Forcing the Bloom

Happy, Healthy Mommy Blog

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Guest Post on Breastfeeding at Atlantamomofthree

I’m so excited to be guest posting today at Atlantamomofthree.  She has a wonderful blog that covers a full range of interesting mom issues, including breastfeeding!  Breastfeeding is an important issue for me and I really enjoyed writing about my experience.  Click on this: Atlantamomofthree and check it out!

Napping in bed

Napping in bed










Napping - first few weeks

Napping – first few weeks

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‘Tuff’ Love Triumphs

I saw this beautiful article and had to share!  Just a little pick-me-up to inspire your day 🙂  Even if you heard about the story, this article gives a wonderful, spiritual perspective about the event.  I found it very uplifting!    

‘Tuff love’ triumphs, Georgia school tragedy averted





My Toddler’s First Haircut

This was a week of several “firsts”.  First week in the Montessori Toddler room and Baby B’s first haircut.  We decided to go to a kids’ salon, which turned out to be fun.  He liked the fun things to play with and they gave us a certificate with some of his hair.  His hair had gotten out of control as you can see from the pictures.  We waited as long as possible but it was needed.  He was a little nervous at first so we let him have his pacifier.  I also bent down several times and gave him hugs.  So with all that there were no tears!  He was very happy afterward and had fun celebrating with Daddy!

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Montessori Open House

I had a great time at our Montessori open house this evening!  Our 16 month old attends Christian Montessori School.  He’s moving from the infant room to the toddler room this year.  Very exciting.  I had so much fun checking out the various shelf work available in both toddler rooms.  As you can see I took lots of pictures!  Can’t wait to try some of the ideas at home.  I loving watching the kids enter a new room and immediately get the concept of working off the shelf.  This shows me that the design is very suitable for toddler learning.  Everything is at their eye level and easily accessible.  Everything is interesting to them.  I enjoy the “supply list” and “wish list” presented by the teachers.  They aren’t our individual, personal supplies.  They are supplies for the whole room.  This makes me feel like I’m part of the school community and involved in his daily activities.  Same with assigning a family to bring snacks each week.  It fosters a sense of family and community.  Looking forward to school on Monday!

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WSJ: Take Back Your Pregnancy

A mother and economist wrote this interested piece in the Wall Street Journal last Friday: Take Back Your Pregnancy.  I agree generally with her conclusion.  She wrote:

“This approach to pregnancy—getting the best information and making my own decisions with it—worked for me. And I’m happy to report that my daughter Penelope, now 2, is healthy and thriving.  I’m hardly alone. Pregnant women are clamoring for better information about everything from exercise to hair dye to bed rest and delivery. They don’t want categorical limits based on fuzzy science and half-baked research. They want to assess risks for themselves and make their own best decisions.”

I agree with her approach but I would focus on different issues.  Instead of coffee and alcohol consumption during pregnancy, why not address “necessary” medical interventions?  What about the rising percentage of c-sections nationally?  According to the CDC, the percentage of c-sections for 2011 was 32.8%.  The WHO states that the normal healthy range for an industrial country is 10-15%.  What about the sharp decline in exclusive breastfeeding after 6 months noted in the CDC”s 2013 breastfeeding report card?  The CDC recommends at least 12 months of breastfeeding.  These are the issues I care about and I would like to see Ms. Oster apply her approach to these as well.  I agree, however, that women are “clamoring for better information.”  How can we have the best births possible?


Ina May Gaskin’s TED Talk: Reducing Fear of Birth in U.S. Culture

Ina May Gaskin MA, CPM, PhD (Hon) recently presented at a TEDx in Sacramento, California on Reducing Fear of Birth in U.S. Culture.  She has practiced midwifery for over 40 years.  She essentially brought midwifery back to the United States in the 1960’s after it had nearly been eradicated.  She started the Farm Midwifery Center, where women still flock to have their babies.  As you can hear during her talk, The Farm Midwifery Center has record low rates of intervention, morbidity and mortality and has handled breeches, twins and mothers of more than five babies.  Ina May was awarded honorary doctorates from Thames Valley University, London, England and Shenandoah University, Winchester, Virginia.  In December of 2011, she received the Right Livelihood Award, also known as the Alternative Nobel Prize.  In addition, Ina May has written several books (see below).

