Oh.... SO many to choose from. I have compiled a list of my favorites and whenever possible, have featured authors of color. Go forth and READ!!!
Pregnancy & Childbirth
Nurture by Erica Chidi Cohen
This is the #1 book on my list right now. It's my go-to shower gift and I honestly just love it. This is fresh, modern, honest and appeals to all birthing people no matter where or how they plan to birth. It was written by a Black doula and I can't recommend this highly enough! It leaves all parents feeling empowered and like they truly understand the mystery of pregnancy and birth.
Natural Pregnancy Guide, by Laurena White MD L.Ac.
"Learn how to create the healthiest environment for your baby by eliminating potentially harmful habits and substances from your body and your surroundings wherever possible. This book is your safe, science-backed guide to deciding what your individual pregnancy and birth plan will look like―whether you want to give birth in a hospital, at home, or in a birthing center."
The Essential Homebirth Guide by Jane Drichta and Jodilyn Owen
I'd be remiss if I didn't list the book written by two of my own midwives... Jane Drichta and Jodilyn Owen have walked beside me during two of my pregnancies and I loved watching them birth this bo. It's comprehensive, non-judgemental and downright funny in places. If you plan to have your kid at home, this is a MUST read.
The Birth Partner 5th Edition, by Penny Simkin and Katie Rohs
Not *JUST* for partners and doulas, birthing people should read this if they are wanting to know the comprehensive anatomical side of labor and delivery. I'm also super biased with this one as Penny Simkin taught my first doula training and Katie Rohs is a neighbor and colleague. I'm thrilled that Katie teamed up with Penny for this latest edition and made this a gender-affirming book for pregnancy!
Birth & Justice for All Families
Birthing Justice, by Julia Oparah, Alicia Bonaparte
"There is a global crisis in maternal health care for black women. In the United States, black women are over three times more likely to perish from pregnancy-related complications than white women; their babies are half as likely to survive the first year. Many black women experience policing, coercion, and disempowerment during pregnancy and childbirth and are disconnected from alternative birthing traditions. This book places black women's voices at the center of the debate on what should be done to fix the broken maternity system and foregrounds black women's agency in the emerging birth justice movement. Mixing scholarly, activist, and personal perspectives, the book shows readers how they too can change lives, one birth at a time."
Queering Family Trees, by Sandra Patton-Imani
"Through the lens of reproductive justice, Patton-Imani argues that the federal legalization of same-sex marriage reinforces existing structures of inequality grounded in race, gender, sexuality, and class. Queering Family Trees explores the lives of a critically erased segment of the queer population, demonstrating that the seemingly “color blind” solutions offered by marriage equality do not rectify such inequalities."
Infant Care and Feeding
Free to Breastfeed: Voices of Black Mother, by Jeanine Valrie Logan, Anayah Sangodele-Ayoka
"Facts about breastfeeding and statistics can be found in numerous pamphlets and with professional lactation consultants. However, there is no other book on the market that can give a new or expectant mother the experience of seeing her experience reflected in the stories and pictures of other women. While there is growing coverage to the disparities in breastfeeding rates, the actual thoughts and experiences of African-American nursing mothers are overlooked."
The Big Letdown, by Kimberly Seals Allers
"Journalist and infant health advocate Kimberly Seals Allers breaks breastfeeding out of the realm of "personal choice" and shows our broader connection to an industrialized food system that begins at birth, the fallout of feminist ideals, and the federal policies that are far from family friendly. The Big Letdown uncovers the multibillion-dollar forces battling to replace mothers' milk and the failure of the medical establishment to protect infant health."
Safe Infant Sleep, by James McKenna
Do you want to sleep in the same area or bed as your baby? Cool. You can do that safely! Equip yourself with the knowledge about safe cosleeping from the expert.
... then tell your judgey family and friends to stick it. Nicely. Or not nicely. Whatever suits you!
Latch: A Handbook for Breastfeeding with Confidence at Every Stage, Robin Kaplan M.Ed. IBCLC, Abby Theuring
"In Latch, International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant, Robin Kaplan, addresses specific breastfeeding concerns, allowing you to feel empowered while breastfeeding and overcome challenges as they arise. After working with countless mothers who have felt unique in their breastfeeding challenges, and as the mother of two who overcame breastfeeding challenges of her own, she knows how deeply personal breastfeeding is."
