So all that was from fresh vegetables. I use fresh almost everyday, but for a Holiday it is a requirement!

The next day we finally got to go out in our boat all together down the river. And my mother even stayed one more night than planned and went to the Farmer's Market with us on Saturday. I studied a little everyday with her here and then I threw her out so I could study my last two days before the test.

What else is up?

Scott had a very thorough eye exam today with Dr. Olivios. The doctor is thorough. He dilated Scott's eye. He took photos of the back of his eye. He homeschools his high school children and is familiar with children with reading difficulties and gave me some resources to add to my pile to examine and decide an approach. Dr. O. thought Scott was quick in identifying letters and Scott made no mistakes and although Dr. O doesn't diagnose dyslexia, he thought Scott processed letters accurately and quickly (which is why I doubted the diagnosis of dyslexia). As we make more progress, I'll share more.

Permission to Mother is in La Leche League's New Beginnings magazine this month! It's a little "advert" and it is their doing. It's not advertising I paid for. I can't help but get really excited when I see publicity for PTM from organizations with credibility and reputations such as LLLI and Motherwear. In my case being self-published means I wrote the book myself. There was no million dollar book deal. There was no one that promised me marketing or distribution (except I knew that outskirtspress would get me on amazon). There was no one that helped me write it except for the editor I hired to edit. I have a hard time imaging some NY Times Best Selling authors (I won't mention names) actually doing the writing day-after-day and then proofing themselves. If you get a book deal there must be a team that takes on the responsibility. I don't know. Anyways, I like knowing that established organizations like LLLI and Motherwear care enough to tell people about my work. I guess I am a bit humble and appreciative. I like seeing the book getting such great exposure! I like knowing that women who need this information have a greater chance of finding my book.

So you see it hasn't been dull, even though I've been quiet. I appreciate all your well-wishes before the test and having some down time this past week.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Book Review on Motherwear

I'd like to direct you to this review posted today on Motherwear. I am very grateful for this review. I love it. She did not hold back!

I wore Motherwear nursing clothes for many years when the boys were younger. That's David. We were in North Georgia and I am wearing a Motherwear nursing top. I really liked the horizontal openings. It gave me a lot of privacy. I could nurse anywhere my busy lifestyle brought me. I also wore their dressy styles to work for years.

Look for another book give-away on my blog, next week, soon after my test.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Scott's Reading Update

Since I've posted about Scott's reading, I've gotten more resources than I can process all at once. Pursuing most of them are being put on hold until after my exam.

I did call his homeschool evaluator the day I posted and brought her up-to-date. She said what I expected her to say: Scott's progressing, keep reading to him, and any tools you find for dyslexia (or learning disabilities) go ahead and use. For example, if you found out he was dyslexic you would use the transparent colored sheets, go ahead and give it a try. Her reassurance is good.

I finished reading Moby Dick to him. I also got Swiss Family Robinson and Journey to the Center of the Earth (Great Illustrated Classics Series) from the library and read both to him. He has great comprehension and makes some awesome conclusions as we discuss our reading. I enjoy reading to him. This series of books seems to be where he is at in comprehension and interest, so at least I've got a whole series to look forward to sharing with him. John's got a big history book he is reading to the boys. Go for it, John. Better you than me.

When I ask Scott to read he gets combative (for lack of a better word). I haven't felt like dealing with the challenge of his uncooperativeness; I have enough on my plate getting ready to test, so I've left that challenge alone.

After my test, I plan to get his eyes examined. I will muddle through the books and links that have been sent to me about the slow reader. I tend to be independent, so I will try a good deal at home before going for a diagnosis. That's just me. I will keep reading the Great Classics to him. I think he would be open to "spot" reviewing a little Hooked on Phonics. I have notebook dividers in various colors that can remove the glare from black letters on white paper. I'm keeping it simple right now until I can delve into the resources.

