Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Pulling for Girl

I really decided lately that I would like us to have a baby girl. With the first two I didn't have any preferences, and didn't care what gender came out. But, I am crossing fingers for girl now. I think because she might be quieter, and maybe less dramatic. :) Plus, she'll have the two coolest older brothers in the world, and what sister wouldn't want that?
Hear that little sister? You'll have two big brothers who totally adore you, will teach you all sorts of tricks and wrestling moves, and will probably make you laugh every day. Oh, and two parents who love you and promise not to put one of those giant bows on your head.

I was trying to picture our future little girl, and was having a hard time visualizing...until I remembered we dressed up Zadok as a girl for his first Halloween. (mostly for lack of costume). I think she's going to be a doll!

(a good-natured little Z, entertaining his Mom)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Here We Are!

So, apparently, if the camera timer takes our 3 year olds picture, he's totally okay with it. He actually sat there the other day and let us pose for a family photo! Yippeee! On a side note: These were totally spontaneous and right before bedtime. Micah had to remind me to put on a bra and change my pajamas. Anyways, here we are, all together! 2009!

And by the tree....

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Meadow Hot Springs

I'd like to say we are a Hot Springs family. We actively go looking for free, warm hot springs to splash in, and soak our bodies in. This particular one is down a long road, in the middle of cow fields. It feels surreal to be there, surrounded by snow and cows.I brought my snorkel along and dove down to the bottom. I felt like I was in the ocean, sans the sea life.
When Micah and I first got married we went hot spring-skinny dipping a few times in Spanish Fork. Yes, we were the naked hippie couple who didn't care if anyone was looking. (Sorry Boy Scouts and BYU students.)
Here we are below at Meadow Hot Springs, Utah. Happy Hot Springs!

This particular Hot springs is on private land, but the owners let people come soak anytime you want. They just ask that you keep it "family."

I found this old photo from the fist time we took Zadok to our springs. Wasn't he the cutest??

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

That Christmasy Feeling

When I was 22, and living with a couple roommates at Keiki Beach, I felt like Christmas was just the overwhelming, and daunting task of running around desperately looking for the perfect gifts for friends and family. I remember one year being in Old Navy the day before Christmas, angrily pulling my hair out because I didn't know what to get my sister! "So this is Christmas", I concluded. That, and the fact that our family was all grown up and separated, and my parent's were divorced, meant to me that Christmas just wasn't the magical, warm-homey filled love-fest it used to be. Oh well.
That year, however, I had a roommate named Pepper, who came from a large family, who's Christmas's happened to be the most important thing on the planet. As we were all living away from our families, she insisted we make our home the epitome of Christmas magic!
First, she convinced us to pitch in and get a Christmas tree (a large sump of $$ in the islands), decorate it with homemade ornaments, and fill the entire house with lights and Holiday decorations. Her enthusiasm started to rub off on me, as we sang along to uplifting Christmas music, decorated sugar cookies, and delivered goodies to neighbors. She was like a little Elf, running around busily spreading cheer to everyone around her. On Christmas Eve we slept out under the Christmas tree with us roommates, and a few other close friends. The soft glow of the lights from the tree, cast a warm shadow across our faces as we slept. There was an overwhelming feeling of goodness and love in the air. In the morning we woke up and exchanged small, and thoughtful gifts. I will never forget that Christmas!

Now that I have my own family, I know that Christmas doesn't have to be forgotten, stressful, or overwhelming. It simply starts with the magic-- the sounds, the smells, the colors, the tastes, the giving, and the feelings of goodness in the air, are what Christmas should be all about. That's the Christmasy feeling I want in our home, as we create traditions and generate feelings of Christmasy happiness throughout the years.
And for us, Christmas doesn't exist without Christ. He is the ultimate feeling behind all things good. He is the Spirit of Christmas that prevails over everything. We love Him and celebrate His birth, and that is a huge part of why we do what we do. I was so grateful that Pepper's love for Christmas extended from her love for Christ, and she was able to pass that feeling on to me.

Merry Christmas, and may everyone have that Christmasy feeling, however you choose to celebrate!

Scenes from the Season:

Our only attempt at a Family Portrait. Sad, I know. Someday our 3 year old will stop refusing to look at the camera....someday.

Zadok holding hands with his little friend Ethan at the Christmas parade:

Me and Odi, looking for the perfect tree:

Cutting down our tree from the National Forrest:

A Fun Day with Friends at the North Pole fest:

The Lights at Temple Square:

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Me Sleeping

For some reason Micah likes to take pictures of us sleeping. This particular picture was to prove that we never make room for him in the bed at night. Whooops....The family sandwhich is getting smooshy, and smooshier.

