Christmas To Do List


This Christmas... 

 Be present. 
 Wrap someone in a hug.
Send peace. 
 Donate food. 
 Be the light. 

 🎄❤️🎄❤️




Winter Solstice: A Time for Rest, Reflection, Rebirth


Artwork by Jessica Boehman, Illustrator 

Life is being drawn into the earth, painlessly descending down into the very heart of herself. And we, as natural human animals, are being called to do the same -- the pull to descend into our bodies, into sleep, darkness, and the depths of our own inner caves continually tugging at our marrow. But many find the descent into their own body a scary thing indeed; fearing the unmet emotions and past events that they have stored in the dark caves inside themselves, not wanting to face what they have so carefully and unkindly avoided.

This winter solstice time is no longer celebrated as it once was, with the understanding that this period of descent into our own darkness was so necessary in order to find our light. That true freedom comes from accepting with forgiveness and love what we have been through, and vanquishing the hold it has on us, bringing the golden treasure back from the cave of our darker depths.

This is a time of rest and deep reflection, a time to wipe the slate clean as it were and clear out the old so you can walk into spring feeling ready to grow and skip without a dusty mountain on your back and chains around your ankles tied to the caves in your soul. A time for the medicine of story, of fire, of nourishment and love. A period of reconnecting, relearning and reclaiming of what this time means brings winter back to a time of kindness, love, rebirth, peace and unburdening instead of a time of dread, fear, depression and avoidance.

This modern culture teaches avoidance at a max at this time; alcohol, lights, shopping, overworking, over spending, bad food, and consumerism. And yet the natural tug to go inward, as nearly all creatures are doing, is strong, and people are left feeling as if there is something wrong with them --  that winter is cruel and leaves them feeling abandoned and afraid.

Whereas in actual fact winter is so kind. Yes, she points us in her quiet soft way toward our inner self, toward the darkness and potential death of what we were, but this journey, if held with care, is essential.

She is like a strong teacher that asks you to awaken your inner loving elder or therapist, holding yourself with awareness of forgiveness, and allowing yourself to grieve, to cry, rage, laugh, and face what we need to face in order to be freed from the jagged bonds we wrapped around our hearts, in order to reach a place of healing and light without going into overwhelm.

Winter takes away the distractions, the noise, and presents us with the perfect time to rest and withdraw into a womb-like love, bringing fire and light to our hearth.

-Brigit Anna McNeill

Read more from McNeill: https://brigitannamcneill.com

Mabel, age 12, creates her fantastic rendition of Jessica Boehman's original.
Note the extra books - little lamb must be making a run to the library for more!
Follow more of Boehman's work on Facebook: FB.com/HansMyHedgehog


• Peaceful Parenting on Facebook: FB.com/PeacefulParenting
• Peaceful Parenting Community: FB.com/groups/ExplorePeacefulParenting



Baby It's Cold Outside Lyrics Rewritten



Couple rewrites 'Baby It's Cold Outside' to emphasize importance of consent 
As shared at CNN by Alexandra King | Read more from King

A couple from Minnesota has re-imagined the classic Christmas song "Baby It's Cold Outside" for a 21st-century audience, changing the song's lyrics to emphasize the importance of consent. Singer-songwriters Lydia Liza and Josiah Lemanski, both from Minneapolis, said they were inspired to rework the song after bonding over a mutual dislike of the original's lyrics, which were penned in 1944 by Frank Loesser.

The duet features a man trying to dissuade a woman from leaving a party despite her repeated protestations that she has to go home. "What's in this drink?" is one of the female lines. "What's the sense in hurtin' my pride?" implores the male voice. The song's seeming disregard for the woman's desire to leave never sat well with Lemanski or Liza. "I've always had a big problem with the song. It's so aggressive and inappropriate," said Lemanski, 25.

Liza, 22, said she felt the same way as her boyfriend. "We started thinking of the open-ended questions that song has," she said. "You never figure out if she gets to go home. You never figure out if there was something in her drink. It just leaves you with a bad taste in your mouth."

So Wednesday night, the couple decided to write a complete set of new lyrics. "We wrote the whole thing in an hour and then we went back and used my little demo-recording microphone and did that in 15 minutes," Liza recalled. And though the melody is still the same, the lyrics strike an entirely new chord.

