The Adventures of Lactating Girl

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There and Back Again: A Green Girl’s Tale

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Welcome to the March Carnival of Natural Parenting: Vintage green!

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month we’re writing about being green — both how green we were when we were young and how green our kids are today. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.



I grew up in a moderately eco-conscious family. It was always second nature to me to do things like turn off the faucet while brushing my teeth or recycle pop cans. I was always interested in things like recycling and saving endangered species, but as I got older I quickly dismissed those things as ideals. It’s difficult to not become cynical in this disposable world where so many things are taken for granted.

When I ventured out into the world on my own, I continued to unconsciously do environmentally friendly things. It wasn’t until I was pregnant that I actually began to consider the big picture encompassing those actions. I started to look into things like natural childbirth and breastfeeding, I learned those ideals often went hand-in-hand with natural parenting. I used the internet (Oh, I love you internets) to find information on places near me that recycled plastic and how to grow an organic garden. I realized it’s not only important to buy organic foods, it’s important to buy whole foods.

I realized those so-called ideals aren’t really ideals—they’re how the world should really be. Ideals are something to model your life after. Ideals are something you strive to achieve. My daughter deserves to grow up in a world that is not lined with plastic. That is not an ideal. That is a fact.

My passion for being environmentally friendly has become something of a religion to me. I grew up in a home without religion and I am an atheist myself, but I thoroughly believe that we need to respect and cherish our planet. Just because I don’t believe in a higher being doesn’t mean that I believe in anarchy or don’t have morals, every action that I take affects our planet’s and our society’s future. I believe that there is biological meaning to life and that we are ignoring that meaning. This planet must survive for our civilization to survive. We are all made from recycled carbon and nitrogen. We need to be sustainable or we will cease to exist.

I take every opportunity to preach my ideals and the steps I am taking to get to them. Having my mother as my best friend means that she is quite often subjected to this sermons and now the ones who originally influenced me to care about the planet are being influenced by me.

Now my parents (partially) understand the importance of buying organic. My in-laws have even started collecting plastic to give to me to recycle. I’ve explained to many friends the ecological consequences to their actions—often without being asked to—and many of them have changed their ways.

I may not have come from the most eco-friendly family, but they laid the groundwork for who I am now.


Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama

Visit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants.

(This list will be updated March 9 with all the carnival links.)

  • My Momma Was a Hippie — Jessica at This is Worthwhile is continuing her Earth Momma mother’s way of honoring nature by taking her child outside every day. (@tisworthwhile)
  • Mom Did Know Best, About Diapers at Least — Guavalicious at They Are So Cute When They Are Sleeping has a dirty secret about cloth diapers: They’re easy. (@guavalicious)
  • The Force that Drives the Water Through the Rocks — Shana at Tales of Minor Interest remembers her first spiritual connection with nature, granted to her through her father’s care for the spirits of the earth.
  • Confessions of a Cabbage Patch Kid — Joni Rae at Tales of a Kitchen Witch Momma learned about landfills and recycling through gardening. (@kitchenwitch)
  • Seeing My Grandmother Through Green Colored Lenses — Michelle at Seeking Mother was raised by a grandmother who wouldn’t let anyone throw out used clothing — ever — and who believed baths were water enough for two or more people at least. (@seekingmother)
  • Through Green Tinted Glasses — Thomasin at Propson Palingenesis realized her family didn’t so much choose green as it chose them, since not being green would have cost a lot more.
  • Green or Die! — NavelgazingBajan at Navelgazing remembers berating her family for not turning off the faucets — and notes that her efforts to save the planet for another 20 years must have worked.
  • Natural Parenting Carnival: Green Living — Sarah at Natural Parenting is doing more to make her children’s generation green than what she had as a child.
  • Natural Parenting Carnival: Vintage Green — pchanner at A Mom’s Fresh Start used to fill her own water bottles from a spring — before doing so was cool. (@pchanner)
  • Getting Dirty — Molly at Molly’s Place is inspired by her mother’s camaraderie with nature. She’s going to get back in touch with the real food cycle, as opposed to the “shrink-wrapped nutrition” you can buy. (@KPMolly)
  • My Vintage Green Raincoat — Mama at Maman A Droit is wearing her brother’s bright green raincoat — 16 years later! (@MamanADroit)
  • Vintage Green — Darcel at Mahogany Way hasn’t realized it yet, but she is slowly turning into her parents. ;) (@MahoganyWayMama)
  • Vintage Green — mrs green at littlegreenblog reminds us that children can be green simply by being kids. (@myzerowaste)
  • March Carnival of Natural Parenting: Vintage Green — Lauren at Hobo Mama was eco-chic before it was en vogue. (@Hobo_Mama)
  • Growing Up Green — Chrystal at Happy Mothering honed her green instinct from an early age. (@HappyMothering)
  • greener pastures — The Grumbles at Grumbles and Grunts has a list of ways she’s transitioning from green living as a novelty to green living as a lifestyle. (@thegrumbles)
  • Vintage Green: The Hot Water Tank Is Not Sexy — Zoey at Good Goog had to go green when moss started growing around her feet. (@zoeyspeak)
  • We Walked Softly — Starr at Earth Mama wrote a beautiful post about how her parents instilled a love of and respect for Earth and nature in her, and how she is passing that gift on to her own children.
  • Save the Mermaids! — CurlyMonkey is learning from her daughter how to keep the mermaids happy. (@curlymonkey_)
  • March Carnival of Natural Parenting: Vintage Green — Dionna at Code Name: Mama sees glimpses of her mother’s greenness frugality in her own life – but she draws the line at pantyhose soap. (@CodeNameMama)
  • I Thought I Made Them Green, But Really They Made Me — Melodie at Breastfeeding Moms Unite! thought she made her parents green — until she took a closer look. (@bfmom)
  • A Culture of Less — Alison at BluebirdMama explained why homebirth is the green childbirth choice. I love this thought! (@childbearing)
  • 5 Ways to Embarrass Your Children While Going Green — Acacia at Be Present Mama shares some of the embarrassing things her parents did to her in the name of being eco-conscious.
  • Ending Is Better than Mending? — Paige at Baby Dust Diaries is teaching us how to darn socks armed only with a light bulb. (@babydust)
  • There and Back Again: A Green Girl’s Tale — Lactating Girl offers a gentle reminder that certain eco-conscious practices shouldn’t be “ideals,” but realities. (@LactatingGirl)

