January 29, 2011

Our New Friend: Northside Carting

Earlier today, I met with Eric Lipsky from Northside Carting, an environmental management service company that currently leases and operates the Salem Transfer Station. He explained to me the following new transfer station incentives, and I'm passing them along to you!

1) The new site will look like the picture above in contrast to its current status. Additionally, this will stabilize the environmental impacts along the Forest River.
2) Northside Carting will provide the complete cost to cap the uncapped ash landfill- a long standing liability to the City of Salem
3) The City will receive $225,000 per year, each year, in a host community agreement of which $30,000 will go directly to the Salem Education Foundation.
4) A new city-wide recycle center for all recyclables and e-waste
5) An updated yard waste center updated yard

Eric has me convinced. But what do you guys think? Comment below or go ahead and let him know!Visit their website or Facebook page.

Remember - For Salem and its businesses to thrive, residents need to stay informed and involved!

January 28, 2011

Twitter Tuesday!

Do you take part in CGB's Twitter Tuesday? We ask you questions via Twitter and Facebook ... you answer ... and we choose one random winner to receive a great, crunchy prize!

A few weeks ago, we asked what your favorite toy was as a child. Thanks to a few of our Twitter friends, who made us nostalgic for our youth. And we hope to see your answers next Tuesday!

@CrunchyGranolaB I loved My Little Ponies!!less than a minute ago via Tweets60

@CrunchyGranolaB My favorite toy was a little stuffed Papa Smurf. I even tied him (gently) to my bike so we could be together all the time!less than a minute ago via web

@CrunchyGranolaB my favorite toy as a child was my kitchen set.less than a minute ago via web

January 27, 2011

New Product: Bamboosa Onesies

Just in time for the cold weather! These lap shoulder long sleeve onesies are 67% Viscose from Organic Bamboo/ 28% Organic Cotton/ 5% Lycra ultra-soft fabric. They are especially designed to give little bodies less constriction and room to wiggle!

Choose from:
- E is for Earth White (in natural)
- R is for Recyle (in sprout)
- C is for Cage Free (in natural)
- A is for Animal Protection (in sherbert)

Stop by CGB and pick up your bamboo onesie, or choose one online.

January 26, 2011

SUP the Coast ... A Video

A few days ago, we told you about SUP the Coast ... Well now, check this out:

SUP The Coast from Wind Powered Productions on Vimeo.

Learn more by visiting their website, blog or Facebook page.

January 25, 2011

New Products: For Cleaning!

New cleaning products have arrived at CGB! Wicked Clean is an all purpose all natural cleaner made from distilled water, castile soap, vinegar, sodium borate, and organic essential oil of lemon.

We've also got a new Mama's No Yuck product - a great cleaning product for car seats, strollers, cushions, rugs, toys & more! It is environmentally friendly, made from natural enzymes, natural surfactant, fragrance, stabilizer, and water. It is non-toxic, 100% biodegradable, alcohol and paraben free, and non-caustic.

Learn about this family owned business and how this product came about and find more information on Mama's No Yuck Cleaner at www.MamasNoYuck.com.

January 22, 2011

SUP the Coast

Beginning this March, some friends of CGB (Will Rich and Mike Simpson) are embarking from Key West, Florida and paddling along the Eastern Seaboard on their stand-up paddleboards towards their final destination: Portland, Maine.

“We’re combining our passions for paddling, people, and the ocean while fulfilling a dream of seeing the East coast from the water,” says Will Rich.

More than just a spring adventure, Will and Mike hope to spread awareness and raise money for two specific causes:

- Wounded Warrior Project, a national organization which supports America’s service men and women, particularly upon their return from duty.

- SUP Clean-Up, a world-wide organization based in North Carolina that educates people about the well-being of our marine eco-systems on which we so closely depend.

Why not consider donating money or your time to either of these prolific non-profits?

And don't forget - It takes money to paddle the coast. Help Will and Mike achieve their goal by donating to their cause, or purchasing from their “wish list” of necessary items.

You can also track their progress by visiting their website, blog or Facebook page.

January 20, 2011

CPR - January 22, 2011

Are you CPR certified?

If not, why not take three hours on
Saturday, January 22 and learn CPR and relief of foreign-body airway obstruction for infants (birth to 1 year of age) and children (1 year to 8 years of age), choke saving skills, rescue breathing and CPR for people over the age of 8.

The class includes a book, materials, and a Key Chain Face Shield. Upon successful completion of the course, you will receive a CPR card valid for (2) years.

Cost is $50. Checks can be made out to When Seconds Count. Register at Crunchy Granola Baby: 978.741.0800 or crunchygranolababy@verizon.net.

January 18, 2011

Our Featured Artists from The Phoenix School

Now featured in the store: Original artwork by PK-8th grade students at the Phoenix School in Salem!

