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Monday, June 27, 2011

4 years of my little Spiderman :)

Wow, I know it is soooo cliche, but time really does fly. Has it really been 4 years since my little Spiderman entered this world?! Really??

Baby Spiderman's Birth Story 

Due to a previous surgery, I was due to have a scheduled C section on June 28th, 2007. My due date was July 4th :)

Having no previous pregnancy or birthing experience, I was quite at ease with the thought of having a scheduled birth, with no labor, and what I had thought was going to be an "easy" birth and recovery.

I started Spiderman's pregnancy at a lean 125 pounds. During his pregnancy, I gained 65 pounds. Yes, you read that right... 65 pounds! I suffered from gestational diabetes, hypertension, and several torn ligaments thanks to my large baby, and extra large weight gain on such a small frame! Needless to say, as the date for my section drew nearer, I had appointments with my ever changing midwives every 2 - 3 days so they could check me, and perform a non stress test (NST) on the baby.

I had my regular appointment on June 26th. I had been experiencing what I assumed were Braxton Hicks contractions for several days, and the NST showed no "real" contractions, so I was sent home. Throughout the night, my "fake" contractions seemed to be getting more intense, and by the following morning, I was so uncomfortable that I called the office and paged the doctor to request the first available appointment. Despite the discomfort, I drove myself to my appointment at 8am. The midwife performed an excruciatingly painful vaginal exam- so painful I might add, that I was crying- and told me I was not dilated, so I should go home. They would see me the following afternoon for my C section.

My naivete got the better of me, and after I composed myself from the tears streaming my face, I hobbled to my car. The distance from the office door to my car was maybe 20 feet. By the time I reached my car, I could not move. The pain in my abdomen was so severe, that I could barely breathe. I literally could NOT move from the position I had now assumed in my driver's seat. There was no way I could drive home.

My then-boyfriend picked me up, after what seemed like an eternity! We headed for home, and having been told I would just have to stick it out until tomorrow, I tried to force down some food- I couldn't even catch my breath enough to sip water.

I had been examined at 8:30am. I got home somewhere around 10/10:30am, and called the doctor again around 11am. She tried convincing me to wait until the following day, saying I should just "rest" and "try to relax"; but after not being able to speak for several minutes on the phone, she relented that "if I really wanted to be checked again, I could go to the hospital". We were at the hospital by 12pm, and I had to be brought in on a wheelchair.

My little Spiderman was born at 12:37pm via C section. As we entered the OR, just 4 hours after my initial exam, I was almost 8 centimeters dilated.

My little Spiderman, who was not so little, weighed in at 8 pounds, 9 ounces and was 20 inches long.

The pediatrician who examined him came over and told me he looked great, congratulations! We got the oohs and aaahs from the OR nurses, and the emotional "pat on the back" from the doctor who performed our section.

Things start getting fuzzy for me after this. Time blurs together, and events just float in my mind like pages of a book clipped and strewn about in a thick fog. I remember looking at my baby for just a minute. Trying to decompress from the hormonal volcano that just erupted in my body, and also the stress and anxiety that had ensued that morning. As the nurse tinkered around the room, I could feel myself trying to pull my mind into the present moment. This is supposed to be some big epiphany, right? Some shining light of instant bonding is supposed to shoot from the sky and it will be the happiest moment of my life, right? As I tried desperately to shake off the cobwebs and really SEE my baby, the nurse interrupted my subconscious thoughts;

" he looks like he's breathing a little funny, I'm just going to take him to the nursery- I'll be right back"

I didn't see my little Spiderman again for almost 48 hours. 

being transported to the NICU

my little Spiderman at the NICU

Everything is a blur after that. Any thought of shaking the cobwebs in my mind were exchanged for more drugs, in hopes that they might help medicate the sobbing woman who was trying to recover from major abdominal surgery.

Murmurs from nurses, doctors, family, friends, all were like eavesdropping through a door even though I was in the same room. Now, they are choppy, faded memories;

"your son has suffered a spontaneous bilateral pneumothorax"
"he needs to be transported to another hospital"
"I'm sorry, you can't go with him"
"Is he still alive?"
(crying, tears)
my boyfriends family calls in a preacher 
really? last rites? what is going on?! why am I so tired?
"he will go and you will stay here"
"do you plan to breastfeed or bottle feed?"
"do you want them to feed him?"

My loving sister stayed with me that horrible night. As other family and friends called to see how the new baby was, I was left to explain time and time again that the baby was not there, and I had no idea if I would ever see him again.

The NICU to which he was transferred called almost every hour, wondering when I was coming- he was hungry...

"I don't know!" I would scream, "I can't get there! I'm in a hospital bed!" Finally, after what seemed like several HUNDRED phone calls, the two hospitals coordinated to get me up there in an ambulance. I was to leave at 10am.

They finally came to get me at 6pm. Yes, 6pm!

