|Posted on July 18, 2013 at 12:55 AM||comments (0)|
More and more I learn that life is about balance. You have to mother yourself and you have to do that first. A lot of the time, people operate from this place of having to get stuff done. I do this and feel stressed, and then get reminded in one way or another, to slow down for a minute. Each and every time I follow that reminder and sit down I am more productive after I take that moment to be calm. More importantly I feel better, and generally whomever is around me feels better, and more taken care of with a calm April, than they did with the manic one who was getting everything done.
Somehow I became the mother of a three year old. She teaches me more about balance every day than I had learned in my whole life until she was born. She is the first to tell me to sit down, to hold her and just be. I am drawn to doing what she suggests because she is right. We switch off in roles of who is mothering who in sublte ways.
I also learn this lesson of balance from watching my partner and a few of my close friends. I try to pay attention to what they do that I could do better.
This is my version of balance. Taking care of me, mothering me, so that when there is toddler screaming, I dont revert back to the child self that was screamed at. Looking at how my reaction to things says more about me, than it says about the situation. I have started to notice and bounce these ideas about balance around in my head a little bit and I realize that this is about health too. This is the place where my personal and professional life collide.
You have to take care of yourself better when you are a caregiver for anyone else. To be the strongest and most healthfully vibrant you can be, you cannot ignore your physical, mental or spiritual health. A friend of mine, Trina, sings a song that serves as a great reminder of this balance/health/mothering lesson.
Here are some of the lyrics from the song
Go here to hear it: http://trinabrunk.bandcamp.com/track/who-teaches-the-teacher
who teaches the teacher?
who opens the eyes
to whom do I go when I’m hoping to show
how to walk in a way that is wise?
who mothers the mother
when the days are so long?
who strengthens my pace when I’m holding the space
for generations to come?
back to your source
there’s just one force
in all we are looking for
deep in the heart
just open the door
back to your source
there’s just one force
in all we are looking for
deep in the heart
just open the door
who heals the healer,
who fills the well?
my soul knows the answers
when I listen she tells
I can search the whole world from mountain to sea
but she brings me back home again to me
So I am going to listen to this song and remember to take care of myself. The world deserves that.
http://www.trinabrunk.com/ go here to learn about Trina!
|Posted on April 21, 2013 at 11:25 PM||comments (0)|
You have the genius friend of mine Carole to thank for this post. We were chatting about creating an emergency bag to have ready to go when you need it. We discussed how always having a packed diaper bag ready to go is one way to make this happen but also that, that is sort of for a minor emergency. What do you do with a little ones in the house when there is a tornado or a fire? Or something worse and it benefits you to have items they need ready to go.
This post is meant to help you feel safer by being prepared. When you have things ready to go in case of an emergency that is one less thing to worry about. Below are some links to get you started in making a plan that best suits your family. Of course lots of things you might prepare would be related to where you live since emergencies can be associated with weather. Browse around and see what you find.
After the links I am giving you some insight as to what my family does to prepare. Please feel free to use ideas that work for your family from what I present here.
Here is a picture of the large backpack we have packed for my family of 3(two adults/1toddler). In addition to this bag we discuss where to go in the event of a tornado and in other scenarios related to safety.
This backpack contains: Diapers, wipes, non-pershable food items water, and a can opener, a pocket knife, a whistle, small blankets, toys/clothes, glow sticks, flashlight, am/fm radio, rain poncho and an emergency blanket.
It is important to note that kids grow out of clothes and toys. So make it a point to check the bag at least 3 times a year to make sure everything is still right for your family. The same with the food, even canned goods go bad.
I hope you found this information helpful. Please discuss and ask questions!
|Posted on February 10, 2013 at 12:40 AM||comments (0)|
That's right! Now you can get all of our goodies vegan, gluten free and (by request) cane sugar/corn free. We even have some raw recipes.
So go ahead ask me to make you something!
My favorites since the transition:
Gluten free chocolate cupcakes
Raw raspberry cookie bars
Also worth noting: We now make our own vanilla extract, powdered sugar, almond flour and almond milk. So no extra preservatives for you because those items are now scratch made fresh.
