Monday, December 6, 2010

Ornament Swap 2010

I had a lot of fun again this year doing the ornament swap with my parenting group.  I am loving owls so I do an owl ornament out of felt.  They are super cute!

 Here is a picture of all of the ornaments.  There were four groups and I was only in one.  But you can see all the beautiful handmade ornaments that people made.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Service of Love

The joys of being a working mom.  I'm working tonight(this morning) with my daughter, Tylea.  She tends to keep my hours and it's a form of bonding time that we share.  Her favorite movie is Baby Einstein's Old McDonald.  So the movie merrily sings in the background as Tylea climbs on me while I work on my computer.  She chews on random things within our reach like my cell phone, a pen, an IBprofen bottle(great noise maker for a 10 month old).  Other moments she blows on my tummy or plays peek-a-boo over my side.  She's super playful and happy during these night hours.  She mostly occupies herself but every once in awhile she plays with mom.  I really enjoy this time of the day(night) with her.  Maybe it's because it's the one on one time.

With two older children it's hard to slow down the day to focus on the baby.  Usually she's slung on my hip, there for the ride.  Don't have to worry about her as I chase down the boys because she's attached.  There are moments in the day though.  Like when I push her on the swing while her brothers roam the playground and I get the cherish her giggles.  Or those sweet moments before a nap when she cuddles in deep for comfort before she drifts off.  Oh and to have a baby this little hug you!  It's amazing.  Overwhelms your heart to get a hug from this little girl.  She hugs you tight too.  I love it.

Another favorite time with her is when she sleeps.  Like now.  She's so beautiful and peaceful when she sleeps.  I can stare at this little wonder to my heart's content in the quite moments of sleep.  Although it's late and I know the morning will come too quickly, I also love the fact that she will sleep in.  Her late hours are followed by late mornings.  Making breakfast with my boys much easier to maneuver as I answer emails and flip the pancakes.

Being a working parent isn't all fun and games.  There are a lot of moments that it's hard to focus on one or the other.  Having to choose to answer a business call or to answer your child.  Responding to customer emails quickly or jumping on the trampoline.  Doing an act of service for your co-worker or for your child.  Making a business brunch or making a pb&j lunch.  Feelings tugged from all sides with a chaos of priorities.  In the big picture your child is #1.  In the day to day, however, work pays the bills.  Food, clothing, housing, utilities are all things needed to take care of that child.  So do you miss the precious moments of their toddlerhood to answer a phone call that pays the water bill?

For me it depends on the day.  Lately I've just been piled under so much work that it's hard to take time for anything else.  I do see light though.  Things are getting better.  I'm trying to change my perspective, even if only a little each day.  My children are so wonderful.  They are still small, if only for a moment.  I haven't missed it.  I'm still in the middle of their baby years.  So I choose to stay up late.  To work during those hours that they rest.  And I hope that I won't be too tired to enjoy the morning and their sweet faces.

My second child turns 3-years-old tomorrow(well today).  Such a sweet, amazing little soul.  Born wide eyed and aware.  Observing his surroundings.  Now a toddler with great imagination and a gentle calmness.  He has his choatic moments and can keep up with his active big brother though.  My little Jaxon.  Happy Birthday buddy.

Zavien is my oldest kiddo at 4.5-years.  I can't believe he's that old already.  He has friends and cousins starting kindergarten.  I get to keep him for one more year though.  September baby.  He's pretty logical and I can see his mind turning when I talk to him.  He is now showing love in surprising ways since his sister was born.  There's something about having a little sister, a darling, an angel.  He told her "Goodnight cutie patootie" tonight.  So cute!

Oh to have all the freedom in the world.  If only money weren't an issue.  If only we could raise our children without having to work so hard to provide a life for them.  I emphasize WE because my children need time with my husband as well as with me.  We both want to raise them, cherish them, play with them.  Which is also a large part of why we own our own businesses.  It allows us the freedom to choose our days.  Granted in the beginning stages we work more hours than the common 40 hour week.  I digress.

I look forward to the time when the people are of one heart and one mind.  Where we each contribute our talents and provide our services and no one goes wanting.  Where a farmer gives his produce, a delivery driver delivers, and a diaper store gives diapers. Not for exchange of funds.  But because there are those in need of those things.  And when the farmer, driver, or shop keeper need seeds, a new tire, or accounting that they receive those items in return.  Again no money.  You give and you receive based on your need.  There are not those who take advantage because they know that there is no heavenly reason.  We are not here for ourselves.  We are here for others and to love others.  To love God's children is to love God.  To serve God's children is to serve God.  When you nurse the wounded, feed the hungry, cloth the naked they are God's children.  This planet has been created with enough resources to create happy healthy lives for all.  We need to only lay down our selfish desires and to focus on God's children.