The First Forty Days: The Essential Art of Nourishing the New Mother, by Heng Ou, Amely Greeven
What? In Traditional Chinese Culture, new moms aren't allowed to leave the house for A MONTH?!
...cool, can we do that HERE? The US has a massive void of respect for the first 40 days. So let's learn to do it better.
A Taste Of Our Own Medicine: 3 Vital Keys To Ending Postnatal Depletion, Nurturing Mothers And Improving Communities, Danett C Bean DAAM
"In this ground breaking book, Dr. Danett Bean, preventive care, women's health specialist, integrative medicine practitioner and survivor of postnatal depletion uncovers the roots to this phenomena as a societal issue and offers practical solutions to preventing and ending this condition. If you are an expectant or new mother, father or plan to be one someday, experienced parent, or you have parents that you care about in your life, you can't afford to not read this book. "
The Postpartum Depression Workbook, by Abigail Burd LCSW PMH-C
"Becoming a mother is a huge transition. For some, the mood swings, the pressures, and the anxiety can be intense and overwhelming. One in five women will develop postpartum depression (PPD) after pregnancy―so if you’re struggling with PPD, know you’re not alone. This depression workbook is designed to help you navigate the transition to becoming the healthy and happy parent you want to be."
Cribsheet: A Data-Driven Guide to Better, More Relaxed Parenting, from Birth to Preschool, by Emily Oster
"Armed with the data, Oster finds that the conventional wisdom doesn't always hold up. She debunks myths around breastfeeding (not a panacea), sleep training (not so bad!), potty training (wait until they're ready or possibly bribe with M&Ms), language acquisition (early talkers aren't necessarily geniuses), and many other topics. She also shows parents how to think through freighted questions like if and how to go back to work, how to think about toddler discipline, and how to have a relationship and parent at the same time. "
Simple & Safe Baby-Led Weaning, by Malina Malkani MS RDN CDN
"Start your little one on solid foods the healthy way. Simple & Safe Baby-Led Weaning empowers you to help your baby feed themselves while they develop motor skills and an adventurous palate. Learn when to begin baby-led weaning and what to expect along the way while also getting practical advice for creating balanced, whole-food meals that your baby can eat alongside the rest of the family."
The Whole-Brain Child, by Daniel J. Siegel, Tina Payne Bryson
"Complete with age-appropriate strategies for dealing with day-to-day struggles and illustrations that will help you explain these concepts to your child, The Whole-Brain Child shows you how to cultivate healthy emotional and intellectual development so that your children can lead balanced, meaningful, and connected lives."
"Does This Pregnancy Make Me Look Fat", by Claire Mysko, Magali Amadeï
"People might tell you you're glowing, but you just feel like you're growing, and perhaps you're not liking―or even recognizing--the changing image you see in the mirror. If you're like most expectant women, you're worried about what pregnancy and motherhood will do to your body, your sexuality, and your self-esteem (even if you don't want to admit it out loud for fear of the Bad Mommy Police). While the journey to motherhood is truly miraculous and brings forth life, it can also bring forth a myriad of legitimate concerns."
Give Birth a Chance: How to Prepare for an Empowered VBAC, by Ilia Blandina CNM
"Don’t Talk Yourself Out of a VBAC!
Do you have a deep desire to give vaginal birth after having had a c-section (VBAC)? If you know deep in your heart that our ancestors did quite well with natural birth and want to follow in their footsteps. If you know this path is a sacred one and you want to make it happen, but you don’t know where to begin. If you long for a vaginal birth. . . . It starts with this book!"
Cut, Stapled, and Mended, by Roanna Rosewood
" 'At least you and the baby are healthy.' That’s what they said when they handed him to me. And they were right. Why then, so long after my body has healed, do I still feel broken? A whisper inside of me insists: Birth is more than a means to a baby. There was something I was supposed to do, something I was to receive through giving birth." In exquisite detail, Roanna holds nothing back in her powerful birth memoir, plunging the reader deep into the intimacy of this universal rite of passage. Part memoir, part manifesto, this is a must read for anyone who has given birth, will give birth, or who loves someone who will give birth."
When Survivors Give Birth: Understanding and Healing the Effects of Early Sexual Abuse on Childbearing Women, by Penny Simkin, Phyllis Klaus
"When Survivors Give Birth is written for a mixed audience of maternity care professionals and para-professionals, mental health therapists and counselors, and women survivors and their families. The authors expertly and compassionately address the unusual and distressing challenges that arise for abuse survivors during the childbirth experience."
