*~*~Spotlight on Crunchymama27~*~* - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 08-06-2014, 12:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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*~*~Spotlight on Crunchymama27~*~*

How old were you when you had your first baby? When did you start learning about alternative health? What is the most challenging thing about motherhood for you?
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RN, IBCLC. DS is 5, DD1 is 4, DD2 is 1! DD3 due in December!
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#2 of 15 Old 08-06-2014, 04:03 PM
 
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Are you a native Californian? (Believe I am right about that being your home state?) If not, when did you move there, and what made you decide to make the move? I've always felt the pull West myself, which is why I'm asking. I love California, North and South.
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#3 of 15 Old 08-06-2014, 05:54 PM
 
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What are your favorite books, hobbies, parenting advice/philosophies? What are your favorite things to do with your kids/family?
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#4 of 15 Old 08-07-2014, 07:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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@crunchymama27

RN, IBCLC. DS is 5, DD1 is 4, DD2 is 1! DD3 due in December!
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#5 of 15 Old 08-07-2014, 09:54 AM
 
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Tell us your love story. 💕 How did you meet your husband?
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North Idaho rural living  mama to: 23 yo DD, 16 yo DS, 8 yo DS, 6 yo DS, 4 yr old DS, 2 yo DD, and 1 yo DS. And someone new coming this Christmas!
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#6 of 15 Old 08-07-2014, 11:15 AM
 
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How old were you when you had your first baby? When did you start learning about alternative health? What is the most challenging thing about motherhood for you?
Dh and I were 20 and 21 when we got hitched and ds #1 was born just under a year later when I was 22.

Alternative health started generations before. My grandmother went to college and got a degree in nutrition, so her Southern biscuits were made with whole wheat flour- she steamed her veggies instead of boiling them to death, no canned food, Adele Davis style nutrition, cod liver oil. My dad never had a cavity till he had to eat army food in Vietnam. Then with my mom having a friend in early grade school who had such a bad reaction to the smallpox vaccine (yep they were still giving it then!) that friend couldn't go on to the next grade in school. So my parents had already made some decisions about vaccination and had some sound nutrition principles to carry forward. Then my mom was getting involved in LLL when I was an infant and deciding on homebirths for my two sisters. My sister 3 years younger had terrible colic as an infant and my mother started learning about food allergies, but even before that my parents were part of a food co-op where we got raw milk and beans and cheese and the ingredients my dad used to make granola. They subscribed to Mother Earth News and moved us out to the country in MS when I was 5. My mom got interested in herbalism (didn't do a lot with it but learned to identify some forage and always made us drink goldenseal when we were sick- we avoided being sick much! it is nasty) and then since we were so close to Dr. Crook (author of the Yeast Connection) we went to him for allergy testing. My sister who had been so colicky tested allergic to eggs peanuts milk chicken wheat corn soy- the doctor said, "it's lucky you've kept breastfeeding this child for so long (sister was 3) and don't vaccinate she could have died." We got regular chiropractic care. We had a garden (never ate much out of it, did much canning, but we had one) and had friends who kept goats, chickens and pigs...We picked a lot of blackberries and my mom made elderberry concentrate a few yeas in a row (elderberry-apple juice is so much more delicious than cran-apple!) My parents decided to homeschool and started getting the John Holt newsletter- the same midwife who did my mom's prenatal care for my youngest sister taught a how babies develop and are born class for my homeschool group- she delivered (sadly, we wanted dh to catch) my oldest- I'm second generation clearly! So I can't take any credit for finding the alternative crowd, I grew up at the healthfood store eating weird food (Alta Dena Kefir, rice cakes- not at the regular grocery store in the 80s) and going to the dairy for raw milk.

In my puberty this changed a lot- we started seeing a regular ped and getting abx for ear infections, our diet changed for the worse with more convenience foods, no more garden, no more raw milk, DIET SODA in the house- still some standards, always the whole grain bread real butter and hot dogs were from the healthfood store only, but some bologna and liverwurst crept in- what happened? My mom started back to work part-time, my youngest sister self weaned at 2.5 as a result (my other sister and I were both completely weaned at 4 and 4.5) and no more time for LLL, a lot of our homeschooling groups core members moved away... As a young adult I saw most of this as stemming form my mother leaving her primary role and moving into the workforce, she felt forced in by credit card debt (much of which was accumulated at the healthfood store, vitamins are an expensive hobby!) and my dad deciding to be a tax protestor and not pay his taxes...

