October is the month for Durga.

Yes I know October passed, luckily 13 days ago, which is the point. Thirteen represents good luck. There are thirteen moons in a year. The Lunar calendar (13 months) was changed to a solar calendar (12 months). Why? Some believe to take power away from women.  After the fall of the matriarchal society, it was the patriarchal society, knowing it symbolized the sacred feminine, that created stories of doom related to this number. They will tell you events of death and destruction that happen on that day. Judas, the betrayer of Jesus, was the thirteenth at the table, Apollo 13…need I say more?, some planes crashed on the 13th (never mind all the other plane crashes on other days), some Norse legend about 12 Gods at a Banquet and a next one (13th God) came and killed one of the other Gods, starting lots of natural disasters.

Men needed to create fear with the number thirteen to squelch the feminine power. And for most people, it worked.

So it seems fitting that thirteen days after the month long celebration of the Goddess  Durga, the mother of the universe, I would add a post about her.

 Dervi Durga

She is believed to be the power behind the work of creation, preservation, and destruction of the world. This confuses some. How can she create and destroy? Well…she creates life and destroys evil.

The word “Durga” in Sanskrit means a fort, or a place which is difficult to overrun. This represent a safe house to me. A place where others and myself can find peace.
Another meaning of “Durga” is “Durgatinashini,” which literally translates into “the one who eliminates sufferings.” Thus, Hindus believe that goddess Durga protects her devotees from the evils of the world and at the same time removes their miseries. I like this. I want to be more Durga-ish and protect all my children from miseries. With four of my own and four more of Starbo’s, this is a lot of miseries. Plus all earths children feel like mine some days. I want to protect them all.
The lion represents power, will and determination. Mother Durga riding the lion symbolises her mastery over all these qualities. Wahoo…bring on the lion.

I want to be more Durgaya-ish. She listens to her devotees and attends to their needs. I do find I listen more intently these days. Being in a place of service is good for me and humanity. It is a win win situation.

ॐ Namah Durgaya

 Mother and Child" - Avijit Banerjee

Mother and Child” – Avijit Banerjee

Wengenn for Halloween

I love the imagination of this artistic mother living the Creative Life.

Queenie Liao created photos using plain cloths, stuffed animals, and common household materials to create the background setting.

Check out Bored Panda for the rest of the pictures. Definitely not a parenting site, but occasionally some interesting post.

Wengenn in Wonderland

Wengenn in Wonderland

Screen shot 2013-10-31 at 12.39.09 AM

‘Letting Your Children Grow Up’ Mantra

Blue throat chakra, green heart chakra

Blue throat chakra, green heart chakra

Do six sun salutations to allow your chakras to open.

Close your eyes and cross your arms over your chest and gently hold your throat with both open hands. You are opening your throat chakra and your heart chakra at the same time. You are healing your throat chakra and heart chakra simultaneously.

Repeat these words, letting your own words mix in with the words below. Allow words to flow. Let your own words take over if you want. Trust your instincts and let what needs to be said be said, what needs to be felt to be felt.

Trust !!!

I am trust, I am love, I am perfect vibration, I am whole, I am strong, I am able.

My children are love, My children are perfect vibration, My children are strong, My children are able.

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Ruby’s Baby Brother-Book Review

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Ruby’s Baby Brother.

by Kathryn White

A little girl’s imagination takes flight to help her process all the scary things about a new brother being brought home for the first time. She gathers her resources together to prepare for his arrival: a magic wand for safety, a space rocket to send him far away.

Suddenly, the unexpected happens, she falls in love with his soft tiny hands.

Imagination changes purpose. Now it brings play and protection into both their lives.

What a fun book this is. The imagination can soar with adorably warm and funny illustrations that Miriam Latimer creates with every turn of the page.

A big added bonus for breastfeeding advocates is a picture of mom nursing her little boy. This image is hard to find in children books.

I love that the publisher of this book, Barefoot Books, started as a home business back in the early nineties. They have an ambassador program where parents can have their own independent business selling books. Check them out here.

A Possible Cure for ADHD, OCD: Cure Your Gut

Mental Illness can possibly stem from your Gut; ADHD, OCD included.

 

“The gut is really your second brain. There are more neurons in the GI tract than anywhere else except the brain. The connection may have been established, but scientists thought communication was one way: it traveled from the brain to the gut, and not the other way around. But now, a new understanding of the trillions of microbes living in our guts reveals that this communication process is more like a multi-lane superhighway than a one-way street.”

–quote from Gut feelings: the future of psychiatry may be inside your stomach.The right combination of stomach microbes could be crucial for a healthy mind, By  Carrie Arnold

This is one of those articles you pull up on your computer hoping to read and something important takes you away. It may be as important as a cute puppy pic of Facebook. I just couldn’t close the tab. I left it there for four days. Finally I read it. I was so excited I had to post here. The quote above got me. But more than that…the cure.

Probiotics.

