Dr. Seuss for Nursing Moms

I found this poem and thought it was too perfect not to share.

Would you nurse her at the park?
Would you nurse him in the dark?
Would you nurse him with a boppy?
And when your boobs are feeling floppy?

I would nurse her in the park.
I would nurse him in the dark.
I'd nurse with or without a boppy.
Floppy boobs will never stop me.

Can you nurse with your seat belt on?
Can you nurse from dusk til dawn?
Though she may pinch me, bite me, pull,
I will nurse her til she's full.

Can you nurse and make some soup?
Can you nurse and feed the group?
It makes her healthy strong and smart,
Mommy's milk is the best start!

Would you nurse him at the game?
Would you nurse her in the rain?
In front of those who dare complain?
I would nurse him at the game.
I would nurse her in the rain.

As for those who protest lactation,
I have a perfect explanation.
Mommy milk is tailor made
It's perfect food, you need no aid.

Some may scoff and some may wriggle,
Avert their eyes or even giggle.
To those who can be cruel and rude,
Remind them breast's the perfect food.

I would never scoff or giggle,
Roll my eyes or even wiggle!
I would never be so crass or crude,
I KNOW that this milk's the perfect food!

We make the right amount we need,
The perfect temp for every feed.
There's no compare to milk from breast-
The perfect food, above the rest.

Those nursing smiles are oh so sweet,
Mommy milk is such a treat.
Human milk just can't be beat.

I will nurse, in any case,
On the street or in your face.
I will not let my baby cry,
I'll meet her needs, I'll always try.
It's not about what's good for you,
It's best for babies, through and through.

I will nurse her in my home,
I will nurse her when I roam.
Leave me be lads, leave me be ma'am
I will nurse her, MOM I am.

-Author Unknown

All Natural Nap Mats...

I'm about to open my own business - family childcare in my home :) - and am in need of 4 nap mats. I had no idea these things exsisted before. I can either use a sleeping bag, a cot (that looks Army issue if you ask me, not at all comfy), or a foam mat of some kind.

However, after searching stores and online I'm flabbergasted - as usual - that people think it's 'safe' to have children sleep on plastic! or worse, if there is a such thing... The stuff that these things are made out of...and kids are supposed to sleep and breathe on them?!

Soooo....I'm thinking I'll just make my own. But although I can sew a straight'ish line when I'm in the mood, I'm not too crafty when there is a deadline hovering close by.

Got any ideas on how to do a really easy nap mat? And what kinds of materials to use as the filler so it'll be comfortable but not toxic?! Above all, the mats need to be washable (weekly), durable, and comfy!

Any and all ideas are welcome!


A few of my FAVORITE things

I have spent many hours searching and researching for not only safe products for my daughter but products that I LOVE! Here is a list of a few of my (and my daughter's) favorite things.

This sippy cup is perfect for all ages. Seeing that Anella wouldn't take a bottle we skipped to sippy cup right away. The great thing about this sippy is it turns into a straw cup for when they outgrow the sippy. Anella is actually already using her cup with the straw on a daily basis. This sippy/straw cup comes with a travel spout that ensures that it will not leak even if the bottle is turned upside down.

As with the sippy I LOVE this highchair because it grows with my child. I can use this well into her toddler years, not to mention it's made from wood rather than plastic as most high chairs. My husband and I were joking that when we go to have another child we'll have to get another high chair and we can just picture ourselves sitting around the dinner table with 4 high chairs.
Now I have to admit that Anella doesn't know these exist, embarrassingly enough I have bought these for her and are keeping them until her 1st birthday. My husband thinks I'm crazy for doing this but I really want to see the reaction on her face when she opens these blocks. We already have two Haba toys a clutch ring and a teething ring and so I know she is going to LOVE these blocks.

These are just a few of my favorite things...there will be more to come because I have just begun to share my favorite things...look for the next blog, if there wasn't something in this one that you are looking for there is a great chance that in the next one there will be something you've been looking for.

Stay at Home Mama's new Endeavor

Being a stay at home mom I have found many ways to 'cut corners' on purchases, whether it be using coupons, purchasing items in bulk when they're on sale, or just "doing without." Recently I was out and about and saw an item that I just HAD to have, but the price tag on it was well out of our budget. So I thought to myself I could make that...so I ran to the fabric store, found the perfect fabrics, of course I couldn't just choose one color so I left with three. I went straight home and started sewing (with the help of a good friend), and TA DA (drum roll please) it was DONE and it was beyond perfect. It was better than what I could have bought, and it was made with extra love.

I had to come up with a name for them, seeing that I made in with my daughter Anella in mind I decided I would call them "Nellas." Anella now doesn't go anywhere without it, we take it to yoga, the grocery store, to the Zoo, on walks, everywhere she goes it goes. As I type this she's playing on the ground and she just rolled over to grab her "Nella" and she's rubbing it on her face and chewing on it.

