Things have been busy here in my neck of the woods. Lots of changes have been happening, some for bad, most for the better. Overall, I’m extremely excited at the direction my life has been going and I hope all these good vibes continue coming my way!
So what have the A Team and I been up to?
Bitty A is 4 months old now, but he’s already about the size of a 1 year old. He’s a chunk! He’s exclusively breastfed, cloth diapered, worn in wraps, and overall wonderful and healthy. Right now he’s been actively trying to crawl. It bugs him to no end that he can’t do everything his big brother and sister can do!
Big A is 4 years old. I’ve been slowly integrating preschool into his daily life and it has been going well! We don’t have any course books, and I don’t foresee us using any in the near future, but he’s doing well with what schoolwork I do present him with. I had planned on putting him in soccer this year, because he loves it so much, but the funds just weren’t there. I’m hoping next year, with a little better planning, I’ll be able to find a program for him.
Little a is 2 ½ years old. She’s semi-fluent in ASL and uses it often, but she loves to verbally communicate (quite loudly) what she’s saying, too. She likes to do preschool work with Big A and actually seems to have a little more patience than he does, so she’s been able to learn right alongside her big brother… one of the many things I love about homeschooling! She also enjoys helping me with my herb crafting. She’s one of the first ones to try a new (and toddler safe) tea blend I’ve made. She seems to have a natural love for plants.
Our local Pagan community has been blooming the last year. The kids and I have been working on becoming active within it. It’s amazing how much is has flourished since I first moved back to Arkansas! There have been talks of a Spiral Scouts troup forming locally. Once they do, I will definitely be talking to the tots about it and seeing if they want to join.
As for the bad changes, my health has taken a pretty hard hit. I had noticed a lot of my old chronic issues, ones that I had kept fairly well under control, began to resurface after I miscarried Baby Arthur. Then, during Bitty A’s pregnancy, I began having even more problems. Thankfully, none of these issues interfered with my ability to safely give birth to him at home, but they did begin to run down my body. Near the end of my pregnancy, the kids and I moved in with my mom just for a little extra help. It was greatly needed, because the last month of Bitty A’s pregnancy, and about two months after, I wasn’t able to work due to how sick I was.
However, with all of these health issues, both old and new, have come good things. It has caused me to delve deeper into herbalism, far deeper than I had before. The drive to feel better and to be able to be healthy enough to take care of my kids pushed me to the point that I needed to be in order to expand my knowledge of herbs. Thanks to a rigorous herbal regime, not shying away from Western Medicine when it was needed, seeing a chiropractor regularly, and working through some stress and grief that had been building up, I have finally gotten to a point in my health in which I’m able to get back on my feet.
Despite all of the ups and downs, my business and continuing my education have both been better than ever! I am nearly done with my doula certifications. I’m training through New Beginnings and Stillbirthday. Stillbirthday has been extremely challenging and has caused me to really reflect on the grief that I experienced when I went through Arthur’s miscarriage. But I need to work through that grief, so I have been very grateful for my training through Stillbirthday.
As far as my business, I have launched my doula business and it has gone very well! I work as a full spectrum doula, meaning I cover all aspects of birth and postpartum, including pregnancy loss and abortion. It is a very humbling job and oh so rewarding. With my doula business, I have also combined my apothecary. My herbal focus has almost always been on women and children, so combining it with my doula business just made a lot of sense. In the future, I might change this up, but for now, I love making oxymels for tots, pregnancy tea blends, and postpartum herb baths.
Combining my herbal and doula business has really helped me locally, in that I’ve been able to bring more awareness about herbal medicines within my local community. Very soon I will begin teaching family herbalism classes at a local store. I live in an area that is overrun with MLM essential oil reps, so it’s been nice to be able to use my presence as a doula to help share information about proper herb and essential oil safety.
And on that note, I will soon be selling my handcrafted herbal goods locally! I have a few local shops that have reached out to me and have asked me if they can carry some of my goods. Of course, I jumped all over that! I’m hoping to have my products in local stores sometime in April. One small step to help me get to the point that I can finally open my own brick and mortar apothecary… my dream!
All in all, the A Team and I have had a lot of ups and downs, but the ups are finally beginning to go way, way up. I pray to the goddess that they continue this steady climb up, because the gods know that the kids and I could finally use some good things in our lives.
How have you been? Do you have any big changes happening in your life?