I continued to receive calls from the NICU describing my baby's desperate feeding situation, "I'm so sorry, we had to give him a syringe of formula, he was just so hungry!"

What does that even mean? Am I killing my baby because this hospital can't get me there?! Are they waiting for me to tell them to just feed him a formula bottle? But what about breastfeeding?! The questions did not stop circling.

I finally arrived, almost 2 days post op, still in tremendous pain and still suffering a huge hospital-drug-hangover. My swelling was unbearable. The NICU would allow me to stay, but obviously I was not their patient. I had to walk everywhere, despite my post op status and tremendous amount of swelling, and bleeding. I had to figure out how to pump myself, get up to shower, TRY to get some rest, AND answer the NICU call every hour on the hour to go feed my baby.

And I use the term "feed" loosely, breastfeeding became a HUGE undertaking due to the gag reflex my little Spiderman suffered from having been intubated.

But he did seem much more relaxed once he had his mommy with him :) And I was just relieved that my son was alive, and for all intents and purposes, doing well. He was the biggest baby in the NICU, as you can imagine, at almost 10 pounds! <3

We brought him home from the NICU after 8 days. His chest tube had been removed, and he was "eating" on his own. A visiting nurse would come check on him daily for a week, then one week after that, and then we were on our own.

My little Spiderman did great! He continued to gain weight, although breastfeeding remained a constant chore and struggle for both of us. We lasted until he was 6 months!

Since his traumatic start, my little Spiderman has become that light that I had been waiting for. It may not have had the time to appear as the "epiphany" at childbirth so many describe, but he continues to remind me everyday how wonderful being his mom is.

He is by no means a perfect child, and I am by no means a perfect mom- which is why, we are a perfect match! I do my best to nurture him, and he does his best to guide me as to what comes naturally to him. We pick our "battles" :), and I do my best to let things fall into place "naturally". He certainly has rules, and he seems to know and understand his boundaries.

He has adjusted to his dual-life, with two separate homes and two separate sets of rules. He knows he is Lucky. He has all the more people who love him! He has a mommy and a daddy, and a step daddy, a step mommy, siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents up the wazoo!

He has a countless family and friends who love him. His mama, of course, is his biggest fan of all :) 

He is my baby. My boy. My superhero. My love. My son. My little Spiderman...

Happy 4th Birthday Baby! Mama loves you! <3

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Rock a Bye Booty: Review & Giveaway *CLOSED*

Who wants some fluff? :) 

Our latest product review has been kindly provided by Tanya, the fabulous mama over at Rock a Bye Booty. If you're even remotely familiar with the world of mommy-blogging, you also know you find her name in many other places too :) 

I was sent a fabulous cloth diaper cover, in the Green Bubble print; 

So I am a total moron, and when we first discussed doing this review/giveaway, it did not occur to me that the diaper was a "cover" (clearly after 10 months, I am apparently still a newbie in the world of cloth diapering!). As you've discovered through my various past blogs, we use primarily g Diapers and have recently added Blissful Booty Cloth Diapers to our stash. 

I have no idea how to use pre folds. Is that even what they're called? See, I am a folded-cloth-diaper-moron. Nonetheless, I found an AMAZING use for the diaper cover in our house.... nighttime!

Leaks at night, especially with a cloth diaper, are terrible. It requires washing of sheets, jammies, blankets, toys, and of course, the diaper. In my case, this usually includes a cloth insert, a snap liner, and an outer shell. Booooo... 

To prevent said leaks, I had previously been adding a disposable g liner ON TOP of the cloth liner inside the g pant. (No idea what I'm talking about? see the g diapers website for more info.) Anyways, so this time, I used my regular g pant and cloth liner (minus the disposable insert) and added instead the Rock a Bye Booty diaper cover. Ummm, FABULOUS! 

The inside is this super soft, yet water resistant material that made it so all I had to wash in the morning was the g diaper and insert and NOT her whole bed! I wasn't sure how the fit differs from over a folded diaper, but the cinched sides and wide waist band made it fit snug, and yet was still soft, comfortable, and provided for easy mobility. The material is not in any way starchy or constricting.

Baby A's nighttime diaper leakage is primarily my fault, because I do the "horrible mom" thing of sending her to bed with a bottle. (I know, gasp!) But hey, she sleeps... so don't judge unless you were here the first 6 months. Anyways, so at probably no fault of the g diaper- she leaks right through, almost nightly. And having the disposable AND cloth insert in there were making her little g pant butt super bunchy- sometimes I wondered if she would even be able to move her tiny little legs! :)

The thinness of the Rock a Bye Booty cover is a great alternative in not the only the fact that it prevented the leaks from getting to her clothes or to the bed, but also in the comfort factor! Her cloth diaper butt was a whole lot less... fluffy... : )

* She also sent me the cloth wipes you see in the photo and the fleece material feels SO luxurious, I actually felt guilty using it to wipe her butt! <3

So, wanna WIN some BOOTY of your own??!
* Contest is now CLOSED* 

* Just follow Rock a Bye Booty via Google Friend Connect, or subscribe by email
* Make sure you already follow NurturingtheNaturalMama via Google Friend Connect

To enter, just comment below that you have followed Rock a Bye Booty and NNM (be sure to include your email in your comment). 