THEIRstory Collections & Memoirs
Red Medicine: Traditional Indigenous Rites of Birthing and Healing, by Patrisia Gonzales
"Gonzales links pre-Columbian thought to contemporary healing practices by examining ancient symbols and their relation to current curative knowledges among Indigenous peoples. Red Medicine suggests that Indigenous healing systems can usefully point contemporary people back to ancestral teachings and help them reconnect to the dynamics of the natural world."
Our Births, Our Stories: Inspirational Home Births From Communities Around The World, by Heather Baker
"This collection of birth stories shows the beautiful differences of how birth can unfold. These accounts are all home births, either assisted with a midwife or unassisted/ freebirths. The book includes natural breech births, twins, mothers who have had previous cesarean sections or trauma, family births, solo birthing, and how the mothers came to the decision of taking birth back into their own hands. It is truly an inspiring book. Perfect if you are looking to prepare yourself before your own home birth. It pairs perfectly with Home Birth on Your Own Terms manual."
How We Do Family, by Trystan Reese
"In How We Do Family, Trystan shares their unique story and what he’s learned about being the best parent, partner, and person you can be. Through crisis, adoption, pregnancy—and all the usual challenges of parenting—Trystan shows that more important than getting things right is doing them with love."
Motherwit: An Alabama Midwife's Story, by Onnie Lee Logan, Katherine Clark
""Motherwit" and "common sense" were the watchwords of Onnie Lee Logan's career as a lay midwife in Mobile County, Alabama. Although she received little formal education, endured the Depression and faced a racist society, Onnie Lee Logan experienced her life as the triumphant fulfillment of a dream to be one of those who could bring babies into the world, as her mother and grandmother had done before her.Her story, told in the soft, now vanishing dialect of the Deep South, is powerful and fascinating oral history."
Motherhood So White, by Nefertiti Austin
"Nefertiti Austin shares her story of starting a family through adoption as a single Black woman. In this unflinching account of her parenting journey, Nefertiti examines the history of adoption in the African American community, faces off against stereotypes of single Black moms, and confronts the reality of what it looks like to raise children of color and answer their questions about racism in modern-day America."
My "Fuck No" Book/Author List
Oooooo this is going to be good. I love Mommy Says Yes Day. It’s also known as Yes Day, Parents Say Yes Day, Daddy Says Yes Day... whatever you prefer. In our house, Matthew requests that he not be involved in the mayhem so it’s “MSYD” for us. Haha!
This was born from a post my friend made in the summer of 2012 about giving her kids a “yes day”. It just so happened that 8/31 was coming up and that happened to be a Blue Moon and what better day to have as a “Yes Day”?! We were still feeling the sting of the divorce and my kiddos needed a day to be carefree and super happy.
I explained it to Isabelle and Carlee who at the time were 6 and 3.5. Isabelle was completely shocked and it took a good few hours for it to sink in. “You’ll say yes to... anything?” she had said hesitantly.
Carlee needed no pause. “CAN I HAVE ICE CREAM FOR BREAKFAST???”
“CAN I USE A LOLLIPOP FOR A SPOON?”
Isabelle came in with, “can I have peas for breakfast?”
“Yes”. Fuckin weirdo.
Then she stuck a toe in the water, “Maybe I’ll have a lollipop after breakfast.” There’s my girl!
Peas and ice cream were had and the day progressed.
Eventually, we developed two sets of rules.
“ABC and LMNOP”
Those two rules pretty much give me the flexibility to veto anything really awful. It’s inconsiderate to sit and watch tv all day. It costs money to buy any kind of candy they want so I just make sure my cupboards are stocked with thinks I’m okay with them gorging on. It’s one day. The sugar-desires always start out huge but sugar isn’t a forbidden fruit in our house and they self regulate really well. They usually ask for a bizarre dinner and for one night, I am a short-order cook but it’s worth it.
The first one was SUCH a success that we decided to make it a thing that happened every Blue Moon. Here we are 7 years later and my kids have yet to miss one... they know that the next blue moon is 10/31/20 and I’m a bit nervous about the sugar on that day but again, they self-regulate fairly well.
In the past, we’ve had pre-planned outings and that helps with the SUPER crazy requests inside my house.