These are the helpful bacteria in your body. You find it naturally in yogurt, kefir, buttermilk, miso, kombucha, sauerkraut and kimchi.

Probiotics are the smiling ones.

Probiotics are the smiling ones.

Yogurt is what most people are familiar with, just make sure to read the label. It must read “live active cultures”. The heavy sugar ones are countered with the negative effect of sugar. Better to buy plain and lightly sweeten yourself. I mash in a well spotted banana the day before I eat it, which gives the natural sugars time to blend.

So, back to this connection with mental health and probiotics. A 2001 study out of McMaster University showed:

“Bacteria-free mice exhibited higher levels of risk-taking, and neurochemical analysis revealed higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol and altered levels of the brain chemical BDNF, which has been implicated in human anxiety and depression.  Jane Foster, the study’s lead author, said. “Everybody knew that stress and anxiety could lead to gastrointestinal symptoms, but we looked at it from the bottom up and showed that the gut could communicate with the brain. It was the first demonstration that the gut itself could influence brain development.”

Changing the bacterial balance early on seems to be the most beneficial.  It is still helpful later in life but, hey, this is something for all parents to consider.

How healthy is your child’s gut?

When my daughter was three she was in the hospital with Kawasaki, a viral disease that mimic the bacterial Scarlet Fever. She was incorrectly treated for the later which involved heavy doses of antibiotics. To counter this, her whole life, I have provided her with probiotics. Chewable when she was little and later the pill along with yogurt. Mind you, no doctor ever mentioned this to me, this was my own fix. I felt it was very important. And now I see a strong backing from the research currently being done. Actually this research started twenty years ago by Boston-area psychiatrist James Greenblatt whom the article refers to. He started this study at George Washington University while studying eating disorders.

The door is just beginning to open to much of this research, as to which strain of probiotics, how much and what stages of human development are crucial.

I am certain of this. My body functions better when I have a healthy gut.

Someday you will have to pay your way. Seriously!

Time to pay your way.

Time to pay your way.

Here’s a conversation I had with my twenty-one year old Senior in college, about how, as soon as he got a job, now or very soon, he could start paying me back the money I put out for him this past year.

Lets back up to the begining of his Junior year. I told him that he needed to get a job. Seriously!

He is a Senior now; still no job and will soon be cut off if no job is had.

Seriously!

I said, “You get a job and I will still help you. If you don’t, then I don’t care if you graduate from college or not. If you don’t care enough about a job to help pay your way then I don’t care enough to pay your way. You give a shit and I will give a shit. Seriously!

He said to me. “When I was growing up you never told me I would someday have to (You pick the last part of this sentence, it is all the same)–pay my own way—support myself—be cut off from your money.. Seriously!?!

Now in all seriousness, my son was joking. But behind the joke was the truth. When he was growing up, I think I did forget to say those very words to him.

We teach our children all sorts of important things to help them grow up, but a really good thing to say to your child, actually many times over, would be these very words:

“Juma, someday you will have to support yourself.”

A bit too vague. Too much room for the imagination.

“Juma, someday when you get older, you will have to support yourself.”

Still a bit loose. Be a bit more visual.

“Juma, someday when you are 16 years old you will have to do something to earn some money. Then when you are 18 you will need to be a bit more serious and earn all of your money for anything that is not food, a roof over your head, health and school related. Then when you are 21 you will have to pay for your roof over your head, food and everything else except school and your health. Then when you graduate you will have to pay for everything that you require in life.

Seriously.”

I think that covers things.

Aloe heals more than sunburns.

This was first published on August 14, 2012

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I wake up tired and stiff. This is pretty much every morning. After a splash of water on the face and a toothbrush massaging my mouth I am ready to putts around.

I wonder onto my courtyard to see how my aloe plants are doing. Yesterday I took all the small aloe (babies) that were choking my large aloe (momma), then moved them into other pots. I left one small teenager in the pot next the mother as I felt she just couldn’t lose all her babies at once. To be more descriptive I must explain that these babies are all connected to the mothers root. You kinda crack them away and amazingly they all have roots attached to them after they are pulled from their mother.

This whole mother-babies-teens thing formed as I was digging and watering and moving about.

It was kinda sweet but I didn’t grasp the whole ‘life realization’ quite yet. I guess I needed a  new day to open the door all the way.

So this morning when I putted about, I looked at the teen next to her mom and had a strong feeling she was ready to move on, so I pulled her out, one long root attached to her slender young aloe body…and put her in the crowded pot with her brothers. She felt very happy there, stood tall and all.

I went back to the mom to see how she was doing and I realized her root was short, stalky, and completely out of the soil. I thought this strange because I did not notice this at all when the teen was still attached. Yesterday I even added a bit of soil on top of her roots where the others were removed for root protection, so you can see I was clearly aware of the root.

I felt very connected to this momma aloe. Her roots were like a fish out of water, her life-line disconnected.

