Friday, January 30, 2009

Few Random Akasha Pics and...

...she is clapping! Just all of a sudden. So cute!

Slightly out of focus, but such a cute expression!
"No, I am not going to give you a bit smile."
Doing a funny little shrug thing.
And doing her favorite throaty yell.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Revolving Door

Orion did the cutest thing he called a revolving door. I think it would be really hard to explain in words, but it was really clever. I asked him how he came up with the idea, and he said, "I just decided it. My brain helped." hahahahah I love my kid!

In toothy news...

Akasha has both her two front top teeth just poking through! I didn't even catch it at first because she has had three teeth on the bottom for ages, so I kept thinking the fourth one down there would be next. Then I had my finger in her mouth, and poof, there they were!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

When Breastfeeding is Accepted, It Won't Be Noticed

New Breastfeeding Campaign Turns Heads

Group introduces unique ad campaign


No it's not time to change your glasses. You really are seeing more women breastfeeding in public.

The woman standing by the mailbox has been breastfeeding for hours. Same with the lady sitting on the bench. They, and two of their friends, are going to be breastfeeding all over Marin County, Calif. in the coming weeks.

But if you look closely you might notice that looks can be deceiving.

A series of life-sized photographs of women breastfeeding their babies, cut-out and plastered on poster board, is all part of an eye-catching campaign to encourage and promote the acceptance of breastfeeding in public.

“Breastfeeding is recognized as the standard for infant feeding by all major health organizations,” said lactation consultant and coalition member Susan Martinelli. “Mother’s milk provides the best nutritional, immunological and emotional nurturance for the normal growth and development of babies. No manufactured formula offers anything close.”

The life-like cutouts of the “women and their babies will make their debut this week at The Village shopping center in Corte Madera, near a children’s play area.

Marin Breastfeeding Coalition, an advocacy group, has launched the campaign to raise breastfeeding awareness and support.

During a recent test run in San Rafael, the cutouts drew dozens of gawking eyes and confused second looks. Each cut-out figure is holding a card which reads, “When breastfeeding is accepted, it won’t be noticed.”

The Marin Breastfeeding Coalition said it would love for everyone to notice the campaign and to question why they were even paying so much attention to a breastfeeding mother in the first place.

The group wants the public to know that breastfeeding in public is perfectly acceptable and that it is actually protected by law.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Article About Kids Needing Play in School

Gee, we need a study to tell us this? Also, I think these folks are missing out on some of the other important reason about *why*. Still, any move in the right direction is a good one. I am glad there are some science minded people out there thinking this way!

U.S. school children need less work, more play: study

CHICAGO (Reuters) – All work and no play may be a hazard for some U.S. school children.

Researchers reported on Monday that a growing trend of curbing free time at school may lead to unruly classrooms and rob youngsters of needed exercise and an important chance to socialize.

A look at more than 10,000 children aged 8 and 9 found better classroom behavior among those who had at least a 15-minute break during the school day compared to those who did not, Dr. Romina Barros and colleagues at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York reported.

The behavior assessments were general in nature and not made at any particular time of the school day, their report said.

"The available research suggests that recess may play an important role in the learning, social development, and health of children in elementary school," the research team said in a study published in Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

But today many children get less free time and fewer physical outlets at school "because many school districts responded to the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 by reducing time committed to recess, the creative arts, and even physical education in an effort to focus on reading and mathematics," they added.

The researchers also found that children not getting recess were more likely to be black, from poor families and attending public schools in large cities.

"This raises concern in light of evidence that many children from disadvantaged backgrounds are not free to roam their neighborhoods or even their own yards unless they are accompanied by adults," the team said. "For many of these children, recess periods may be the only opportunity for them to practice their social skills with other children."

Barros told Reuters that previously published research indicates that poor children often are deprived of recess because "those schools are located in very violent neighborhoods, and there is the concern that children may get exposed to fights or gun shooting while in recess."

In addition, she said, such schools are often overcrowded, with space designated for recess or physical activity turned into classrooms.

The study also said the growing problem of childhood obesity needs to be addressed by more activity, especially at school where children spend so much of their day.

One earlier study found that free time has shrunk for U.S. children in and out of school since the 1970s, the report said. At the same time most elementary schools in Asia provide a 10-minute break after every 40 to 50 minutes of instruction, it added.

