Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Breast Feeding

I'm shocked and amazed at all the "celebrities" who have recently made attacks against breast feeding. I get that breast feeding isn't for everyone (though, in my opinion, it is the uneducated/selfish mother who doesn't even try), but I do not understand how a person can deny that breast feeding is best for babies and also completely natural. And no, Adrianne Curry, not natural like a sexual act, natural like eating a sandwich for lunch or having a glass of iced tea on a hot summer's day, two things you've probably never done since they might interfere with your cocaine habit/weight loss.

I didn't even know who Adrianne Curry was until I read that she'd compared breast feeding to cunnilingus, proclaimed breasts to be "sexual organs" and compared breast feeding women to mother dogs. What kills me about her words and those of Kim Kardashian is that both of them run around with sexual body parts hanging out and neither are mothers. I don't care about your opinions, ladies, you are both idiots, pretty things to put in the centerfold for men to stare at. No one is staring at your brains! So do yourselves a favor and keep your mouths shut. Better to be quiet and have people think you are an idiot than to open your mouth and prove it.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Very Good Day

Yesterday we went to Landa Park swimming pool. They have a nice baby pool with water ranging from 2.5 feet to 1 foot to a slanted "beach" (it is painted brown to look like sand but is concrete, so not so easy on those baby knees) along with one of those giant mushroom spray things (when we left there were 3 ADULTS sitting under it - what is wrong with people? this is the BABY pool!) and a little slide for the bigger kids. Unfortunately the spring-fed pool was closed down because of the recent flood (still cleaning it and it is full of mud!) so all the slides over on that pool were not open, which meant all the big kids (middle school) from the day cares were all in the baby pool slide. There's also an Olympic pool that was open, but it is pretty boring, just water in a hole, no slides or fountains or whatever. (and seriously, on every ladder and the one staircase, there were 15 kids hanging on who obviously didn't swim so well - but it made it VERY hard to get in the pool with a baby. I remember when I was a kid, the life guards would call you out and tell you to move for hanging onto the ladders!)

Gray crawled on the "beach" for a while. He would crawl down into the water, which was 1 foot deep, and almost drown, over and over again. There was apparently supposed to be some type of toy on the beach, because there are screws sticking up from the ground, and they had covered these with a highway cone. Gray thought the highway cone was the biggest nipple he had ever seen and he tried his best to nurse that thing. We swam in the big pool some, too. Then Gray started making the sign for "nursing" so it was time to go. (Plus me and Missy were HUNGRY!)

The pool definitely wore Gray out, because he fell asleep as soon as we were back in the truck and didn't wake up even when we went in the restaurant, or for the whole hour or so we were eating lunch! He hasn't stayed asleep when removed from a vehicle since he was about 3 months old. Which makes me want to take him swimming EVERYDAY.

I hope he grows up to love the water!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Childbirth - What I will do differently the 2nd time around

I did a lot of research on childbirth, starting before I was ever even pregnant. A peaceful homebirth rang true for me, felt right in my bones, was everything I dreamed of for my sweet little newborn. I'd already found our midwife before we got that positive pregnancy test and called to set up our first appointment when I was just 6 weeks along.

The way things ended up, I think was probably unavoidable. I did everything possible to not get preeclampsia, but still ended up with a BP of 167/117 lying on my left side when I checked into the hospital. Not the worst I've heard, but bad enough for me that I was going into kidney failure and Gray was growth restricted (though we didn't know it until after he was delivered). Once I got pre-e, it was all over, I think. No matter what happened, I would've been sick about his birth. I don't like drugs and I especially don't like the idea of my baby being on drugs. I didn't get any pain medication until just before my Cesarean (a spinal block). I only took a total of 6 pain meds after my Cesarean, 1 every 6 hours. I hated that he was doped up with Pitocin and Magnesium Sulfate for hours and hours before his birth. So I think even if I'd been able to deliver vaginally, I would still be sick about his birth.

There were some things I could've changed, though. I wish I hadn't been so trusting of my midwives. I wish I'd had an OB throughout my pregnancy who would've been on-board with my desires for Gray. I wish I would've planned for a Cesarean just to have had those details ironed out, because I am a detail person. I like to make lists. I like to be prepared. I did have a birth plan, but no one at the hospital cared, especially not the OB. I should've had an OB I'd talked to long before and had sign off on my birth plan.