January 16, 2011

Vaginal Birth After Cesarean Exploration and Preparation

Beginning this Thursday, January 20, CGB is introducing a new class: Vaginal Birth After Cesarean Exploration and Preparation.

About one in three women in the U.S. give birth by cesarean, and so many women are facing the question of whether or not vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) is right for them and their families.

In this class, we will explore what VBAC is, the risks and benefits, why many women are choosing it, and how to access it. You will learn about current VBAC research and get the tools you need to evaluate the options for yourself and decide if VBAC is right for you. Then, we will discuss strategies for VBAC, choosing and finding VBAC friendly care providers, and working with your previous birth experience(s) to have the birth you want. You will learn lots of tips and strategies for VBAC labor and birth, and you and your labor partner(s) will learn about labor support, including techniques specifically for VBAC.

This class includes a lot of discussion and interactive exercises designed to help you explore your options, address any fears you have and give birth confidently, with support and acceptance.

Our instructor Nechama Wildanah is a CPM, midwife and women's health educator who has done a lot of advocacy and community organizing work around access to VBAC and other women's health issues. Nechama graduated from Maternidad La Luz, a midwifery school and birth center on the U.S./Mexico border, in 2006. She has worked in birth centers and homes, and has been privileged to attend births in a variety of cultures, for a very diverse group of women and families. She speaks Spanish. Nechama has a homebirth practice in the Boston area, MotherRoot Midwifery, and also attends births as a doula and provides postpartum support as a certified lactation counselor. She is experienced in attending VBACs, and one of her all-time favorite births involved helping a 14 year old "catch" her baby sister as the two middle sisters looked on. Nechama is very grateful to be able to work with women and families, and is a member of the Massachusetts Midwifery Alliance, International Cesarean Awareness Network and Circle of Health International. In her spare time, Nechama likes to be with friends and family, eat ice cream, make cartoons and read really dorky research studies.

Class fee is $130.00 per couple. You can contact Nechama with questions or to register at motherrootmidwifery@gmail.com or you can call her at 617-717-8598.

January 15, 2011


New at Crunchy Granola Baby!

HarperOlive: Unique threads... for modern tots!

We've got an owl lined hoodie, ruffled jacket, and a cute fiona flower tunic!

January 6, 2011

A Labor and Delivery Nurse's Homebirth

Let me start this by informing any readers that I am a labor & delivery nurse, and am currently in my last few months of a nurse-midwifery graduate degree program. So I might get a little technical, and my perspective was a little different than the average first-time mom who has no idea what to expect. Granted, though I had an idea what to expect, I still had no idea how labor or birth would feel, how long it would last, etc etc. So I was still clueless in the most important ways! We planned a homebirth and saw exclusively a homebirth midwife. I decided when I was 18 that I was going to become a Certified Nurse-Midwife, and I knew that I would plan homebirths for my babies. Reading stories about homebirth midwives is what inspired me to become one, so it was definitely my plan long before I even became pregnant or my husband and I were even engaged. He knew from the get-go that it would be happenin' at home! (PS - if anyone is interested in discussing the research supporting the safety of homebirth feel free to contact me through CGB, I'd be happy to connect you with articles, etc!)

Prelude: I had difficulty falling asleep the night of Monday, March 29th following our appointment with our midwives, when they had discovered that my baby was still in the "sunny-side up" position, aka the dreaded "OP" (occiput-posterior) with his face facing my belly button rather than my back. This means the widest part of his head presents to the cervix and these babies, unless they rotate spontaneously in labor (or with assistance!), are very difficult (though not impossible!) to birth vaginally.

When I finally fell asleep, we were very rudely awakened at 2:25 am by the grating blare of our apartment building’s fire alarm. Of all things, and all days! We stumbled out of bed and down the stairs (against Toby’s protests and requests to ‘just stay in bed’), and waited in the pouring rain with the other tenants while the fire trucks lined up outside. After ten minutes of searching the fire fighters came back out. Evidently the building was not engulfed in flames, and we were allowed to go back to bed.

Because I was still so upset about the idea of birthing an OP baby, I lay awake until about 5 or 6 am worrying about the possibilities of birthing an OP baby. And cried some more.