Now, 5-year-old David in the past week, is so proud of how he holds his pen and brought me a paper where he printed a bunch of digits. This skill he picked up on his own and let me emphasize that neither William or Scott ever picked up writing on their own (or progressed in independent reading without a big push). I wrongly imagined homeschooling to be full of Davids: learning and absorbing in optimal conditions. Scott learns other things quickly and I know his reading will catch up soon.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

My Exam is Nine Days Away

My Family Practice Board Exam is nine days away, December 2nd. It is the same all day exam, I have written about before. To get ready for the Summer Exam, I read two ~ 700 page review books that seemed to be about a size nine font.

To get ready for this exam, I have been doing Family Practice audiodigest CD's for the year 2007. I have plugged my headset in when I walk and listen to the CD's in my car. There's about 50 of them. Then I answer the corresponding questions on-line and I am earning continuing education as I go (really makes me feel like my time is spent productively, not). I only have a few more to do.

I have gone on-line to the Academy of Family Practice and answered all 20 hours worth of board review questions (I also earn continuing education from this).

I have done a 200 question paper practice exam provided by the Board of Examiners.

I have various other resources I've looked at to break up the monotony.

With John not taking the exam this time, in some ways is less stressful. Of course just having to take the test IS STRESSFUL. Taking it out-of-sync with everyone else has its own adjustments.

I feel like I have been studying and worrying about this test all year. Well, I have. I will be so glad to get on with something else. I've adjusted to the study schedule, especially in the past 2 months, by cutting way back on the office hours and limiting new patients so I can take care of myself and my family's day-to-day needs and still study. But the practice and it's purpose (including the message in my book) do take care of my needs, so I'll be glad to fully focus once again.

I'll be glad to up-the-gear when it comes to the boy's education. I'll be glad to take the boys out on the weekend and not feel guilty that I should be studying. I'll be glad to get out of town and visit family. I'll be glad to read for pleasure. My reading list is waiting for me. I'll be glad to take on new challenges that I have deferred in order to have stability and less distractions while studying.

Oh, I have so many projects and causes, I have delayed so that I can study.

In the upcoming nine days, I have patients scheduled this Monday and Tuesday. The office is either closed the other days or I have a just little time set for emergencies, no routine appointments, so I can make final preparations for the test.

Is there life after successful completion of this exam? I will be so glad not to have this test looming over me.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Turkey Shoot: My Well Rounded Sportsmen

We went to the annual Jaquin & Sons turkey shoot today. Here is Scott getting ready to fire his BBgun. No fear! There wasn't real turkeys. It was just a target. You can see it in the background. "Wild Bill Hitchcock"
hit the center and won a gift certificate for Publix.
David (with John's help) won their round, too. (Great! I am the mother of sharp shooters!) But you can see they were more interested in the BarBQ. I claimed the second Publix gift certificate. :)

I feel like a good mother (lol) being able to give the boys an opportunity to get out and do something different and stimulate their creativity.
Last Saturday was a fun day too! We went to the beach with their sitter, Nate and his group. Surf day was planned by a local surf ministry and William and Scott both got on surf boards that were provided (when the waves picked up). There was a great turn-out. Nate's younger brother, Canaan is the other cool surf dude in the photo. I have wondered how to introduce my boys to surfing and skinboard. Finally they had a chance! I've got the next date marked on the calendar.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Waiting For David

I wrote this poem at the end of my third pregnancy. I was just cherishing my upcoming birth. I thought I would include it in Rockstar's Flashback Friday. (Note the slope on the fence. That was our yard in Georgia)

Waiting For David

Tonight or tomorrow we could be five
None of us know when you will arrive
It could be next week or go over due
Today we can barely imagine you
Tomorrow we won’t remember
being just four
When we share love with one more
What will I be doing
Sleeping, shopping, reading
When I get that first contraction
Signaling our newest addition
Dad’s off to work wondering if he’ll
get that call
Scott doesn’t want to give up being
“Little Small”
To settle in the middle
He knows you will need to cuddle
And nurse, frequently
William is as curious as any
brother would be
How will you pop-out
And what you will be about
Our family of four
Can’t wait to be one more

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Orgasmic Birth (My Over-analysis)

I went to see the movie Orgasmic Birth this past weekend. Indeed it is a movie that everyone should see to discover the potential and pleasure to be found in the birth experience. John was concerned that I might be pregnant. He was suspicious of why I insisted on going.

