Friday, July 29, 2011

Dish soap succes! and "Breakfast for Your Skin"

That is today's adventures. I made my dish soap!! It smells so good in the house! I think for the first time ever (and do I mean EVER) I can't wait to do dishes and test it out. I did the recipe that I linked in a previous post and the essential oils I added were a few drops of Sandalwood and 1/2 teaspoon (could be more I didn't measure) of Rose.  I ended up using some Ivory soap because I haven't recieved my organic vegan soap yet and I needed to make the soap badly. I will update on the other soap when I make it.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Cloves, Breast Milk, Dish Soap and DIY Thank You Cards

What do all of these things have in common? They are my obsessive projects of today.

For the cloves:
My favorite scent in the world (next to my children of course) is the smell of cloves. No comments from the peanut gallery on how cliche goth that is. But, seriously. I love the smell of cloves. I even go to my spice cabinet about once a week just to take a big whiff of those wonderful little things.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Baby wipes and t-shirt bags (how I made them)

I needed cloth baby wipes desperately (for some reason the flannel ones I made keep disappearing and were too small anyway) and I didn't want to spend any more money (did I mention how cheap I am?).  I also needed a few multipurpose bags but also didn't feel like spending any amount of money. I have heard of using old t-shirts for using cleaning wipes and read on a few blogs that old t-shirts work great for baby wipes too.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Awesome links? I think so!

Goths in Corporate Workplace


The Leaky Boob - No, not my own

EcoFriendly Green Things

EcoGothMom on Facebook

Yes. I have joined the masses in social networking. I of course have my personal page but if you dont feel like being THAT personal with me you get be more connecte with the EcoGothFamily via Facebook.

EcoGothMom Facebook Page

Sunday, July 24, 2011

brother and sister

1001 ways to use vinegar

1001 ways to use vinegar

Really?! I am going to challenge myself to find a use for white distilled vinegar everyday for the next year (minus laundry and regular cleaning). Want to join me?

Offbeat Mama

I am so sad I didn't find these sites sooner. I found GREAT support on TheBump but it would have been nice to find Offbeat Mama during my pregnancy. Better late than never.

Offbeat Mama is a wonderful resource for anyone with any type of alternative parenting style, such as eco-friendly, attachment parenting, cloth diapering as well as parents of an alternative lifestyle such as goth, punk, hippy, gay/lesbian/bi, etc.

It is full of all kinds of win!! Check out these sites.

Offbeat Mama
Offbeat Bride
Offbeat Home

Friday, July 22, 2011

Crying it out and co-sleeping

If you do this, I think you are an asshole. Sorry to be rude but seriously?! You can just sit there and listen to your baby scream for you to comfort him/her and you blatantly ignore it because you want to get some more sleep?

Dusting off!

Um, yeah. I have been a bit MIA on the blogging. Sorry about that. It's been a whirlwind couple of weeks.

Since I went back to work 3 weeks ago it has been crazy trying to figure out our routine around here. Work has been a rollercoaster. A lot of changes for the good going on but the transitio is tough. I am trying to stick through it. But, it has left me exhausted.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Baby wearing failure and success

We have been trying desperately to figure out  way to carry Dacian around hands free pretty much since he was born. I have looked at, researched, tried on all kinds of carriers. The Ergo Baby, Moby wrap, Infinito. Nothing suited us quite the way wanted.

The Moby looks great but seems complicated. I know it gets easier after a few times but it also looks really hot. We live in the southwest desert. This would not work for us. Even inside.

The Ergo, Infinito and other brands are just too bulky and didn't fit Freddy or I the way that we would like and to wear around the house it just didn't seem possible. And again, hot.

I was so excited to get a Hotsling online on a diaper swap page on Facebook for only $20. It didn't fit. Even though it was the size that the website suggested based on my measurements. So, I made it bigger and even adjustable for me and Freddy both. Failure. Dacian hates to be on his back. Also he doesn't like being swaddled. Held yes, swaddled no. I also didn't like the way it put so much weight on my upper back. I have back problems as it is having a nine pound baby and huge boobs just didn't work.

So, I was looking around again. Then I came across a Mai Tei. I have heard of these but never saw one. I looked at a few different sites and thought this is it. This is the perfect carrier for us. Just basic fabric and holds Dacian exactly the way he likes to be held. Upright and on our chests. But,  they are expensive!! I don't have $70 + to spend right now.

So, my crafty self made my own. I used left over materials from when I reupholstered my furniture (cotton quilting material), leftover minky dot (for padding inside shoulder straps and head support), and a piece of stiffened felt (for head support).

An hour and a half later we have baby wearing success!! It fits both Freddy and myself perfectly, Dacian loves it. We are hands free sitting, standing, walking, cooking, whatever!

I will be making more and selling them for $40 - $50. All custom made and in the colors, material patterns you want.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Lactation Tips

Repost from "Gypsy Magic" blog. I love this blog and I am so glad she posted this now when I need it the most. So to all my lactating moms out there.

