Friday, October 14, 2011

Headcovering

Me with a doula baby

I'm posting these to share with the headcovering mamas thread on the Well-Trained Mind boards. I've been covering for five or six years now, usually with a scarf or bandana.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Down a Slightly Different Path

As you all know, and have been reading about on my blog for the last couple of months, I applied and was accepted to midwifery school back in July, after having attended the Midwifery Today Conference in Oregon this April.

With Syracuse being as cold and snowy as it is, Tim Baer and I had tossed around the idea of moving somewhere else before our winter here hit. Honestly, I didn't think that anything would pop up and figured that we would be spending another winter digging out cars out every morning.

During the last week of July, I responded to a post on the Mothering.com discussion boards from a birth center in Oregon that was looking for a new apprentice, as their current apprentice was about to graduate. I talked to the midwife at the birth center and her apprentice and, in the second week of August, applied for the position. The last week of August, I got a "Yes, come on out" from the midwife at the birth center. Tim and I discussed it, prayed about it, and decided that this was the best course of action for our family at this time. I've always wanted to be a midwife, my husband is extremely supportive and I've been told time and again that I'll make a good one.

The kids and Tim are pretty excited. I go back and forth between being thrilled and terrified. Overall, I feel a peace about what we are doing. For as crazy as it sounds, I think that this is a long term investment in our family, me being able to have a career.

I have two more doula clients here in Syracuse and then I'll no longer be serving as a doula in the Syracuse area. I'll miss my clients here, whose future births I had hoped to attend. I'll miss the ladies in the Doula Connection, our young doula networking group. Both the families whose births I was able to be a part of and our doula group here will always hold a special place in my heart. I don't know when I'll see any of them again, as a trip to New York isn't in the forseeable future.

I'll no longer be "SyracuseDoula," but I can't imagine that I'll stop writing about birth and family. It'll just be from Oregon, as a midwife's apprentice.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Pelvic Types

Last night at Panera, I managed to complete the Pelvimetry worksheet from Module Two of my midwifery school coursework. I read chapter 8 in Myles Textbook for Midwives, about structures of the pelvis and differences between pelvic types.

www.healthline.com describes the four types of pelvic types this way:

The bony pelvis has four general shapes, which may occur separately or in combination:

  • Gynecoid. This is the most common pelvic shape and is best for vaginal delivery. It has an oval-shaped inlet (wider from side to side than from front to back) with parallel sides, dull ischial spines, and a pubic arch that is 90 degrees or wider.
  • Anthropoid. This shape has an oval inlet but is wider from front to back than from side to side compared to the gynecoid pelvis. The sidewalls are parallel or flare outward, and the back part is roomy enough to accommodate the back of the fetus's head. This may result in the baby being born face up.
  • Platypoid. This type of pelvis has an oval-shaped inlet that is compressed from front to back. This may result in a fetus that traverses the pelvis with its head in a transverse or sideways position.
  • Android. This is a male-type pelvis, with a small inlet that is somewhat heart-shaped. The sidewalls converge, the ischial spines are prominent, and the pubic arch is narrow.

This youtube video explains basic pelvimetry pretty well:




Monday, August 22, 2011

Doula Weekend

I think I've managed to piece together my weekend. Friday evening, Mandy Walters and I staffed our doula group's table at the Sweet Little Repeats consignment sale from about 3:30 to 8pm. We got to talk to a lot of moms. The theme Friday night seemed to be Cesarean and VBAC, and we ended up giving away all of the ICAN brochures that we had with us.

Friday night, I did not have to work at Walmart, so I was actually able to sleep from about 10pm to 4am. My intention was not to wake up at four, but working nights has done strange things to my sleep schedule. I alternated watching taped episodes of Juding Amy until about 7:30am, when I went back to the Sweet Little Repeats sale to hang out at the doula table with Chris Herrera. Got home around 5pm and did things around the house, napped, saw the family until 9pm, when I had to be at work at Walmart.

2:20am Sunday at Walmart, my phone rang and it was my doula client who was due Monday. I told her to try to rest and give me a call back soon and in half an hour I got another call from her saying that things were moving along. It ended up being a very quick birth of a gorgeous baby girl and I was back at our doula table at the consignment sale by 8:30am (and I didn't rush out after the birth, I stayed for a couple of hours after).

I got home Sunday afternoon around three, showered, went to bed and got up at seven o'clock this morning. I feel like I've recovered from the hours of sleep I missed over the weekend and, unless the lady due at the end of the month goes into labor, today is looking like it'll be a normal homeschooling mom/doing midwifery school homework sort of day.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Homeschool Weekly Report

Tim did look at me funny for this one, but last night when the kids were whiny and sniping at each other, I emptied a can of shaving cream onto the dining room table and told them that it was time to practice writing letters. James has been doing 'M' this week in homeschooling, so he worked on 'M' and words that start with M. Delilah made the entire alphabet and Ben pretty much just played with the shaving cream. It was totally worth it, as it bought me twenty-five minutes of happy children and only took a minute to clean up.

In history, we finished up chapter one in Story of the World II. Both of the older kids read library books about Rome.

Patrick and Delilah both did lessons on www.time4learning.com in Math and Language Arts. I am really enjoying using the Memoria Press kindergarten with James. Honestly, the checkboxes are a big help to me.

We're headed out to the park this afternoon and then I'll be spending the weekend at the Sweet Little Repeats consignment sale. It's one of the biggest consignment sales in the area, with over 11,000 items this year. To find out more about it, you can go to www.sweetlittlerepeats.com

Monday, August 15, 2011

Privacy

Privacy makes it easier to relax. Relaxing makes it easier to give birth. I love this video because we go "Why are they all going in the bathroom?" the same way that maybe we should go "Why are they asking to check her cervix during labor? or Why are there six people in the room when she's birthing the baby?"

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Photojournal- Food 8/14

10:30pm Saturday: Rockstar and Rolos (just 3) at the Register

2am Sunday: Baked potato, broccoli, cheese w/tea

6am: Banana, Larabar, water

10:30am: Coffee, bagel sandwich

9:30pm Sunday: Crab bisque, wheat Ritz crackers, baby carrots
As a side note, I have been waiting for weeks for the copy of Women's Sexual Passages by Elizabeth Davis that I ordered from amazon and it still hasn't been shipped. If anyone has a copy I can borrow, please let me know.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Photo Food Log 8/13

Friday night "breakfast:" Coke Zero, Gnu bar, Late July crackers

11:45pm- Banana

12:10am- Coke Zero, Baked Ruffles

3:30am "Lunch:" Lean Cuisine (pasta & chicken), cantaloupe, Fiber One brownie

2pm- Yogurt

3:40pm- Wendy's Apple Chicken salad

7pm- Turkey avocado burger, broccoli, zucchini


My thoughts about the "snap a picture" concious eating plan is that it did make me more aware of what I was going to put into my body. Plus, I didn't want to have to post anything embarassing; that's why I ended up getting a salad at Wendy's instead of something fatty.

I have a lot of reading about nutrition coming up in my next modules for midwifery school. I'm going to plan to continue keeping a photo log for the rest of this week. The only time I envision possibly skipping a day is when my next doula client has her baby.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Better Eating by Camera

I remember reading in some magazine last month that there was a study where they learned that snapping a picture of your meal before eating it made participants more likely to eat healthy food. Stopping to think about what they were eating made them more concious of what they were consuming.