Most challenging is I'm an introvert, like to read and take a dance class, and with each child I've gotten progressively less time and space to myself which can lead to me blowing up and angry more than in the beginning, guilt and shame associated with anger, and the cycle continues.

Don't see a save draft post so I will have to get to other questions later- have intake appointment for me and baby today!
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#7 of 15 Old 08-07-2014, 01:21 PM
 
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Most challenging is I'm an introvert, like to read and take a dance class, and with each child I've gotten progressively less time and space to myself which can lead to me blowing up and angry more than in the beginning, guilt and shame associated with anger, and the cycle continues.
I have taught my kids about my introversion and my dh made me a space with a Poang chair and lamp and bookshelf and they know they cannot bother me when I am there. It works decently well. If we do tiring out of the house stuff, I just tell them on the way home that mom is off-duty once we are home and they have to leave me be. Plus, I decided not to be ashamed or guilty that I personally do not provide the majority of their socializing - I do many other things well - and it is ok.

DS1 2004 ~ DS2 2005 ~ DD1 2008 ~ DS3 2010 ~ DD2 due Dec. 2014
On hospital bedrest for pPROM since 23 weeks
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#8 of 15 Old 08-08-2014, 12:23 AM
 
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California! Preaching on the golden shore

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Originally Posted by NewBrooklynMama View Post
Are you a native Californian? (Believe I am right about that being your home state?) If not, when did you move there, and what made you decide to make the move? I've always felt the pull West myself, which is why I'm asking. I love California, North and South.
We didn't move till 2009. I'm from Tennessee. My husband had always wanted to move west, but we started looking seriously in 2007. What made us decide, well it was cannabis. Our "dealer" was visited by the cops who then decided to come see us without a warrant in their SWAT gear. We were not intimidated and did not let them in, and they never came back, but it was the straw to break the camels back. I'd been asking dh for the previous 4 years to consider looking for work in a medically legal state, if he considered it a medical need for him, so as not to put our family at risk, but it took that level of fear for us to get serious. It took another 2 years but it finally came together after Obama was elected and released the Ogden memo, backing up his campaign promises (which weren't honored, nor was the memo, but at the time it made things look more promising that they were. same time period, NYT is running articles about the "green rush.") Long story short, miracles moved us and have kept us safe and together.

Some people who've moved here have not been so lucky. The politics of the state are so divided. Cannabis providers and the industry are not protected in any way, nor are patients- many counties and municipalities are currently passing "nuisance" ordinances to prevent patients from growing their own, while simultaneously closing down dispensaries or preventing their opening, completely limiting access and running roughshod over the voters who passed Prop 215. Every county gets Federal money for busts plus they get to keep a hefty percentage of what they seize, so civil asset forfeiture is rampant, and many people are caught in the trap we were- oh don't like legalized piracy? Tell it to the Feds who will not allow you a medical defense. Despite all the mounting evidence, it's still schedule 1 on the state schedule as well, and most doctors will not recommend it at all, even if you have a serious condition- they will recommend that you go to another doctor to get your recommend! So there are all these doctors who work for companies that issue recommends, which the scaredy cats take advantage of- The bill CA is working on right now to update prop 215 and SB 420 is absolutely horrendous in it's current incarnation, just one of the awful things it would do is make it so you can only have a reccommend if you can get one from your primary care physician. It's still a war on drugs here, and we're on the front lines...