Whenever I try to find toys for Anella I struggle because I want something that allows her to use her imagination, I want something simple. Too many things have flashing lights, loud sounds, and all in all very overwhelming and stimulating. So in making these I wanted something that would stimulate in a different way, something that gives her different textures, colors and textiles. I was at yoga with Anella and her "nella" and one of the other mommy's asked me where I got it, and I was proud to say "I made it," she immediately said "I'll buy one off of you." So the idea was born, what a great way to make a little extra income and do something I LOVE to do.

I've thought of everything, including a rickrack tag that is long enough you can put your stroller or Ergo strap through so that on outings the "nella" doesn't get lost. Not to mention they're completely washer & dryer safe which is a MUST for baby toys.

We've added a link on the righthand side if you're interested in purchasing one for your little one or a friend. You can even personalize the colors from 9 different variations.

Body After Baby...A Week in Chocolate...

Yep, that's what it was... a week in chocolate...

And fast food, Chinese take out, left over chips, chips and more chips, a dip in the hidden Halloween candy dish, midnight runs to the kitchen for more junk...Yep, I think that just about says it all...

However, where I faltered (and, oh, did I falter) I picked up elsewhere big time. I took daily walks, shoveled snow and went sledding, danced with my little girl, and overall had a very active week! And even though the fatigue hit me two days this week where I could barely do anything, I felt great and more energetic during a week that is usually a NO fun, ZERO energy week for me.

Maybe there's something here...maybe it was the chocolate...

Hmmm....something to consider for the future...


Breastfeeding: How I Naturally Weaned My Babies...

The nursing relationship is just that - an intimate interaction, connection, between a mother and her child. It helps us bond, communicate needs, and transforms us into one beautiful little unit.

From the beginning, though, many people - friends, doctors, family - all like to interject their opinions on what you are doing. How many times have we heard, "you feed him too much" or "I don't think he's getting enough". What about, "don't you think it's about time to stop that now?"

Enter weaning.

Weaning doesn't have to be a tragic ending...
Ending your nursing relationship on a positive note can bring just as warm memories as the beginning did.

Although many people, whether informed or misinformed, mean well, the ending your nursing relationship is not up to them. It's up to you and your baby. And every nursing relationship is different! No two babies nurse the same, no two mom-child teams wean the same.

Weaning is a part of breastfeeding, but it doesn't have to be an abrupt, sad experience. Gradual, gentle weaning that respects the feelings and needs of both the mother and child can be a wonderful way to transition into the next phase of your ever growing relationship.

Here are my two weaning stories...

My Baby #1 :)

When my son was born, he started nursing within minutes. He 'army crawled' his way up to my chest, lifted his head, and latched himself on without any help! He knew what he wanted and how to get it :) We nursed beautifully for the next two years without a hitch (minus two nursing strikes, but we worked through them! More on that later.)

When I became pregnant with my daughter, I was still nursing my son, who had just turned two. Although he was only nursing occasionally during the day and to sleep, he was in NO WAY near ready to wean. And I didn't want to push him to either. So I let him nurse whenever he liked during his busy days, which was sometimes only once or twice a day by that point, and to sleep. He was an active toddler ;)

Except, as it is for some women, nursing while pregnant can sometimes become really painful and irritating. The moment he latched on, instead of a rush of bliss and relaxation that I had always felt before, I was instantly climbing walls!

I was all for tandem nursing - nursing a toddler and an infant at the same time. I had read all the books and was excited to try it!...But nursing had become so uncomfortable for the both of us (you can't be a very nice mommy when you're flinching and grimacing), I sadly knew it was time to wean. My poor son would have loved to continue, and so would I! I fought it with everything I had, and was determined to keep going. But then he'd latch on and I'd hit the roof!

After two months of that, I decided to wean. But, instead of stopping instantly, which would have been great for my nipples, but stressful and cruel for my son, I wanted to naturally wean him. I slowly introduced the concept of "the baby is coming, and she needs the milkies now"... Least to say, my son was not amused!

He was not about to share his 'milkies'!

To help me naturally weaning, I used La Leche League's motto: do not offer, do not refuse. I also used mild distraction during the day (like outings, playdates, walks) and introduced daddy bed time (where daddy laid down with him and they went to sleep together, so no milkies from mommy) every other night, then increased it to two nights in a row, then three. This was all done very slowly, week by week, month by month, inch by inch. If I felt I was moving too fast, I'd pause the momentum until he was ok with moving on.

Over the course of the next four months, I gradually and gently removed night nursings first, followed by daytime nursings. This was fall. By the time Christmas rolled around, my son was down to nursing once or twice a week - and we all know the holidays can disrupt a nursing relationship with all that running around! By the new year we had weaned.

He wanted to do gymnastics and I had said that once he was ready to wean - be a big boy - he could do big boy gymnastics class. Of course it was a mommy-n-me class, but he still enjoyed it!