Since starting working full-time, I feel like my diet has left a lot to be desired. There's been way too much convenience food of the unhealthy variety.

The picture above was taken at 5:30am in the Walmart break room. I noticed that, for me, the idea that I would be taking a picture of breakfast and possibly sharing it publicly did make me want to avoid having Coke Zero and Combos (it would have been embarassing).

My goal for the next week is going to be to do a pictoral food diary here on the blog, probably at the end of the day. I'll snap a picture with my phone and email it to myself to post here.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Free Reusable Lunch Sack from Annie's

You can go here: http://www.annies.com/bts11 to find out how to get your free lunch sack from Annie's Homegrown. I'll be mailing ours' in today.

For my Syracuse area readers, you can get Annie's macaroni for a dollar at both Price Chopper and Target this week. I got ten boxes for nine dollars at Price Chopper by using two .50/1 coupons on top of the sale price. Annie's is our favorite macaroni and cheese, so getting it for ninety cents a box made me pretty happy. 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Homeschooling at the Libraries

Ben and James on the couch in the children's section.

Last week, we managed to end up visiting four different libraries. Monday, we went to the North Onondaga Public Library in North Syracuse after James' speech. Then on Tuesday afternoon we had a "Wii Tournament" at the NOPL in Cicero. Wednesday, we hung out at the Liverpool library with another homeschooling family and on Friday we made a trip to the Manlius library to pick up a book called for in James' Language Arts book.

This week, the plan is to be slightly more effective and go just twice.

Friday, August 5, 2011

My Bag is Confused

My doula bag has turned into my doula/assistant/student midwife bag. Where I used to just have my labor support stuff, I now carry:

"Doula's Checklist of Comfort Measures for Labor"
Nukkles massagers
A turtle massager
Calms- A Guide to Soothing Your Baby
Rice socks
Vinyl gloves
Expanding file with client folders
Stethoscope
Sphygomomanometer (blood pressure)
Fetoscope
Change of clothes
Snacks
Essential oils (lavender, clary sage, peppermint, cypress, sweet basil, Texas cedarwood)
Almond oil (for massage)
Cough drops
Tic tacs
Hand sanitizer
Deodorant (for me)
Air pump for birth ball

That way, I'm ready no matter what kind of laboring woman calls, a doula client, a midwife's assistant or someone letting me student midwife. For now, it all fits in one bag.

I do still have space for a doula client or two in October and November, so if you're looking for a doula, shoot me an email at naturalparentingsupport@hotmail.com

Monday, August 1, 2011

More Shopping Fun!

I spent about an hour at the Y this morning clipping the coupons from yesterday's paper, putting them away in the binder and making up our shopping list based on the Price Chopper sale ad (coupon + sale).

My new binder is a Case-It. It has a carrying handle and when you open it, there are two 1 1/2" binders inside. I saw it on Lauren (I Am That Lady)'s blog:

www.iamthatlady.com


The kids and I went to Price Chopper from the Y and did our shopping for this week. I split our order into three transactions because I had a bunch of the Tops dollar coupon doublers and you're only supposed to use 4 per customer (and I ended up counting the kids as customers).

Here's what the money ended up looking like:

Original Cost: $174.52

Spent $94.61
#1 $67.96
#2 $17.68
#3 $8.97

Savings $79.91
#1 $50.87
#2 $18.88
#3 $10.16

A couple of things where I was really happy about the prices were:

Tom's of Maine Silly Strawberry Toothpaste $ .99 after sale and dollar off coupon that doubled
Whonu Cookies $ .99 after dollar off coupon that doubled
Simply GoGurt $1.69 after sale and dollar coupon that doubled
Organic Orange Juice FREE after coupon




Friday, July 29, 2011

I Let My Kid Walk to Walmart

The past few months, Tim and I have been letting Patrick, our oldest walk to more places in our neighborhood. He's almost eleven and we both remember being his age and being allowed to ride our bikes miles from our houses without our parents freaking out.

Yesterday Patrick asked one of his friends, who is two years older than him, if he could walk to Walmart with him. Our Walmart is literally three suburban blocks away. There are no big streets to cross. His friend isn't allowed to walk there and the feeling that I got was that his parents feel like its a safety issue.

I got a mixed response from friends, most of them falling into the "Oh my God! That's not safe!" category.

For as much as I searched, I wasn't able to find record of a single child kidnapping locally. All of the news stories about kidnappings here are about non-custodial parents taking their children and men kidnapping adult women.

NeighborhoodScout has this to say about Cicero:

"Importantly, our analysis shows that Cicero has one of the lowest violent crime rates in all of America, across cities and towns of all sizes. Murder, forcible rape, armed robbery and aggravated assault happen far less frequently here than in most places. Your chance of becoming a victim? Just one in 10,000. Cicero's violent crime rate is just 0 per 1,000 residents."
- From NeighborhoodScout


Conversely, it seems that Patrick would have been in more danger if I had chosen to drive him the three blocks to Walmart, as our chances of being in a serious or fatal automobile accident far exceed the risks of a "stranger" doing him harm. Googling "Syracuse NY car crash," I was able to find more stories of people who were killed in car crashes than I was stories of non-custodial kidnappings (virtually non-existant in our area). The kidnapping is more sensational and scary, but the car accident is more likely and it doesn't keep us from driving almost every day.


I'd like to suggest the writings of a man named Gavin DeBecker. He is "our Nation's best-known expert on the prediction and management of violence." What he says runs contrary to the fear-based things that we tell our children, like the ridiculous saying "Don't talk to strangers." He provides practical, evidence-based teachings about reducing risk and making our families as safe as we can without becoming agoraphobic. His book Protecting the Gift is one that I recommend all parents read.

https://www.gavindebecker.com/who_we_are/bio/gavin_de_becker/

So yeah, I let my kid walk to Walmart. I felt comfortable letting him go and it meant not having to load up all of the kids to go buy toilet paper. Judge away.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

You've Got to Move Your Body- Movement and Positioning for Birth



Look at all of the lovely hip movement in this youtube video! Sure, there aren't actual pregnant mamas, but the song and video are a good reminder of what I want you to remember in labor, the swaying hips, the movement.

In early labor and sometimes well into active labor, many moms like the feeling of being upright, walking, lunging, squatting and swaying. Early labor is also a good time to get rested up for the work ahead, so I think that it's important to balance activity with periods of rest.

Here are some links to good positions for early and active labor:

http://pregnancy.about.com/od/laborbasics/ss/laborpositions_4.htm#
http://www.babycentre.co.uk/pregnancy/labourandbirth/labour/positions/#2
http://www.everydaymiracles.us/PDF/Birth_ball_position_handout.pdf
http://www.injoyvideos.com/mothersadvocate/pdf/hbyw-PositionsForLabor.pdf

Positions for the pushing stage
http://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/activities/effective-birthing-positions

Lamaze's Tips for Maintaining Freedom of Movement
http://www.lamaze.org/Default.aspx?tabid=256

U.K.'s site, Babycentre has this to say about laboring in bed,

"Why not labour in bed?