All that aside, I love the normalcy of breastfeeding here, buying organic food from a roadside farm stand, and yes, the ocean is pretty and I get to see it every day if I want, so it's been a good move in many ways. My county is getting ready to pass (I hope) a GMO cultivation ban- like two counties nearby. My municipality and most of my county doesn't fluoridate, which is becoming rare everywhere. Raw milk is legal in most counties, homeschooling laws still don't exist so you can register as a private school and they never bug you, or sign up for a free public charter, endure the testing, and get free curriculuum. There are a lot of alternative charters about too that offer Montessori or Waldorf. Midwives finally got out from under the physician supervision requirement. Vaccination laws tightened up last year but there are still exemptions. It's not a bad place for crunchiness. I do hope we can stay in the vicinity of where we are now (but maybe, a little higher into the hills where it actually gets warm- picking blackberries in a polar fleece hoodie today!) or else get settled where we are going to stay put, soon- so that we can all make friends whose affection is counted in years instead of months and become part of a community again. Moving is so stressful and isolating. I'm feeling it especially badly in pregnancy so I'm SO active on this list and Facebook out of loneliness. I especially miss my family being close enough to see at least 2-3 times a year and grandparents being local. Loneliness can make it hard to see that I'm in a really nice place. Lovely, friendly, just scary expensive. If you want to own land- well I can't imagine that we will ever own land here, which makes me sad. Maybe the economy will collapse, we'll restructure and it will work out, but till then, we're renting forever. I guess it would be cheaper if we wanted to live in the desert, like in Needles. There are so many landscapes we've yet to explore here! Joshua tree, Yosemite. But we're liking the redwoods.

~Alison
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#9 of 15 Old 08-08-2014, 09:04 AM
 
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Alison, you should write a book! You've led a fascinating life.

Have you considered moving to Colorado? Real estate might be cheaper out there... (My mom is from there and I feel a strong attachment to that part of the world. There is something truly special about the Rockies.)

Lastly, what church do you belong to? Have you found one you like in the Redwood region? It sounds like you are searching for a strong, rooted community to join, and I wish you luck! I think everyone feels lonely from time to time, so, ahem, you are not "alone" in that.
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#10 of 15 Old 08-08-2014, 09:26 AM
 
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I so know what it feels like to move around and not feel you're putting down roots in your permanent community. Putting down those roots was so important to me it is part of the reason we named our farm (where we will live forever ) "rootsong". It is amazing to have those roots down and I wish the same for your family as soon as possible!!

I felt many similarities to you while reading about your childhood. My parents were the same with the whole foods, raw milk and honey, food grown at home etc., until I was about 12 when we moved into town and my mom began working outside the home. Suddenly we had hot dogs, bagged bread and cable tv! It was such a big transition time.

I don't think you told us how you met your husband?
What grades will you have in your homeschool this year?
What is your favorite genre of books?
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North Idaho rural living  mama to: 23 yo DD, 16 yo DS, 8 yo DS, 6 yo DS, 4 yr old DS, 2 yo DD, and 1 yo DS. And someone new coming this Christmas!
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#11 of 15 Old 08-09-2014, 12:53 PM
 
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What are your favorite books, hobbies, parenting advice/philosophies? What are your favorite things to do with your kids/family?
Asking me about books has really slowed me down! I type too much, and I'm from a homeschooled family of heavy readers. Here's a third attempt to keep it brief!!

The Odyssey (my dad used to tell us bedtime stories and I read a couple different translations multiple times through my childhood, Odysseus was one of my favorite heroes)

The Hobbit (ditto on the bedtime stories and it being a staple book. getting ready to start reading it to our middle kids, dh just finished up the last book in the Narnia series last night, and my older nurslings are starting to fall asleep without nursing sometimes so we're going to try switching off on who puts who to bed- wish us luck!)

Little Women/ Little Men/ Jo's Boys - Louisa May Alcott (multiple reads through childhood)

The Rolling Stones / The Moon is a Harsh Mistress - RA Heinlein (many others but those are my 2 faves- one juvie and one classic- I love Hazel)

Talking To Dragons - Patricia C Wrede (fantasy pulp but it's a favorite of mine reread many times over the year- sort of Shrekish whimsical/comedic fairy tale world)

Cheaper By The Dozen - Gilbreths

sci-fi authors Lois McMaster Bujold and Neal Stephenson

Womanly Art of Breastfeeding 2nd or 3rd edition and New Beginnings magazine ( read this for pleasure in high school- chose it as a term paper subject, it's gotten a lot of use- sadly I let my earlier editions go as I got current ones and I really don't enjoy reading the current ones for anything but reference- too much science, not enough stories, not as much focus on parenting from the heart)

collected works of Henry David Thoreau (particularly Civil Disobedience and Walden)

Out of the Silent Planet/ Perelandra / That Hideous Strength - C.S. Lewis sci-fi trilogy

