June 30, 2010

Inner Strength: Kristen's story of Christos' Waterbirth

I had always planned to have a natural child birth, like I had the first time, but after my husband and I separated when I was 2 months pregnant, I had to accept what it meant to be pregnant without a partner, and what it would be like to have a baby all alone. Through it all, I learned that I am so much stronger than I ever thought, and that with faith and focus anything is possible. At the end of the day, going through the labor and delivery was an empowering experience that prepared me to take on the biggest responsibility of my life, and showed me that once we surrender to what is, the universe rewards us with a type of joy and happiness that we could never have planned on our own.

It was January 6, 2010, 3 days away from my due date. I was convinced this baby would come early, like the first one had. I had gotten coverage for my shifts at work starting at my 37th week, thinking that Baby would make a grand entrance around that time. 37 weeks came and went. Then I thought, maybe Baby will come on Christmas. Christmas came and went. Maybe New Year’s? Then New Year’s came and went and still no baby.
At around 11:30 pm that night, I was taking a shower, when I had what felt like a big contraction. Earlier that day, I had visited my chiropractor and asked him if he could "get things going". He said he couldn’t play God, then made a small adjustment in my lower spine, and sent me on my way. I did not know until much later that he had done the Webster Technique, and that it would prove to be successful!

After my seismic contraction in the shower, I felt as though my water had broken, but couldn’t be sure. Could this really be it? No, I wasn’t getting my hopes up. I dried myself off, and got dressed, still questioning if my water had broken. By now it was after midnight. I went downstairs and my brother was sitting on the couch watching TV. I told him that I thought my water had broken, but I wasn’t sure. "Shouldn’t you know if your water broke?" he asked. He asked me what he should do. I told him to go to bed and get some sleep, because if this was it, I would need him in a few hours to be there for my son, Ethan.

So, my brother went upstairs to sleep, and I lay down beside my 4 and a half year old son, who had fallen asleep in my bed. I tried to sleep too. By now I knew my water had broken, because I was soaked, so I got up and put on the clothes I had prepared for this very moment.
The contractions started to come, about 8-10 minutes apart. I remember holding my beautiful belly, talking to the baby, saying goodbye, that I would miss him inside me and that I was so happy he would be in my arms soon. I told the baby I loved him, no matter what, that we were going to do great, to not be afraid. We had been through so much together already, we were strong, and we would be ok.

Soon, the contractions became too intense, and I could no longer lay down and doze between each one. I got up and went over to my desk, sitting on my yoga ball, rocking back and forth gently with each contraction until they passed.

I sat in the darkness of my bedroom, the music from my birth play list softly in the background, listening to the chants Om Namah Shivaya, Ramana Ramana Ramana, over and over again. As the contractions quickly picked up speed, I stayed put on that yoga ball. Between each one, I folded myself forward, laying my head on my bed and resting until the next wave hit. Ethan never woke up; he was as peaceful as an angel, his sleeping breath making me feel safe and warm as I labored to bring his sibling into the world.

It was just the three of us – Ethan, me, and the baby that would soon be here on the outside. I thought about the daddy, the man I had loved so much who helped me to create this child. Things were so different now, so different than they had been when we had made our baby. He didn’t love me anymore, wasn’t there for me, and in this moment, I was ok with that. I was strong, and I could do it. I texted him, he didn’t respond for hours. By then I was in full labor and it didn’t matter anymore. He was not going to be a part of this after all. Deep down I had already known that it would be this way, and I knew it was exactly the way it was supposed to be.

At around 4 am, the contractions became so intense that I ditched the yoga ball and made my way into the bathroom, where I closed myself inside with each passing contraction. At 3-5 minutes apart, I was no longer riding waves but tsunamis, and I had to muffle my face in a towel to keep my screams from waking the entire house. Soon, I heard a little voice at the door whisper, "Mommy," and I opened the door and smiled for my angel, telling him that his brother or sister was on the way. With each contraction, I’d close the door gently, and from the other side that small, brave voice told me to "breathe Mommy, keep breathing." And I did.
Soon, it was really intense, and I knew I needed help caring for Ethan. I told my son to wake up my brother and my mom. My brother came down, finding me doubled over my bed, hardly able to move, and he let me squeeze his hand and he rubbed my back for a minute. I was so grateful. Contractions were about 2 minutes apart, and he said I should call the birth center; I argued for a second and then gave in. When the midwife called back, I was grateful to hear the voice of Susan Thomforde, the one I had felt the safest and most comforted by. She said I should come in.