If you are upright rather than lying down, gravity can help push your baby's head down onto the cervix (neck of the womb) to help your cervix dilate and then assist your baby's progress through your pelvis.

Research, though limited, has shown the following disadvantages to lying down in labour, including:

• more painful contractions (Molina et al 1997)
• less effective contractions (Lewis et al 2002; Andrews and Chrzanowski 1990; Flynn et al 1978)
• longer labour (Andrews and Chrzanowski 1990)
• reduced blood flow to your baby, particularly if you lie flat on your back (Ryo et al 1996; Ang et al 1969 cited Gupta et al 2004)
• narrower passage through the pelvis for your baby (Michel et al 2002; Russell 1982 cited Gupta et al 2004)"
http://www.babycentre.co.uk/pregnancy/labourandbirth/labour/positions/

Remember that one of the things your doula does for you is to suggest position changes during labor. So if you start feeling like you're not sure what to try, your doula is there to provide ideas.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Homeschool Week of 7/18-22

A couple of good things came in the mail this week. On Tuesday, James' box arrived from Memoria Press (pictured in last week's post). I'm as pleased as I thought I would be. It literally has boxes that you check off each day for each subject. With the number of things I'm balancing, this is what I need for homeschooling him this year. We also got the Patrick and Delilah's scores on the Terra Nova (New York standardized test). Except for Delilah's "66" in Language, both kids scored high in the 80s for everything (Reading, Mathematics, etc). As much as I think that standardized testing in schools is a waste of time, with all the talk of teaching to the test, it's nice to see that my kids, who were unprepared for the test itself, could do well on it.

Patrick and Delilah both did lessons in Math, Language Arts, Science and Social Studies at http://www.time4learning.com/ Three days this week, Patrick spent 20 minutes working in Saxon Math 6/5. At the moment, he's sitting at the table working on Life of Fred: Fractions.

Tim is still reading to the kids from the Bible at bedtime. This week, they're reading the book of Nehemiah.

For Phys. Ed, Patrick, Delilah and James did the Outdoor Games class at the Y three days this week. Patrick had karate twice.

I'm considering signing up for an "Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics" course. I took the Pre-test on the American Academy of Family Physicians website and scored a 97%. Last Friday, I mailed my first tuition payment to the National Midwifery Institute. I've been checking our account every day to see if the check has cleared.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Busy, Busy Day

Usually one to sleep in late on days that I don't work the night before, I was up this morning by 7:30. I flipped the laundry, cleaned up a little bit and looked at homeschool curriculum online. I've been wanting to get the Memoria Press kindergarten for James to use this coming school year and this morning, I decided to order it. I'm happy with the choice and looking forward to the box arriving :)

Memoria Press Kindergarten
It'll be the first year that I've used a boxed curriculum for one of the kids and honestly, I think it'll be a relief.

I got all of the kids up around 8:00, since we had to get Patrick to morning karate camp by nine. Everyone ate breakfast and got dressed and we managed to get out of the door by 9:02am. Luckily, the dojo is less than a mile away.

Delilah, James and I did a quick housecleaning and, around ten, some moms from the Syracuse AP yahoo group came over for a gentle discipline discussion. We decided to pick a book to read and meet back here again next month to discuss.

The afternoon was a blur. We picked Patrick up at noon. I talked to Roz, from the Doula Connection, for about half an hour. I took the kids to Barnes & Noble, then Chipotle for lunch. After Chipotle, we went to Office Max to make a copy of my high school diploma to send to the National Midwifery Institute. We had to stop and grab a birthday present for Patrick's friend; then we went to the post office and I mailed off my first tuition payment of $4000 to the National Midwifery Institute. From there, we dropped Patrick off at his friend's birthday party sleepover.

The younger kids and I stopped at Wegman's so that they could rent a movie from the Redbox. Tim was home when we got back. I got to chat with him for a little bit. Around 5:45, I put "Rango" on for the kids and I took a nap until 8:30pm. I'll be working at Walmart tonight from 10pm-7am, catching a nap in the morning and going out to meet with a few doula clients during the day.

Mailing that tuition payment was definitely the highlight of my day. Once they get the check, I'll be officially "enrolled" instead of just "accepted" and I can go around telling people that I am a student midwife.

Monday, July 11, 2011

"The Deal"

Between all of the working to save up for school, studying midwifery and homeschooling the kids, I am still taking on doula clients. In this post, I'm going to explain "the deal," or how the whole hiring me as your doula works.

Generally, people call or email me (though it's happened through facebook before) and we set up an "initial consultation." That meeting is free and it's a chance for you to learn more about me and see if you think we're and good fit and for me to meet your family and get a sense of what you're looking for.

If you decide to hire me, you pay a deposit to reserve your slot on the calendar, usually 1/3 of the total.

Then we set up three "prenatal visits." What we do at those visits will depend on your needs. If you're a first-time mom, we may focus a lot on basics; learning about the birth process, techniques for coping with labor and what to expect in the birth setting you've chosen. While I do have a basic visit outline, I adapt that to each family.

I am also available via phone or email during pregnancy to answer any questions that may come up.

The last month of pregnancy, I ask moms to email me an update or call me after each prenatal visit.

When you think you're in labor, you give me a call and we chat on the phone. If you are at home and would like me to come support you there, I can provide labor support at home. Sometimes couples call me on the way to the hospital (if labor is moving along quickly) and I meet you there. I stay with you throughout the whole labor, providing physical and emotional support, advice and information.

If you want help with breastfeeding, basic support is included in the birth doula package.

Within a week of the birth, I visit you at home for a "postpartum visit." At the postpartum visit, we discuss your birth experience, talk about any newborn and breastfeeding issues and the transition of integrating a new baby into the family.

Currently, the cost for my birth doula "package" as described above is $600.

I also offer a five hour childbirth class for non-doula clients at a rate of $125. If you and a friend want to have a semi-private class, the cost is reduced to $100 per couple.

If a doula client wants a private childbirth class in adddition to their doula package, the cost is $100.

The best number to reach me is 443-690-6212. It's my cell phone, which I got when we lived in Maryland. I do live in Syracuse :)

You can also email me at naturalparentingsupport@hotmail.com

So, if you're looking for a doula in Syracuse and this sounds like something you're interested in, get in touch with me. I have one spot available in August. I'm booked for September and have space available in October and November.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Homeschooling = Field Trips

In the past week, we've had a field trip pretty much every day that I've been home.

On Saturday, Tim and I took the kids to a nature walk at Beaver Lake nature center. This summer, they're having a free nature walk every Saturday and Sunday at 2pm. You can find out more about their events here: http://onondagacountyparks.com/beaver-lake-nature-center/

Since Tim was off work for the 4th of July, we took the kids to Oneida Shores, a local beach with a great playground. Their playground is close enough to the beach that we spent the afternoon going back and forth between playing on the playground and in the water. Here's the site for Oneida Shores park: http://onondagacountyparks.com/oneida-shores-park/

I was "away" at a birth from late Tuesday night until Thursday morning :)

Thursday evening, we took the kids to a Chiefs (minor league baseball) game with the free tickets we'd gotten from James' speech teacher. The Chiefs played well and the kids liked it.



