My archives might be a little outdated especially the older blogs.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.

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!

Could it be Dyslexia?

Since last Friday here is what's on my mind... its taking me a while to process the teacher's concern and reality.

Scott's Hebrew Class was assigned roles during service. Scott opted out of a reading role and chose a silent role. I know he is behind on reading so it's no surprise to me. After service the Sunday School teacher pulled me aside to express her concern over "Scott's reading deficiency and something about home-tutored." Her words. Maybe she didn't know I was aware that he didn't read well. I accepted her concerns and thanked her for her interest. I asked her if his behavior was a problem. Nope. Whew. I never approached the teachers before to ask about Scott's performance because according to both boys this is their best year ever. Something must be going right.

I asked her what she would do about it. Evaluation? Resources etc...? She said she never calls on him to read. (Couldn't she call on him to read the headlines or chapter, everyone gets a turn on their level?)

I've been thinking a lot about this. Sunday morning, I thought to ask his other Hebrew teacher how his Hebrew language is coming a long. I was prepared to hear the worst. She said that actually he is at or above level in all areas in her class. She said he sounds out his words and doesn't just memorize. She said that was an ability other kids lacked. She said he brought information and insight to class that he didn't get from the Temple.

Interestingly, the other teacher, said the same thing about William, last year. That he often gave information that he learned elsewhere (Hello, we are homeschooled!) But she often pointed out fine motor skills (like in crafts) were poor because he didn't go to school. I wondered why she just didn't show him how to hold the scissor or crayon or whatever they were working on. I'm not good at that stuff either. William seemed to learn to read and write overnight when he was 8.

Anyway, back to Scott. Regardless of the assessments by the teachers he is behind on reading, but not comprehension. He loves being read to. We are reading a Junior Version of Moby Dick now. Prior to our our annual evaluation, we finished Hooked on Phonics and he obviously made daily progress and that was where we were at in August. Since the eval, we continue to read, puzzles, and play games (he has mastered Mancala and I can't beat him anymore), but I never expected how painful it would be to teach a child to read. First William, Now Scott. But Scott is older than William was when he finally caught on. William is doing well.

I was recently reminded of a very close blood relative who has dyslexia. It's been haunting me. Are the signs STARING me in the face? It sure looks like it.

I know, I know... someone wants to blame it on his being "home-tutored." (The term gave me a chuckle.) But I won't fall for that. Don't even dare comment on it. It's easy to feel like you deserve the bad parent award for not having a child reading at college level. If he has dyslexia, he would have had it anywhere he he was in school and probably would have been held back and made fun of, etc... At least at home he is allowed to excel in other areas and not be compared.

I searched on-line for some resources. It is amazing on this vast web I can't find a test that a parent could administer to the child. It's not the first time I looked, but I wasn't convinced before and didn't persist. But I did find a book called "Dyslexia is a Gift." Looks like it talks about taking advantage of the dyslexics strengths in creativity and auditory skills while providing the right tools and suggestions for learning how to read. It sounds like a positive approach. Sounds like a homeschool approach. Sounds like good information no matter what the diagnosis or cause for reading impairment.

I found a list of suggested books for dyslexics of interest to a boy his age, normal, popular stories, but also easier read the print for anyone needing special help with reading with good spacing and short paragraphs, lack of left justification, beige, matt finished pages, and simple fonts. Without an official diagnosis, it sounds like I found some great resources for a pre-teen who has trouble reading and perhaps we can make some progress. Hooked on Phonics is great, but really is for an early grader learning to read.

What kind of specialist evaluates this and makes a diagnosis? Does anyone have local resources? Is it helpful to have an official "diagnosis" in this case. What other problem could it be (stubborn (maybe?), ADH ( I don't think so))?(I'm just thinking out loud). I don't think he is visually impaired (his aim on video games is way to good), but I can get his eyes checked. He can read our office eye charts just fine.

David is five. Don't kids read at five? Please, can I have one son who picks reading up quickly??

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Public Libraries Shelving Permission to Mother

I've bumped this post to the top because Seminole County Library has a copy that I donated. Thanks to my mother for carrying it over to them on my behalf. I don't have the direct link.
Go check out these books if you are in the area!
Old News--
Three copies of Permission to Mother is now available in the Martin County library. For some reason it is not on the on-line catologue.
Indian River County has 2 copies.

Saint Lucie County Library has three copies!
I couldn't link directly to my book, but it is easy to find it on "ibistro."

Indian River Community College at Saint Lucie West Shelves a Copy!

These Books above are all donated by me.
You can also put a "hold" on it right NOW on-line if you have a library card and a pin number and choose your local branch to pick up and they will call you when it is ready!

My long distance readers have requested copies at these libraries... thank you for doing this...
The Maine Library System has a copy.
Marshall Library in Illinois

Friday, November 7, 2008

How Long to Tandem Nurse? (a flashback)

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

I wrote this seven years ago to my IBCLC, Jodi Smart, and dedicated this to her.