My mom helped me into the car, and as we drove the 20 minutes to Beverly, it felt like an eternity. I could feel the baby’s head pushing down, and I told my mom to drive faster. I hobbled to the birth center, stopping at the door unable to go any further as a giant contraction froze me where I was standing.

After the contraction passed, I went inside, and waited for a moment in the dark living room for Susan. After a few minutes, I was allowed into the birthing room, where Susan asked if she could check to see how far along I was. I reluctantly agreed, and was shocked when she said I would be having my baby within an hour. Little did I know my baby would be born in 30 minutes!
Susan began to fill the tub as I labored by myself in the darkness. After the water had filled the tub, Susan helped me in. The water eased the pain somewhat, and I could feel my body floating through each contraction. Within a few minutes, I could feel the baby start to come. I remember thinking that I didn’t know how to do this, that logistically I could not make sense of the whole experience. I asked Susan what I was supposed to do, and she said to do what my body was telling me. So I listened.

It was the most marvelous experience, as my baby was born into the water. It only took 2 or 3 pushes before I felt his body emerge, and then everything went quiet. I was no longer in pain, no longer making any noises, and there were no sounds of crying. Just stillness. Time had stopped.
The baby floated under the water, and then Susan and I helped the baby to the surface and he was in my arms. I didn’t even think to look at the baby’s sex, all I could see and feel was a perfect, round little creature, my child. Sweet sweet joyous moment. Then, Susan asked, what do you have? And I looked and saw that it was another son, a brother. And that is how Christos arrived. It happened on January 7, 2010 at 6:35 am, on my father’s birthday.

Ed. Note: Thanks, Kristen, for this beautiful and personal story! Single women have the same rights to their childbirth choices as coupled ones; a great resource for single moms or single pregnant women is YouAndMeKid.net.

June 29, 2010

Why Cloth Diapers

One of the most important elements of CGB is our commitment to cloth diapering. A lot of people find it overwhelming or intimidating at first, but really, cloth diapering is easy once you learn the basics, and of course, practice. (Our cloth diapering demos are also a great way to start!) And at the end of the day, the benefits -- for you, your baby, and the planet -- far outweigh the little bit of extra work and planning.

There are so many reasons to consider cloth diapers! And thanks to the Real Diaper Association, we’ve listed a few facts below:

* Environmental: A typical disposable diaper takes up to 500 years to decompose and an estimated 27.4 billion diapers are used each year in the U.S. That’s a lot of diapers just sitting around waiting to decompose! In contrast, cloth diapers can be reused over 200 times before they need to be turned into rags, which can then be used indefinitely. And oftentimes, cloth diapers can be used for two children. Disposable diapers simple perpetuate the culture of continued consumption without any thought for natural resources or the environment.

* Economic: The average baby uses about 6,000 diapers throughout the first two years of life. At a typical cost of 25 cents per disposable diaper, parents can expect to pay around $66 per month (or $1600 per year) on disposable diapers. In contrast, using cloth diapers tends to cost between $300 and $1000. The wide discrepancy in price is because of the various styles/ materials that can be used for diapering. But think about it this way: even if you spend $1000 (the upper end of the cloth diapering spectrum), you’re still spending less than with disposables. Significantly less.

* Health: Disposable diapers contain traces of Dioxin, an extremely toxic by-product of the paper-bleaching process. It is a carcinogenic chemical, listed by the EPA as the most toxic of all cancer-linked chemicals. It is banned in most countries, but not the U.S. Additionally, disposable diapers contain sodium polyacrylate, a type of super absorbent polymer (SAP), which becomes a gel-like substance when wet. A similar substance had been used in super-absorbency tampons until the early 1980s when it was revealed that the material increased the risk of toxic shock syndrome. Cloth diapers are a far safer choice.

So these are not your grandmother’s old cloth diapers! No laborious folding (if you don’t want it) and no pins necessary (though Snappis are nice!). Instead these cloth diapers are easy, organic, economically-friendly and just plain adorable!

Check out our many cloth diapering products here. Stay tuned for our next cloth diapering blog post featuring tips on the care and cleaning of your diapers!