Really though, this is an exercise in stopping and slowing down as a large, busy family. Saying “yes” to the most absurd little things that would normally exhaust me (“Can I play with play doh 10 minutes before bedtime?!”) bring so much joy to them. Even the things that would maybe embarrass more civilized parents (“Can I wear my pajamas to the mall?!”) make me smile because these little monsters are SO happy skipping along looking like a ragamuffin. I have in the past steered them towards things I wanted to do. For example, Baskin Robins has “.31 scoop day” on the 31st of every month and Blue Moons often fall on the 31st so that is super handy.
My advice? Don’t think. Just do it. You won’t regret it and you’ll collapse after bedtime with a full heart.
Here are some highlights:
Glad you asked!!! For this answer, we need to go back a long time ago (1994) to a galaxy far far away (Ballard). Picture an incredibly awkward 11 year old Kate. She didn’t have loads of friends and she was really “weird”. Her parents thought it would be cool to send this awkward preteen to a summer camp at a community center in Ballard where she didn’t know anyone other than her sisters. It turned out to be a brilliant idea... she could have a fresh start! This summer camp had an annual talent show and the boys she was hanging out with were going to do a mashup of Star Wars scenes. They needed someone to play "Princess Leia" and from the sounds of it, she wasn't really the stereotypical princess Kate first imagined. She’d heard of Star Wars, of course, she didn't live under a rock. She’d even seen a few scenes over the years. She joined up with the boys and asked to be Leia. The talent show was the highlight of her summer and she was hooked. She learned about the ways of the Force and she wore a white dress and put her short hair in the smallest little buns possible. She got to be Leia and she got to be Boushh. She went back home to start middle school with a confidence she hadn’t had at the beginning of the summer. She'd even achieved that classic tween goal of having a mutual crush on a boy and then he CALLED HER ON THE PHONE.
It was the best summer of my awkward little life thus far.
That Christmas, my mom gave me a boxed set of the original trilogy on VHS. To this day it’s one of my favorite gifts and most treasured possession. It was what I watched when I was sick and parked home on the couch in junior high and high school. While others watched "The Price is Right" on sick days, I joined rebel forces on Endor.
It followed me to California when I joined AmeriCorps and helped me feel less homesick, it kept me company through my foot surgeries and two weeks of strict bedrest... twice.
When Isabelle was born, John got me LEGO: Star Wars for the XBox and I had a way to pass the time with a small Isabelle nursing in my arms (she was born pre-smart phones). I balanced the her on the boppy on my wrists and played through all of the films as any character I wanted to be.
The boxed trilogy followed me when I needed to gain confidence again. I sought the power of Leia as I navigated my divorce and life as a single mom. I sat in the cockpit of the Millenium Falcon and suddenly I wasn't totally by myself while I gestated a small Scarlett in my duplex alone.
I incorporated Star Wars into my online dating profile as a way to filter out the duds. It worked better than I ever thought it would. I asked prospective suitors what their preferred SW viewing order was and waited for the replies. Most were actually “I’ve never seen them but I’ll watch them with you, hot stuff.” (BARF) Or “I start at episode 1 (🚨) and go up from there.” Or “I like the old ones so I start there and then watch the first three” (clearly someone googled). Basically I wanted to look for intelligent answers... someone who had actually put thought into it and men who didn’t include Episode 1 without a damn good reason. Matthew had the best answer. He introduced me to “machete order” and I was ready to walk down the aisle that day. More importantly, he asked me what my preferred viewing order was and didn’t automatically suspect that I’d stuck that question in there to falsely impress the geeks. He was impressed by my answer, the ice was broken and a bond was forged.
Today is the day I get to watch the last episode of the 9 part Skywalker saga. I’m anticipating Leia’s death. I’m not ready for it but I never will be. It feels like losing an old friend or a beloved aunt. She saw me through so many dark times in my life and I am grief stricken at the thought of losing any new possibilities of her presence.
I’ll always have “Empire Leia” though... tucked safely in its VHS box in my closet, untouched by George Lucas’ bullshit additions and completely lacking a slimy slithering CGI Jabba. She waits for the next dark time in my life, clad in her white puffy coat on Hoth, eye rolling at Han, directing the men and leading the rebellion with the strength that I always found lacking in cocky Anakin, whiny Luke and that spoiled brat Kylo.