"I really can't stay/Baby I'm fine with that" opens the song, as the lyrics recall the original's format of a woman leaving a party. Except in Liza and Lemanski's version, she does so without protest, the man helps her get home safely and the fictional couple makes a date the next day at The Cheesecake Factory. "I ought to say no, no, no," sings Liza. "You reserve the right to say no," croons Lemanski. And as for that dubious "What's in this drink?" line. It's still there. Except, in the new version, the question is actually answered -- by Lemanski, who responds with the oh-so-now ""Pomegranate La Croix" (obviously). "I thought we were just doing like a really good, cool, funny thing and it just felt right," Liza said. "And emphasizing consent is one of the causes that I've always really been behind because I don't think I can think of one friend of mine who's a woman who hasn't been in dangerous situations with men. I've always cared about this so much," she added.

After the duo uploaded the song to SoundCloud, the couple found that what started out as a shared gripe between a boyfriend and girlfriend also resonated with the public at large. "We've heard a lot of people say, 'Wow, we never actually paid attention to the lyrics before -- this is awful!'" said Liza. The couple also said they hoped the song would raise awareness of the need for consent, given the problem of sexual assault on college campuses. "It's not just a rare thing -- it happens all the time, everywhere. Every day. And I'm afraid for my sister. And I'm afraid for my friends. And I hope that this song gets people thinking about it," Lemanski said.

Liza added that she hoped that the song would inspire others to take action to help prevent violence against women. "I hope it will be on people's minds and that people will donate to charity or do some volunteer work at shelters or sexual assault centers. Like, if you think about this and you think it's a problem, definitely step out of your comfort zone and do something and help someone," she said.

And having successfully designated their re-imagined "Baby It's Cold Outside" as an unofficial anthem for the importance of consent, the couple joked that there were some other candidates for the Liza and Lemanski treatment. "A lot of people have suggested a bunch of songs, like Ella Fitzgerald's 'She Didn't Say Yes, She Didn't Say No' and Robin Thicke's 'Blurred Lines,'" said Liza. "We'll just do a whole album," she laughed.


Lydia and Josiah perform 'Baby It's Cold Outside' - with updated lyrics: 




Baby It's Cold Outside - New Lyrics 

I really can't stay/Baby I'm fine with that

I've got to go away/Baby I'm cool with that

This evening has been/Been hoping you get home safe

So very nice/I'm glad you had a real good time

My mother will start to worry/Call her so she knows that you're coming

Father will be pacing the floor/Better get your car a-humming

So really I'd better scurry/Take your time

Should I use the front or back door?/Which one are you pulling towards more?

The neighbors might think/That you're a real nice girl

Say, what is this drink?/Pomegranate La Croix

I wish I knew how/Maybe I'll help you out

To break this spell/I don't know what you're talking about

I ought to say no, no, no/you reserve the right to say no

At least I'm gonna say that I tried/you reserve the right to say no

I really can't stay/...Well you don't have to

Ah, but it's cold outside...

I've got to get home/Do you know how to get there from here?

Say, where is my coat/I'll go and grab it my dear.

You've really been grand/We'll have to do this again

Yes, I agree/How 'bout the Cheesecake Factory?

We're bound to be talking tomorrow/Text me at your earliest convenience

At least I have been getting that vibe/Unless I catch pneumonia and die

I'll be on my way/Thanks for the great night!

Bye/Bye--Drive Safe Please.
Don't watch that episode of 'Breaking Bad' without me/I won't, I'll save that for you!


Lydia and Josiah discuss their rendition of "Baby It's Cold Outside" further:



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First Baby Born From Uterus Transplanted from Deceased Donor

By Maria Cheng for the Associated Press
Read more from Cheng


Baby born from transplanted uterus, from deceased donor

Brazilian doctors are reporting the world’s first baby born to a woman with a uterus transplanted from a deceased donor.

Eleven previous births have used a transplanted uterus, but from a living donor, usually a relative or friend. Experts said using a uterus from women who have died could make more transplants possible.

Ten previous attempts using deceased donors in the Czech Republic, Turkey, and the United States have failed.