So why am I a working mom?  To help create that community that I long for.  To help united a people that share their talents and resources with each other.  A community where no one is in need.  I enjoy my children, they participate in my work, they meet the people that we serve.  I hope that we give them a strong foundation in service that they will grow and help those around them in an effort to be a people of one heart and one mind.  That foundation starts with love.  Love found in moments of peek-a-boo and playing horsies.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Be Inspired to Inspire

I was reading a few different blogs that I follow this evening and it tickles me to see into other woman's lives.  These very successful women and their drive to be who they want to.  A stay at home mother with her law degree who gets to enjoy the company of her son and she runs a very successful blog.  She's been published in other venues and is a supportive parent and resource in her circles.  An inspiration to so many.  (Code Name: Mama)

Another mother who's creative side inspires her children's creativity as well as her readers.  Sharing her crafts, cooking, and pleasant enjoyment of life.  Her humor and light hearted tone make the mind cheerful and you find yourself smiling.  Accented with gorgeous photography and her blog is truly a beautiful piece of art. (Naptime Musings)

On a different tone there is the blog of a hard working farming mama.  Life full of inspiration that she shares with her readers.  Information to enlighten them to reality and tips on how she overcomes obstacles.  There is a brilliance to her writings as she combines humor with the hard truths of life. (Naturally Local)

Then there is me.  How would I characterize myself?  As a women who has been inspired by these woman.  I hope to share parts of me and my life that may be inspirational, bring a smile, or enlighten someone else.  There are many ways to touch people in a lifetime.  Many antidotes that can inspire others in life and online.  Living life only to inspire oneself is unfulfilling and pointless.  We don't exist for our own enjoyment.  We are here to love.

To love other human beings.  To love our creator.  The greatest challenge in life is to lay down our selfish instincts and sacrifice our desires to help others.  To give everything we are to others in the hopes of returned love but with no expectations.  To love them regardless of the outcome.  It's so easy to get caught up in oneself, or own family that we forget the rest of the neighborhood, the community, the city, the state, the country, the world.

It takes one person to cause a reaction.  Maybe one person working very hard and consistently but still one person can cause a reaction that changes the world in a small but noticeable way.  Wouldn't that be great to have Michael read from the book.  Deeds in life: inspired millions by.......  saved millions by........ raised children who went on to...... fed the hungry...... clothed the naked....... healed the sick...... sheltered the homeless........ prevented hate and war.......

The possibilities of what we can do with our lives are endless.  The power is ours.  Better yet the CHOICE is ours.  Sadly many people don't choose to sacrifice their desires to love others.  Thankfully there are women in life that choose to love others and share inspiration.  Hopefully I can take that seed that inspired me, made me smile, and enlightened me to share with just one other person.  To start a reaction that may change the world for the good.  Thank you to the woman that share their inspirations, talents, lessons, and lives.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Is Organic Really Organic?

Certified organic doesn't necessarily mean that it's grown organically.  Horizon milk for example takes sick cows from feedlot farms(literally), trucks them to a certified organic farm, milks them there, then returns them to the original uncertified farm.  They sell the milk as organic.  I don't understand why they just can't make the effort to raise them in a healthy way but they will take the effort to transport them.  It's really sad.

Whole Foods standards are no longer what they were since their merge.  They use to have high standards.  They now sell meat from less than reputable sources(as far as the natural consumer is concerned).

I wish that Wholefoods was really focused on truly organic, natural, wholefoods.  But if you read labels there are still many items that I don't qualify as wholefoods.  The first time I went in there I assumed everything was good for me.  But that is what society tends to do with everything.  My doctor knows best, my teacher knows all, my banker knows the right investments, my natural grocery store sells only pure foods.  But that's not true.  We ARE responsible for all our decisions and should make educated ones.  But often we go along with a 'professionals' opinion.

Attachment parents, especially, know that doctors are not always right.  There are second opinions and tons of research to look to.  These professionals are just people, that were taught by other people.  Granted they do have a lot of knowledge in their fields and are probably worth talking to.  But they are limited to who taught them, and what interested their own research.

I babywear, as well as sell slings.  Which means that I'm a professional babywearer in a way.  Does that mean that I'm an expert.  NO!  But I can tell you that there are a lot of people that may consider me to be.  I often tell them to attend Kara's babywearing classes because she's the pro.  My point is that- yes I babywear, yes I've researched slings and carriers, yes I know a lot about my products, but even with this knowledge I am still limited to my own experiences and subjective research that I've done.  I hope that my customers will hear what I teach them, but I hope they will attend Kara's class, research on their own, try different carriers and carries, and learn for themselves.

