Saturday, March 19, 2011

Why use mama cloth pads? & GIVEAWAY!

I know what you're thinking "ewww cloth pads?" Yes, cloth pads. It actually makes a lot more sense than you think. Let me explain.

First of all, Health Benefits: Tampons put you at risk for TSS, infertility, endometriosis, and the fibers left behind from tampons can cause odor and inflammation and give rise to tumorous growths. Pads are made with chemicals, fragrances, and are also often made with a dry-weave plastic cover which can cause rashes, irritation, sensitivity, and allergic reactions.

Environmental: The average woman will have 500 periods in her lifetime. Thats almost 17,000 pads or tampons. Cloth pads do not contribute to landfill as they are reusable and do not come in or contain plastic packaging.

Cost: In the long run it is much less expensive to buy or make cloth menstrual pads, it costs more up front but it's worth it.

Cloth pads are also known to reduce cramping, odor, they're super comfortable and they're also cute! Another plus is that they are customizable when it comes to shape, size, flow, pattern, and color!

So go ahead! Give them a try! Go like mine and my sisters new facebook page called Two Hip-Peas in a Pod ;) We make cloth pads, cloth wipes/wash cloths, cloth diapers, wet bags, and more to come!

GIVEAWAY RULES: Go "like" our facebook page and comment saying that you liked our page with your name and email address. For an additional entry go share our facebook page with your friends and then comment again saying you shared our page! You will be entered to win a cloth pad of our choice. Winner will be chosen next Monday 3/30/11. Good luck!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Bird feeders/easy kids crafts!

I love doing crafts. Juliette is a little too young to participate most of the time but I still let her watch and learn and try a little and my 3 1/2 year old niece loves crafts so do them as much as possible whenever ideas or read about them online. Today we did pipe cleaner bird feeders!
Just make a loop at the bottom, string some cereal on it, and hang it!

A few weeks ago we made pine cone bird feeders:
Just tie ribbon, yarn or string to a pin cone, dip it in melted peanut butter (crunchy or regular), then roll it in wild bird seed and hang it outside!

Speaking of birds, I'm going to be saving all my dryer lint from now on for the birds to use in their nests! I'll probably just put it outside or hang it up somewhere for them to find! I read about it here.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Why use natural home made soap? (GIVEAWAY & review!!)

I'm all about using as many natural things as possible, especially when it comes to what I put in and on my body because I'm breastfeeding (almost 16 months and going strong, yay!)
Good thing my awesome friend and hard working WAHM Melissa started her own soap making business called Guavas and Bananas! I recently bought a bar of her Eucalytpus & Oatmeal soap
and I was SO excited to try it especially since I've been battling acne since I got pregnant with my daughter 26 months ago! Goat milk PH level is close to human skin, it's moisturizing, has alpha hydroxy acids, and proteins that kill acne causing bacteria.
Here's a list of other things that she uses in her soaps and why she uses them:

Sodium Cocoate: a surface-active substance that helps get rid of dirt, oil and other pollutants. It's also less irritating than other types of alkali salts. In fact, it's used so commonly in cleansers because of its nontoxic, all-natural properties.
Sodium Palmate: similar to sodium cocoate, but derived from a palm nut
Castor Seed oil: provides a great lather and is moisturizing
Safflower seed oil: a mild and moisturizing oil
glycerin: helps seal in moisture and most commercial soap companies extract the glycerin from soap and use it in the recipes of more expensive products.
water: ummmm yeah...plain ole H2O
Sorbitol: Sorbitol is found in apples, pears, peaches, and prunes and is used in soaps as a thickener and humectant
Sorbitan Oleate: Sorbitan Oleate is the monoester of oleic acid (a source of omegas) and hexitol anhydrides derived from sorbitol,it is primarily used as an emulsifier
Soybean protein: used as a skin conditioner
Titanium Dioxide: used to add a white color to soap, derived from the naturally occuring oxide of titanium...used in everything to make it white.
Coconut oil: moisturizing and anti-fungal properties
fragrance or essential oils.

