Praying

Praying

“I thank you God for this most amazing day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees and for the blue dream of sky; and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes.” – E. E. Cummings

The three of us tried out “camping” in our back yard, last night. Our little tent is to small. I couldn’t sleep. I kept fiddling around with the baby’s sleep position. Trying to find us all more rom. At around 4:00 am, when I was soaking wet from the dew wicking in on me, we went inside. We suspected and now we know…We need a larger tent to camp as a family.

Celebrating

Celebrating

We celebrated Marshall’s young life with our family in Rockport, MA. Adam, Marshall, and I went to Good Harbor Beach to play in (and in one case, taste) the sand and feel the cold, saltiness of the Atlantic. I always feel fully alive at the beach and it was a magical experience to be there with my little family. The next day, we all gathered together for a lunch.

Marshall seemed delighted to be surrounded by all the generations; great-grandfather Marshall Turner Moulton and his wife Grandma Marjorie, great-great aunt Betty Moulton LeGacy, great-great uncle Leonard Moulton, Bob Brown (grandfather Bernie Backstrom), Nanny (grandmother Leslie Moulton Backstrom), great aunt Mary (Backstrom) Whitten, great uncle Geoffrey Moulton and his wife Lisa and two daughters Carly and Sofie, and of course Adam and I.

We let everyone know ahead of time that they did not need to bring a gift. We just asked that they come and that if they wanted to bring something, they could bring something for Marshall’s keepsake box/time capsule. He received a variety of things; from letters to commemorative Obama coins! Our intention is to have him open everything when he is ten years old.

I made him a little crown with leaves and feathers. He looked like a little wild thing, wearing his crown and a face covered with the honey cream that I covered his little carrot cake with. I made him his own little cake and made a dozen cupcakes for everyone else. I covered his with a “frosting” made only with heavy cream, honey, and cream cheese. I covered the cupcakes with a more sweetened version that also contained confectionery sugar.

We read “On The Day You Were Born”. I love that story’s way of relating the child’s place in the web of life. It always makes me a little emotional. I then shared some of the things that I am thankful to Marshall for and encouraged others to do the same.

We tried to keep the whole affair as low-key as possible; avoiding all the unnecessary commercialized hype. Our desire was to gather together to celebrate our love as a family and to be thankful for the joy that Marshall brings to us each and every day.

Your Children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of lifes longing for itself. They come through you, but not from you, And though they are with you – yet they belong not to you. You may house their bodies but not their souls. For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow. Which you cannot visit. Not even in your dreams. You may strive to be like them, But seek not to make them like you. – Khalil Gibran

Home

Home

Twittermoms is hosting a contest to describe what home means, to us. I don’t usually enter contests, but this is a truly compelling subject.

Somewhere along the line “home” became an emotionally complicated concept, for me. I feel as though I searched for it for so very long. I searched for that place where I belonged. Where I could really breathe without fear choking me. Where I could let my guard down. Where I could find solace and sanctuary.

I have come to realize that home is not a location and that the worn out old adage that “Home is Where the Heart Is” is so true. I remember the first time that I felt home, since I was a small child. I never wanted to leave. So, I haven’t.

I knew from the beginning of our relationship that that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with Adam. The first night that we spent together was not sexual. It was healing. We slept together, holding on to eachother. I felt this magical, overwhelming sense of well-being as I held on to him sharing his air, curled as tightly against his back as possible. I was finally HOME.

Each night since then, regardless of what the day has brought, I am home. Reminded of what is real, what is true, what is good. Adam holds my heart. I am secure enough in our love to allow him to hold it. So, wherever Adam is (and now, by extention our Marshall), there my heart and home are.

We are in the process of buying our first house. It is a nice, new little cape. It is close to Adam’s parents, so Marshall will still be able to see his Grammy and Grampy. It sits on an acre and a half of land, in a nice rural area. There is a brook that borders the west side of the property. We are scheduled to close on it in a month. So, I am sure that there will be many more house-related posts, soon.

