My archives might be a little outdated especially the older blogs.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

I enjoy reading your feedback and Reviews (81!) on amazon. Kindle Version Available!

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

2nd Brown Stripe and Yellow Stripe

My boys had a promotion exam today. That's William and Scott sparing. They usually don't get paired together, but that's how it worked out tonight.Scott's punch does it!
(I like when I get the shot!)
William broke his board with a back kick ...
( I don't like getting it after the fact. :( )
... and David got his knee strike.
This is Hanshi giving Scott his 2nd black stripe.

Friday, May 22, 2009

House Updates and School Goals for the Next 15 Months

1. Renovate the new house- I am not sure I realized that we were going to renovate when we were looking at houses and made the purchase. I knew nothing about renovating. For the most part I thought you just had to accept what you got, so you better like it. (Those shiny, impractical cabinets and angel fish in the masterbath are so not my style. It gives you an idea of why we are updating.) So many great ideas and possibilities have come my way. Steve Rubin, Rubin Custom Homes, LLC is going to take me and John through the process. Many of you know Steve through his wife Alanna, one of our midwifes. He makes it seem like renovating is like a 25 piece kids jigsaw puzzle. He can fix anything. He says the project will take about 4 months. We are fortunate that we don't have to live there while we are doing this.


2. William- Finish his 6th grade virtual school math and than begin 7th grade language arts this summer. I can't handle managing a multiple course load. I prefer for now he focuses on one class at a time, but at a advanced pace. At the end of the year all classes completed just not simultaneously.

3. Scott- Get him through the Barton Reading levels. I haven't been very good at a 2nd curriculum with him either. I suppose at some point we will formally start math. We read a wide variety of topics. Most recently we have read about sugar gliders, a marsupial, that can be a pet. He has his CD's from the library he's listening to on his own. (Did I mention, dyslexia runs on both sides of our intermediate family? I just found this out when Scott shared his reading program with his UNCLES this week.)

4. David- I have no plans for formal curriculum for him. I don't think I can handle more explicit lessons right now. (PLEASE be a natural reader.)

All the boys work on Handwriting Without Tears a little every now and then. We don't plan to take an official summer break for school. We fool around all year way too much. I don't see what a break would accomplish. For the most part, this school year didn't start till January when I got through with my exams.

5. I am considering timing for Bar Mitzvah training and the ceremony for William and Scott. I really like that the boys can train together. I like they can have their tutoring while I am at work rather than me first hauling them off in the evening. I can get Scott nearly caught up in reading before this next intense training comes along. While I am not sure he will be a fast reader, he should be reading. I like that with having a double ceremony, Scott ( a little before he's 13 years old) will actually be AHEAD in one area of his life. William is ready and the right age for training, I don't want to put it off too long. The boys black belt exam will come early in 2010. With so many goals reached at a similar time: black belt, bar mitzvah, reading, we may be free to move on to other things.

6. My IBCLC recert exam is next July. If I get all of the above done, I won't know what to do with myself afterwards.
7. I hope to have good quality family time. It's easy to forget to have fun and relax with so much going on. John rounds at the hospital each day this weekend, but glad for a holiday weekend.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Welcome to this World: A Homebirth in Photos

Welcome to the world Lainey Nicole!!!
Born into her daddy's hands comfortably at home at 41 1/2 weeks.
8 lbs 13 oz
22 inches long
I love her beads around her neck from her blessing way ceremony.

Soon to be big sister.
I've always thought the toilet was a great place to labor.I'm not a doula, but I had to show daddy some techniques I've previously observed to be useful to help cope through contractions on the toilet. I don't know why a gentle touch on the knees helps with the pain, but it sure does.I showed him how to provide forehead support (Note in two photos above, she was seeking counterpressure on her forehead.) and then went back to staying behind my camera and out of the way.


It' so important to know about laboring on the toilet, I wanted to get it from all angles. I even asked Dad to go get their Permission to Mother off the bookshelf (between contractions) so I could show him photos I used of labor in the bathroom and explained why I put them in the book. I really like how she used her birth ball.On the side there is a player for a hypnobirthing recording, she listened to
throughout much of her labor. What an amazing background for a birth!!

Early in her pregnancy, we went to see the movie Orgasmic Birth together.

In this photo her facial expressions remind me of the woman in that movie.
Dad is smiling right back at her.
Her midwife providing another pain coping technique: pouring warm water of the abdomen.Now on the birth stool and pushing.A nice, controlled, slow descent of the baby's head. No need to rush, therefore, no cutting necessary or sitches. Daddy took over from here with guidance from the midwife to catch his baby.Exhilarating birth!!
These photos of her facial expressions on seeing her newborn remind me of the woman in Business of Being Born who gave birth in the birth center.

Thank you, for letting me share this joyous experience and the first moments of Lainey's life with you!!