June 23, 2010

Letting go of control: Christi's story of Autumn's surprisingly Zen Birth

I went into labor at some point during my work day on Tuesday, Aug. 25, but didn't really admit to myself that I was having contractions until around 9pm, mainly because I was almost two weeks early with my first baby (and "they" all tell you that first babies are never early). My husband and I were watching TV and I finally noticed that the discomfort I had been having all day was coming at regular intervals. It wasn't until nearly 10pm that I said anything to my husband, and then it took us two hours of timing and book-reading to decide that it was "the real thing".

My plan was to have as natural, un-medicated, and non-interventionist a birth as possible. I wanted the freedom to walk and move around. But I went into labor knowing that birth is a crazy, messy thing and that you can never really plan for it. So I tried to be open-minded. I did have an OB since I had gone through fertility treatments and had wanted to stay within the same practice. However, I was lucky enough to have an OB practice that was supportive of natural births and did have a midwife on staff. And I selected a hospital that had labor tubs, labor balls and a low C-section rate.

My OB had told me that if I wanted to go natural, then I should stay at home as long as possible. From 10pm to 3am I wandered around my house, sometimes stopping to take a 3 minute nap, to eat a snack or to take a shower. We called the OB-on-call around 3am when my contractions were 5 minutes apart and left me breathless, and we got to the hospital by 3:30am. I was only 3cm.

The nurses and OB on call said I'd be happier at home if I didn't progress in a few hours. I didn't want to go home - I wanted to have my baby then! So I started walking, and walking fast. I think I logged a few miles (and lapped more than one nurse!) by 6am when my water broke. This got me a ticket to move to a labor room and the labor tub (thankfully my OB had no rules about being in the labor tub after my water broke).

One thing I was petrified about before going into labor was being stuck in a bed, attached to an IV. When it came time to get the IV I asked for a hep-lock rather than the full IV. I was prepared to ask this and had made sure that I stayed hydrated prior to going to the hospital. The staff agreed to the lock; it was the best pre-labor decision I had made.

I labored in and out of the tub from around 6am to 3pm, sometimes walking and sometimes on a labor ball. I had an amazing nurse who acted much like a doula and kept me focused on breathing, visualization and movement (and cherry popsicles!) We listened to a mix of music that I had made and I focused on my Happy Place (in a hammock on a beach in Hawaii).

At 3pm the OB wanted to check my cervix and got me out of the tub. I was only 4cm (ugh) and my contractions completely stopped. I was exhausted. I had been up since 6am Tuesday and it was now 3pm on Wednesday and my body just wasn't coping well. The OB on call and my nurse decided to let me nap for awhile. Then, around 3:30pm, it was strongly suggested that I have pitocin.

Now, I knew pitocin was something I didn't want. But at this point in labor (18+ hours) and being awake (33 hours), I was beat. Something needed to change and the only thing being suggested was pitocin, so I agreed. However, I asked for the lowest dose possible and insisted on still being able to walk around. I got hooked up to the IV and began to walk around the L&D ward with my husband and my nurse.

I only made it a quarter of the way down the hall before I started throwing up. I never throw up. The contractions were so strong and so long that I was doubled-over and gasping for breath. And they never let up - it felt like it was one continuous contraction from 3:30pm to 5pm. I ended up back in my room and in the labor bed. As much as I thought I didn't want to be in bed, it was really the only place I could find any comfort.

A little after 5pm I turned to my husband and asked, "would anyone think less of me if I got something for the pain?" He, of course, knew this meant the pain was bad. We had already agreed that if I needed anything that we would ask for a half dose of an IV pain med. My nurse, bless her, did try to talk me out of it by telling me that she'd have to check my cervix in order to give me anything. I insisted. The pitocin really had me in tremendous pain.

I was nearly 9cm! I had gone from 4cm to over 8 1/2cm in just an hour and a half. No wonder I was in so much pain! I got a half dose of Nubain at 5:30pm and immediately felt the need to push. Nobody believed me at first because they really thought it would take longer for me to get to 10cm. But the baby was coming.

My nurse called for the OB and helped me get into position. I gathered up every last bit of energy I had and pushed like my life depended on it. Five pushes, thirteen minutes (and some lateral tearing) later my daughter was here. Autumn Juliet was born on Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2009 at 6:04pm after (at least) 21 hours of labor, coming in at 6lb, 15oz and 19 inches. She had a full head of hair and big, bright eyes that took in everything. As tired as I was, after being awake for 36 hours, I was suddenly full of energy and love.

My daughter's birth wasn't exactly as I envisioned it, but in the end it didn't matter. I always felt supported and cared for by everyone around me and I ended up with a beautiful, wonderful baby.

