Dear Grieving Mother…

Dear grieving mother,

Oh mama, I’m so sorry. No mama should ever lose her baby. I lost my two baby boys at 20 weeks gestation, my friend lost her baby boy at 36 weeks gestation, and last week the niece of my dear friend unexpectedly died at 4 months. This should never happen. Continue reading “Dear Grieving Mother…”

Dear Jussi

Last Friday we had a little memorial service for our precious little boy, missing from our family. We had it at home and it marked one month since he was delivered. As a family we buried him next to Avi a few weeks ago, but waited a bit for a good day to hold a little service for him, in our home, with close friends and family. Continue reading “Dear Jussi”

Birth of Jussi Emmanuel Mintz

Jussi (YU-si) (God is merciful) Emmanuel (God with us) Mintz
was delivered today,
at 9:29 AM, November 4th at 19 weeks gestation.
He is now safe and well in the arms of Jesus.

The whole family grieves the loss of this precious little one, but also find strength and provision in Christ.
We would appreciate your continued prayers.

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33 NKJV

The hearts are from a dear friend for Avi and Jussi.


Left Over Turkey – What to do with it!

Two week ago we celebrated Thanksgiving with our Bible study and we were in charge of the turkey. I cooked a 27lb bird for 16 adults and 18 kids… we ended up with LOTS of leftovers! I’m not complaining! We had some for dinner that week and I froze some for future use! Continue reading “Left Over Turkey – What to do with it!”

Plugged Ducts and Mastitis

So of course I had to jinx myself and mention plugged ducts and mastitis in my post on breastfeeding.  All had been going well until a week ago. Continue reading “Plugged Ducts and Mastitis”

My Breastfeeding Journey

ATTN Male readers (if any):  this post may make you feel uncomfortable or may contain photos you prefer not to view… read at your own risk!

I debated a post on this… but as our precious baby girl Xanthie has arrived, this what a lot of my day (and night) consists of.  And since this is not only a blog about health, and food and green living, I’m trying to add more about our family and family life in this home!  So here are some of my thoughts and experiences!

Xanthie nursing within a few minutes of birth!

Thankfully I’ve been able to breastfeed all four of my little ones.  I know that sometimes isn’t a desire or sometimes isn’t possible for some.  I thank God daily for equipping me with the ability to nurse my children.  I also thank God that I’ve been blessed with more milk than my children need and with the last three births I’ve been able to share what God has given me.

It is additional work and time and effort and some minimal cost to pump extra to donate, but I also think it is very special.  I feel honored that I’m able to bless a little baby somewhere with healthy milk to help them grow, mature and develop.  I know the mamas who have received milk appreciate it and are very thankful they have some breastmilk to feed their children besides just formula.

Breastfeeding Xanthie(3 days old) at an outdoor music concert.

But enough of that… it has been a special part of having babies for me, knowing that it provides a new time to bless others as well.  However, there is so much more than just that!

Breastfeeding does take a lot of time and I do need to be the one getting up with baby through the night, but sometimes even when baby is finished nursing I just sit and stare at them.  Enjoying their sweet smell, hearing their restful breathing and just enjoying the snuggles before time passes all too quickly and they are grown and running around.

Breastfeeding Koa at Easter

I’ve known since I was young that I wanted to nurse my children… in fact I didn’t really think there was another option!  My mother breastfed me and my four younger siblings, so I really didn’t even know there was any other option!  I also remember other mothers sharing milk with those who were in short supply.  It was normal for me and just a natural part of living in close community with other families.

Tonchi learning that breastfeeding is the natural way to feed babies!

Thankfully each of my children has been quick to learn to suckle (within a few minutes of birth) and it has come pretty easily for both baby and I.  My milk always came in on the third day after birth which always gave me a happier newborn!

Aisling at a few days
Aisling at a few days

I can’t say it’s all been fairy tales and roses though… I’ve had my share of the run of the mill issues as well, engorgement, blocked ducts, mastitis, sore and cracked nipples, babies with lazy latches that caused a lot of pain, unexpected letdowns, and other such excitement!  However,  we have been able to work through all of them and press on!

In fact, each time I get a blocked duct or mastitis it is usually early in the life of the newborn and I know it’s because I felt great and tried doing too much.  I usually feel almost 100% back to normal within the first week after birth, but that always seems to bite me in the boo boo…. I end up trying to fix dinners, do laundry, take a few trips too many up and down the stairs and etc and etc in the life of a mama!  Thankfully, taking a step back, resting and a few other natural remedies I’m able to get it cleared and healed!  It’s certainly uncomfortable in the process, but thankfully we have been able to get it cleared up and move on!