Spiritual midwifery

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Montessori At Home: Toddler Activities

I’m slowly incorporating Montessori into our home!  It’s sort of addicting!  It’s so much fun that I’m almost obsessed with finding more activities.  There are moms out there doing some pretty cool things with their kids.  You can find neat DIY ideas on Pinterest, YouTube and WordPress – pretty much everywhere.  Moms love to share ideas :).  Here are just a few of my recent favorites: Racheous, JadyMahoganyHomemakerPinterest searches.  So, what are we up to?  This past week has been an explosion of words.  Baby B is 16 months old and this week I have really started to hear a few words clearly.  This week I heard “water”, “itchy”, “out”, “kitty”, “doggie”, “daddy”, “mama” and “moo”.  Everything before sounded like “dadadada”.  He could identify lots of things but I think now he’s getting the hang of language.  I think using sign language helped but that’s another topic.


Since Baby B is working on words, I created a word display and a word basket.  All things I’ve seen other at-home Montessori moms doing.  Very cool.  I made a place that he could easily see while playing and displayed the word “cow“.  He says “moo” for cow.  After I made the display, we went over it together.  1.) I had the word written out on a dry erase board.  2.) I spelled out cow with magnets.  3.) I put up a picture of a cow.  4.) I displayed a plastic toy cow.  5.)  I let our dog stand in the picture because he looks like a small, baby cow (seriously).  Baby B loved it!  Later when we were talking about a cow he ran over to the display and yelled “moo!”  We are still working on saying cow but that will come.  As long as he loves learning, I’m in!  I also created a word basket (sorry no picture).  I put a few objects in the basket that were common and around the house.  I used a cup, ball, rock and small foam bird.  We sat on a pillow and I showed him each object while I said the word slowly.  He played with them and put them in his mouth.  Then I asked him to find each object I named and hand it to me.  Good time to practice please and thank you.  As you can see, the game can be expanded very easily.  You could talk about colors, numbers, stories and matching.  There are many possibilities.

Word Display









We are experimenting with homemade play dough this week.  I made a batch of whole wheat play dough.  The recipe was from Elizabeth G. Hainstock’s “Teaching Montessori in the Home.”  That book has lots of great activity ideas.  I borrowed it from the library along with “Teach Me To Do It Myself” by Maja Pitamic.

Play Dough (Clay) pg 84

3 cups flour, 1 cup salt, 1 cup water (with coloring), and 1 T oil

I used whole wheat flour and it turn out fine.  Baby B liked to smash it and pull it apart.  I gave him a small, wooden hammer to pound it.  We also practiced pounding with our hands.  I rolled it into long snake-like strips and let him practice cutting with a toddler knife.  Today I saw him cutting his dinner food so I think it helped!  We also did finger painting with Veggie Baby Finger Paint by Wee Can Too.  I bought this at The Baby Grocery Store along with several healthy snacks.  He loved finger painting and stayed at it much longer than he does with crayons.  He didn’t even try and eat it!  Amazing.  🙂

Play Dough


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Natural Baby Doulas

I would like to introduce you to some wonderful doulas supporting the Triad area in North Carolina  They have a wonderful website with excellent birth resources.  In addition to doula services, they also provide Bradley Method instruction.  They also rent Birth Pools for water births!  How cool!  These doulas, Sarah, Christina, and Carrie, are partners and support each other in their practice.  If you are thinking about using a doula or wonder about the benefits of hiring a doula, I think their page on “Why Hire a Doula?” provides great explanation!  Every woman deserves a doula!  I did not have a doula during my baby’s birth and that is about the only thing I would do differently next time around.  I was so inspired by my natural birth that I started learning more about birth and then trained to work as a professional doula.  I had the same instructor and training through toLabor as these women.  The toLabor website also has great resources about birth options and the benefits of a doula.  If you live in a different area of the country, there is likely a toLabor doula near you.  You can find the toLabor doula list on their webpage.  Need a baby shower gift?  Give her a doula!