You Might Be a ‘Crunchy’ Parent if….

1.You know what an amber teething necklace is and you own one.

2.You own one of the following: “How to Raise a Healthy Child in Spite of Your Doctor” or “The Vaccine Book” by Dr. Sears.

3.You would happily breastfeed someone else’s child if they asked you to.

4.You have a load of laundry in the washer that consists of Bumgenius, Grovia, or prefold diapers.

5.You know that Hypnobabies is not hypnosis for babies.

6.You know more then 5 herbs that help increase milk production - and your husband knows at least 3.

7.You’ve asked the Crunchy Mama’s birth board about sperm friendly lubricant.

8.You visited a chiropractor more often during pregnancy then an OBGYN office.   

9.You check hand sanitizers to make sure they do not contain triclosan.

10.Your child’s birthday cake was an organic homemade banana bread recipe.

11.You insist on not wearing sunscreen purely for the benefits of getting as much vitamin D as possible.

12.You refuse to consume cow's milk unless its raw and organic.

13.You own a Nose Freda and have given one as a baby shower gift.

14.You’ve eaten and know the benefits of grass fed beef.

15.You know that the Diva Cup is not a fancy woman chalice.

16.You’ve written a nasty letter to the water company for adding fluoride in the water and then charging you for it.

17.You have considered going the day without antiperspirant because of what you’ve learn the day before about aluminum.

18.You own more then 3 baby carriers and have made your own ring sling.

19.You use honey, eucalyptus and saline solution for cold 'medicine'.

20.At least one of your children was born on the floor of your living room, intentionally.

21.You’ve seriously considered sending your children to a Waldorf school that’s 50 minutes away.

22.Your birth control method consists of NFP.

23.You are an Intactivst and you don’t have a son.

24.You know what Elimination Communication is even though you’ve never done it.

25.You co-sleep, willingly... to a toddler.

26.You have an account with Rose Mountain Herbs.

27.You know your local farmers by first name.

28.You’ve gone No Poo.

29.You have a link on your favorites tab for homemade cough lollipops. (Thanks Brittany
30.You’ve breastfed exclusively for the first six months of life and have employed the BLW technique.
31.You make your own shampoo, mouthwash and multi-purpose cleaners.

32.Your children are on an alternative vaccination schedule.

33.You could add 5 more bullet points to this list  

Adult Bullies

When you are little and someone bully’s you, you are instructed to tell an adult. But what happens when you are an adult?

Over the weekend, I had the pleasure of witnessing a grown man morph into a 12 year old bully at the self-check out line. After huffing and puffing for 10 minutes, he proceeded to cut me in my line and yell across to the woman attempting to use her several gift cards that she had no common sense. The woman had apologized several times for being slow and tried to reason with the man.

No one said a word to defend the woman.

After I got to my car, I vowed to myself never to be silent in the case if that ever happened again. Which, knowing the kind of people Walmart attracts, I’m sure I’ll have the pleasure very soon to speak up.

But I might not have to wait that long.

If it’s not a grown man harassing  an old woman in the check-out lane, then it’s someone with a bad case of road rage, or a grown adult making deplorable statements about others behind the safety-net of a computer monitor.

Seems to me that bullies are a very apparent part of adult life, just as much as child’s life.

Makes me wonder why we all can’t get along. Why does it always have to be a battle going on – if it’s not the war on terror, then it’s the fight against cancer. If you put in ‘the fight against’ into any search engine, you’ll be able to find an uncountable number of things we are fighting against these days; from malaria to depression to each other.

Not that any of these things are enjoyable, but is it human nature to turn things into a crusade?

But I digress.

I think it’s important to realize the power we posses in situations where bully and harassment occurs, whether it is at the supermarket, at work or on some social network.

Power #1 - It’s not about you.  

Bullies project. In the case of the woman at the check-out, the man was feeling tremendous anxiety. He was dancing around like he was in a boxing ring. Once the anxiety became so unbearable, he decided to throw his items down in front of me and yell at the woman.

You see, everyone, in order to live a fruitful life, must ultimately be able to acknowledge and accept their own innate vulnerability. While the other people in line had come to terms that it might take longer then expected to check out, the man rejected his own awkwardness and inadequacy – using the woman as a scapegoat, rejecting himself, acting on self-loathing and self-destruction.

