Inspiring natural, happy, healthy families!

A Prayer for My Children January 24, 2011

Filed under: Raising Little People — My Natural Family @ 7:14 pm

I was thinking the other day about a conversation my mom and I had a few years ago.  She was telling me about how she got pregnant with my brother at the age of 35, and back in 1988 this apparently was seen as a threat to the livelihood of the baby since my mom had conceived at “such an old age.”  Her doctor, without blinking an eye, recommended she terminate the pregnancy since there was a high risk of the child being born with Down-Syndrome.  “And your insurance will cover the entire cost since the choice to terminate is to save a baby from being born with a disability.” 

I can see the memory of that event unfolding in my mother’s eyes.  They filled with tears as she recounted going home that day and being left with the responsibility of deciding the fate of her child’s life.  After hours of praying and talking with my dad, she called her doctor and said firmly, “I’ve decided I’m going to keep the baby.  Thank you for your concern, but if it does have Down-Syndrome…well then that’s just a bridge we’ll cross when we get to it.”

My brother Brandon was born December 25, 1988, with no sign of any “disability” whatsoever.  The beauty of it is, though, that my mother would have loved him just the same if he had.  My heart breaks at the idea of him not being here with us because he might not have lived up to our society’s standards of worth.  My mom made the decision that a child is a gift, no matter what.  The thought process that “if a life isn’t ‘normal’ it isn’t valuable” just didn’t fly with her.  Inspired by my mom and her strength, I wrote a little prayer dedicated to any soon-be-parents.

A Prayer For My Children

Lord, please let my children grow to not be just like me, but better than me.

May they be a person who spends less time worrying and more time celebrating;  more time loving and less time judging.

May they be the kid who can tell who in their class is lonely and sad, and be a friend to them even if it’s uncool.

May they be the one who sees the beauty in others even when no one else can.

May they be a believer, committed to the idea that they are capable, strong, lovely, and valuable even when others want to make them think they aren’t.

May they be a dreamer who is never afraid to create, even with the knowledge that others may want to destroy.

May they be courageous enough to follow their heart’s desire, even if it is not what I desire for them.

May they be an innovative soul who views mistakes as blessings and opportunities instead of failures.

May they be healthy, with an able body and mind, capable of conquering life’s greatest challenges

My biggest hope, Lord, is for me:  that I will love my children with my whole heart, just as You made them.  Even if they are none of these things.


“The Art of Cloth Diapering” or “I Need to Wash it How Many Times?!” January 17, 2011

Filed under: Fluff Stuff & All Things Cloth — My Natural Family @ 10:46 pm

Hello World!  Here we are, starting a blog for circle ME, a store that’s all about inspiring happy, healthy, natural families.  We could not be more pumped. 

Although the phrase “natural family” may initially prompt images of too much granola and not enough deodorant, the truth of the matter is that people from all walks of life (and all philosophies of personal hygiene) can enjoy choices that leave little impact on the earth and have a great impact on their community.  Natural families make the conscious decision to avoid products that refuse to decompose in land fills and support ones that can be reused and recycled.  And no, once you make the decision to go au naturale it doesn’t mean that you will never again use a plastic water bottle (because you will) or only ride your bike everywhere (because you won’t).   You’ll just use less of the things that don’t benefit the earth and more that do.

Perhaps we should start with a topic that is near and dear to our hearts here at circle ME: cloth diapers!  (It’s pretty much “our thing”).

I’ll admit it: cloth diapers freaked me out at one point.  When a long-time friend of mine told me she would be using only cloth diapers for her soon-to-be newborn son, I immediately questioned her sanity.  She made a name for herself as an eco-conscious, earth-loving Californian and we all loved her for it, but I felt like this was taking it a bit far.  I envisioned layered sheets of cotton fastened hastily with clothing pins, and a haggard version of my friend frantically washing one poop-stained piece of cloth after another.  An overly dramatic conclusion, perhaps, but I mean come on!  Who would use cloth diapers when the convenience of disposable diapers was available?  Did they even work? 

Well readers, after working at circle ME and taking part in some extensive research, I can tell you exactly who uses cloth diapers: mothers and fathers who don’t want their babies’ tushes to be surrounded by chemical-infused material, who want to inspire their babies to potty train at an earlier age, who want to save money (and we’re talking thousands here), and who don’t want to contribute to unGodly amounts of non-decomposable waste.  And yes, they do work, quite well in fact.  
Let’s be honest here, initially there is a bit of work that goes into becoming a cloth-diaper family.  You’re supposed to wash each diaper 5 to 10 times before you even use them to get rid of any chemicals and increase their absorbency.  You also need to educate yourself on the best way to wash the diapers before and after their use.  Between the amounts of detergent, vinegar, hot water, cold water, and suggested soaking times this can get pretty daunting for cloth novices. Some fear that not just being able to throw away a diaper will require them to be more hands on with their child’s doody then they would care to be.  The upfront cost of all the cloth diapers you’ll need, as well as other necessities such as covers, doublers, inserts, wipes, etc. can seem overwhelming and frighteningly expensive.
What’s that you say?  I’m making the idea of cloth diapering even less appealing than before?  Fear not parents: these introductory challenges become second nature after time, and you and your family will eventually develop your own tride-and-true methods for caring for your baby and their cloth-covered bum.  You’ll discover different brands that fit your baby the best and which styles keep nighttime leaks at bay.  You’ll see how easy it is to change your baby’s pocket style diaper or all-in-one without coming in contact with any poo whatsoever.  You’ll jump for joy as your simple prefolds morph from a diaper to an insert to a burp cloth to a super absorbent cleaning rag.  You’ll exhale a sigh of relief as you come to realize just how much money you are saving: your friend has spent well over 2,000 dollars on disposables for her three-year old and is preparing to do the same with the baby that’s on the way, and you’ve spent a total of 800 dollars on all the diapers you need for all three of your kids (it could have been less, but you just couldn’t decide between the different Bum Genius prints)!  Best of all, you’ll feel so good knowing that your choice to go cloth is helping the environment.  Remember: we didn’t inherit this earth from our parents, we are borrowing it from our childrenTake care of it for them.  Oh, and lastly (but perhaps most importantly) it’s a scientific fact that cloth diapers are ADORABLE.
So there it is, a sampling of the reasons why cloth diapers rock.  What ways do you and your family show some love to Mother Earth?  What would you like to start doing?