Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Art of Breastfeeding, some tips!

I nursed Trinity through my pregnancy with Tristan, and tandem nursed her until she weaned at 3 1/2 years, Tristan is still nursing. I get asked a lot about my supply, "How can you still have milk??? After all these years?" It really is amazing actually, to think that I have been lactating for almost 6 years non stop. WOW, I have been nursing for 6 years!!!

There were a few bumps in the road for us when Tristan was born...because of the low tone in his oral muscles, he had problems latching on...and because he was so jaundiced, then poisoned with vaccines, he was too weak and sick to nurse and was diagnosed with failure to thrive. We were forced to formula feed, but, I always followed with the breast, just to make sure that he was getting the exposure. Trinity saved my milk supply, and had it not been for her nursing still, I would not have been able to nurse Tristan. There were tons of things that I tried to keep my supply up when Trinity weaned. There are easy steps that any new nursing mother, or experienced veteran can use, and here are some things to help you along your journey.

Before you try any of these tips you want to make sure that your supply is indeed low. If you are breastfeeding and your baby is gaining .5-1 oz a day, having 5+ wet diapers and at least 3 soiled diapers a day, then your milk supply is not low- your baby is getting enough. If you are exclusively pumping, as long as you are getting 24oz a day, your supply is fine. However, if your supply is truly low, these tips may help.

(1) Use heat. Wet a cloth diaper with hot/warm water and apply it to your breast right before you pump. The heat will soothe any plugged ducts that you may have and get the milk flowing more freely.

(2) Use massage. Gently massage your breast from the outer part towards your nipple. This will move the milk in your ducts down to the nipple allowing for better expression.

(3) Stay hydrated and well nourished. Drink 8-12 glasses of water/clear liquids a day (any more may be counterproductive) and eat 6 small well-balanced meals a day. If your body does not have enough fluid or nutrients, your milk production will not increase. REMEMBER, YOUR BODDY NEEDS APROXIMATELY 500 EXTRA CALORIES A DAY TO PRODUCE MILK.
*OATMEAL is known to increase milk supply. Eat at least 2 servings a day of Old Fashioned Oatmeal.
*HEMP SEED/NUTS are also a known galactalogue and eating 2-4 TBS of shelled hemp seed a day will increase your milk naturally.

(4) Get Enough Sleep. It's hard, but you need to be well rested. If you are not rested, your body will not have enough energy to produce milk. Take naps when needed and when possible.

(5) Nurse/pump frequently. You need to nurse or pump at least 8 times a day for at least 15-20 minutes on each side in order to tell your body that it needs to produce. I always drink a tall glass of water right before I would pump/nurse, priming the pipes if you will. Also, if you think about your baby when your nursing, the hormone in your brain that produces milk will take the message and your let down with happen faster...I know, amazing!

(6) Try herbal solutions. Fenugreek, Mother's Milk Tea, Alfalfa and Blessed Thistle are all approved for use during breastfeeding. You can find them at GNC or health food stores. A great recipe that my midwife gave me was 3 Fenugreek Tabs and 3 Brewers Yeast Tabs 3x/Day. Boy...that works! Your urine and sweat will smell a bit like maple syrup, but, WORKS!

(7) Try Zantac. My OB/GYN told me that Zantac is great for helping to build a milk supply. I tried this and it worked. I have really heartburn too, so I killed two birds with one stone.

(8) If all else fails, you can ask your doctor for Reglan. This is a prescription drug that can be used to increase milk supply. Be careful because depression is a side effect of this medicine.

I hope this helps any of you with questions regarding nursing and supply, good luck to everyone embarking on this journey, you are giving your child, and yourself, the most precious gift in the world!!!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Because it's just so sweet

Tristan and Trinity sleeping together....I want to capture this moment forever and put it in "that" file that I go back to in years to come. We have an open door policy in our room, the kids are welcome whenever they feel the need to sleep with us...yes, I am sure many of you have opinions about this, but, please, keep them to's our decision, and, it works for us. Besides, who doesn't like to snuggle with a warm little smushable kiddo?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Go Natural!

Some easy and natural recipes for health and beauty. I have personally used all of these, so, I would only post them if they were "Jenn Approved" hahaha...enjoy!

WONDERFUL Homeade Hot Oil Treatment

½ cup olive oil
5 drops frankincense essential oil (others may be substituted, if you wish)
1 plastic bag that can fit over your hair (or a shower cap if you want to get technical!)