While on the surface it might look like an act of domination, bullying is actually an act of desperation.

Power #2 – Understanding the Source

You may have heard that bullies have a low self-esteem, but this is not always the case. Most bullies have an excellent self-esteem. They may have a sense of entitlement and superiority over others.

A bully might explode over little things because they lack the social skill set and the ability to think in depth about a conflict. Acknowledging the bully’s shortcomings, focusing and forgiving these bestows great power over your thoughts about the situation.

Power #3 – If you’re a bystander, step in – or step out.

You have great power to help change the climate when someone is displaying control over someone else. In many cases, bullying is sustained simply by the silence of those who are witnessing it.

Removing yourself isn’t always possible, but its important to remember you have the option at times.


I think it’s imperative to by mindful of how we interact with others and if we falter we should realize it and ask for forgiveness. This is not only beneficial to others but our own health and wellbeing.

"Our lives are not determined by what happens to us but by how we react to what happens, not by what life brings to us, but by the attitude we bring to life."

What to Expect When You Delay/Select/Decline Vaccinations: The First Year (Happy Birth Day)

This is a series dedicated to what to expect that first year when deciding to go off the CDC’s recommended vaccine schedule.  Also, check out the first and second post in the series, Before Baby Arrives and Discussing Vaccines with Your Partner.

Happy Birth Day

When I think back to the birth day of my first daughter, I can honestly say vaccines were the last thing on my mind. I had delivered her in a hospital and they administered the Hepatitis B vaccine, the vitamin K injection and the antibiotic eye ointment all without consent….though I imagine I had signed somewhere in the initial paperwork that the routine administration of these could be done (the fine print isn’t something you tend to pay attention to when you are in active labor and expecting your first child).

Though, to be fair, what did I expect? For someone to ask me if it would be acceptable? To list the possible the risks, the potential gains? Why it was being done. I guess that’s a bit silly – I mean, they have better things to do with their time then that, huh? To give them a bit of slack, it was my responsibility to be informed.

If that’s the case, why didn’t any of the other mothers tell me about it? Instead the prenatal period was all about the baby shower, decorating the nursery and picking the most adorable baby name.

who is at risk for Hepatitis:
-Healthcare workers and public safety workers with
 reasonably anticipated risk for exposure to blood

-Men who have sex with men

-Sexually active people who are not in long-term,
mutually monogamous relationships

-People seeking evaluation or treatment for a
sexually transmitted disease

-Current or recent injection drug users

-Inmates of long-term correctional facilities

-People with end-stage kidney disease, including
 predialysis, hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis,
 and home dialysis patients

-Staff and residents of institutions or group
 homes for the developmentally challenged

-Household members and sex partners
 of people with chronic HBV infection
Hepatitis B – Your Baby’s First Vaccine

To begin with, hepatitis is a viral disease associated with precarious lifestyle choices (check out the side bar to see who’s most at risk). The virus has the ability to cause an infection of the liver that can have long-lasting effects. Though its important to note that approximately 50% of people that contract Hepatitis B develop no symptoms at all – with an  additional 30% only developing flu-like symptoms (after natural exposure lifetime immunity is acquired).

Now, for infants – this disease can be exceptionally serious and this is (normally in all cases) found when the mother is positive for the disease.  Now in countries that have a much better infant mortality rate, such as Sweden and The Netherlands, they only administer the vaccine to mothers who test positive for the disease, not all newborns.

It’s also important to note that the World Health Organization only recommends vaccination of newborns for Hepatitis B in areas where the carrier prevalence is greater then 2% - this does not include the United States!

You might say that the vaccine is safe, so why not be extra sure? Do you know how many safety studies have been performed on the Hepatitis B vaccine for infants?


A manufacturer's representative was asked in a 1997 Illinois Board of Health hearing to show evidence that the Hepatitis B vaccine is safe for a 1-day old infant.  The representative stated:
"We have none.  Our studies were done on 5- and 10-year olds." 
[The Congressional Quarterly, August 25, 2000, pg. 647.]