The thing I wanted for Gray was a natural birth. That chance was shot as soon as we got to the hospital, there is nothing natural about what goes on behind those L&D doors. I wanted no drugs, but within 30 minutes of checking in, I was on an IV of Mag Sulfate. By nights end, I had pitocin, too. Every nurse that came in the door wanted to give me an epidural, though I never gave in and specifically requested that they stop asking. (I knew enough to avoid the whole pitocin-epidural downward spiral of fetal heart rate). The thing is, I HAD done my research and that's the whole reason I wanted a home birth. I wanted no immunizations for Gray, no poking, no prodding, no blood tests, no removing him from me and Dale. The biggest thing, though? I wanted his umbilical cord to remain intact. It was very important to me that Gray get all of his own blood, that the cord not be cut until it stopped pulsing. That is the issue on which I feel like my midwives failed me the most. It's a very simple gauge of a doctor, to ask their stance on immediate cord clamping. When I brought it up with the OB, she said "I never delay cord clamping because once the baby is born, blood flows backwards out of the baby into the cord and out of your placenta." That OB was really that big of a moron and I was completely powerless to do anything about it, because I was already checked into the hospital under her care, to leave I would have to get off of IV's, remove a catheter (that I shouldn't have had in the first place), get my clothes and check out AMA. (If you don't know anything about cord clamping, please educate yourself, for the sake of your children).

So the next time around, I'll have a dual plan of attack. I'll have a midwife, in case I don't have pre-eclampsia again and I can have a homebirth, but I will also have a progressive OB who understands and agrees with my desires for my child. If I have to have a repeat Cesarean, I will have a lotus birth (where the umbilical cord and placenta remain intact). (One of the other things we wanted for Gray was to plant a Placenta Tree - but we weren't able to because the hospital incinerated his placenta, even though we specifically requested it be given back to us). I will not allow for my baby to leave me, even if I have a Cesarean. There's no reason for the baby to leave my room or my side. It just came out of my body - how could it possibly cause an infection or anything else? I will plan, next time, for a Cesarean, and hopefully I will be pleasantly surprised and not need one at all. But I will be prepared, and I won't trust that someone else cares enough about me to ask the right questions. I will do that myself.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

First Steps

It is probably time for me to write about this, since it happened over 2 months ago...

On Gray's 9 month birthday (April 22nd) we were just sitting around watching some TV and Gray was playing in the living room. We have 2 ottomans (ottomen? haha) and they were out under our feet and Gray was crawling around, standing up with the help of whatever was above him, sitting down "PLOP" on his butt, standing without holding on, etc. And also getting into trouble, because he is always doing that.

He crawls over to my ottoman and stands up, then lets go and is standing there looking at me. It was a pivotal moment because I saw a look in his eyes and knew he was contemplating doing something big. His eyes are dark, kind of a greeny brown (still not completely brown for unknown reasons) and he always looks just a little bit mischievous. That night was no exception, but he also had this look of pure determination and bravery.He stood there looking at me for maybe 3 seconds. Our eyes connected. He gave me his little half grin and took off. Three, maybe 4 tiny little steps with no support and landing in my arms a squealing, kicking, happy little monster.

That was it. No leading up to it, probably the opposite in that we don't encourage him to walk because he gets into too much stuff the way it is. After those tiny first steps I felt sure that we were on the precipice and he would be zooming around on 2 legs right away. But that's just not the way Gray goes about life. He prefers to make these huge paradigm shifts and then just go about business as usual for a few more weeks or months. Since that day, he's walked a handful of times. He can walk beside you holding one of your hands (or both) and he will sneak a walk in if it is a short distance - from one object to another (or to me). He mostly still prefers to crawl, though, and sometimes when I try to walk with him holding one of my hands he will sit instead, so he can crawl, because him crawling is faster than me walking and is way faster than him walking.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Giveaway: Plum Organics

My very first super sweet giveaway! I'm SO excited!

I received Plum Organics products from Ecomom (Eco-friendly baby Products - Ecomom), including some apple-carrot fiddlesticks, 2 toddler mish mashes (peach and strawberry) and 2 baby pouches (spinach, peas & pear and pumpkin & banana), plus some Plum dispensing spoons by boon (these just attach to the pouch for seriously easy feeding as well as no used spoon mixing into your baby food and getting germs down in there, so I feel a little safer refrigerating leftovers for use later).

I gave Gray a fiddlestick right away. (Right away after I tried it, of course!) I like that these are gluten-free and also are very soft textured, so I feel like the choking hazard is diminished. Even though Gray had just finished eating dinner, he went right after the fiddlestick and ate the whole thing like it was candy, so I'd say that was a hit!

