A message for parents of young children

If you haven’t yet heard of Kyle Miller’s story, I urge you to take a few minutes and watch the video. It’s heartbreaking, but contains such valuable information about the importance of using a 5-point harness carseat up to 80 lbs. Please also read the information to the right of the video and pass this along to anyone you know with young children.

Also, a few days ago, I read some tragic news on a message board I’ve been a part of for the past five years. A mama lost her 18-month-old baby girl after she drowned in the bathtub. Her husband walked out of the bathroom, she passed him in the hallway as she was going in, and those few seconds was all it took. I can’t stop thinking about what this poor family must be going through. Unfortunately, this is the second small child bathtub drowning I’ve read of on message boards in the past 2 1/2 years.

I know that we are all tempted to leave our children alone in the bathtub while we quickly grab something or run to answer the phone, etc. (I’m totally guilty of it myself), but PLEASE don’t leave them unattended. The person calling on the phone can wait, the dogs don’t need to be let out that minute, etc. Let this be a wake-up call for all of us. It only takes a second. :(

Blog-iversary – 2 years!

Feb. 11 is my 2-year blogging anniversary. Wow! Time flies when you are having fun, huh?

One of my goals when I started my blog is mentioned on my “About” page:

“Since Ava’s birth, I’ve felt a need to raise awareness on various issues relating to women’s health and children, something I try to do via my blog. I truly do want to make the world a better place for her and Julian and I hope that I can do that even if it’s in a very small way. As Gandhi said, ‘We must be the change we wish to see in the world.’”

I think I’ve managed to raise awareness over the past two years. I write about the issues that are important in my and my children’s lives, which most recently have been pregnancy, natural childbirth, home birth and the ever-relevant topic of breastfeeding.

In viewing my stats, I’ve noticed that numerous people come to my blog after doing a search for topics such as “nursing toddler,” “extended nursing,” or “nursing while pregnant.” There have also been frequent searches for “plugged duct” or “mastitis,” or things related to “pregnancy,” “hypnobirthing,” “home birth,” “circumcision, “vaccinations” or “Attachment Parenting.” I hope that something I’ve written in the past two years has helped or touched someone in their parenting journey.

I also get many visitors to my blog in search of recipes, which delights me as well. I enjoy sharing the tasty meals I come across.

Also along the lines of raising awareness, in 2005 I started the Attached At The Hip online store, featuring advocacy wear that supports Attachment Parenting ideals. From August 2005 to today, I’ve sold over 1,100 items, including shirts, bibs, bumper stickers, etc. My biggest seller (which I happen to be quite fond of – see below ;) ) is the “I make milk. What’s your superpower?” design with over 130 shirts, stickers and tote bags sold to date. My profit from the store sales is only a couple dollars per item, so I’m not in it for some quick money, but it makes me happy to know that so many people around the world (I’ve sold to people in Australia, Canada, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Uzbekistan, as well as 47 of the 50 U.S. states) are interested in spreading the word about breastfeeding and other AP ideals.


With regard to my blogging, someone once told me “…you aren’t going to change the world.” I disagreed at the time and I disagree today. I may be only one person, but I know I can make small changes for the better here and there, and that’s really the only way the world is going to change – a little bit at a time.

A recent example of one person making a difference in the world is Jennifer from “The Lactivist Breastfeeding Blog“. You may or may not have heard about her fund-raising efforts for the Mother’s Milk Bank of Ohio or her run-in with the National Pork Board, but it resulted in the Pork Board organizing it’s own fund-raising campaign among it’s employees, which will likely result in a generous donation to the milk bank. (And that’s in addition to the $1000 Jennifer raised via her blog and CafePress store.) All of this positive change happening because of one woman. Jennifer, you rock! In fact, I was so inspired by Jennifer’s fund-raising efforts on her site, that I’m planning on conducting one myself using Attached at the Hip in the near future. I’m still brainstorming worthy causes to donate the proceeds to. (Please let me know if you have any suggestions. I’d prefer it be a charity that benefits babies and/or children.)

Thank you to those of you who’ve been with me and supporting me for the whole two years and to those of you whom I’ve met along the way. I’m happy to be on this blogging journey with you.

I mentioned Gandhi’s quote above, but it is a fitting ending for this post and is worth repeating (and repeating, and repeating): “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”




Happy birthday to Jody

My husband Jody is 34 years old today. :)
Happy birthday to you Jody, the father of my children and the love of my life. I know I don’t always say it, but it’s true.

Not having much money to spend on birthdays, I had to get creative with gift ideas. I bought him a couple of DVDs (A Christmas Story and Savannah Smiles – from his youth – I’m happy that they are both kid-friendly flicks – at least I think they are), as well as a 10-visit pass to our city’s rec center. Then, on the creative side, I framed a recent picture of the kids and also framed a piece of paper with Ava’s handprints and Julian’s footprints on it (that we did yesterday). I was much more successful getting my 2 1/2 year old to do her handprints than I was getting my 12-week-old to do his footprints. What a mess. ;) Oh well. I think they are still pretty sweet, and hope Jody will enjoy them as well.

