Are You Seeing the Bluebonnets or the Cactus?

BluebonnetsOrCactus

Not a native Texan, I learned about the beloved state flower of Texas, the bluebonnet, when I moved here. I fell in love with the bluebonnets once I had children – and learned about the Texas tradition of taking photos in bluebonnets. Loving photography as I do, this was an easy tradition to adopt and I eagerly await the three weeks each year when bluebonnets are in bloom.

Our Bluebonnet pictures over the years

Our bluebonnet pictures over the years

As I was driving through the Texas countryside a few weeks ago I found myself ‘oohing’ and ‘aaahing’ at all the little patches of bluebonnets springing up along the side of the road. My parents (who were visiting from out of state) were driving behind me and when we reached our destination the first thing I asked them was, “Did you see all the bluebonnets along the road?” They have seen my bluebonnet photos and are aware of the tradition and I was excited they could actually seem them in bloom in person.

“No, we didn’t. But we did see the cactus,” was my mom’s reply.

Huh. I didn’t see any cactus. How could two people driving along the same road see different things? Continue reading

Subtle Sabotage: Common Insensitive Words You Use and More Mindful Alternatives

As you may have heard in the media recently, Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, wants to ban the word “bossy”, saying we should instead say those girls are leaders (as she specifically speaks of). Without getting into the debate on that topic specifically, I do think she has a point on a larger scale – we need to be more mindful of the words we use and their possible effect on those to whom we speak.

I believe being mindful about our speech is important in all aspects of life. When communicating, sometimes the better option is more mindful words or no words at all (remain silent).

I’ve noticed some common insensitive words or phrases that may be subtly sabotaging women at vulnerable times of their lives (pregnancy, childbirth, newborns, and babies). You probably use most of these words and don’t think twice about it. I’d love for you to read the list with an open mind.

I’ve also included a list of better, more mindful alternatives. As you read these words, try to visualize how it feels to hear each set of words.

1. Overdue vs. Post Date

During pregnancy an estimated delivery date, or “due date”, for the baby is calculated. IMG_6590_bwWhile only four percent of women will deliver on their due date, it is quite common for people to consider the due date some sort of absolute, final day. There seems to be much fear and anxiety about approaching the due date and even more so about going past it.  If a pregnant woman goes past her estimated due date many people, including health care practitioners, use the term “overdue” to refer to either the woman or the pregnancy.

The problem: When used to describe a woman’s pregnancy, “overdue” can seem judgmental and can infer that something is “wrong” or not as it should be, that “something should have happened by now” – and that some action must be taken. When used to describe a pregnant woman (i.e. she’s overdue, I’m overdue) it can cause undue stress to the mother, with her possibly thinking she is doing something wrong.

Continue reading

Change a Diaper, Change the World: How gDiapers is Helping Hands to Hearts International

I didn’t know you knew each other?! And look how great you are together!

That’s how I felt when two of my “friends” – earth-friendly diaper company gDiapers and non-profit organization Hands to Hearts International (HHI) – got together recently. gDiapers recently launched its new Love Me collection and will donate a portion of proceeds from the purchase of Love Me gPants and tees to support HHI’s life-changing work.

Love Me collection, tee and gPant

Love Me collection, tee and gPant

I’d like you to meet my friends and hear more about their awesome joint venture. It’s all about helping women, children, and the planet. It’s all about LOVE!

gDiapers

For those who aren’t familiar, gdiapers are reusable diaper covers with disposable or cloth inserts. The reusable diaper covers (gPants) come in many fun colors and several sizes. The disposable diaper insert can be flushed, composted (wet ones only), or tossed. We used gDiapers for our son and loved them! Check out these pics of our son as a baby in gDiapers (he’s now almost 7!):

G modeling the Grassroots Green g diaper, circa 2007

G modeling the Grassroots Green g diaper, circa April 2007

Hands to Hearts International – Nurturing Children, Empowering Women

We have been supporting Hands to Hearts International for years. HHI is a non-profit organization that works with orphanages around the world and is dedicated to training and empowering caregivers to better the health and overall development of the world’s most vulnerable children, in their earliest years.

  • Empowering women: HHI trains and certifies local leaders, fluent in their language and culture, to lead the HHI training for caregivers. This gives women an opportunity to actively contribute to their communities as well as empowering and valuing the caregivers.
  • Nurturing children: Caregivers are trained in early childhood development and nurturing parenting skills. They also emphasize the importance of love, bonding, and attachment.

5 Reasons to Buy the New gDiapers Love Me gPants and Tees:

1. Support Hands to Hearts International

This small non-profit organization is really compassion and love in action. To date, Hands to Hearts International has trained more than 42,000 caregivers in early childhood development and nurturing parenting skills, positively impacting more than 144,300 babies internationally. HHI has worked in India, Russia, Uganda, Swaziland, and the United States.

Many of the children Hands to Hearts International benefits are orphans who suffer a complete lack of emotional care. Teaching essential bonding and affection in the earliest years is preventive, which is much more cost-effective than trying to deal with the negative health and mental health traumas later in life.

2. Help the Environment Continue reading

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