This too is how I feel. My body seems to be complaining a lot lately, everything hurts. Like the aloe, I feel as if I could shrivel up and die if I wanted to. Just leave my life-line and fade. But I don’t want to and this momma aloe does not want to either. It is calling out to me merely by the fact that I was called to pay attention to it.

Without hesitation I dug a hole in the center of the pot, taking one shovel of her soil to each of her babies. Next, I grabbed th

is massive aloe, being careful not to grab the somewhat thorny edges too much, and rested her upright. I pulled the soil next to her roots to give her support along with moving her close to the wall of house. Sometimes we just gotta lean on something or someone. She looked stronger but I felt her fragile state. She had grown out of her pot to accommodate all her children, now they were gone and she needed my help to put her back to her glory. A bit twisted, not the beauty she was in the day when all would walk past her and say, “Wow, this is beautiful. I have never seen an aloe so big and perfect.”

Time will tell how she will hold up on her own. Very much like how I feel. Time will tell how I will hold my own self up again.

Thirty plus years of mothering others, putting them front and center. My job is not done. My 18 year old will still call out when she needs me but it will be mothering from a phone, text, FB and Skype. No more knocking on her door to see what her day will bring, no more cooking with her or hanging out in her room, me on the bean bag and her on her bed. There will still be summers for a year or two but my daily job is complete. She leaves this Sunday. Five full days left. Five days she has to pack her bags to the gills and say goodbyes to friends.

I feel something big about to happen, I am excited, happy and sad, moment to moment.

Thank you Momma Aloe for showing me the way. I feel your soothing lesson. Your bravery will be my guide.

Aloe is one of natures most healing salves. Symbolically it will help heal the wounds of my empty-nest-heart.

Babies and Teen

Babies and Teen

One went astray

One went astray

 

Pirate People

Pirate Rock people

There is a place in St John where you will find a whole community of rock people. There must be dozens of pirates.

Hike past Salt Pond Bay past the actual Salt Pond to Drunk Bay.

You will be greated by a wonderland of rock shapes ready to have you add your own creations.

rock dog
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father and son
Father and Son Rock People
Pissazz!!
Pizzaze
The hike at sunset leading to Drunk Bay
Drunk Bay Sunset, St John

Should I take Hypnobirthing Class

pregnant moon

pregnant moon

Someone dear ask me this question:

Hey Jeanie, I’ve decided to have my baby  in the water! I was wondering if you knew anything about Hypnobirthing?

My answer:

I am first certified from Rahima Baldwin’s program called Informed Birth/Parenting. Then years after I was a midwife I took the hybnobirthing-The Mongan Method course with Micky herself. She came to St John in the Virgin Islands.
I wasn’t terribly impressed with this method of teaching childbirth classes but I do believe Hypnotherapy can be beneficial to relieve fear, which allows for more relaxation, which creates space for a natural birth to occur. Tension causes fear which can cause minor complications.
Is there a class nearby that you are thinking of taking? Do you know a good hypnotherapist?
Orgasmic Birth DVD- this looks interesting but I haven’t seen it.

She then ask this question:

There’s a class at the birth center, the midwife really recommends me taking it. I have the book and the cd with affirmations and the relaxation that ive been listening to everyday. Do u think i should take it?

Here’s my answer:

Ignorance is bliss for some things… too much knowledge can sometimes induce fear if you seek that knowledge in the wrong places. (By the way, I dis-like the book “What to Expect When You’re Expecting”) I think any relaxation inducing class you choose to take is good.
Letting go is the key.
Just don’t let go of your right to a safe birth. In my mind, safe means no one is going to do an episiotomy or induce labor just because it is routine.

Understand there is no such thing as a natural birth with an epidural. Also understanding there are truly times when an epidural is the right thing to do and that we all love doctors for the special knowledge they know when a natural birth meets a complication. Putting it all in perspective that complications are very rare when the domino effect of unnecessary intervention is not allowed and you have had good prenatal care to rule out complications before birth.
Being smart means surrounded yourself with women you trust.
Which brings us back to letting go and trusting that everything you do is enough when you care, pay attention, breath and circle around to trust and letting go.
I have total trust you already know everything I just wrote.

Ohio State Immunization Exemption

Here I go again. Another child off to college and this time in Ohio.

She had the proper form from the State Health Department for exemption from immunizations that got her all the way through High School.

Now we need to see whats up in the great Buckeye State.

Here is a nice site that lets you know state by state who allows personal belief exemptions vs religious exemptions.

Personal belief exemptions include religious, philosophical and any other unspecified non-medical exemption.

http://www.vaccinesafety.edu/cc-exem.htm

For Higher Education (college) I found this put out by Dept Of Health in Ohio. Click more below to see the whole story.

Please note that Ohio law does not require vaccination of the student, nor does it require the institution to provide or pay for vaccines.  The law requires only disclosure of vaccination status of the student.

To read my post on University of Central Florida exemptions click here. 

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