It's kind of creepy sharing a picture of me sleeping. It feels like you might try to steal my dreams or something. I mostly dream about Humpback whales, and randomn people I don't know. So if that's your kind of dream thing, you can look at this picture.

Our growing baby, week 8

I am feeling much, much better this week. I don't know if it's because I have finally come to grips with the fact that I am pregnant, I am not feeling well, and it's just the way it is, or because our sweet friend Rebekah brought me goodies in the form of B-6, B-12, and Teas of red raspberry,ginger, peppermint, and milk thistle. Probably a combo of both. My morning routine is to get up, drink lots of tea or juice (water makes me want to barf until 6 in the evening) take my pre-natals and my anti-nausea vitamins, then get outside for a moment of fresh air. Even if that means standing on the doorstep and looking in at my kids, fresh air makes me feel good.

Last week I was really nauseous and depressed. I think the dip in hormones is the hardest because, through all the nausea, it's even harder to find anything good about my life. That, combined with changes in weather, is a bad combo for me. But, on the brighter side, it is passing.

We are going to have this baby at home in the water, again. I am excited for this next birth, because with each birth comes more knowledge, more experience, and more confidence. I think back to when we first had Zadok, and how nervous, and unsure I was about everything. Now, I know exactly what is happening to my body, and what to expect along the way. Both Micah and I feel at peace with everything we are doing, to prepare for this baby.

Our friend Rebekah is going to help with all our pre-natals. Since we don't know if we'll be here in 9 months, we were unsure about hiring a midwife. Rebekah, who is apprenticing with a local midwife, offered to nurture us with her loving hands, and be our "midwife." She will come over once a month and, all together, we will listen to the babies heart rate, and she will check size and positioning, and check blood pressure and proteins. That's all we really need. The rest of all that stuff people do, is hospital protocol, and pretty unnecessary. I am confident that if we do need extra medical help, that it will become obvious as we pay special, simple attention to our growing baby. We are grateful for Rebekah's loving support.

I am also personally grateful for Micah's loving support and encouragement. From day one, when we were first pregnant with Zadok, he always knew exactly what we needed to do, to bring our babies into the world the way they needed to come. He came armed with knowledge, and took time to educate himself on important issues. He thinks for himself, and doesn't let anyone tell him something is right, without thoroughly researching it, and coming to his own conclusions. He's able to avoid a lot of crap that way , and most importantly, make the best decisions for our family. I love my husband!

As we are preparing the boys for the arrival of their sibling, I happened across a wonderful book called, "How Was I Born?" It is complete with week by week pictures of the embryo and fetus growing larger, with kid-friendly descriptions. It is a book about a Swedish family who is expecting the arrival of their 3rd baby. The Mom's name happens to be Sally, and it is from the 4 year old little girls perspective. Zadok loves it, and we look at it every day.
At dinner the other night he exclaimed out of nowhere, "I SURE AM EXCITED FOR OUR BABY TO COME!"

It truly melted my heart.

Well, that's our growing baby report, week 8!

Some websites I like, with good info on low-intervention birthing:
I guess you have to copy and paste them, because the links aren't linking--darn it!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Baby Mamas (Put A Sling On Em!)

I laughed so hard I cried! So creative, so fun, makes you want to dance...with your baby! Thanks to sling mama Leigh out in Manhattan who created this fab Baby Mamas sling video. Check out the making of this mama song on her blog, Marvelous Kiddos.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Our growing baby

We are pregnant. About 6 weeks.
I still can't believe it! A variety of emotions are all happening at once, and some days I am an emotional wreck! I know for certain, though, that when we first took the home pregnancy test, and stood there watching those two little lines appear telling us it was positive, I felt totally and completely overwhelmed with happiness. Micah and I stood there in the kitchen and hugged, and I couldn't help but feel total peace at that moment.

Months leading up to our decision to try having another baby, I kept going back and forth, and back and forth about it. One day I felt so baby hungry, and I knew it was time to try again. Other days I would rejoice in the freedom of having "older" children, and not having the demands of a baby in the house. I was running more, getting in better shape, spending more time reading, catching up on journals and scrapbooks, feeling more at ease with the daily chores, spending more time teaching and playing with the boys, rather than caring for their every needs. It was a good feeling. However, it wouldn't last long. There was another nagging feeling, which was telling me that we really, really needed to have another baby. It was my motherly instincts speaking to me.

