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September 4, 2014

Gold Canyon Candles September Special!!

September’s Scent of the Month features two of this season’s biggest fragrance trends! The Peaches + Pumpkins fragrance features notes of peach puree, baked pumpkin and vanilla. 

It’s sweet, soft and 10% off! 

It’s just what you need to make your home feel like fall

Feel free to shop at my website!

August 27, 2014

The Summer Sun and Baby Sunscreen

I don't know about your summer, but Ohio has been brutal.
Flipping from high 70's to low 90's, it's awful.

Regardless of the heat, babies still need maximum sun protection!

I have been reading about sun protection and infants quite a bit lately. From what I have read, I've come to the conclusion and agreement with the Skin Cancer Association that babies under 6 months of age should stay out of the sun as much as possible. Especially between the hours of 10 am - 4 pm.
I know, it seems nearly impossible.
Wearing protective clothing when they are out helps.

But when the heat is unbearable, I put sunscreen on my little boy.
I know.

The way that I see it is;
Sunburn vs. sunscreen chemicals.

I choose to slather on the sunscreen on that kid and avoid sunburn, thank you very much!

I have looked into why sunscreen isn't recommended under 6 months.
The FDA states that it would prefer that caregivers use sunscreen as a last resort, and even then quite sparingly on babies under 6 months. 
Because babies’ skin is thinner and more permeable than that of older kids and adults, and because their skin-to-body-weight ratio is greater than that of older people, they’re more likely to absorb sunscreen ingredients and suffer reactions.

Sometimes when parents hear the word, 'chemicals' they freak out and start running the other direction.
I figure that the chemicals in mineral based sunscreens are worth putting up against the risk factors of cancer.
Some ingredients I plan on staying away from;
Oxybenzone, an excellent filter for UVA rays, is also a synthetic estrogen. If it's absorbed through the skin, it can be an endocrine disrupter. 
No thank you.

Retinyl palmitate, often used because it's an antioxidant that boosts the efficacy of UV filters, may also increase photocarcinogenicity, the rate of developing cancerous lesions or tumors from sun exposure, according to a 2009 study.

Give me a mineral based sunscreen void of those ingredients and I'll show you a greased up baby boy having an awesome time in the pool and sunshine!

My favorite mineral based sunscreen; Babyganics

Baby Badger Organic Mineral Sunscreen is another great option!

(See ingredient list here)

The sun is brutal all the time, even in the fall and winter.
So please don't forget to apply and reapply!

Do you follow every recommendation for your children? 
What is your favorite sunscreen? 
What are other organic items that you may use?

August 21, 2014

Are you a 'Crunchy' Mom?

Crunchy Mom, Granola Mom, Hippie Mom…

What about just ‘Mom’?

Since becoming a mother, I have come across this categorizing when it comes to decisions and how you raise your children. It’s interesting to find myself placed in a category just because.

I have to admit that I had to look it all up on Urban Dictionary…

Crunchy Momma
Mother who supports homebirth, breastfeeding, baby wearing, cloth diapering, co-sleeping, gentle discipline, etc. One who questions established medical authority; tends to be vegetarian and/or prepare all-organic foods.

Now, I’ll admit that I am some of those things, for sure.. But not all.
And, I don’t really appreciate being put into a box.

I took a test to see just how crunchy I am.
Evidently, I’m pretty crispy.

(These terms seem so ridiculous, but I'm finding myself using them!)

I guess cloth diapering, spreading out vaccinations, part time co-sleeping, breastfeeding/pumping, baby wearing, among a few other things makes me fairly crunchy.

Another note: I didn't know that minimal to no makeup was a 'crunchy' thing. 
That's just plain weird.
Oh, and my footwear choice too evidently.

I completely understand the idea of building a community... 
But, really, we are all moms first!

Do any mothers out there have anything that adds them to the 'crunchy' category?
Is there anything on the crunchy list that you are just not going to do?

August 18, 2014

New Mom Essentials: Getting Through Recovery and the First Month

To be completely honest, there isn't much that you need for your baby right off the bat. 
Here are the things that I found necessary, or nice, during the first month while I was recovering from my c-section.
New Mom

Yoga pants and a nursing tank seemed to be the uniform for the first 2 weeks. I couldn't fit in any of pants because they all rested on my incision... And nursing tanks are the best inventions ever.

I had a lot of family and friends visiting, so a nursing cover was polite... Not necessary, but I didn't want anyone to feel like they had to leave just because Jaxon was hungry.

With having to go back to work, establishing a freezer stash of milk was necessary... So pumping was a must.
And nipple cream was nice for those first few days.