One Year

One Year

Marshall has been with us, on the outside, for one year! I am so thankful to have him here, with me. I continue to feel a profound mix of awe and gratitude.

Every day he reminds me of the innate goodness of man (and woman) kind. Everyone was once this precious, this perfect, this whole, this worthy, this close to the divine. He shows me what life can be like when approached without scars, prejudices, fears, and pessimism. This tiny being is so full of life! Each day is fresh and wonderful.

When I hold him close to my breast to nourish or comfort him, peace settles in around us, cocooning us both in rich, velvety soft folds. I love to hold him while he sleeps, smelling the sweet, milky, newness of him. Feeling his breath flutter against my face. Hearing him laugh in his dreams.

Marshall’s little voice singing, humming, burbling, shouting, lisping, fills the house during the day. He misses nothing, ready to mimic every sneeze, cough or laugh. Ready to add to every conversation. Ready to dance to all of the everyday music; pot stirring, chopping, sweeping, footsteps.

Cruising

Cruising

Marshall is cruising! He walks along, just barely holding on. He seems to enjoy he freedom and practices it constantly.

His mouth is filling up. Seven teeth are fully in (his primary incisors, top secondary incisors, and bottom right secondary incisor) and he is working on cutting the bottom right canine and bottom and top molars on the right side. So, there is a LOT of biting going on, right now.

Marshall is just as curious and animated as ever. Now that the weather is so delightful, we spend a great deal of time outside; hanging laundry on the line, rolling in the grass, blowing bubbles, going for walks. He continues to be friendly and outgoing, especially to older men with beards and college aged girls! He waves at all the appropriate times, without prompting. Yesterday, we were viewing a house with a realtor, and at the end, I was winding the conversation down and M started waving. It was great!

Books are holding a lot of attention, especially Mama Mama, That’s Not My Puppy and I Can Sail Boats.

Quoting

Quoting

“If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water…Its substance reaches everywhere; it touches the past and prepares for the future; it moves under the poles and wanders thinly in the heights of air. It can assume forms of exquisite perfection in a snowflake, or strip the living to a single shining bone cast up by the sea.”

Child Honouring

Child Honouring

I am reading Child Honouring – How to Turn This World Around by Raffi Cavoukian (Yep, that Raffi) and Sharna Olfman. Although I do not typically blog about what I am reading, I feel that this is oh so worthy.”

“We find these joys to be self evident: That all children are created whole, endowed with innate intelligence, with dignity and wonder, worthy of respect.”

Please check out the beautiful and compelling Covenant and Principles.

Thinner

Thinner

I made a goal to get more fit. Since January 6, I have lost 21 pounds. Nothing drastic or unhealthy. I actually joined Weight Watchers online.

Keeping a food tracker has been a great help and learning the “points” of foods. I was never interested in a diet or a program like Weight Watchers before, because the thought of weigh-in meetings, cheesy branded gear (sport bottles and jump ropes), and artificial sweeteners galore just didn’t appeal to me on any level.

I was in for a surprise. I do not attend meetings, I have bought nothing, andĀ  don’t eat frightening artificial ingredients. I found that the Momentum program is well-suited to me, as a nursing mother. So for, so good. I am half way to my big weight goal.

Crawling and Chewing

Crawling and Chewing

To our great surprise, M is classically crawling! He does not crawl as fast as he scoots, but he is trying it out. He began day before yesterday, as he was heading over through the connecting hallway to visit his Grammy and Grampy.

What a wonderful mouth of teeth he has now, too. Six are fully in (all four top incisors and the two bottom primary incisors). What a dazzling smile. His bottom right secondary incisor is beginning to poke through. It seems to be more uncomfortable that the others for some reason.

Cloth Diapering

Cloth Diapering

We are committed to cloth diapering the babe, until he is completely ready to use the potty. Since coming home from the hospital, he has worn cotton prefolds with PUL or wool covers (we prefer wool, now). We decided to use cloth diapers for many reasons including our desire to lessen our impact on the planet by reducing our waste contribution.