I tried to be logical. I thought about how we're out of money, living on student loans, living in the smallest apartment ever, with no bathtub. (You can't be pregnant without a bathtub!) Also, Micah is just finishing up school, we might be moving in 8 months, the baby will be due the week Micah starts his new job, (wherever we are). Furthermore, I can't be pregnant through the cold Winter, without access to fresh, warm air everyday and outdoor exercise! Plus, I am still nursing a 20 mos old baby, and wanted to space it out more so I wouldn't be nursing during my pregnancy again! This list goes on and on!

But deep down there is this calm, that tells me our baby needs to be here. And somehow, it will all work out, because this is the perfect time for the newest member of our family to join us. I'm constantly learning to walk blindly with faith. There will always be big decisions to make, and life-changing paths to take, as we keep following diligently through life's course. What I always need to remember, and what gives me the most strength to make these big decisions, is to always, always know that God will never lead me down a path I can't handle. Even when I feel like I've reached the limit of my capabilities, He knows I can do it. He knows us, loves us, and is always here to help us, especially when we can't see the outcome.

I am excited for this little life growing inside me.
As hard as it seems right now, this baby is very much wanted in our family, and we made the right decision.

Monday, December 7, 2009

King for a Day

Our 3 1/2 year old wakes up a new character every day. He lives in a world of imagination and make-believe, where his characters become who he is, in the moment.
I hope he doesn't grow out of this for a long time. Sometimes he needs props, other times he is fine with just imagining.

At 7am (last week) he woke up to say, "I want to be a King today! "I'll need a crown, a cape, a sword, and a shield."
So, with some felt, some fabric, some cardboard, some scissors, and some glue, by 8:30am we had a King.

I love this kid!

I asked him, "What does a King do?" and he replied, "You know, sit in a throne, wear a crown....fight bad guys.' NOW, I know! Wish I could be a King for a day!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Pencil Roles for Uganda

I barely met the deadline for the Pencil Roles project. When my friend Tracy put out a call to all her blogger friends to help make 500 pencil roles for a school in Uganda, I immediately felt impressed to do it! Her heart went out to these children, and I couldn't help but feel her inspiration to sew something small and beautiful for these children to enjoy. I committed to sewing 20 of them.

The deadline was Nov 30th, and on Nov. 27th, I was just finishing up the last of the stitches, and sewing on the 20 buttons. In fact, I even thought it would be a good idea to sew on buttons as we drove up the winding canyon. Three buttons into it, I started to get that awful wheezy, motion sickness feeling. A moment later I was dry heaving on the side of the road. Note to self: No more sewing on buttons whilst driving up the canyon.
However, I managed to finish them, and got them sent off on time.

I was grateful for this project. It was a a lot of fun learning how to sew something new. I also couldn't help but smile, every time I thought of my pencil roles in the tiny hands of an African child. I think we take for granted the love and time that goes into handmade gifts, and how much we truly appreciate them when we get one. After doing this project, I knew for sure, this would be a handmade Christmas for our family.

The tutorial for these pencil roles is here. They are so amazingly easy to make, and make cool gifts. I made one for one of our church girls that turned 12 and graduated out of the program. She thought it was the coolest thing ever, and tweeners are hard to please!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Babywearing babes

One of the sweetest, heartwarming things is seeing the little ones imitate their Moms and Dads in good parenting! When little boys and little girls are tending to their dolls, baby-ing their babies, and practicing doing what their parents do--they are becoming little nurturers.

It's been neat to watch my friend's little ones growing up and imitating their parents. I see little girls nursing their dollies, little boys pushing strollers, and babywearing babes carrying their precious cargo around- just like Mom and dad! It is so sweet!

I think the way we teach our children to love and nurture will help them to define what kind of parents they want to be. We live in such a generation where babies are objectified; carried almost non-stop in car-seats, (like luggage!), and then bottles are propped to get more "stuff" done. It seems that babies are being pushed away more often than they are held.

The warmth of human touch, the closeness of a mother or father's breath and body, the rhythm of body movement, the bonding and closeness, are all a priceless time in that first year of life +, for parents and babies alike.
When a Mother is having issues with milk supply, one of the best pieces of advice is to carry her baby in a sling. There is a hormone called Oxytocin, which is also referred to as the "love" hormone. When a nursing mother carries her baby next to her warm chest, that hormone is triggered, and more milk is produced. Amazing!