Previously, I watched the trailer to the movie which involved a lot of moaning and groaning as one would expect from such a title. I expected to see a movie with a lot of explicit acts requiring your lover to be present at birth.

I--to personalize this--determined after my first birth that my husband was not good for labor support and that I would be better off at my future births surrounded by like-minded birthing women and let John go do his own thing. I was concerned that this movie might contradict my mature and experienced conclusions.

I would have been disappointed if the movie only supported the notion that a sensuous partner was required for birth. So I was glad to see that the movie valued the role of midwives, doulas, and best friends in the support of birth. I was glad to see, what I already know, that birth can be exhilarating without literally "climaxing." Many levels of joy can be found in birth. Perhaps if you don't mind (and I could not imagine) being kissed and caressed during birth, you can have a sexual-type and a birth-type climax. I certainly feel that my 2nd and 3rd births were positively transforming (emotionally, physically, spiritually) and couldn't imagine them being any better. As I have found, each time I look back at my births (even now) I seem to gain additional insights as the years pass. The fact that birth can be a positive experience and you can be in control of your birth (and not one filled with pain) is the main point of this film with many good examples and situations.

My two favorite examples of the births shown is one birth taken place on the couples deck outside. My other favorite is of a sexual abuse survivor looks back on the transformative experience she found through birth. These lovely supported births are contrasted with a typical hospital birth where the helpless non-affectionate husband is sitting on the side of the hospital bed without a clue what to do. His partner gets an epidural and a vacuum assisted delivery. The images of this birth are graphic unlike the other beautiful births. Also unlike all the other babies born outside of the institution, this particular hospital baby comes out bloody and disturbed.

This movie is a must see for the woman/couple and their providers who only knows the typical hospital birth which is most of America. The movie provides the tools to re-examine birth interference and plan for the next birth.

All the babies went to mother's chest. Although this movie wasn't about breastfeeding you could assume all the newborns were going to the breast. Just one of the mothers looking back on her birth put her baby (a few months old) off by keeping her finger in the babies mouth while she was discussing her feelings about her birth. The baby was obviously squirming for the breast. I just wanted to reach in and lift her shirt. How can you have an orgasmic birth filmed and then be shy to breastfeed in front of the camera?

This is not the first birth documentary I've seen. There are several others like the Business of Being Born. Turn off the Baby Channel and TLC influenced by prime-time media and get real with these documentaries.

Just as I analyzed this from a personal perspective it was great to see the pregnant woman who were there watching reconsider what their birth means to them. I know it's very hard to achieve a positively transforming birth in a hospital and one woman to my right said she was going home to tell her husband they were not going to be birthing in the hospital as planned. Yeah for her!

When I arrived home John wanted nothing to do with my movie high. :(

Monday, November 17, 2008

Tasty Meals From My Produce

Like-minded people, like many of my readers, realize there is lots to eat besides sugar and boxed foods. Lately I have had a lot of people I don't see often ask me how I lost the weight. When I tell them that I eliminated sugar for a year and now doing plant-based and unprocessed they conclude I don't eat much variety. WRONG they are. I am eating lots of tasty food.

Much of this produce has been eaten raw, but you wouldn't realize it unless I pointed it out.

Look at all the delicious stuff I have had since Thursday when I picked this stuff up!

We got:

green beans-lightly (barely steamed, may still count as raw) steamed served on the side of the pesto. Still have tons more.

carrots- We have been using a lot of carrots. Juice, soup, the Moroccan stew for later this week, salads. These don't go to waste. The boys must drink the juice when I make it it in the morning and they are co-operative..

cucumbers - Cut it up as soon as I got home and snacked on it.

spinach- green smoothies, I will freeze some. I haven't decided yet what I will cook with it yet.

cilantro-I put some in black beans and rice (and mint and parsley from my garden, onions, EVOO, lemon juice) David like this dish the best from all the boys. John complained their was too much raw onion in it. The funny thing is, is that he says it's not a meal without (raw or marinated) onions. I like cooked onions, but this time I liked the marinated onions in the beans and he didn't! Go figure out John. I'm glad I have found a raw way to enjoy onions.