How excited are you?
|Posted on November 16, 2012 at 1:35 AM||comments (2)|
This is my postpartum and breastfeeding story after the birth of my daughter Lucy
You were born 7/7/2010. You are now 28 months old. These memories of who I was in 2010 and the things that happened in our nursing relationship are starting to get a little hazy as I watch you grow. You change every day. I know I cant capture everything but I want the important stuff out there. Your birth, the whole breastfeeding story they are important. They have shaped every aspect of who I am personally, professionally, and spiritually.
After moving all of a us to postpartum room we had some time to just sit and look at you. And that is what we did. We didnt put any diapers or clothes on you. We just held you and decided we were the luckiest people on earth. We were elated for a long while. Estatic with the joy of this new life and the endorphin rush of bringing you earth side. Friends came to bring us food and we ate and they marveled with us.
We waited until we were in a stage of calm joy and then we decided to give you a bath. Both of us walked, an hour after your birth to the nursery where a nurse helped us bath you. We discovered that your hair was not as dark as we thought as the water rinsed through it. The pictures of this are great. We are so nervous/excited/proud/joyful it leaps off of the photos.
Sometime when we were alone again we began to realize how tired we were. Both of us perhaps slept 2 hours of the last 36. You were asleep. Hospital beds are not begin enough to even entertain the idea of putting you to sleep with us. We were so tired. Our night nurse came in to ask if we needed help and offered to take you to the nursery for 2 hours so we could sleep. We let her. We had no idea that there would be consequences to this for our family. And we were just so tired. At some point later I would realize that a postpartum doula would have saved us a lot of hassle.
When you came back to us you nursed and slept and at some point you were taken away again. We had no idea or were to tired to remember that we could ask for you to stay with us while whatever needed to be done, was done. We trusted the hospital staff, assuming whomever was there would be as good as the people we interated with during your labor. Our birth doula who was very pregnant, had gone home. We did not have family planned to help us out.
Odd things started to happen though. You came back from the nursery with a bow vaselined to your head. Nurses tried to get me to use sugar water to help you latch. I found formula in the cart underneath the rolling carrier they put you in. You started to choke on something every so often. We were having to suck fluid out of your mouth before you choked on it. I didnt know if these clues were related to the choking. We just knew something didnt really feel right.
We stayed in the hospital for two nights. We went home and wiated for my milk to come it. My milk came in almost a full five days after you were born. I had no idea that skin-to-skin contact would help it come in. I knew very little about the postpartum period. More friends brought us food and SOOOOOOOO many came to see and hold you. We loved that so many people loved you. But we had the realization again that we really didnt set up enough help to clean, to cook, to free me up to do the one thing I needed to do for you, nurse you. Your mom Heidi was so great at helping me. She brought me things, she cooked and cleaned, she bounced you through crying jags, burped you and changed your diaper. She was present for every appointment with the pediatrician, the OB, the dermotologist, the IBCLC, every WIC appointment. Every moment of every day she was not working, she was supporting us though whatever was happening.
All the while though I was starting to have some Mama panic. You were not gaining weight. At some point you were losing weight. Your pediatrician sent me to get an evaluation from a lactation consultant (we were so very lucky he supported us). We went to see Patt Stewart at Kilgores. Patt is the most gentle person you will ever meet. She is another inspiration for my work with new moms. Patt watched us nurse and checked your latch. She took notes about how you transfered milk. She gave me tips on how to increase my milk supply. You slowly but surely started to gain weight.
But it was still very slow and not really on the curve for your weight. So Patt reccommended we supplement. I WAS devastated. Here I had one thing to do and I couldnt do it! This was really a hard time for me. I cried every SINGLE time we gave you a bottle. We tried to use the SNS system given to us from Patt and had no luck with it. I did not want to give you formula. I happened to have a great friend who was awesome at pumping and had over 100 ounces of breastmilk in her deep freeze and a son who was weaning. She gave me the milk. We were able to give you bottles of her milk and bottles of a few other friends of mine and mom's that donated. You were still nursing. I tried to pump but contnually got a tablespoon from both breasts combined after a 15 minute pumping session. Patt taught me how to do breast compressions while nursing and pumping to keep the milk I did have flowing.
You nursed every 30 minutes for a LOOOOOOONg time. When we got two one or two hours in between a feed I thought I won the lottery. It wasnt until later that I found out some babies come out nursing that way! You knew better than I did that you needed to be close to my breasts and sucking to make me produce milk! You smart, sweet baby!
