Archive for July, 2009

Girl BreastfeedingI have been nursing my son for 10 months and it has been a great 10 months.  The only downside for me is that I have had recurrent plugged ducts.  Fortunately, Judah has been able to relieve me of them through nursing and have never lasted more than a day.  But now I have encountered a major bummer when it comes to nursing – Mastitis.

Mastitis is an inflammation of the breast caused by either obstruction, infection or allergy.  Local symptoms are the same as for a plugged duct, but the pain/heat/swelling is usually more intense. There may be red streaks extending outward from the affected area. Typical mastitis symptoms include a fever of 101.3°F (38.5°C) or greater, chills, flu-like aching, malaise and systemic illness.  (cited from kellymom)

For me, I went to bed Tuesday night noticing a small knot on the underside of my right breast and throughout the night it became more and more sensitive.  By Wednesday morning it was red, swollen and hot to the touch.  I researched natural remedies and tried those out Wednesday but they that if things don’t clear up within 12-24 hours to go to the doctor because antibiotics may be needed.  Well by Wednesday night I didn’t sleep at all.  I had had a pounding headache since Tuesday night and Wednesday night brought fever, chills and nausea.  I woke every 2 hours to nurse Judah so I didn’t get any sleep.  I went in Thursday to the doctor and she examined me and confirmed that it was Mastitis and that I did need an antibiotic.  By the time I got the antibiotic and got home I had fever, chills and nausea again – I could hardly stand.  I took the antibiotic and tylenol and nursed Judah to sleep for his nap and then I crashed out for a few hours.  I woke up sweating knowing my fever had broken and for the first time in 2 days I  didn’t have a headache.  Thursday night I developed a hard mass on my breast which is what my plugged ducts are like.  I nursed Judah throughout the night again but he couldn’t seem to unplug it until this morning!  The key to unplugging a duct is to place him in a position to nurse where his chin faces the hard mass.

Other important measures to take with Mastitis are rest, lots of water, frequent nursing, cold/warm compresses, hot showers, cabbage leaves placed over the inflamed area, echinacea, vitamin c.

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I became a very healthy eater a few years back.  I started cutting junk foods out of my diet and started trying to eat asfruits-and-veggiesorganically as possible.  Over the past few months I have been a little lax in my healthy eating and have eaten more sweets and junk food than I would like to admit.  It’s been bothering me and I have been looking into what changes I need to make.  I have really be considering cutting out dairy, sugar and even animal products from my diet.  But what would I eat or feed my family is what I ask myself.  Why those things:  Dairy:  I can’t buy raw milk where I live.  So I have been buying organic milk but it is still pasturized and even homogonized, both of which kill any nutritional value.  Also, my husband doesn’t drink milk.  He only eats dairy in the form of cheese and ice cream.  Cheese is usually processed and ice cream is full of sugar.  Sugar:  I have a major sweet tooth.  Which I am discovering is often a sign that you are lacking nutrients that you need elsewhere.  Sugar (refined) is just not good for you.  I would still use natural forms of sweeteners such as honey, agave, rapadura and sucanat.  Animal products:  I have to buy my meat from the grocery store and because I buy cage-free products it is very expensive.  Again, there is no where locally that sells meat from humane and natural sources.

I have never really considered going vegan/vegetarian because it seemed like a difficult thing to do.  But because I don’t live in an area where healthier options are available, I am now reconsidering.  My hubby likes meat – he’s all guy!  But he too knows that some changes need to be made to our diet.  The funny thing is that I am very careful about what Judah eats.  Family members are always pushing me to give him this or that (other than a fruit or veggie made at home).  I keep thinking about how clean his insides are and how I don’t want to see them ruined by eating common food.  So this too has got me thinking.

Then today, I visited goveg.com and was seeing how inhumanely animals are treated.  Here’s a quote from their site: “The green pastures and idyllic barnyard scenes of years past are now distant memories. On today’s factory farms, animals are crammed by the thousands into filthy windowless sheds, wire cages, gestation crates, and other confinement systems. These animals will never raise their families, root in the soil, build nests, or do anything that is natural to them. They won’t even feel the sun on their backs or breathe fresh air until the day they are loaded onto trucks bound for slaughter.” Animals are no longer created or raised to be animals but to be meat-makers – I don’t want to be a part of that.

Here’s a video entitled “Meet your Meat” that is very hard to watch but very eye opening.

Add all these things together and I am giving some serious thought how I eat.

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baby_proofWe’ve reached that time in our first year as parents that we need to start Judah-proofing.  We set out to make sure that our home is as safe and baby friendly as possible.  I want our home to be a place where Judah can safely explore and have fun.  I used to be very much into how my home looked and felt but now 10 months into being a mom I’m all about practicality.  I want my home to be a place of comfort, rest, peace and fun.  As I started cleaning, rearranging and putting stuff up I realized that there were things that I just didn’t need.  Some were pre-baby possessions and some were post-baby possessions.  I became so aware of how much stuff I had that I really could do without.  That was it – I wanted to simplify!  As I was cleaning, rearranging and putting stuff up I started making a pile of things that I wanted to take to the consignment store or donate and a list of items that I was going to craigslist.  I became a cleaning tornado!  Going from room to room and accessing what we didn’t need, either because we hadn’t used it in a while or because it wasn’t kid friendly.  It felt so good to purge and down size.  Having too much stuff can cause you to feel cluttered emotionally, mentally or even relationally.  Less really is more!!!  And now I don’t have to constantly be worried about what Judah may be getting into.  It’s his house too and I want him to be free to roam and explore.