We wrapped up the week by going to two libraries on Friday. The kids took their summer reading lists and got prizes at both places (they signed up for two programs, I only let them count each book once) and we attended a music program at the second library.

In mom-schooling news, I checked out some books from the library about paying for college and getting through college without incurring debt. My midwifery school account is up to $3000, thanks to another paycheck from Walmart and some donations from my mom :)

My savings chart!
I'm off to go spend half an hour reading Holistic Midwifery Vol 1 before I head off for the overnight shift at Walmart.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

'Cause Winning Things is Fun

After waking up way too early thing morning, I've decided to give you all some contest links. All of the contests end this week, so you won't have to wait months to find out if you've won. Here they are:

Little Tikes Cars Bedroom Giveaway
http://www.littletikes.com/sweepstakes/sweepstakes.aspx?sweepstakes_id=36&status=entry

Toys from La-Z-Boy
http://www.la-z-boy.com/Brooke/Contests/

Prizes from Pregnancy and Newborn Magazine
http://www.pnmag.com/competition/june-free-stuff

Trip for Four to Sesame Place
https://www.chelseapiers.com/sesame/register.cfm

Nordic Baby Carrier
http://lilkidthings.com/lillebaby-nordic-carrier-giveaway/

Step2 Sand and Water Farm
http://amomsimpression.com/2011/06/17/step2-sand-and-water-fun-farm-review-and-giveaway/

Good luck everyone!

- Liz

Sunday, June 26, 2011

"How do you do it?" or "Thanks, Caffeine."

356 miles driven + 2 doula client visits + 1 student midwives' meeting + 18 hours at Walmart + 7 cups of coffee = My Weekend.

For the many folks who have asked "How do you do it all?" I'll tell you that my secret isn't a secret at all. The answer is: stubbornness, perseverence, determination, and... caffeine. Once a water drinking, orange juice buying kind of gal, I've recently rediscovered coffee, soda and even the world of energy drinks. Not something that I would necessarily recommend to others (at least not in the amounts that I'm consuming), but for now, it's a way to get through my schedule and stay awake. The picture above was tonight's "snack" at work.

I've decided that the current (thankfully temporary) schedule is worth it to get me closer to my goal of becoming a midwife. While it's hard, it's worth doing. And at the rate I'm going, it won't be long before I can afford to work less or drop the Walmart altogether.

I heard this song on the radio as I was driving from the Student Midwives' meeting to my overnight shift as Walmart tonight and thought it fitting:

Friday, June 24, 2011

Childbirth Classes!

The group I'm a part of here in Syracuse is now officially advertising our childbirth classes. Since I had a partial shift at work tonight (I hit 40 hours at 1am and Walmart has an aversion to paying overtime), I was able to get the Childbirth Classes page added to the group's website:

http://www.cnydoulaconnection.com/id17.html

For my doula clients, I will be offering a $25 discount on my childbirth classes.

To book me as your doula or to just schedule a childbirth class, email me at naturalparentingsupport@hotmail.com or call 443-690-6212.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Changes in Childbirth



This short video on changes in childbirth practices highlights changes in birth over the past century (stopping at about the 1950s). I especially like the part about the Southern midwives.

This and more videos can be found at http://mothersadvocate.wordpress.com/

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Price Chopper Trip Today :)


The kids and I had a great Price Chopper shopping trip today.

We got:

- 3 boxes of Cheerios
- 1 box Lucky Charms
- 2 Yoplait yogut multi-packs
- 1 4-pack of Fiber One yogurt
- 1 4-pack of Yoplait Delights
- 1 box of Simply GoGurt
- Pantente Nature Fusion shampoo and conditioner

The cereal was on sale 4/$8 and we used two coupons for $1/2, making them $1.50 a box.

Yogurt was on sale for $2 each and we had coupons for "Buy 4, Get 1" and two coupons for $1/2, making them $1.20 each.

The Pantene was on sale for $3.50 each. I had a manufacturer coupon for $3/2 and a store coupon for $3/2, making them .50 each.

Finally, I handed the cashier our $5 Off Your Next Order coupon from the last trip!

And then... another $5 Off Your Next Order coupon printed out!!!

Our original total was $38.91 and we paid $8.32.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Good Morning! Welcome to Walmart!

Walmart Parking Lot: 5:15am
It's hard to believe that it's already been two weeks since the last time I posted to the blog.

The past weeks have been a blur. For the past four nights, I've been "people greeting" at Walmart. I had one night off before that and worked the previous three nights. So, out of the past eight nights, I've worked for seven of them. I spend from 10pm-7am greeting customers, putting stickers on items people are returning, checking receipts (it's nothing personal, stop getting annoyed about it), sweeping the front entryway and counting the minutes.

I also spend from about 5am on reminding myself that it's for midwifery school and I have to stand there for the rest of the shift and be grateful that I have a way to pay for school. I'm working on it. The gratitude, that is.

At the present time, my midwifery school fund is up to $2050!!! Another $1950 and I can mail off a check for my first year's tuition :) My next Walmart payday is this coming Thursday; I'll try to post the new total.

So I am still here. I haven't dropped off the face of the earth. I've just found that working full time at night, being with the kids during the day and sleeping in the late afternoon/early evening doesn't leave nearly as much time for being on the computer as I used to have.

- Liz Baer: Doula, Aspiring Student Midwife, Homeschooling Mom, Walmart Greeter

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Car Seat Safety

Car seat safety recommendations seem to be something that are constantly changing. Lately, they seem to be changing for the better, particularly with the AAP's recent recommendation to keep children rear-facing until age two.

The following is a crash test video from Sweden showing child sized dummies who are forward facing and rear facing. Note the amount of impact that the forward facing child has to absorb.



Something that I notice a lot when I see people putting children into seats is straps that are too loose or chest clips that are all the way down at the crotch or belly. Straps need to be tightened and chest clips are called "chest" clips because they need to be placed between the child's nipples.

One good resource for parents is the Family Safety forum at the Mothering message boards:

http://www.mothering.com/community/forum/list/422/family-safety

Another place to get car seat safety information is:

http://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/on-the-go/Pages/Car-Safety-Seats-Information-for-Families.aspx

You can see if your car seat has been recalled here:

http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/problems/recalls/childseat.cfm

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Doula Certification: Info for Consumers

What is the difference between someone who is trained as a doula and someone who is certified?

 
In my experience with DONA, not a whole lot. To become certified through DONA, I had to check book titles off of a reading list, attend a childbirth class and a breastfeeding class (very basic, geared to consumers) write a couple of essays and get evaluations filled out from births I'd attended. In other words, one could be DONA-Certified and still not be knowledgeable about birth or well connected with local resources. (This is not to say that there aren't many wonderful certified DONA doulas. I am one and I work with a bunch of them).

The whole list of what I had to do to become DONA certified was:
  • Pay for DONA membership
  • Pay the certification application processing fee
  • Fill out the application
  • Read The Birth Doula's Contribution to Modern Maternity Care; The Doula Book; The Birth Partner; Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn; Ina May's Guide to Childbirth and The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers
  • Attend a childbirth class (where I wasn't a pregnant participant)
  • Complete the course at http://www.breastfeedingbasics.org/
  • Attend a DONA birth doula workshop
  • Attend three births and submit three evaluations from mothers, three from caregivers, an essay about each one, DONA Birth Record sheets for each one
  • A resource list with resources from 30 different categories
  • Write an essay on the value of labor support
  • Sign Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice
  • Take multiple choice quiz
Some of the other doula organizations do have more requirements for certification. CAPPA, for example, requires that you complete a study guide before attending their training. You can see the study guide at www.cappa.net/documents/study-guide-cld.doc With BirthWorks, one has to write a book report about each book on the reading list and submit it for review.

