Thursday, September 29, 2011

AND THE WINNER IS......................

I thought, in the best interest of showing you how fair this contest was done, I took a picture of the names written on the paper (so you could all see your name was entered), and one of them folded up (so you could see they were all folded exactly the same way).  I also made a video of my son (he's 3) helping me with the contest.  He can't read, and had no idea wtf I was getting him to do, so clearly there was no cheating!  : )  

The name of the winner is at the end of the video. 
Congratulations to the winner, and thank you EVERYONE for entering!!!

All the names on the same size paper.

All folded the same way.

And the video...

I will contact the winner to get their address, so I can get this mailed out ASAP.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Finding Joy In The White Tigers

So it's been a while since I've REALLY posted on here.  I've mostly been making cloth diapers, and keeping busy with whatnot. 

By "whatnot", I mean "my kids".

My b/g twins turned 3 in June.  They are just a joy, my heart, my sweet sweet angels...most of the time.  Lately, though, they're driving me a bit batty.  I don't know if it's because the weather is too cold and wet to go outside and they're tired of being stuck in the house, or what the deal is.  But every two seconds I turn around and one of them is into something.   My son can get past any child lock out there, knock down a baby gate faster than a speeding bullet, and he has this amazing ability to smell out apple juice, no matter where it's hidden. 

His twin sister is much quieter, and born with low tone, she is unable to get into things to the extent that he does.  But she has her moments.  She is the master planner...the one coming up with the ideas that her brother ultimately pulls off.  I can hear her telling him to do things, like "get some cookies", or "draw a circle over dare" (with chalk, on the wall).  She's the one who came up with the idea that if they draw "stripes" on themselves, they will become tigers.  And you know, I don't really mind when they do that, but when they use permanent markers, or draw on the baby, I'm not all that impressed. 

A couple of days ago my daughter was at the grocery store with Daddy, and I was home with The Boy and The Baby.  I was sewing some leg warmers for her while she napped.  "Cat In The Hat" was on, and The Boy was quiet, so I assumed he was in a cartoon coma.  Well I was wrong.  Even though he had been no farther than 10 feet from me, I turned around and found him covered in butt cream (we bought it and never used it, so the container was brand new!).  It was on his face, hair, arms, hands, legs...  I looked at him and said "What did you do?!"  He looks at me smiling, and with that matter of fact way he has of speaking, said, "I'm a white tiger."  LMAO!  For someone so very very loud, he was SILENT when he was putting that cream on himself!!

I couldn't be mad.  I could (and did), however, take him right upstairs to the tub.  He spent 45 minutes playing in the bath before I could talk him into getting out.  He normally has to share the tub with his sisters, and for once, got to be in there alone.  He was so happy!

Of course there was water on the floor.  (Wherever The Boy is, there is sure to be a big water mess.)  Of course I got soaked.  But seeing him playing kind of put everything back into perspective.  He's only a little boy.  And he IS going to act his age.  I preach it, and I say it all the time.  But sometimes I need to remind MYSELF of it.

Watching him playing in the tub really got to me.  I've had a tough week emotionally speaking, and add to that my three children that never stop moving from the time they open their eyes, until the second they fall asleep at night.  I have to wash two huge bins of baby clothes to (hopefully) sell at a mom-2-mom sale on Saturday.  I have to clean my whole house so it's perfect when my mom comes on Friday to help me at the sale.  I have been trying to make sure that this amber necklace contest goes off without a hitch, and thankfully now I think I'm only a couple of days from having that off of my list of things to do.  And I want to make up some cloth diapers to take with me to the mom-2-mom sale, in case anyone wants to order some from me in the future...I have a big plate, and tons of stuff seems to pile up on it.  I've been feeling a bit overwhelmed, and a bit alone in it all.  My patience have been pretty thin, and it seems like every time I turn around, there's someone else adding things to my heaping though they don't realize I'm already drowning here!

The time I spent sitting on the lid of the toilet watching my beautiful boy playing with his cars, listening to him chatter about how his red car was dirty and he was going to use bubbles to wash it so he could drive it to Daddy's work to pick him up...I had a moment of realization.  This was not only the life I made for myself, but one I would fight to keep.  This is exactly where I would choose to be.

I ended up spending the rest of that night with the three kids in my room, snuggled on the bed watching cartoons and reading book after book (Dr.Seuss, of course!).  I just needed some time to be close to them and enjoy them.  In the chaos that is our day to day life, I need these quiet moments as much as they do.

When the twins go to bed, that's my time with JUST The Baby, and I take full advantage of the snuggles.  She is such a sweet little thing...she holds her foot when she's nursing, and I can sing her little song to her.  She likes it because her name is repeated in it over and over.  Our quiet time never lasts long enough, though.  She falls asleep on my boob in only a few minutes.  It's those moments, when the house is quiet, that I can recharge.  I don't think I get enough of that.  I don't think I'm alone in that, either.  I think good parenting, and patience, kind words, come from a place of appreciation.  I think that sometimes the world goes by so fast, and we have so much to do in such a short time, that we sometimes forget to enjoy the ride...find the humor in our lives, and find laughter and joy in the white tigers.

