Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Bottles don't have to be the Answer

A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine emailed me for a favor. In her email she mentioned she had a week old baby who was struggling to nurse so she was finger feeding. Since finger feeding wasn't anything I had heard of before having my own baby, I thought I'd do a little post about it.

Finger feeding is a technique developed by Dr. Jack Newman and can be useful if you need to teach a baby to latch and don't want to use artificial nipples or a nipple shield. My friend was nursing as much as she could and also pumping to establish her supply. The baby wouldn't latch much of the time, so they were fingerfeeding the pumped milk when the baby refused to latch. Kellymom.com explains that using a finger can be most breast-like than a bottle

From Kellymom.com:

Finger feeding is much more similar to breastfeeding than is bottle feeding. In order to finger feed, the baby must keep his tongue down and forward over the gums, the mouth wide open (the larger the finger used, the better), and the jaw forward. Furthermore, the motion of the tongue and jaw is similar to what the baby does while feeding at the breast. Finger feeding is best used to prepare the baby who is refusing to latch on to take the breast. It should be used for a minute or two, at the most, just before trying the baby on the breast if the baby is refusing to latch on. Cup feeding is usually easier and faster when the mother is not present to feed the baby and is better to finish the feeding, if finger feeding is slow.
Kellymom.com also mentioned the cup. Newborns- even premies- can eat from a cup or spoon or medicine syringe. There are even products out there especially for the cup feeding of newborns and premies- who knew?

Anyway, I thought I'd share this. Look into finger and cup feeding. It's something I didn't know about and I thought you all might not know either.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Food Independence

A friend of mine sent me a link to a petition on Facebook for Food Independence. I signed it and I'm going to follow through on it. Eating locally is good for you and for the country- what better day to do something nice for the country than Independence Day?

We just got back from a trip to Wyoming. On the trip, McKay and I listened to the majority of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver on CD. The audio version is wonderful. The essays written by her husband and daughter are performed by their respective authors. We haven't finished it yet, so I'm not going to give a full review right now, but it is awesome. If you wondered what the big deal with local organic foods is, this is the book to read. I've been kind of a bench sitter in the organic realm: I buy it when it's on sale. I think I'm going to get over that now. Organic is just better. It's healthier and better for the environment. It's worth the extra dollar to promote agriculture that enriches the earth instead of spraying it. I can't wait to go to the Farmer's Market this next Saturday and buy the food for our dinner that night! I'll be posting the recipes I use here.


Elevator Music

Back from vacation.

Posts to follow after we get all settled in and my brain starts working again.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Look over there!

Annie at PhDinParenting let me do a guest post about my feelings about LLL. Go over there and check it out. I really love her blog, so check out all the other posts, too.

I started going to LLL meetings when I was 4 months pregnant. I had read about LLL on various forums while reading birth stories and connecting with other pregnant moms. McKay also encouraged me to go to LLL because his own mother had gone during many of her nursing years.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day

While I know that the obligatory Father's Day post is cheesy, I did want to share some examples of how McKay has been supportive of me. I treasure his husband-y support and I know he'll support our children in all their endeavors, too.

I thought I'd share a few times that McKay made my heart melt.

First, the birth. He counter-pressured through over 24 hours of back labor. He gave me blessings whenever I asked. He kept the tub warm and held my hands. He was really wonderful through all that. And he cleaned it all up for me. The next day there was nothing to indicate we just had a baby here- well, except for the baby.

Then in those early days when I would get frustrated to tears latching Margaret on, he was my patience. He would put the baby on my lap and read a book with instructions. Every time he did the reading, his voice was so calming that like magic, Margaret would latch on, even after refusing to do so for half an hour. Magic, I tell you.

More recently, when Margarert woke up screaming due to teething and I was so tired and out of patience because she kept refusing the breast, McKay held her for a few minutes while I took my time in waking up and composing myself to tend to her in the middle of the night. Those few minutes meant everything for my attitude towards Margaret that night.

This last week, I was online reading a forum. People were discussing breastfeeding in sacrament meetings. One person stated that their ward is actively trying to figure out how to encourage women to stay in sacrament to nurse if they'd like to stay with their families instead of feeling like they should retreat to the mother's lounge. I called, "McKay! Look at this! This ward is trying to keep nursing mothers in sacrament meeting!" Being so caught up in the excitement and feeling that attitudes about breastfeeding really are changing and that I'm a part of that, I exclaimed, "McKay, I am NEVER going to stop breastfeeding in sacrament." McKay made his way over to me and said, "Good," and kissed me. In that one word and kiss, I knew that he is my greatest support.