We, as pregnant women, get really wrapped up in what we want from the birth experience and we sometimes forget that there is another person in the equation: our baby. It's good to know what you want from your birth experience and to be prepared with the language, people, and tools that will guide you toward that. But then let go of some of that control, allow for some flexibility, and let your baby have a say in how the experience unfolds.

Ed note: Thanks, Christi, for sharing Autumn's Birth Story! We encourage everyone to inform themselves of all their options, and to choose doctors or midwives who support their decisions. Go Christi!

June 21, 2010

Local Music: Charlie Hope

One of our favorite local musicians (and winner of the Independent Music Award!), Charlie Hope, has a concert coming up that you won't want to miss. She'll be performing on Saturday, July 3rd at 10:30AM at Club Passim in Cambridge.
Featuring new songs about Frogs on Logs, Firetrucks, Naptime, New Babies, Shadows, Stars, Rocketships & more, this concert is the perfect way for your family to kick off Independence Day weekend. Buy your tickets today -- they're only $10 for adults at $5 for kids! -- and enjoy the fun.

June 18, 2010

Introducing The Bev Card

CGB never gets tired of finding new ways to participate in the North Shore Community, or finding you great deals! That's why we're the newest participants in the bev card program.

The bev card is a yearly membership that gives you access to the best local deals on the North Shore. Just show a bev card at a local participating business like CGB and save!

It's like a book of coupons wrapped up into one plastic card. Instead of cutting coupons or printing them out -- which wastes your time and paper -- all you need to bring with you is the bev card. Unless a business mentions otherwise, the card can be used over and over again, saving you hundreds of dollars over the course of the year!

Check out their deals page to find participating businesses. You may be surprised which of your local favorites (like Salem Cycle, Green Tea Yoga, and the Atomic Cafe) already accept the bev card!

Come on to CGB today to buy yours for just $25. And while you're at it... have you signed up for Bicycle Benefits yet? Do both at once and rack up the savings!

June 17, 2010

Birth Stories: Please Welcome Jude Harvey

I’ve hesitated submitting this story because it’s deeply personal. But if it can help other women traverse the emotions of beginning mama-hood--and maybe doctors will begin to realize we want more choices--then here goes something.

There weren’t many things I wanted more in life than how much I wanted to have a natural, un-medicated, birth. I’d heard my mother speak of her two natural childbirths my entire life and I had always aspired to have one for myself and my precious baby. It was a gift I wanted to give him. However, baby Jude was head up the entire pregnancy. It was at week 36 that my midwife said we would need to schedule the c-section for week 39. She said that in the mean time I could try some maneuvers at home and make an appointment to have an External Cephalic Version.


A C-Section?!

And so begins my grieving process. I call it a grieving process, 1) because I’m a Mental Health Counselor and I know the stages of grieving oh so well, and 2) because I began to realize the idea of a natural childbirth was slowly slipping away from me. My husband and I had taken Hypnobirthing classes and medication was not an option, whatsoever, for me. I had a deep desire to share with the gazillions of women throughout history who knew what it meant to have a natural childbirth. Eve, Sarah, Bathsheba, Hannah, Elizabeth, Mary. I wanted what they had.
So I began to mourn:

DENIAL: I had to get over the shock that I could not find a doctor or midwife skilled in delivering my breech baby. I was shocked to find out that the skill of safely delivering a breech baby had nearly become obsolete. Throughout my pregnancy I had prepared myself with the idea that my baby or I could become in serious danger during delivery and I would need a c-section or major medical intervention. But, he was breech. Neither one of us was in distress. He was simply head up, bum down. A c-section, really? Really? I was in denial.

ANGER: I became very angry at the medical profession for letting me down. I thought being in the United States of America meant I was free, that I had choices. I was angry that I found myself with no choices, no alternatives.

BARGAINING: I began to bargain with my midwife to give me one more week…okay one more week…okay one more week to get this baby to turn before scheduling a c-section. I tried everything; I mean everything to help little Jude turn. I went to the Chiropractor 3 days a week, I did the inverted “polar bear” position 5 times a day for 10-15 minute stretches, I put ice packs at the top of my belly, I played soothing music in between my legs, I played rhythmic loud music in between my legs, I shined a light in between legs, I went to an acupuncturist, I used moxibustion, I tried visualization techniques, I clipped clothes-pins to my pinky toes and to no avail we attempted the awful external cephalic version. He never budged.