This baby girl was delivered last December by a woman born without a uterus because of a rare syndrome. The woman — a 32-year-old psychologist — was initially apprehensive about the transplant, said Dr. Dani Ejzenberg, the transplant team’s lead doctor at the University of Sao Paulo School of Medicine. "This was the most important thing in her life," he said. "Now she comes in to show us the baby and she is so happy!"

The woman became pregnant through in vitro fertilization seven months after the transplant. The donor was a 45-year-old woman who had three children and died of a stroke.

The recipient, who was not identified, gave birth by cesarean section. Doctors also removed the uterus, partly so the woman would no longer need to take anti-rejection medications. Nearly a year later, mother and baby are both healthy.

Two more transplants are planned as part of the Brazilian study. Details of the first case were published Tuesday in the medical journal Lancet.

Uterus transplantation was pioneered by Swedish doctor, Mats Brannstrom, who has delivered eight children from women who each received a donor uterus from family members or friends. Two babies have been born at Baylor University Medical Center in Texas, and one in Serbia, also from transplants from living donors.

In 2016, doctors at the Cleveland Clinic transplanted a uterus from a deceased donor, but it failed after an infection developed.

"The Brazilian group has proven that using deceased donors is a viable option," said the clinic’s Dr. Tommaso Falcone, who was involved in the Ohio case. "It may give us a bigger supply of organs than we thought were possible."

The Cleveland program is continuing to use deceased donors. Falcone said the fact that the transplant was successful after the uterus was preserved in ice for nearly eight hours demonstrated how resilient the uterus is. Doctors try to keep the time an organ is without blood flow to a minimum.

Other experts said the knowledge gained from such procedures might also solve some lingering mysteries about pregnancies. "There are still lots of things we don’t understand about pregnancies, like how embryos implant," said Dr. Cesar Diaz, who co-authored an accompanying commentary in the journal. "These transplants will help us understand implantation and every stage of pregnancy."

Transplant team with baby

Related Reading:

The Lancet: Uterus transplantation from a deceased donor. https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(18)32106-8/fulltext#articleInformation

Science Daily: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/12/181204183703.htm

CNN: https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/04/health/uterus-transplant-deceased-donor-study/index.html

Hire an Expert for the Type of Birth YOU Want


If there is one thing you can do RIGHT NOW to ensure your best birth experience, it is this: choose a care provider who is an EXPERT in the type of birth you are planning.

If you are planning a safe, skilled cesarean birth, you should hire someone who is an expert at cesarean sections. You wouldn’t hire a doctor to perform that procedure who said, "Well, actually, I’m not really comfortable with that type of birth, but I’ll let you do it if you want, I suppose..."

If you’re planning a safe, natural, unmedicated birth, you should hire someone who is an EXPERT at supporting natural birth. A doctor with a 30% c-section rate is not a natural birth expert. Neither is a doctor who does routine episiotomies, or doesn’t understand how to catch a baby unless mom is [lying] on her back. A doctor who says, "Well, most of my patients do end up getting an epidural, but if you want to go natural you can do that, I suppose..." is NOT an expert in unmedicated birth.

When you find the right care provider, they will understand your birth plan before you even show it to them -- because it is what they already do every day!

—Lauralyn Curtis

Read related content at Midwifery Today: The Heart and Science of Birth

Birthing Group: FB.com/groups/Birthing (holistic)
Pregnancy Moms Due [this year]: FB.com/groups/DueDateGroup (mainstream)
Peaceful Parenting Community: FB.com/groups/ExplorePeacefulParenting (gentle parenting group)

How to tell if a toy is for girls or boys...


When shopping this season, use this handy chart to determine if a toy is for girls or boys...

Hint: toys made for children are for all children, regardless of sex!


The Lasting Impact of Trauma and How We Can Help Survivors

By Ryan B.


The impact of severe trauma is possible to last a lifetime, and it can come and go.

The symptoms vary in each person. Sometimes trauma symptoms are not as apparent -- they can present though a down mood, or even physical symptoms. A person can often find themselves in a bad mood, or feeling physically sick, without a conscious understanding that there was a trigger or associated experience (time of year, smell, or anything that is associated with the trauma).

People can end up blaming themselves for the way they feel or call themselves 'selfish' and many other negative things, when in reality they are only experiencing the results of trauma. This can become a form of self abuse, or even a means to control the abuse that is coming. Again, the coping with past trauma is not always a conscious process.