My children also don’t want to learn to take the bottle until they are 3 months old or older.  This has been tough since I have return to my job when they are 6 weeks old.  I feel bad for poor hubby as he has to fight them to take it and usually has at least 4 hours of a screaming little baby until I get back home.  Those days are hard, especially when I call home on break and hear my little baby crying and there isn’t anything I can do until I get off.  Those days are really hard…

Breastfeeding Aisling during a trip to NYC overlooking the Manhattan Bridge!

But even with the struggles and hard work that it takes, the pleasure and bonding is so worth it!  With each baby I look forward to sitting and snuggling and taking that time that I HAVE to sit down to nurse the baby when I have 1000 other demands of the day.  It makes me sit, take a moment to put my feet up and enjoy this new little one that has joined our family!
The International Breastfeeding Symbol

Birth Story of Xanthie

Birth Story of Xanthie
(pronounced Zan-thee)

August 5th, 2013
7 lbs 12 oz and 20 in

photo 3

I think Xanthie was trying to outdo her sister, but didn’t quite make it! Aisling was 10 days late, but Xanthie didn’t quite make it that long. She arrived 7 days after her due date. In this home, the boys seem to arrive early and the girls late! 😉 I guess they need the extra gestational time for beauty sleep! Continue reading “Birth Story of Xanthie”

It’s a Girl!

It’s a GIRL!!!!

photo 3


Xanthie Ann Mintz was born today!

(pronounced Zan-thee)

August 5th, 2013 8:36am

7lbs 12 oz

20in long

It was a quick labor and a water birth at home!

I will post her birth story in the next few days, for those who are interested!!!!

Birth Story of Aisling

Ready for more birth stories? Here is the last one for now, but hopefully another to soon be written once baby #4 decides to arrive!

Birth Story of Aisling
February 1, 2011
8lbs 4oz and 20.5 in

Aisling decided she was going to be 10 days! I guess in her mind arriving in January was too cold and not a good idea, so she waiting until February 1! Continue reading “Birth Story of Aisling”

Birth Story of Koa


Birth Story for Koa

Tonchi’s story was last week, and this week will be dedicated to Koa!  Tonchi was only 18 months old when Koa was born.  We were certainly surprised by his pregnancy, but it was a fantastic surprise.  These two boys play well together have always shared a room and don’t know what to do with out the other one being around!  They share clothing and space and most of the time get along.  Of course they argue like any sibling does, but the love each other fiercely too!


Read and enjoy!

The Birth of Koa Alexander Mintz
March 6, 2009
8 lbs. 21 ¼ inches

All through the pregnancy the due date was February 24, but as the day approached and passed I didn’t feel at all like it was time for him to be born. I didn’t feel uncomfortable at all, no swelling in my hands or feet, I could still sleep through the night without having to get up to use the restroom, I hadn’t been having Braxton Hicks, I was measuring small, I hadn’t lost my mucus plug, and so much more. As I thought about all of this, I remembered that my cycles were 6 weeks long instead of the usual 4 weeks. I mentioned this to my midwives, Tierney Dovan and Peggy Franklin and they agreed that the date had probably been miscalculated. The date was changed to March 10!

My last prenatal appointment was on March 5 in the late morning. While I was there I mentioned the fact that my feet had started to swell a little and I couldn’t wear my wedding rings any more. I also noticed that I had lost my mucus plug. We were all in agreement that Koa’s arrival was certainly getting closer. They asked if I wanted to try a few things to get labor started and I agreed. Tierney stripped my membranes (it was a little uncomfortable, but didn’t hurt) and then I purchased some Cotton Root and Labor E. Brian was there with me and on the way home we purchased some castor oil and Rosemary essential oil. After we ate lunch I waited 2 hours before starting the regime! First I was to take the Cotton Root under my tongue and then 15 minutes later take the Labor E. I was to alternate each every 15 minutes for the next 2-4 hours. I also used the breast pump for 30 minutes each hour, and also rubbed castor oil with the Rosemary essential oil on my belly each hour as well. As I was doing all this I was having contraction ranging anywhere from 2-5 minutes apart, but they didn’t hurt very much and weren’t at all regular or consistent.