I finally dozed off around 5 or 6, only to waken around 8 am with a series of what felt like rather intense gas pains and a serious case of the runs. I felt my belly harden with each pain as I raced to the bathroom, and had the inkling that these might be the start of labor. But I was mostly in denial, and really felt that the nature of them was probably just some GI thing or another, and to wait it out—they’d surely pass just like the rhythmic Braxton Hicks that were coming off and on the past week or so. But then, I noticed they kept coming…about every 10 minutes. And quickly, they become uncomfortable enough that I was running to the bathroom every few minutes to empty the rest of my colon—and though I felt all day like my bowels couldn’t possibly contain anything more, I managed to have diarrhea up until about two hours before Elijah was born. The strangest part was that they really felt like food poisoning, but more intense, and my belly became rock hard with each wave. I began to get nauseous with each one. They still were about 10-15 minutes apart, so I firmly told Toby when he awoke that he could NOT call the midwives—it was way too early! We finally agreed that at 1 pm, if they were still coming, he could call to at least let them know I might be in early labor. And I made the decision that I could definitely not go out anywhere today, so he had to call off our plans with some friends who were in town visiting from NYC—informing them that I was in labor. I kept telling him not to tell anybody, since this was our first baby and labor could last days or just fizzle completely and I didn’t want to cause any false alarms! He almost went out with the friends by himself at my insistence, since the contractions were about 10-15 minutes apart and bearable at the time he called them. But he decided to stick around, and wisely!

Nancy (our midwife) ordered me to get some rest since she said I was likely to have the baby late that night or early the next morning (I thought she was being awfully optimistic, especially since I hadn’t even had any bloody show—just lots of nausea and diarrhea, and I’d so far vomited once). Wonderfully, Elijah and God granted me an hour or so of beautifully spaced-out contractions so that I slept deeply in between each, between about 1 and 2 pm. We agreed to check in with Nancy around 5:30 pm or 6.

Around 5:30, Toby called Nancy back to tell her I was still having contractions, a bit closer together, and asked for any recommendations for comfort measures. By this point I was on the floor with each contraction. The pain was breathtaking and unrelenting—it felt like a million saws grating against my sacrum. He was definitely still OP, because all of my labor felt like absolute agony in my lower back. His skull grinded relentlessly against my backbone with each contraction and I literally just focused on surviving each one. It felt somewhat better to make low toned howls with each wave, which I began doing in earnest, especially once I jumped into the shower at Nancy’s suggestion. The water against my back felt good enough that I remained in there for about an hour, during which the contractions picked up in frequency significantly, coming about every 3-5 minutes (we were no longer timing them, but I could just tell). Toby had called to ask that perhaps Nancy send one of her student midwives to offer some support, telling her we didn’t think we were ready for her to come yet. Danielle & Tammy would be on their way in a moment, she said.

Danielle arrived shortly thereafter and offered some comfort measures that I tried but immediately declined because I could not handle any counter pressure on my back—it just felt that it dug further into the searing bone pain with each wave. I did get into polar bear position which offered some relief, especially between contractions. About 15 minutes after Danielle got here, Nancy called back to check in and heard me mooing in the background (probably asking for the Lord to help me, which is what I was shouting at this point from the shower with each wave), and told Toby “I’m getting in the car!”. I still felt it was too early at this point, that this could still fizzle, that it would last all night, and I didn’t know how I’d do it. I decided if she checked me and I was 1-2 cm, I was going to refuse to last any longer. The intensity of the back pain was too much for me—I’d made it about 10 hours at this point and was feeling nauseas, had vomited several times, was terribly thirsty from all the diarrhea and vomiting, but unable to keep anything down, and I was becoming truly weary. I dreaded each contraction and just focused on living through it, bellowing curses that I’m sure terrified the neighbors and those walking down the street past our window.

Soon, Heather, Nancy’s partner midwife, arrived and offered me some relief with rubs and affectionate pats. Her touch felt amazing, and her confidence in how well I was doing made me feel marginally better. I just remember moaning to Tammy, “Why is our baby OP? I just hope I’m not 1 cm—I haven’t even had any blood show!” And her quiet responses: “So that when you’re a midwife, you understand!” and “That’s okay!” (about the lack of bloody show).

Nancy arrived, and what a godsend. She walked in, came right to me and put a cool compress on the back of my neck. She began to talk me through each wave, looking me in the eye and holding my focus, asking me to relax deeply, to find the depths of my capacity to birth even through the pain, to tell myself that I was safe, that I was a mama lion. I managed to hold on with her through a few contractions wherein I felt like my body was being ripped apart from my sacral bones, and asked her to check me to see if she could possibly change the position of the baby.

Imagine my surprise when she laughed joyfully and exclaimed that she almost didn’t believe her fingers, because I was nearly fully dilated and my water would break any second because my bag was bulging hugely.

And break it did, in a huge splash that coated almost our entire bedroom (thank goodness I had had Toby make the bed over with the plastic fitted sheet by that point, and Nancy had hastily removed the quilts at some point after she got there and before my water broke). All I remember is the feeling of the gush, hearing the splash, and the peals of everyone’s laughter at the mess from the fluid. The room was giddy. Everyone but me—I was still in agonizing back pain with each new wave, but suddenly my body began to bear down intently with each contraction. I started to push, more by instinct than actual purposeful action. My whole body was just seized with powerful urges to push, before I even really recognized that was what I was doing. Nancy told me if the pushing felt satisfying, the cervix was likely completely gone and she didn’t need to check me again. It did feel satisfying, and also took away some of the back pain.