What helps? What can a person who has been through trauma do? What can their loved ones do?

When a person who has been through trauma can talk about how they feel it helps. When the person is in a safe environment that doesn't tell them to 'get over it' directly or indirectly with statements like 'Why are you in such a bad mood?' it helps. When your loved ones understand this it helps.

Friends and family can even help an individual see what is happening before this person makes the connection that it is that time of year, or the physical symptoms, are trauma related. Loved ones can be attentive and aware.

Be Patient.

Telling someone who has survived trauma (even when that trauma was in infancy) that it is okay to speak and share as they feel like doing; that it is safe to talk any time, or share the negative emotion they are feeling, tends to allow the processing of trauma to go more quickly.

It is when someone holds things in, or tries to fight through the memories, associations, or emotions, that the impact of trauma is prolonged and continues to present itself time and time again through various means: anxiety, mood fluctuations, physical symptoms.

We are sending our love and support to trauma survivors. Reach out when you need to.

*******

Also by Ryan B.

A Father's Regret: http://www.SavingSons.org/2018/01/a-fathers-regret.html

Should I Circumcise My Son? The Pros and Cons of Infant Circumcision



New to the subject of infant circumcision and the benefits of the prepuce (foreskin)? The following are resources many families have found useful when looking at the subject for the first time. They are meant to be a starting point into deeper investigation and further research that is widely available today. If you only have a short period of time to spend on this topic, a blue star marks films with physicians' statements who are in practice today, as well as medical professionals' materials. If you're interested in joining in conversation with others, the following groups are safe spaces to bring up related questions: Saving Our Sons CommunityIntact: Healthy, Happy, WholeRaising BoysIt's a Boy!Keeping Future Sons IntactPeaceful Intact EducationPeaceful Parenting Community

★ Functions of the Foreskin: http://www.DrMomma.org/2009/09/functions-of-foreskin-purposes-of.html

★ Foreskin and its 16+ Functions (not 'just skin'): http://www.SavingSons.org/2015/09/foreskin-and-its-16-functions-not-just.html

★ Intact vs. Circumcised: A Significant Difference in the Adult Penis: http://www.DrMomma.org/2011/08/intact-or-circumcised-significant.html

Why did circumcision start as we now know it in the U.S.? Hear from some original doctors on the matter:
A Brief History in Physicians' Own Wordshttp://www.DrMomma.org/2007/05/circumcision-brief-history-in.html
Circumcision to Reduce Men's Pleasurehttp://www.SavingSons.org/2012/07/circumcision-to-reduce-mens-sexual.html

★ Are there medical benefits to circumcision? Read national medical statements from around the world: http://www.DrMomma.org/2014/08/medical-organization-position.html

Physicians' thoughts within the medical field todayFB.com/IntactCare
• Notably, Dr. Morton Frisch: Time for U.S. Parents to Reconsider the Acceptability of Infant Male Circumcisionhttps://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/time-for-us-parents-to-reconsider-the-acceptability-of-infant-male-circumcision_b_7031972.html
• Peer reviewed research (studies published in medical journals): http://www.DrMomma.org/2007/01/circumcision-studies.html

Well researched BOOKS written on the subject:
Marked in Your Fleshhttps://amzn.to/2ONyB34
Circumcision: A Historyhttps://amzn.to/2vkxwrk
What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Circumcisionhttps://amzn.to/2O8R5d5
Doctors Re-examine Circumcisionhttps://amzn.to/2OdfSwN
Circumcision, The Hidden Traumahttps://amzn.to/2OcqWKt
Circumcision Exposedhttps://amzn.to/2viVpQ7
The Foreskin and Why You Should Keep Ithttps://amzn.to/2M4qiBl
Circumcision: A Jewish Perspectivehttps://amzn.to/2AJju7C
Celebrating Brit Shalomhttps://amzn.to/2nc0eWN

 VIDEO: Dr. Ryan McAllister Georgetown University video lecture, Elephant in the Hospital (also included on DVD in the Saving Our Sons Info Pack): http://www.library.georgetown.edu/gelardin/showcase/entries/circumcision-elephant-hospital