I know Margaret loves her daddy as well. When he comes home, or when we're looking for him after church, when she sees him, she starts giggling uncontrollably. I know that she loves waking up next to him on the weekends and on the week days when he leaves before she wakes up, she always sits up and looks around for him. As I'm blogging, he's reading to her from a book she brought to him. Aww...

Saturday, June 20, 2009

One Month of No 'Poo

A lot of you were interested in my No 'Poo experiment. Tomorrow it will be 5 weeks since shampoo has touched my hair.

Last weekend my hair was really getting to me. Saturday night, I tried a different arrangement of curlers and it didn't work well and so my curls didn't stay as nice. Also, my hair was very sebum-y. I didn't know what to do and I didn't want my No 'Poo experiment to fail. Then I realized it's called an "experiment" for a reason: I can change it up. So I did.

I decided to try a baking soda paste instead of the spray. This is partially because I felt it might be more effective in cutting down the sebum because the basking soda to water ratio would be higher, but mostly because my spray bottle was clogged with hardened baking soda and it wouldn't spray.

So I took some baking soda, maybe a teaspoon, and put it in my hand. I picked up bits of it with my finger tips which were wet from the shower and massaged it into my roots. I let it set for a few minutes while I did my honey routine on my face and washed the rest of me with baking soda. Then I rinsed it out as thoroughly as I could and sprayed diluted lemon juice (same 1 tbsp to 1 cup water solution) for conditioner. This was the result:
As you see, the roots looked great, but the rest of the hair was sebum-y. I decided the next time I would remember to get the rest of my hair and not just the roots.

The next time I washed my hair I did just that. I'm washing every 2-3 days right now. I'm hoping to get up to 5-7 days in the future. I figured with how much sebum was in my hair, it wouldn't hurt to just attack it, even though most No 'Poo sites say to use no more than 3 tbsp. So I did. I used a paste again and also sprayed the baking soda mixture on it. And would you believe my hair actually got frizzy from all that? It was bad, and I don't think it was good for my hair at all.

Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of that, but I do have a picture of today's hair. Today I used the paste again at the roots and sprayed a little on the rest, but didn't attack it like I did the other day. I'm still using the lemon juice.

If I got a picture with my curlers in, I'd look like the Bloggess, which would be sweet because she's hot. Since I showered this morning, I don't quite know what I'll do for church tomorrow since I usually shower the night before and curl it. I do have hot curlers- maybe I'll try those. Or wear a hat.

As for lemon juice: I don't notice a difference from the ACV except for the smell. I really really can't stand vinegar- almost to the point where I won't eat vinaigrette dressings. The smell of spraying the ACV on my hair would make me gag, and if I were pregnant, I would have definitely tossed my cookies. Maybe the lemon juice will lighten my hair this summer, maybe it won't. We'll see.


I have a friend who is an senior in Fine Art at BYU. Last month we went to his new apartment for a Housewarming Party. While we were there, he was planning on doing a painting and needed models. So he gathered up a few people and had them pose with candles in a dark room while a picture was taken. They did this with a couple of groups and I was in one of them. I found out later, that the picture with me in it was the one he decided to paint, so that made me feel cool and I wanted to show it off.

oil, 2009
copyright Daniel Embree
used with permission

I'm the blond one in the first row second from the right. I know I'm not totally recognizable as me due to lighting and style, but I'm there anyway.

His thoughts on and story behind the painting are at his blog here. When I asked him for permission to post the picture here, he also said, "The painting was meant to include all people whose lives are influenced by same sex attraction or a loved one who is gay, regardless of what they believe about homosexuality and/or the church."

Friday, June 19, 2009

Friday Fill-ins

Thanks for everyone's input yesterday. I'll get right on it! I think I'm guest posting next week at PhDinParenting, so look for that!

1. All children alarm their parents, if only because you are forever expecting them to say something damning about you.

2. Show me a good loser and I will show you a Charlie Brown.

3. Since I've never done it, I don't know what it is like eating an entire box of chocolate liqueurs at one time.

4. Too bad that all the people who know how to run the country are busy living their own lives and not running for office.

5. I have yet to hear a man ask for advice on how to combine breastfeeding and knitting, mostly because men don't typically breastfeed.

6. It is impossible to think of any good meal, no matter how plain or elegant, without vegetables or fruit in it.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to the BYU CS Alumni Social, tomorrow my plans include going to the temple and Sunday, I want to make McKay a surprise breakfast!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Choose Your Own Adventure!

This past week, I've tried to limit my Internet time to just emails and things that needed immediate attention. I updated my facebook status occasionally and I think I twittered once or twice, but that was it.

After all that, my house is fairly neat (though nowhere perfect), I've finished knitting a baby sweater, booties, bonnet, some little hearts, a dishcloth, and I've started working on dear BSJ again. I've also done some reading and Margaret's been to a park almost every day.