Here's a list of things to AVOID that you probably never knew are in regular bar soap and why they should be avoided:

BHT - Type of Concerns: Neurotoxicity, Endocrine disruption, Allergies/immunotoxicity, Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs).

DMDM HYDANTOIN - Violations, restrictions & warnings, Allergies/immunotoxicity, Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs), Contamination concerns: Formaldehyde.

FRAGRANCE - Type of Concerns: Neurotoxicity, Allergies/immunotoxicity.

METHYLCHLOROISOTHIAZOLINONE - Type of Concerns: Violations, restrictions & warnings, Allergies/immunotoxicity, Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive).

TRICLOSAN - Type of Concerns: Violations, restrictions & warnings, Endocrine disruption, Persistence and bioaccumulation, Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs).

TRIETHANOLAMINE - Type of Concerns: Cancer, Allergies/immunotoxicity, Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive).

PABA (PARA-AMINOBENZOIC ACID) - Violations, restrictions & warnings, Allergies/immunotoxicity, Multiple, additive exposure sources, Biochemical or cellular level changes.

Another reason to Use bar soap instead of liquid soap. Liquid soaps create 2.5 million pounds of plastic trash per year.

As you can see from the picture of the soap it lathers really well. I used it as shaving cream too! It smells SO good and made my skin really soft! Fortunately for you guys, the winner of this giveaway gets their choice of any bar of soap from Guavas and Bananas!


To enter the giveaway do the following things, each thing counts as 1 entry:
Follow my blog, follow Instinctual Mamas Blog, Like Guavas and Bananas fb page, like my facebook page, like Instinctual Mamas fb page, & "heart" Guavas and Bananas Etsy shop.

If you have already done any of those things, yes it does count as an entry. Leave a comment on this blog post for each entry telling me the specific page that you liked, followed, or hearted and an email address where you can be contacted.

The winner will be chosen on Friday 3/11/11 & will be announced within 48 hours.


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Formula vs. Breastfeeding: You might think it doesn't, but it does concern YOU!

While reading a website about the benefits of breastfeeding today I found some really interesting information and I decided to share it on my facebook wall and on Instinctual Mamas wall:
Repost this on your walls to try to encourage ALL people to support breastfeeding:
Think breastfeeding has no impact on your life because you don't have children or you're not a woman? Think again. Here's a great reason for YOU to support breastfeeding women. If all WIC babies in the U.S. were breastfed, our economical savings would be $33,000,000 per month. Yes, BILLIONS every year.
It made me want to blog...
Imagine what the government could do with all of that money? Especially when you take into consideration not only the cost of formula itself but the excess healthcare costs for illnesses in formula-fed infants (e.g., office visits, hospitalizations, and prescriptions.) In 2001, the USDA concluded that if breastfeeding rates were increased to 75 percent at birth and 50 percent at six months, it would lead to a national government savings of a minimum of $3.6 billion. This amount was easily an underestimation since it represents savings in the treatment of only three of the dozens of illnesses proven to be decreased by breastfeeding: ear infections, gastroenteritis, and necrotizing enterocolitis.
The AAP says each formula-fed infant costs the healthcare system between $331 and $475 more than a breastfed baby in its first year of life. The cost of treating respiratory viruses resulting from not breastfeeding is $225 million a year.
I can go on and on about the benefits of breastfeeding but I will leave it at that and let these numbers speak for themselves.
Now EVERYONE who lives in this country and pays taxes has every reason to support every breastfeeding Mother he sees or speaks to. Breastfeeding might not interest you or be your passion like it is mine but you can make a difference. Whether it's just reposting this blog or telling someone about it or giving a nursing Mama thumbs up, be supportive! It will make an impact.

