Cardboard Box Office blog is a creation of Photo shoots of a family that has recently moved to a new country. I believe they went from New Zealand to Australia. Lilly, Leon, & (baby) Orson are having some mad fun and they are giving you a peek into there world thru photos.
I highly recommend you join them on their weekly postings.
“But I am happy when I see the colors of the threads in my hands. This is also a kind of recreational activity for me. When we sit together all of us and embroider the pieces we sing folk songs and our children play in the courtyard, we don’t need any other entertainment in our life.”
They sell tapestry’s, bedspreads, pillows and more made by artisans and craftsmen from India. It is a good place to shop for presents for loved ones as it supports mothers and children in small villages. Check them out here http://www.eyesofindia.com/ I often find myself in large corporate shops buying everyday items, dish soap and storage bins come to mind, and I am trying to change this to support more individuals.
One of my favorite pieces I bought from them was two tapestry’s made from antique hand beaded wedding dresses. It was a collage of many dresses. I can stare at it for quite a while with my mind thinking about all the time and patience and love that went into each stitch and placing each bead and then the women wearing it on her wedding day.
Do you have a favorite place you shop to support mothers and their families?
How many of you are lucky enough to have a child in your life?
For 30 years I woke up almost every day with a child physically present in my life.
My children are still in my life buy the closest lives three hours away.
Here is my life now:
After drumming and dancing for a few hours in my neighborhood park, I was walking back to my house with four various size hoola hoops slung around my neck and side. I’m happily taking each step, feeling content, but sometimes noticing the stares coming from passing cars. I suddenly flash on how much I would make sense to people if I had a string of children following me.
This was an easy task to accomplish over the years. I took it for granted that children would always follow me, always be around wondering what I was doing and eagerly wanting to come along.
I must confess that when I left the house I did not look around to see if anyone wanted to go with me. I am pretty independent and go when and where I want to go. I am also coherent enough to know there is no one in my house to ask anyway. I have not completely ‘lost it’ is what I am saying. But you would think that after 30 years it would feel a bit weird to go play in the park childless.
Most the time I do really well but at that moment, walking from a park with hoops slung on my body, moccasins on my feet, wearing my bright pink cut-up tee shirt, and people staring out their car windows looking for my lost kiddies, I felt the loss of children from my life.
My daughter brought back that shirt from her trip to Cambodia three years ago. It has a beautiful elephant on the front to remind me that she took care of an elephant for a week. She was so excited to give me the shirt but it was tiny and I was 20 pounds heavier. Determined to make the shirt work for me, I looked at tutorials on the computer and with scissors in hand, made my mark on the back, a heart. Still no bigger…so added side cuts…a little better so finished the sleeves with cute slits too.
I put this shirt on this morning cause I was missing her, now here it is, eight thirty at night, and my mind returns to her.
My mind takes me back in time about 15 years. My daughter and I are walking down our dirt road with a little girl Raina’s age, about five, and her mama who both live in our downstairs rental apartment. We are walking the mile long path that leads to a country store called ‘Love City Groceries’. Love City is the nickname of this Caribbean island called St John. Talking and walking in the hot summer sun, shaded occasionally with large Tamarind tress, we will soon reach the main dirt road. We see a donkey up ahead and think nothing of it. They are wild all over the island. The girls are ahead of us about twenty five feet. They pass the donkey but he starts to follow them. He seems to be showing strong interest in my daughter. She panics and starts to run, the donkey runs, I run, Raina’s little friends mama starts to run. Raina is screaming, I am screaming “Get”, Raina’s little friend’s mama is screaming “Get, Get out of here!” with her hands in punching mode. We are gaining on them, just like the donkey is gaining on my daughter. The donkey dips his head down and with his giant nostrils, he knocks my little girl onto the ground. I am ready to kill this donkey. I see that the other mama is ready to kill this donkey. In slow motion, this giant four legged hoofed monster takes another step toward my baby who is now helpless on the ground. Both mama’s are very close to this monster but not close enough. He walks over her…but does not touch her. No longer in slow motion, he runs away. I pick my little girl up who now has two holes in her polka dot stretch pants along with two dusty skinned knees. She is safe, we all are safe. I get her to laugh when I remind her what a story we have to tell her brothers when we get back home.
And when I get back home from my walk in the park, the only one I have to tell my story to is my computer. Thankfully, I have my computer.
So be grateful to walk with your children. When you just want a moment to finish telling your stories of the day to your friend who is walking with you and all your children combined, and you’re two minute story ends up being 15 minutes with all the “mom-look-at-this” or “mom-watch-me”s”, remember my story of how quickly it all disappears.
Remember that every moment for the rest of your life has a past, present and future to it. Be fully present to the moment at hand, don’t wish it away, no wishes are necessary, time is like a giant tidal wave and grabs everything in the present moment and quickly carries it to the past. Reminisce for a moment, dream for a moment and be grateful for this moment for it carries you to the next.