When you were a month old I recieved a call from my employer letting me know that I no longer had a job. There were budget cuts and even though myself and another employee who were let go had been reassured we would keep our jobs, that ended up not being true. So now I was faced with some extra stress and a decision about what to do. I think the start of my undiagnosed postpartum depression began here. The combination of nursing speed bumps and anxiety about employment made it pretty easy to head in that direction. I have a previous history of mild depression.
My decision was made really though. I would not put my one month old baby in daycare and look for work. I loved you too much to be separate from you. I got unemployment, I got on food stamps, an WIC. We made it work. I knew on some level that I needed time to process all this. I started going out for an hour alone to write and reflect. Your mom bounced, cuddled and fed you all through this time.
About this time were were still seeing Patt and I mentioned that I had pain on one nipple when you latched and that my nipple turned white after a feed. There had been some hypothesis about thrush when I mentioned pain but the moment I said it was turning white Patt knew it was something else. She told me about Reynauds disease and sent me to be officially diagnosed at the dermotologist.
The determotologist asked me about circulatory diseases history in my family. I wasnt aware of anything. She explained that Reynauds was a circulatory disease in which the skin in extremeties turns cold, white/blue, and numb. It is more of a nuisance that a health problem. She was able to prescribe me prescription blood pressure medicine (nefedipine) to control my bodies extreme response to the stimulation from nursing.(vasospasm). I went through two rounds of the medication before nursing was pain free.
But once their was no pain, watch out! I learned that the pain in my nipple was probably making it hard for me to let down milk. I learned that being separted from you after your birth contributed to but was probably not the cause of my low supply. It was the pain! For two months we had been supplementing you with donated milk and formula when that ran out. Through the help of supportive and people at WIC who encouraged me and PAtt and the new lactation nurse at Kilgores, Beth; I was able to stop giving you bottles all together. You were finally gaining enough weight from my milk. It would not be long after that that you would begin solids. I discovred I had other less noticable sypmtoms of Reynauds. This led to a lot of dietary changes for me and eventually giving up all forms of cane sugar completely.
I began to see the light out of my depression. I started to write an afterschool grant to try and make myself a full time job I could do from home, I started a cupcake business, and I started my work as a doula and a trainer. I decided that there was no WAY I was going to separate myself from you to go back to work. I was lucky that I had a partner who supported this. There were times we had NO money. But what we did have was our little family.
I began to see a spiritual path unfolding for myself that intersected with my professional work as a doula. Eventually I started my certification to be a postpartum doula. I was the first doula locally to do that. You were the light that brought me there Luce. I had no idea how much help I would need after your birth. I want to go back and be a postpartum doula for myself then.
I realize everyday how different I am from who I used to be. My entire self has changed. I thank you Lucy for seing and choosing me, the way I would be instead of the way I was. I am proud to be your mama.
You and I worked together through all that nursing stuff. It was hard for me to write about those hard times a little. Both because it was blurry and running together and also because it was sad and happy all at once. After that we had people tell us we couldnt nurse where we were, we had family and friends tell us it was weird. We lost parts of who we were. But I will tell you that's all for the better. The people that told us we couldnt nurse got a chuckle (and probably a little rage) because they had no idea what they were talking about. NONE! They had not been through what we had, and not a damn person was going to tell me I couldnt nurse you wherever I pleased! We lost people, that's true. But we totally gained the right people who were supposed to be in our lives. So I can thank those people who were in my life for a bit and then let them go. And the parts of ourselves we have gained in these 2 years are essential.
You are talking, walking, running, and keeping me on my toes all the time now. You still frequently ask for boobah's. And sometimes I dont WANNA. But then sometimes you go 10 hours and I am SAD. I got and lost another job, watched myself slowly emerge from depression to a totally new world and a totally new me. So that is how I know this nursing relationship is not over. You still need me for comfort, for warmth, for food, for reassurance. And I know that when it is gone I will miss it. So I am going to enjoy it now! When will we stop? When we are both done. And that's that.