I switched to my back because my hands and knees were exhausted, and they helped me hold up my legs in lithotomy position—oddly enough, as this was sort of the opposite of the way I’d envisioned giving birth at home. But the relief of complete rest in between pushing was wonderful, and finally, at some point in the pushes, my back pain disappeared completely and was replaced by the burning of tissue as his head came closer and closer to being born.

It felt like forever, but was only actually about 35-45 minutes of total pushing efforts. Eventually they told me to reach down and feel the top of his head—it was wild! I almost couldn’t tell the difference between my tissue and his, except his just felt like a little ball of harder skin. It was insane. Then I began to really want to meet him, to feel the power of the fact that in mere minutes I was going to actually meet this baby we had loved for 40 weeks and 3 days, and made love to make, and who was part me and part the love of my life. I was impatient! Not to mention, it became incredibly uncomfortable. When I felt the ‘ring of fire’ (which was NOTHING compared to the pain of back labor), I decided I’d risk tearing and that I officially wanted to get this baby into the world ASAP. Once his head was remaining on the perineum between pushes, I gave one or two huge, mighty pushes and he came flying into the world—no crowning time; he jumped right out in one fell swoop, head, shoulders and body. The down side to this was a relatively large tear that required probably 6 stitches. The up side was the incredible relief of having him on my chest and absolutely no labor left! I have never experienced such utter relief at having something over. And he was so incredibly alert! A nice lusty cry and completely pink—he got Apgars of 10 and 10, and let me tell you, I have never once seen that in the hospital. But he deserved them! I didn’t even see any real acrocyanosis in those first few minutes! Elijah Erson was finally here, 7 lbs exactly, at 9:13 pm (A mere 2 hours after the midwives arrived!)

It was the biggest rush of my life. I just remember feeling in complete awe, and asking Toby to tell me whether he was a boy or girl (since I was lying flat, it was a little difficult with trying to keep his dry blankets over us for me to look for myself). Toby made the announcement and I remember saying “Elijah—and he was born on Passover!”. When we decided on Elijah, I had read that the name was often given to (Jewish) baby boys born around Passover. As I had read that statement from a naming web site, I remember feeling that this baby might be born around Passover; in any case, my ‘due date’ was near Passover, so it seemed like a good possibility. As it turns out, he was literally born the night we were supposed to attend a seder with friends.

The midwives were incredible. Nancy stitched me up, they made tea, cleaned the apartment of the birth mess, took my vital signs, weighed the baby and did his newborn exam, gave us lots of love and affection, sat me up with lots of blankets and helped me nurse, and kissed us goodnight. And then it was just us—by 11 pm, the team was gone and it was just our new family looking at each other in awe. Shortly thereafter my parents arrived with my brother in tow—I had asked specifically for my parents to bring him with them (he was a college student living across the city from us at the time Elijah was born) and we had a champagne toast and shared in our joy and excitement. Everyone was astonished it was over so soon!

editors note: Here are a couple of links to articles regarding homebirth.



January 5, 2011

Free Enrichment Programs

The Phoenix School FREE Saturday Enrichment Programs for 3-6 and 7-10 year olds. Young explorers for bright, curious students. Come spend an hour and a half listening to a story, doing science experiments, making a robotic invention to solve a problem, or creating an art project. Each program will be different.

Programs take place from 10 - 11:30AM. Next dates are: January 8, 2011; February 12, 2011;
March 12, 2011. Admission is free, but pre-registration is preferred through website or by calling 978.741.0780.

Learn more about the Phoenix School here.

January 2, 2011

Upcoming Events for 2011

· Natural Childbirth: Session 1: Sundays, Jan. 2, Jan. 9 and Jan. 16) from 4:30-8:00 and Session 2: Sundays, Jan. 30, Feb. 6, Feb.13

· The Three Hour, Learn Everything Breastfeeding Class : Monday, Jan. 10 at 6:30PM

· Second Baby or More: Tuesday, January 11 at 6:30PM

· Baby Wearing Demonstration: Saturday, Jan. 15 at 10AM

· HypnoBirthing: Sundays, Jan. 23, Jan. 30 and Fe b. 6 at 9AM

· Want to Become a Childbirth Educator?: Saturday, Feb. 26, 2011 at 9:00am - Sunday, Feb. 27, 2011 at 6:00pm

· Postpartum Doula Training: Saturday, Mar. 12 - Sunday, Mar.13

Learn more about these events and workshops at www.crunchygranolababy.com