Added today 3/7/11 after I saw a few debates about this on facebook:
If you think that this post is saying something negative about people who are on WIC you're reading it wrong. It's just a fact. It's just numbers.
The fac...t of the matter is if more women had support to breastfeed they might make the decisi...on to breastfeed instead of formula feed since breastmilk is free for everyone thus costing the government less money that they could "hopefully" put to better use. We just want more support, if you haven't breastfed you would be surprised to learn how hard breastfeeding can be when you don't have support, its the most unnatural natural thing in the US where only about 25-30% of women breastfeed.
By saying that bottle feeding costs taxpayers money it puts it into a different perspective for the average Joe Shmoe who never thought it affected him. Maybe next time he will make more of an effort to make his employee more comfortable while nursing at work and possibly give her more time to pump. Maybe he will give the next nursing Mother he sees a thumbs up instead of looking away or giving a dirty look.

I'm very passionate about breastfeeding and I'm trying to make a difference and I believe I will. My blog has been viewed almost 400 times (scratch that-800 times!) since I posted it last night and it was shared on facebook almost 300 times so if just one Joe Shmoe changes his perspective on breastfeeding and is kinder to just one breastfeeding Mother, I have made a difference ♥

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Instinctual Mamas "club"

Back in my childhood and school days, I never really felt like I belonged in any particular clique. I had friends from just about every clique but never felt "at home" in any certain group. I wasn't into sports, I wasn't into music, I didn't really have any hobbies (except your occasional pog and slammer collection or rubber bracelet all-the-way-up-my-arms collection~don't judge me!) ;) I never felt passion for anything in life until I became a Mom. Once I had my daughter I felt complete, I felt like I was put on this earth to be her Mom and I felt whole. Then I started parenting differently than my other Mommy friends and I started getting that feeling again, that feeling that I was alone and no one understood me or why I do things the way that I do. I felt like I had no one I could relate to. Until I started making online Mommy friends who have the same parenting style as I do. I love all of my Instinctual Mamas/AP Mamas. Don't get me wrong, I have some old friends who I love dearly and keep in touch with. I just love having my own little clique :) We often talk about starting our own little island or village and we are totally serious. Someone just needs to win the lottery and make it happen! With all of this kindess around me with Code Name: Mamas March of kindess, I just wanted to tell all of you Instinctual Mamas how much I love you and appreciate you guys and I finally feel like I belong somewhere! You all make me feel so welcome! Thank you! Thats my random act of kindness for today :)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Code Name: Mamas March of Kindness

March of Kindness
Dionna at Code Name: Mama has asked us to join her in the March of Kindness by doing a random act of kindess every day in March and blog about it and share on facebook.
I have to admit I feel kind of strange "bragging" about the boring little random acts of kindness that I do anyway on a regular basis (not to toot my own horn or anything ;)), but it's a good idea for a good cause, so here it goes :)
Today, well the past couple days, one thing comes to mind that I never thought I'd hear myself say. I let my 15 month old toddler use me as a teething toy. It's true. She has teeth coming in and she thinks it's funny when she bites me and it must relieve pain. I don't know what to do to stop it and I love seeing her laugh so we made a little game of it and pretended to bite her and made her laugh while she pretended to bite me and we laughed. I know, I know, I quickly realized "wait I shouldn't be encouraging this" but she was having so much fun! Later she bit me hard and it hurt so bad and was unexpected and I kind of screamed but I felt so bad when I felt her gums and they were swollen with teeth popping through. She was crabby, tired, and clearly in pain. So I rubbed some Hylands teething gel on her gums and rubbed some soothing and relaxing Eucalytus Remix from Mama Knows Best on my chest (an act of kindness for me and her) and she happily nursed to sleep. We also played outside today in her kiddie pool and with her water table and instead of bringing her inside before she was ready to come in I waited until she was good and tired and practically begging to go inside for a nap. We read some extra books, took walks, & I let her 'help' me more... I'm kind to my toddler every day though, that's nothing new. Like right now for instance, I'm laying in the toddler bed that she has never slept in while she sleeps next to Daddy in the Queen sized bed so that my typing doesn't wake the princess up, haha! I also do things like let her hold my nipple hostage for hours when she doesn't want it anywhere but her mouth and the pacifier just won't do. She's pretty much done with the pacifier by the way, I don't know why I even offer it to her anymore. That was pretty easy, she weaned herself!
I've also been making an effort to be kinder to my husband too though, he deserves it.
I'm really excited that I ordered some supplies for a new hobby for myself too!
Today I sent my friend Christy at Adventures in Mommyhood a quote that reminded me of her that I thought she would like because I remembered a blog she wrote about how people treat her funny when she has all 4 of her kids in public. The quote: "How can you have too many children? That's like saying you have too many flowers." -Mother Theresa I found it on a blog I was reading this morning about a woman who is still nursing triplets! You can read her blog here I left some nice comments on her blog (another random act of kindness) although I doubt she will read it anytime soon, I'm sure 9 kids keeps her pretty busy!
So there you have it! My acts of kindness for my child, my partner, myself, my friends, and strangers!
Link or post your random acts of kindness here or on your own blog or facebook!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