I know I will change again. I know people will leave us, I know professions and everything else will change. I know someday you will not nurse, my little ball of light. But no matter what I will always love you, always comfort you. I will always be your assurance/comfort/warmth and surely will always provide you with food and what we co-created together(Heidi, April, Lucy, Gracie) OUR HOME!
love your mama April
|Posted on November 16, 2012 at 1:25 AM||comments (0)|
Life with Lucy Part 1
A detailed chronicle of the birth of may daughter Lucy. My inspiration for doula work comes from this story. Dont worry there is a part two and it is all about breastfeeding.
Originally written for facebook on June 25th 2011
Edited for this blog on November 16th 2012
The Story of your birth, my memories after the 1st year
Lucille Patricia Rodeghero-Shearer
The day before you were born (July 6th), I already knew I was dilated a little bit and 70% effaced from my last check up. You were head down and moving so much! I got a phone call from Dr. Amanda Rodeman telling me that there was an elevated protein level in my urine. This combined with my high and climbing blood pressure and visible swelling meant that I now had a diagnosis of pre-eclampsia. Dr. Rodeman wanted to induce labor with pitocin. Pre-eclampsia can be very scary. But the doctor knew I wanted a natural birth and to avoid pitocin if I could. She agreed to let me do some self induction methods while being monitored in the hospital for 24 hour before they would discuss moving to pitocin. Your mom Heidi and Susan your doula and I discussed it and decided that this seemed like the best compromise for keeping us safe and getting you here the way we wanted.
Susan said to take our time heading to the hospital and that she would meet us there. Your mom and I packed clothes, snacks, music, our birth plan, the breast pump and our wills and power of attorney forms (these were very important for us as a same sex couple). We then decided we would go to lunch. It was early (10:30 am) for lunch and options were limited so we chose a Culvers on the way to the hospital. Who knew you could get ice cream so early? After some comforting junk food we went to Columbia Regional Hospital (Now called Women and Children’s of Columbia).We checked in at the front desk and they led us to our room. We were starting to get so excited to meet you in person. The next 36 hours were spent doing many things to jumpstart labor and get settled in the hospital.
The doctor (love her) had specifically picked a shift with hospital staff working that were friendly to natural child birth. The nurses and doctors looked at my birth plan and were on board with everything except eating during labor (I did anyway). They told me to do whatever I needed to do. They gave me an IV that capped off so that I could move freely. They attached a monitor to my belly to sense contractions and listen to your heartbeat. I had them turn the volume down so it wasn’t distracting. I started to use the breast pump to keep contractions going. Sometime around here, Susan arrived. For awhile it was hard to be consistent because new people kept coming in the room. One of these people was the anesthesiologist. He explained that they wanted me to sign the permission forms for an epidural in advance, so that in case I wanted one I wouldn’t have to wait. He was actually very nice and asked me what I would do to manage labor. I explained some of the natural methods we were using and signed the form. I told him that with all due respect I hoped to never see him again. This made your mom and Susan laugh! Another visitor was the ultrasound tech; he wanted to make sure the baby was head down. Susan jumped up and reminded him we did not want to know your sex so to make sure to not tell us. I was so grateful for her at that moment!
I read for a little bit, a sci-fi novel from J. Heim. This book would be ¼ of the way done at the end of labor. Susan talked with me about double pumping and coached me to do 15 on and then 5 off. This proved to be a good pattern for me and kept the contractions going really well! I figured out how to read/pump simultaneously which would be good practice for later when you nursed (a lot) J. After pumping for a few hours they checked to see how dilation was going. I was at a 4! Hooray for breast pumps! I also started to notice a bit of colostrums while pumping. Susan kept reminding me that I was in charge and at one point disconnected the monitor for me so I could pee instead of waiting for a nurse. Your mom did everything in her power the whole labor to make sure I was supported and comforted.
Evening came and I had a popsicle provided by the hospital and a granola bar provided by the snacks we brought. All throughout labor I drank tons of water and munched on ice. I did not have any IV fluids at all. I got up and hallway walked a bit in between pumping. The early part of labor was filled with the 3 of us telling jokes, watching TV, reading (Susan read all of a book I brought), and texting family and friends. Some local friends, Anna and Demitri stopped by to see how things were going. They came back after you were born and brought us food. Anna held you ever before you had a bath or a diaper. I slept only for about 2 hours for most of the night. If I stopped pumping my contractions got way less consistent. But when I finally fell asleep I really needed it!