We got a ton of cilantro. (Did I order the entire case?) Scott helped me cut a big bunch and I am going to see if some dries out (Like Irma did with parsley.). Also I made the cilantro chelation pesto found on our co-ops site. I loved it! I though it was going to taste medicinal as its name implies, however the soaked seeds made it creamy and tasty. For those of you who don't know, soaking the raw seeds causes them to germinated and become full of live enzymes. This vegan meal couldn't be any healthier. I served it over spelt pasta.

ginger- we've been putting a thin sliver in the juice.

green leaf lettuce- for salads this week

red onions- we use onions nearly daily. John likes them raw in salads. We put them in soups and almost everything. I used one with the beans and rice.

alfalfa sprout- for salads and to top soup.

green acorn squash- this will go in the Moroccan stew

roma tomatoes-saving for the stew

fuji apples- all gone, we just finished the whole case of apples I ordered 2 pick-ups ago.

valencia oranges- all gone. A favorite snack for the boys.

green seedless grapes- Snacked on and all gone.

bananas- Snacked on and all gone.

Fruit share:

kiwis- snacks and smoothies
concorde pears- juicing
golden pineapple- I've got a pineapple slice that easily makes rings out of the pineapple and this time we all ate it fresh. The rest of the pineapple is going thought the juicer.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Haunted Bootanical Gardens

Heathcote Botanical Gardens had a Haunted Garden on Halloween. William and Scott wanted to volunteer and be the ones who scare the visitors. I was happy that they did something creative getting their minds of tons of candy. They had a lot of fun. David wasn't interested. He loves dressing up in the house, but stayed in street clothes this night.

Although they did got some candy it wasn't out of control.
We "made" these carmel apples from a kit. For the record the apple is organic.
The kit was not.

The boys do love their treats.
I was wondering if their is a healthy way to coat apples.
I wonder if Tammy's popcorn coating would work on apples. I'll have to try it.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Sugar Elimination and Green Smoothies Make a Difference

This post is part of the Rockstar's Friday Flashback.

My flashback is to photos of me 15 months ago. I thought I'd show me right before I started my sugar elimination. These were the most flattering photo of the photoshoot. In other words I wasn't trying to take a dramatic "before" photo and as photogenic as I usually am, I didn't care for the photos. (David is adorable, though!). I just came back from the hair salon and was at my best, so Scott took a few photos. I had no idea what lied ahead of me, but I knew I didn't care for how puffy I felt and didn't like the photos. (I'm glad they serve a purpose now.)

This one was taken on my office porch spontaneously at noon today by my office manager, Dino.
It was easy to take shots I liked.

It is so worth getting sugar and artificial ingredients out of your diet and adding in lots of raw plant-based food including juicing and green smoothies. It's worth the time! It's worth the investment!
Warning: This is no fad diet; These results ARE typical of anyone sustaining these beneficial lifestyle changes.

Photoshop is not used to alter these photos.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Two Brown Belts and a Blue Stripe

Tonight was a belt promotion exam for William, Scott, and David. It was an important exam because William and Scott have worked two years for their Brown Belt. In their program they stay a Brown Belt (adding stripes) quarterly for a year than they test for Black Belt! They've been through all the colors. They train with higher expectations and increasing leadership responsibility, now. This was David's first testing!

This is Scott warming up to punch the board.

He was successful and I was successful in capturing it!

David is sparing.

Scott says, "Little David looks so cute in his BIG protective gear."
Scott looked so cute, too, in the same gear when he was a pee wee.

Here is Scott getting his Brown Belt!

And William!

And David gets his first stripe!

Mom relaxed and agreed they could go out for a little treat!

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