I tried to use disposable nursing pads and found that they made any soreness worse... So I had my sister-in-law make me some washable ones.

The bottles were really only used when I was out for too long without Jaxon, and Jake had to feed him. 
I like the Tommee Tippee brand because of how comfortable it is to hold... I know that there are many options regarding bottles. They just happens to be my preference.
If I were to branch out, I would try Medela's new Calma nipple. Medela Calma is designed exclusively for breast milk feeding with the baby needing to create a vacuum in order to get milk from a bottle. 

Personally, Jake and I chose to not bathe Jaxon until after his umbilical cord fell off. Once it did, we decided that showering with him would be easier for us until he was a little older. I love the California baby line, so it was a no-brainer for us to use their baby wash.

With my weight restriction of 10 lbs being in place the full 6 weeks, which I was terrible about because Jaxon was born at 9 lbs, the car seat and stroller were necessary for any outings.

My days were mostly spent on our couch, packing our condo so we could move. Because of this, the swing was a true blessing.

And boy-o-boy did we swaddled that boy up for the first month. 
We had hand made receiving blankets, but with summer in full force, I found that I preferred the lighter muslin swaddle blankets.
Now, I use them as nursing covers because they are so light and big!

August 14, 2014

Pumping Essentials for the Moderate Pumper

Throughout my maternity leave I only pumped a few times. It was when I was at rehearsals and left Jaxon with Jake for some boy time. In those few and far between pumping sessions I did not learn too much. It was not until I was back to work for my second month that I realized that I needed up the ante. I was pumping about 7-9 oz a day and Jaxon was eating about that much while he was with SIL… Jake was still feeding him a bottle in the morning at home, so my pre-stocked stash was dwindling quickly!

Here is a compilation of items that I use on a daily basis specifically related to pumping.

Pumping is a bit of trial and error, just like anything else child related.

The things that ensure pumping success for me is water and continuing my prenatal. 
If a mom is eating a well balanced diet, a woman can get all the necessary vitamins and minerals... But it can be hard, really hard, to eat right when you are caring for a baby.
Prenatal vitamins are great for helping a breastfeeding momma the iron and calcium she needs, although not quite the recommended daily milligrams.

Another thing that I am sure to take daily, is Fenugreek. It’s an herbal supplement that is for digestion that actually helps boost milk production. I am a testament to it because on days when I don’t take any, it is evident in the amount I am able to produce and pump. It can be said that in order to get the most from the herb, you should take enough to make your sweat start smelling like maple syrup.
Yes, you read that right.
You will start smelling like maple syrup.
For me that means that I would be taking about 9 capsules a day.
I take 3 on a normal day and up the amount occasionally.
I’m sure that if I took enough to get the desired result, I would be a better milk machine than I am.
It’s one of my goals for this month.
Added bonus, my husband loves pancakes…. ;)

Now that I work half days, I was given a half hour lunch, which I spend in the lactation room, pumping away.
Yes, I pump for the whole time I am there… Which equals about 20 minutes of pump time, with a 5 minute set up and tear down.
The first thing that I bought for those long sessions was a hands free pump bra. I went three days without it, and that was 3 days too long. Holding both shields prevented me from doing anything else and I was so bored.
Money Saving Tip: Take an old sports bra and some scissors to make your own. If I had thought of that earlier, I could have saved myself some cash!

My work provides a hospital grade pump for mothers to use. I don’t have any experience with other brands, because Madela was what my insurance provided me with and is also what pump is provided at work.
With that, I use most of the parts that came with my set.
Bottles, ice pack and cooler.

A recent discovery that I have made is that the pump shields come in different sizes. It makes sense, every woman’s body is different.. Therefore pump shields are not a one size fits all. Buying the appropriate size shield made a huge difference in my daily pull.
Like an ounce difference on my finicky side. That’s big in my book!
Plus it was much more comfortable to pump and I did not feel as sore after a session.

I tend to wash everything with hot water and Dawn when I get home, but use wipes for when I have to pack everything up after a session. The last thing you want is to have dried milk all over your bag… It just makes me mad to see any wasted milk, even if I know that it’s unavoidable. At least when I wipe things down I don’t see it all over later.

After I get home I transfer my milk into freezer storage bags. This should be self-explanatory.
The only hard part is reminding Jake that the older bags from our stash need to be used before the newer ones.

In order to keep my calorie intake up, I try to eat a well-balanced diet… But I know that it’s not always possible. For those days, or times that I feel really snacky, I go for the protein bars. My favorite right now happens to be the Luna bars. They are the first protein bars that I have found that I actually like eating more than once a week.

Do you think I missed anything?
If you pump, or have in the past, what are some things you needed?