This could not be more true.  xoxo

Sunday, September 25, 2011

This Is Tough Work

You know, I had no idea before I became an "intactivist" (2nd definition is perfect!) that there were these wonderful people out there that spent their time and money trying to educate people about the facts surrounding circumcision.  I didn't know that anyone would care enough about another person's child's bodily integrity that they would actually speak up and tell those parents the truth.  I thought it was pretty much a parent's choice, and that everyone else felt that way too.  And to be completely honest, I didn't think there was much choice involved, even from the parents.  I thought it was something people just did.

Since having my own son (and daughter, lets not forget about Eewie...they both did enter our family the same day), and having to listen to those babies in the NICU screaming...since making a choice to let him choose for himself, my world has opened up.  I've learned that people can, and DO speak up when they see parents making uninformed decisions about their child's bodies.  I have learned that it's really a lot more than just a handful of concerned nurses who are speaking out.  It's regular people.  Like me.  Like you.  And a lot of them were probably people who were also raised believing that it was just something you do.  Or that father and son need matching penises.  Or they believed that cutting a part of their son's genitals off would somehow give it super powers and protect their son from STDs (including HIV).  It's amazing how a little education can change things so drastically.

During the last week I've had to see (and be part of) some very upsetting things go down in the name of "intactivism".  I've seen a beautiful and strong genital autonomy activist deal with crap I wouldn't wish on anyone, just because she extended her hand to help a family who posted openly on a social networking site about their son's upcoming circumcision.  They claimed he had phimosis, yet was still only a very young child (I believe they said he was 2 1/2, so it's not phimosis, it's NORMAL fusion.)  The people she tried to help went on to attack her, and steal her profile picture...  It was a mess.  All because she was trying to do a good thing and save both them, and that little boy, the pain of an unnecessary surgery. 

I have personally had to deal with some high school drama because I refused to turn my head and ignore racist, bigoted, ignorant comments from a fellow "intactivist".  The day I allow things like that to go on without standing up and calling them on it, is the day I'm under the dirt.  And so, because I stood up for what was right, it made me a little bit unpopular with some of the "in" crowd. 

The truth is that I firmly believe that I would rather fight for what's right ALONE, than to fight in a group surrounded by people, and always have to look over my shoulder to make sure none of them are wielding a knife aimed at my back.

No less than 3 days before that bullshit, a woman who I've had on my friends list for close to a year (we met in my twins group on Facebook), had both of her twin boys circumcised.  Even though I sent her a shitload of information.  Even though more than once she thanked me for the info and told me that she was glad that someone was speaking up and telling her that it didn't NEED to be one had ever approached her about it  before, and she thought it was "just something people did."  I had a lot of hope in her...a lot of faith that she would read these articles, look at all of the information, and protect her sons.  Instead she posted photos of herself with a huge clown-sized smile, from the her sons were being prepped for surgery.  (They went from having "phimosis", to "chordee", to "hypospadias".)  I have a feeling what they actually had was a mother who didn't want to explain to her 4 other sons why the twins were left intact and they weren't, and a Dr. who was willing to say whatever he had to say to get the foreskin off of those boys.

As it turned out, there were at least two other women who had been trying to save these boys from that woman.  And as much as people don't want to say it, I don't know now if we ever had a chance of saving them.  Even as a born-again Christian, she seems to think that her and that foreskin-hunter Dr. of hers know better than God.  Please explain that one to me.

So this week my feelings of solidarity in my intactivism were kind of shaken.  And even one of our very strongest, most influential mommas had enough and took a break.  I just read her post yesterday, after starting this one, and you know, if nothing else, it made me feel just a little less alone.

When people get to the point in their lives that they feel that THEY are the most important "intactivist" out there, they need a reality check.  And when those of us fighting the same battle decide to turn on each other, it weakens us all as a unit.  We shouldn't have to worry that other people on our team are talking behind our backs, or scheming against us.  But we do, because it's a very sad reality.  What we need to be doing is supporting each other, holding each other up when things get tough, and celebrating with each other when thing are going well.  I wish I saw more of that.  Sometimes all we need is to know we're not alone.  And I love when I see us work together as a unit, working towards something.  It reminds me of when I first got into this.  It reminds me of how it's supposed to be.