1. Pour olive oil into a jar with a lid, then add essential oil. Put lid on jar and shake well to disperse the essential oil. Let sit for 24 hours in a cool, dark place. Shake again before use.
2. Rinse hair with warm water. Warm 1 tablespoon of oil treatment in the palms of your hands. Using your fingertips (not nails), gently massage the oil into the scalp in a circular motion. Repeat until the entire scalp has been massaged. Rub the ends of your hair with the remaining oil.
3. Place a plastic bag over your hair, secure by tying or with a hair clip or clothespin, and allow the oil to remain for at least a half-hour.
4. Rinse well, then shampoo as usual.


1. Mix one-half cup of bicarbonate of soda (Bobs Red Mill is ALUMINUM FREE...very important!!)with one-sixth cup of salt.
2. Add six teaspoons of glycerine and enough water to make a thick paste. Add several drops of peppermint extract or a different flavor to improve the taste (you can go with peppermint and orange...I love that mixture!).
3. Store in an airtight container (Disposable cake frosting bags and a tip work awesome)

Natural Exfoliator

1. Mix together two cups of Epsom Salt (be sure it is Healthcare grade...otherwise, there could be traces of heavy metals which is no good.) to 1 cup of petroleum jelly (if you would rather, you can use olive oil or a mineral oil too....)
2. Add a few drops of lavender essential oil (or any scent you like).
3. Apply the mixture to gently scrub away old cells and encourage a healthier-looking complexion.

Honey Orange Lip Balm

**If you like your lip balm to have a thinner, glossier consistency, use more olive oil. If you like a thicker, creamier feel, use less.

Heat 2 tbsp. Chopped beeswax in a double boiler until melted. Remove from heat. Slowly pour olive oil into beeswax and stir to mix.
Add 1 tbsp. honey and 5 drops Orange essential oil. Stir continuously to mix until cool.
Pour into a clean container with a lid (you can purchase these at any store).

This next one is really really works!

Instant Hair Shine and Scalp Cleanser

You can give your hair a great shine and help remove soap build up by following this easy step after your shower.
Blondes - Add a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice to your rinse water.
Brunettes and Redheads - Add a couple of tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to your rinse water.
***Vinegar also helps with dandruff since it gets rid of, if you have dandruff, just apply vinegar to your scalp (you can dilute it with a bit of water) and leave on for an hour or so, wash hair as usual. After a few days, your dandruff is gone.****

Hair Conditioner(for those that get buildup easily and don't like using a lot of conditioner...this is soothing and it feels nice when hair is dry).

1. Stir 1 teaspoon of honey into 4 cups (1 quart) warm water.
2. After shampooing, pour the mixture through you hair.
3. Do not rinse out. Dry as normal.

Orange Yogurt Mask

1. Mix 1 tsp plain yogurt (I chose Greek Style) to the juice of 1/4 of an orange.
2. Dip fingers into mixture and smooth onto face. The sensation is both cool and relaxing.
3. Leave on for a five minutes and then rinse.
*** Yogurt will cleanse and nourish your skin and the orange is full of Vitamin C and AHA's***

If you have any that you would like to add, email me and we can add them to the list! It's always so fun and rewarding (not to mention great for you and your family and inexpensive) to make your own beauty products. Try it, you will like it (oh geeze, too much Yo Gabba Gabba again....)

Did I ever share with you...

...the quilt I made for Trinity a while back? It was done in fabrics that she picked from my sewing closet, beautiful sustainable and soft bamboo velour and lined with a bamboo fleece. I LOVE it...It is the perfect size for the car and is so nice to snuggle. I am working on a QUEEN size quilt out of her old baby clothes now, but SHHH, it's for her Hope Chest so don't spill the beans!

Another "While little t naps" Post

We had a fun time today. It was a HECTIC day in the beginning...Tristan had a wheat exposure and he was running around the house frantically, stimming on anything he could, pulling pictures off of shelves, throwing toys down the stairs, getting on tables...Trinity was doing so good, she was patient and kind, and understanding. So, when he finally decided to nap (3 1/2 hours after he was supposed to and for 2 hours long) We made this.

First, you pick out your fabrics (Trinity did this ALL on her own) We used peices of her clothing that no longer fits, vintage upholstery fabric and my favorite vintage cotton fabric.) Then we peiced it all together

Make a face

Arms and legs
Sew it up with an apron...viola!! Your very own stuffy. She is lovingly calling her Mama Doll.

