Monday, November 05, 2007

as crunchy as I wanna be

Two people have emailed me recently asking me to define "crunchy", as in the name of this blog. Apparently they are afraid to publicly show their ignorance in the comment section. Do not despair! I was crunchy before I knew what crunchy was. Maybe you have some closet crunchiness too! If you take the quiz to your blog, post a link below!

"Crunchy" generally means someone that lives a bit alternatively, a modern day hippy of sorts. The term "slightly crunchy" applies here because we are weird enough to look alternative to most mainstreamers, for sure,,,,but compared to some very crunchy types we look like, well,,,mainstreamers. Then, someone sent me this It was fun. I scored a 113, for "whole grain crunchy". Below are my answers and the reasons for them.

Do you have homebirths?
15 points for “yes” (unassisted)
10 points for “yes” (with a midwife in attendance)
5 points for alternative birthing center
2 points for “thinking about/would like homebirth”
0 for “no” (wouldn’t consider it).
----Yes, Jack was a homebirth, with a midwife. This one will be an ABC birth unless I change my mind, but if it goes easier than Jack's we will probably return to homebirth. I love homebirth. For now, for a variety of circumstances, the ABC is making more sense. I guess I'll take an, um,,,8 points?

Will you circumcise future sons?
5 points for “no”
-5 points for “yes”.
---NO. I'm rabidly anti-circumcision. Years of holding babies down on boards to be circ'd can have that effect on you. But even before that,,,I had no strong pulls either way until I gave an oral report in nursing school on circumcision and researched the lack of reasons for doing this traumatic procedure.

Do you use cloth diapers?
20 point if you do Elimination Communication (no diapers)
15 points if “yes” (wash and make your own)
10 points if “yes” (wash your own)
5 points if “yes” (diaper service)
2 points if “thinking about it”
0 points if “no” (wouldn’t consider it).
----We use cloth, and wash our own. Jack is actually in disposables now, but we used cloth for the first year and a half and changed without conscious decison due to some crazy life events that were going on at the time. We will use cloth with this baby. Love cloth! It feels so good.

Do you observe your fertility signals using Natural Family
Planning/Fertility Awareness and use that for birth control/trying to conceive?
10 points for “yes” (observe and use for birth control/ttc) or you use ecological
breastfeeding/lactational amnorrhea
5 points for “yes” (observe for trying to conceive)
2 points “thinking about it”
0 points for “no” (wouldn’t consider it).
---Yes, we use NFP to try to conceive, and we use ecological breastfeeding. We haven't had to use NFP to try *not* to conceive at this point. We of course do not use artificial birth control for Catholic reasons, but even if I wasn't Catholic I would never use the pill or anything. Yikes. Scary stuff, very bad for your body!

Do you breastfeed exclusively for the first 6+ months?
10 points if “yes”
5 points for “no” (use occasional bottles of expressed breastmilk)
2 points for “no” (use occasional bottles of formula)
0 for “no” (don’t breastfeed by choice).
---Yes, part of the ecological breastfeeding....

Do you co-sleep/family bed?
10 points for “yes” (all night every night)
5 points for “yes” (part/all of most nights)
2 points for “thinking about it”
0 points for “no”.
----We co-sleep with babies/young toddlers. I try to get them to at least start the night in a co-sleeper/crib in my room just so I can fall asleep comfortably. Then they move to my bed when they wake up to nurse. I did train Jack to take naps on his own once he was a few months old or my experience, they just quit napping well in the sling once they are out of the little baby stage, and with homeschooling and all I just can't indulge in napping with a baby for a couple hours a day. We train gently though. I'll take all 10 is all night every night for a good long while, depending on the child.

Do you use a sling/soft carrier?
5 points for “yes”
2 points for “thinking about it”
0 points for “no” (wouldn’t consider it).
----Yes, love the sling. My babies lived in them, especially Maria, my "high needs" baby.

Do you believe in/practice child-led weaning
(even if that means breastfeeding for several years)?
15 points for “yes” (complete child-led weaning)
10 points for “yes” (up to 3 years)
5 points for “yes” (up to 2 years)
2 points for “thinking about it”
0 points for “no” (you’ll wean the baby at 1 year or earlier).
---I gave myself a 13 here. :) Maria nursed until a week shy of her 4th birthday. It was not totally child-led though. She was still nursing at bedtime and I kind of bribed/pushed her out of it. Jack self-weaned around 2- 2 1/2.

Do you tandem nurse/nurse during your pregnancy?
10 points for “yes” (nurse during pgcy and tandem nurse)
5 points for “yes” (nurse during pgcy, but wean before birth)
2 points for “thinking about it”
0 points for “no”(wouldn’t consider it).
---This was pregnancies are too far apart to even have to worry about tandem nursing. I gave myself a 5 because this is what I think I *would* do. I would probabaly tandem nurse if I had back to back babies...but if I had an older toddler, like at least 2 years old, I would probably want to wean before another baby was born.