 
In the Doula Connection in Syracuse, the group I work with, all of our doulas have taken doula training. Some have chosen to be certified through an organziation and some haven't or are in the process of doing so. I do not think that the ladies who are certified are better doulas than the ones who aren't

 
What I would recommend looking for when you select a doula is someone who you "click" with, who you would feel comfortable being supported by in labor. You might also want someone who is well connected in the local birth communty. If you need a referral for a midwife or a chiropractor, it's better when the doula can recommend someone that she's seen in action. A wide knowledge base is another strength. If you call you doula from a prenatal appointment with your caregiver with a question about something they said, you want your doula to know enough "medical-ese" to translate it into English for you.

 
If the doula who you're considering is someone who is "into" birth and she has attended a doula training, I wouldn't hesitate to use her because she isn't certified. I would also not recommend asking "certifying" doulas if you can pay them less than you would have paid a certified doula. Many doulas, both trained and certified, are willing to work with families in need who want doula support. For those families who are able to pay (and there are lots of ways to work it into your budget), a trained doula is providing you with the same service as a certified doula and deserves to be paid accordingly.

 
- Elizabeth Baer, CD(DONA)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Bookshelf Expandeth

I've added some great books (that make me really happy) since the last time that I blogged about my birthy bookshelf, enough that I had to take two pictures to properly capture the coolness.




Top shelf:
  • DONA training binder
  • BirthWorks training binder
  • Birth Log
  • Special Women
  • The Birth Partner X2
  • Nurturing the Family: The Guide for Postpartum Doulas
  • Mothering the New Mother
  • The Doula Advantage
  • Birthsong Midwifery Workbook
  • Helping Hands (midwife's assistant workbook)
  • Paths to Becoming a Midwife
  • Midwifery & Childbirth in America
  • Research Updates for Midwives
  • Neonatal Resuscitation Handbook
  • Heart & Hands by Elizabeth Davis
  • Holistic Midwifery Vol. 1
  • Anatomy Coloring Book
  • Physiology Coloring Book
  • Box of Midwifery Today mags
Middle Shelf
  • Past doula client folders
  • NARM Candidate Information Bulletin
  • Notebook from Midwifery Today conference
  • National Midwifery Institute handbook
  • Sisters on a Journey
  • Diary of a Midwife
  • Baby Catcher
  • Vaginal Politics
  • Let Birth Be Born Again
  • Medical Dictionary
  • The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth
  • Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn
  • Silent Knife (VBACs & Cesarean)
  • Survivor Moms
  • Herbal for the Childbearing Year
  • Unassisted Childbirth
  • Giving Birth
  • Birthing From Within
  • Mother's Intention: How Belief Shapes Birth
  • Spiritual Midwifery (2)
  • Birth Matters
  • Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
  • Orgasmic Birth
  • Birth Reborn
  • Rediscovering Birth
  • Birthing In the Spirit
Bottom Shelf
  • Active Birth
  • The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth
  • Childbirth Without Fear
  • Husband-Coached Childbirth
  • Gentle Birth Choices
  • Siblings Without Rivalry 
  • Immaculate Deception II
  • The Official Lamaze Guide
  • Mothering Multiples
  • Nursing Mother, Working Mother
  • The Breastfeeding Book
  • The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers
  • Breastfeeding
  • The Baby Book
  • Gentle Birth Choices (DVD)
  • The Business of Being Born (DVD)
  • Mothertouch (DVD)
  • Healthy Birth Your Way (DVD)
  • Special Women (DVD)
  • Birth (DVD)
  • Giving Birth (DVD)
  • Birth as We Know It (DVD)
  • Baby-Led Breastfeeding (DVD)
Just imagine, if you are in Syracuse and I'm your doula, you'll have access to someone who not only reads all of those books but can look things up when you call.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Homeschooling Week of 5/30-6/3

Homeschooling is going fairly well considering that I spend a decent chunk of the daylight hours asleep nowadays (yay for working overnights!).

We managed to make it to the library twice this week and the kids got out a big stack of books. James had speech therapy at the school on Wednesday and Friday. Friday night, we took the kids to the Taste of Syracuse festival, which has got to be educational considering the number of foods they sampled.

Delilah reviewing addition using linking cubes
Patrick and Delilah are both still using http://www.time4learning.com/ most days. James has asked to do it but I think we're going to wait to start paying for him until he's reading well. I did manage to make time this week to work with Delilah and James on math in a more focused way.

Patrick started using the "Summer Before 6th Grade" workbook that we found at Five Below (which has a fantastic book selection).

All of the kids are enjoying our couponing hobby. Early in the week, I discovered the "All You" magazine that Walmart sells, which is full of coupons. Patrick and Delilah joined me in clipping them.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Getting Back into Studying

Today has been a great day in terms of getting into the swing of being a student and gearing up for when I start my midwifery coursework. I've been trying to develop a habit of setting aside time every day for my "schooling."

In about 2 1/2 hours today, I managed to:

- read chapter 7 in Heart and Hands, "Becoming a Midwife"

- read chapter 2 in The Doula Business Guide

- wrote a book report on Jean Sutton's book, Let Birth Be Born Again and sent it off to my BirthWorks Childbirth Ed program reviewer

- ordered a copy of Becoming a Midwife by Carolyn Steiger

- watched my new DVD, "Baby-Led Breastfeeding," that I got when I went to the neonatal resuscitation training last month. You can check it out here: http://www.geddesproduction.com/breast-feeding-baby-led.php

I'm impressed with the "Baby-Led Breastfeeding" DVD. I think I'll be using it in my childbirth classes.

Doula Connection Anniversary Celebration!

Next Thursday will mark the date that, a year ago, the Doula Connection first met in Syracuse. We knew we wanted something different than what had been available in Central New York for doulas. We looked at doula groups online, emailed and called other groups to ask them questions.

What we formed was a doula networking group that focuses on enrichment for doulas in the form of group meetings, field trips, trainings, book discussions and video showings. The group now does regular community outreach to educate folks about pregnancy, birth and (obviously) doulas.

We also started the website: http://www.cnydoulaconnection.com/ where families can find and contact the childbirth educator, birth doula or postpartum doula of their choice. One strength of the website is that it is the only site that lists local doulas individually.

On June 9th, at Cicero United Methodist Church, at 6pm, we are getting together to celebrate our first anniversary. Expectant couples who want to meet our doulas are invited to attend. Light refreshments will be provided.

For more information, contact:

Elizabeth Baer
Doula Connection
443-690-6212 (cell)
cnydoulaconnection@gmail.com

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Midwifery Savings Update


After another donation from a friend and part of my paycheck from Walmart (wanted to use the whole thing, but I had to contribute to fixing one of our cars), the "Liz's Midwifery School" fund is at $870, fast approaching $1000.