So how does that get back on topic?  I can appreciate the thought of Wholefoods, and I can take classes to learn about organic food.  I can do some research.  Read labels, look up farms.  Maybe call some of them.  Take the initiative to fight for my family.  Food is one of the greatest impacts of diseases today. The crap that most people eat on a daily basis is greatly impacting their quality of life and they don't have a clue that it's the food.  They blame sugar, fat, carbs.  But the chemicals, the gmos, the hormones, even pasteurization- which are all suppose to make things better, are killing us.

People don't eat real butter because it's 'fattening' when in fact raw butter actually helps you loose weight because it has high amounts of lipase which is an enzyme that breaks down fat.  So people are blinded by following professionals that they trust like the FDA when in fact the FDA has influences such as money and power in mind when they publish information, studies, etc.  There is no large company that can be blindly trusted.  We have to take responsibility and action ourselves.  So grow your own food.  Do your research.  Call your farmers.  Get to know your food providers.  It will make a world of difference once you know.

I use to be unknowing when it came to food.  And honestly I still have a LOT to learn.  But I'm getting there.  Transitioning our lives.  We went to a restaurant recently and I couldn't eat the beef.  I could taste the difference from our free range at home.  I honestly couldn't in the chicken but don't have access to a lot of free range chicken so it makes sense.  I also couldn't eat my brothers conventional birthday cake the other day because of all the sugar that was in it.

Researching GMOs really took me for a whirl but I won't get into that now.  HFCS and soy are things that I try to avoid.  We have access to certified organic produce and natural meat now which is nice.  Although I can't wait for local produce to be back in season.  And I'm learning about the healing properties of wholefoods from friends who have cured their cancers.  It's amazing how good food heals.

So my point has been to educate yourself, rely on yourself, and make your own decisions, and to take action in your life.  It will make a difference in your life and the life of your family.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Baby Sling & Carrier Manufacturers Speak Out On Baby Slings Safety Warning

March 11, 2010
With the publication of an Associated Press article regarding the CPSC government warning on baby slings and the Consumers Union's concerns about "bag-style" slings, the companies co-sponsoring this release are taking a stand to help educate the public on the differences between safe vs. unsafe baby slings and carriers as detailed below.
The ancient practice of babywearing made its way into western culture in the 1960s and its popularity with American consumers has grown because of its vast benefits. Unfortunately, this has led to the creation of some potentially unsafe baby slings and carriers. Slings and carriers of concern are popularly categorized under the token term "bag-style" slings. In "bag-style" slings, the deep pouch where baby sits puts the baby in a potentially suffocating curved or "C" like position. Also, excessive fabric with an elasticized edge may cover baby's face, inhibiting breathing. Furthermore, the design may cause the baby's face to turn in toward a caregiver's body, potentially smothering the baby.
In contrast, shallow pouch-style slings, ring slings, mei tais and wraps hold baby in proper alignment and they fit snugly by design and instruction. They have been engineered, developed and tested by parents, often the manufacturers themselves with their own children. These carriers are often simple and without gimmicks. Dedicated and concerned manufacturers of these types of safe slings and carriers have sponsored this release.
Because of the popularity and gaining market share of small baby carrier companies, a few years ago the Juvenile Products Manufactures Association (JPMA) was approached by a handful of these companies asking for a standard to be created. These companies were initially alarmed by the creation of some carriers, mostly by home crafters, fashioned from materials unsuitable for baby products. Soon after, M'liss Stelzer, a pediatric nurse, did an oxygenation study discovering a potential link between infant deaths and "bag-style" style slings, therefore creating even more need for the standard as well as further study.
Upon this need the ASTM, an internationally recognized creator of standards for consumer products and test procedures, created a subcommittee for Sling Carrier Standards. The ASTM Subcommittee is made up of manufacturers, consumer advocates and government officials from the US and Canada including members of the CPSC. The subcommittee started writing the standard two years ago. In this time more deaths have occurred, all linked to the "bag-style" sling being reported by Jennifer Kerr, a writer for the Associated Press in the article referenced in the first line of this release. This has alerted the CPSC to take necessary action and issue this warning.
In well-designed products, babywearing is not only safe, but is actually very beneficial when done properly. Studies have shown that quality baby slings and carriers have been shown to save lives, improve health, decrease crying, increase IQ, and facilitate breastfeeding and bonding. For examples of these cases and further reading see "Increased Carrying Reduces Infant Crying: A Randomized Controlled Tria,l" an article written by Urs A. Hunziker MD and Ronald G. Barr MDCM, FRCP(C), "Saving My Baby," a blog post written on Fierce Mama's Blog by Sarah Kaganovsky, and Dr. Maria Blois's book Babywearing.
Studies have also shown that worn babies are happier and spend more time in the quiet alert phase. In this phase they benefit more than their non-worn peers in language development and knowledge acquisition. Babywearing also helps babies sleep better, and physical needs, including breastfeeding, are met more quickly by a close, responsive parent. Millions of babies over time have been worn to their benefit, making baby slings and carriers more of a necessity than the often-publicized fashion accessory. (Source La Leche League International)
The vast benefits of babywearing should not be disregarded with the report of incidents from "bag-style" slings. The sponsors of this release make safer baby slings and carriers and have been active in the standard writing process and are dedicated to safety through engineering. "We see this as an opportunity to reach out and educate American consumers. We hope to provide valuable information allowing parents and caregivers to not only make informed buying decisions, but also to increase the awareness of how to properly wear children, especially babies, in baby slings and carriers," says Kristen DeRocha, ASTM Subcommittee Chair. The Associated Press article regarding the CPSC warning gives proof to the growing popularity of baby slings and carriers and validates the need for education.
Several trusted websites exist to aide in the education of babywearing for caregivers and new parents. To name a few:, the Facebook fan page for Babywearing Safety, and
This press release was sponsored by:
Hotslings, Maya Wrap, Moby Wrap, Wrapsody, Gypsymama, Together Be, Kangaroo Korner, Taylormade Slings, Scootababy, Bellala Baby, Catbird Baby, SlingEZee, ZoloWear, HAVA, SlingRings and Sakura Bloom.
image from