These are several of the toddler size Mei-Tais I've sewed this past year and given to the children of babywearing friends. It's fun to watch them imitate their moms and dads. Weather they are watching their parents carry new siblings, or they have been carried themselves, I think they will always know and remember that babies are meant to be held close.

And lets not forget babywearing boys. This picture is from a year 1/2 ago, but Zadok used to love wearing his baby "just like Micah."
We hope to be positive role models for our kids, so they will want to be nurturing fathers to their own sweet babies, someday.

For more of my thoughts on babywearing, there's a little label to the right over there titled "babywearing." Thanks Adria, Sophie, Keira, Ashlyn, and Zadok, for sharing your babywearing pictyres with me!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Birthday Hobo Baggie

I made my first "Hobo" bag last week for Micah's birthday. He'd been asking me for one for quite a while, but I wasn' feeling motivated to try something new, so I kept putting it off forever.

My Mom taught me how to make Hobo bags. She sells them at the Hana, Maui farmers market, sometimes. She makes them in all sorts of funky, cool Hawaiian fabrics. She does custom orders for friends. My mom often finds something she likes to sew, then goes crazy making a million of them. (Like her homemade Christmas pot holders) I'm the same way, and have been wanting to make something else besides my millions of baby slings.

So, I attempted the Hobo. I started cutting it out several days before the birthday, then was calling my Mom frantically asking questions about how to piece it together!
Well, here it is! It was actually really easy to do, and Micah loved it. Phew! It's really fun trying new things!

And a matching pen role holder! (More on those later)


Friday, November 27, 2009

Proud Milestones

It seems that every time I am having a hard time understanding the changing behaviors of my kids, and then after letting myself get all frustrated and caught up in the woes of parenting, they suddenly reach these huge developmental milestones!

I've had this discussion with several friends who feel the same way; Right when you are exasperated beyond belief and think your children are going to go through these rough phases forever, they suddenly hit you with all these amazing new skills. All of a sudden they are doing, and saying, and behaving in new and exciting ways! And now you're going, "Who is this kid? He's all grown up and awesome!"

Maybe that's where the term "growing pains" comes from. I can relate to it, in my own adult life. I know that the months or weeks before I reach some new epiphany or a much needed realization in my life, I am almost always going through a challenge or trial. I'll find myself frustrated as I go through that difficult learning curve, then WHAM- I'm a whole new me, with new ideas and understandings!

That must be what it's like to be a kid, because you are constantly learning, growing and changing! There must be moments of struggle and frustration within yourself as you are discovering who you are and what you can do in this world. And then-WHAM- you've reached new milestones!

I hope I can remember to be patient and understanding, as my children go through these hard phases, and then reach the amazing milestones. That's all part of growing up, I suppose.

Here's a few of the big steps Zadok has taken this past month, as he's been growing and changing before our eyes:

*He's taken crayon-coloring more seriously, and has been focused on completing an entire page in a coloring book.

*He's become less shy and more extrovert. (He made up a song and sung it for his entire class at church.)

*He wants to do more things "all by himself." (like build a snowman, put on his own clothes, make his own food, and play toys (gasp!) alone)

*He's been playing with his little brother more, and finding fun things for them to do while Mom is busy. (Like teaching Odin how to fly)

*He wants to be a different character every day (not so new), however, his characters have become more descriptive and complex. (Like, "today I am a Ornithomimus dinosaur, who is a carnivore, who has the defense mechanism to run fast.")

*He makes up funny stories and songs, that make us laugh.

*He says beautiful, heartfelt prayers all by himself. He knows that his Heavenly Father loves him very much.

*Last week, he wanted to give our weekly Family Home Evening lesson all by himself. He talked to us about snails, did a puppet show, and had us sing songs. It was fantastic, and brought tears to my eyes.

*He has a favorite friend who he can spend hours and hours playing with.

Our little baby is grown up! He's not a baby anymore, he's not a toddler anymore, he's an actual kid! And we are proud parents!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Excited for Recycling

I learned a sad fact last Earth Day, which was, that only 30% of Utahns recycle their unwanted waste. This number has haunted me terribly, considering there are 2,736,424 Utahns living in Utah, all consuming, using, and disposing of waste each day!(July 2009 census)
Utah is one of the most`beautiful, most natural, States in the U.S., yet there are people taking advantage of this beauty, and not thinking of the effects their trash has on the world. It doesn't seem right. It seems like you should need a special permit saying, "I RECYCLE," in order to go skiing in the mountains, hiking in the forests, or boating on the lakes. I cringe when I go upstairs to throw out my garbage, only to find my neighbors have filled the trash can with plastic bottles and cardboard boxes. I wish that they knew how simple and effective it would be to just recycle.