Meanwhile, there are lots of posts in progress, but the blogging bug isn't really biting. I thought I'd list some I've started here and you all can let me know which ones you'd like to read.

  • Some local Provo lactivism
  • No 'Poo update
  • Post on other natural body products I've used
  • Margaret's No 'Poo experiment (may be combined with the above post)
  • Book Reviews (each their own post): Permission to Mother, Hold on to Your Kids, I'd also like to review Last Child in the Woods and Playful Parenting when I get a hold of them
  • What to do if someone you know is UCing (mini-post)
  • A series on Emergency Preparedness and Natural Family Living
  • My experience with lactation amenorrhea and fertility while breastfeeding
  • A personal rant on gender roles versus traits with some LDS-ness mixed in (ok- a lot of LDS-ness)
  • Attitudes towards toddlers/teenagers
  • My hats
  • Summer goals/plans
  • My attempts at time and home management methods
  • My attempts at being healthier in diet and exercise
  • Suggestions?
Well, that's it for now. I need to eat breakfast and then go do some laundry and grocery shopping. Fun day ahead of me!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Friday Fill-ins

Except for this post, I'm taking a blogging hiatus this weekend. You won't believe how many posts I have started but need the finishing "publish" push: book reviews, essays, answers to your questions. Don't worry- I'll be back!

1. I grew up thinking what we see as a three dimensional world was really a 2-dimensional world twisted up on itself to look 3D.

2. Google Reader was the last website I was at before coming here.

3. Why don't you learn to knit?

4. Reading Peanuts comic strz

6. People who use the word "nazi" when describing lactivists are very off-putting.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to the fact that it's Friday, tomorrow my plans include World Wide Knit in Public Day and Sunday, I want to make a warm breakfast!

Monday, June 08, 2009

The No Poo Experiment (cont)

I've been meaning to blog this, and Margaret's currently asleep, so this will be quick. This is my No 'Poo experience for the past week and a half.

Day 14: Waxy hair. Looked greasy. Put it in pigtails and wore a hat. When I took the hat off a few hours later, no longer looked greasy. Washed it that night with BS and ACV. Then I put it in sponge curlers and slept in them for Sunday.

Day 15: Sunday. Took hair out of curlers. Very curly. Looked great, not greasy. Picture:
Day 16: Monday. Woke up to Sunday's hair a little messy, so I combed it out with a wide toothed comb and brushed a bit with the boar bristle brush. Got softer curls, though still very curly. Washed that night with BS and ACV. Picture so you can see the roots:

Day 17- 21. Tuesday McKay told me he thought the curly hair was sexier and looked best. I asked him what he thought I should do, "Keep curling it" was his answer. I wanted to wait out some more of the transition stage without messing with it much, so I spent these days with straight hair tied back or in a hat. I continued to use BS and ACV every other day or so. Saturday night came again. When I got in the shower and started wetting my hair, I said the most surprising words ever, "McKay! You won't believe this! My hair feels normal again!" After the BS/ACV routine, I put it in curlers like the week before.

Day 22 Sunday. Woke up, took the curlers out, had curly hair. These curls were better than last week's. I don't know if that's due to the fact that I think I'm over the transition hump or that I arranged the curlers in my hair better. More compliments. A friend of mine felt my hair and vouched that it's very soft and not waxy or greasy at all.
Picture of me showing off a skirt I sewed- you can kind of see my hair from yesterday:

Day 23. Today. Soft curls left over from yesterday after using a wide toothed comb and the boar bristle brush. I like the curls. They stay in without any product at all.

This morning:

Also: There's a difference between waxy and greasy. Waxy didn't always look greasy and stick together, it just felt that way. And if you get a boar bristle brush, read up on the care and use of it.

I really love the curls because it makes my hair shorter and I love shorter hair. And it looks better under hats, which is most important. After all, it's all about the hat.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Friday Fill-ins

1. I'm always home.

2. My favorite thing for dinner lately has been not having to plan it (I found someone else's meal plan from their blog and use it- is that evil?).

3. Margaret's afraid of dogs and their bark! bark! bark!

4. A nice long walk can put a toddler to sleep.

5. I love to hear some good news.

6. When all is said and done, there's always hundreds of spam messages in your email (no, I am not looking for hot, single women in Provo).

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to watching a friend's kids, tomorrow my plans include the farmer's market and the Really Really Free Market and Sunday, I want to make waffles!

Honey put to the Real Test

So I've been using honey and baking soda on my face. I have pretty bad acne, especially right before my period, so I was waiting for that. And waiting. And waiting.