I'm planning to go to a couponing seminar tomorrow night out in Oswego, taught by blogger: http://www.iamthatlady.com/ The couponing has been going well, but I'd like to pick up some more saving tricks. Our weekly grocery budget (for 6 people) is $150. My goal is to use the couponing to come in under budget every week so I can transfer the difference to my education account.

More updates and pictures of my lovely belly shaped fundraising chart will be forthcoming, as I save up more money.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The New Big Thing

Coming up on the first Sunday in June, I will be attending the first meeting of our local midwifery study group. There are a few if us who have been talking to a homebirth midwife about teaching a midwife's assistant course. We're going to be picking different topics andmeeting to study midwifery together.

Does anyone have any tips or experience with holding a student midwives' group?

Meet a couple of the ladies participating:

Doula Sarah
http://sagefemmemama.blogspot.com/

Doula and Student Midwife Naomi
http://yankeemidwife.wordpress.com/

Saturday, May 21, 2011

"Natural Birth" in a Hospital is Nothing but a Fantasy- Guest Blogger Sabrina at Jerusalem Health Coach

Today on facebook, I read this article by Sabrina of Jerusalem Health Coach. I am reposting because I think that it contains important information, however unpopular it might be. Parents need to understand that planning a "natural" birth in a hospital setting is something that takes a work: planning, education, hiring a doula and being your own advocate.

That’s right, I said it. Now, I hope everyone will forgive me as I let myself off the hook. These are not my words. My teacher and mentor, Shoshana Goldbaum (doula with 30 years experience) said it, first. She even goes on to say, “Natural birth is for the kitty cats having their babies behind the dumpsters. What I teach parents is prepared childbirth, or responsible, minimal intervention childbirth.”


When I first heard this, I must admit, I was shocked. “But wait,” I thought, “what about the fact that birth is a natural process? What about trusting our bodies?” Surely she couldn’t deny that birth is a womanly phenomenon, regardless of where it may occur. With time and a little experience, I began to see where she was coming from. The moment a woman leaves the comfort of her home and enters a hospital setting, the process takes a huge leap away from “natural.” Forms filled, heparin lock inserted, hospital gown on, cervix checked by a stranger’s gloved hand, belly strapped with two monitor belts, body reclined on a bed… There is nothing “natural” about any of it.

At a hospital, there is a slew of possible interventions that could take place… a variety of induction methods, sedatives, pain-blockers, metal instruments, antibiotics. A clock is ticking, from the time that the waters break, whether artificially or on their own. Various possible dangers loom overhead: infection, dystocias, nuchal cord, fetal distress, problematic presentation, placental issues, hemorrhage … the list continues. The medical staff is aware of all of them and is prepared to handle anything and everything. A woman’s body is not to be trusted because there is always a risk that something could go wrong.

I am learning that birthing with a licensed nurse-midwife has all the similar risks, but the difference is that the setting is warmer and invasive techniques are usually kept to a minimum. This lessens the possibility of causing many of the problems that lead to cesareans and instrument-assisted deliveries. However, while hospitals will take high-risk pregnancies, most licensed midwives in Israel will not. This can put a “high-risk” pregnant woman somewhere between a rock and a hard place when she is not comfortable birthing in a hospital where the chances of avoiding a traumatic birth or an unnecessary cesarean are next-to-nothing and no licensed midwife will take the risk of attending her birth. For many of these women, a natural birth can seem like more of a dream than a reality.

What my teacher is trying to alert women about is simple. Nobody just goes skipping down Pregnancy Lane all “la-dee-dah. I’m going to do everything natural” and somehow magically at the end of the road there is a peaceful baby in her arms and everyone is glowing and happy. There is a lot of work involved for mom: a great deal of learning, strategizing, planning, preparing, and understanding the uniqueness of her own body and circumstances.

When first-time birthing women tell me all about wanting a natural hospital birth, I smile and ask, “What’s your birth plan?” This initiates the conversation. Once I listen to her thoughts and feelings (sometimes for quite awhile) and help her sort out her own values, limiting beliefs, resources, and priorities, I remind her gently that any plan she may devise is almost always “plan B.” Plan A is G-d’s plan, which is ever-unfolding—and as choices in labor are made, a new set of choices appear (see my past article “When Your Birth Plan Flies Out the Window”).

As the minutes tick away, the possible outcomes in a hospital gradually become more and more limited. Therefore, if a woman is committed to a having a minimum intervention (natural) birth, certain aspects of her experience must be worked out well in advance:

1.Support. This is not a friend, a mother, sister, rebbetzin or any other kind of well-intentioned and loving hand-holder. I’m talking about a trained, professional doula or birthing assistant who is familiar with the various aspects of birth, including anatomy and physiology, emotional sign posts in labor, coping techniques, and educational resources. Ideally, she is someone who is calm and confident in the process of labor, compassionate, patient, and sensitive to the cues a woman’s body may give at any time. At the same time, she should be familiar with the warning signs indicating that emergency care is needed. Extensive time and energy should be invested in prenatal meetings because, as I say all the time, "90% of what I do happens before labor even starts." Indeed, my most successful birth stories were with women who valued my guidance enough to meet with me three and four times before their births.

2.Education. I strongly recommend taking a birth preparation course from a birth educator who is certified by an organization that is “mother and family-centered” in its philosophy. Otherwise, a woman runs the risk of sitting through a hospital-centered course which may teach her little else besides which drugs she has to choose from (all absolutely harmless, of course) and how to be a “good patient” and cooperate with the medical staff as they follow their necessary protocol. It’s also very important to involve a spouse or any person who will be entrusted with any decision-making power at the time of birth.

3.Preparation and Planning. This is best done with the doula and may include all parties who will be involved in some way with the birth. This is the time to understand all the various expectations, doubts, fears and thoughts that may come up in the process. This is also a good time to examine all the visible circumstances of the upcoming birth. Are there any special considerations? Is the mother GBS positive? What if her water breaks before the onset of labor? How will she deal with the increased risk of infection to her baby as time passes by? How is the baby positioned? Is there anything that can be done to encourage a fetal positioning that is more optimal? What are some coping strategies that sound appealing to the mother-to-be? What are the financial constraints on the situation, if any? Does it limit the possibilities? These are only a few considerations.

4.Labor Plan. Where does the mother intend to labor and how far is the location from the hospital? How can she use the resources around her at home to ease into labor and feel most safe and comfortable? When will it be time to get over to the hospital? What facilities does the hospital have for laboring, besides a bed? Creating a solid labor plan will ensure that a woman can feel the maximum confidence and support in her laboring process at the beginning and as she progresses onward to the second stage of labor (pushing). It’s especially helpful to discuss with the doula when is the appropriate time to leave for the hospital. Given a normal and healthy laboring process, it can be best to work though labor in a familiar space until labor is well-established and transfer to hospital is least likely to cause labor to stall. In the event that the woman must go to the hospital sooner, she and her doula should have a flexible game-plan for making use of the hospital's resources.

5.Perineal Support. Many first-time birthing women want to avoid an episiotomy or major tear. Advance preparation of the perineum to stretch as much as necessary during birth will help with healing and minimize discomfort later. There are also pelvic floor exercises which can help the mom to relax the muscles at crowning. Finally, there is a mental and emotional preparation that can be done in advance to reframe the anticipated uncomfortable experience.

