Monday, April 30, 2012

gentle discipline

I found this article to be fascinating. As DD is now 2, DH and I are faced with more and more opportunities to "discipline". We are pretty much on the same page, but obviously, situations arise that we are not prepared for and we play it by ear. So far, so good, but I think it's important to have these discussions together without DD present and when we are NOT in the midst of a crisis.

22 Alternatives to Punishment

Co-Sleeping Interview Series - Jamie V.

As I have mentioned before, the journey through granola-hood (and motherhood, for that matter!) should not be made alone. I have been active in seeking out a network of support. I have mentioned The Mommies Network before. I have also sought out groups on Facebook. I was so happy to find a Crunchy Mamas group. The women in this group are respectful, insightful, and hilarious! I posted asking if any of them would be interested in sharing some of their knowledge on granola topics I don't know much about: Baby Led Weaning, Options for Your Placenta After Labor and Delivery, and Co-Sleeping. So many of them were willing, I was so touched!

Our first interview comes from Jamie V., whose family co-sleeps. I think co-sleeping is so awesome but knew nothing about it when I had DD. She slept in our room with us in a bassinet for many months, and often times when I would nurse her in the middle of the night we would both fall asleep and she would spend the rest of the night with us in bed. But I know there are more deliberate and careful ways to do it. I wanted to hear straight from the mamas' mouths what it's really all about. I want to thank Jamie V. for sharing this information with us. She's got some great answers and I have some serious points to ponder when DS gets here.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

natural remedies (sinuses and congestion)

I never cared much about natural remedies or homeopathy until I became pregnant with my first. I was the first one to pop a Sudafed or Benedryl when my sinuses acted up. I even have a running prescription for Naproxen for chronic migraines (which, thankfully, I don't get while I am pregnant!). But once we started researching a drug-free birth, it made sense to have a drug-free pregnancy, as well!

I know that there are medications that are deemed "safe" for pregnant women, but that makes me nervous. First of all, I feel the list changes too frequently. One year it's safe, the next, it causes birth defects. No thank you. Second, it's never a consistent list! One doctor says it's safe, another one says it's not. What the heck is THAT about? Last, you are taking a dose for YOUR size, not a dose for the size of your fetus. He/she is getting blasted with a TON of medication! It's just not something I think anyone should take lightly. Do some women HAVE to be on medication for their health and safety and consequently the health and safety of their baby? YES! Am I talking about/to them right now? NO!

That being said, here are some homeopathic/drug free remedies that I found to be most helpful for me during my pregnancies. I have a lot of sinus issues. In fact, after a lifetime being allergy-free, I developed allergies after I had my daughter. UGH - THE WORST! They have subsided a bit during this pregnancy but I still suffer sinus issues.

1. I know I am going to get some groans here, but all of them will be from people who have never tried it! I know it took me probably a year to work up the courage. I know how weird it sounds, putting water in one nostril to drain out the other nostril. A neti pot is the best! I use this one by NeilMed and it works amazingly! Sure, it is a strange sensation at first, but I never felt like I was drowning or anything! It does not burn because you use a salinated solution, not plain water! The fact of the matter is, it works, so any mild discomfort for me is worth it. After one use, you feel the sinus pressure relieved and you can BREATHE!
2. At night, after I used my neti pot, I throw on a Breathe Right strip. I know my sex appeal sky rockets with this thing on, but my husband makes the sacrifice ;-) Actually, if I forget to put one on, I tend to snore, so my husband will actually wake me up and makes me put one on! For those who have never tried, it basically feels like a stiff band aid that pulls your nostrils open a little. It's just enough to help you breathe. It's harder for me to breathe when I am lying down, so this gives me just that little extra room in my nasal passage for air to get through.
 3. I recently found out that Maty's Natural Products are made right here in my hometown! They were created by a mother. They have products for both young children and a adults. This vapor rub has been SO helpful. One particularly stuffy days, I rub it on my chest and neck at night. I also put some up my nose, which I know you're NOT supposed to do but I am just being honest here. I clears my nose out and I love it!

***Please feel free to share any products your have found!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

DIY dishwasher detergent

I have had so much success with my DIY laundry detergent that I am hooked on trying some other DIY cleaners. Another cleaner we spend way too much money on is dishwasher detergent. So I did a little searching...

Friday, April 20, 2012

Post-Partum Doula interview

When I was pregnant with DD, I had pretty much no friends who were pregnant or who had kids. Feeling like I needed some peer support, I searched and stumbled upon a great resource - The Mommies Network. I have met some wonderful people and gotten excellent advice from other mamas on Rochester Mommies. One of those wonderful people is a mama named Petra Letter.
Petra is a Post-Partum Doula. I hardly knew what a Doula was when I was pregnant, let alone a Post-Partum Doula. When I learned more, I was fascinated. It's something so natural in other cultures, I think, but not here in the US where we are all expected to be superwomen and survive in our tiny, nuclear family without inviting neighbors, friends, or even extended family into our "private" lies. Petra has been good enough to grant me an interview to give us all better clarity on this fascinating career and support available for moms.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

birth story

My dear cousin "R" agreed to share her birth story, too! She and her husband also prepared for a Bradley Birth, but not everything went as planned. I think main message to take away from this is still the importance of educating yourself on labor and delivery and creating a birth plan so that you are in charge of your own child's birth. Remember, you can't control EVERYTHING but you can still be IN control. They're story is really incredible! My "baby" cousin has grown into such a strong woman!

Sunday, April 15, 2012


Hello, everyone! I have added some new "Products I Love!" for your consideration.

I have also created a new page, "Adoption", as an outlet to discuss another passion of mine. I know it's not technically "granola" but it certainly has to do with mothering and social justice, which I believe are some of the touchstones of "granola-ism".


Sunday, April 8, 2012

coconut oil

Speaking of products that are changing my life...DD's skin and hair are very dry. I have no idea where in her genetic make-up this happened but there it is. Vaseline does not help. Lanolin does not help. No lotions help. We also started to get very concerned with what ingredients are in lotions on the market today, especially after the recent Johnson and Johnson findings.

I had heard that coconut oil was good for skin on a granola mommies forum. I spent $50 at Lush, between a coconut oil based soap and a coconut oil based lotion. I love Lush because their products are all handmade, all-natural, organic, and never tested on animals. They did seem to make a difference, but I thought there had to be something more.

It was actually my MIL who found straight up Coconut Oil at a grocery store. Apparently, you can also use it for cooking! Ha! Nobody told me!

It has been a Godsend! First of all, it is the craziest texture ever. My husband found it and asked "How long has this container of mashed potatoes been in Lydia's bag?" It initially feels like a jar of wax. However, the minute you start to rub it into your skin, it melts into an oil. Second, it doesn't smell anything like coconut! It doesn't smell like anything at all! It has just been incredible for Lydia. It also has antibacterial properties, so it helps with diaper rash.

Can anyone else attest to this? Does anyone have any other all-natural rememdies for dry skin to offer?

Our Birth Story

As the EDD of DS is fast approaching, I am revving myself up for another round of labor and delivery. I only have one experience I can draw from. I would like to share it with you. The desire to bring my baby into the world in the safest way possible is what inspired this lifestyle change for us, so I think it's important for this blog.