DEPRESSION: I became depressed. I became deeply sad and deeply disappointed that a natural childbirth was very quickly looking really impossible.

ACCEPTANCE: It hit me. Ashamedly, I had become angry and disappointed in Jude. The emotions hit me and they hit me hard. But this realization was my freedom. Somehow all my disappointment and blaming was directed toward Jude. I decided in that moment Jude could do no wrong. I wept and asked for his forgiveness. I told him I would love him whether he was head up or head down, chess player or quarterback, Burger King cashier or President, outgoing or shy, skinny or fat, short or tall, C student or A student. I would love him unconditionally. All along I wanted a natural childbirth because I knew my body could do it. I knew my body was created to do it. I believed my body and my body’s Creator knew what they were doing. So I accepted the fact that my body, my baby, and my Creator must know something I don’t. Why go against those things and force this baby to move when perhaps he was meant to be breech all along? Ultimately I refused to schedule the c-section and decided to wait for baby Jude to come on his own terms. I thought if a c-section was going to happen it’s going to happen after we’ve got many hours worth of the God-given love hormones during contractions.

So on January 7th around 8pm my contractions began. I took a long shower at 10pm (the “back labor” as they call it was horrendous because of his breech position and the shower was just what I needed). At 3am I lost my mucous plug and called the midwife. I told her my contractions were 2 minutes apart and lasted just about 50 seconds. She told me to come on in. I woke my husband (who was oblivious that anything had been going on the last 7 hours). He took a shower and I did the last finishing touches on the hospital bag. We took our sweet time and got to the hospital by 6am. The whole time I’m thinking and believing with every contraction he could be moving head down. They did the ultrasound and sure enough he was still head up. I was 4 centimeters dilated and 100% effaced.

They had me in the cold OR by 7am. At exactly 8am on January 8th, Jude was extracted from my body out of a 4 inch incision.

I wasn’t the first to touch my precious baby. I wasn’t the first to see his face. It wasn’t my voice he heard first. He wasn’t laid on my bare chest. We weren’t able to lay in his goo for hours before nurses did their nurses thing. He was instantly clipped from me and laid in a crib where I couldn’t see him.

I could hear his precious cries.

They led my husband over to the crib where nurses were hooking him up to oxygen and rating his Apgar. After the first 10 minutes of my baby’s life they walked him over to my head. He was completely swaddled in hospital blankets and I could barely see his tiny cheeks. I said “Bring him closer” and I stretched as hard as I could to try and kiss his little face. I had barely kissed him when they walked out with him to the nursery to monitor his lungs. I laid there for another 30 minutes while they stitched up my insides--without my baby boy. Our love hormones that had been coursing through my body throughout the contractions were now interrupted with a spinal tap, morphine and antibiotics. They wheeled me to a recovery room where I got frequent text messages from my husband who never left Jude’s side. Jude was wheezing and they wanted to monitor his breathing. Of course he was wheezing. Without the birth canal to apply pressure to his lungs he’s gonna need a little more effort and time to clear his lungs.

We were separated for 4 long hours. He was brought into my room swaddled up. I couldn’t grab him fast enough. I put him on my chest, pulled off the hospital cap and began kissing him and telling him over and over “Here I am, here I am, here I am.” I immediately stripped him and myself down to begin breast feeding. In an instant I didn’t care that we’d been separated for his first 4 hours of life. The world was perfect. My life had truly begun. I had a healthy, warm, happy baby in my arms. He wouldn’t leave my side for days.

For weeks it didn’t matter in the least bit that I hadn’t had a natural birth. I was so infatuated and googily-eyed with this handsome little baby that the natural childbirth was a fleeting thought. But my baby is 5 months old now and I still can’t watch a natural childbirth. I cry. A flood of grieving emotions come over me. I realize there’s still some unfinished business with my emotions toward the loss of a natural childbirth. However, I know I’m able work through these feelings and understand these thoughts so clearly because I have a husband that in every way is my very best friend. Without his unconditional listening ear, I could not have made sense of my emotions. I know I was an emotional wreck at times, but I can’t imagine what I would have been like without him enduring my journey of becoming a mama.

JUDE means praise and thankfulness and Harvey means battle worthy. He’s managed to live up to these names very quickly. I thank God for him.

Ed. Note: We are so grateful to Jude's mom for offering the beautiful and moving story of his birth. For more information on Breech birth and our rights as Moms and babies, come see "A Breech In The System" at Cinema Salem on Saturday, June 26th.

