My best shot Monday 2/19/07

In an effort to keep learning and bettering myself (photographically-speaking), I started reading the Picture This blog (of Tracey – another Maya’s Mom connection), and am going to try to participate in her “My Best Shot Monday” post each week.

The jist of it is you post your best shot or shots (on your blog or wherever) from the previous week, then let her know about it by leaving a comment on her blog. I’m hoping that by forcing myself to put some of my pictures “out there,” it will challenge me and help me grow as a photographer.

Without further ado, here’s my best shot from this past week:

Julian at nearly 3 months old

Julian - 2/18/07

ISO 400, f2.5, 1/125

Constructive criticism always welcome. :)

Pregnant in America

Have you heard about this new movie – Pregnant in America?

Pregnant in America examines the betrayal of humanity’s greatest gift–birth–by the greed of U.S. corporations. Hospitals, insurance companies and other members of the healthcare industry have all pushed aside the best care of our infants and mothers to play the power game of raking in huge profits.

His wife pregnant, first-time filmmaker Steve Buonaugurio sets out to create a film that will expose the underside of the U.S. childbirth industry and help end its neglectful exploitation of pregnancy and birth.

Pregnant in America is the controversial story of life’s greatest miracle in the hands of a nation’s most powerful interests.

You can view the trailer at the link above.

All I have to say is Wow – it’s about damn time someone made a movie about this. It definitely has the potential to be a real eye-opener in this country.

Mothering multiple choice

It’s 2:30 in the morning, your 2-year-old daughter just woke up and only mommy can comfort her, your 13-week-old son just did a doozy in his diaper and wants to nurse, the wind is howling outside and the dogs are barking downstairs because of the wind.

What do you do? Do you…

A) Wait for your husband to change your son, then nurse him while trying to cuddle your daughter at the same time;

B) Lie in bed thinking about how you *really* wish you were in the bathroom right about now because of (TMI) the intestinal flu you’ve had the past two days;

C) Brainstorm ideas for a new CafePress store;

D) Think, “I wonder how I can blog about this?”;

E) All of the above.

If you guessed “E) All of the above,” you are right! Your prize is … hmmm, well, there is no prize, other than getting to chuckle to yourself thinking about me in that situation last night.

Around 3:15 a.m., after both kids had fallen back to sleep, I finally got up to go to the bathroom, then snuck downstairs and let the dogs out, drank some Recharge, came back upstairs and checked out Kellymom to look up diarrhea meds that are safe to take while breastfeeding, and jotted down the store/t-shirt ideas I came up with.

Pretty productive for being half asleep, no? Maybe my kids should wake me up in the middle of the night more often. ;)

The Law of Attraction

Don’t you love it when you put something out there in the universe and then get what you asked for? Ah, the “law of attraction” in action. :)

A week ago, I posted about some new blogs I’d come across and invited you, my readers, to share with me any blogs that you thought I might be interested in, hoping to find some more like-minded mamas out there in the blogosphere.

Fast forward to Feb. 13, when I received an emailed invitation to join a site called Maya’s Mom. The invite stated “…you can easily and seamlessly expose your blog to new readers by importing a feed into your Maya’s Mom journal. All entries will appear as new and link back to your personal blog!” I’m always interested in expanding my blog readership so I checked it out and signed up. I didn’t plan on getting too involved there, because I don’t have the time to commit to something else. However, as I perused the site, I decided to do a quick search for other members who had the word “homebirth” in their tags. I came across three women fitting that description and sent them an invitation to be my “friend” (similar to “friends” on MySpace, etc.).

One of them, named Christina (om mamma on Maya’s Mom) – a mother, author (of “The Dharma of Motherhood”) and speaker – responded to me after checking out my profile, invited me to her website and encouraged me to sign up for her monthly newsletter, saying she thought it was something I would enjoy.

With Jody home from work and able to watch the kids today, I emailed back and forth with Christina a bit, then spent a good chunk of the morning browsing her site and reading her columns. It only me a quick glance around her site to realize she is exactly the kind of wise and inspirational mama I’ve been looking for and I immediately added her blog – Dharma Mum – to my blogroll.

I’ve been touched by many of the things Christina writes about like discovering your potential, the power of words with regard to your children, bringing spirituality back into our lives, the potential of “mommy brain”, and more. I feel like I struck a gold mine and I want to share it with everybody. :)

From Christina’s about page:

I believe that every mother can choose to become a Peaceful Spiritual Warrior:
become the change you wish to see in the world
spend time in sacred silence
bring Spirit into your children’s lives
lead by example and a willingness to learn new things
honour the Goddess perfection within each of us
honour the God and Goddess Selves within each of our children
believe in a better way
work to make the world a better place
I believe mothering does not have to be as difficult as we are led to believe. I invite every mom to consider the benefits of bringing meditation and gratitude (amongst other things) back into your lives – to ground and centre the experience in deep meaning and with honour.

I’m sure I’ll be blogging about some of her writings/philosophies in the days/weeks ahead, as I think I can learn a lot from her, but in the meantime please feel free to check her out on your own.

Isn’t it cool the way things work out if you open yourself up to the possibilities? :)

Oh, and if you happen to join Maya’s Mom, look me up. My username there is amygeekgrl – what else? ;)

Reflecting on Valentine’s day


My husband Jody has never been a big fan of Valentine’s Day. He sees it for what it is – a commercial holiday second only to Christmas – and I have to agree. Even though I know that it’s all about consumerism – something I try my best not to get caught up in – I have to admit that this girl still likes to be pampered.

I think it was two years ago Valentine’s Day when we said we weren’t going to spend any money on each other. Yeah sure, I agreed to it, and I’m pretty sure I didn’t buy anything for him, but I secretly hoped he’d buy something for me. (Wouldn’t you?) He didn’t. I got upset and I’m pretty sure an argument ensued.

Of course I knew that he loved me and I shouldn’t need a silly holiday for him to prove it (it’s the unexpected little gestures throughout the year that really count), but because our society has built up Valentine’s day to be this special you’d-better-spend-some-good-money-on-me-and-act-all-romantic-or-else kinda day for lovers, not receiving anything other than a verbal “Happy Valentine’s Day” made me feel a little sorry for myself.

When last Valentine’s Day rolled around I knew better and didn’t get my hopes up that I would receive anything. So when he brought home some chocolates, I was pleasantly surprised. (Guess he knew better too. ;) )

This year, however, I decided if I wanted something special, I’d better do it for myself. And so, I treated myself to a shower this morning, didn’t do any laundry ALL DAY *gasp*, and pulled a casserole out of the freezer for dinner so I didn’t have to cook! If you combine that with the slobbery “kisses” I got from Julian and the unsolicited hugs and “I love you, Mommy”s from Ava, my day turned out to be sweeter than any box of chocolates could ever be. :)

Happy Valentine’s Day

“The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in.”
— Morrie Schwartz

I hope to write more later tonight, but for now I just wanted to wish you all Happy Valentine’s Day from the two kiddos who stole my heart.

2-14-07 Valentine Kids

Now Ava and I are going to do some stamping with the potato stamps I crafted this morning. I made a couple of hearts, a circle and a star out of some old potatoes (they were growing eyes that were over a foot long – eep!) we had sitting in the basement. The idea came to me while I was lying awake in bed last night. I think it will be a fun, albeit messy, project.