WINNER will win this CUSTOM design by Rock a Bye Booty

Additional Entries: 

You can enter a second and third time by; 
* Finding and 'liking' Rock a Bye Booty on Facebook 
* Finding and 'liking' NNM on Facebook

For additional entries, comment below if you are following Rock a Bye Booty and/or NNM on Facebook (again, be sure to include your email in your comment). 

* Please add a SEPARATE comment for each action so you get more chances to win! 

Share this giveaway on FB or Twitter, and comment below EACH DAY that you do so (leave your email or twitter handle in your comment) and it counts as a new entry EACH DAY! 

Contest ENDS Thursday June 23rd at 7pm EST. Winner will be announced by Friday. 

Juice: What's in YOUR Sippy??

Many moms and dads frown upon the use of juice as a beverage of choice for their late infant/toddlers. Hail to all the supermoms who get their kids to EBF for 18 months and then get them to drink water straight out of a regular cup; I envy you (no, seriously- I do)...

picture found via Google Images

My kids, drink juice. And frankly, probably too much of it.

My toddler is a juice-a-holic. Yes, I water it down- but I've heard mixed reviews on that as well. Are you taking away the little nutritional value there IS in juice by watering it down? But if he drinks straight juice all the time, clearly his teeth will rot out of his head, right?!

Thankfully, he has successfully visited the dentist with all his little teeth in good shape :)  and we have come to alter what he thinks of as  "juice", to make it more age appropriate- and healthy.

My little Spiderman enjoys "Shrek" juice, our infamous ingredient-hiding-name for the Odwalla Superfoods Drink :)

...and he loves Odwalla protein shakes, and V8 Fusions, carrot juice, organic yogurt smoothies, etc.  So for that, we are thankful. And of course, thanks to WIC we are constantly supplied with a never ending source of 100% juices in a variety of flavors to fill in the gaps.

So what's my latest healthier-juice-alternative creation??

Iced tea.

I know, common sense, right? I have let my toddler drink tea since he was about 18 months when he was sick, and now he asks for it by name (and usually specifies that it contain honey) :)  and baby A has had warm (but not HOT) chamomile tea in her bottle on many occasions when she has had an upset belly (it really works mamas!), and a favorite at our local Panera bread has always been the Icey Green Tea! YUM!

But today, I created a delicious, inexpensive, and mouth watering juice alternative.... iced berry tea. (I'm sure many of you are like, "duhhhhh Theresa.... who HASN'T thought of that?!" ... but I'm sharing in hopes that some of you mamas are like me, and hadn't... and will be just as excited as I was to try it) :)

Making Iced Berry Tea: 

Pour 2 cups boiling water over 4 tea bags....

Today I used the Black Cherry Berry flavor :) 
 Let steep for 4- 6 minutes... 


Pour into a container already filled with 2 cups ice water.... 

the one in her sippy/bottle is the Country Peach Passion flavor from the other day :)

And ENJOY!! 

(* additional money-saving tip: BornFree and Avent both have "sippy" toppers that can be used with their training cups, OR directly placed on top of your existing bottles- HUGE money saver over buying a bunch of new sippy cups, and you are repurposing your now outdated bottles!) 

What is your child(ren)s favorite juice? Or what do your kids enjoy instead of juice?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

DADS ROCK: Father's Day Giveaway WINNERS

Update: DADS ROCK Giveaway, AND THE WINNERS ARE.......

Happy Father's Day!

The WINNER of the $15 Gift Card from Natural Family Supplies is...

Arely Colin

The WINNER of the FREE bag of cloth diaper detergent from Rockin Green   is...

Arely Colin 

The WINNER of the Custom Decal from Educated Mama Decals  is...

Arely Colin

The WINNER of the Moby Wrap (picked using is...

Alicia Tebbetts

The WINNER of the FREE one hour coaching session from Purejoy Parenting   goes to...

Sparkle Mama for her participation <3

The men's suit donated by The Dark Orchid , will go directly to One Simple Wish 
One Simple Wish
1977 N. Olden Ave
Trenton, NJ 08618
Congratulations to all our winners! And we look forward to the 2nd annual DADS ROCK Father's Day Giveaway 2012! 