Be grateful for those children, for you brought them to this moment~~you carry them with you to the next.
Does anyone else do this? Set up an office in every inch of your living space?
Basic office needs: purse with credit cards to pay bills. Magnifying glasses to see. Bills, and Fresh smoothie made with organic froxen strawberries, bannanas, and sweet cheeries, coconut milk and almond milk. that’s it. Nothing else. Opps, I forgot…computor.
•♫ ♪♫•”Earth my body, water my blood, air my breath and fire my spirit.” •♫ ♪♫•
Squatting with fingers touching the earth, the baby-belly mama rises while cradling her arms in a rocking motion, moving hands in swirling motions near her throat chakra, clapping the right hand reaching to the sky, all the while chanting, “Earth my body, water my blood, air my breath and fire my spirit.”
A birthing woman is sitting under the stars, breathing air that connects her to the earth and sky, intuitively knowing the bodies blood-water connects her to the fetus that is laboring along with her, and trusting both baby and mother spirit to fuel the fire needed to endure the path to delivery. The mother rocks her body, moving through light contractions. The wave of intensity is building, building–till the pushing urge is so strong that all her focus moves her body to bears down, moving her baby gently into the world to share the earth’s breath. The never ending spiral of life~creating more spirals.
In a perfect world.
Which does exist.
The world of birth compares to the world of snowflakes.
“Wow really?” you may ask, “in what way?”
Simply in that no two are alike. This variable state creates the unexpected. The unexpected at times creates unwanted results, these results can cultivate future fear. This often leads to controlling Birth to get a more satisfactory result. This control contradicts the natural birthing process. Control interrupts the innate rhythmic flow of a birthing body.
This forced flow will still produce the birth of a baby. This forced flow can, at times, save the life of a baby.
But there has been great loss in this process of forced birth.
If you look at numbers, the lives saved by intervention is not equal to the lives lost. The United States has one of the worst infant mortality rates for an industrialized country. The cesarean rate is out of control. Just look at the world health organization for your statistics. The facts are easily found once you question the process.
If the facts are so easily found then why are so many robotically moving toward controlled birth?
Simple…Fear rules over facts. The majority will not even question the safety of what they are being told is normal and safe. They will simply do what everyone else is doing. If they do question their doctor, they are told that all these interventions make it safer for the baby and them.
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.
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.”
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.
These are the helpful bacteria in your body. You find it naturally in yogurt, kefir, buttermilk, miso, kombucha, sauerkraut and kimchi.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
Things like this don’t come along that often. A play about Birth from eight completely different women’s perspectives. I’ve been attending the rehearsals because I will be doing background sounds along with two other women, Christar and Sakura. We are drumming with our djembe’s along with some flute and shakers.
Pregnancy is a time for strength. Birth is a time of surrender. Mothering becomes a time to ebb and flow between strength and surrender as if both energies are locked into an infinity symbol.
Strength is needed to care for your body and the baby. Surrender is needed to give yourself completely to a new life with a new being in it. Surrender to letting go of things that once seemed important and strength to adjust to whats is important now.
When you nurse your baby, surrender is necessary, but not the same type of surrender that was needed in labor. This surrender is letting go of all distractions and focusing in on you and your baby and the connection that is growing.
The first few weeks with your baby compares to meditating. When you meditate, you focus in on one sound, and when many thoughts come into your mind, you greet them and then send them on their way and go back to that one sound.
Be with your newborn the same as you sit with your meditation. You may think of a client you forgot to call or a dish that needs washed but to get the most out of this moment it would be best to focus in on the skin to skin contact, the breath being shared between mother and child, how that breath creates a movement between the two of you. Be present with this moment, be fully present. This moment passes so quickly and can never be recaptured. A dish can always be washed, a client can always be called but this moment when a being reaches the earth is a once in a life time moment. Literally. Everything is new for its little baby body, lots of adjusting for both mother and child.
For some mothers it may be overwhelming to care for such an important being. The exhaustion of labor and birth are overwhelming. The body has often maxed out all its reserves in the strength department. It may feel as if your baby is pulling more energy out of your body every time they nurse. More energy than you think you can spare.
When the baby latches on to your nipple to nurse it stimulates oxytocin. Oxytocin causes the uterus to contract. A contracted uterus is a good thing for a mother. It helps to stop the flow of blood coming from the uterus by squeezing the ends of blood vessels that once connected to the placenta. It also helps the uterus go back to it’s original size.
So you see the baby is helping you get your energy back. Think of it like this: The baby’s lips on your breast are like you plugging in your cell phone to recharge the phone. You may think you are the only one giving out the electricity juice but the baby is actually giving lots of juice back to you, contracting your uterus and giving you the ultimate energy, letting you receive all that baby love. No other love is purer than a baby new to this earth bringing all that fresh innocent love into your life.
Once again it all goes back to the infinity sign. The figure eight; one circle being the mother, the other the child. The baby is giving and receiving and the mother is giving and receiving. What a gift.