It’s about time (for an intro)

I’ve been posting for a few days now and I realize that I should probably take a few moments to post an intro of sorts. I think my profile tells quite a bit about the kind of person I am, but for those who are interested, here’s some more background info on me.

I was born in May 1975 (yes, that makes me a bull-headed Taurus. bet ya’d never guess that about me, hehe) in Michigan. I grew up in a (white bread) suburb of Detroit with my mom, dad and younger brother and sister. Like most families, we were a bit dysfunctional, yet I never doubted that I was loved.

I attended Catholic elementary schools during the week and my family went to Mass on the weekends. When I switched to public schools in sixth grade, I continued to go to catechism classes and was confirmed in eighth grade.

My dad was a teacher (now retired) and coach (and often did other odd jobs) and worked long hours to provide for our family. My mom stayed at home with us kids until I was about 12, at which time she returned to the workforce as a teacher as well.

I excelled in most subjects in school and was a member of the Honor Society in high school. I also participated in flag corps, drill team, Girl Scouts (through my senior year in high school!) and a few Catholic youth groups. I had a close-knit circle of friends, but I was pretty much a nerd.

After my high school graduation, I went away to college for the first two years. I had a really rough time being away from home (more importantly, away from my boyfriend at the time), and eventually moved back in with my parents and attended a local university. I graduated with my bachelor’s degree in English in 1998.

In the meantime, I was introduced to the Internet where I met my husband (and soulmate) Jody in 1996. He lived in Oklahoma at the time, so our relationship was initially a friendship for the first year and a half. We decided to meet in person in February 1998 when we were both single, so I flew to Oklahoma to spend a few days with him. I wish I could say it was love at first sight, but it honestly wasn’t for either of us. However, over the next few days we really did fall in love and my stay was extended for a few more days since neither of us felt ready to say good-bye just yet.

A couple months later, Jody came to Michigan to visit me and we decided that after my college graduation in June, I would move to Oklahoma with him.

Moving 1,000 miles away from home was certainly the craziest thing I’d ever done. We had some ups and downs, but our relationship continued to grow and we got engaged in May 2000.

We moved to Colorado (where we currently reside) in October 2000, and were married in April 2001.

I worked for the local paper as the newsroom office manager for about 3 1/2 years, up until the birth of our daughter. I’m now a stay-at-home mom.

Jody’s been working in the computer industry for most of his life. His most recent position is doing technical support for a 3-D design software company.

Jody and I decided that we would start trying to conceive in September 2002. Due to some fertility issues, it took us until Sept. 2003 to actually conceive. We were both elated when it finally happened for us. We had a scare at 11 weeks and thought that we might lose the baby, but she was a fighter and held on.

Ava was born on June 22, 2004, at 38 weeks after I developed HELLP Syndrome and had to be induced. Due to my life threatening complications, her birth didn’t go at all as I had thought/hoped it would, but she was born in perfect health and that was truly the most important part.

She’s now nearly 8 months old, growing like a weed (and is a big girl at about 25 lbs.) and continues to amaze me and Jody with each passing day. She’s got such a great disposition and so much personality. Not a day goes by in our house that we aren’t all sitting around in fits of laughter. Ava brings so much joy to our lives.

The parenting style we subscribe to is Attachment (or Gentle) Parenting. It’s not that we looked it up in a book and said “this is what we’ll do.” It’s just that the things that AP espouses have come naturally. My basic philosophy is if it feels right, then it must be.

Various other things about me:
– I no longer practice Catholicism (and haven’t really since high school). I believe in God, but the rest is sketchy for me. I’m still trying to find a religion that rings true with me.
– As far as my political stance, I’m a right-leaning liberal.
– I’m left-handed.
– I have two dogs (my first babies), Ellie and Maggie.
– I call myself “crunchy” in my Blog title and, while that adjective is widely-known where I live, I realize that it necessarily isn’t elsewhere. Being crunchy is like being a neo-hippie (but without all the dreadlocks and smoking pot crap). It’s someone with a non-conformist state of mind who cares about the world. Being crunchy refers to granola, i.e. being earthy, etc. So yeah, I think of myself as crunchy. And the domestic goddess is just a fun way to say “I’m a stay-at-home mom.”
– I love to read, but don’t often have time for it. The last book I read was “Our Babies, Ourselves” by Meredith Small. It was an excellent book and I highly recommend it. I’ll probably write more about it at another time.
– The last good movie I saw (on DVD of course because we just don’t get out to the movies anymore) was “Napoleon Dynamite.” I thought the preview looked ridiculously stupid, yet I found the movie very amusing (even if it was plotless) and highly quotable.
– Some other things I enjoy are cooking, photography (namely taking pictures of Ava or scenic pictures), and hiking in the mountains.
– I also enjoy writing although I haven’t been doing much of it lately. I feel like this blog will inspire me to continue to write on a regular basis and prevent my brain from going to mush. I realize that I have some strong opinions on certain subjects and while I want to feel free to express them, I hope that nobody will get the impression that I think I am better than them because of my opinions and/or choices in life. That is not my intention. I share my opinions in the hopes of giving people something to think about. One of my mottos lately has been “Question Authority.” Not because I think I’m a badass and I don’t agree with rules, but because I think it’s healthy to think about why things are the way they are or why we are being told to do things a certain way. IMO, complacency is a dangerous thing.

Anyway, that’s my life and a bit about what makes me tick (probably more than you ever cared to know), in a (large) nutshell.
Thanks for reading. :)

Breastfeeding in front of the president

I came across this photo on Yahoo News yesterday.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez talks with people who were affected by flooding…

Wow! :) How refreshing it is to see a woman able to openly feed her baby in public – while speaking to the president of her country no less! And nobody seems to be offended by it in the least (although that one guy might be checking out her boob, hehe). But the president seems absolutely at ease with it, even touching her on the arm and *gasp* making eye contact with her.

I’d love to see the United States embrace breastfeeding as such a natural part of life instead of limiting places women can nurse and having people take offense at a mom simply trying to feed her baby. It seems like here in the U.S. we are so quick to sexualize breasts, rather than view them as a source of food for babies (which is really their only practical purpose).

I feel fortunate to live in an area that’s more accepting of public bfing than other places in this country, but we still have a loooooooooooong way to go before you’d see something happen like in the picture.

A small request (to anonymous posters)

To all of the anonymous posters out there,
Would you please sign your posts with a name (I don’t care if it’s your actual name or a made up one) so that if I or someone else wants to respond to you, we can address you by name rather than “to the person who said that they don’t like to eat peanut butter on toast” or whatever. ;)
Thank you. :)