I'll never stay quiet when a baby is born to parents that think his foreskin is "just a little skin".  I'll never worry more about my popularity than I do about human rights.  I'll never apologize to an adult for looking out for the best interests of a child.  And I'll never throw my hands up and walk away forever...though I WILL take a break when I need to, as often as I need to.  Sometimes a few days being surrounded by the people in my life who I love, and who love me for exactly who I am, is just what I need...what my SOUL needs.  Because even though the people I am supposed to be fighting WITH, sometimes forget we're all on the same team (or perhaps forget that we're all actually human beings behind our computer screens), and all have things going on in our real lives, and we don't need their crap too.  And, for that reason, I won't add to the insanity.  I have hit an emotional limit.  If I want to be able to help people, I need to be strong myself.  And as my son says, I need to "fill my gas tank".  (Only I need mine filled with hugs and kisses, not freezies.)

I will stand up and fight for the HUMAN RIGHTS of others.  I don't care if you're still inside of your mother, or laying on your death bed.  I don't care if you live here, or half a world away.  I don't care if you love someone who is the same sex as you are, or if you love a person of another gender.  I don't care if your skin is light, dark, or somewhere in between.  I don't care if you wear a cross or a hajib.  I don't care if you pray to a god, or if you don't believe in a god at all.  If your human rights are in question, I am your girl.  I will stand up for you, fight with you, and speak out.  Doing the right thing is never wrong.
So, this post is for all of the people out there, fighting for what's right. I know all too well that this isn't as easy as people might think. I know that there are times that it would be easier to be quiet, and worry only about our own lives. I know it might be easier to ignore what's going on around us, and pretend we don't know what's being done to these babies in our silence. And I do understand that there are always going to be people who say ignorant comments about other religious groups. But I can't ignore it, and won't apologize...I'm doing what's right, and if that makes me unpopular, SO BE IT.  No one ever said this was going to be easy.  To those in this with me, I want  you to know that I was searching for a picture of a guardian angel, but could only find one with a female angel...and I know a good part of you are male.  But I do see all of you that way.  Watching over the ones that can't speak for themselves.  And the majority of the time, I'm proud to be one of you.

"Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers, but to be fearless in facing them. Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain, but for the heart to conquer it." Rabindranath Tagore

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Handmade Love

AIO made from a pant leg, and a receiving blanket.

So I've been making cloth diapers.  It's a great way to pass the time, and as soon as I figure out where to buy some diaper covers, we're going to be ROCKIN'.  Until then, I'm just making them, and it seems every 2nd diaper is a step ahead of the one before.  I started with the simple 2pc pocket diaper.  The 3rd diaper had a plastic liner, but still had a pocket for the soaker.  I did make an AIO diaper for a friend, which worked out better than I'd expected.  And I've made a (too small) hidden gusset diaper with a pocket.

Hidden gusset, pocket diaper.

Now I'm working on figuring out how to make an AIO with hidden gusset.  I've found the hidden gusset is kind of a pain in the ass, and it makes the outside material bunch up when you're trying to sew it...I'm telling you, I've never sworn this much.  LOL

I'm also going to be moving on to other things.  Simple things.  Things that can be done in a matter of minutes, since I do enjoy getting immediate results.  I'm talking about making baby leg warmers.  Oh yes.  They look so freakin simple, and after this whole gusset thing, simple sounds just wonderful.

There is a blog with the best tutorial I could ever ask for when it comes to making these.  You can see it HERE.
You can find this blog BY CLICKING HERE.

It's nice to be able to make diapers for my little one.  She deserves only the very best, and if I can make her some nice soft diapers and leg warmers, I'm going to do it.  And the whole thing is inspiring.  If I can make a cloth diaper, I can definitely make her some dresses.  And with the selection at the store downtown, I can make her some warm ones that are going to be WAY cuter than the ones I could buy for her.  And making my own means that I can match her diapers to her dress!  : )  No need for a diaper cover, the diapers are darn cute already!!

This one fit!  Hidden gusset, pocket diaper.

I'm going to go and buy some different materials tomorrow, and see what I can come up with for dresses and diapers.  Then I'm going to stop by the dollar store and buy some socks.  When I'm done, I'm going to have the best dressed baby in town.  LOL  My mother thinks I should be making diapers and selling them...but I'm going to have to figure out how much it would cost me to make them first.  Honestly, with the amount of people making them out there, I'm going to have some serious competition.  And I do have three kids I'd rather spend time with than be stuck behind a sewing machine making diapers on a deadline.  I want to make every one of them with love.  I think the best way to do that is keeping it to one at a time, for my daughter, or for friends who are in need of some homemade diapers.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Circumcision Pamphlet...New And Improved!

Front cover.


As you can see, only 5 of the 6 sides of the pamplet have writing.  The 6th side has one "quick reference" card on it, and one magnet.

Quick Reference Card


If you're interested in getting some of these pamphlets, let me know.  I will only charge you what it costs me to make them and ship them to you.  Please give me atleast 3 days for every 25 pamphlets you want, because I have to print them one at a time.  I may get them done before that, but can't promise to do them faster than stated.

If you want 25 (or less) pamphlets, I need 3 days to print them off.
If you want 50 pamphlets, I need 6 days to print them off.