The Screwtape Letters/ The Great Divorce - C.S. Lewis I really don't treat these like fiction. More like a wake-up call that I read every so often

Man's Search for Meaning - Viktor Frankl
The Continuum Concept - Jean Leidloff (best overview of natural parenting?)
Special Delivery - Rahima Baldwin (favorite childbirth reference)
How Children Learn - John Holt
The Emperor Wears No Clothes - Jack Herer
Nutrition and Physical Degeneration - Weston A. Price
How To Raise A Healthy Child In Spite of Your Doctor - Robert Mendelsohn MD
Laurel's Kitchen - the introduction and forward to both editions as well as the forward to the Bread Book - great attached/feminist/housewife material - we aren't vegetarian and I don't use too many of those recipes regularly without modifications, but I can't get rid of either book

I would like to include Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg, which I still haven't finished (4 year journey on that so far!! I keep rereading and each time I get stuck/distracted/triggered a little further in ) and Unconditional Parenting - Alfie Kohn, and Getting the Love You Want- Harville Hendrix and Helen Hunt - I'm not in any way fully applying these principles or fully understanding them, but they represent major paradigm shifts I've been making for years and am continuing to idealize and work on.

I love reading children's books to the kids- Lobel, Marshall, Prelutsky, Silverstein, Beatrix Potter, AA Milne, many other family favorites. I like taking kids to the library when they aren't at the -run out the door alone- and -take books of the shelves and tear or teethe them- ages. I like taking them to live performances when I can, to renaissance festivals, and to see all the animals and exhibits at the fair. I like taking them to parks that have a good balance of outdoor space and playground. I love taking them to the children's museum- one that is large enough with enough science for older kids to enjoy, like in Nashville and San Jose- still haven't been to all the great museums in the Bay Area or up into Oregon our out to St Louis. Memphis is ok. The one here is so small and so younger kid oriented that I balk at paying money for it- I know my littles would enjoy it but the middles would be complaining. I like cooking with individual kids one on one with no time constraints (pretty rare that!) I like playing structured games with them when I can feel relaxed and that we have time- this is harder lately because cooking for so many people has made it a lot harder for me to cook ahead- I am too seat of my pants and have not made myself develop a routine of freezer meals and advance prep- meals/dishes/laundry have been getting the way a lot lately. I refuse to use convenience foods and then again we are so broke at this time that I can't afford to buy much premade anyway- lots of time spent in the kitchen.
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#12 of 15 Old 08-09-2014, 01:21 PM
 
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our love story

We met at the coffeehouse that he was managing. A friend of mine I was hanging out with told me she was giving future dh and another employee a ride home from there, and I went with them. I was supposedly engaged (for the 3rd time to same guy, long distance relationship- he would never set a date and didn't want a big family, and we were both cheating on each other a good portion of the time, not healthy.) long story short- met dh, didn't think he was a romantic interest but a neat friend- Pot. Acid. Less than a week later I went to Atlanta and tripped again with fiance- found his portion of cheating included possibly impregnating someone else and not taking responsibility- I was done. 1 month later we had both already met each others parents and were deciding to get married ASAP so we could start a family. Less than 3 months later we were married. My parents were very supportive for being so apprehensive- it seemed likely that I was on the rebound and who is this druggie hippie she is wanting to marry!? His parents being such upstanding citizens helped smooth the way. We had our very small wedding at my family's home in Mississippi, (where he had to get his mom to sign the marriage license because he wasn't yet 21!)

picture of our reception 2 months after the wedding (giving relatives time to plan to attend something!)
at a then B&B/historic residence in Memphis
Attached Images
File Type: jpg June Reception 1996.jpg (58.0 KB, 20 views)
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#13 of 15 Old 08-09-2014, 01:49 PM
 
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Alison, you should write a book! You've led a fascinating life.

Have you considered moving to Colorado? Real estate might be cheaper out there... (My mom is from there and I feel a strong attachment to that part of the world. There is something truly special about the Rockies.)

Lastly, what church do you belong to? Have you found one you like in the Redwood region? It sounds like you are searching for a strong, rooted community to join, and I wish you luck! I think everyone feels lonely from time to time, so, ahem, you are not "alone" in that.
Thank you, I do think it will be an interesting book someday, if only for my family.