 VIDEO: Dr. Christopher Guest, Circumcision: The Whole Story: http://youtu.be/SeAXantm4tE

★ VIDEO: American Circumcision documentary on Netflix: https://www.netflix.com/title/81000861

VIDEO: Whose Body, Whose Rights? Award-winning circumcision documentary: http://www.SavingSons.org/2017/01/whose-body-whose-rights-circumcision.html

VIDEO: The Real Reason You're Circumcised from College Humor: Collegehumor.com/video/6966989/the-real-reason-youre-circumcised

VIDEO: Penn & Teller: Bullsh*t Circumcision Episode: http://www.SavingSons.org/2013/03/happy-birthday-penn-jillette.html

★ Intact Care: Drmomma.org/2009/06/how-to-care-for-intact-penis-protect.html
Circumcision Care: Nocirc.org/publish/pamphlet5.html

The two most common forms of circumcision in North American today: 
• Gomco: http://www.Savingsons.org/2011/01/neonatal-circumcision-video-for.html
• Plastibell: http://www.DrMomma.org/2009/08/plastibell-infant-circumcision.html [Note that Plastibell is the type of circumcision most often mistakenly referred to as a 'no-cutting' or 'no-blood' method.]

Outcome Statistics (Circumcised vs. Intact): http://www.DrMomma.org/2010/01/cut-vs-intact-outcome-statistics.html

Men speakhttp://www.SavingSons.org/2017/04/men-speak.html | MenMatterToo.org/men
• Facebook conversations by men: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.487363627949430.115346.166998263319303

Over 250,000 men are restoring some of what was lost to circumcision. It improves sexual pleasure in a wide variety of ways. Google Foreskin Restoration and check out any of these resources: http://www.Savingsons.org/2009/10/foreskin-restoration.html

Psychology Today article collection: http://Savingsons.org/2011/10/psychology-today-circumcision-series.html

For those with older sons who were circumcised: 
Keeping Future Sons Intact Public Page: FB.com/FutureSons 
Discussion Group: FB.com/groups/FutureSons
Articles written by those with circumcised sons: http://www.DrMomma.org/2010/05/i-circumcised-my-son-healing-from.html 

What does this have to do with WOMEN? 
• Sex As Nature Intended It: SexAsNatureIntendedIt.com
  Book by same title: https://amzn.to/2AEyUde
• How Male Circumcision Impacts Your Love Life: http://www.DrMomma.org/2009/10/how-male-circumcision-impacts-your-love.html
• Women's Health and Male Circumcision Resource List: http://www.DrMomma.org/2009/07/how-male-circumcision-impacts-women.html

Faith Considerations on Circumcision
• Resources by/for Jews, Christians, and Muslims: http://www.DrMomma.org/2011/01/faith-considerations-on-circumcision.html
• For Jews - Intact Jewish Network
• For Muslims - Intact Muslim Network 

HIV/AIDS and the African Trials: http://www.DrMomma.org/2014/01/hiv-aids-circumcision-resources.html

50 Reasons to Leave it Alone: http://www.DrMomma.org/2010/11/50-reasons-to-leave-it-alone.html 

If you'd like to join a community of parents (many with both circumcised and intact sons) to ask questions while making your decision, you are welcome to the Intact: Healthy, Happy, Whole group. Everyone is welcome to this safe-space, non-venting community group. The Saving Our Sons Community Group is for those who are already pro-intact advocates, and families raising intact sons.


For Sharing

★ The Info Pack (includes a DVD with several videos and full length articles); the smaller Expecting Pack; Postcards for a Friend; or have a professional exchange online correspondence via email or Facebook message by writing to SavingSons(at)gmail.com

Informational items (cards, stickers, bracelets, etc.): Etsy.com/shop/SavingOurSons

Questions? 
Please feel free to email SavingSons(at)gmail.com any time. Several clinicians volunteer time to field questions, and if we're not able to answer, we'll seek out a place to go for further information.

If you find these resources to be of use, please help support Saving Our Sons and work we do. We continue solely by volunteers' time and generosity. See current needs at: http://www.SavingSons.org/p/sponsor-son-waiting-list.html or give directly: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=VQSSUQFGLFZXQ



The Penis: Sex Education 101 with Marilyn Milos









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