She is the heart of the saga for me and many others... may the force be with you, Leia (Skywalker) Organa, Princess of Alderaan and General of the Rebellion.
Every year I spend a good few hours at Costco.com making one. Then I print 50, stuff 20 and hand them out to whomever I see on Christmas Day. Let’s be real, most everyone I care about follows me and my crew on Facebook so a card would be pics they’ve already seen and a letter full of information they know.
However, this year I saw someone write “brutally honest” Christmas letters so I decided to give it a go...
If you want a copy, print it. You’re welcome.
*~*~*~ holiday squiggles *~*~*~*~
Dewey-Rollins Christmas Letter 2019
Elijah: Age 4.5. Attends Gloria Dei Lutheran Pre-K where he’s learned to write his name in capital and lower case, and he’s learned that John the Baptist (aka “Jeebuses cousin”) ate crickets “just like my gecko!” He’s super into cheese omelettes lately and has a YouTube channel with one video of himself singing “Mamma Mia” that he watches constantly. His dream is to have a play date with Ryan from YouTube. If you don’t know who that is, consider yourself lucky. He’s a monstrously annoying 8 year old millionaire.
Scarlett: Still missing two front teeth, the Dewey tooth fairy is definitely considering an IRA at this point. She’s excelling in third grade despite “talking a lot, all the time, whenever time is passing, to people who are ignoring her” according to teacher Mackenzie. Scarlett is pretty obsessed with her cat, Domino who won’t stop humping his brother, Pineapple, so we’re all excited for their kitty-ball-snipping surgery in January.
Carlee: Ran for ASB class rep and won this year. Will run for President in 2044. Will cut you if you don’t vote for her. We’re equally proud and fucking terrified. She’s currently studying feminism and is one of the leaders of her schools “Pineapple cult” which we’re allowing because apparently anyone is invited as the the Pineapple is the international symbol for hospitality. Still doesn’t like sour cream.
Jackson: Has spent less of this year grounded than last, so it’s a total win. He’s continuing to rock his hearing aids despite mom having Bluetooth access and randomly playing Disney songs from Spotify when she’s feeling punchy. He really enjoys books about kids who kill each other (“Last Kids on Earth” and “Hunger Games”) so we’ve decided he doesn’t need therapy any more, he’s got a healthy outlet for his frustrations of being 1 of 5.
Isabelle: She totally “doesn’t” have a boyfriend and we totally “don’t” talk about it. She’s in her last year at Cascade K-8 which thrills her as she is VERY ready for high school but mom keeps weeping every time she says that so she’s stopped. Mostly. We got her an “anxiety Beta fish” this year and a little zebra snail named “Gary” to clean its tank but we’re pretty sure Gary died in transport. I haven’t checked. Isabelle is still our favorite. Don’t tell the others.
Matthew and Kate: Still married. Still like each other. Are REALLY enjoying the no-baby phase of this life they share. Isabelle can babysit so they’ve made excellent use of Regal Theater’s Unlimited pass. They’re pretty sure Regal didn’t think that one through. Kate will see Star Wars:9 at least 10 times. Matt will let her if he knows what’s good for him. They’ve decided they’ll have one more baby if it ever becomes possible to gestate a Baby Yoda.
*~*~*~ more holiday squiggles *~*~*~*~
We don’t have family photos done yet, so y’all get this. It’s my new favorite things and it makes me really REALLY happy to see this song get the ending it was always meant to have.
1) Scarlett is in second grade.
2) Gary is dead. Isabelle scooped him out 2 months ago
3) My nominations for “Mother of The Year” hasn’t been revoked. God knows why.
Because it’s pointless.
5 kids means we wear a LOT of cotton. Cotton clothes could totally be folded but why would you do that?! I got really tired of looking in my kids’ drawers and seeing the clothes I had previously neatly folded now all caddywompus and fuckey. It also didn’t matter much if I had shirts in the shirt drawer and pants in the pants drawer, the kids could never keep it straight.
So I looked into how people with a boatload of kids manage this and specifically, I looked at the Queen of Too-Many-Children, Michelle Duggar. They go as far as not even having specific clothes for each kid... they just have a “family closet” for their prairie skirts and polos. I wasn’t about to go that far but I liked the theory and in September of 2014 (when I was pregnant with Elijah and D O N E being functional while I gestated a human), I quit folding laundry.