Sometime during the night the nurses changed shifts and my new nurse named Chrissy came. She ended up being the best nurse and a really important part of your birth team. Baby sweet I have to tell you, I think the doctors were getting nervous. They already knew I was assertive and strong with two really excellent support people. I think that they were worried I would be stubborn and not keep you safe. But eventually I think they understood that I would know what was happening and make conscious choices based on what I knew. I do not have blind faith in doctors, only in myself. I think that there was a reason I had you in the hospital naturally. All of my care providers needed to see it! Your mom told me later that all the nurses were talking about me and that Dr. R said she just knew I meant it when I said I could do it.
So at about 5 centimeters dilated I started to be able to tell I was having contractions without looking at the monitor. It was definitely pressure for me and not pain. Sometime that morning a new doctor came in. I am glad we only saw her that one time. She swept into the room, never made eye contact with me or your mom and started talking about “How about just a little pitocin”. I told her no, it hadn’t been 24 hours yet. She pushed it a little more. But we said no and she left. Your mom Heidi cried at this point. She was so pissed at the mentality of this doctor both because she did not respect us enough to make eye contact or glance at my birth plan and because she was a pitocin pusher. Susan talked us through it and Dr. R came in with Chrissy. I told her I did not want to see that doctor again. She never came back. Chrissy asked us at this point if we wanted less people checking on us. We said yes and she made it happen!
I was not dilating more after that (surprise, surprise) so pitocin was brought up again. I said no to it but asked about breaking my water to keep things moving. I wanted to go as natural as possible while keeping you safe. Breaking my water was an intervention I could live with! They agreed and broke my water. Weirdest feeling EVER! From this moment on it felt like I was constantly peeing. The water had meconium in it. So the nurse explained that you would be taken out of the room instead of immediate skin-to-skin to make sure your lungs were okay. I believe that this contributed to my milk not coming in for so long (5 days or so) and with your inability to keep your body temp up for awhile. I did make sure that Heidi could go with you as they checked you.
Shower for heat on back
Dr. R came to check on me and I threw up as we were talking. Susan jumped up with a cup just in time to catch the puke (Ahh the life of a doula).
Another doc came in and did a check. As she was checking she said “I am going to strip your membranes” and did! I was a little in shock and pissed. It was an intervention I would have said yes to, I would have appreciated her asking instead of just doing. I started to have some stronger contractions and the shower was out for me since my water was broken. So mom put pressure on my back. I tried the birth ball but never got comfortable on it. I labored mostly side lying in the hospital bed. Dilation stalled again at 6. The nurse suggested pitocin and at this point we all agreed to it. But because Chrissy was awesome she held off for a long time. She just kept telling everyone she hadn’t checked on me yet, BLESS HER! When she finally said she had stalled as much as she could, I cried! My baby sweet, I was just so worried that pitocin would lead to an epidural and/or a c-section. This whole time your mom Heidi and I had a code word that if I used it meant I really did need pain relief. I could say I *needed* it all I wanted (so helpful, even though I Heidi says I never really said it) but it want a true request unless I said the code. Luckily I never had to say it! Chrissy gave me some time to process. I cried for a bit and Susan and your mom reassured me that I would be fine. I ate about 5 popsicles during labor. They didn’t want me to eat and my blood sugar would drop and you would stop moving so they would bring me a Popsicle. I started to dream a bit about what I would eat!
Chrissy came back and hooked up the pitocin. She started it really low and only turned it up once. All of my self-induction methods helped keep the pitocin to a minimum. With pitocin my contractions became hellish. Some were right on top of each other with no break in between. I started to screech a little bit and Susan coached me to make deeper throaty sounds. That helped a lot! I would have a contraction on my side and grip the handrail or your mom’s hand. Chrissy was a genius and remembered hot water helping me manage so she brought hot towels that Heidi pressed into my back. Susan coached her on how to press for maximum reward for her effort. At one point (near transition) I labored on the toilet for awhile. I looked at Heidi and said “OH Fuck, I can’t handle this”. This was the first time the intensity of it all scared me. But that passed quickly. I knew it was time to push. My Dr. came all the way to deliver you even though she wasn’t working.