What really helped with his anxiety about the changes in our relationship was that I made sure to still snuggle him to sleep - with me falling asleep with him most times ;) And a lot of reassurance and cuddles during the day. I wanted him to know that mommy was going to be there no matter what. Yes, the milkies were gone, but that didn't mean that what we had created together - our bond - was over.

Once he understood and felt confident that we were still a team, he seemed to latch onto the idea of weaning better and weaned himself over the last month, slowly, gradually, on his time. I know it wasn't totally 'on his time' as I started the process, but I was happy and willing to let him take his time and finish it on his own terms. For me, that was natural weaning at it's best.

My Baby #2 :)

Then I had my daughter that May!...and although we had a rocky start to our nursing relationship, we found what worked for us and had a wonderful nursing experience for the next 3 1/2 years! :)

My daughter is now 3 1/2...I can't believe it! And she just weaned herself. I knew she was my last baby, and I wanted her to have a more gradual natural weaning when our breastfeeding relationship was coming to a close. And since I'm not having any more babies :(, I won't get to breastfeed again. So this choice was simple: Keep going until she was done.

I did want to quit a few times over the last year and a half, but since it was a relationship between she and I, I decided I was ok with letting her call the shots. That's what's great about a nursing relationship. It's only between the two of you. Too bad if no one else agrees. It's not up to them ;)

Then I got sick, and still am. It's all a mystery. That initiated doctors, family members, and friends telling me that I HAD to stop nursing. "It's got to be a drain on your system" is what they were all saying. Doctors would prescribe me things to 'try' that weren't OK for nursing, which meant I had to stop. And I almost did, but I decided to continue nursing, not 'try' meds that I knew weren't going to work anyway, and I'm glad I did. My 'illness' had nothing to do with nursing.

I was very fatigued for weeks at a time and I had to night wean her. Thankfully she loves her thumb as much as her 'mees' (her word for milkies) so I thought it was going to be easy. Boy, was I wrong! She was very stubborn, and I caved every night. One little please was all it ever took :)

Although I was tired as he-double-hockey-sticks, I was glad that I did continue. I loved nursing her. She's a snuggle bug, just warms my heart. Plus, I'd always get the urge to completely wean her right around the winter time, which is stupid. All those germs, colds, flu...so I'd keep going and was glad for it.

Two winters ago, when she was about to turn two, I was toying with the idea of weaning her soon. Gradually start the process. But then my little peanut got sick and couldn't eat nor drink for 4 days. She couldn't even keep water down!

At that point she was only nursing once every three days or so. Well, during that stomach virus, she nursed every two hours for 4 days and was able to keep all the breastmilk down! Kept her hydrated, fed, and out of the hospital. On the night of the 4th day she demanded pizza, we ordered it, and she was better from then on! :) What would have happened, though, had I already weaned her? She couldn't even keep water down. She'd of been hospitalized for sure.

Now, for the past six months or so, she was nursing maybe once or twice a week. Sometimes once every other week. I couldn't believe the milk was still there even when she'd go two weeks without nursing! But it was still there, and whenever she wanted it, I did not refuse. LLL motto!

About a month ago I told her that once she was ready to stop nursing, she could have a prize. She choose big girl ballet/tap lessons ;) She just started and loves it!

As for me...well, I got a prize too!!! A new bra! Breastfeeding for the past 5 or so years, almost nonstop, I didn't have anything else other than nursing bras. My new bra? It's a black lacy number, and if you want to see it, just ask. I love it! I do ;) I feel like such a big girl myself! ha ha LOL...

Remember: Weaning doesn't have to be a tragic ending. Ending your nursing relationship on a positive note can bring just as warm memories as the beginning.

Have you weaned? Thinking about it? How did you do?

enjoy the snow (if you've got it) ladies!


Body After Baby: Mama Lia, Week 2...

"Can't wait to hear how you did, Mama Lia."

Do I have to?...

Alright then. Well, I gave it a try and succeeded to increase my activity level once last week. Not exactly a great start, but a start all the same ;)

My daughter and I danced to an entire CD in the living room. I actually worked up a sweat, and she had a lot of fun dancing in her princess dress. I also took the stairs and parked farther away than usual. This week will be interesting. I'm feeling a bit winded for no reason at all, so I'm doing what I can when I can.

Oh, and I did shovel snow! Not that that counts, but it was fun anyway ;) I love snow.

I don't believe that people need to work out like crazy to be in good health, shape. I think eating and sleeping habits help take care of your body too. If you don't put junk food in, you don't have to work double hard to 'work it off'.
And getting the right amount of sleep helps your body repair and heal.

I did find a new favorite all day snack, something I can munch on all day: almonds. High in Calcium and crunchy, they're a great snack for us mamas.

So, my goal for this week?
Do more days of increased activity, aka: adding some sort of aerobic exercise in addition to what I normally do (kids, house, cook, clean, work, kids, house, cook, clean, work...) And, also continue to eat and sleep right. Have to get to bed by 10pm! Doctor's orders.

How did you do?