I ordered those 9-cube organizers for each kid and cloth bins. Then I printed labels for each cube, with an entire set made up of pictures because at that time, Scarlett couldn’t read. Short Sleeve Shirts, Long Sleeve Shirts, Pants, Shorts, Pajamas, Undies, Jackets, “Fancy Drawer”.
As clean laundry exited the dryer, it was piled on a couch and whichever kid was on laundry duty that day sorted the clothes into piles by person, a pile of socks and a pile of linens. Linens were folded and put away, socks tossed in the “sock bench” and then the kid shouts “COME AND GET YOUR PILES!”. Each kid takes their pile to their room and sorts it by type into their square cloth bins. If they want it folded (they literally never did) they could do that themselves. Isabelle eventually got more fashionable teen clothing and opts to hang a lot of her tops. Matthew and I manage our own clothes however we want. He hangs. I occasionally put mine in drawers but there’s also a pretty consistent pile on my floor of clean clothes.
Hey Kate, don't they all get wrinkled?!
Oh they totally do... but that wasn’t different than before and I realized that with a wardrobe that is 98% cotton (and 2% sequin), the wrinkles were gone after sitting for 10 minutes on a 98.6 degree human. #NaturesIron
I also quit matching and mating socks because seriously, who cares about socks?! Not my kids. Every sock is thrown in the “sock bench” and I started buying bulk white socks in the hopes of eventually not having to worry about mismatched socks but I’m not kidding when I say no one cares.
But Kate, what about your socks?
Well, okay, yeah... Matthew and I do care about matched socks. We mostly solve that by buying him black socks so they’re easy to spot in the sea of kid socks. My socks are nearly always bizarre. I have a lovely collection of weird socks that are fairly easy to identify.
I often get asked how I manage to keep up with 5 kids and my first response is either “whiskey” to shut them up, or if the person asking is really looking for tips, I say “I stopped folding laundry 5 years ago” because I did and it was one of the best decision I’ve ever made.
Because we're evil parents that force them to spend time with us off the grid with no technology... we also usually spend 3 days in the same pajamas. It's epic. Or, as our 4 year old says, "It's Effic". We don't correct him... it's damn cute and the last wisps of babyhood are leaving our home as slowly as humanly possible.
Q: What do we do for 3 days in a Yurt in the middle of the Cascades?
A: Whatever we want.
The yurt itself is not too tiny, and it has enough beds for all of us, an adorable wood-burning stove for warmth, electric blankets on all the beds, and a tiny little kitchen area that we use to cook meals in. There's a pit toilet down the way but the boys usually pee off the deck. *shrug* The Yurt also sits on the grounds of an active farm with goats and pigs, and those staying in the Yurt are welcome to feed their food scraps to the pigs!! This might be the best part for the kids... hopping into rain boots and running scraps out to the pigs. But not bacon scraps... we had a long discussion about that and decided that while the pigs would love it, it felt super wrong in our souls.
We also try to incorporate a little bit of YurtMas in our YurtCation. I bring a few Christmas gifts for each kid to open, usually matching pajamas (thanks Target) and a book for each kid. This year I'm probably getting them some new board games too. Matthew brings his guitar, I bring my knitting, the kids bring art supplies and we just spend 3 days together with no outside interruption.
We really, honestly, truly make it a "no-tech" get away. Matthew and I shut off our phones. (WHAT?! A doula shuts off her phone?! Calm yourself. I have a partner and she is amazing and why I'm able to do this.) . We don't let the kids bring Kindles or phones, and sometimes we bring a bluetooth speaker to play audiobooks on, but we don't really use it.
I know it's a bit unconventional to do a getaway like this in December, and even more unusual to have it be no-tech. It's vital to us that we make this happen... especially in December. This is the time of year when we are super busy with events at school and our church, and the kids are like ping pong balls with the big girls going to their dads every other weekend and Jackson getting ready to visit his mom in Atlanta. We need this time to ground ourselves as a family and as people who love each other.
I honestly wasn't sure how this would go last year when I did it, but the kids absolutely loved it. They have been asking all year if we're going back to our YurtCation and all of us are super excited to go back this year!!!
Location & Logistics:
Types of practitioners:
How do they treat Out-Of-Hospital transfers?
Cesarean rate through the years:
Natural birth rating: I give it 4 out of 5 birth balls!!!
Policy on food for patients
Where is the nourishment?
Labor Tub Options and Review
Birth suite tips, and tools:
Doula friendly nurses?