June 16, 2010

Salem's Living Green & Renewable Energy Fair

Salem's Living Green & Renewable Energy Fair on Saturday, June 19 brings together green industry professionals and consumers from the Greater Boston & Northshore regions to discuss products, services and information that encourage healthier, more sustainable consumption and lifestyles for businesses and families.

Not only is the fair a great place to learn more about how you can go green, but it promises to be really fun.

Cinema Salem will be screening "FRESH: The Movie," Salem Cycle and SHS Science Club will present a bike rodeo, and CGB is running the Green Kids Zone, with the help of our brand new eco-friendly art teacher Courtney Fallon!

Courtney will be on hand to help the little ones make creative eco-friendly art!
Courtney says, "We can help you and your child make some fun creations. Turn a paper plate into a snazzy snake. Children can stamp and press materials to make dizzying patterns on their paper plates. Or, get up and make some noise with our paper plate shakers! Watch your child beat to a different drum, or shimmy to their shakers."

We will also be offering discounts on our art classes for all who register, held at CGB, and offering in-store coupons for the weekend of the Green Fair.

Learn more about this great local event here.

June 15, 2010

CGB Wants Your Birth Story!

Starting this month, the CGB Blog will be featuring birth stories courtesy of you, our readers and customers! We are committed to our community, and know that by sharing our experiences with each other, we all become enriched, stronger, and better informed.

Every birth is different, and every birth has its own story. How did you imagine your birth? Did you stick to your birth plan, or did you go to plan B (or C)? Did you use a midwife, a doctor, or both? How did you feel before, during, and after your birth?

Send your birth stories to crunchygranolababy@gmail.com, and we may feature it right here on our blog! You can use your name, or send it anonymously. We want to hear from you!

For some great examples of birth stories, check these out. And remember, no matter what your experience, it is valid, and hearing it will help someone else!

June 12, 2010

Infant Massage at CGB

CGB is thrilled to host a four-week Infant Massage program. Classes will be facilitated by Christine DiPaolo.

Infant massage is a way in which to bond with your baby through gentle touch. Touch is extremely important to a baby's well-being, especially during the earliest weeks of life. Every time you hold, kiss, cuddle, rock or touch your baby, you are communicating your love for your child.

Infant Massage may provide relaxation for your baby, strengthen immune system, ease discomfort from colic, gas and constipation, increase circulation, aid in digestion, improve sleep, develop a parent-baby bond are a few of the benefits from infant massage.

Classes will be held at Crunchy Granola Baby. Classes will take place from 5:30 to 7PM from Wednesday, June 23 through Wednesday, July 14. Register at CGB - please include a check for $100 made out directly to Christine DiPaolo, your contact information, and the age of your child.

Contact CGB at 978.741.0800 with any questions.

June 11, 2010

US Premier: "A Breech In The System"

Ok guys, this is a good one. Really good. CGB and CinemaSalem are teaming up again to screen the United States premier of a riveting, inspiring documentary by Australian film-maker and natural childbirth advocate Karin Ecker. "A Breech in The System" is the story of a woman who fights to give birth to her breech baby naturally, despite her hospital's insistence that she get a cesarean section. We guarantee it's the most exciting movie you will ever see about a birth.

The screening will take place at CinemaSalem on Saturday, June 26th at 10AM and will be immediately followed by a panel discussion. Tickets are only $10 and available at CinemaSalem or online at www.cinemasalem.com. We expect to sell out, so make sure you get your tickets today!

We love this movie and we know you will too. Its tagline reads, "An inspiring documentary about a woman on a mission to give birth naturally against all odds." How perfect is that? We can't wait to see you there.

[ The screening is sponsored by Hamilton Wenham Family Chiropractic, hosted by CinemaSalem, and all proceeds benefit CGB's Childbirth Outreach and Education Program. ]

June 10, 2010

Eco-Friendly Art Classes at CGB

We welcome curious imaginations to learn creative art-making using recycled materials straight from our community!

During our Eco-Friendly Art Classes, your child will learn basic techniques in painting, drawing and collage, with an eco-friendly twist. All projects have been inspired by our collection and donations of safe, clean, found materials from the city of Salem.

