method of lizzy

preservations… for posterity

Parenting Library

I’ve been thinking of putting together a book list for awhile. I’m finally getting around to it after reading through the great list on phdinparenting. Some of the books listed there are favorites, others I’ve been meaning to read, and then there are a few brand-new ones that I’ll have to add to my list.

As you’ll see from all of the books on my “to-read” list at the bottom, I am a bit obsessive when it comes to parenting books. I like to research everything. I want to know all that I can know. Do I need these books to be a good parent? No, I don’t think so – I have plenty of mothering instincts already and when I listen to them, they serve me well. If anything, I need the information in these books to help shield me from the modern world of parenting. These books help me to get back to the basics. Continue reading


August 29, 2009 Posted by | all things baby, books, childbirth, crunchy, motherhood, parenting, women's health | 1 Comment

Blog Maintenance

I’ve thought about scrapping this blog and creating a new one. This blog feels so 2007. A fair number of my posts are about my experience with generalized anxiety disorder, a condition that for the most part is no longer part of my life. There is a stigma surrounding issues of mental health and I’ve questioned whether I want to be identified by my experience with anxiety. Ultimately I’ve decided that it’s much more meaningful to be open and honest and to address any stigma rather than hide from it. This is a common condition in our culture, and if we were willing to be open about it then that might go a long way towards combating it.

My blogging has been so sporadic, in part because I overthink it. Lately I’ve done as much talking about the process of blogging as I have done blogging itself. Going forward I am just going to run with it and see where it takes me.

August 28, 2009 Posted by | blogging | Comments Off on Blog Maintenance

Breastfeeding Myths

As if those first few weeks of breastfeeding weren’t challenging enough, you may soon find that you are overwhelmed by conflicting information. Seven common breastfeeding myths:

You have to eat a special diet. The truth is that you could live on junk food and your baby would still get the nutrients that he needs. (Whether you would get the nutrients that you need is a different story!) There are not any foods that you need to avoid. Even the occasional soda, coffee or wine will not have an adverse affect on your milk. [1] Women all over the world have varying diets depending on their culture.  You do have to consume an adequate number of calories in order to sustain your milk production, but in the industrialized West this is not a problem that most mothers face. Continue reading

August 28, 2009 Posted by | all things baby, motherhood | | 2 Comments

Eating my words

I recently read through my old blog posts, and with some chagrin I noticed this gem from my book review of Perfect Madness: Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety:

But I will not sacrifice myself or my marriage for my child’s temporal needs. When the child is older, will he give a damn that he ate homemade babyfood? No way. But I will remember the years of his youth, and I want to look back on them fondly, not as a time when I was stretched beyond my limits.

I cringed at my use of the term “temporal needs”. I am not really sure what I meant when I threw out that phrase, but the mother in me now finds it to be a bit harsh. How have I changed so much since then? Continue reading

July 16, 2009 Posted by | all things baby, motherhood | Comments Off on Eating my words

The Duggars: 20 and Counting

duggars-20-and-counting-2501I swear, I don’t usually read books like this. But I admit to a certain level of intrigue when it comes to the Duggars. I grew up in conservative Christian circles, but the Duggars just take it to a whole new level. Maybe it’s the traditional gender roles, maybe it’s the lack of any form of birth control, maybe it’s their seemingly docile sweet-natured kids. Whatever – I’m hooked on this freak show. I would be the first in line to poke fun about how Michelle Duggar got married at 17, or about how she began a career of handing out pizza samples following the marriage. Or maybe we could talk about the eldest son Josh and how he would give his fiancee awkward side-hugs. We don’t even need to say very much about Jim Bob, his name speaks for itself.
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June 29, 2009 Posted by | books, parenting | 3 Comments

Food Matters

food-mattersWhen my sister said she was going to adopt a vegan diet, I thought that she was a little bit crazy. She asked me to read two books, one of which was Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating by Mark Bittman. Bittman was struggling with his weight as well as various health maladies at the same time he was writing  a new cookbook called “How to Cook Everything Vegetarian”. He decided to become a part-time vegan; until dinnertime he would forego any animal products, simple carbs and junk food. He did not give himself any restrictions for dinner, though gradually he found that he was eating more vegetables and less meat. As time went on, he lost weight and his health maladies went away.