Dioxin, which in various forms has been shown to cause cancer, birth defects, liver damage, and skin diseases, is a by-product of the paper-bleaching process used in manufacturing disposable diapers, and trace quantities may exist in the diapers themselves.

Disposable diaper manufacturers would like us to believe that their diapers prevent diaper rash, because the “pull the wetness away from the skin”. The reality is that a variety of factors cause diapers rash; reactions to chemicals in the diapers, wipes, detergents, foods, etc…Frequent changes and plenty of air with careful attention to chemical exposure greatly reduce the risk of rashes. Babes diapered in disposables typically are changed less because the diapers feel dry. The outer plastic shell of a disposable diaper prevents the little bum from being able to “breathe”.

Super absorbent disposable diapers contain sodium polyacrylate gel, which absorbs up to 100 times its weight in water. Sodium polyacrylate is the same substance that was removed from tampons in 1985 because of its link to toxic shock syndrome. No studies have been done on the long-term effects of this chemical being in contact with a baby’s reproductive organs 24 hours a day for upwards of two years.

If water usage is a concern, consider that 18 billion disposable diapers are thrown in landfills each year, taking as many as 500 years to decompose. Disposable diapers make up the third largest source of solid waste in landfills. It takes upwards of 82,000 tons of plastic and 1.3 million tons of wood pulp, or a quarter-million trees, to manufacture the disposable diapers that cover the bottoms of 90 percent of the babies born in the US.

Many people question whether or not cloth diapers are sanitary. It is the handling of diapers and the diaper changing process that requires attention, in the area of sanitation. Hand washing and proper storage of dirty diapers (both cloth and disposable) are paramount in maintaining a safe diaper changing process. The disposal of human waste in public landfills is prohibited, so the instructions provided by the disposable diaper manufacturers is to scrape any solid waste into the toilet, before disposing of the diaper. Have you ever seen anyone do that?

Another concern that people are express is that a cloth diaper pail smells. Ours does not. We keep the pails clean, and experience no foul odors. The smell of waste in a disposable diaper is truly nasty.

What about the time that it takes? It takes less time to dump a load of cloth diapers into the washing machine and transfer them to the dryer than it does to shop for disposables, load them into the car, unload them at home, and take garbage out to the transfer station (stinking all the way).

We have tried many different washing methods and combinations of soaps. What currently works for us is to keep two pails. One dry with a reusable dry bag and on wet. All wet diapers go straight into the dry pail. All poopy diapers get the poop sprayed off into the toilet then put into a pail of cold water and either Bi-O-Kleen Bac-Out or borax. This pail is kept right in the bathroom, in the cabinet under the sink. Then, every other day all dirty diapers go into the washer. I rinse them with old water. Then wash with hot water, adding soapnuts and oxygen bleach. One warm rinse it usually enough, but sometimes an additional cold or warm rinse is necessary. Then, I sniff test the diapers, they should smell fresh and clean and kind of spicy. Then they get dried. My preference is to dry on the line, in the sun. But, since the sun is hard to come but in the winter in New England, the dryer is sufficing.

That’s it. We had trouble finding the right soap to work with our hard water. We used everything from Charlie’s Soap (which we loved before moving to this house and well) to Sun and Earth to Arm and Hammer Essentials. The step to soapnuts has been a great move, so far. With the other soaps, I was having to boil the diapers on a regular basis to remove soap build up and the post-pee stinkiness that is causes. For our water conidtions it is best for us to not use white vinegar or baking soda, although they work great for many people. If some disinfection is required, we use grapefruit seed extract.

The babe has that classic baby look about him, with a sweet, padded, white bottom. He loves to helpĀ  fold his diapers and wipes. He climbs in and out of the laundry basket, “helping”.

There are many more expensive (really cute and tempting) cloth diapering options (All-In-Ones, fitteds, minkies, etc…) but, like so many things, I find the simpler I keep it, the better. So, it remains all cotton diaper service quality prefolds, fastened with a snappi and a cover. We are not buying any more PUL covers, we are going all wool. But that is a subject for another post!