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sunday Surf: RealMama Week Wrap Up

RealMama Wrap Up 
We had so many great contributors this week, and a huge thank you goes out to all of them. A diverse group of topics, which I hope provided some helpful info to all of our RealMamas :) 

My inspirational 'RealMama'; Jessica, creator of The Leaky B@@b and her youngest nursling
In the Arms of Motherhood was a tear-jerking post about the authors view on being a mama. The genuine intent with which is was written just warms my heart, and of course, her personal struggles are heartbreaking! 

What I loved most about the post is the simple, seemingly common-sense approach to mothering; that we treat our children like we would teach guests. Our brains so often perpetuate stories about what one minute behavior might perpetuate for future behaviors, that we lose sight of the moment with our children. This type of parenting/behavior is also described in detail in the piece titled My Agenda  (Day 6), by Purejoy Parenting
Knosts' and Potters' descriptions of meeting our children where they are at, emotionally and intellectually, is SO important for helping to solidify the attachment between parent and child, but for greatly decreasing the anxiety that can accompany parenthood. Much of the anxiety we feel comes from worrying about our child's behavior in the moment (out in public, etc.), and/or considering what said behavior might mean in relation to future behaviors (if I let this go, he's never going to understand what it means to be responsible, etc.).  Our Day 3 post, Mothering Me, by Leslie Potter from Purejoy Parenting reiterated these sentiments, and also describes her own personal struggle into motherhood. 

LR Knost and her son, from Little Hearts Books (Gentle Parenting Resources), contributor for Day 1 of RealMama Week

Leslie Potter, from Purejoy Parenting (contributor for Day 3 and Day 6 of RealMama week)

When I originally started this project of RealMama week, I wanted "authentic pieces describing how YOU view motherhood/parenthood/being a mama, etc". And I would say, piggybacking off Day 1 and Day 3 posts (above), our Day 4 post Living Mindfully was probably my favorite! 

Spiritual Momma, contributor for Day 4 of RealMama week
Her wisdom-list that she hopes to pass on to her children, is now smeared all over an index card in big, black Sharpie on the entryway between our room and the kids room. I love her description of not sweating the small things; clearly when you have been through traumatic/trying/difficult times in your life, the "small" things can seem really insignificant. I find myself all to often (which I try on a daily basis to correct) saying things like "don't do that because you'll get hurt", or "don't do this because x will happen"; and basing parenting 'rules' on fear is never the way to go!

As Spiritual Momma describes, skinned knees will happen, your kids will fall and get bruises, and sometimes they will "fall" with emotional pain: 

Our job is not to STOP these things from happening, but to give our child(ren) the tools to cushion their falls.  Teaching them to trust their instincts, believing in themselves, living in the moment, and dreaming BIG; are all tools for them that they can use for the rest of their lives. 

Obviously, as parents, we do need to keep our child(ren) safe from harm. But as they get older, it gets harder and harder to keep them in the loving bubble that is our arms (or our chosen babywearing device :)). In an age appropriate way, I believe it is of the utmost importance to not shelter our children, but provide them with emotional and intellectual TOOLS; so that they may one day be active, participatory, loving, and  kind members of society.

homemade black bean burgers provided by The Economical Eater, contributor for Day 2 of RealMama week

Switching gears a bit, Cheap Eats was a post by The Economical Eater sharing some fabulous, delicious, and nutritious pantry staples and accompanying weeknight (or any-night) meals for all of us RealMamas! Almost all the pantry staples, which included black beans, eggs, frozen vegetables, and chickpeas; are all items offered as part of your local WIC program. And don't be stingy- feed the SAME thing to your kiddos! Check out more info on how I view baby food You Want Me to Eat What?! (my guest post via Instinctual Mamas).

One of our NNM readers provided her incredible Birth Story as our Day 5 post for RealMama week. Amanda  describes the blur that was her unexpected C Section delivery and the following few days of visitors, adjusting the motherhood, and the transition from hospital to home. Her story has a delightful ending of a great mama & baby relationship, an EBF baby, and a happy healthy now 4 month old! <3

I love hearing birth stories, mostly because my first was so horrible, that I can live vicariously through others when I hear about their births! I really can't complain in that, in the end, I ended up with a happy, healthy, and wonderful now almost 4 year old! <3 But his start was FAR from what I expected. 

Here's my question to you, at the birth(s) of your child(ren), did you have that moment of pure, elated joy that so many women describe? How would you describe your feeling(s) during birth? 

 I hope you enjoyed RealMama week as much as I did, and look forward to another RealMama week coming SOON! 
Send entries anytime to and put RealMama in the subject line. Be sure to include a short bio, and attach any personal photos if you would like them included in your post.

RealMama Week: My Agenda

RealMama Week, Day 6
I couldn't resist another opportunity to share another nugget of wisdom from Leslie Potter of Purejoy Parenting.  A huge thank to you Leslie for her work in improving the art of parenting! <3

My Agenda

 I've noticed, when having an agenda, my daughter, simply refuses to engage. Today, coming in from the grocery, I asked her to unload one of the bags. I'd taken her to lunch, bought her a sweet treat and driven her to a friend's house so I thought asking her to unload one little bag would be a piece of cake. Well, the truth is, I felt like she owed me this one small little favor since I'd given so much earlier. Ahhhh...the agenda reveals itself.