I don't want to leave my baby, so what?

I constantly hear people saying how important it is to have a "date night" with your husband or "get a break" from your children. While I don't judge people who do and I can understand why they would, it just doesn't feel natural to my husband or I to leave her...

Yes, I think that if we left her in the nursery at church she would survive and most definitely have fun with the kids and part of me does feel guilty for not letting her go play with them, but she has fun singing and dancing with us in church during the service and we love watching her have fun. It would just go against my instincts to just let her go in there with people who I barely know.

I'm sure she would survive and have tons of fun and bonding time if we left her with Grandma or Auntie for a few hours while Daddy and I went on a date but to be honest, we think we have more fun WITH her than we would without her. Maybe it's because we don't have the desire to do anything that she can't do with us anyway, like go to bars for example. Even before we had kids we never went out and partied or anything, it's just not our thing. Again, before anyone misunderstands me I have to say that I do not judge people who do like to go out and party. I think it's great when people do the things that make themselves happy. That is just not "our thing." Like I was saying, before Juliette we were always doing kid friendly things. We always had a kid or 2 with us on the weekends. We loved spending time with our niece, nephew, little cousins, and my little brother, plus it gave us an "excuse" to go the the zoo, park, or chuckecheese!

Just last night my husband half jokingly said to me "I'm such a loser babe, I have no friends." I laughed and said "My internet Mommy friends and I talk about that all the time, you're not a loser, you're a responsible Father." In my eyes he's not a loser, he's an AMAZING dedicated father and husband. I'm tearing up just thinking about it. Juliette is SO incredibly lucky to have a Father like him. He's the male version of me. We think so much alike when it comes to parenting. Everything he does, he does for us. I always knew he'd be a great father but I don't know if he would have the strong bond that he has with her if it weren't for the fact that we bed-share/co-sleep. I really think that just like breastfeeding created an amazing bond for Juliette and I, that the closeness, relaxing quiet time, and cuddling that they get from co-sleeping created an amazing, one of a kind, lifetime bond for them. I'm so grateful that we made the decision to co-sleep. I used to be a anti co-sleeping nazi and I used to rag on my sister for doing it with my newborn niece
(sorry sis!) -I feel really guilty about that. All I had ever heard about co-sleeping was that it's dangerous and kills babies. Which is ridiculous and I'll have to blog about that sometime. This blog isn't supposed to be about co-sleeping, but I think it's one of the reasons we're so attached to her and don't want to leave her.
So the bottom line is, we like having her around. Just because you and your husband feel like you need a date night, doesn't mean that we all do. To each their own is my motto! I don't think it's hurting Juliette or our marriage.
Does anyone else understand us and what I'm trying to say?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

It all makes sense now!

Well not everything but one thing that I always wondered makes complete sense to me now. I always wondered why even partially clothed women in Ethiopian tribes always had their breasts exposed. Well now that I'm the mother of a nursing toddler I completely understand! Easy access!!!
I'm not one to complain about breastfeeding, put my daughter on a feeding schedule, or restrict her feedings but lately I've just been feeling like --if I have to pull my shirt/shirts and bra up/down and pull my boob out one more time JUST to stuff my ginormous boob back in my bra, put it back nicely in it's place, readjust my bra and shirt/shirts only to have her frantically and urgently sign "milk" in my face while kicking and whining two minutes later and repeat the process all throughout the day, I'm gonna lose it! Why even bother wearing a shirt? Why don't I just walk around shirtless so you can snack all day long? Would that please you Ms. Juliette? You do realize I'm a human being with feelings and not just a milk machine right?? haha! I don't know what is up with her lately.. Growth spurt? Teething?? I offer her water and coconut milk throughout the day too. She just loves her boob juice and thats ok with me! I just wish I didn't have to wear a shirt or a bra ;) The Ethiopians are smart people!
Anyone know what I'm talking about or is it just me??