I wanted to just push, and push and be done. It took a little bit for me to just listen to Susan and the doc about how to make my pushes effective. I pushed for 30 minutes and you were here! When you were crowning I was able to reach down and feel your hair. As you came out Dr. R yelled to Heidi to call the sex. Heidi said” I don’t know how”. Dr. Rodeman said it’s easy, if it has a penis…” and we all laughed. Heidi said we had a girl. Your nurse rushed you out to check your lungs and Heidi followed. Then you came back to me, all was well and you latched on to nurse in like 3 seconds.
6 pounds 8 ounces
191/2 inches long
And born at 6:58pm on 7/7/2010
We named you
Lucille for my grandma
Patricia for your grandma
Rodeghero for me, your mama
Shearer for your mom, Heidi
I cried and smiled. Chrissy, Susan and Dr. R held you and we took pictures.
Your mom held you while I delivered the placenta and Dr. R stitched up my small tear. We took a picture of the placenta for Katy-Fredrick Hudson. Dr. R Posed with it.
The first non baby thing I said was “okay now can I eat?”
I am still learning things from you my baby sweet. One really big one is that now I know I want to be a doula. I thought I might, but you made me know it. More people should be this lucky!
My doula for Lucys birth and my experience in childbirth and the experiences I had after her birth are the reasons I am inspired to do the work of a doula. Women are not given enough honor and love for the work we do as mothers. Not because it's hard or painful but because it is essential.
PS-Be looking for the part two of this post which will be about my postpartum period and breastfeeding
|Posted on September 26, 2012 at 8:25 PM||comments (0)|
Does anyone else feel it? It is hard to define. There is magic happening in Columbia Missouri right now. The magic of women, the magic of birth.
Film after film is being premiered here. Starting with Guerilla Midwife, Then Freedom to Birth, Then Birth Story coming up at Citizen Jane. Us birth junkies have a rally and people come! Amazing!
It is not just the doulas and midwives who are feeling this though. The mamas and other people are too. There are doctors getting on board with our cause, and lawyers too.
We are developing a web of community that wants to know more about how birth impacts us all. How the care we give to new moms and babies, to new families develops into the care we give this planet and all people on it.
So if ever you had any interest in birth, now is the time! Talk to people! Let's get the word out that there is more than one way to come into the world. The time is ripe for compassion and peace, and understanding to make it's way into this important part of our lives.
As a postpartum doula I could not be more happy to see people becoming aware of their choices, to becoming aware of this movement. I love that doctors and lawyers can see it too, because there is a science behind what women have believed for millenia.
Fighting for the right to birth how you choose, the right to be informed of all your choices, the right to the care you and your family deserve during pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period is a Human Right.
So let's get out there and excercise it!
|Posted on August 14, 2012 at 11:10 PM||comments (0)|
The Largest Women’s Rights Movement in Decades is Coming to Columbia MO. I could not be more excited. In general improving birth for all women is a cause I can get behind.
On Labor Day, September 3rd 2012, Columbia Missouri will be part of a national movement to Improve Birth by holding a Rally for Change from 10am until noon at the corner of Broadway & Old 63. A rally is also being held in Saint Louis for this event.
The goal of this is to bring awareness, and support evidence based practice within hospitals. The idea is that hospitals will look at ways to have fewer unecessary C-sections and medical interventions during labor.
Interventions and C-sections that are unnecessary put women at greater risk for death.
I had a relatively intervention free birth, because I hired a doula. Not every mother can do that, wants to do that, or can afford it. So while I totally support doulas I also want care for ALL mothers and new babies to be in their best interests.
Please come to Broadway & Old 63 in Columbia on Labor Day 2012.
The quote being used for the Rally is: "When you know better, you do better."-Maya Angelou
As a part of the rally planning group I have witnessed a passion for better birth in our community. We need to help make the facts about birth well known so we can strive for better.
Find our Columbia Rally page at http://www.facebook.com/ImprovingBirthColumbiaMO
For more information about the National Rally for change, visit www.ImprovingBirth.org
Local Contacts: Carrie Hummel-Logee, 217-653-0508, [email protected]
National Contact: Dawn Thompson, 760-840-8723, [email protected]
|Posted on July 25, 2012 at 2:45 AM||comments (0)|
Bear with me for a moment while I get a bit personal. This is not specifically related to being a doula.baker.trainer.