Now you might be thinking, hey Leslie, you are just teaching her how to help out at home....or maybe you are thinking she is going to get the wrong message if I don't require her to help out. And if you are, all of these thoughts ran through my head as she growled and claimed she wouldn't unload the bag. I took a deep breath and tried my big voice saying, "Meili, it is just one bag and I want you to unload it now." Growling she started emptying the bag, but slammed the goods on the table refusing to put them in the fridge.

I felt an intense heat rising in my body, as my trigger engaged.   Clearly my words were not producing the results I desired.  I knew, in my heart, what I was about to say was NOT what I wanted to say but before I could stop out spewed. "Alright then, I guess I won't be taking you to lunch or getting you a treat anymore." As those ugly words came tumbling out of my mouth, the dreaded blackmail move engaged.

As I looked at my precious daughter I knew that was NOT how I wanted to teach her to get support. Remembering, I'm the role model, I took a deep breath and said, "wow, what just came out of my mouth, isn't what I really wanted to say." What I wanted to say is, "I love you and I see you are in a big hurry to get out the door to your friends." And the moment I opened into a receptive place, including her agenda in the space, she looked at me and said, "I'm happy to help you, mom." Ah, can it really be this easy? Only when I remember to stay open, taking responsibility for my agendas, knowing she is not here to serve them.  It wasn't that she didn't want to help, it was that I was only thinking about my agenda and forgot to include her.

Practice: Become aware when you meet resistance in your child. When you do, ask yourself if your agenda is playing out, determined to defend and justify its position. See if you are willing to drop your agenda, open to receiving your child and then see what happens. Let me know what you find out!

Leslie Potter
Purejoy Parenting
* also find her on Facebook
* and follow her on Twitter

Let her know NurturingtheNaturalMama sent you! 

RealMama Week: One Mama's Birth Story

 RealMama week, day 5
Enjoy this reader's story about her journey to motherhood. Thank you to Amanda, for your genuine portrait of your birth story is a perfect piece for RealMama week. 

The Perpetual Birth Plan Kink: 
"You're going to need a C section"

It was February 8th, 2011 and I had a routine doctor's appointment.  I was 39 weeks pregnant and just waiting for labor to kick in.  The doctor had been telling me my entire pregnancy that I was measuring big for my gestational age, but showed no concern for my size.  I am only 5'3", I had a belly that was really out there!  The doctor told me at 38 weeks that if the baby was measuring over 9lbs that a c-section would be my best option for mine and the baby's safety.  39 weeks came, we went to get the ultrasound and he was measuring in the 90th percentile for length and 9lbs, 14oz!  The c-section was scheduled for that night and the next few days are a blurry haze of phone calls, delivery, recovery...and life begins with my new son!

photo from Google Images

 He was born a week early to the day of his due date, a beautiful healthy boy weighing 8lbs 13oz and 20.5" long.  The c-section was scheduled for 7pm on February 8th, it was 2pm when I left the doctors office and
I had to be at the hospital at 4!

The first person I called was my mom, who lives 4 hours away, to tell her today was the day and she had to hurry and get down here.  Many calls later, my husband and I were sure we had notified everyone.  We left the doctors office and ran a few errands and went home to get our stuff.  It all seemed so surreal at that point, we were about to be parents and our lives were going to change forever...

I had already had my bags packed quite a few weeks ago, so we just relaxed (to the best of our ability at that point) and waited to go to the hospital, savoring our last few moments of life with just the two of us.  Arriving at the hospital, things started immediately; my prep for my c-section pretty much started from the minute I got there.  I actually got into the operating room to have him earlier than scheduled, I was scheduled for a 7pm delivery and ended up having him at 6:44pm.  I think we were actually in the operating room an hour ahead of schedule.

My husband was setting up our room with all of our stuff and we were just getting settled in and the nurses came in and said they had the operating room ready and were going to take me early...see why this day was such a blur?  I didn't even get to really see or hold my son for hours after he was born.  I held him for a few minutes while they wheeled me back to my room, but after that he was placed on a warmer on the other side of the room while my family all came in and "oohed" and "aah-ed" over him for an hour or so.  We ended up leaving the hospital 2 days early because we were both doing so well. I had been up walking and showering the next day without pain meds, and my son wasn't jaundiced, and he was breastfeeding like a champ, so the hospital didn't feel it necessary to keep us there the full stay.

I now have a big, beautiful, exclusively breastfed, healthy, strong, smart baby boy who is (unbelievably) 4 months old now.  I find it hard to believe it's been 4 months already, but I love watching him grow and change everyday.  I am looking forward to seeing what new developments come in this next month and all the months to come in his life.