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

We made the cheap and easy switch to unpaper towels!

Finally! I cloth diaper, use cloth wipes and I've been wanting to un papertowel for a long time now especially since reading this informative blog post from Job Description: Mommy.
I have to say I can't believe how cheap and easy it is! At Walmart I got about 3 packs of 6 microfiber "bar mops" for about $3.00-4.00 per pack and one pack of 18 cotton wash cloths for $3.00!! Plus the 3 bins that you see in the picture for about $3-4 for the 3 pack! I keep the microfiber ones on the left, the cotton ones in the middle, and the dirty ones on the right. Then I just throw the dirty ones in with the diry towels or other dirty laundry. Easy peasy & MUCH greener! :)
So if you want to help keep 3,000 tons of paper towels PER DAY out of landfills, you should try it and let me know if you do! Blog about it or at least post on your facebook about it to try to get others to try it too!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Breastfeeding is so obscene, you can't even tell I'm doing it!

Juliette got hungry at Target the other day and I snapped this picture as we walked past the mirror. I walked around Whole Foods on Valentines day nursing her like this too! In the beginning of our breastfeeding journey I never thought that this would be me! Proud to be nursing in public! A toddler no less!!! I thought I would hide in the house or in the car WITH a blanket over her head to breastfeed. Then thanks to support pages like The Leaky Boob . I quickly realized that breastfeeding isn't something I should be ashamed of. I shouldn't have to go hide in a bathroom and miss out on dinner or a get together with friends and family because my daughter needs to eat dinner herself. Not only that but the way us "exhibitionists" see it is that the more people who see us breastfeeding in public the more it normalizes nursing in public and the more women will hopefully get over their fear of breastfeeding in public and try harder to breastfeed!
A lot of women give up just because they are afraid to breastfeed in public and that's really sad.

Breastfeeding is the most unnatural natural thing. Before I had Juliette I had never even seen another woman breastfeed. If it weren't for the internet I don't know what I would have done because I had NO support breastfeeding while pregnant or after giving birth except for the lactation consultant who popped her head in to see if I needed help breastfeeding the day AFTER she was born. At that point I could have already given her like 6 bottles of formula! If it weren't for the internet and other Moms I met online, I would most likely go with the norm in the society I was raised in and bottle feed. Which is why I personally think it's important to breastfeed in public, talk about breastfeeding in public, and post pictures of breastfeeding in public.

Like I said, I never thought this would be me. When I was pregnant I thought I would breastfeed for 6 months and go back to work! Ha! Now that I've done quite a bit of research on the subject and I know the benefits, I plan on letting her wean herself when she is ready. I'm not ashamed to say I breastfeed a toddler!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Toddler eating habits-nugget recipe

Juliette eating (all organic) black beans, goat cheese, blueberries, & avocado for lunch.

Lately, a lot of people have been commenting on what a good eater Juliette is and how picky their toddlers are and I feel lucky. Although I know that could change tomorrow. She actually loves to eat healthy foods. She would much rather eat any green veggie over an animal cracker or an oatmeal cookie.

I found a recipe for broccoli and cheese nuggets on once and ever since I have been using it to make all different kinds of nuggets. I've made broccoli, spinach, and cheese nuggets, salmon, potato, cheese, peas, & carrots nuggets, haddock, sweet potato, and spinach nuggets, you get the hint... I always add some molasses for extra iron and flax seeds for fiber and omegas. Then I freeze them in a freezer bag and reheat in the oven or toaster oven as needed (you can also use a microwave if you chose to). Juliette loves them.
Just thought I'd share!
-Not So Average, Hippie Mommy