I am approaching almost three years of tandem nursing. It is really not unreasonable for someone to ask me, "How long will you nurse them?" My two boys love mama and her delicious milk and they are very persistent. I have tried to offer alternatives to breastfeeding...

"Do you want to breastfeed or go to the park?"
"We want to be two boys." (They call tandem nursing "being two boys")

"Let's go swimming."
"Can we have milkie in the bath?"

"Do you want candy?"
"No, we want to nurse."

"How about playing a video game?"
"Ok mom, but we want to nurse first."

"Do you want to watch a movie and cuddle?"
"We want night-nights and a movie, now."

"What is your dad doing?"
"Mom, we want night-nights right now!" (They start crying)

"Perhaps dad will let you drive the car."
(Instantly they stop crying and light up) "Let's go!" (They love to pretend they are like dad and sit in his seat and 'drive')

(Sigh) How long will I be tandem nursing? I've come to the conclusion I will be tandem nursing for 12 more years, since 'driving' is the only consistent distraction that works!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Good Week for Permission to Mother

I am happy to see Permission to Mother make the GreenSmoothieGirl list of essential books for parents. I am loving Robyn's 12 step nutritional program and am really enjoying all her nutritional reference books as I have time to read them; finally resolve (and success) with a topic that has always been so confusing to me. I am glad to see her expand her essential reading list to include books on children's nutrition and even infant nutrition (mine)!

I wrote Permission to Mother with the birth and breastfeeding community in mind and I am so EXCITED to see my book reaching a "new" of audience, a audience I didn't even know was out there when I was writing and editing. Thank you Robyn for inspiring me and I hope your readership finds the same inspiration from me.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Money Is Mothers Milk in Politics

"Money Is Mothers Milk in Politics"

I heard a reporter say this while they were airing Obama's Victory party at the stadium after they announced the win. It had me thinking all day what the reporter meant by it... Hmmm...

  • The reporter values Mother's Milk (yes! but did anyone else--anyone else at all-- besides me hear him say this? I wish.)
  • The reporter must agree that babies thrive on Mother's Milk
  • Money in politics is compared to the nourishing qualities of Mother's Milk
  • Thus, in politics if you have the benefit of the most money you get the victory

I'm not sure if I got his intent correct, but I couldn't believe I heard this analogy. I hope lots of people heard how important breastmilk is.

Thoughts anyone?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Wordpress Blog Question

I'm following a few informative wordpress blogs, but I never get follow-up comments to my e-mail. Please someone tell me how to subscribe so that the comments come to my inbox.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Yummy things I've been eating

Some of the yummy things I've been eating with this weeks fresh organic produce.

Red's Moroccon Stew (I used sweet potatoes in place of squash, and carrots, garlic, onion,tomato from this share), vegan brownies (bananas and apples) all the boys ate, and salads.

We got:
eggplant -- Might try egg plant hummus. Pretty good. I made it!
colossal garlic
rainbow chard -- I froze the leaves to put in smoothies. I seperated them from the stems, BUT I froze the stems to put in soup stock.
green leaf lettuce
yellow onion
green pepper-- traded out for extra oranges and potato
yukon gold potato- sliced and baked into fries in the oven. These were gone real quick.
zucchini squash
roma tomato--used all in morrocon stew
gala apple
valencia orange --boys ate up right away
green seedless grape -- snacks

Fruit Share:
raspberry -- so delicious, I didn't share them. I ate them all myself.
strawberry -- David and William dig into these. I put some aside to make strawberry milkshakes (used almond milk). YUM

Sunday, November 2, 2008

LLLI added Permission to Mother to their Bibliography


La Leche League International added Permission to Mother to their bibliography!

Permission to Mother is also available in their on-line catalog.
I like (OK... I LOVE) their catolog description:

Permission to Mother is an account of one doctor's personal journey into motherhood. She seeks the best possible choices including exhilarating birth experiences and breastfeeding beyond current societal norms, and explains how her personal choices affected her professional choices on her quest to find a more baby and woman-centered approach to birth and breastfeeding.

I am very happy that my book can be in group libraries and be accessible to more mothers. I am so happy that it can be a part of the regular meeting and not just part of the parking lot ministry. :)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Charity Raffle!!

I have donated a copy of Permission to Mother to Nikki's charity raffle. You have a chance to help Nikki with a great cause and win some really cool prizes.

Nikki is a very talented blogger, writer, and Canadian college student. She stylized my blog. She is also an amazing humanitarian particularly in the lives of children. She went on a humanitarian trip to the Dominican Republic this past summer and now she is raising funds for a return trip. She is also planning a trip to Ethiopia. Among other things, she helped build schools, volunteered in an orphanage for children with special needs, and distributed food, clothing, and toys to the local families, mostly Haitian refugees. She amazes me. She ranks up there with Mother Theresa and Princess Diana. She really does.

I am glad I found a way to support Nikki's mission. She is young and ambitious and will touch the lives of many children!

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