Certain foods - known as galactagogue foods - are known to stimulate the production of breastmilk. Here's a partial list: apricots, asparagus, green beans, carrots, sweet potatoes, peas, pecans, wheat germ, and oatmeal.

All leafy greens such as beet greens, parsley, watercress, and dandelion leaves are considered helpful in increasing and sustaining lactation.

Here are some herbs to keep in mind that will help you make more milk just remember very important use organic herbs and don't over do: fennel, dill, barley, basil, fenugreek, cumin. Play it safe and use organic herbs and also small amounts and a variety of herbs not just one.

Borage leaves – The leaves of this herb are highly regarded as a tea for increasing milk flow. Half a cupful of borage tea at each nursing insures an abundant supply of milk, acts as a mild laxative, and soothes jangled nerves.

Dill - For pregnant women or those breast feeding, dill is recommended because it enhances the vitality and the general tonus, it increases the appetite, it stimulates lactic secretion and improves milk quality. Dill also helps the baby to get rid of colic.

Carrots not only stimulate lactation, but have a role in improving the quality of the milk.

Fennel/Barley Water - Prepare barley water by soaking 1/2 cup pearled (regular) barley in 3 cups cold water overnight or by boiling for 25 minutes. Strain out barley and discard or add to a soup. Heat a cup or two of the barley water to boiling as needed, store the rest in the refrigerator. Pour 1 cup boiling barley water over 1 teaspoon fennel seeds and steep for no longer than 30 minutes. The combination not only increases the breast milk, but eases after-pains and settles the digestion of mom and babe.

Also don't forget:
  • Water – drink lots of water - at least 10 to 12 cups per day!
  • Rest – Nap during the day this will increase your milk supply. When the body is weary, it will not be so inclined to produce milk.
  • Food - Eat a healthy balanced diet

I Love G-Diapers!!

That is all.

No, seriously. I really do love G-Diapers. And no, we have not tried the disposable inserts either. We are cloth. Now that we got the swing of things they are really pretty awesome. Even Freddy loves them. Yay for G-Diapers!!

Breastfeeding Follow-Up

I posted when I was pregnant that I don't understand the whole bonding thing with breastfeeding yadda yadda yadda. I was having a low in my pregnancy depression at that point.

Well, here we are 4 weeks post-partum and are still trying to at breast feed. I say "at breast feed" because I am exclusively pumping right now. Every other day I try to breastfeed at the breast but Dacian has a high palate so feeding him via breast if very painful. He also always falls asleep at the breast too.

I know that I don't want to give my child formula. Too many horror stories (though don't get me wrong, I will if I have to but if I don't then I wont) for my liking. So, pumping exclusively is what we are doing. I have had my moments of doubt and frustration but I think I am finally finding out what works for me/us.

Here are my tips to successful and enjoyable pumping.

1. Timing. When I first started I was pumping every 2 hours. This was to build my supply. It worked wonders. I would make sure I would empty each breast using the pump, massage and compression (basically I would squeeze the hell out of my boob to make sure every drop came out). 

Now I am at every 3-4 hours (I take a clue from my breasts when it is time though I don't go longer than 4 hours). At the end of each pumping session I do a minute or two of hand expression to clue my breasts into the aereola compression that BFing would entail. There is always some milk left over that the pump didn't get.

2. Hands free. I made myself a hands free pumping bra by cutting quarter size holes in an old sports bra. This allows the flanges to fit and my hands to be free. By doing this I am able to eat, drink, feed Dacian, write blogs, watch TV or even doze off for a bit. Because I can do all this I can relax and just let the pump do it's work. I am pumping about an ounce more then I usually do in the same amount of time. I feel more sessions of let-down and the stress of getting the session done is gone.

3. Pumping/Feeding station. You read about BFing moms having a feeding station with drinks, snacks, pillows and anything else you might need for your feeding session. I apply this same principle. This has been made a lot easier with my hands free pumping bra. I make sure everything is where I need it when I need to ensure pure relaxation. I don't dread my pumping sessions anymore and freak if I need to get something.  It is all here. I am now able to eat healthier because I am not grabbing what is convenient when I can. I make sure I have my snacks and drink here with me. Great distraction btw for relaxation.

4. Manual Pump. I still have my Ameda manual pump for on the go convenience. If for any reason I need to give him a bottle and I ran out of milk I can pump some real quick and give it to him. Even if it is just a little snack he wants. This is a life saver. I have pumped in the car, at a club, at a swapmeet and grocery store.

This is what has helped me get over my frustrations with breastfeeding. It may not be the "ideal", but then again, I don't even know what really is "ideal" anymore. However, my son is getting the best nature can provide. Freddy, Valeska and anyone else can bond with him during feedings and cuddles afterwards. We can all revel in the "milk drunk" state that ensues after a good meal. I will continue exclusively pumping for as long as I am able to do so.

Maybe being "at breast" isn't always best.