Then my period came, and I'm still waiting for the acne. Sure, I had a couple of zits, but it's definitely not the break-out I've been accustomed to. So I think the honey is working. I've tried honey by itself and I've tried honey mixed with baking soda. I prefer the baking soda mixture because it is more scrubby and I like that feel.

I'll probably post about the No Poo experiment later (day 17 today!)

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Bleeding in the Background

A year ago, I was still bleeding lochia. Margaret was 9 weeks old. The bleeding for me didn't stop until 10 weeks.

This was very hard for me. I knew I would struggle- and after giving birth after 44 hours of labor, I thought I had fulfilled that struggle. Unfortunately, I was wrong. I bled for 10 weeks post partum.

That's a lot, I know. I have a lot of feelings about that, and they are very emotional and don't flow logically and are laden with postpartum hormones, but I'll put them here:

I didn't want to tell people at all. I didn't want to write this post, but I felt it would be good for those of you who dealt with these same feelings. I didn't want to tell people because I was afraid they would blame the UP or UC (and at least one person I've told has blamed the UC- and it hurt and makes me less inclined to confide in them).

I knew I didn't have any retained placenta, so there wasn't really anything I could do about it. There were times when I thought the lochia bleeding had ended- nothing for three days! Then I would go out for a walk, or go to the store, or drive the car, and then it would return. I was simply over-doing it. The wound in my uterus was just taking its time to heal.

I had considered seeing a gynecologist, but I didn't want to be lectured to about UP/UC and I didn't think they would have any real suggestions besides a D&C which I knew was unnecessary. I happen to own a whole and complete placenta. I did pass a few clots within 24 hours of the birth, but after that, nothing. Do you think a GYN would have been willing to look at a thawed placenta for proof? Probably not. And it wasn't the sort of heavy bleeding that would indicate a problem. It was just always there... bleeding in the background.

I received a couple of priesthood blessings about it- each time I was told to be patient and promised that I would recover completely and be whole. You know what was frustrating about this? I felt inadequate. And I had the Internet which gave me plenty to worry about. I got to read stories about women who were done with lochia bleeding at 10 days post partum! And there I was 10 weeks postpartum. Also, the Internet kept saying things like, "It's supposed to be over by 6 weeks." You know what, Internet? My pregnancy was supposed to be over by 42 weeks, so stuff it!

You know what was really disheartening? The pressure to go back to church quickly. This was hard for me; I felt, especially at church, that my absence would be taken to mean, "Look! Birthing at home is too hard on you." It wasn't my birth- had I been in a birth center or hospital I would have bled for just as long. See, I'm really insecure. After 4 weeks of not going to church, the RS presidency sent someone to go check on me. They were only here for 5 minutes.

Ok. I don't really know why they came over. They called and wanted to come over so I let them and then some niceties were said and they left. Maybe it was coincidence that it occured after 4 weeks of not going to church: they didn't really tell me why they were visiting. Maybe they were visiting everybody? I did go back to church 5 weeks post partum. I didn't go back the next week. I didn't want to be reminded about my failure to heal.

Part of my struggle was that I wanted to be out. I really did want to go to church. I felt great and it was warming up and green again outside. I wasn't invalid- I felt up to it, I did. It wasn't that I couldn't handle it- it was that my uterus couldn't. McKay was really good at reminding me to slow down. I think he knew how in adequate I felt and just wanted me to heal so I wasn't so down about it. So he would go to church and I would stay home. Every week, I would tell McKay how good I felt (and I did feel good) but he would ask, "Are you still bleeding?" "Yes." And I would stay home.

Eventually, my desire to get better had to be greater than my desire to go outside. And I took it easy and it stopped. I have healed, I passed no other clots, I have a wonderful, satisfying sex life (just in case you were wondering).

But you know what I've decided? I don't care if my bleeding finishes at 2 days post partum next time, I'm not going out for 6 weeks. I'm not going to give into the pressure again. You're supposed to relax and enjoy those early weeks when your baby is small. You shouldn't be pressured into worrying about getting everything together or even looking "together."

So there you go. Now I have to click "publish." Let's see if I can.

Monday, June 01, 2009

The Really Really Free Market

I know all you Provo-ites will be at the Farmer's Market on Saturday. If you stick around after the Farmer's Market, there's going to be a market of a different kind. A free kind. A really really free market.

From what I gather from the Facebook event page, the wikipedia page, it's kind of like a big gathering where you bring things to give away and get to take other people's free things. Kind of like a community free cycle. Free music, free food, free stuff, and you get to stick it to the capatalist man all the while! Also, Earth First will be there doing presentations!

I am really really looking forward to this! You get to share with the community and enjoy companionship. I've got to figure out what I'd like to bring. Maybe I'll bake lots of bread to give away. Maybe I'll sew some stuff up or knit. Not sure. Be there!