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Traditional Farmer

I spoke with Lee Quaintance this morning from Acme Grain. It was refreshing to hear his enthusiasm of informing people about pure food. He shared with me a few of his observations on the conventional farmer and large companies taking advantage of these farmers.

The conventional farmer is greatly influenced by the large coop companies and their advice on issues they face. When a farmer's field sprouts up with weeds they ask the professionals what to do. Sadly these professionals make $$ by telling farmers to use the newest biohazard weed killer on the market. The chemical works for all intensive purposes but the after shock to our bodies has caused diseases of epidemic proportions.

The natural farmer, on the other hand, looks at the weeds in a field and gains a better understanding of the land. Dandelions show a calcium deficiency, while cockaburs show an zinc deficiency. The weeds help the farmer know what the land needs to be healthy. A natural farmer knows that you don't need chemicals to grow a strong crop. You need to listen and be aware of what the land is telling you.

It makes sense logically and scientifically. Our planet has been able to produce food for millions of years without today's chemicals. The organic farmers are growing successfully with truly traditional methods. The conventional farmer is being dumbed down from these traditional practices by coops and chemical companies who are only concerned with the mighty dollar.

As a consumer we can help control these chemical and coop companies. Our money is what they are after ultimately. When we purchase organic food we increase the demand from farmers to produce organically. With a larger organic market farmers have the incentive to grow real food. Use your food dollars to cast your organic vote and transform the conventional farmer to a traditional farmer.

meeting image originally published on
farmer image originally published on 
corn money image originally published on

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Mom Entrepreneur's Chaotic Nest

The life of a mom entrepreneur is a nest of chaos where housework is neglected for a moment of playing legos or snuggling through a cartoon.  Where priorities have to be established and reestablished on a moment's notice.  Focusing on your child's development and keeping aware of their needs and making changes to better there lives.  Being a parent is a huge responsibility and a full time job.  Taking care of a home where children live is a full time job.  And owning your own business is the type of career where you work 36 hours a day and get paid less than minimum wage.  So how the heck do you get it all done?  You don't.

Housework is the first thing to go in our family.  We're just happy to get food cooked let alone clean up the kitchen and laundry piles up until we need clothes.  The children can't be neglected and so motherhood and business merge.  Playing legos with my laptop next to me as I reply to emails.  Designing websites as I sit down for breakfast and chat about the plans for the day.  And most phone calls are made in the car on the way to drop the kids off or on the way to my store.  And the best time to work?  2am of course!  When the baby has finally gone to sleep and the house is quiet.

The beginning of a new business is always the most time consuming.  Trying to get the process ironed out.  Estalishing contacts and routines that best suite the business needs.  Training yourself and employees on what you want for the business.  And what do you want?  Who knows you are making it up as you go.  Often thinking of things for the first time as you face them.  Of course you had grand plans before you started but many of the mundane everyday details where not your focus.

So when people stop and talk to me about how they couldn't do what I do, my first thought is- "Well I'm not doing it either."  My life is a chaotic nest.  And I know that once both business are strongly established we will be able to share the workload by hiring more employees.  But until that happens I don't stress over a messy kitchen, or laundry piles, or less sleep.  My life is full enough of other stress.  And I'm thankful for helpful family and for moments of legos and snuggles.  I know that our lives will calm down and we will reminse on the beginning days.  Until then I will continue getting by and savor the special moments of being a mom entrepreneur.