(Editing by Andrew Stern and Eric Walsh)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Blessed Be the Peacemakers

I got the shock of my life today - in a good way! Orion went with me to a meeting, which I always worry about just a little because he can get pretty intense with other kids around sometimes. There was a local teen doing childcare, but whoa, did she have her hands full! Way too many kids for one young woman to handle, and many of them very high energy. At one point a mom came up the stairs and mentioned some of the boys were not "cooperating", and I thought, uh oh! So I go down to check on Orion, and he was sitting quietly on the couch playing his DS. But it gets better! The teen tells me he has been helping her if anything! She said at one point, there were some siblings fighting and saying they hated each other, and Orion actually went over, squatted down, put his hands on their shoulders and said, "If you are brothers, you should treat each other more lovingly." Wow! I told a friend of mine this story, and she said she wished she could have gotten a picture of my face when I heard it! The funny thing is, I have never even said that to him about Akasha. He is normally great with her. I have no idea where he even heard that, but it warmed my heart for sure.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Say it With a Smile

I have been feeling pretty magnanimous toward people these days. Not sure why, but I am glad. I have a history of being a bit of a "judger", I admit it. So many things people say and do in regards to children annoy me. It's easy for me to get on my pedestal and think my ideas are superior. Lately, I have been trying to connect more with people, and if I do have something to say, put a smile on first! Nobody is going to hear what I have to say if I am all snarky about it anyway!

Like the checker at New Seasons who kept making comments about Akasha not having anything on her feet a few weeks ago. Finally, as I was leaving I said, "We're not going on a hike, we're just going to the car." Nice, huh? So what has come up lately?

The lady at Winco who commented on how sweet and snug Akasha looked in the meitei. She asked me, "Is the a good baby?" My response could have come out snarky, but I put on the best smile I could manage and said, "They are all good babies. There is no such thing as a bad baby."

Then there was the lady at Target who felt compelled to tell me her baby had gotten really sick from something he picked up on a public changing table. First of all, how the heck would she know that is where it came from?! But I just smiled and said we don't worry much about germs in our family, and both of my kids almost never get sick."

There is also a longer story about a mom at a local play place threatening her toddler with a spanking, then putting him in time out and telling him she couldn't trust him. This kid could not have been more than two. :sigh: I did not want to get involved in that for sure! But when I saw the kid heading right back for the same other kid's tower he knocked over before as soon as he got down, I engaged him and offered to build him something to knock over, saying something about how fun it is to knock things over. Did she notice? Did she get an idea? I hope so, but at least it saved him another time out, and possibly a spanking!

It came up recently in a discussion that it is better to just focus on your own life and not worry about all the negative stuff that is happening out there. A couple people made a point about people needing to be ready, and that when they are ready, the teacher will come. Well, how do we know we are not the teachers?!

Like those involved with the Great Turning say...

We are the ones we've been waiting for!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Evil Clown Hair

Need I say more?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

What a Day!

An amazing day for our country. An amazing day for the world. I wish I was an eloquent writer and had the words (or the time) to write out how meaningful this day is. I think it is so big that I can't even wrap my mind around it! Welcome to the Oval Office Mr. President. I can't wait to see what the next four years have in store for us!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Daddy Workout

I got this link from my friend Zoe, and it is too hilarious not to share!

I tried to embed it, but the sound didn't work for some reason. Do check it out, it's worth it!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Another Season Begins....

Yes, I'm talking about American Idol folks. And yes, I watch it. I even watch the auditions. Not sure why, because parts of them piss me off more every year. I really hate the way they set aside the very worst and the very best. It is just a stupid waste of the judges time, and why? So the rest of America can laugh at them? Sorry, it just isn't funny. And some of the people are really hurt when they get rejected. But we watch it anyway. Mainly because they do some really interesting background stories on the people they do put through. It is often the ones they suspect are going to do pretty well, so it is nice to see a bit of their story. And then, every once in awhile, they do something awesome and amazing. Watching a new year start, I am reminded of Sherman Pore. In my humble opinion, this was the greatest American Idol audition ever:

Friday, January 16, 2009

Big Day Around Our House

Akasha had several new experiences today! First, at dinner time, she picked up some food and got it into her mouth for the first time. She doesn't have the really fine motor control to pick up things with her finger tips yet, but she tried and ends up getting into the middle of her hand. That was good enough to get it mashed into her face. :)

Then I decided to let her try out the bathtub with Orion for the first time since her sitting has gotten pretty reliable. She seemed delighted with the experience! Let the games begin!

Officially sitting baby!
Protective big brother. :)

She was totally amazed with the flying water, even when it hit her in the face!
She is always pretty unhappy about getting out of the tub, but we snuck a quick picture of the ducky towel anyway.

From the mind of a four year old...

"Ghosts can't pee because they don't have penises."

