Category Archives: Family

Summer Plans

I just read a fantastic post about saving money in the summer at Make It Missoula and thought I’d share some of my own tried and true activities in the summer as well as tell you what’s going on with my Missoula family!

  • Farmers’ Market!  It’s an outing that we all enjoy and can be as inexpensive as free!  We always run into friends, and my 6 year old loves the trains, the Xs, climbing the tree, and running ‘the circle.’  She’s getting her twin 20 month olds in the groove too.
  • Parson’s Ponies!  Seriously, this is such a great deal, and if you have a horse lover like I do, it’s like required or something.  They’re often out and about town including the Sunday market.
  • The Best Backyard in Missoula!  My friends have spoken, and I win.  We’re always out playing and enjoying the garden.  One of the twins was picking dandelion heads for about a 1/2 hour yesterday while her sister napped, her big sister played, her dad mowed, and I gardened.  We also like to have friends over for chillin’ n grillin’.
  • Splash Decks!  They’re free.  They’re fun.  They’re wet.  And they’re in Missoula.  Need I say more?
  • Hiking!  Even at my advanced pregnant stage, there are hikes I can do.  And there are hikes your little ones can do.  My favorite hike is Waterworks (especially when I’m pregnant, out of shape, and/or wearing a kid).  We also like to hike on Blue Mountain because it’s dog friendly and can take as long or as short as necessary.

Our summer projects & plans:

  • Home and yard ‘tweaking’ projects like widening the walkway between the house and the garden in back, pulling out the stove (placement is horrid & it’s not safe for our young family anyway) and replacing it with french doors to the back deck, updating the front porch with railing (done!), new paint (umm…), & new shrubs (instead of the hideous arborvitae blockade)
  • Baby cookin’ and birthin’ – homestyle version at the end of June or beginning of July
  • Recital planning – I’m giving a joint recital in the early Fall, so I should try to get that planned before #4 arrives
  • Family – Dad is coming for Memorial Day; MIL is coming in June; Mom is coming in July; who knows who’ll show up in August
  • August weddings!
  • August baptism for the newborn & the twins!
  • Perhaps a couple of summer camps for the 6 year old – MCT, Clark Fork, & PEAS are high on our list!

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Heads Up Campaign: Infant Mortality Awareness Month

September is Infant Mortality Awareness Month.  I recently discovered that 70 babies in Montana die before their 1st birthday each year.   The leading causes include problems in the perinatal period, sudden infant death syndrome, congenital anomalies, and causes with unknown origins.  The 2006 Montana infant mortality rate was 5.8 per 1,000.  The national rate was 6.7.  [1] 

To increase awareness about local and national infant mortality trends, the International Center for Traditional Childbearing (ICTC) is spear-heading a baby hat knit/crochet campain.  Here is the notice I received:


Healthy Babies Are Everyone’s Business and I know that you care.

In 2008, over 27, 600 infant died before age one, most of the deaths were preventable. Monroe, president and founder of ICTC said, “factors that contribute to the higher rates of infant deaths include: premature births, low-birth weight, poverty, mis-education about proper food choices, poor pre-conception health, late prenatal care (beginning prenatal care late in the 2nd trimester,) less than 5 prenatal visits, high blood pressure (causing restricted blood flow to the placenta) and hypertension formally referred to as pre-eclampsia, SIDS, failure to thrive syndrome and accidents”.

ICTC is asking every able body to join us in knitting or crocheting at least ten infant hats and sending them to the ICTC State Representative in your state by September 15th. The ICTC State Representatives are listed on WWW.ICTCMIDWIVES.ORG, or you can send them to the national at ICTC PO Box 11923, Portland, OR 97211.

The hats will be displayed at an infant mortality awareness rally in the week of September 26th. At the end of the public awareness project the hats will be given to infants as “Going Home” gifts when they leave the local NICU units. What a comforting gift to an ill baby and support to worried parents. By participating in the “Heads Up” Campaign, we can increase awareness about the causes of infant mortality and then create the solutions to reduce infant deaths.

The International Center for Traditional Childbearing (ICTC) is an international organization established in 1991, and head quartered in Portland, Oregon. It is an infant mortality prevention, breastfeeding promotion and midwife training organization. The mission is to increase the number black midwives, doulas, and healers, to empower families, in order to reduce maternal and infant mortality. ICTC educates on the causes of infant mortality and provides solutions through education, direct services and training midwives and Full Circle Doula Birth Companion Training.

This campaign is being co-sponsored by Birthing Hands of DC and other supporters.

To learn more visit http://www.ICTCMIDWIVES.ORG or call 503.460.9324

As I indicated on my advocacy blog, the Trial of Labor, I didn’t actually find more info about this via the ICTC website.  However, Birthing Hands of DC has info on their site as well as links to easier patterns that you can knit and crochet, even a 10-minute preemie hat.

And I know that you have 10 minutes to make a hat for this wonderful cause!!!


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How Am I Related?

Sometimes I wonder how it is that I’m related to my family members.  First off, I’m a Capricorn, and both of my parents and my only sibling (my brother) are Leos.  That’s one of my least compatible signs.  (How the heck did that happen?!)  On the other hand, I look just like my mother.  No, I look just like my father.  Actually, I look like whichever one of them you think.  There’s no way a baby switch at the hospital justification will work.  No, some how I am related to them.

I used to be a Republican.  I wasn’t a good Republican, even back then, but still I thought Ronald Reagan was awesome.  I worked at the 1992 RNC for CNN, the Houston Host Committee, and the Bush-Quayle campaign.  But over the years I have become less Republican.  I’m sure my family members think I’m a liberal wacko, but oh I could be so much worse!

The other night we did a video chat with my family.  They were gathered at my brother’s home in Corpus Christi.  My folks were there and so were my sister-in-law’s parents.  We’ve razzed eachother from time to time about the election.  Anyway, at one point I turned the camera towards the other side of the room which revealed this poster of President Obama on our sideboard.

My brother promptly turns his webcam towards the TV, and they’re actually WATCHING O’Reilly.  I don’t watch any Fox news programs, mostly because I know there’s absolutely NO reason to expect balanced treatment of any politicized topic.  Most of my exposure to O’Reilly has been admittedly through soundbites from other pundits.  So, it’s perhaps a bit unfair for me to judge him when I refuse to watch his shows based on the numerous nasty soundbites I’ve heard over the years.

I digress.  I was just floored that on a lovely Friday evening over Thanksgiving weekend, that my family was gathered around the boob toob watching such polemic horseshit.  Awww, family togetherness and bonding with Bill O’Reilly.  <shudder>

Remind me again, how am I related to these people?

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