I know the vaccine schedule my family follows is not going to fit every, or any, family. If anything, deciding to delay the administration of the hepatitis vaccine until a child is closer to potential risks would be more mindful. In the very least, read something about it before agreeing to it!

Here are some great links to learn more:

Erythromycin Eye Ointment

Now, this is not a vaccine but it is something I would like to touch upon regarding the very first few minutes of life of your little bundle.

You might think I’m nit-picking but why not at least be a bit informed about it first since we’re doing all this other reading and research? Let’s have at it then-

Here’s just the bare-bones of it:

What is it?
Silver nitrate or similar, antibiotic ointment applied just minutes after birth

Why is this routine?
The administration is required (though is waive-able, but could include a fine of $5.00) in most states. This is on grounds of preventing blindness from exposure to maternal gonorrhea. Keep in mind that it is common practice to screen mothers for STDs during their prenatal care so if you don’t have an STD I’m not sure why they are administering it –doctors might be assuming you are sleeping around while pregnant I suppose)

Is there risk?

-the silver nitrate binds with the membranes of the eyes which causes irritation, swelling, redness and blurred vision.

-The antibiotics in the ointment enter the bloodstream through the eye – the potential for diaper rash, thrush, and digestive problems are all present when this happens.

The bottom line-is it necessary and effective?

According to the medical studies listed below (and in more detail here), that answer is no:

Bell TA, Grayston JT, Krohn MA, Kronmal RA.  Randomized trial of silver nitrate, erythromycin, and no eye prophylaxis for the prevention of conjunctivitis among newborns not at risk for gonococcal ophthalmitis.  Pediatrics 1993 Dec;92(6):755-60.

Chen JY.    Prophylaxis of ophthalmia neonatorum: comparison of silver
nitrate, tetracycline, erythromycin and no prophylaxis.  Pediatr Infect Dis J 1992 Dec;11(12):1026-30.

Krohn MA, Hillier SL, Bell TA, Kronmal RA, Grayston JT.  The bacterial etiology of conjunctivitis in early infancy.  5: Am J Epidemiol 1993 Sep 1;138(5):326-32.

Black-Payne C, Bocchini JA Jr, Cedotal C.  Failure of erythromycin ointment for postnatal ocular prophylaxis of chlamydial conjunctivitis.  14: Pediatr Infect Dis J 1989 Aug;8(8):491-5.

These studies “prove that the eye ointment routinely applied to newborns does not significantly alter eye infections as opposed to no ointment of any kind.  Also, there is evidence that the bacteria which cause these infections are not passed to the infant in the birth canal, but after birth.  Also, it has been found that a significant number of infants develop an infection even though they HAVE received the ointment.” (

Of course, it’s important that we all make our own decisions regarding the health of our children. I hope this little section here helps regarding the prophylactic eye ointment. With my second daughter, who was born at home, we declined this.

"Vitamin K shots are completely unnecessary
 for your newborn."
- Dr. Cees Vermeer, PhD, Associate Professor of
 Biochemistry at the University of Maastricht, the world’s
 leading specialist in vitamin K
Vitamin K

The injection of vitamin K to every newborn infant was a practice that began1950’s. The reasoning behind this injection is the attempt to alter the naturally occurring level of vitamin k in the baby and to promote blood clotting. You see, there is a rare liver disease (called Hemorrhagic Disease) that occurs approximately about 5 out of 100,000 births – the answer the CDC has come up with to tackle this rare bleeding trauma is to inject all infants with 20,000 times the newborn level of vitamin k.

You might ask yourself, is there an apparent reason why babies are born with a practically low level of vitamin k? Well yes, there is. The newborn’s tight regulation of vitamin k levels control the rapid rate of cell division (which is useful during fetal development). It has been shown the high levels of vitamin k may lead to cancer due to uncontrolled, rapid cell division. (This may explain the link to the prophylactic use of the vitamin k injection and a rise in childhood leukemia.)

If you opt out of the vitamin K injection, the baby will gradually raise their levels after birth by breastfeeding (colostrums is extremely high in vitamin k). You can also give vitamin k drops orally (liquid vitamin K9) which is a significantly lower dose then the 20,000x level of the injectable vitamin k.