Getting Excited....

I am starting to get excited about the impending move...we love our house...but, it's just a house, wood, paper and's the love that we share inside that makes it a home. We are moving closer in town for schooling and therapy and the new house is substantially smaller than this goliath....and yet, I am SOOO ok with that. We thought this was what we wanted, before we knew what we needed. We didn't know that Tristan was going to have Autism, we didn't know that we would need to drive into town 35 miles one way for therapy 3 times a week...not to mention long drives to specialists clear across town...we didn't know that the school here was going to suck, plain out stink. We didn't know that we wouldn't have a grocery close to us...that if we needed last minute milk, we would have to pack a bag to go and get it. We didn't know that we would have to always pack a bag just in case we were in town too long....and lists, you know I love lists...but, we ALWAYS have to have a list going, because God forbid we go to town and not get something that we needed...

So, our new adventure is on the horizon. In July we should be moved, and I am excited. I am already planning our purge, we have soo much we are going to give away...I feel so happy about it. We will be going from a 4200 sq ft house into a 2600 sq ft. house, so, I may need your help sorting through it all!

I want to paint the walls with this. I can't wait to display my vintage apron collection in the rearrange all of our things in a new fashion. To go through the pictures and pick new ones to hang. To start over. A fresh new start. So, pray for us in the coming months, I will need all the help I can get to safely and sanely pack up all our stuff, all the while taking care of the kiddos and everything that entails. I will keep you all posted!!!

All you need is love....

Trinity said something to me today that sparked this conversation.

T: "Mama, all you need is love...that's right isn't it?"
Me: *just smiling*
T: "I think if everyone loved everyone, it would be better."
Me: "What would be better baby?"
T: "Just our world, the sad people, the mad people...just everyone."
Me: "You are right babe....everything would be better."
T: "Then why doesn't everyone just love then??? Loving is good, it feels good."
Me: "That's a good question...does it make you sad when you think about it?"
T: "Kinda."
Me: "Well, I love you."
T: *with a little smirk on her face arms shrugged and hands up* "Well, I guess that's all I need!!!!"

This kid....let me tell you, she is something else. She knows so much and is wiser beyond her years. There are days when I am at my limit with everything, and I find myself feeling frustrated with how smart she is...I know that sounds incredibly stupid, but, being smart, she is much harder to convince sometimes. We don't lie to our kids, so, when asked to do something that may seem simple, she will ask very complex questions regarding it and demands an honest answer...and that annoys me at times. Then, I see kids hitting their siblings at parks, yelling horrible words to their friends and parents, throwing extreme tantrums and I feel humbled. She is amazing. She is loving and pure and so amazing. I am thankful. There are times that I find myself wondering what she will make of her world when she is old enough, I know that she will make changes, will make waves, and impact the lives of's just a matter of time. So, as the late Lennon and the lovely Trinity say, all you need is love. Try some!!!!

Friday, March 20, 2009

The President on Abortion

The President...a controversial subject, Abortion, a controversial subject...if you want to read some interesting facts on both, read here...I will leave it at that.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Big Rally at the Capitol

I am sure many of you remember our peaceful protest last year. This year was very much the same, just new things we have to fight for. Then, it was getting the health insurance companies to recognize that Autism is not a "pre existing condition", that it SHOULD be covered under insurance and that our children shouldn't have to suffer to recieve benefits. We won. Starting in July of this year, Stevens Law is set to be implemented which will give Arizona families important insurance coverage for medical treatments that are proven to help children with autism make progress. You can read more about Steven's Law here. It is amazing to have been a part of it, there when it all started, and here, when more is beginning. It is both amazing and frustrating all in the same breath.
Today, we rallied against the very people set to stand up for our children's rights and for the disability rights of many thousands of others. The Department of Developmental Disabilities, sounds wonderful enough right? Their soul purpose is to fight for our children's therapies, work to help those who can't help themselves, and to defend and protect their rights at all costs. Unfortunatley, this is not the case.
They decided that with the deficit, they needed to make "much needed" budget cuts....the first thing to go, Disability services. That means, that the kiddos under the age of 3, those not covered under Long Term Care (and even then, they are cutting back at min, 10%) but, the most drastic, cut all therapies and services rendered under the Arizona Early Intervention Program. This program was set forth to help children with severe developmental disabilities, delays and handicaps, to help them recieve MUCH NEEDED benefits such as Occupational, Physical and Speech Therapies. These are things that are required for them to be able to learn to function at a "normal" pace...not luxuries that we feel we deserve...something that is needed...much needed.
Can you imagine, for just a minute, that if your father needed medicine that helped his heart beat at a normal rate, that one day, someone called and said that he would no longer be allowed to get that medicine, that it was cut out of his insurance. Can you imagine how terrified that would make you feel? Helpless? It is a horrible feeling thinking that you know your loved one needs something SO much in order to function normally, then, someone who doesn't even know you has the power to take it away...just like that. It's how the disabled community feels...helpless.

