Welcome to my life among the trees! After dabbling in MySpace for, what, nearly three years now, and Facebook for the last several months, I figured it's time to start my own independent resource for myself and other parents who strive to focus on a more natural, sustainable lifestyle for their famly. So, this is my first official blog. And my first official post. Let me introduce myself. My name is Shana. I am a homebirthing, breastfeeding, baby-wearing, co-sleeping, respectful parenting, whole food eating, vegetarian, crunchy wife and mama. I live for my wonderfully artistic husband, David, and two amazing daughters, Eva (Sept-2001) and Esme (March-2007). I have a BA in Integrated Language Arts from Wright State University, I am a Certified Postpartum Doula, and I am proud to be a Student Midwife. When I can spare the time, I am often found reading, drumming, and knitting. When Esme was born, David and I had over 10 wonderful weeks off work together with the girls, and since then, we have developed an embarrassing addiction to board games. Above all else, though, I enjoy spending time with and encouraging my three true loves—especially by admiring (and inspiring, so I have been told) David’s artwork, doing crafts and baking with Eva, and nursing and reading stories with Esme. As for my lifestyle choices, I am dedicated to green-living and natural parenting. I live to preserve the earth, enjoy nature, and live a healthy, sustainable lifestyle. As a conscious effort to support that convention, my family is vegetarian, we eat mostly whole foods, we use family cloth and cloth diapers, we recycle and compost a good portion of our waste. For those items we cannot make ourselves, we try to buy second-hand, from WAHMs, and from local markets. We also run quite the zoo at home. Our many wonderful pets are thouroughly loved, adored, and spoiled. To introduce you, we have three dogs: Sandy, a snobby and happy nine-year-old Yellow Lab who loves Eva above all else; Minnie, a trouble-hunting, raw-hide stealing, hole-digging, neurotic four-year-old Blue-tick Coonhound (who also happens to be a Katrina resuce); and then there is Sonny, the docile giant English Mastiff, who is only two-and-a-half, and still growing. We also have two cats: Snickers, my sassy 18 year old Siamese/Angora mix (he is so bossy that it's not uncommon to see Sonny and Minnie running, tail between legs, away from Snickers, who is batting paw and in chase--the true leader of the pack). And then there's and Little Wookie, a sweet, shy, and blind 9 year old Maine Coon--the most beautiful cat I have ever seen. Both of our cats are rescues. To add to the mix, we have an Argentine Red Tail Boa named Louie, and a hermit crab terrarium, led by none other than my first crab, Luna Lovegood, who I got as a gift back in 2005. So, now you know a little about me and what fills my life. I hope I will keep up this blog and fill your minds with thoughtful, philosophical words of wisdom, and I hope you will give me the same in return.