6.Hospital Protocols. It is incredibly useful to know hospital protocols and the risks involved in deciding to go against them. I cannot stress this more. If a woman chooses to birth in a hospital, she must constantly remember (and accept) that she is on their turf. The doula is a privately-hired support person who is there with her but cannot and will not be expected to make any decisions for the birthing mom. This means that whatever their protocols may be (I listed several at the beginning of this article) they are expecting a woman to follow them without asking too many questions. In Israel, a woman has the right to refuse ANY and ALL hospital protocols that she sees fit and in doing so she assumes all responsibility for the outcome. She won’t be very well-liked by the hospital staff and she may need to sign a form, but this is her legal right. I will add that any woman who takes a hospital tour may be completely familiar with many of the major policies involved with birthing there and she may even feel okay with it at the time. However, many of these seemingly trivial details can add up to being a very big deal when she is in labor and hormonal and needing more than ever to be comfortable and feel safe.

These are some considerations to keep in mind in order to effectively plan and prepare for a natural birth in a hospital. I am aware that there are women who reportedly can create a “bubble of safety” around them and can just ignore hospital staff and pretend she’s laboring somewhere on a cloud far away. It is a special and enviable gift to be able to do this and as a doula I’d be hesitant to mess with perfection. However, in most cases women cannot achieve this level of unconditional safety and relaxation in a hospital setting. So, for all those ladies who choose a hospital birth and want to do it naturally, this article is for you.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jerusalem-Health-Coach/394780896382?sk=wall#!/notes/jerusalem-health-coach/natural-birth-in-a-hospital-is-nothing-but-a-fantasy/205339296172125

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Have you thought about homebirth?

Often, when I talk to CNY moms who are outside of the Holistic Moms Network or the Syracuse AP yahoo group, they don't realize that birthing their baby in their home is an option for them. I've even been asked if homebirth is legal. I would like to point out today that, here in Syracuse and the surrounding area, homebirth is an option for families.

When birthing at home, the caregiver women use is a midwife. A midwife is a provider who is a specialist in normal pregnancy and birth. Your midwife can do all of your prenatal care, handle the birth of your baby, provide postpartum and newborn care and even do well-woman care like Pap smears and menopause counseling.

When I was first learning about homebirth years ago, I got a lot of information from the ladies at mothering.com: http://www.mothering.com/community/forum/list/20/homebirth

One provider of homebirth in this area is Merideth Geers: http://www.cnymidwife.com/ I have not done a birth with Merideth yet, but I have attended several community outreach events that she has hosted and we've done lunch at Chipotle (where else?).

Another lady that many Syracuse moms use is an Ithaca midwife named Kate Finn:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kate-T-Finn-MS-Licensed-Midwife/71671612781 Kate works with several other midwives in the Ithaca area, who also provide homebirth to their clients.

For people closer to Rochester, you have the ladies at http://www.welcomehomemidwifery.com/ Meg and Sarah have a lovely website with lots of information about their practice on it.

You may already know that I had my last baby at home, though while we were living in Baltmore. If you are considering homebirth and have questions or didn't realize homebirth was an option and you want more information, feel free to contact me and ask away.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Cute Boys and Walmart

The cute boys pictured above are my two younger children. Ben (3) is on the left and James (5) is on the right.

Leaving my job as overnight people greeter on Friday morning, I noticed that the merchandise supervisor at Walmart was marking a bunch of kids' clothes down to a dollar. I went back later in the day and got these matching outfits for Ben and James. I got a bunch of other things too, 15 items in all, for $15.

I've been learning to appreciate the job at Walmart. Working from 10pm to 7am five nights a week is hard and I'm often ready to leave by 4am, but the fact that I'm using it to fund my midwifery education makes it worth it.

Standing at the door leaves a lot of time for thinking. Here are some things I've noticed:

Ways that Being the Overnight People Greeter is Like Being a Midwife
  • You spend hours looking like you aren't doing anything.
  • You have to be able to just wait around.
  • Being able to read people matters.
  • After hours of using your keen powers of observation, you'll need to fix something, then go back to waiting.
  • It's important to have a good sense of humor.
To help motivate myself to keep showing up at the Walmart, I've made one of those fundraising chart thingies to keep track of how much I've raised for midwifery school. I'll warn you now that in the coming weeks and months I'm going to be extending my fundraising to friends and family.

Here's my chart:


That little colored in bit is the $500 that I have in my midwifery savings account. The goal at this point is to earn/raise $13,000. I'll post pictures of my chart as it gets colored in.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Birth Plan Workshop at CNY Healing Arts Center



Join the women of the Doula Connection at CNY Healing Arts on Saturday, May 14th from 1 to 3pm to learn about the ins and outs of birth plan writing. Couples will be given the opportunity to see sample birth plans, hear about all of their options during the birth process and begin writing their birth plan with the guidance of experienced birth attendants. Cost to attend is $20 per couple. Reserve your spot by calling CNY Healing Arts at 315 671 5755.

CNY Healing Arts opened in July 2007 with the mission of providing comprehensive complimentary health services in a compassionate, honest and friendly environment. A well rounded menu of services is offered including Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, Massage, Yoga and Esthetics.
phone: 315 671 5755
web: CNYHealingArts.com
address: 191 Intrepid Lane Syracuse, NY 13205

The CNY Doula Connection is a growing network of independent doulas who attend births and provide postpartum care in the Central New York Area. We provide networking opportunities, client referrals and educational enrichment for our members.
web: CNYDoulaConnection.com
email: cnydoulaconnection@gmail.com

Monday, May 9, 2011

Cutting Costs

Since people on facebook have had questions about things that I've been posting about my couponing, I thought I would whip up a blog post about it before I take James to speech this morning.

Back when we lived in Baltimore, I went through phases where I used coupons for things that we bought, but I wasn't very organized about it. There was that one shopping trip where I got my total from $400 down to $93. I thought recently, with trying to put money into my doula business and save for midwifery school, that it was time to stop reminiscing about when I used to coupon and get back into doing it.

Yesterday, I posted my shopping totals on facebook: Original total: $241.19. Sales & coupons: $117.67 off. Total spent: $123.52.

Here's how I did it:

- The past couple of weeks, I've been working on getting my coupons more organized. I bought a binder, tabs to separate the different sections and plastic sheets with 3, 4, 6 and 8 sections to hold coupons.





- I visited the websites for Tops and Price Chopper to match up the coupons I had on hand with their weekly sales:

http://www.pricechopper.com/

http://www.topsmarkets.com/

- I made up a shopping list based on things that were on sale that I thought we would eat and could make meals with.

- James and I started out at Tops, where we spent $34.03 on an order that was originally $80.96.

- We then went to Price Chopper and spent $89.49 on an order that would have been $160.23


We got some great deals at Price Chopper. For example, they had bread "Buy 1, Get 2 Free." I also decided to try the Emerald Nuts Breakfast to Go box. They were on sale for $2.99 and I had a $1 off coupon, that, combined with the dollar coupon doubler, made the box $0.99.