Haven't really considered CO seriously yet. We looked into MT first in 2007 and decided we weren't up for that much winter weather with dh's disability, smooth temperate terrain is better for child in wheelchair. CO real estate in the areas we'd probably enjoy most culturally (Boulder?) is pretty high too, because skiing is expensive and attracts expensive people. Now that it's in the midst of a highly regulated experiment in freedom, we're watching and waiting. An old friend moved there recently and have a couple internet uc friends in the area too, it would be nice to visit at some point.

Journey to Christianity didn't really start in earnest till after meeting dh. We are all officially members of the LDS church, dh and I were sealed in the SLC temple in 1998, all the kids are members although only 2 have been baptized. I spent 1997-2005 as an active temple recommend striving member, taking the kids to church every Sunday- dh was with us from 1997- mid 2000 but then quit going or being active, started smoking again, leading ot a lot of marital angst and some periods of separation. Really struggled in finding real spiritual peace or enlightenment there though, even while embracing some doctrine- and finally felt good about leaving in 2005 when my two bestie LLL homeschooling mama friends both decided (independently of each other, no affair) that they were coming out as lesbians and divorcing their husbands. One of them in particular had been my most conservative christian friend, and I felt such a witness from the spirit of her joy and truth in making this decision to live her truth. I attended a UCC church with her and felt such a strong spirit in that congregation and space that I attended there fairly regularly until our move in 2009. Didn't find a church in Santa Cruz. Haven't found one here yet but have been looking. What I want is a traditional service, mostly traditional/classical music, progressive values (open and affirming, peace and justice, but not giving money to planned parenthood) and family welcome (siblings can share classrooms, no sit down and don't squirm pedagogy, nursing babies welcome in all aspects of church life.) I can welcome other aspects of God but I do need some Christian affirmation and the Unitarians here don't ever invoke the name of Christ. Have looked at Quakers but I would miss the music. My grandfather has been in the same church choir for seventy years! A choir, hymns and traditional gospel music are a nostalgic part of my family history I'm not willing to give up. Most churches that fit my desire for attached family worship and affirming children rather than "training" them are contemporary in their worship format. I'd also like something that doesn't require me to be rebaptized and doesn't put a lot of emphasis on whether or not we've officially joined the denomination in order to share worship and volunteer in the community.
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#14 of 15 Old 08-09-2014, 01:56 PM
 
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I so know what it feels like to move around and not feel you're putting down roots in your permanent community. Putting down those roots was so important to me it is part of the reason we named our farm (where we will live forever ) "rootsong". It is amazing to have those roots down and I wish the same for your family as soon as possible!!

I felt many similarities to you while reading about your childhood. My parents were the same with the whole foods, raw milk and honey, food grown at home etc., until I was about 12 when we moved into town and my mom began working outside the home. Suddenly we had hot dogs, bagged bread and cable tv! It was such a big transition time.
<snip>
What grades will you have in your homeschool this year?
Thanks zjande I think we are running some interesting parallels too! Too bad there is so much geographical distance. We don't do grades since we unschool -do child led learning, and on my last form I only had to report them in groups so I don't actually remember where everyone is officially! 7 yo and 3 yo are not reading yet, just single words, everyone else is. Haven't done much formal math lately, working on number concepts like fractions with 12 yo. We do more work on paper as they get older, but I stopped pushing for people to stay at their grade level when we moved here where no testing is required. I do believe in what John Holt says about a child or adult's ability to catch up in whatever subject based on their interest level- it's certainly been true in my own life. 17, 14, 12, 9, 7, 5 and 3 are who I'm working with.


Thanks for all the attention everyone!! I'm glad to be done typing for awhile whew!
~Alison
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#15 of 15 Old 08-09-2014, 04:39 PM
 
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Thanks for sharing with us! That was all so interesting.

I really like the LDS church. I studied with them for awhile. I adore the Family Proclamation soooo much. In the end though we decided to join the Catholic Church. They have strong views on family, children and life too.

My husband and I also had a whirlwind romance!

That wedding picture of you guys is just so darn cute!! So young and in love.

North Idaho rural living  mama to: 23 yo DD, 16 yo DS, 8 yo DS, 6 yo DS, 4 yr old DS, 2 yo DD, and 1 yo DS. And someone new coming this Christmas!
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