SortaCrunchy has moved!

Hello! I am so glad you found me. Let me point you in the direction of SortaCrunchy's new home at Typepad:

Come see me there!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

SortaWhat? Part Two

Wow, I will tell you what . . . There is nothing like being out of town for the better part of a week to allow a mama to see how much she does around the house on a daily basis! D and I got home Friday night and I am just now climbing out from under the piles of laundry and dust bunnies.

(And on that note, I am so terribly, TERRIBLY behind on my blog reading. Reading the blogs of both my friends and the amazing women whom I have "met" in the blogosphere is such an important part of my day. I am suffering from tremendous blogger guilt and frustration in not being able to read and comment as much as I would like to, and Google Reader is just taunting me by reminding me I have 100+ posts to peruse! Anyway, soon and very soon I will be back in the swing of things.)

So to continue the conversation on why I choose to identify myself as "sort of" crunchy (yep, Katherine, as in granola-y . . . mmmmmmm, granola . . .), I am just going to outline the natural family living (NFL for short, but not the kind of NFL your man wants you to appreciate) practices that are an important part of my life.

Natural Family Living Philosophies/Beliefs I practice:

* child-led weaning
I used to say "extended breastfeeding," but I have taken a step away from that term for now. Breastfeeding advocacy is very important to me, but at the same time, I want to emphasize that I believe in a mutual weaning process. I have friends online and in my community whose babies simply would have nothing more to do with the breast after nine months or six months or some age earlier than a year old. In these cases, the breastfeeding mother would have loved to have practiced "extended breastfeeding" (general term for breastfeeding past a year), but saw the need to balance her desire to breastfeed with her desire to respect and follow her baby's desires.

I found that Kellymom was a great place to start in researching common questions and concerns regarding breastfeeding past infancy.

* cloth diapering
I have a ton of posts about cloth diapering which you could easily access through my Blogger tags. When it comes down to it, I love cloth diapering because I think it is best for the environment, best for baby's skin, and definitely best in overall cuteness. :)

* babywearing
Although that particular "label" may be new to some, the art of wearing a baby is as old as time. You've no doubt seen mainstream versions of babywearing in the form of Baby Bjorn and New Native carriers, but those carriers are just the very tippy-top of the babywearing iceberg.

I had toyed with idea of buying a carrier before D was born; I had no idea the high-needs baby about to be delivered to me would make it a necessity rather than luxury to have some kind of device by which to keep her on me for the majority of the day. I have worn D in ring slings, pouch slings, Mei Teis (Asian Baby Carriers), and my personal favorite for toddlerhood - the Ergo.

TheBabywearer.Com offers a vast array of babywearing information. These articles say it all much better than I ever could!

* emphasis on whole foods (organic when possible)
I feel guilty even mentioning this because pregnancy triggers within me non-stop cravings for junk! and sugar! and junk! and comfort foods! and junk!

But in my normal, non-pregnant life, I try to make the healthiest cooking and eating choices available to me and my family. Last summer, The Coach and I went vegetarian for a while and really enjoyed the change. D is a born vegetarian (seriously, the only meat the child will eat is turkey lunch meat and corn dogs from Sonic *red-face*). We love to shop the local farmers' market and are thankful we don't live near enough to a Whole Foods Market to shop there because we manage to spend astronomical amounts of money on each visit to that holy mecca.

* shared sleep (co-sleeping)
EDITED - It wasn't until I went upstairs to lay down with D for a nap that I remembered that we also practice shared sleep!
We never intended to be co-sleepers, but again, it was one of those things that just sort of happened. Now I cannot wait for Little Sister to be here so we can snuggle a wee one between us in bed again. Big Sister sleeps in her crib full-time now (well, with the rare exception - like last night when a bad dream awakened her and her daddy said, "Just let her sleep with us . . ."), so I miss that snuggle time at night.

The Sears site has some great information (including VERY important safety tips) on co-sleeping.

* Attachment Parenting
One need not practice NFL in order to practice Attachment Parenting, but by and large, the same parents who are drawn to natural living also find they connect with the Attachment Parenting philosophy. I will not try to reinvent the wheel here on what AP is. A great deal of information is available at including What Attachment Parenting Is and What It Is Not. Some time ago, I also shared how it came to be that Attachment Parenting chose me.

Natural Family Living Philosophies/Beliefs I Do Not Practice (or Why I Am Not One Hundred Percent Crunchy)

At this point in time, we believe we are led to send our children to public schools. There are many in the NFL community who choose to homeschool for a variety of reasons. The Coach and I feel a special call to have our children in public schools, but we are open to whatever God leads us to do at any given time for any of our children.

Also at this time, if we are blessed with a son, we will choose to have him circumcised. This is very unusual in the NFL community as a whole, but it is an issue about which The Coach holds strong feelings and I am at peace in following his leadership in this area.

D has been vaccinated on schedule. You will find many families who practice natural living choose not to vaccinate their children. After much discussion and thoughtful consideration, we feel vaccinating is a good choice for us at this time. The two of us are currently in negotiations over whether or not Little Sister will be vaxed on schedule. I would like to follow a delayed vax schedule, but that is not set in stone yet.

Finally, as I have recently talked about, I am choosing an elective repeat c-section for Little Sister's delivery. As much as I fully support and strongly believe in the beauty and power of a natural vaginal delivery, there are factors that complicate and muddy my situation that have turned what could be a black-and-white issue into a big gray area for me.

So there ya have it! A fairly concise picture of me straddling the fence between crunchy and mainstream. Thankfully I am not posting an actual picture of me straddling anything! My big ol' pregnant self does not need to be shown straddling anything at this moment in time.

That reminds me, I think I owe ya'll a belly shot . . . no fences. I promise.