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photo credit: electricbleu on flickr.co

photo credit: electricbleu on flickr.co

This summer has been really hot and we haven’t gotten any rain.  With that said, I love cold things: cold water, cold fruit, cold drinks, ice cream, anything you can think of really.  Yes, I love ice cream and I would love to eat it all the time.  But because I try to keep my sugar and dairy intake as low as possible – ice cream is just not always an option.  Instead, I grab frozen grapes.  Maybe you’ve tried them.  Maybe you haven’t.  But if you haven’t, you really should!!!

This is what I do:

– Take grapes off of the bunch

– Place in a strainer and place the strainer in a bigger bowl with water so the grapes are covered

– Add a little white vinegar or fruit cleanser to the water and let them soak for a few minutes

– Swish the grapes around in the water and then drain the water.  Rinsing the grapes again.

– Dry the grapes a bit and then store in a freezer friendly container.  Place in freezer.

Then when you’re hot and want something to snack on, grab a few.  I like to suck on mine for a second to warm them just enough to bite right into them without having my teeth hurt.  The texture and burst of cold is wonderfully delightful.  I even give some to Judah in a mesh fruit bag and he goes to town.  They work great for teething too.  Give it a try and enjoy!!!

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Judah close up nursing necklaceJudah is 10 months and has 8 teeth already.  I wish I could say those teeth just popped right through and he hardly noticed but my little guy teethes something awful.  I can tell when a tooth is pushing up by his symptoms:  fever, fussy, cries throughout the night, chews things furiously.  It is a tough few days!  I have been searching out natural pain relief alternatives and came across what is known as an Amber Teething Necklace.  These are very well known and used in europe.  I decided to give it a try and bought one for Judah.

Here are some benefits on Amber and the why and how teething necklaces work:

– Amber as a remedy to ease a child’s teething pain has been used for thousands of years. Unlike a stone, Amber is warm to the touch and is very comfortable and light to wear. Wearing amber has been a custom in Europe and the Far East for centuries. Associated with sunlight and warmth and attributed with reducing inflammation, accelerating the healing of wounds, and boosting the immune system, Amber is the perfect natural remedy for anyone who wears it.

– When amber is worn against the skin, it releases miniscule amounts of its unique healing oils which are absorbed into the skin and then into the bloodstream. Amber offers a perfectly natural, drug-free alternative that relieves pain and promotes healing.

– Be certain that the product is Baltic amber from the Baltic Region. Baltic amber has some of the highest concentrations of succinic acid found in nature, and this is what makes it so special. Succinic acid is a natural component of plant and animal tissues, and it’s presence in the human body is beneficial in many ways.

– When amber is worn on the skin, the skin’s warmth releases miniscule amounts of healing oils from the amber which are then absorbed via the skin into the bloodstream.

– Amber’s anti-inflammatory and therapeutic properties are also recognized by allopathic medicine. In Austria, Switzerland and Germany, you will find amber teething necklaces sold in local pharmacies.

– Amber teething necklaces and bracelets are made to wear but not to chew! Children should be supervised at all times when wearing jewelry, and it should be removed when child is sleeping or unattended!

– They are individually knotted between each bead, making them strong enough to withstand tugs from little hands. The clasp is completely surrounded by smooth stones, so no wires or metal touches tender baby skin.

Cited from Amber Teething Necklaces1

I have a few mom friends whose kids have worn these and they say they have seen a positive difference.  I’ll keep you posted to see how it works on my little intense teether.

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Welcome Back…

This picture makes me happy!

This picture makes me happy!

Wow, my last post was July 12!  It’s been a little busy around here lately:  summer camp, beach trip, home renovations. Enjoying the summer and I hope you are too!

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Cleaning that’s Doable!

Cleaning glovesI love a clean house.  Actually I love to clean house.  Seriously, I really love cleaning and organizing – strange I know!  I’ve even done both professionally.  I function better when my home is clean and organized too.  I used to be able to clean and organize all in one morning but for some time I have been noticing that as life has gotten more demanding that the house cleaning has been piling up.  I decided to come up with a cleaning/maintenance plan to ensure that what needs to get done gets done.  I actually scheduled them into my phone as repeat with day of reminders so I wont forget – gotta love scheduling.

Creating a plan has many benefits:

  • – You will be more productive.  You’ll be focused, have better direction and get more done in less time.

– Helps to alleviate the build up of chores or household items

–  Creates balance.  You spend less time focusing on unnecessary things and more time focusing on what is important.

The plan I devised is for the week so that I am able to rest and spend time with friends and family on the weekends.

Monday:    Vacuum/Sweep/Mop Floors

Tuesday: Clean bathrooms

Wednesday: Dust

Thursday: Do laundry

Friday: Tidy up and organize

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