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Ashlee is Mama of one darling boy. A 28 week early bird, now 1 and some change, doing beautifully. She lives near Chicago with her sweetheart husband and French Bulldog. She's a thinker not afraid to get her silly on. Babywearer, veggie queen, photography nut. Before the domestic days Ashlee was pursuing a future in developmental psychology but has happily shifted gears in favor of staying at home and couldn't imagine doing anything else. In her free time (ha!) you can find her whipping up babyslings, holding down the fort at Mama Speaks and spotlighting as an Itsy Bitsy Yoga Instructor.

Mama's Nest

I Moved! Monday, March 24, 2008 |

This mama has flown the blogger coup, you can now find me via my shiny new url ThisMamasNest.com over on Wordpress.

• 1 Chirping

You Can Do Some Thing Saturday, March 22, 2008 |

"Somewhere past the physical (the tangible) a high and lofty romance exists: a radiating, all encompassing force that easily blankets the most decrepit. It transforms the complacency of that which has lived into that which is alive. There, appreciation spills, without demand, for absolute beauty. For the simple things."

"He has made everything beautiful in His time..." Ecc. 3:11

I wrote a post some time ago about "this thing". This thing that makes me feel unlike any other. I promised more and someday I will bring it, when the time is right. Also, I never took the time to thank all of my readers for your respectful comments and dialog, so thank you.

Today I write because there is something brewing that desperately needs your attention and if your heart is in line with mine your signature may help to make a world of difference.

The Prenatally and Postnatally Diagnosed Conditions Act has been bouncing around since 2005 or so and has finally been backed by a Senate Committee and introduced. Studies are now showing that babies being diagnosed in utero with Down's, Cerebral Palsy, Dwarfism and many other conditions are being aborted
90% of the time!

"The bipartisan bill would provide $5 million β€œto increase the provision of scientifically sound information and support services to patients receiving a positive test diagnosis for Down syndrome or other prenatally and postnally diagnosed conditions.”

The bill would also β€œ(1) increase patient referrals to providers of key support services for women who have received a positive test diagnosis for Down syndrome, or other prenatally or postnatally diagnosed conditions, as well as to provide up-to-date,comprehensive information about life expectancy, development potential, and quality of life for a child born with Down syndrome or other prenatally diagnosed condition; (2) strengthen existing networks of support through a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention patient and provider outreach program; (3) improve available data by incorporating information directly revealed by prenatal or postnatal testing into existing State-based surveillance programs for birth defects and prenatally or postnally diagnosed conditions; and (4) ensure that patients receive up-to-date, scientific information about the accuracy of the test.”"*

There is currently ZERO training within ACOG in regards to follow-up counseling if a prenatal test comes back positive for Down's, meaning that in many cases the ONLY recommendation or option given by a woman's medical professional is to abort the baby. Which, regardless of where you stand, I think we can all agree is wrong. Parents of People with Down's Syndrome have created a petition to urge change and education in this realm. Their goal is 5,000 signatures and they currently have 1,750, so please head on over and sign away.

* excerpt from Townhall.com

Related Links:
National Association for Down's Syndrome
World Down's Syndrome Day
Gigi's Playhouse

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• 5 Chirping

So, That's Where We've Been |

One van. One mama. One sister. One 2 year old. One French Bulldog.

3,864 miles. 8 days.

More when the road weariness subsides!


• 4 Chirping

Spring Has Hatched Monday, March 10, 2008 |

After much time spent scouring the internets and local shops for the perfect fabrics, sewing the nights away and a week of amazingly entertaining photo shoots I am ecstatic to announce that my Spring Collection and Hatchling Slings are LIVE at nest!!!

So much thanks to my boys and all of my models (Jaymi, Popeye and The Beast, Carter, Carrington and Capri, Charlie and Jaime, and Allison)


• 9 Chirping

So Long Soley-Sue Friday, March 07, 2008 |

Our experiment in dual doggy ownership failed miserably.

We knew that our beloved Oliver needed a playmate and after Christmas set out to find a new pup. After a huge let down at the shelter we decided to hunt for the perfect red Dobie. We found him through a somewhat local breeder and brought our Solomon home at the end of January. Today he found yet another home.

Sweet Solomon

Ok, I'll admit it, David wasn't entirely on board, he was for me, but if it had been completely up to him....notsomuch. I was a wee bit trying to self-medicate with dog, I think. I have always been an animal lover, never turned down a stray, have always used those furry four legged loves as my outlets for affection and companionship, the whole bit. But then this funny thing happened. I became a mom and as much as my animal kids were loved and cared for, the human babe took over priority number one.

But lately Oli had me stressed, he was lonely, I was feeling a discontent and then when my dad died... I needed something and that seemed to be it.

I won't say it didn't help. To have this gorgeous, sweet, loving creature in our midst was awesome. Oliver immediately changed into the dog we knew he could be, and Xavier loooooved his baby puppy. But it wasn't all roses, the poop multiplied, the stress multiplied, the one more thing to take care of quickly became too much. We were tripping over ourselves and quite literally having our ankles chewed on by a teething pup, who was quickly gaining size on our 2 year old. He was my responsibility and I finally admitted I just couldn't do it anymore.

After two weeks of answering emails and phone calls. Of denying way too many people because they were more interested in chopping his ears off than hearing about how sweet he is, we found the perfect parents to adopt our not so tiny pup.

They came, they visited, they left with 4 more legs.

We're sad. Xavier said goodbye, but I think it will take a day or two to sink in. Oliver is lost and moping. But at the same time there is a relief. A weight that has lifted.

One of the hardest things in seeing him go, was deciding that it's not fair to keep Oliver as an only dog, he really needs a canine companion for himself. And so next week, Xavier, my sister and I, will pack up the car and make the long drive down to Arizona to drop him off with my brother and sister-in-love. They love him, want him, and can give him what we can't right now. I don't know if we could do it if he wasn't staying in the family, but he is, and we can.

Oliver's First Bath (yes, there are pictures)

While it stinks, again, I'm feeling relief- even if for silly things. I'm looking forward to a house that is a little quieter, a lot cleaner. To not have to interrupt a moment with my husband or my boy because the dog needs to go out, or eat, or just pooped/peed/threw up on the floor again, will be heaven. To know my boy is safe from nips and accidental knock downs gives this mama a piece of mind that I haven't had before. I fear the emptiness, the lack of snoring, snorting, bulldog. But it just doesn't feel optional right now.

When X is older, when he can help, when he's bigger. When we have a different house, and different schedules and firmer roots. I think then we might be able to introduce another living breathing thing into our lives. Right now, we prepare to say goodbye.

• 7 Chirping

Wordless Wednesday - The Naked Chef Wednesday, March 05, 2008 |

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Best Shot Monday - One of These Things is Not Like the Other Monday, March 03, 2008 |

Xavier in front of his favorite Ankylsaurus, pointing out his more favorite Appatasaurus behind me. He insisted I shoot him in front of every. single. dino. but was so excited he couldn't stand still. We ended up with a bunch of blurry, touristy shots but I love this one- his expression and the fact he looks superimposed in the frame.

Many more inspiring shots this a way.


• 6 Chirping