To make recycling even easier, a big recycling plant, called Pure Recycling, just re-opened here in Cedar City! They had a grand opening party, with free food and music. But the greatest part was touring the recycle plant. Just seeing the great, big machines, and piles of bottles and cans, made my heart happy!

Inside the recycle plant here in Cedar City.

Some more bottles to recycle!

Dancing and grooving to some live music.

Micah gave Z a tour of the plant. Recycling is something that we will teach our children, is a normal part of life.

Recycling is much like getting the chance to birth something new and beautiful in the world. It's definitely something to get excited about. This pile of junk really struck me as we were walking out. All this stuff is going to be sorted and turned into something new. Now imagine this junk in our landfills instead; seeping into our rivers and oceans, polluting our soils, and turning this beautiful world into a giant junk pile itself. That's not what I want, do you?

Thursday, November 19, 2009


When I was 11 years old, I lived down the street from a place called Sharks Cove. This particular cove is world-famous for it’s snorkeling and scuba diving. It’s coral reefs are filled with bright, tropical fish, and underwater beauty, which can only be seen once you plunge beneath the bright blue waters of the pacific ocean.

As a child, my brothers, sister, and friends spent hours and hours exploring these reefs. Our entire summer months, and even after school days, were spent swimming and diving amongst these breathtaking reefs and corals. Once we dove beneath the calm waters of this cove, we entered into a beautiful world apart from everything else.
Sharks cove became a second home to us, as we practiced diving deep; swimming with the sea turtles, poking at the vibrant colored sea urchins, collecting sea shells and other treasures, swimming circles with the massive schools of fish, and letting the sun warm us as we lay on the rocks.
One of our favorite pastimes was swimming through underwater caves. There were quite a few caves at Sharks cove, all different lengths and sizes. None of them were very long, and we could all swim through them with minimal diving experience. After so many years of swimming, holding our breath underwater became second nature to us.

There was “crab cave”, which was a tiny cave with an air pocket at the top, filled with black crabs. There was “turtle cave”, where all the sea turtles took their naps. It wasn’t very long, and you were almost always certain to bump into a turtle as you swam through. There was “elevator cave”, which you had to swim down about 10 feet, swim through a small opening in the reef, then shoot up to a small hole at the top of the rocks. There was”L” cave, shaped like an “L”. This was my personal favorite, because there was a sea current that pushed you through it real fast so that you never had to hold your breath very long. All of these caves were fun and brought us hours of enjoyment.

However, there was one cave I didn’t go through. It was called “Big Blue”. My brothers went through it, my sister went through it, my friends went through it. Even the tourists coming to the cove for the first time went through it. But not me.

This cave wasn’t much unlike the others. It was rather short, you didn’t have to hold your breath long, and was right there in the cove. But there was one BIG difference. In order to get to the entrance to the cave you had to walk over the rocks to a crevice. Then you had to sit on the edge of the crevice, with your legs dangling into the opening of the cave. Then you had to slip down into the water of the opening of the cave, which was pitch black, and to an 11 year old girl— this spelled scary.
Everyone told me, til they were blue in the face, that it looks scary at first because you can’t see where you're going, but once you dive down into the blackness, a tiny blue light appears. Just follow the light until it gets bigger and bigger, and you're almost out.
Okay I thought, “Dive down into pitch blackness, keep swimming, hold my breath, see a tiny blue light, start swimming towards it....” Yah right! I might as well die right now!

Years went by and I never did Big Blue. I would keep telling myself,“I can’t do it because I can’t see where I’m going.” “I need to see where I’m going and then I’ll know I can do it.”