I continued and pressed on thinking it would work, but after 4 hours and soreness under my tough from the burning of the herbal supplements, I was ready for a break. It was about 8 pm and I was tired… Brian and I watched a movie, put Tonchi in bed and got ready to go to bed. I had been talking with Tierney and Peggy about it all. After stopping the supplements the contractions stopped completely. I slept through the whole night and didn’t have any more contractions.


On March 6th I awoke feeling great… unfortunately! I was ready to have that baby! Contractions started up again on their own at about 9am. It still wasn’t consistent and they only felt like cramps, not contractions. Brian was home all day so we all went for a walk in the afternoon. Tonchi had a great time at the playground! I was hoping the walk would help to speed up the contractions, but in fact, we were gone for 1 hour and I had a grand total of 3 contractions. Obviously things weren’t working on my time frame!

Mom and Brenda had a program at church at 7pm, so they stopped by at about 6 to say hi and see Tonchi. We were eating dinner when they stopped. At this point my contractions were about 5 minutes apart, but still not at all painful. More like Braxton hicks with cramping. They left, and I asked them to call when they were leaving church to see how things were going. If it looked like things were changing then I was going to have them come back and pick up Tonchi for the night.

Tonchi, Brian and I laid on the bed upstairs and did some reading, worked on the computer and just laid around. At about 8:30 things started to pick up and I could tell this was it. Mom called around 9pm and they came back and picked up Tonchi. These contractions did hurt! And they were about 4-5 minutes apart. Brian called Tierney and Peggy and asked them to come on over! Things were finally starting to move along!

Tierney and Peggy arrived a little after 10pm and I was still able to converse before and after contractions. Brittany also arrived at about the same time. Brian was working on filling the birthing tub with warm water, but it never really did happen! He did get it filled, but it was only lukewarm, and not really as relaxing as it had been with Tonchi. Tyler and Michelle had been invited back for this birth as well, but Michelle was still in the UK and Tyler was out of town for a funeral. We were sorry not to have them and really missed them, but know they would have been there if it was at all possible!

At just before 11 I was ready to get in the pool, but Tierney and Peggy wanted to check me and check the baby before I got in. I was 5 cm! YEAH! Things really were moving! I got in the pool at about 11pm. By 11:40 I was hitting transition! Tierney checked me again and said I was 9.5cm and if I wanted to have the baby out of the water and in my bed I had better head upstairs.

I tried to labor on the floor leaning against the bed (I wanted to keep the mess out of the bed!) but I just couldn’t get comfortable and nothing seemed to work. Peggy had a hard time finding Koa’s heart rate and said I needed to try a different position. I got up on the bed and laid back on some pillows. After two contractions I wanted to start pushing. After the next two contractions Koa was born! At 11:59pm!


As his head came out Tierney said the cord was around his neck and it was too tight to remove. She asked me to give one last good push to get the rest of him out quickly. I did and the rest of him was born along with about a gallon of water! My water broke while I was in the pool, but there was still a lot of water above Koa before he was born. I felt terrible that Tierney’s leg got soaked!

It was an incredible birth! I’m so glad it was faster than Tonchi’s, but I feel like it was so much more intense. I remember Tonchi’s labor being hard, but this seemed a lot more painful. Dad is still working down in Georgia, so we didn’t get any pizza and sushi like last time! He promised it when he comes back to see Koa. I was quite bummed! At midnight I did have a PB&J with OJ! It tasted GREAT!


Brittany left around 2:10 and Peggy and Tierney left around 2:30. It felt so good to get in bed and go to sleep. What a great reward after half a nights work! I really did feel good. I didn’t have any tear or swelling which made recovery that much faster.

God RICHLY blessed us with a healthy little boy with 5 fingers and 5 toes, and all appendages in between. Towards the end of this pregnancy I had worried quite a bit that there was going to be something physically wrong with Koa. I had prayed about it a lot and God answered. He is perfect! Why is God so good to us? We are so undeserving and yet we have been so blessed.

Brian again was the perfect coach. I’m so glad he was there by my side during the whole thing. I really don’t think I could do it without him. He is so good at encouraging me and helping me look towards the end instead of only seeing the here and now. God has truly blessed me with a wonderful man and two wonderful sons!


Koa is now 4 and I can’t believe how fast time has flown by.  He is such a hard worker and is always ready to lend a hand for any task.  He LOVES rope and is constantly tying things up or around things or pulling himself into a tree.  He adores his Papa and wants to be just like him!  He is stubborn, opinionated, loyal, independent, loving and tenderhearted.   I just love this little boy!


Photo Credit for Koa and the rope