You have such a beautiful family, the paparazzi couldn't help themselves. :)

Thanks for visiting, you may link to this post, but please do not

repost or republish these photos without consent.


Again, a special thanks to the family for inviting me to share this occasion with them and allow me to share these photos with those who may benefit from them.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Getting Dressed Up to Celebrate

Ready to go and have some fun.William with his friend, Andrew who became a Bar Mitzvah today.
Andrew lit a candle to honor his friends in attendance.After three years of school and a final 6 months of focused training and a mitzvah project (volunteer hours with a purpose) it's finally time to have fun.

My boys danced and danced. They had so much fun.

Pool Party at Andrew's tonight!!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Syllable Division - An example of Scott's Lessons

I'm going to tell you what's involved in Scott's reading and spelling lessons. You ready???? We start with a review of what we have done in the previous lessons.


Then we do a phonemic awareness warm-up. I say some nonsense words from the lesson script. By using nonsense word he can't rely on memory. He repeats what I said and points to the colored tiles of the beginning, middle (vowel) or ending sound. Whichever I ask for. One of the issues in dyslexia is not NATURALLY knowing how to break a word apart into its individual sounds. A preschooler/K who is a natural reader knows cat begins with /k/ and ends with /t/, etc.... We keep practicing that skill with the progressively more complicated spelling and reading words.

Notice we've got our tiles, worksheets, spelling rules laid out. I keep our spelling rules pages in page protectors since we use them so much. We sit side-by-side, feet on the floor and usually upright. These lessons are EXPLICIT. We don't, we can't, curl up in bed or the couch to do them. Notice the tutor manual is yellow paper. It's made to be dyslexic friendly, in case the tutor is dyslexic.

I teach the new lesson without paper. I use the color tiles. In this lesson I taught syllable division rule 2. Over simplified, that's when there are two consonants in between 2 vowels of a 2 syllable word. He will learn the exceptions to the rule. Scott will then practice reading and spelling new words with the tiles before moving on.

Then he will read nonsense words using new skill on paper. The third column is nonsense words.
Then he will spell both real and nonsense words, on paper. Notice the paper we use is blue or yellow. The glare on white paper bothers most dyslexics. He reads his word list through a window. There is no picture or story. He MUST learn the word following the spellimg rules. There are no context or illustrations to trick me into thinking he his reading.


His spelling words are dictated and he writes them from memory. The last 3 are nonsense words. He put a gap in some of his words so he could practice his syllable division.


Then he reads & spells phrases on paper for fluency as well as accuracy He learns to read phrases as a chunk and for fluency because dyslexics tend to read - word - for - word without comprehension. When they come to prepositions (a, the, at, on), it breaks their concentration and visual 3D image. With these lessons he can't ignore the prepositions.

You can click on the photo to see what he is reading and he will join the phrases together to form a sentence. This gives him plenty of practice to read and re-read.

There is an opportunity for me to teach him subject/verb agreement here also. It's not officially apart of the lessons, but there are examples I can expound on.


The first three lines are his phrases. All of this was dictated. He tried to get away with writing the number "20." But it didn't work. :) Dyslexics have a hard time writing on a straight line (and spacing). He did really good in this lesson. He is doing separate handwriting lessons. Notice he used a mechanical pencil. These pencils are good for those who print to hard.




Next is reading on paper for fluency, accuracy, and phrasing. He marks his phrases.

For the spelling portion we used the same yellow paper to write dictated sentences, shown above with phrases.



Next he reads controlled-text stories on paper for fluency, accuracy, and phrasing. Also to check for comprehension skills. The skills build within each lesson. He marked a few words to help him "see" how to pronounce the word. You can see he has learned contractions in a prior lesson. Finally there are two worksheets. The first one is matching rhyming words. Preschoolers love rhyming words. Preschool dyslexics don't usually get rhyming without tutoring. I can't remember observing if Scott was rhyming or not as a pre-k. I guess he wasn't...

The 2nd sheet is forming two syllable words.

Every 3 lessons a new set of sight words is given. He must not only read them but spell them back to me. When he has trouble spelling them, we make cards highlighting one tricky letter. There is a laborious :) sequence I go through to aid his memory. He doesn't seem to mind this as much as I do.
I keep up with his lessons with this check list. Each level has an exhausting looking check list page like this. I am in level 4 and finished tutoring lesson 3 which is the the 3rd column. It took two sit-downs to finish Lesson 3 in level 4. He happened to be very co-operative and moved along. No one else was in the house these two times we sat. He is working very hard.