If you are mother at higher risk of having a baby with Hemorrhagic Disease or if your baby is at a higher risk, then you may want to consider the vitamin k injection more thoughtfully. Those mothers and babies would be:

-Women on anticonvulsant drugs during pregnancy (for epilepsy)
-Babies that had premature clamping or cutting of their umbilical cord (this deprives the baby of up to 40% of their blood volume which includes platelets which aid in clotting)
-Women who had a vacuum extractor assisted birth (this often causes bruising and internal bleeding)
-Women/newborn on antibiotics

The administration of any injection into the blood stream of a newborn carries risk particularly infection; especially in an environment that contains the most hazardous germs (the hospital). It has also been known that trauma from injections during the first moments of life can jeopardize the establishment of the breastfeeding relationship. Breastfeeding assists vitamin k levels and absorption more then the synthetic vitamin k injection has been alleged to do. If you do decide on the injection, it may be good to decide to wait a few days until your baby has learned to nurse.

So, in a nutshell – I would recommend assessing your risks and your babies risks of Hemorrhagic Disease. The most important decision to avoid this disease would be to make sure your baby receives all of its blood by keeping the cord attached until pulsating stops, having a natural or low intervention birth and, of course, breastfed (just one of the countless reasons to breastfed).

I imagine there is a very delicate, complex relationship between blood clotting levels and a newborn’s cell growth. To go all ‘willy-nilly’ (sorry no other term applies here) and inject a synthetic vitamin in the blood stream (20,000 times higher then normal, a level chosen with no rhyme or reason) to alter something we don’t fully understand seem reckless.

Personally, I choose a system that has been in place for thousands of years, instead of opting on one that’s been in place for less than a hundred. This is your child and you have the right to be informed and to make your own choice – please exercise it!

Great sites to visit when looking for information on vitamin k injections:

Stay tuned for the next posts in this series!

References used in the Hepatitis B section:  (This site was used to gather ‘at risk’ group listed in the Myth versus Fact blurb)

References used in the Erythromycin Eye Ointment section:

Bell TA, Grayston JT, Krohn MA, Kronmal RA, Eye Prophylaxis Study Group: Randomized trial of silver nitrate, erythromycin, and no eye prophylaxis for the prevention of conjunctivitis among newborns not at risk for gonococcal ophthalmitis.  Pediatrics  92: 755-760, 1993

Krohn MA, Hillier SL, Bell TA, Kronmal RA, Grayston JT, Eye Prophylaxis Study Group: The bacterial etiology of conjunctivitis in early infancy.  Am J Ophthalmol  138: 326-332, 1993

References used in the Vitamin k section:

Linda Folden Palmer, DC. The International Chiropractic Pediatric Association Newsletter, September/October 2002 Issue. Found on this link: (This site was used to gather ‘at risk’ group listed in the Myth versus Fact blurb)

Thank you

I have taken it upon myself to delete some of the prior posts due to insignificant citing. Please know this was not done to be deceitful or hurtful in anyway. My only goal is to continue to correctly spread information regarding vaccine awareness, home birth safety, and holistic family lifestyle choices.

I am excited about the future of this blog, as it will be completely backed by scientific sources, accurate citing and personal experience. Thank you all for your support.

I believe every single moment in life happens for a specific reason. It is up to us how to react to these moments.

Thank you for making me better.

The Deepest Part of The Heart

Everyone on this planet has a connection.

And there are many, many, many paths; it is all the same one manifesting in different names, different faces, different forms.

All paths lead to the same result, as all religions have the same common denominator. Love.

Unconditional love is not selective or exclusive. Because we are one, how can we love this one more then that one? That is separation.

Living in devotion and love to each other will cause a transformation.

It is in devotion and in love that we will find everything.

Be  grateful; be humble. Gratefulness is a state of openness that allows us to approach each other.

Devotion, love, giving – is our true nature. Why do we keep it bottled up?


We must learn how to situate ourselves in the deepest part of the heart. Constantly drop to the deepest part of your heart, and from there live your life. And what is in the deepest part of your heart is your soul, and your soul is love.

Give love. Do not hold on to it.

The potential you have with love is so incredible, so unconditional, so selfless. It exists to give.

Love more today then yesterday.

