Dear Mom, (A Letter to Explain Myself)

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Remember when I was super clingy and whiny recently? Ignoring all of my toys?
You held me, you kissed me, you even tried to wear me for as long as I'd let you,
but you still had no clue what was wrong with me.
You let out many exasperated breaths as you tried to cook dinner and do housework.
Those little voices told you "she just wants to be held, and I can't hold her all day."
And then, then the next day you discovered a tooth was ready to pop through.
Then you knew - you knew that that was why I wasn't myself.

Mama do you remember when last week I was once again clingy and whiny?
When you just kept saying "I don't know what's wrong, baby."
And then you sat there on the sofa with me cuddling to realize that I was running a low fever.
It was just a teething fever, so it was nothing to be alarmed about.
But then it all made sense to you and you instantly felt bad for not knowing.
I got plenty more cuddles and hugs...and I even heard you whisper you were sorry.
Its okay mom, you didn't know and I know you had to cook dinner and fold clothes.

Do you remember Mama that day recently where I cried and cried all evening?
Even the best episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse wouldn't suffice.
The baby wearing didn't work and my toys were once again ridiculous little things just sitting there.
Really mom, who plays with toys when they don't feel good?
Sure I wasn't really sick mom, but I just needed your comfort. 
You were pretty dang busy all day (I don't know how you do it all) and I just wanted YOU.
And I had a little gas. Yep that's right, I remember it now. I had gas too.

And how about last night Mama, where even daddy kept asking, 
"What do you think is wrong with her?"
Once again you didn't know, and once again you barely had the freedom to walk from
the sofa to the toilet without me going bezerk over the simple fact that you left the room.
How dare you leave the room when I don't feel good (going pee alone is overrated anyway)!
You answered my cries as best as you could and put me to bed with a big kiss.
It wasn't until I woke up at midnight with a high fever (this one not from teething)
that you realized that I was sick. That's what I was trying to tell you Mama.

You see Mama; I'm little and still can't really express myself.
I cry for my needs and I have bad days just like you.
Chances are Mama, that when I'm not myself and when I'm clingier than white on rice,
that I don't feel good. Remember this even when I can talk. 
I'm not always trying to manipulate you to hold me. I never do that to ya (wink wink).
But no, for reals mom, I actually need you when I'm like that.
Sometimes it's because I simply don't feel good and other times it's because my gums are on fire.
Like really, how many times do I have to endure this teething insanity?

And sometimes Mom, sometimes I just want your attention.
Sometimes I just want your comfort, your warmth and your touch.
It's not because you didn't give me enough comfort, it's just that I am demanding more.
One day mama I will be able to tell you exactly what hurts and exactly what is wrong.
 But there will still be days that I simply just want you...
(without exasperated breaths and whining on your part please and thank you; chores can wait).

Even though Mama this thing called "motherhood," doesn't seem to be easy,
I think you're doing a great job. Sure sometimes you just don't "get me."
But that's okay, you can't know it all, so don't feel guilty.
I still think you're supermom and I forgive you for not always having the answers.
You take the best care of me, with extra doses of hugs and kisses.
And you love me unconditionally no matter how much I whine and cling to ya.
Sure you try to get me to eat my dinner, when in actuality I just want to throw it at you,
but I know you're just doing what's right. You're just always trying to do what is right.
P.S. You know I hate corn anyway.

Just listen to me Mama.
That's all I am asking for.
I love you Mama.

Based on real events. Real days and real mama guilt when I discover that all of the whining and clinginess actually has a source. Listen to your child, for they are always trying to tell you something.

The Honest Company

The Benefits of Skin to Skin Contact With Your Baby

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Imagine a world where a baby is born and handed off to nurses and doctors immediately, not because of a particular emergency, but rather because that's just how things happen. Imagine the minutes that pass by before your baby is in your arms. Perhaps they are already squeaky clean; perhaps they've already been given a shot and perhaps your arms weren't the first ones they felt secure in. You didn't get that skin to skin contact with your baby. That moment of bliss.

Unfortunately sometimes, most often past times, that may have been the case. And even more unfortunately sometimes this has to be the case in the event of early labor, certain c sections, medical issues and so on. Or perhaps you as a mother did not know that you had a right to say what would happen immediately after your baby is pulled out of your, you know what. Skin to skin contact is becoming an increasingly popular term in the world of pregnant bellies and labor rooms. It's becoming the "thing to do" and one of the most important things that you can request to do.

What is skin to skin contact?
Skin to skin contact is simply the request and action of having your brand spanking new baby placed on your bare chest (or abdomen) immediately after their arrival. I'm talking immediately after they are pulled straight out of your, you know what. As strange as this may sound considering your baby isn't going to be squeaky clean and will be covered in all of the wonderful things that protect them during the pregnancy, somehow that just doesn't even matter. Somehow all of that "stuff" just doesn't bother you. Truthfully, you don't even notice it. And that sweet, beautiful baby lies there on your bare chest with a blanket covering the two of you for what feels like the absolute most precious moments of your life.