Sounds great, but wait – this is not a diet book. Rather it’s an eye-opening critique of the food that we eat and where it comes from. Despite my skepticism, I have learned that many vegans don’t choose their lifestyle just because they can’t stand to eat Bambi. Many are vegan for very legitimate health and environmental reasons. Yes, I said environmental! Our eating habits aren’t just bad for us – they’re bad for the planet. Bittman focuses on factory farming, a concept that I’ve been relatively ignorant about until now. Continue reading

June 28, 2009 Posted by | alternatives, books, food, health | Comments Off on Food Matters

Unconditional Parenting

I’ve been intrigued by attachment parenting for the last five years or so. By the time I was pregnant I was fully devoted to AP and all that it entails. I was committed to breastfeeding, to responding to my baby’s cries, and to wearing my baby. I wasn’t sure about discipline, though. I had read some of the posts in the gentle discipline forum on Mothering, and I really wasn’t sure if this was the approach for me. Sometimes the posters had kids that seemed really out of control… and I thought that there must be a better way. Both my husband and I grew up under a very traditional form of his discipline, and honestly it has been hard for us to imagine anything else. Continue reading

June 19, 2009 Posted by | books, parenting | 1 Comment

Cloth Diapering for the Lazy Parent

Cloth diapering is surprisingly easy. Invest in cloth diapers and you’ll save money as well as space at the landfill. Cast aside your preconceptions: even the laziest parent can cloth diaper. You’re going to be changing diapers no matter what. All that cloth diapering will require of you is a little extra laundry.

Baby Calvin in a cloth diaper with Thirsties cover. 3 weeks old.

Baby Calvin in a cloth diaper with Thirsties cover. 3 weeks old.

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June 17, 2009 Posted by | all things baby, crunchy | 2 Comments

Mitten Strings for God

mitten stringsYou might be surprised, but a mother of a 9-month old who only works 2 days a week can still qualify as a “mother in a hurry”. Hurried is sometimes just a state of mind. I become stuck in a cycle of counting down the hours until nap time, rushing out to run errand in between nap times, and then using that precious nap time to do something totally mundane (checking Facebook, for instance). At the end of the day, my baby hasn’t received the attention that he needs and I’m exhausted from all the running around.


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June 8, 2009 Posted by | books, introspection, motherhood | 1 Comment

Blogging: One form of intellectual self-discipline

Apparently I once called blogging a discipline. I’ll publicly pat myself on the back: I was right about that. When else would I be forced to sit down and write in a coherent manner? When else would I have to fully develop a thought in order to share it with the world? My college days are behind me, my career requires little in the way of formal writing, and as a new mother I don’t always have a lot of time for intellectual development. Time is a precious commodity, yet I still manage to squander it in ways that don’t fulfill me. I’ve been working on that lately; I read more and watch TV less. But reading is only one side of the coin – one must express one’s self as well. Writing has always been an important outlet for me. In high school, I journaled. In college, I wrote essays. Today, I write emails. I enjoy these three forms of writing, but right now I find that they pale in comparison to blogging. I no longer have much of a need to journal privately as I did in high school, and I no longer have an audience who will read my essays as I did in college. Email will always be a part of my life, but my emails are written quickly without much thought to style or form – or even organized thought at times.


I can’t promise that I’ll always be eloquent. My aim is to be coherent, honest and thoughtful. I’m a bit rusty, a bit sleep-deprived and a bit preoccupied with my 9 month-old son, but I am looking forward to this exercise. (Thanks to Jimmy for the kick in the rear).

June 3, 2009 Posted by | blogging | 2 Comments