Edited at 9:23 p.m. to add: We spent the afternoon at the Butterfly Pavilion today. It was our first time there and it’s a pretty neat place. Ava had a ball. She touched starfish and even held a tarantula named “Rosie” and got a sticker to prove it. She has no fear. ;) I snapped a few pics with my P&S. Julian seemed to enjoy himself too. I wore him in the Moby Wrap and he kept busy checking out all the tropical plants in the butterfly area. After that we went out to dinner for pizza. It was a nice day. :)

Ava holds “Rosie” the tarantula:

2/10/07 - Ava with the tarantula

Mommy and the kiddos:

Ava, Mommy and Julian - Butterfly Pavilion

Daddy (the birthday boy) and the kiddos:

The kids with Jody on his birthday - 2/10/07

A Red Powder Puff flower:

Red Powder Puff flower

One of the many butterflies:

A butterfly

Fun in the kitchen with Goji berries

Ava and I made oatmeal-Goji berry muffins and cookies today. If you’ve never heard of Goji berries (aka wolfberries) before, I highly suggest you read more about them, specifically about their nutritional value. These are some amazing little berries!

* 19 amino acids, 6 times more than Bee Pollen
* 21 trace minerals, including Germanium
* 6 essential fatty acids
* Vitamins B1, B2, B6, C, E
* More beta carotene than carrots
* More antioxidant power than any other known food source
* 500 times more Vitamin C than oranges
* 4 Unique Polysaccharides (Master Molecules) found in no other food source
* Linoleic acid, which significantly promotes body fat loss
* 15 times more nutritional iron than spinach

I bought mine from Goji Berries.US. They aren’t cheap (the 18 oz. bag I bought was $19.95), but they are coming all the way from Tibet and are chock full of nutrients, so go figure.

I tried to make the muffins and cookies as healthy as possible, so I used whole-wheat flour, less sugar than my recipe called for (I did 3/4 C of brown sugar and a little under 1 C of agave nectar), and of course the oatmeal and goji berries. I also threw in some ground flaxseed for the cookies. We ended up with 24 cookies and 19 muffins. They all turned out to be pretty tasty, and Ava and I had fun making them. She insisted on doing nearly everything with very little assistance from me, and even used the spatula to take the cookies off the cookie sheet (while I held it). She’s such a good helper!

Mixing in the goji berries and putting the mix into the muffin cups:

Ava making muffins

I love that she was concentrating so hard with her tongue sticking out.

Ava - more muffins

Showing off the goji berries:

Ava - modeling the goji berries

Tasty and good for ya. Mmmm. :)


Growing my blogroll

Since I started my blog nearly two years ago, several of my (real life) friends have started up blogs of their own. They are all in my blogroll, but I wanted to give a shout out to them here too. :) Hi, ladies.

Heather at A Mama’s Blog
Julie at ChezArtz
Sonja at Sonja’s Outdoor World
and most recently, Nicole at From My Zoo To Yours

Stop by and say hello to them, won’t ya? Tell them Amy sent ya. ;)

Recently I’ve been on the lookout for other mamas with similar interests/passions as mine to add to my blogroll. Here are a few new ones I’ve added:
Jennifer at The Lactivist Breastfeeding Blog
Estella at Taming Estella
Jeannette at Crunchy on the Inside

If you have a blog that you love to visit and think I would enjoy it too, please share the wealth and let me know. :)

Charlie’s soap

Charlie’s soap

I finally took Dawn‘s recommendation and bought some Charlie’s Soap Laundry Powder. I’d been wanting to switch to a natural detergent for a while, but I put it off because I had a large bottle of All Free & Clear that I didn’t want to go to waste. Once that was nearly used up (I gave the leftovers to my sister), I placed my order for Charlie’s.

I’ve been using it for about a week now and so far, so good. I didn’t want blab about it on my blog until it passed the cloth diapers test, but it did so and with flying colors. I was a little surprised by how clean the diapers were. I’ve actually been reading some of the product reviews on their site and many people rave about how clean it got their cloth dipes, so I guess I’m not the only satisfied customer. ;)

Charlie’s Soap Laundry Powder “is made with a unique blend of biodegradable coconut-based detergents and high-grade, completely soluble, Green River washing soda.”

It’s reasonably priced too. The size I ordered does 80 loads at 16 cents a load. (And they seem to have thrown in an extra bag for me too – maybe because I’m a first-time buyer? I’m not sure, but I’m not complaining.) You can buy a larger size too that equals out to 10 cents a load. Charlie’s also sells an all-purpose cleaner, though I like to make my cleaners myself.

The bag says “Leaves nothing but the good old-fashioned sweet smell of clean. If you want flowers, go pick some.” :) I like that. I give Charlie’s two thumbs up. :)