(Gray guiltily eating his first fiddlestick - he'd had a long day of sun and swimming in the river, so he was worn out.)

We had some of the mish mash and pouches over the last couple of days. He's liked everything he's tried and I think these would be great for moms who are super busy, it is so simple to just throw one in the diaper bag (or open up for a quick meal!) I don't really like the boon spoon, when you squeeze out the food it is all at the back of the spoon which makes it harder to feed to a baby. It also didn't have a solid handle, since the pouch of food is the "handle" so that took some getting used to. I tried just squeezing directly into a baby spoon and that worked really well for us.

EcoMom's website is very easy to navigate and there is a cool program called EcoPass where you pay a $99 annual membership and get 15% off every order plus free shipping on any order! I think if you were planning to use this as your main baby food source, it would be a great program.

EcoMom is giving all of our readers 15% off their first order! Use coupon code SBBL435 offer good until June 30, 2010.

And now for the Giveaway!!!! EcoMom is giving one lucky reader $15 in Plum or Revolution foods!

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment letting us know you've done any of the following (multiple entries encouraged!) I'll draw a winner on June 30th, 2010! Contest only open to entrants in the US and Canada.

Mandatory Entry: Check out EcoMom's website (www.ecomom.com) and let me know 1 product you would love to try - there are so many products aside from just baby food (and way more food products than I got to review!) 1 entry

Entry #2: Follow EcoMom on twitter (1 entry)

Entry #3: Become a fan of EcoMom on Facebook (1 entry)

Entry #4: Join the EcoMom newsletter (1 entry)

Entry #5: Publicly follow my blog (1 entry)

Entry #6: Follow me on facebook (1 entry) {Note: There's nothing going on over there yet because I just started the page, but there will be!}

Entry #7: Tweet about this giveaway including @rachaellindsey and @ecomom as well as a link to this blog (1 per day)

Good Luck everyone!

* I was given products to review but was not compensated for this review. This review is completely my own opinion and does not represent those of Plum Organics, EcoMom, or anyone else.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

No Poo Sucks

I got tired of feeling gross. My hair was even thicker than normal, which might be great if I had thin hair normally but considering normally my hair is so thick you can't run your fingers through it... gross. I dunno that anyone else noticed my hair was different, so no-poo has that going for it. It wasn't that I smelled like pickles or my hair was stanky or nasty looking. I just felt gross. I felt dirty. I finished a shower and felt like I'd never gotten in. So yesterday I broke down and used what was left in my Pantene bottle - ummm holy cow I never realized how STRONG the fragrance is in there! Yikes! And yesterday after work in Austin I stopped at Whole Foods and purchased some honest-to-God paraben and phalate-free organic decent-smelling shampoo and conditioner. Lets hope I like it! I also picked up some new body wash/shampoo for Gray (even the BOTTLE is BPA free so that it won't leach BPA into the shampoo) and a tube of sunscreen (also paraben-free and blah blah blah) because today we are hitting the river! Expect a slideshow later this weekend.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Day 3 of No-Poo

I started the no-poo method of hair cleaning this past Saturday. No-poo is basically using baking soda to "wash" your hair (really to scrub your scalp) and vinegar to condition your hair. (Why, you might ask? Because shampoos and conditioners contain all kinds of yucky stuff that gets absorbed into your body and are known carcinogens and also because the claim floating around the internets is the no-poo makes your hair healthier, less oily, more easily manageable, prettier...) I was skeptical that I would enjoy this "getting acquainted" period, but it really hasn't been that bad so far and I'm learning ways to make "No-poo" pain-free.

The hardest part for me is that I'm a creature of habit. One of my habits for the past 20-something years of bathing myself is to scrub with shampoo, get lots of bubbles (maybe make a bubble beard or swimsuit -ahem- when I was younger, of course), rinse, lather up a thick paste of conditioner, leave it on for a good 10 minutes, and rinse clean to nice smelling, smooth, silky, thick, slimy hair. So that's been my "clean". It's hard to change from that to scrubbing my head with baking soda/water paste, rinsing to get gnarled rat's nest of tangled non-oily hair and then rinse with vinegar water to end up with slightly gnarly, faintly pickle-smelling, quickly drying (re: not slimy) hair. That's the hardest part for me, getting out of the shower and not being sure I feel "clean", because "clean" has always been something entirely different.

