Saturday, August 23, 2014

Family Fun and Community Come Together at the Farmer's Market

I haven't written a piece lately on anything local. I haven't really had much occasion to and given my own life, have been a bit busy with other topics, such as breastfeeding or cloth diapering. Yet over the last few weekends our local Farmer's Market here in Upstate NY has been making large efforts to not only be welcoming to families with children but also really celebrate them.
On any given day the Farmer's Market is wonderful enough with the river right there, lots of fresh food to buy and eat, fresh herbs and flowers in pots to take home, crafts to browse, local wineries offering samples, shady trees to relax under, and a whole community of friends to see and visit with and new people to meet. They offer huge bonuses for people shopping there with EBT and even have a system for using your debit card.
This summer though the manager of the market, a very sweet lady, has been making it her mission to really make it fun, and most of all include children. A couple of weeks ago was Family Fun Day, with live music, games and a funny faces booth to have your picture taken and then emailed to you.
Here was ours.

And here are a few more pictures from that day.
This is the band that played all day, my cousin's husband is actually in it. 
(You can actually see my cousin in this picture actually, the cute young woman in the front left corner.)

This is Bug playing the "throw the radish into the jars" game. He had a blast but I honestly do not think he made it even once. The last picture is Bug doing the scavenger hunt. There was no prize but he still took it very, very seriously.

Then last week the Nature Center came and taught kids about animals, with me just having had my surgery though we did not attend sadly. 
We did however go today and today they again had loads of stuff for the kids to do. They had actually brought a basket full of inexpensive kids toys for all the children of both shoppers and vendors to play with. There is a pretty usual crowd these days of a few of the vendors children, and a few of the regular shoppers like me who bring their kids. They are all about 3-6 and they basically run the place, because honestly come on, these days kids don't have a lot of free places to just run and be a kid. The Farmer's Market is set right in the park with fields of fresh grass, lots of other kids to play with, the same kids come almost every week and now there are games and toys, it's a kid paradise. 
So I say Thank You to the Farmer's Market Manager and to the people who run it every week. I know you go above and beyond to provide the Farmers with a safe and friendly place to sell their products, and the shoppers with local produce and loads of fun. You do not have to have live bands come, or provide our kids with toys, but you do and for that I for one say thank you. Keep doing what you do because you are helping to not just keep this town nice but grow a community for my generation and my children's as well.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Green Mommy and the Quest for the Perfect Nurser

So I have had 2 children, both of whom were/are exclusively breastfed until starting solid foods at 6 months. However with Bug I went back to school when he was 4 months old and with River I will be returning to work around her 3 month mark. So this has meant with both of them bottles were a necessary  part of our life. With Bug we searched and searched and finally ended up with the Avent nursers. Now don't get me wrong these are good nursers. They are modeled after a human nipple, they are wide and short to allow comfortable close feeding and bonding. All in all they are a solid B+ bottle. That being said we had a lot of problems getting Bug to drink breast milk from a bottle. We had to even try sippy cups for a while. There was a lot we didn't know then though that we do now. We all in all needed to find an A+ bottle.
With River we began getting her used to bottles earlier. Thank goodness we did because with me being in and out of the hospital and so far gone a collective 3+ days where I had to pump and dump for various reasons, it was good she can take a bottle. So we started out using the Avent ones for her too. We also tried a few other brands of nursers including Gerber, Similac, and Lansinoh and none were that great.
Then a few days ago my cousin gave us an enormous box full to the brim with bottles. I figured I would snag a few of the typical (Evenflo, Gerber, Walmart brand, generic standard) bottles that fit my Medela pump and use them as storage bottles. So I did that but I also went through all the rest to see what was in there. At the bottom of the box, almost brand new, in perfect condition was a Tomee Tippee "Sensitive Tummy Feeding" bottle. The kind with the temperature gauge in the inside to tell you when the milk is perfect. I had looked into these bottles for Bug but at between 10-15$ a bottle, it seemed silly to pay that. But here was one in my hands. So I washed and sterilized it and tried it out. River took it no problem. She had none of the issues Bug and she had with the Avent nursers. See not only do Tommee Tippee nursers have a temperature gauge, the have one of the world's most realistic nipples, and an amazing vent system that allows for easier feeding on a sensitive tummy. They are the closest thing to breastfeeding that I have found so far.
So needless to say I am in love. I am in love with a bottle. I am so grateful to have found one for free so I could test it out because I had been afraid of the price, but now I can say that even at 10$  bottle... buy them! If you are a breastfeeding Mom who needs to go back and forth between bottles and breast, then Tommee Tippee is the best.... and no I did not get paid to say all this. :)

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Breast Milk Jewelry?