We rallied today in hopes to change legislation and to force DDD to withdraw their appeal to have these cuts permanently implemented. Where is the democracy in that? Where is my vote? What about "no child left behind?" I am confused. I feel very upset with how our state is the 50th worst state in schooling and one of the better for prisons. I feel very dissapointed with the amount of money that is going to our stadiums, our roads versus the amount that is being deducted from our children.
Today, we joined together in symbolize the sadness that we share for the loss of our services, we chanted "NO MORE CUTS" and "DON'T CUT US OUT"....Trinity and Tristan were there beside me, dancing on stage, smiling and enjoying the sunlight...unaware of what was really happening. Today, we joined together in our efforts to change the hearts of a few in hopes to save the spirits of many. I hope that you will read up on this, that if you have a chance, you will contact Govenor Jan Brewer and ask her not cut us out...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Blarney Stone Family

In Southwestern Ireland there is a very famous stone, called the Blarney Stone. It is located high up in the Blarney Castle. Legend says that if you kiss the stone, it is supposed to give you the gift of eloquence. Figuring that everyone needs a little eloquence, we decided to manufacture our own version of the Blarney, the Blarney Family.
This is Papa, Tristan, Nana and Trinity Blarney. Though she says that they carry no resemblence to the "real" Papa, Tristan, Nana and Trinity, I find it compelling that she put the BIGGEST mouth on the Trinity stone, and NO mouth on the Tristan stone....coincidence?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

I can't make this stuff up

As I sat in the bedroom putting Tristan down for his nap yesterday, I overheard the strangest sounds coming from Trinity's room...."BOO" then frantic running around "BOO" again, running and jumping..."BOOOO, BOOO, BOO!". I was curious what the heck was going on and couldn't imagine who she was trying to scare. I tip toed down the hall and peeked into her room only to find her running from the mirror to her bed and back, staring herself straight down, and screaming "BOO!" in between hiccups. She remembered just days before when her daddy scared her hiccups away and was attempting to do the same thing on her own. I can't make this stuff up.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Two Naps

My son has decided that he is back to taking two naps a day....I am LOVING this on the days we are home, but DREADING this when we are scheduled to do school and therapy sessions on the off clockwork, he falls, in his high chair (I tried to curb the nap with some fun go.) I remember when Trin was taking 3 naps a day, then stayed at two...for quite sometime actually. I guess we will just need to stock up on some really stimulating music and hope that will keep him from falling asleep 10 mins before his therapy!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

30 things to do before I turn 31

i realize that i am failing at my 101 things in 1001 days list....FAILING miserably. i decided to make it easier on everyone involved and do a much smaller, much more attainable birthday goal list. make no mistake...i am not giving up on my bigger more ambitious list, nay, i am simply adding another beloved list...which is what i love to do anyway...listmaking will rule my life i am afraid. so, without further adu, here goes.

1. learn to embroider (not just 'x's)
2. eat at the melting pot
3. have MY family photographed...with ME in the pics
4. read 3 books
5. do something amazing!
6. ride on the handlebars of shannons bike
7. french braid trinitys hair
8. sunbathe...nude...ok, maybe topless...alright alright...straps down
9. plant a garden
10. build a mini free tiny house for the kiddies
11. visit my cousin in cali
12. NAP
13. record the tapes for T&t
14. pack
15. visit a recycling center
16. start my 12 strangers project
17. sew something completely extraordinary for both T&t
18. donate a ton of stuff to charity
19. camp out in our backyard
20. make something special for my mom
21. volunteer more
22. have a waterballoon fight with T&t
23. drop in at shannon's work
24. make a photobook for my mom
25. have another talent show with T for Shan and Tristan
26. surprise Trinity with that hanging photo mobile thingy idea i have running around in this crazy head of mine
27. spend an afternoon on the whitetanks
28. finish sewing that quilt for Trinity
29. help the kiddos make their own stuffies
30. go on a date with shan