Postpartum & Lactation:
Yes, Yes I did.
It's here under the Best GamerTag Ever
Why on earth would I do such a thing and why would I broadcast it, and why would I tell my kids about it?! Two reasons:
1) Because I am sex-positive and will raise my kids not to fear vaginas, theirs or others.
2) I have a weak-ass pelvic floor and the video game I bought to strengthen my second-favorite lady part is super fun and I believe everyone who can should play it. Seriously, It's fun. So watch me play it! Or don't. You do you.
Want to buy the game? It's called Perifit and no I don't get kickbacks from the company for telling you to go buy one.
I get to fly a butterfly, a bird and a flappy bird WITH MY VAGINA. It's hilariously fun...
Do all your kids do chores?
Yes my kids do chores. No they don't complain. They just do them because I'm terrifying and they know I'm in charge. If they whine? They get more chores and I will not let them rest until my bidding is complete.
Really though? I took my 10 least-favorite chores, broke them up into 5 sections, assigned the two easiest ones permanently to the 4 year old, and the other 4 pairs are assigned a fun name (because I'm fun, damnit) and the kids rotate through the weekly.
It works. By the time they're bored of their chore, it's time to do a new one. Every 3-4 months I mix them up and rename them something different. We've done Hogwarts houses, superheroes, famous feminists. Star Wars characters, teachers from their school (that was during the summer.... the kids did NOT appreciate being reminded of school, but I thought it was hilarious) and next I think I'm going to do grandparents... because there will be nothing funnier than my 7 year old going "I'm Papa Larry this week! Who are you? Oh, HI GRAMMY!!"
I'm nice and I shared my spreadsheet... it's super fun. I also created a "Jedi Training Academy" for kids who are struggling with staying on top of ongoing behavior issues and organizational tasks. It didn't work because I got bored but it's in the drive anyways.
How do you manage keeping a house somewhat sane with five kids, two leopard geckos, two cats, a beta fish and a Matthew? That must be exhausting!
Oh. You're adorable. I don't do chores. Seriously. I'm the project manager of my household. I delegate. I erased the idea of being "caught up" on laundry because what's the point? The pile has a mind of it's own. I stopped folding laundry in September of 2014. It was life-changing.
My children have an amazing amount of chores. They are completed by 4:30 pm and my house is somewhat sane until dinner time. The other two times I need them to clean things, I do as follows...
Clean your room!!
Instead of “hey child, go clean your room”, it’s much more effective if you go in and sweep all their junk into a pile. Then have a list posted with categories in the order you want the kid to work.
This is my list:
1- make your bed
2- sort all the clothes in your room, clean to a pile on your bed, dirty to the hamper
3- find the 5 biggest things in the pile and put them away
5- big toys
7- the rest
8- sort and put away the clean clothes from your bed
If the kid is little or sluggish, bribe them. Give them a mini Marshmellow or semi-sweet chocolate chip for each number... you can even go up incrementally (1 mallow for task 1, 2 for task 2... to keep them motivated) Don’t like sugar? Cheetos work just as well, IME. Make it fun and drop it into their mouth like a baby bird getting a worm. Make them say “cheep cheep” if you do that. Yes, even the 12 year olds.
If the pile is 90% toys? Split the big pile into multiple smaller piles and give them a treat when each one is finished.
If these don’t work? Or they lose steam? Play the “number game” or the “color game”:
- Tidy 5 things then come get a Cheeto!
- Tidy 7 BLUE things and then come get a Cheeto!
- Put away 4 books and then come get a Cheeto!
- Throw all your stuffies at your head board and shout “GOOOOOOOOOAAAAAL” if they don’t bounce back off the bed.
What if I need a deeper house cleaning? Like for a party or Our Lord and Savior Ruth Bader Ginsburg is visiting?
"Tasks in a hat"
Balance it with 2:1 chores:break tasks.
- Tidy living room
- Clean Bathroom #1
- Do laundry load
- Clean family room
(Use the broom for all the clutter in each room)
- Dance break!! (Wooden spoon microphones enhance this break)
- Cookie break!!
- Story time break!!
- FLOOR IS LAVA BREAK!!!
Also? Do it in two phases... Phase two has the deeper cleaning like vacuuming, washing and dusting if you do that kind of stuff. Can’t really draw the “vacuum living room” before you tidy it...