What was your birth story like? Planned, emergency, did it go as it thought you would- why/why not? 

Thursday, June 9, 2011

RealMama Week: Living Mindfully, RealMama Style

RealMama Week, Day 4
Todays post comes to us from Sarah, "mother" of Spiritual Momma :) 
I am not just a mother. Imagine that! I am a woman, a lover, a friend, a daughter, a friend, a tree hugger, an asshole and a junkie for anything that makes me feel good. I have almost gone off the deep end, several times. Somehow, someway I found myself in the madness and now I want to share that with you.

Living Mindfully, RealMama Style.

photo courtesy of Spiritual Momma on Facebook

I like to get right to the heart of the matter; It has become really clear that my role as a mother is to guide my children on the journey of their spirit. This journey of course, starts with me and the journey of my own spirit. 
My journey has not been graceful; in fact I would venture to say my ride has been messy, traumatic and glorious. Unfortunately I learn the hard way (and so do my children). If I could pass a few ounces of wisdom onto my children.. just a few… they would be:
          *Listen & trust your intuition little noodle, always follow your heart
          *Believe in yourself and that all things are possible
          *Celebrate your BE-ingness (you are special and so very loved)
          *Live in this moment, right now- it’s all you have
          *Life is on your side, so DREAM BIG! and then some
I believe that as a mother, I am to love and support my kiddos no matter what. Even through times of disappointment, fear and uncertainty. Furthermore, I want to live mindfully; at peace with what is, and in touch with myself and the flow of life. 
What I have found is that in order to do so; I must heal my own wounds, seek awareness and acceptance for what is, relinquish my incessant need to control the uncontrollable and allow myself to love and experience joy. 
This means I just refuse to save my kids from scraping their knees on the sidewalk, or harping on them to follow every stupid rule. Life will teach them that, I am certain. I want to show them how to live mindfully, and hopefully make a difference one day. 
Perfection is not an option. This means some moments are difficult, messy, and painful. This is my cue to go within and mother myself. My children are not the problem, and certainly not the source of my discomfort. My children have been my greatest gift,  and have revealed to me time and time again,  that which had not been healed within me. 
just one of the many cool items available at Spiritual Momma's Etsy boutique
So perhaps right now is an excellent time to ask yourself what motherhood means to you...
In closing, I will share one of my greatest comforts: I am free to change my mind or revise anything at any time. 
-Spiritual Momma
* Find and 'like' Spiritual Momma on Facebook 
* Follow her on Twitter

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

RealMama Week: Mothering Me

 RealMama Week, Day 3
Enjoy this beautiful post by Leslie Potter from Purejoy Parenting

Leslie Potter is the founder of Pure Joy Parenting, a joy based parenting model which supports parents in moving from a traditional fear-based model to a joy-based one, focusing on relationship and healthy attachment. She is a co-author of Chaos to Connection: 9 Heart Centered Essentials for Parenting your Teen. Leslie is a Parent Coach with a background as a body centered therapist. She created the Parent Coach model at Vive a national company working with at risk teens and their parents. In 2008, she founded Purejoy Parenting to educate and support new parents in understanding the importance of their attachment stories and how they affect their relationships with their children.

Mothering Me

Motherhood has stretched me beyond words.  How could I have known that one little soul could awaken such light, as well as illuminate such darkness.  When waiting for my daughter,  I imagined all the good aspects of being a mother.  I felt I was ready to surrender fully to the amazing opportunity I was being given.  Finally, after 44 years of waiting and preparing, I was going to be a mother.  It had taken me that long to embrace my childhood and feel I had done enough work that I wouldn't damage my child.

photo courtesy of Leslie Potter on Facebook

I was beyond excited for the opportunity to be the Mom I knew I had inside.  What I hadn't planned for was the depth of pain that would arise when I fell short.  Talk about humility!  This has been my path, and daily I bow down to my daughter for showing me the true path to loving myself.  When I am able to open to the depth of beauty and grace she provides, instead of needing her to behave the way I want her to so I look like a good mom, I can see clearly.

 I don't need her to validate me and have found I can relax and open to being a safe emotional container for her to learn and grow.  When I'm able to take full responsibility for my feelings and my stories, I am able to let her off the hook to be the beautiful light she embodies.

Learning to love myself starts with me and it is the greatest gift I offer my sweet girl.

Even though my love for her showed me the way, I learned that loving myself was up to me.  When I needed her to convince me that I was lovable, I felt the pain.  When I was finally able to step into the shoes of that amazing Mom I had inside...I began to mother ME as well as my daughter. 

How do you feel about the mom you ARE, versus the mom you thought you'd be?