Very logical, son.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Another Reconnection Courtesy of Facebook

I finally decided to go and see who was on Facebook from my high school. The first person I added was somebody I didn't know that well, but I had great memories of him. He was that kid that used to play the guitar on the lawn at lunch time and just be surrounded with good vibes. I think every school has one of them... at least if they are lucky. I was so happy to see him holding a guitar in his profile pic and just had to find out if he was still playing music.

As it turns out, he started down a different job path, and is only recently pursuing singing and songwriting in a serious manner. His name is Matthew Moran if you want to check him out. He lives in Phoenix, but the best part of this story is that he ended up in Portland on business this week. If I hadn't added him when I did, I would have missed him. What a crazy coincidence! He decided to play some open mics, and I got out to the last one tonight at Muddy Waters (great little place by the way). He actually told the girl at the counter we hadn't seen each other for 25 years. I hadn't done the math - jeez! Way to feel old! Anyway, I took a bunch of pictures. These are the ones I liked the best:

And like three or four different people offered to take my picture with the baby. Friendliest crowd ever! And so supportive of the performers. I figured it would be nice to have a picture of since I hardly ever am on the other side of the camera. Thanks random stranger!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Cord Grabber

So it begins.... Akasha has officially entered the stage of lightning fast grabs and going after everything that looks interesting. One of her favorite targets is the cord from Ron's headset.Little imp so cute - "Look what I got?!"

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Two Dollar Tuesday!

Gotta love the cheap day at the zoo! :) Time is continuing to sneak past me right now, but at least I got a few kid photos today! We heard some of our unschooling friends were going to be at the zoo, so we decided to join them.

Cute smile in the car.
Orion actually took this one. Don't you love the zoo themed outfit Ron picked out?
Orion's favorite thing to do at the zoo:
And the only other animal picture I took all day:
Orion spent most of the time running around on the big grassy field. He met a new friend today and they had a great time wrestling. Orion looks like he is about to pounce on him in this photo!

Friday, January 9, 2009

My first attempt at freezer paper stenciling...

This week has just disappeared. Besides my niece being in the hospital, another friend's son was in the hospital. I meant to post these pictures right after Sarah got them, but I am just now getting around to it. There were some of her Solstice gifts:
The one on the right is the same design the awesome Rachele used to make a shirt and jumper for Orion and Akasha. I knew Sarah would flip over them because she has a great love of the Om symbol, and indeed she did. Akasha's jumper is light and dark purple stripes with this same exact purple paint for the stencil. I asked Sarah what she would want if I tried to make one, and she said a lavender tank with the dark purple symbols. It took me awhile to find tanks in a nice shade, but I finally found these online at Jockey. The one on the left was a surprise since I wanted to do something a little diferent than the one she knew she was getting.

Then I used the same stencil to make this other little surprise for her:

I picked out a paint as closely matching the tanks as possible and made her this matching box. She really uses little boxes like this alot, so I know it was a good surprise! Fun to finally post these now since I didn't want to before Christmas in case she read here and saw them!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Long Day...

My niece had surgery today. She didn't know for sure what was going to happen when she went in, and the outcome was not really what she was hoping for. I stayed in the waiting room with her ex, and called some family and friends when she was done. Not really my place to talk about it on a public blog, but it was a sad day for me, and even moreso for her I am sure. At least she is here in Portland where she knows a couple people. I am going to try and visit her as much as I can when I can leave Orion at home. Hopefully her healing will go smoothly and quickly.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Proud to be a Black Sheep!

A good friend of mine just had a birthday and had a small get together. She did one of the cutest things I have ever seen - she gave her friends a gift. And what a gift! We are all pretty much into the same kind of parenting, which isn't exactly practiced by the mainstream... so sometimes I think we do feel a little out of step when we are out there in the "real world". Or at least I do. :) So what better symbol of walking our own path in society than a black sheep! But even black sheep have friends sometimes....
It is so nice to be together in a community when we can manage it and feel connected. And... one of the lovely mamas knitted Akasha this rockin' hat! Like literally overnight. I mentioned she didn't have any knit hats, and she just whipped this up without even telling me! I think it is so adorable. Reminds me of sprouts!
This picture cracks me up because Akasha is getting kissed and pulling hair at the same time! Owwwww!
My girl loves her some hair!
Happy girl! This is her face after just being lifted in the air.
Phew, so now I am tired but happy. It is wonderful to have good friends. :)

Friday, January 2, 2009

My Little Chef

Here is Orion modeling one of his Santa presents.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

I have been looking at quotations lately, so I thought this would be a nice way to start the new year. :) I'm trying to be all about the law of attraction right now. Our family needs to attract something, and soon....