Death As The Ultimate Teacher

To me, death is a teacher whose wisdom and simplicity can be humbling. It seems humanity, as a whole, fears death, hides it away; however, death is inevitable.

This resistance to an inevitable part of nature brings a certain amount of pain and discomfort. Many people see death as the enemy.

Keeping death as a companion and teacher instead of an enemy may change priority and perspective.

Death can become a great teacher of life.

Petty arguments cease.

Forgiveness comes easy. Seeking forgiveness comes easy.

With death standing close to us we are reminded of what is most precious. 

When the five senses are stilled,
that is the enlightening state.

When the timeless Self, beyond all perception, hidden in the cave of the heart,
leaves pain and pleasure far behind...
When the traveler who is intimate with Death but has yet to pass the mountain peak,
To yet experience the soul soar with unbound freedom,
Whispers concluding words,
“Love one another.”


My Story of a Natural, Homebirth

I’ve attempted to write this story a few times and to be honest I’m not sure where to start. I feel like I should start from the beginning because it wasn’t just one day but it was such a journey.

I knew before I was pregnant that if I ever had to go through pregnancy, birth and labor again that it would be different. With my first child, I did what was expected and frankly I felt ripped off. I don’t blame anyone – but this time around would be different ….

There was no OB appointments, ultrasounds, blood tests, scary threats of scheduled c-sections or pressures to induce.

The first time I saw my daughter she looked at me with her beautiful blue eyes, so wide open to the world – it was important to me to give her that gift. I didn’t want her drugged up and I wanted to be fully present when she made her arrival.

Here is my story of a natural, homebirth.

Monday Morning 9/5 Labor Day (4 days past my due (guess) date)

Ironic, but yes, I started my labor on Labor Day.

It was about and I started feeling a few contractions laying in bed. There were a few and they would come about 7 minutes apart but then would fade away throughout the day. I pretty much just hung around the house that day with my husband and my 2 yr old daughter, Elizabeth. We went for a few walks around the block. I was anticipating something happening but it never did that night…

Tuesday Morning 9/6 (5 days past due date)

I stayed home from work on Tuesday. I had woke up again at with the same contractions, 7 minutes apart. I still got up and got ready for work – I am a creature of habit.

My husband woke up around and I told him that I think we might have a baby today. He looked at me unconvinced considering I was a week past my due date and I had been saying that for about a month now. I was surprised when he said he would stay home from work as well. It made everything a lot more real.

We went for a walk that morning with my daughter and the contractions hung around. Still coming every 7 minutes. I didn’t have to stop walking through them but they were definitely there. I felt happy that I knew my body was doing the work for me and I didn’t have to mentally drudge through terrible pain or anything like that yet. (though I never had to)

I called my midwife to tell her what was going on and to tell her she might be needed later.

That afternoon strolled around and still, 7 minutes apart. I intentionally tried to stay upright as much as possible and when ever I got a contraction I would lean against a wall or table and swing my hips back and forth. It wasn’t because I was in pain, but it helped me focus on the feeling of the contractions. It sounds insane but I enjoyed the intensity I was feeling. I wasn’t focusing on what was going to come or how, when, why, where…I just experienced it. I was trying to practice for when they did become more intense.

I took a shower and a nap and it felt nice. The contractions were definitely more challenging when I was laying down though.

I went outside to spend time with my husband and daughter who were out back washing and waxing my car. The fresh air was nice. The contractions now were demanding more of my attention. I would lean over the car and wouldn’t talk to anyone, swaying back and forth just breathing slowly and deeply.

I can’t recall what I had eaten that day, but I’m sure a grazed all day like I normally do.

I had been experiencing contractions all day – 7 minutes apart. They had become more demanding but did not change from that 7 minute timing.

Once 5 o clock rolled around my husband asked if I wanted him to call his mom to pick up Elizabeth. My midwife had mentioned that once Elizabeth was taken care of that things might go full swing. I told him to go ahead and call – I felt sad saying good-bye.

With Elizabeth gone, I lit some candles in the kitchen and was walking around the island, drinking water. My husband was on the couch watching TV and talking to me. Every time I would get a contraction I would stop, lean over the isle, sway back and forth and breath deeply.