Do you eat organic/whole/natural foods and limit your meat?
15 points for “yes” (grow own/buy organic, shop only at health food store,
grind own wheat, vegetarian, etc.)
10 points for “yes” (grow some of own food, buy organic,
use whole wheat flour, bake own bread, eat some meat occasionally)
5 points for “yes” (try to buy natural, whole grain foods, etc.)
2 points for “thinking about it”
0 points for “no” (wouldn’t consider it).
---We get a 5 here. I'd love to edge more towards a 10. We do grow some vegetables. If we lived out in the country I'd totally have some chickens and goats, but we don't.

Do you use herbal/homeopathic remedies?
10 points if “yes” (very rarely see a regular doctor)
5 points if “yes” (but use a doctor occasionally)
2 points if “thinking about it” (see a doc for now)
0 points for “no” (wouldn’t consider it).
----This is hard. I gave us a 5 here. The kids do see pediatricians. Especially Kain, who has severe asthma. Jack saw a homeopathic practitioner for recurrent ear infections. I don't really know if I believe in homeopathy or not! It sounds crazy to me in theory, maybe because I'm a nurse. But we were desperate and so I tried it. It seemed to work. He hasn't had an ear infection since. But we haven't used it often enough to make me a true believer. I have used some herbal stuff, and I rarely go to the doctor, but I'm not comfortable dosing my kids regularly with herbs. I don't know enough about it to feel like I know what I'm doing is safe. We take more of a "supportive" approach when the kids are sick. I'm slow to go to the doctor and believe in supporting their immune systems and giving their bodies a chance to heal themselves first. But we will go when needed. John goes regularly for "old man" screening stuff, and I imagine I will be soon too. I think there's a lot to be said for preventative medicine.

Do you homeschool?
10 points if “yes” (currently homeschool)
5 points for “yes” (will homeschool)
2 points for “thinking about it”
0 points for “no” (wouldn’t consider it).
---Um, yep!

What's your take on childhood vaccinations?
15 points for no vaccines
10 for delayed, selective vaccination
5 points for selective, on schedule vaccination
2 points for thinking about not vaccinating
0 points for vaxing on schedule.
---5 points. We do selective, but generally on schedule vacinations. We don't get vaccinations as newborns, but we do start some of them at 2 months. I could be swayed to vaccinate less...John is pretty adament about most of them though. I am for the ones that are for serious, debilitating illnesses like pertussis. I think the ones for chicken pox and flu are silly and likely a bad idea for an otherwise healthy child. Kain does get a flu shot because of his severe asthma. We try weigh each vaccine against what is best for that child.

Would you/have you ever breastfeed/fed someone else's baby
or have someone else bf your child?
10 points if yes (have or someone has bf your baby)
5 points if yes (would)
2 points if maybe 0 if no (wouldn't consider it).

---I have done this. Please suppress your gasp of horror. It's just a booby, and the mom needed help. It felt really odd when she asked me to do it, but then I realized that this was just my own uptightness and that women have done this for thousands of years before Enfamil and breast pumps were developed. Even my great-grandmother used to "pacify" her grandchildren this way.

Do you use cloth/re-usable products for mom?
10 points if yes (make own)
5 points if yes (buy own)
2 points if thinking about it
0 points if no.

---No. I'll take 2. I'm not opposed to it. I have thought about it, mainly because I have, um, some personal issues with disposable products that I won't go into here. I've never been motivated enough to really look into such a thing though.

120 – 140 Super Nutty, Ultra-Crunchy Granola Earth Mama
90 – 119 Mmm! Love that whole-grain crunch!
60 – 89 Pretty Crispy
20 – 59 Sprinkled with Granola
5 – 19 Instant Oatmeal
0 - 4 Jell-O

I will say that when Maria was younger I belonged to a couple of uber-crunchy playgroups and there was a lot of pressure, not from them so much as from within, to make certain decisions that just didn't feel comfortable to me or work for my family in the name of fitting in with a particular mindset. With my added maturity as a mom though (stop laughing), I no longer make choices to try and fit in with any particular parenting/lifestyle philosophy. Most "crunchy" choices were made by me when my oldest was a baby. She was a very colicky, needing to be held constantly baby, and I went looking for information on how to parent such a child. These choices, (the sling, co-sleeping) were the only sane things that worked, and I didn't know until later that there was some kind of label assigned to them. Other choices, like no-circing and whole foods, came from researching these particular choices and choosing what made sense to us. Some things, like not vaccinating and some other health care decisions just didn't sit right with either myself, my husband, or both. And other issues, like making my own diapers, growing more of our food, etc., are good choices that I just have chosen not to take on right now. I can't do it all. My only hard and fast guidelines are to be a good Catholic. Many of these choices, like ecological breastfeeding and homeschooling, are choices made specifically with our faith in mind. Other choices are made based on what truly works best for us. So don't take the above quiz as parenting advice. Do what works for your own tribe, and don't step on my vibe, man. :)


Entropy said...

This is interesting. I liked reading your answers!

Terimisu said...

I scored a "sprinkled with granola" !!!!!!!!

Kelly said...

I couldn't agree more with your closing paragraph here. We are very similar to your family it sounds like, and it did take me about 3 kids to get comfortable with my own choices and not feel that pressure from others to be "more" crunchy [or whatever] than I was comfortable being.