* Find and 'like' Purejoy Parenting on Facebook 
* Check out her website & blog  for Leslie's Parenting Pearls and contact info 
* and be sure to follow her on Twitter 

Let her know NurturingtheNaturalMama sent you! <3

You can also check out Leslie's latest contribution to PBS here.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

NNM NEWS: Busy Busy Summer!

WOW! We are BUSY here at NNM: 


* DADS ROCK Father's Day Giveaway 
        Going on NOW. Check Facebook and the blog for more details

* Rock a Bye Booty Review & GIVEAWAY 
         will be posted by Saturday at 9pm EST. Be sure to check it out and win some FLUFF :) 

* RealMama week is going on NOW
          Day 1     and Day 2  have already been posted, be sure to check out Day 3 of RealMama Week tomorrow with Spiritual Momma

* NEW WEBSITE is currently under construction- stay with us as we move to *

* the next Foundations for BOTH our Purejoy Parenting and our Attachment Parenting Series will be up on the blog by the end of the week. I expect to have them both edited and posted by Sunday afternoon! 


Mama Eve- Your Natural Parenting Resource will be guest posting for NNM early July
                details TBD, but be on the look out for that! She rocks!  

* Baby A's 1st Birthday: A Year in Pictures
                 will be posted by her birthday, July 20th, and I look forward to YOU sharing your kiddos past year in photos here on the blog and on Facebook

Sunday, June 5, 2011

RealMama Week starts Monday June 6th

Guest posts welcome for THIS week! I want to feature RealMamas and issues that affect real mamas!

No blogging experience necessary! So far, you can expect some incredible guest posts by : 

Leslie Potter from Purejoy Parenting
Michelle Collins from The Economical Eater
Sarah from  Spiritual Momma 

Feel free to send me your RealMama post via email at


None. I want authentic pieces from mamas about motherhood, day to day life, the good and the bad, and/or from those who have information or stories that could benefit mamas.

and have FUN! because that's the point of all of this after all :) 


Sunday Surf- Playing Catch Up

I know, it's been a while since my last Sunday Surf. But really, the weekends here in Maine have been beautiful and full of family plans the past several weeks. And really, what kind of mommy blogger would I be if I spent my weekends with my fingers glued to my laptop instead of spending some MUCH needed quality time with my kiddos and my hubby?! :)

So anyways, we have some catchin up to do!
First item is one that is a MUST check out. I first discovered this opportunity from Purejoy Parenting and immediately registered!

Be sure to check out This Emotional Life and their upcoming interactive discussion on Attachment. Registration is necessary, and the date for the online discussion is June 9th at 5pm EST. And did I mention, it's FREE!

My second FAVE item lately has been another gem from one of my all-time favorite bloggers; Alternative Mama. Her recent post on Holding Your Baby had impeccable timing, as I had JUST been chatting with a 'friend' of mine who simply does not agree with how I raise my babies. I hold them too much, I spoil them, you get the picture...

Anyways, I really try NOT to be one who is always giving advice on parenting, because I absolutely hate it when people do that to me. One kid does not make you an all-knowing parent! So I am truly cognisant of the fact that what works for me might not work for you and vice versa.

But there are three items that PUSH MY MOMMY BUTTONS! 1. breastfeeding booby traps, 2. letting your baby cry it out, and 3. those who are constantly convinced they are "spoiling" their babies by holding them too much.

As Alternative Mama describes, these are indeed precious moments you will never get back! Enjoy them, and cherish them! Hold and love your babies!

Another recent post I loved, along the same lines of unwanted parental advice, was Top 10 things BF Advocates Should STOP Saying by Just West of Crunchy

I love this post because it describes what so many of us moms, "natural" or not, go through with breastfeeding- the fact is it's not always easy.. or natural!

Neither of my kids latched right away, nor were either of them babies that you could just shove up your shirt and they would find the boob themselves (what I would describe as a far more 'natural' way of nursing). Instead, both my kids required pillows, and propping, and two/sometimes 4 hands to situate and position until conditions were JUST right for nursing. Even then, my son's gag reflex was sometimes so bad that all of our efforts were for nothing- when he would still be unable to nurse until I expressed some milk into a syringe, which I then dripped over my nipple until he was satiated.

My daughter, who also required pillows and propping, was definitely a four hander- as one person would have to hold her squiggly body in place and the other position her mouth perfectly around the breast, and then all 3 of us would have to remain perfectly still (usually ridiculously uncomfortable) while she nursed, lest she break her shallow latch and we start the whole ridiculous circus all over again.

I would not trade nursing my babies for the world, and I can look back knowing I did my best. But when other "natural mamas", can't believe I stopped nursing my babies at 6 months (when they self weaned),  and are aghast that both my babies have had formula.... I say.... suck it.

My babies got all my effort, and six months of my milk. I then bottle nurse(d) both my babies until they were/are a year. My attached babies are loved, and held... a lot :)

What were your favorite posts this week?