And so on...

All pamphlets will have a quick reference card stapled inside the front cover, and a magnet put on with photo edges, so it can be removed without wrecking it.

Photo of a finished pamphlet to follow.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Baltic Amber Teething Necklace GIVEAWAY!!

Butter Round Amber Teething Necklace

Okay, so I have spent WAY too much time trying to think up a contest so I can give away the necklace I got for free from "Inspired By Finn".

It's hard, you know, to think up something that is fair for everyone.  Something you can all take part in, even if you're all from different countries.  Even if you can't drive.  Even if you have a few small children at home that keep you from being able to go out and take part in most contests.
I'm NOT having a "my-kid-is-so-much-cuter-than-yours" contest.
I'm NOT having a "refer me to your friends to enter" contest.

In the true spirit of giving, I'm going to have a
PAY IT FORWARD contest!  

I'm giving you something for free (when most people probably wouldn't have even told you they were getting something for having people use that code for 25% off).  And so, in return, I want you to do something for someone else. 

What can I do, you may ask?  LOL  Well, lets see.

You can bake a cake for the elderly gentleman next door.
You can pay for a coffee for the next person behind you in the drive through line.
You can take some gently used items to the women's shelter in your area.

You can bake cupcakes for the kids in/on your child's dance class/hockey team, etc.  (Just to say "you're all doing a great job!")
TO SHOW ME WHAT YOU'VE DONE, POST A PHOTO AND AN EXPLANATION OF WHAT YOU DID TO PAY IT FORWARD.  You MUST post your photo on the PAGE WALL before the deadline to be entered into the contest!!!!

Be creative. 

The contest is going to open RIGHT NOW...Sept. 14, 2011.  1:30pm (my time).
I'm going to leave it open for just over a week.  On my birthday, September 24th, 2011, I will close the contest (at NOON, my time!) and begin to choose a winner. 

The winner will be announced on September 30th, as soon as I get out of bed in the morning.
Any submissions after NOON on SEPTEMBER 24TH will not be eligible to win.  I'll post on the page wall that it's closed.

The winner will be chosen by myself, my husband, and whomever else I can find to help me.  LOL 

I PROMISE you that no one I know personally will have any part in the judging, and I PROMISE to be fair.  No one helping me choose a winner will be eligible to win the necklace.

Please know there is only one necklace...your chances are 1 in howevermanyplayalong (so please don't get angry if you don't win!!!) 

The purpose of this kind of contest is that even though ONLY ONE PERSON can win the prize, you ALL did a good deed for someone. 
**When I eventually get something else to give away, the winner of THIS contest is not eligible to win the next one.**

My choice is the final word.  If you can't handle the idea that you may lose, please for the LOVE OF PETE, don't enter. 

I just will not deal with drama.  If you create drama, you will be disqualified from winning.  Again, that is MY say.  If you can't handle THAT, again, please don't enter. 
Lets keep this fun, and remember the intentions for the contest.  Good deeds.
The winner will be announced on the page wall after I have been in contact with them.  I will pay the postage for the necklace, and will be sending it express post (so it can be tracked).  I've seen too many other pages do contests and have drama because their item couldn't be tracked to the winner.

If you have any questions, please post them on the group wall...HERE.

Why Spanking Isn't Good For Anyone

It's become all too clear to me lately that there are WAY too many moms that resort to spanking as a way to discipline their children.  It needs to stop.  Putting your hands on a child in an attempt to hurt them as a means of correcting their behaviour is just not acceptable. 

As much as I think Dr. Phil is kind of an ass, he has made some very valid points when it comes to disciplining children.  He said, anyone who hits someone who is 1/5 of their size, who can't fight back, is a bully.  A BULLY.  And I agree completely.  Our children look to us to guide and teach them.  Not hurt them.  The world is a scary enough place for children (never forget they're new here!), without their parents hitting them.  It's our JOB to protect our children.  It's NOT our job to hit them.  EVER.

After looking up the word "discipline" online, I've completely changed my view on the word.  It does NOT mean "teach". 


noun \ˈdi-sə-plən\

Definition of DISCIPLINE

obsolete: instruction
: a field of study
: training that corrects, molds, or perfects the mental faculties or moral character
a: control gained by enforcing obedience or order b: orderly or prescribed conduct or pattern of behavior c: self-control
: a rule or system of rules governing conduct or activity
dis·ci·plin·al \-plə-nəl\adjective

teach verb
Definition of TEACH
to cause to acquire knowledge or skill in some field <taught us about the basics of organic gardening>

From this day forward, I will refer to our way of parenting as "teaching", not "discipline".

There is a huge difference between teaching, and discipline/punishment.  And children do not need to be punished.  They need to be taught how to make their way in the world.  There are countless gentle ways to do this, and our children deserve that!  Even if your parents spanked you (mine sure did!), it doesn't make it right to do it to YOUR children.  Learn from your parents' mistakes.  Don't let the cycle of abuse continue.  Let it end with you.  Your children deserve better.