Yes that is a real thing. Jewelry made from your breastmilk and even placenta. I am not sure if this is the coolest thing I have ever heard of or the strangest. Today I somehow came across not one but two different companies who do this as mementos for mothers. I guess honestly I could not think of a better way to honor your breastfeeding journey.

The first one is called Babybee Hummingbirds. She makes all sorts of these gems and even makes eternity rings out of breastmilk or placenta. They are really very beautiful. She can also include flower petals or leaves from the grave of an angel baby or from where you bury your placenta.

The second company is called Mommy Milk Creations. Her prices are a little higher but she also does gorgeous work. She even will make cremation gems from your angel baby's ashes. This company even does pet memorials and first curl keepsakes. The one I found most intriguing was the curl with the breastmilk gem. I would love to see if I could get one done with both kids curls and my breastmilk in the middle.

However if you are feeling more like a DIY project there are kits you can buy on Etsy. I found a blogpost that shows how to do it. DIY Breastmilk Gem. It does seem pretty easy. Something you could do in your own kitchen at home.
So there you have it, what better way to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week than with jewelry made from your own breastmilk.

Friday, August 1, 2014

World Breastfeeding Week 2014

Well here we are again. August 1-7! Not only the week I got married in 8 years ago (August 5th) but also WORLD BREASTFEEDING WEEK! The week we devote to bringing awareness to the world about the joys, benefits of, and reasons to BREASTFEED! This year is especially joyful for me because it is my first year with a nursling actively breastfeeding. Aleks was born in September of 09 after WBW that year and by the following year's WBW he had weened. Last August I would have been about 37 weeks pregnant but we lost Asya. So while I have been a heartfelt advocate for all things breastfeeding related for 5 years now, this is the first year I am actively nursing. I am hoping that I will still be actively nursing next year at this time. I would have a 14 month old if I am so we will see if I can make that goal. If I am still actively nursing by my Vow Renewal/10 year anniversary which will be taking place during World Breastfeeding Week 2016, I will have a 26 month old and that would just be fantastic... but we will see what River ends up choosing to do as far as weening goes. And in case you were wondering yes that is my little cutie River, wearing a boobie hat I made Bug years ago, a recycling global warming onesie and handmade cloth diapers. :)
To celebrate this year I am going to make it my goal to fearlessly nurse in public as much as I can. I already fed her at lunch out today. A restaurant full of people and my little girl started to fuss and wanted to eat, so I fed her. It seems simple but it can be hard to feel comfortable nursing in public, when you fear someone will have something rude to say. I am getting more and more comfortable with nursing in public again, and I am very proud to be able to help normalize the practice so more mothers can feel comfortable feeding their babies whenever wherever.
I also will be posting a few different articles about breastfeeding over the course of this week. I hope you all have a happy and wonderful World Breastfeeding Week. Enjoy those nurselings!!!

Inside the OR: The Other Side of Cesareans part 2 of 2

Well I promised you some pictures from inside the OR. So without further ado, here are some breathtakingly beautiful birth pictures proving that even during a cesarean we can celebrate the moment of birth.

This is the son of my friend, just seconds after being pulled out. 
That beautiful moment when you hear that first cry.

This one just stopped my heart. It is so beautiful. This is another friend's baby as it is being pulled out. Just like with a vaginal birth you can see the doctor's cradling the head.

Here is one of a friend's son and husband with Daddy still in his scrubs, capturing that proud moment. Often if not always with cesarean births Daddy is the first person to hold baby, allowing for a unique moment that doesn't often happen with births.

This is a beautiful picture of a friend's son's cord being cut. 
See we should all strive to look for the beauty in cesareans as well as vaginal deliveries.

Last but not least another beautiful first cry picture. That moment when the doctors say "And...they are out"

I will try to share more pictures from inside the OR from time to time to continue my goal of helping women who end up with c sections feel that their birthing experience is as beautiful as any birthing experience.

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