DADS ROCK: Father's Day Giveaway to Benefit One Simple Wish *CLOSED*

Contest NOW OPEN through Sat June 18th!*CLOSED*

Once this is posted, you are free to enter for any of the prizes in the DADS ROCK Fathers Day Giveaway Album on Facebook

Here's how to enter: 


You must follow NurturingtheNaturalMama blog via Google Friend Connect and 'like' us on Facebook. 

Then go to and once you've registered, you must either GRANT A WISH or make a monetary donation of at least $1.00 USD. (you will get an email confirmation once you've done either, which you can forward to to qualify for any of the prizes). 

Check out the prizes in the DADS ROCK Father's Day Giveaway album on Facebook. See one you like? Follow the instructions under each photo on how to enter, and enter to win as many prizes as you like! 

This contest runs through Saturday June 18th at 9pm EST and the WINNERS will be announced on Father's Day- Sunday June 19th 

My hope is that more donations will continue to roll in throughout the next couple of weeks so we can grant as many wishes as possible for One Simple Wish 


* Please contact me at or comment below if you have an item or service you would like to donate! Thank you :) 

Friday, June 3, 2011

and the WINNER is.....

For the Blissful Booty Cloth Diaper Giveaway, the WINNER is........

Tonia Pollack! 
And thank you to ALL who participated! Be sure to enter into our DADS ROCK Father's Day Giveaway
beginning next week and going through Father's Day!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Purejoy Parenting

As an avid surfer of the Facebook News Feed, it did not take long for me to absolutely fall in love with Leslie Potter from Purejoy Parenting. Her constant positive, uplifting, and informative posts make her a page I check daily (if not hourly) for new information!

When I recently saw the opportunity to take one of her parenting courses for FREE, I immediately jumped at the chance! The opportunity also could not have presented itself to me at a better time; I had just been asked the night before (no lie) by my therapist, "do you find joy, like true joy, in parenting?" and at the time, I didn't have a good answer...

I love my kids, don't get me wrong, I would do anything for them. But do I find JOY in parenting? Hmmmm, that's a difficult question for me. I find moments of joy. But my moments of joy are often overrun by chaos, stress, anxiety, and the day to day humdrum of mommyhood.

So who better than to teach me how to find joy in parenting, than PUREJOY parenting?! :)

baby A, me, and my little Spiderman

me and my itty-bitty Spiderman :)

my little Spiderman last year indulging in FunDip

baby A and mommy at the park

my beautiful stepdaughter, baby A, mommy, and Spiderman on a walk w daddy

my incredible kiddos <3

baby A, mommy, and daddy hiking last month
So over the next few weeks, I will update you on some of the applications we discuss over the call. I cannot reiterate enough how strongly I would recommend you take one of her courses! Be sure to find her and 'like' her on Facebook, and check out her website for upcoming course info!

Foundation #1 : Separation from a loving connection causes contrast and expansion in our relationships. 
 Who am I as a parent? 

How do you differ from the parent you thought you'd be? What behaviors/attitudes/reactions do you think you could change, so that you might be MORE like the parent you thought you'd be? 

Questions like these force you to look inside yourself at what behaviors and reactions are caused by the "stories" we create in our minds.  Many times, we place far too much emphasis on what we think a specific behavior might perpetuate, versus living in the present to deal with the issue (often times far more miniscule than we may inititally believe) at hand. 

For example; 

* my child makes me late in the morning, especially on those days when I have an early appointment/meeting and am in a rush. S/he dilly-dally's and makes me late on purpose!

* "story" that your mind likely creates: your child is doing this behavior to annoy you because they do not want you to be on time. If you do not force them to hurry along, then they will not only make you late today, but will never learn to get themselves ready in the morning in a reasonable amount of time. (etc, etc...)

* reality: your stress about getting out the door on time is creating anxiety for the child. You could use this opportunity to slow down and connect with your child. Being mindful of the present is very important- mention what you LOVE about that particular moment (in this example it might be something like, " I love that you are able to get ready for the day in the morning while remaining calm and relaxed, I wish I could do that!") 
But be sure also to use the opportunity to connect with them and teach them about how you are also feeling, (ex/ "This morning, mommy is feeling a bit rushed because I have to be at a meeting at 8am, and it is important to be on time when you have committed to something"). 

Looking at examples like this one, and working through various other scenarios, really forces you to look at your own reactions to different everyday behaviors, and how by changing the "story" in your mind to what is truly going on in THAT moment, you can use those moments to connect with your child(ren). 

* Morning Mantra * 

As I awaken, I love myself as a mama. This is a new day and I smile knowing each day is a new beginning. I embrace each of my children for who they are and all they will bring me this day, both challenges and joys. 

...stay tuned for week #2.... 

 Do you have a morning mantra? If not, how do you think your outlook might change if you added one to your morning routine?