I have made a list of several resources that show very clearly that spanking a child is not harmless.  Your children do not learn to "behave" by being hit.  They learn that hitting is acceptable, and that when you don't get your way, someone is making you angry, or someone isn't listening to you, it's okay to hit them.  And it's SO not okay.  The world would be a better place if we treated our children the way WE wanted to be treated.
Studies of the effects of spanking:
"Spanking can be humiliating for children, can cause anger, aggression, and resentment, can cause physical harm, and often does not teach the lesson you're trying to convey. For these reasons, experts do not recommend spanking.
Other ways to discipline kids effectively include using timeouts, withholding privileges, modeling appropriate behavior, and helping kids understand the connection between actions and consequences."
"Spanking is a mild form of corporal punishment. The American Academy of Pediatrics (as well as many, many child development experts) strongly opposes ever striking a child. Whether or not parents believe in spanking their kids seems to be somewhat based on the time and place (in the Midwest in the '50s, spanking and much stronger physical abuse was simply an acceptable part of “child rearing”). It's also related to the education level of the parent (the more educated, the less likely they are to spank). Many parents occasionally hit their kids when they are frightened (the child has done something dangerous), or from sheer stress, frustration, or fear of having no other options."
"Spanking teaches children that violence is the solution to problems. It also teaches children that it is okay to use physical violence to control other people and situations. Spanking teaches kids that it is okay to hit the people you love. Spanking teaches them nothing that will be useful or helpful in their adult lives or that will help them to communicate with other people."

"Our children deserve the best ...they deserve parents that have learned creative ways to teach and discipline without resorting to corporal punishment. They deserve parents with a more peaceful approach to discipline."
Eight Dangerous Myths About Spanking
By Debra L. Stang, LCSW
Public Health Agency Of Canada  (Government site.)
"Spanking is not an effective form of discipline, even though some people may think it is.

"recommends that parents be encouraged and assisted in the development of methods other than spanking for managing undesired behavior.
Never spank! It simply doesn't work - for the child or the parent."
"Spanking is hitting. Spanking is meant to cause pain to control a child's behaviour. When you're stressed and angry, spanking may seem like a quick way to stop misbehaviour – but it doesn't work.

Spanking may cause your child to fear you and stop trusting you. Anger, resentment and shame can build up in your child, and this can hurt your relationship. These bad feelings can also hurt your child's self-esteem and ability to have healthy relationships with others."
"Children who are spanked when they are three years old are more likely to have screaming tantrums, get into fights, hurt animals and refuse to share by the time they are five, a new study in the medical journal Pediatrics suggests.
The seven-year study followed nearly 2,500 parents. More than half reported spanking their children, and 26.5 per cent spanked their children more than twice a month.
Those who used corporal punishment more than doubled the risk their children would become aggressive, according to social work and public health researchers at Tulane University in New Orleans, the State University of New York at Albany and Wayne State University in Detroit.
Even children who were spanked fewer than two times a month had a 40 per cent chance of becoming aggressive by the time they turned five."

How Spanking Feels: Images and Words from Children

Ten Reasons Not To Hit Your Child
Children who get spanked have lower IQs
(study researcher Murray Straus of the University of New Hampshire.)
"Straus and his colleague Mallie Paschall of the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation in Maryland studied nationally representative samples of two age groups: 806 children ages 2 to 4, and 704 ages 5 to 9. The researchers tested the kids' IQs initially and then four years later.
Both groups of kids got smarter after four years. But the 2- to 4-year-olds who were spanked scored 5 points lower on the IQ test than those not spanked. For children ages 5 to 9, the spanked ones scored on average 2.8 points lower than their unspanked counterparts.
The results, he said, were statistically significant. And they held even after accounting for parental education, income, cognitive stimulation by parents and other factors that could affect children's mental abilities."
The 13 Ways Spanking Harms Children
By Michael J. Marshall, P.h.D.

"Think a little spanking won't do much harm to kids? New research says the effects can be long-lasting.
Experts say "popping" kids can do more harm than good. A new study of more than 2,500 toddlers from low-income families found that spanking may have detrimental effects on behavior and mental development.
"We're talking about infants and toddlers, and I think that just, cognitively, they just don't understand enough about right or wrong or punishment to benefit from being spanked," said Lisa Berlin, the study's lead author and research scientist at the Center for Child and Family Policy at Duke University.

Berlin and colleagues found that children who were spanked as 1-year-olds tended to behave more aggressively at age 2, and did not perform as well as other children on a test measuring thinking skills at age 3. The study is published in the journal Child Development."