Why is skin to skin contact beneficial to your newborn?
Skin to skin makes the transition from mama's belly to the real world much easier for your little one. How would you feel if you was suddenly pushed and pulled out of the safest, warmest place you've ever known? The only place you've ever known. Your belly is the only place your child has ever known. Your heartbeat, your voice, your safe haven for them is their security. It's what they need to thrive.

As crazy as it may sound to some, skin to skin has a tremendous impact on the short term and long term benefits of the baby. Newborns placed on mother's skin immediately after birth show signs of less stress indicated by little crying and have much more stable glucose, respiratory, blood pressure and temperature levels as well as a better heart rate. Additionally, the exposure to natural bacteria on your body will help protect your newborn from other germs within their new environment. In other words your body, your temperature and your heartbeat will help stabilize and calm them. It helps them adjust to life outside of the womb.  Another huge benefit is the increased success in relation to breastfeeding.

Why is it so important for breastfeeding?
Skin to skin contact is actually considered to be extremely help to breastfeeding. Most mamas that do skin to skin will have a higher success rate at breastfeeding as well as a longer duration of it too. Research has shown that when a newborn is placed skin to skin on mother's abdomen (or chest) they will in time find the nipple and latch on. As crazy as it sounds, this can very well happen to you! My recommendation is to request immediate skin to skin, followed by your first breastfeeding session. Don't let visitors in just yet and if the nurses have to do something to your baby, see if it can wait. If it cannot wait, then have it done right their while you're close enough for baby to hear your voice and have baby returned to your arms immediately.

Why is it beneficial to mother?
One of the perks of skin to skin for mother is the added dose of Oxytocin that happens. Skin to skin with your baby will help you produce more of this "falling in love" hormone, which is in fact the same hormone that helps with milk production, uterus size and even your mood. While baby is on your skin, the movement from them can stimulate your body to release more Oxytocin and happy endorphins. This is a win-win all the way around!

So how do you go about this?
It is very simple - you just request it. If you're lucky like I was, I actually didn't have to request it (I did though), it is a standard procedure that my doctor's office does (as long as the mother wishes). Create a birth plan and make sure to share it with your doctor or midwife at one of your last meetings before the birth. As soon as that baby is pulled out, make sure to have him or her placed on you. It is the most amazing and beautiful thing ever. As your placenta comes out and as the little tears are repaired, you'll only be thinking of one thing -- that beautiful baby in your arms (it really helps while they stitch those small tears!). And if by chance, you can't do skin to skin immediately after delivery, then don't beat yourself up over it. The first second you get, place that baby on your skin!

Continue to do skin to skin in those first several weeks. Skin to skin is especially helpful when babies seem  reluctant to nurse for whatever reason. It is simply the most beautiful bonding time to have that sweet, little life that you created nuzzled up on your chest. It will be baby's favorite place to go. And don't forget to include daddy in skin to skin as well! Because after all, daddy made that baby too and deserves some bonding!

Ahhhhh, okay, I am ready for another newborn!

Did you do skin to skin contact after your baby was born?
Thanks for reading, Sasha

For more information: Visit here. Much information from this post was taken from the book, The Official Lamaze Guide. 
The Honest Company

Toddler Breakfast

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

I have to give credit for the above recipe to a blogger friend, Emily!
 Make sure to check out Emily's blog, and say hello!

So I know that breakfast is a very important meal, but unless it is a full course breakfast, it has never been my favorite meal. I don't like cereal and really never have; cinnamon rolls are old news and sometimes I'm just too lazy to make fresh oatmeal (except for in those first few months breastfeeding -- I ate that UP). 

There are probably a ton of nifty breakfast ideas out there that include fun bacon, sausage and egg recipes. There may be some awesome pancake recipes for kids and there may also be yummy granola mixes. Well, I haven't gotten that far yet into experimenting with fun breakfast foods. 

Here is a look at some of the things my toddler eats. We always do three things to fill up her three section plates and to provide her with a few options. While I strive for a healthy, minimally processed diet, I'm nowhere near perfect. Most all of our fruits are organic and the mixes that I buy for anything if I don't make it on my own are the most natural mixes I can find. We strive for minimal ingredients on boxes all with words that we can recognize and no preservatives or artificial flavors. 

Please note that this menu is based off of a kid who eats a good bit, but not large portions and who is also not a fan of eggs yet!