The great part, though, is that my hair has never been more manageable. It doesn't get tangled once I brush it, even after Gray yanking on it and messing it up all day long. It is relatively nice-looking without me doing anything - no hair product, no blow-dry, nothing. Slightly wavy with a nice sheen and not oily at all. And I don't stink either - you know, how hair smells after it hasn't been washed for 2 days? How it gets that "camping" oder to it? I don't have that at all. Once the pickle smell dissipates (after I'm dry), I don't smell like anything, except me. So that is good. The interim pickle smell pretty much sucks, but I've had good luck with mixing 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar with about 2 cups water, adding some teatree oil and grapefruit seed oil and using that as my rinse. I smell a little fruity which is nice. I'm still getting used to scrubbing my hair with baking soda. The first day I tried just dry scrubbing followed by a rinse and I think I ended up having to use about 1/2 cup of baking soda because my hair is so thick, I couldn't get it to move around the way I needed to in order to scrub my whole scalp. (I'd read some people say that making a paste was harder for them to do, so I thought I'd try the dry method first). Today I used the paste, and it worked much better for me. I ended up using probably 1/8 cup of baking soda, mixed with enough water to get pasty and then dumping it on the crown of my head. Massaged that in and slowly massaged outwards to my temples and my neck, scrubbing/massaging my entire scalp. (This method of scalp massage is also supposed to encourage hair growth).

That's it for today. We'll see how this goes in the coming weeks. Once your scalp gets accustomed to not using shampoo (which daily strips your head of all it's oil, essentially telling your head to MAKE MORE OIL), you are supposed to be able to only do the scrub once per week, and do the wash daily.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Dread Pirate Poopbeard

Ummm... yeah... exactly what you think.

I was feeding Gray some breakfast, blueberry-mango-apple cinnamon oatmeal, which is pretty dark purple from the blueberries. He'd just peed in the potty so I was letting him run around with no diaper until after breakfast. He was eating and being a busy-body, as usual. I was checking email and facebook in between giving him bites to eat. I thought it smelled a little poopy, but it was pretty faint and I thought maybe Gray just farted (or something? the dogs? I don't know.) Finally he stands up (to get another bite, I'm thinking) and he has more breakfast smeared across his face than I remembered getting on him and I'm thinking he's done like normal and spit it out into his hand and played with it when I realize it is NOT purple face...

It's brown. And on his hands, hair, belly, legs, feet, lips, in his mouth, the couch, now the spoon...

So Gross. So completely gross!

First thing Dale asks? "Did you take a picture?" Ummm... no. I was a little busy getting POOP OUT OF THE BABY'S MOUTH.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Things We Do

I'll update this list from time to time, these are all the environmentally-friendly or just plain frugal things we do in our house. I'll add to this list as we go, because I've always got new ideas!

Eventually, I'll post about each topic - how we do it, how we feel about it, how easy/hard it is to make a switch to doing it, etc.

Reduce (use washcloths rather than paper towels in the kitchen, freeze leftovers, etc.)
Reuse (anything glass in our house becomes repurposed as some sort of container)
Recycle (We are lucky to have a great recycling program in our county)

Well, that covers it, ha! Here are more details about what we do in our house, just in case you are interested.

- Kitchen Towels/Washcloths rather than paper towels
- All our drinking glasses are glass containers from things like pickles, spaghetti sauce, jam.
- I make our laundry detergent
- We wash all clothes in cold water
- Cloth diapers on our baby
- Elimination Communication part-time to further reduce diaper use
- Breastfeed
- I make all our baby food
- Recycle anything we can't reuse
- Compost (we have a worm composter but we're going to also build a regular compost pile)
- Garden (right now just a salsa garden but we're adding until we grow everything ourselves)
- No pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers unless organic
- Green house remodel
No VOC paints, glues, carpeting (made from corn) and carpet padding (made from soy)
Refinished kitchen cabinets (rather than new)
Used kitchen sink (from in-laws remodel)
All CFL bulbs
(We're still remodeling the house, so more to come!)
- Buy new USA-made whenever possible, non-China made otherwise, Used if we can find it
- Turn old clothes into new stuff - toys/hats/clothes for the baby, beds for the dogs, blankets etc.
-Take old stuff to Goodwill or sell it on Craig's List
- Eat LOCAL, Organic, Fresh whenever possible
- Green cleaners in our house
- Turn off A/C and open windows/use fans whenever possible
- Use dryer balls in the clothes dryer
- Line dry clothes whenever possible
- Use rainwater to water garden & plants
- I just started No Poo