Make spanking kids illegal: Corporal punishment leads to problems later in life
"Moreover, research clearly shows that spanking has a serious cost. It tends to weaken the tie between children and parents and increase the probability that the child will hit other children - and the probability that the child, when grown, will hit a dating or marital partner. There is more than 90% agreement on these and other side effects, which have been found in more than 100 studies. There is probably no other aspect of parenting and child behavior in which results are so consistent."

"Even the researchers in favor of spanking admitted that noncorporal punishment methods of discipline have been shown to be effective with children of all ages, and that prevention of misbehavior should be stressed, that excessive spanking is one of many risk factors for poor outcomes in the lives of children, and that parents should never spank in anger. This may be an oxymoron, since studies of spankers and spankees indicate that some level of anger is almost always associated with spankings. Finally, the group rejected spanking and paddling in schools. "
"Frequent and harsh spanking is consistently found to be present in the lives of boys who are aggressive and disobedient, who lie, cheat, are destructive with their own and others' belongings, and who associate with friends prone to delinquency."
"Frequent and harsh spankings can cause young children to bottle up their feelings of fear, anger, and hostility. In later life these children are unusually prone to suicidal thoughts, suicide, and depression."
"Despite the age or gender of the child, the family's social class or ethnicity, whether the child was hit frequently or rarely, severely or mildly, whether there were high or low levels of interaction and affection in the home, and regardless of the degree to which specific situational variables may have mitigated the effects of the punishment, spanking consistently contributes to lowered self-esteem."
Read more HERE.

I could post for hours about this.  There are so many studies out there that have shown that spanking is detrimental to children.  I think a pretty good rule of thumb is that if you wouldn't do it to an adult, don't do it to a child.  Just because you're bigger than they are, it doesn't give you the right to hurt them.  (Even if you don't think it hurt you.)  We know more now.  We know better.  So DO BETTER.

Spanking...It hurts more than you think.

How is it that people need to be told this?!

The problem with spanking The problem with spanking

Spanking is hitting. Spanking is meant to cause pain to control a child's behaviour. When you're stressed and angry, spanking may seem like a quick way to stop misbehaviour – but it doesn't work.

Spanking may cause your child to fear you and stop trusting you. Anger, resentment and shame can build up in your child, and this can hurt your relationship. These bad feelings can also hurt your child's self-esteem and ability to have healthy relationships with others.
Discipline and your child

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Reasons not to spank
  • Spanking is hitting, and hitting hurts physically, emotionally and socially.
  • Hitting people is wrong - and children are people, too.
  • Children who are spanked are more likely to be aggressive. This can lead to other problems, like bullying.
  • Spanking can result in fear, not respect. A child who fears a parent may learn to hide behaviour and lie rather than trust that parent to guide and teach.
  • Spanking may get a quick reaction, but next time you may end up hitting harder. And when you're angry and stressed, it's easy to injure your child.
  • Spanking doesn't teach the right lesson. It shows a child that hitting is a way to solve problems.
You may be saying to yourself, "I was spanked and I turned out okay." It could be that you turned out okay in spite of being spanked, not because you were spanked.

In the past, parents did the best they could with what they knew. Today, we know a lot more about how children develop. That's why more and more parents are choosing not to spank.

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Why discipline works Why discipline works

All children need discipline. It teaches self-control, responsibility and acceptable behaviour. Unlike spanking, which uses pain, fear and shame, discipline means teaching, guiding and nurturing.

Discipline doesn't mean your child gets away with misbehaving. Discipline puts rules and limits in place early in life to give children guidance. It takes patience and commitment, but the rewards are worth it.

Some children are not able to do what you want because of their age or stage of development. A toddler, for example, wants to touch everything. This is a normal part of development. It is not "bad" behaviour. Understanding how a child develops will help you choose the best way to discipline as your child grows. Remember that all children are different. What works with one child may not work with another.

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Use discipline to encourage good behaviour Use discipline to encourage good behaviour
  • You are the best role model your child has. Show your child how to solve problems in a peaceful way.
  • Make a few simple rules that are fair and reasonable for your child's age.
  • Make sure children know what is expected of them so it's easier for them to cooperate. Be consistent.
  • Make routines and stick to them, especially at bedtime and mealtimes. Your child is more likely to misbehave when tired, hungry or over-excited.
  • Listen and try to understand your child's point of view. Help your child to talk about feelings like anger and sadness. Let your child know that it's okay to cry.
  • When your child is having fun, it's hard to stop. Give your child time to end the activity.
  • Children can get bored easily, so plan ahead for outings. For example, distract your child with a toy or play a game while waiting in line.
  • Allowing children to make simple decisions makes them feel good, and it teaches them how to solve problems. Offer choices like, "Do you want to wear the red shirt or the blue shirt?"
  • Children don't always understand dangerous situations. Supervise your child and explain the dangers as often as possible.
  • Be part of the solution. Encourage your child to come to you with problems and figure them out together.
  • Praise your child when rules are obeyed and be patient when they are broken. Learning is a process and it won't happen overnight. Remember, you can never give too many hugs.
Disciplining your child takes time and patience, but it can make parenting easier and more rewarding. Your relationship with your child will grow stronger and your child will learn important skills.
Use discipline to encourage good behaviour

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Use discipline when your child misbehaves Use discipline when your child misbehaves

Your child knows the rules. You've reminded gently, but nothing seems to be working. So, what do you do next?