This class is for 2-4 year olds. Attention parents and caregivers: We are excited to help you work together with your child! Please know that we do expect you to stay for the length of each session. Fee is $90 for 4 weeks (additional child in the same family is $75), most materials included, we will let you know if you need to bring anything each week. Classes run from Monday, June 28 through Monday, July 26 at 10:30AM. Register at Crunchy Granola Baby 978-741-0800. Checks made out to Courtney Fallon.

About our Instructor Courtney Fallon: "I was raised in Townsend, Massachusetts. In 2006, I graduated from Rhode Island School of design with a BFA in Painting. After graduating, I enrolled in the Master of Arts in Teaching Art program at Salem State College. Currently, I have a wonderful time working with the imaginations of my elementary students. I enjoy gouache painting, baking batches of cookies, and exploring unique places."

June 7, 2010

Handmade Hats from Harper Olive

CGB is so psyched about these adorable knit hats from sisters Alycia and Nikki at HarperOlive! Handmade with 100% organic cotton in a rainbow of colors and styles, these cute toppers (with names like Ava, Margo, and Eloise) are each one-of-a-kind, just like your little one!

This is another one of those times when we say, "I wish these came in adult sizes!" But we'll just have to live vicariously through the lucky kids who'll get to wear HarperOlive hats.

Come in today and check them out!

June 5, 2010

Welcome Mud Puddle Toys!

CGB would like to extend a warm welcome to Mud Puddle Toys, the newest addition to downtown Salem! A family owned business, Mud Puddle Toys offers safe, eco-friendly toys from thoughtful, conscientious companies that hold children's safety at a higher standard than the bottom line.

Mud Puddle Toys is open at 221 Essex St. on the Pedestrian Mall, just behind Rockafellas, but the Grand Opening will take place today - Saturday, June 5. So be sure to visit Salem for all your baby needs - this town is bursting with great shopping!

June 4, 2010

Salem Arts Festival

CGB is stoked to be part of the Salem Arts Festival this weekend, June 4-6.

This fantastic, fun, and family-friendly festival features over 75 artists and performed in downtown Salem. Learn more about Salem Arts Festival here.

Here at CGB, we'll be hosting an artist, Molly Donovan, so be sure to take part in the Arts Walk on Saturday, June 5 and check out the work of Ms. Donovan.

See which other local shops are hosting artists here.

More about Molly: Molly Donovan is a visual artist and art therapist who studied fine art at Boston College, and graduated from Lesley University in 2009 with Master of Art’s degree in art therapy. Her mixed media collages combine watercolor, acrylic, oil, paper, photography and found objects, and can be classified as a combination of illustration, design and abstraction. The themes of human connection, memory, environment and nature, and the kinds of emotions that they elicit and ways that they affect people, inspire Molly’s art. Through painting she captures and celebrates the beauty that she perceives in nature, architecture and people. The pieces that are apart of the Salem Art Walk are inspired by the unique and enchanting beauty of Salem. Molly is a recent resident of Salem, and her works reflect how she perceives the city through fresh eyes as a vibrant and whimsical fairytale city rooted in rich history by the sea.

June 3, 2010

CGB is Hiring!

Crunchy Granola Baby is looking for an enthusiastic and motivated individual to join our team!

As a growing retail outlet, we’re looking for outgoing candidates with a passion for natural living. We are well-known for our superior customer service, so applicants should enjoy working with people, especially children. Applicants should also be self-motivated and driven individuals with a desire to excel.

Applicants should also have a passion for merchandising our ever-growing collection of products, be computer-literate, and be willing to help with our behind-the-scenes work, such as event organization, web maintenance, social networking, etc.

Part times sales consist of 10-20 hours a week providing customer service, but applicants should also have the flexibility and availability to work evening and weekend shifts.

Other Responsibilities:

  • Love talking with people? You should relish in assisting customers because, trust us, we have some of the best customers.
  • Prefer a clean house? We need somebody who doesn’t mind a little cleaning and light lifting.
  • Interested in learning more about natural living and parenting? You should be willing to educate yourself about our products and their benefits.
  • Are you community-oriented? We need an individual who wouldn’t mind helping out at workshops and events.

If all this sounds like you, please send resume and / or letter of interest to crunchygranolababy@verizon.net. No phone calls please.

More about Crunchy Granola Baby: CGB is a unique Salem shop that specializes in organic and natural items for babies and young children. But we’re also much more than a retail shop – we see ourselves as a community resource. Some of what we offer includes: classes and workshops in birth, breastfeeding, newborn care, parenting and healthy living; support and play groups for families; along with various fundraisers, events and community outreach.