Day 1:
Blueberry Pancake Bites (mix your pancake batter with fresh berries, bake at 350 in a mini muffin pan for 6-8 mins)
Fresh Kiwi Pieces
Fresh Blueberries

Day 2:
Wheat Toast with butter (preferably organic or non dairy)
Fresh Strawberries
Yogurt for dipping/eating or Scrambled Eggs

Day 3:
Regular pancakes with no syrup
Fresh Peaches
Fresh Blueberries

Day 4:
Wheat Toast with strawberry cream cheese (very little - this is a treat)
Fresh Grapes or Scrambled Eggs
Fresh Kiwi

Day 5:
Leftover Pancake Bites (or Homemade Muffins)
Banana Pieces
Fresh Strawberries

Day 6:
Apple Sauce (preferably home made and/or no sugar)
Fresh Grapes
Fresh Blueberries

Day 7:
Scrambled Eggs or REAL Oatmeal (both things we are working on)
Fresh Apricot
Fresh Kiwi

I don't stress about breakfast too much in my house for my toddler. I look at is a time to stock up on fresh fruits for lots of antioxidants, nutrients, vitamins and more. However as I try and learn new things, I do find it to be more fun. I hope to share another post soon with more "fun" and easy breakfast ideas!

What is breakfast like in your house for your toddler?
Thanks for reading, Sasha

The Honest Company

Teaching Toddler: Color Sorting

Monday, August 25, 2014

This was perhaps slightly ambitious for us, but it was still fun to do. To be honest sometimes I'm not quite sure what is too ambitious, but as I complete an activity with her I can usually tell what works and what doesn't work. 

It's not too typical for a 15 month old to know colors (at least from the babies I know). They are just starting to learn things like "ball" and "nose." However you do have to start at one point or another with colors, letters and numbers. 

For our color sorting activity I wanted to keep it easy with three colors. Looking back now, I think it would have been even more appropriate with just two colors. I simply colored some paper plates and found objects from our "learning stash" to place on each plate. 

Honestly she did pretty well the first few times when I placed the objects to the side, keeping the colors together with their own. She went through and placed each right object on the right plate (with my pointing and help a little). However, once I mixed all of the colored objects up, she had a much more difficult time with this. It was cute because she wanted everything in the blue plate for some reason. She also wanted all of the Popsicle sticks to herself. Occasionally she'd throw an object on a plate and it would be the right one. 

The beauty of these activities is that A) they occupy her B) I get to see how her mind works C) we learn as we go and of course, D) it teaches her something. As a mother, especially a SAHM with the time, I think it is important to incorporate these small activities into our days. I'm no teacher and I'm learning as I go on what works and what doesn't work. I also don't force anything. We do these activities for around 10 minutes or until she loses interest. At such a young age, I don't want to force learning on her. I want it to be fun!

I've decided in an ideal world that I think I truly would want to home school my kiddos until they reach around 10 or 11 and then send them off to school. But that's a post for a whole other day and of course a huge decision that I have plenty of time on.

What kind of learning activities do you do with your children?
Thanks for reading, Sasha

The Honest Company

Natural Lice Repellent Products from ClearLice

Friday, August 22, 2014

For many people, school is now in session and their kiddos are off to the daily grind of school work, recess and yucky  cafeteria lunches. For some parents, sending their children off to school brings about a few fears. There are fears of how your child will do, if they will eat properly and if they will catch any and everything that goes around, including the ever so dreaded head lice.

Head lice has been around as long as I can remember. In my twenty something years, I know that even back in my elementary school days the teachers went around with pencils checking students' heads for lice. I feared being one to get sent home, yet I love when they played with my hair (gross now when I think about that). One of the things I remember discussing and still occasionally see people discuss is about ways to prevent head lice. Back in our days we were told to not wash our hair every night since lice bugs loved clean hair and to use as much hairspray as we could.

Well today I am hear to share with you that there are products, natural products, out there that can help repel those stinky lice bugs away from your child's hair. ClearLice is a natural lice treatment company that produces SLS Free, Paraben Free, and pesticide free products to treat your family for lice and to help PREVENT it.

At ClearLice you can find hair shampoo and leave in conditioner that will both help repel lice bugs and prevent your child from coming home with one of the most dreaded things out there. While kids often love to get sent home from school, they really don't want to be the one with the lice.

ClearLice is a family owned company that was started by two parents who were desperate to rid their family of head lice after their two year old came home with it from preschool. A first attempt at using mainstream lice treatment products resulted in burning scalps and tears from a child who was unable to understand what was really going on. Months later and they developed a gentle, natural product that treated and ended their lice problem immediately.

While lice is scary and terrifying, so are the chemicals that are commonly used to treat it. There ARE alternatives out there. Be prepared this school year and purchase some ClearLice Repellent products to prevent the little bugs from making a home in your child's precious locks.

Keep your family, hair and children clean and safe with ClearLice!

Make sure to check out ClearLice online // Facebook // Twitter // YouTube

Now, everyone stop scratching your 
head and check out ClearLice!
Thanks for reading, Sasha

The Honest Company

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