Choosing to discipline rather than spank is still the best way of getting through to your child. Testing the limits is natural and part of growing up. Teaching your child how to behave is up to you.
  • Don't let your anger get the better of you. Take a minute to cool off. When you are calm, find out why your child misbehaved.
  • Talk it out. Listen. Let your child know why you are upset. Be careful what you say - mean words can hurt your child.
  • Use consequences that make sense with your child's actions and age. For example, if your four-year-old throws a toy, take away the toy for a short time.
  • Turn a tough situation into a game. A child who refuses to put away the toys is more likely to do it if you make it fun. Children also learn through play.
  • Your child will have bad days just like you. Hugs and staying calm help your child get through tantrums and tears.
  • Ignore minor misbehaviour. Ask yourself, "How important is it to respond?" Ignoring often works to stop unwanted behaviour.
Most importantly, let your child know that, while you aren't happy with misbehaviour, your love will never go away. Parenting is tough work, but it should never hurt.

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Remember Remember
  • Babies can do no wrong. They need love and attention. They should never be shaken or hit in any way.
  • Be patient with toddlers. Everything is new to them and they have short memories. Gently remind them of the rules when they forget.
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Making it work Making it work

Your child will be happy and healthy if you are happy and healthy. When things get to be too much for you, take some time for yourself. Go for a walk, take a bath or call a friend. If that doesn't work, there are ways to get help. Relatives and friends, other parents and family resource programs can all help. So can we.

Get in Touch with us:

Toronto Health Connection 416-338-7600

or call

Parent Help Line 1-888-603-9100 (24 hrs)

How To Make An All-In-One Cloth Diaper

First I cut three identical pieces of material.
There are three large layers to the AIO diaper, and one small layer.

The pink layer is a waterproof material.  It's a shower curtain!  You can pick them up for $1 at the Dollar Store, and it'll make at least a dozen diapers!!!

The dark layer is denim from a pair of jeans that are too big for me now.

The light layer is cut from a flannel receiving blanket.

On the other side.
As you can see, on the other side of the materials, I sewed this microfiber towel.  (This is the fourth, small layer.)  You can also pick them up a the Dollar Store.  On this one, because of the length of the towel, I folded it down as a place for extra absorbency.  Because this diaper will be used by a little boy, that area is in the front of the diaper.  It had to be sewn ONLY to the layer of material that is going to be the inside (closest to the butt) layer of the diaper before doing anything else.  Once it was sewn on, the materials were put in order, and pinned together.

**When you buy a brand new microfiber towel or face cloth, they have to be washed a few times before they are absorbent.  Don't use fabric softener on it, or it messes with the absorbency.**

The layers were, from top to bottom:  1.Shower curtain.  2.Outer material (in this case it was the denim).  3.Flannel  4.Microfiber pad.

Remember to fold over and sew an area along the back area
so you'll have an open area to pull the material right side out.
(Just like you would on the pocket diapers.)

Sew all the way around the diaper. (I use a straight stitch.)
Don't sew the back opening closed!

This is what it looks like when you've sewn all the way around it.
 I forgot to take a photo of when I was sewing the elastic leg bands on it.  But if you can sew them just outside the stitch you just put in (all the way around the diaper), it'll make less bulk on the legs.  And by "outside the stitch", I mean try to sew it between the stitch and the outer rim of the diaper.  You have to stretch the elastic as tight as you can while sewing.  I use a zig-zag stitch for the elastic.

Once the elastic is in, turn the diaper right side out.
Sew around the outside of the entire diaper. 
BE CAREFUL not to sew over the elastic bands.
(You'll have to go out and around them.)

Once it's been turned right side out, you can go all the way around it with a straight stitch, and you can sew the back opening closed.

Finished except for the velcro.
My machine freaks me out now, ever since it's snapped 3 needles in the last week.  So I sew the velcro on with a needle and thread by hand.

So, that's it.  If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.  I'm not sure if I explained it very well, and I can't upload video to the Internet unless I want to wait 7 hours for it to be uploaded.  (I don't.)

When you wash your diaper, keep in mind that there is a plastic piece in it.  Wash it in less than 30 degree water, and hang to dry.  When it's about 90% dry, throw it in the dryer for 10-15 mins to soften it up.  Again, fabric softener will make it less absorbent.

Have fun!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


I'm only going to refer you to a fantastic post by Peaceful Parenting on this.  It's full of wonderful information, and I couldn't have done it better myself!

For information about Hypospadias, please click HERE.