One Saturday Morning I woke up before everyone else. I grabbed my diving mask and headed down the street to the cove. I started walking out to my usual jump off point then stopped short. It was a beautiful, calm day. The water was crystal clear and sparkling. The breeze was calm and peaceful.
I walked out upon the rocks to the opening of the Big Blue cave crevice. I sat on the edge, I dangled my feet into the pitch, black water, I put on my mask and I dove down. I was so nervous. I was so scared. I wanted to stop myself. I wanted to say, “You can’t do this, you have no idea what’s going to happen, you can’t see ahead, you are going to fail.” But something changed inside me that day, and I jumped right in.
Swimming down into the blackness felt like forever. It seemed I was just swimming deeper, and deeper, and deeper, until finally--the tiny blue light. I swam towards the light, it got bigger and bigger. I stopped for a moment and looked around and saw why this cave was called BIG BLUE. The blue light illuminated the cave so brightly, that I was suddenly surrounded by the prettiest, blueist, ocean colors I have ever seen, on every side of me. It was a moment I will never forget. I then swam towards the light of the sun and finally popped my head up on the other side. I DID BIG BLUE!

From that day on I couldn’t understand why I had been so scared and so hesitant to do it. Once I had done it, I could just keep going, and do it over and over. I never questioned myself again. But I know why I was so hesitant, because I couldn’t see where I was going.

There are many times in my life where I can’t see where I am going, and I feel myself tense up again, just like I did in those days of Big Blue. Right now, as Micah is finishing up school, and we will be applying for jobs, I can honestly say I am scared. We moved to Cedar City without knowing what was in store for us here, and fell in love with it. We made plans to stay here forever. However, the hope for a job opening for Micah is really...just hope. We don't know where we will end up, and I feel like my legs are dangling into deep blackness again.

I know there is something beautiful, bright, and wonderful in store for us, wherever we go, I just need the courage to take that jump again....deeper and deeper until we see that tiny light.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Happy, Crispy, Children, Please!

I used to think I was a natural chef, with a distinct eye for the culinary arts. Some personal favorite recipes I had developed over the years as a single woman on my own, were waffles, lasagna, oatmeal cookies, and bean soups.Mmmmmmmm!
So when we first got married I would try making all sorts of delightful goodies for my new husband. However, over the course of several months, I noticed that he would turn up his nose at my cooking, or even worse, offer to cook every meal!

I realized one day that I had been living a substandard lifestyle when it came to cooking. Somehow I had trained my taste buds to like dry and crusty waffles, runny and tasteless lasagna, brick-hard oatmeal cookies, and undercooked beans! (To name a few.) I was a horrible cook! My pans were always burned with black charcoal, caked to the bottom, I never followed the recipes correctly, or payed attention to the time, so my food was never quite done right, I let my noodles overcook until they were mush, and I didn't know I was supposed to drain the grease from the browned meat...and on and on. Poor Micah!

It's funny to look back on the past and see how much you've changed. I am a much better cook these days, and realized that all it took was some knowledge, some practice, and the right inspiration to want to do it right. Even though my foods had been edible, they just weren't the best they could be.

Maybe this is a far stretch for an analogy, but I've been feeling like a rotten parent lately, and was wondering if I am living a substandard ideal in my parenting, without knowing it.
When I became a Mother it was natural for me. I immediately fell in love with my babies and wanted to nurture them and care for them. I really want to be with these little guys every day, and help them discover their world. They are amazing!
However, sometimes I feel like I am doing a tremendous job, then I get into a situation where I have no idea what I am doing! Like I am confidently cooking a delicious sauce, only to discover it's burnt on the bottom! I don't want to feel like Super Mom, only to find out my kids are doing pretty good, but are slightly burnt on the bottom. I don't want to keep doing what I'm doing, only to look back on my past to discover how
much better I could have been. (even though I know this will happen regardless, I still want to be better now, darnit!)
I have been struggling with my 3 year old lately, trying to figure out his changing behavior, and how I can handle things the best. I guess I am on a personal crusade to have yummy, happy, crispy children who grow up to be happy adults, rather than crusty, burnt ones who hate their lives and despise their Mother.

I got online last night and ordered some books that I think will help immensely. I've read every Dr. Sears baby book about sleeping, attachment parenting, breastfeeding, and mending boo-boos, but I realized I haven't read much about the development of independent, and obstinate 3 year olds.
I got Elizabeth Pantley's "No Cry Discipline Solution", "Raising your Spirited Child" by Mary Sheedy, and "Playful Parenting" by Lawrence J. Cohen.

These books I trust because they are approved by the La Leche League International board, whose leaders are big on being gentle and loving in all we do. And that's the direction I want to go. I've been feeling angry, frustrated, and often mad, and all because of my lack of understanding in how to handle certain situations that come up.

Some good books, some great talks with my husband, some natural-born instincts, some love, and lots of prayers....this is the recipe I am following right now.

What tools do you recommend for becoming the parent you want to be?
Any good books you've been inspired by and would suggest?