If I do a lesson a week (a column) we will be done in 58 weeks from now with level 8. As much work as this is, he seems to be progressing quickly because we work at least 5 times a week on this. To get ready for lesson 4, the next column, I will watch the DVD in between lessons with Scott and then I will start again with a review, phonemic awareness, new lesson, reading and spelling words, reading and spelling phrases, reading and spelling sentences, etc...
I know so many families rely on the tax payers dollar for this kind of tutoring in school. I am grateful that I have the energy and inclination to do this for Scott. I am certain a school (at least right now) wouldn't be able to catch Scott up as quickly as I am, if they provided him with any of these lessons at all. Scott's going to be writing his own blog posts before you know it!
Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Spring Fruit Share

We got:

green beans - still haven't used yet. I gave some to my mother. I also gave her some daikon radish from the last share. Half my radish share was more than enough radish for me.

red cabbage- sliced thinly for colorful salads

carrots - I've been juicing them

cucumber - for salad

green kale - mine is gone after the first week. juiced all of it for me and John.

romaine lettuce - This is almost gone too. I've made lots of big salads this week.

green peppers- switched with Lisa for her green beans.

russet potatoes - leek and potato soup

yellow squash - probably will make zucchini crisps which the boys will finish off.

zucchini - will use to make zucchini crisps as I have with the past few shares of zucchini. I don't follow the exact recipe. I dip the sliced zucchini in flour, then egg, the Parmesan, then bake.

white grapefruit- juiced with oranges

valencia oranges- juiced with grape fruit

tommy atkins mangoes - John's favorite fruit. I like it in smoothies.

bananas - these get used quickly for snacks and smoothies. I made banana bread this week.

yellow peaches - delicious and perfectly ripe. My mother diced and put peaches on our salads.

leeks - potato and leek soup


Fruit share:
golden pineapple - I can certainly taste and feel" a difference between canned and fresh organic pineapple (the same for peaches). I don't want canned anymore. The tops of my pineapples are going into the ground at the new house. Hopefully they will grow. Did you know the next town over, Jensen Beach, is the pineapple capital? The soil here is just right for pineapple. When I tell my patients to eat fruit, I have to be careful that I emphasize FRESH fruit. How many times have I had someone tell me they eat fruit cocktail and canned peaches and they "think" they are getting the fruit benefits.

strawberries - yummy snacks. William loves these.

kiwi- snacks of course! I'll have to try some in my salad. Doing this list makes me think of what I have left to use. It also keeps me accountable to make sure I use everything and see what I need to stock up on in the opposite week.

Extra produce our group ordered- Asparagus, which I mostly marinated. I divided a few peices for salad. I've had delicious salads this week!

My photo above was breakfast. I juiced a few apples with this. John and I each had about 2 cups of fresh juice. And yes, I can tell a difference between what I freshly squeeze compared to the grocery store juice.

I wonder why weight loss doesn't come easier to me since I am so meticulous. It doesn't come easy, but my dress size is one size smaller than last May (the scale hasn't changed). Is it going to take a year to notice another dress size loss?

It's been a long time since I've eaten out. Anyone have any suggestions for where I might get somewhat descent meal within 45 minutes drive if I want to go out with John or go out for lunch with SAD eaters?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

This is What Toddler Nursing Looks Like

Top Hat is having a blog carnival on Toddler nursing. The majority of breastfeeding photos we see (if we are lucky to see any) are of newborns. Her idea is a carnival to share toddler breastfeeding photos. She has inspired me to dig through my files. I didn't take many photos when my first son was a breastfeeding newborn. I didn't think to. But by the second baby I made sure we had plenty. Many of you have seen these photos and if I had a nursing toddler I would take brand new photos on a regular basis.

This was at a breastfeeding task force meeting. Looks like we were having a carnival in real life. I think Mary Rainer took this photo.

Tub time.


My favorite photo of nursing a toddler in a sling. Lisa Bell took this photo.


This is a nursing sea creature.

Bernadette Clark took this photo. Scott was just nursing as we were chatting. The older kids were playing all around us.
Nursing works great on vacation. This is Brastown Ball in Georgia. We just climbed to the peak. This is Scott.

This is at the Beach near where I live now. David and I matched!

Finally... this is what tandem nursing looks like.


It makes me want to do a post on favorite toddler breastfeeding photos that I have taken of other mothers and toddlers.


More Carnival Posts (updated throughout the day)


Mallory's The Joys, Humor, and Struggles of Nursing a Toddler

Seagal's This is What Nursing a Toddler Looks Like

Melissa's Nursing A (and Around A) Toddler Creates Cute Stories

Destiny's I Never Thought I'd Nurse a Toddler

Brightonwoman's Nursing an [Older] Toddler

PhDinParenting's Nursing a Toddler in a Ring Sling

Melodie's Pros and Cons of Breastfeeding a Toddler

Sam's My Nursing Toddler Story

Apple Core's Breastfeeding Toddler Photos

Threegirlpileup's This is What Nursing a Toddler Looks Like

Alisa's A Breastfeeding Toddler's Photoshoot

Hobo Mama's Carrnival Round Up

FatSingleMama Toddler Breastfeeding

Sustainable Mothering

Did I leave anyone off?

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