** A note: I often see people write online that they don't bother with coupons because "You can only buy crap with coupons" or "There aren't any coupons for healthy food." In the past couple of weeks, I have found and used coupons for organic eggs, organic yogurt, Greek yogurt, almond milk, Newman's Own cereal and pizza, popcorn, nuts, Seeds of Change organics, frozen vegetables, etc. You can feed your family healthy food at discounted prices:




Friday, May 6, 2011

Homeschooling Week of 5/2

I'm not sure how we got to May 6th already, but it seems to be today's date. The week was really quite a blur.

With me working 10pm-7am and being a bit fuzzy during the day, the kids have almost started unschooling. Both Patrick and Delilah did some lessons on http://www.time4learning.com/ this week. I'm really starting to appreciate time4learning because the kids will actually do it unprompted. So if I'm napping on the couch, they'll hop on the computer and do Math, Language Arts, Science or Social Studies. Patrick is enrolled in their fifth grade level and Delilah is doing second grade.

We did manage to make it out to two homeschool activities this week. The kids had their Homeschool P.E. class at the YMCA on Wednesday afternoon, where they played raquetball and volleyball. Thursday afternoon, we went to the homeschool group at the library, where the kids celebrated Cinco de Mayo with stories, music, games and crafts.

I'll be away in New York City tomorrow for the Neonatal Resuscitation class. I've been studying the book all week. Let's hope that I can remember the important stuff.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Practically Perfect Day

The past twenty-four hours were about as perfectly balanced as our crazy schedule gets.

Last night, I worked at Walmart from 10pm-7am (gotta save up for school). When I got home in the morning, the kids were all still asleep. I checked email, ate something (waffles w/Nutella) and straightened up  the house a little.

Patrick and Delilah both did some lessons on http://www.time4learning.com/ while I napped on the couch and the little boys played. I woke up around 2pm, a long nap.

I woke up to find that the house was just about the messiest that I've ever seen it. Pretty much every room needed to be cleaned. Patrick, Delilah, James and I straightened and cleaned from about 2-3:30pm. At 3:30, we dropped off books at the library, went to Chipotle for a late lunch, then to Barnes&Noble to get the kids some books. While out, I got to talk to a doula from Binghamtom (we set up a lunch date) and one of the ladies from our group, the Doula Connection in Syracuse.

From there, we went to the YMCA so that I could work out and do some studying while the kids played. I worked on Patrick's 5th grade test prep book with him and worked on really soaking in the info in my Neonatal Resuscitation book.


My index card version of the Neonatal Resuscitation flow chart

Wonderful Husband Tim made a couple of frozen pizzas so that the kids could eat again before bed. We fed them pizza, brushed teeth and did vitamins. Tim read us a chapter from Acts and we all prayed together.

Tim and I are watching an episode of "The Event" that we recorded yesterday. At 9:45pm, I'll be back out the door for the overnight shift at Walmart (gotta pay for school).

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Study, Study, Study...

I've mailed off my check to the National Midwifery Institute for their handbook and application! When that arrives, I will be applying to midwifery school :)

My Textbook of Neonatal Resuscitation arrived in the mail today. I'm all signed up for Karen Strange's class in New York City on May 7th and am looking forward to it.

This morning, I actually managed to get some studying done. I took the kids to the North Y here in Syracuse and put them in the playroom from 10am-12pm. During that time I:

- did pages 1-7 in The Anatomy Coloring Book
- reread p. 1-14 and did page 60 in the Birthsong Midwifery Workbook
- read the Introduction and p. 3-12 in Orgasmic Birth
- talked to Doula Chris Herrera from the CNY Doula Connection

The goal for tonight will be to get started on studying my new Neonatal Resuscitation book.

I am looking for doula clients who are due this summer to help with my midwifery school fund. If you know anyone in or near Syracuse who is due this summer, please give them my number: 443-690-6212.

- Doula Liz Baer

Friday, April 22, 2011

Home/Mom-schooling Week

Despite how tired I've been with working nights, I've still managed to get the kids out of the house. Last week, on Monday, we went to this great pond with our friend Donna and her son, followed by ice cream at Gannon's Isle. Gannon's is a local ice cream place here in Syracuse that makes their own ice cream.

http://www.gannonicecream.com/

Here are the pics of the kids at the pond:



This Monday, we went to the bouncy place at Driver's Village with some other doulas from the Doula Connection and their kids. It was fun for the kids, but incredibly loud and really hard to keep track of everyone.

We managed to make it to the library both this Friday and last. Patrick has been getting into reading the "Goosebumps" books.

Patrick and Delilah have both done most of their homeschooling the past two weeks on http://www.time4learning.com/ I have plans that include writing a review of their program. What I can say about it right now is that it makes me feel like we aren't completely neglecting the homeschooling while I'm spending lots of time working and sleeping weird hours.

This week, I signed up for Karen Strange's Neonatal Resusciation class being held in New York City on May 7th. I ordered the book from amazon and bought my bus ticket. I'm pretty excited about taking another class with Karen (loved her workshop for doulas in Rochester last year). One of the special things about Karen's class is that is focuses on resuscitation for out of hospital providers (i.e.- homebirth midwives).

http://www.newbornbreath.com/

Tomorrow, I'm mailing off my request for a school handbook from the National Midwifery Institute :)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Time for Working Mother Magazine

After the first half of this week, I think I'm ready to admit to being a "working mom." We're still homeschooling (of course) and I do handle the child-educating, house-cleaning when I'm home, but I'm not here with them all day, every day anymore. Luckily, Tim is a great, hands-on dad and we also have an amazing babysitter for when my work overlaps with his (no, you can't have her number).

I haven't announced it here on the Internet, but last week I started working overnights at Walmart to save up money for midwifery school and also to pad our family savings a little bit.

My week has looked like this so far:

- Sunday night- worked 10pm-7am at Walmart

- Monday- Took James to speech at the school at 9:30am. Ran errands with kids. Went to the Y and worked out a little bit. Did schoolwork with the kids. Slept from about 5-9pm. Worked 10pm-2am at Walmart.

- Tuesday- Went to the Wise Symposium from 9am-6pm. http://www.wisecenter.org/ Met lots of people from woman-owned and operated businesses. Networked. Came home and slept for about 2 1/2 hours. Went to work at Walmart at 10pm.

- Wednesday- Got home from work at 7am. Showered, dressed, checked email. Babysitter got here at 9am and I went to Crouse Hospital to interview the Nurse Manager of their L&D unit for my neglected BirthWorks CBE Certification project. Left there around noon. Hung out with the kids and had a friend over to visit until about 3:30. Put on a movie for the kids at 3:45 and went to sleep. Mama in labor called me at 5:10pm and I headed back to Crouse for her beautiful, amazing (and quick) birth. Got to Walmart in time for work at 10pm.

- Thursday- Got home from work at 7am. Just about literally slept the day away. The kids played and watched TV until 3pm when I finally got up because their friends were knocking on the door asking to play. I spent about an hour cleaning the house and we're now about to head out to get ready for tonight's Doula Connection parents' meeting.

Hopefully this weekend will be a quiet one. I have one meeting with a client Saturday evening and one mama due in a couple of weeks who I don't think will have a baby this weekend (but who knows?). I'm looking forward to having some family time and actually seeing my husband.