It was nice. It was just me and Kory. It was dark in the house except for the light of the TV, a few candles and a lamp. The contractions were now coming about 5 minutes apart and I would catch myself moaning through them. They weren’t terrible, just intense at times.

I called my midwife. My husband told me that I should call – but I didn’t believe anything was going to happen anytime soon….i must have been in denial.

I thought I would take a break from walking and standing. For my next contraction, I had gone over to the couch and leaned over, with my knees on the floor and my arms over the seat-I had two contractions this way and it was a lot more intense. After the second one, I had told my husband I wasn’t sure how I was going to do this. I couldn’t imagine it getting anymore intense then it already was.

I went back to my safe spot in the kitchen where I had spent lesser intense contractions hoping that it would go back to that. Waiting for my midwife to arrive, for a short while the contractions weren’t as intense as the two I had in the living room…but that changed.

My husband asked if he should call the midwife again to let her know that things were picking up quicker then expected. She was on her way and I could hear her talking over the phone. She was giving him instructions in case she didn’t make it.

I had another contraction and it was rough to hold it together. I was worried. “Could it get worse?!”

The oddest thing about contractions is that they can be intense and take your entire attention, but once they are over it’s like any other day. I was back to normal, talking and walking around.

Luckily it didn’t get worse – that was the last contraction I felt that intensity. Instead, now I found myself in another predicament. I could feel the head down there. It must have descended, but I could definitely feel something I hadn’t before.

I didn’t feel like pushing… until I got another contraction.

I think I had two or three pushing contractions before my midwife arrived. Well, I didn’t have to push. I had the choice of feeling that intense craziness of a contraction ..or I found out if I pushed through them I became a part of the intensity instead of just experiencing it. It was out of this world.

Finally the midwife peels into the driveway.

I was still in my safe spot in the kitchen by the island. My midwife asks me if I want to go upstairs like I had planned. I asked if I could just lean over the couch. I couldn’t imagine going all the way upstairs into unfamiliar territory.

She started throwing down those large flat pads to protect the carpet and I had went ahead and de-pants. I had a sports bra on, but that’s it.

Now, the once intense couch position that I had avoided was my friend. I leaned over the couch and just pushed with the contraction. It felt perfectly right. After each pushing contraction my body gave me a break and I looked over at my husband, he was throwing on a pot of boiling water. I had no idea why he was doing this but I recall it was to the request of my midwife. (I later found out it was to warm the conpresses she used to protect me from tearing)

My midwife had to run out to the car, I didn’t know what for and I didn’t give to much attention to it. I just remember my husband saying, “I thought that was an old wive’s tale.”

I remember responding, “No, it’s just a midwives tale.”

I was telling jokes whilst pushing a baby out. It was neat.

Once she ran back inside-it was time.

The contractions came and I pushed. After a few I became pretty exhausted from giving my all. My husband was there with a wet cloth on my neck and rubbing my back and it felt heavenly.

Very soon I felt like I had accomplished something, I could feel the head down there but every time it would go back to where it was before. I imagine that’s normal so it can stretch everything out accordingly but it was still frustrating.

I pushed again, and then again and I was amazed – how big could this head be?!

Finally the head came out and I felt like I could take a nap. I pushed again, thinking the rest would just slip out.. that wasn’t the case. I had a few more pushes and then finally, I was done!

I flipped around and pulled the baby close. It was all slippery and warm. I remember seeing those eyes...just looking all over, studying everything going on.

The first words I said, “That was a lot of work.” Very matter-of-factly.

My midwife checked if I needed any stitches, but I didn’t any. We sat there for awhile waiting for the cord to stop pulsating and I breastfed a little.

We still didn’t know if the baby was a boy or girl. I had asked my husband to look but he insisted I take the first peek. I looked and looked at him. I told him it was another girlie!

I was so happy – I had my natural birth, my husband, my home, and my second little girlie and we were all healthy.

I took a long warm bath following while she got weighed and checked. We called my husband’s mom to bring Elizabeth back home. She was surprised how quick everything went.

I laid down in my bed with my little girls and my husband and there was nothing more needed.  

"You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience
in which you really stop and look fear in the face."
Eleanor Roosevelt