Blind Cord Danger ALERT

Visit Parents For Window Blind Safety:

This video shows you how "safe" blind strings can become dangerous in seconds.

This shows how a child can be killed with a cord wind-up that is supposed to "keep them safe", or how even tying the blind cord as high as you can, may not be enough.

I'm not going to post more videos than that, because I'm pretty sure you get the point:  The blinds are nice.  They block out the sun really good.  They are dangerous as all hell, and not worth the risk.  We can't always prevent things from happening to our little ones, but this is one way we can.  Buy some curtains, remove this risk.  If you want to see more videos, you can go to their website, found HERE.  There are lots of them to watch, and they show how even roman blinds can be a danger.  If you have kids in your home, it is worth a look, atleast.

I for one didn't realize just how dangerous the cords were.  I have ONE blind in my house that uses a cord, and it's tied up so high that when the blinds are down, I can't even reach the cords myself unless I climb.  (I'm 5'5", so I'm not THAT short!)  But, when it comes to the safety of my children, I just can't knowingly keep it and put them at risk of something happening.  And I completely feel like it might never happen.  They might all be able to live side by side with this blind forever, without incident.  But my mother heart says that they might not, and I can't keep it up.  

children have been seriously injured or killed in the USA in the past few decades.

That number doesn't seem like a lot...unless one of those children are your own.

I just hope from this post that people will be aware of the dangers of window blind cords.  I can't learn something like this and not share it with as many people as possible.  I wouldn't be able to sleep at night if I didn't tell you.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Baby Boys Make My Stomach Ache

You know, before I became an intactivist a parent, I used to see babies and just oogle over them.  Oh, I'm telling you, the sweet face of a newborn baby was just enough to bring me to tears.  I just thought they were the most amazing creatures that have ever been created.  Well, I still feel that way when I see them, only I cringe when I see a baby boy.  And I hate it. 

I hate looking at these precious babies and worrying about whether or not their parents were educated before they brought their son home.  I hate worrying that the little angel in front of me was strapped down to a circumstraint board and had his genitals torn and clamped and cut off of him while his screams for help were ignored.
I hate knowing that at least where I come from, only about 50-60% of baby boys make it home with all of their parts.  I hate knowing that even when their parents are told the truth, they are so often more worried about proving their son will be "just fine", and worry more about their own false opinions (like he "should look like daddy") than they do the FACTS.  They argue with me about truths...though their "truths" are far from fact.  They are generations of mis-information.  And their son pays the price for their inability to put HIS needs before their own.

The truth is that a baby boy with an intact penis is MUCH easier to care for than one with a huge, gaping, open wound on his freshly peeled penis.  All I had to do with my son was wipe the outside of it.  I can manage to wash my own hands, and washing his penis was 1/10th of that amount of work.  I didn't have to continuously peel back the raw skin and apply Vaseline on it.  I didn't have to worry that my son would bleed to death when I pulled the bandage off.  I didn't have to worry that when I woke up in the morning, my son would have filled his diaper with enough blood to kill him.  And I didn't have to worry about hearing that scream...that horrible screeching cry that they make every time feces or urine burn that raw area in their diaper.

The truth is that baby boys with an intact penis will grow up to have better sex than any of their cut peers.

The truth is that cutting a piece off of your child's penis doesn't somehow give it super powers.  It doesn't prevent STDs or HIV.  Only abstinence or condoms can do that.

The truth is that a father and son share DNA.  They don't need matching penises to be father and son, and a REAL man will want his son to have something he never had the chance to have.  And he'll protect him, not force the same fate on his precious baby boy.

I hate knowing that even after they've done it to one son, so many people still defend what was very clearly the wrong choice.  I hate knowing that they ignored that instinct to protect their infant, and I know we all have it!  I hate that someone let them do it in the first place, and then to allow it to happen again...makes me sick to my stomach.

I understand all too well that our first children are kind of guinea pigs for the rest to follow.  We do our best with them, but have very limited amounts of experience.  That lack of experience leads us to do things that later on, after more children, we look back on and think "what the hell was I doing?!" 

I also understand that sometimes people don't even THINK to look into circumcision, and when they do, it's very common to just ask other people they know that have boys what they did.  And if the people they asked about it had a son who was cut, chances are if they never looked into it further, theirs will be too.  Because we all think that someone with a child older than ours will know better than we do.  Sadly, that's not often the case.

I try to hope for the best...hope that every little boy I see has been saved...that someone took the time to put themselves out there and tell their parents the truth.  I hope that the fear of being told to mind their own business wasn't so scary that someone who knew the facts failed to speak up.  I hope that the little guy has been given the opportunity to live his life with every part of his genitals, that he might go on to then protect HIS children, and his grandchildren.

If it wasn't for hope, I'd have to stop looking at babies altogether.  Because the thought of those little wonders being strapped down and's just too much for me.