Thursday, October 22, 2009

Nursing Birth blog posts about my comment!

Wow, what a boost of emotional support this morning to find out that one of my new favorite blogs, Nursing Birth, has made an entire post about a comment I left on her site! Nursing Birth is a blog written by a Labor and Delivery nurse who is very supportive of natural childbirth, and changing the culture of hospital birth. It's an excellent perspective from someone on the "inside" of the hospital birth scene. (Check out the link on the side bar of chun-beeks, under "our favorite blogs".)

Many of you are aware of our hopes and plans for a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) with baby#2 (due around Thanksgiving). I normally don't spill lots of personal details here on chun-beeks, but I thought you might be interested in reading Nursing Birth's post about my comment to give you a peek into some of the latest details: The Ol' Bait and Switch.

I have been getting fabulous emotional support from my Bradley Method birth class teacher, my amazing doula, and now this post on Nursing Birth is just the emotional boost I was hoping for!

Hugs to everyone!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Renee's first haircut and pierced ears!

Well big changes for Renee last Friday! And some interesting adjustments for Mommy and Daddy, too! Mommy and Renee have been talking about getting Renee's hair cut for a few months now. We decided (Mom decided and Renee agreed) that maybe we could get Renee's hair cut short (but, no, NOT like Daddy's hair) and give her hair to other kids who need it! Locks of Love accepts donations of hair that are 10 inches or longer, and they make the hair into wigs for children suffering hair loss due to serious illness. Coincidentally a few weeks ago, a John Deere employee organized a group willing to donate their hair to Locks of Love in exchange for a free haircut. So the timing seemed right and we met them all for the appointment last Friday afternoon!

I should note that both Daddy and Mommy were a little nervous about doing this... for one reason, preschool pictures are coming up in less than a week! And this is Renee's first time to a hair salon. And this is her original baby hair! It has never been cut in the back (that's why it's so long after 3 1/2 years)! But we committed to the idea. And Mommy decided that after the haircut, if Renee still wanted to, she could get her ears pierced, too! Mommy figured the sparkling ears would be a nice compliment to the pretty new haircut! Renee has been asking about getting her ears pierced for quite awhile... and we talked about the fact that it would hurt, but sort of like a pinch and then the hurt would be all done. Depending on how Renee reacted to the haircut and any last minute nerves she might have about getting holes in her ears, we had a tentative plan in place, but the decision was always up to Renee.

These are the final moments of Renee's original baby hair.

The stylist is cutting off Renee's ponytail. Locks of Love likes to have the hair in ponytail form.

And there it is... or shall we say, was...

Renee was a very good girl, and got the hang of sitting still and looking in one direction for the stylist. The stylist said Renee was the best behaved little kid she's ever given a haircut to!

The stylist had a little booster (gray colored) she put across the arms of the big chair, and Renee sat on that so she'd be high enough for the stylist to work on her comfortably.

Getting her bangs trimmed, she's squinting while the stylist works close to her eyes.

A few final snips.... looking good!

Almost done! They stylist is just blowing it dry!

A first look at Renee's finished new haircut, and wow look at all that hair she used to have!

These are the three gals who donated their hair to Locks Of Love through John Deere. Notice, just one adult and 2 kids! On the Locks of Love website it actually mentions that most of the donations of hair they receive come from children!

After choosing which style of earring she wanted- regular sparkles, or flower shaped sparkles... Daddy finally helped decide: flower sparkles! Renee is exciting and waiting happily to get her ears pierced at Claire's!

This is the moment of truth...

And my tough kid! No tears at all! The gals asked her if it hurt, and she simply answered, "No".

Then the superstar got treated to one of her favorite things: a horse-y ride! What a night!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Fall Harvest Festival at the Arboretum

Towards the end of September every year, the Arboretum hosts it's annual Fall Harvest Festival- a signature community event, with a scarecrow contest, corn maze, food vendors, shopping village and children's activities! This year, Kelly volunteered to be the Chair of the Children's Activities Committee- in charge of organizing all the children's events for this year's Fall Harvest Festival. It ended up being a little bit more work than one might expect- but we pulled it off, and it paid off! We had bounce houses, clowns, rock painting, a live bug display, bean bag toss, high school madrigal singers, duck game, paint splatter, petting zoo, juggler, caterpillar hoop house, Kindermusik performers, fishing game, Dance studio performers, and face painting! We promoted our local community by handing out free reusable shopping bags to the first 300 families (donated by local businesses), performances by local children's venues, and gave the kids coupons which were donated by local restaurants to hand out as prizes! The theme was Green Space, Your Place-- very fitting for the Arboretum and it's goal to be a community garden! The most amazing part of the whole operation: it's all run and organized by volunteers! Only 2 people at the Arboretum are paid staff- the rest of us just do it for love!

Arguably Renee's favorite activity at the Fall Harvest Festival: the petting zoo! And with cuddly baby animals like this little goat, it's easy to see why!

I heard that Renee spent 30 minutes just in the petting zoo -chasing, petting, feeding- non stop fun!

I think we missed getting a picture of Renee trying to give one of the animals a "bath" in a tub of drinking water for the animals!

Renee snuggles her Daddy and her *prize* -a piece of corn she picked in the corn maze!

Who doesn't love a corn maze?

Now it's a red-headed scarecrow!

Lots of yummy food! Grammie found a sticky delicious caramel apple! Apparently some of the crew sampled an uber-caramel-apple which was served on a plate with whipped cream and caramel! WOW!

More of the many activities Kelly organized for the Festival! One of my committee members made the bean bag game herself!

In the Children's Garden we have a track for model trains, and the local train hobby club came out to show off their "toys". What a treat for the kids and the "kids at heart"!

Here you can really see how big this train is!

They had a scarecrow "wedding" in the rose garden with a "Wizard of Arb" theme! Renee is holding hands with the Good Witch scarecrow!

Uncle Mike and Renee get an up close look at some of the scarecrows in the scarecrow contest!

Renee really wanted to go into the big bounce house, but the lines were way too long, so she helped herself to the little one instead!

This is my favorite picture from our recent Labor Day trip to Yankton, SD! Renee snuggles Grammie while showing off the fun helmet!