But it is related to my professional life and it might help someone so I want to share it.
Back when I was working directly with Afterschool Youth, I was working as a facilitator in a program in Columbia. I met a young man who left a deep impression on me. He was angry, articulate, smart, a leader, and funny. He challenged much of what I "knew" about working with youth and their families.
Mostly he was a good kid who needed a bit of guidance and he literally could have done anything he set his mind to, ANYTHING! Sometimes he gave me a hard time. But now I believe he wasnt giving me a hard time, he was having a hard time.
You dont forget a kid who comes back to visit you when he is a middle schooler almost daily. You dont forget a kid who comes back to apologize to you for being challenging. Yeah, he was pretty self aware.
James is just one of those kids I will never forget.
Flash forward a couple of years and he is in High School. We have lost touch, but I did not forget him.
My partner brings me a newspaper with this article. http://www.columbiamissourian.com/stories/2011/11/18/boy-found-quarry-fell-great-distance/
I burst into tears, and I think I said: "Damn it James"
I mean he was going to do great things, seriously great things. It ended a little too soon for him.
As I am processing this news I discover his friends created a facebook page to honor him. So many kids came to the memorial for him they wouldnt all fit in the building. I also discover his grieving family has an online presence.
Some part of me feels compelled by James to do something. There are all these youth, many of them like James. What can I do?
I work as an Instructor for the Columbia Area Career Center. I decide that I will offer a scholarship in James' name there so someone like him can take a class that will maybe inspire them to do more. If I can just give one youth the spark that helps them, I have succeeded.
Through the planning process I get permission from the family (specifically his dad) to use his name. I have an opportunity to hear how proud of James his family was despite the stuff he was going through that was not so great and/or poor decisions he may have made.
I get to talk about James to his family in a way that makes me realize how well I really knew him. I now feel honored that he treated me like his family, he trusted me.
So I hope to share this story so that we can get the word out about the scholarship. I will be there at the interviews listening to youth talk about how they are going to change the world. I believe in some small way James will be there too.
More articles about James: http://www.columbiamissourian.com/stories/2011/11/16/investigation-17-year-olds-quarry-death-continues/
To find out more about the scholarship please contact the Columbia Area Career Center at: 573-214-3803
The scholarship is $100 awarded to a winner for any class or supply item the CACC offers.
|Posted on June 5, 2012 at 2:55 AM||comments (0)|
Yes that third category of my work is up for explanation. This category is the most broad of all the work I do. It's also a favorite. I love having knowledge about things and being able to pass it on to others in a way that impacts their lives. I have a degree in teaching after all! I also have several years experience being a trainer full time.
As a trainer I wear many hats, I:
- Teach courses at the Columbia Area Career Center in Vegan Baking, Vegan and Vegetarian Cooking, Crafting, and Babywearing. Here is the current course catalog so you can see what I am teaching this year. http/career-center.org/adult/
- Teach (DHSS) Department of Health and Senior Services approved trainings for clock hours in topics related to Early Childhood and Afterschool Education. Please ask me more about this if you are interested in topics or want me to train your program staff or families for a family night.
- Am a Red Cross Certified instructor for Adult, Child and Infant CPR and First Aid. This year I will be teaching my first class of doulas in this course. I am fortunate to be able to teach these courses through the Columbia Area Career Center as well.
So that's April the trainer! Teaching others helps me retain what I know and every time I teach I learn something new. Here's to lifelong learning!
|Posted on June 5, 2012 at 2:55 AM||comments (0)|
What I do as lead baker, mischief maker at Naturally Cupcakes:
I specialize in vegan baked goods. I can make most anything gluten free as well. I am working on several new recipes that are refined sugar free (made with stevia, fruit juice or a combination).
Got a request or special diet? I would love to make something special for you.
Check us out on facebook or call 573-673-6684 to order! I will ship in the US for most things.
In the mean time feast your eyes on these recent orders and prototypes!
Apple Pie Cupcakes
Cherry Crumble Cupcakes
Refined Sugar Free Gluten Free and Vegan Chocolate Orange April Bars (like a lara bar)