Written by theadventuresoflactatinggirl

03.9.10 at 8:00 am

Posted in Going Green

Tagged with Atheism, Carnival of Natural Parenting, Eco-conscious, Endangered Species, Environmently Friendly, Organic Food, Organic Gardening, Recycling, Religion

Activism for the Whole Family

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Mama’s says: I Support a Baby’s Right to Eat Anytime, Anywhere

Dada’s says: Real Men Support Breastfeeding

Peanut’s says: Breastfeeding Sling-Riding Sleep-Sharing Cloth-Diapered Lucky Girl

spreadshirt.com

Written by theadventuresoflactatinggirl

03.7.10 at 12:00 pm

Posted in Breastfeeding

Tagged with Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding Activism, Lactivism

Healthy Living Saturdays: Variations

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Prior to my interest in slow food and clean food, we had a real problem with eating out. There was one month that we spent over 350 dollars—on top of groceries—on going out to eat. Yeah, I know that’s a lot.

Of course we still go out to eat now, but we have a budget and we try to use it for going to restaurants instead of fast food. Meal planning has helped curb the eating out, but when we have friends over on weekends, it’s really difficult to not go to Burger King with them. So I’ve been doing “variations” of out favorite fast foods on weekends.

For instance, tonight I did pizza pasta. Yes, it has many of the bad things that pizza from Papa John’s does, but you’d be amazed at how much better the same foods are for you when you prepare them yourself. Restaurants just cook differently than you do at home (maybe that’s part of the reason it tastes so goooood). They cook their veggies in fat and add preservatives and I have yet to find a fast food chain that serves organic anything. So my pizza pasta uses organic beef, mushrooms, sauce, herbs, and pasta. I also chose to not put as much meat in it as the recipe called for. My breadsticks were made from (mostly) wheat. You would be surprised at how much healthier this meal is for you than a pizza from one of those chains. And it’s delicious too!!!

What variations do you make at home to simulate your favorite fast food? How do you make it healthier?

Also does anyone know of a recipe for whole wheat breadsticks?

Written by theadventuresoflactatinggirl

03.6.10 at 8:31 pm

Posted in Healthy Living

Tagged with Clean Food, Eating Out, Fast Food Variations, Pizza Pasta, Slow Food, Wheat Breadsticks, Whole Food

Baby-led Weaning Wednesdays: Mum Mums

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Please tell me there’s nothing wrong with feeding these things to Peanut because she loves them. Really though, if there is something wrong I do want to know. I have had a sneaking feeling from the get-go that these aren’t as healthy as they seem.

They are very boring. I would think that Peanut would like them less because of this, but noooooo she loves them. She has never had rice cereal in her life, but she thinks that these rice crackers with the consistency of styrofoam are they best thing in the world. She even says “mum mum mum mum mum” when I ask her if she wants one. I know it’s a ridiculously easy word, but she does it Every. Single. Time.

I also realize that they’re processed and we’re big on avoiding processed foods, but we also believe in moderation and this is pretty much the only really processed thing she ever eats.

So please, someone either tell me that they’re perfectly fine or that they’re the devil so I can make my mind up about them. I’ve been feeling iffy about them for so long that I’m ready to get rid of them just to make the feeling go away. Though that probably wouldn’t happen any time soon because I just dropped $40 to get a case of organic Baby Mum Mums and a case of organic Toddler Mum Mums because no stores around me have organic ones.

At least I can say I don’t feed her Gerber because their high salt content or puffed cereal because it kills rats. Someone needs to give me a link that says that Mum Mums kill puppies or something. Ready set go.

Now as a reward for reading my crazy mama paranoia (and giving me answers? Pleeeeease give me some answers!), you get to see a super cute picture of Peanut trying to stuff a whole Mum Mum in her mouth.

Written by theadventuresoflactatinggirl

03.3.10 at 9:17 pm

Posted in Baby-led Weaning

Tagged with Are Mum Mums Healthy?, Baby Mum Mums, Mum Mums, Organic Mum Mums, Toddler Mum Mums

One of Many

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Written by theadventuresoflactatinggirl

03.2.10 at 1:12 pm

Posted in Where's Dea?

Tagged with Pictures, Dea, Where's Dea?, Humor, Faces

Sleepy Wrap Review

with 8 comments

I’ve heard many moms say that if you’re only going to get one carrier, you should get a sling. I can see the convenience in one and I even made myself a Maya Wrap from the pattern on the website. I really, really wanted to like a sling, but for me, it was always the Sleepy Wrap.

Peanut has always been one of those babies that Has. To. Be. Held. ALWAYS. So when she was just under two weeks old, I dragged my postpartum self an hour away to go to a breastfeeding store called The Lactation Station. The lovely lady who owns the store (and is a lactation consultant who has many-a-times given me free advice may I add) explained all the carriers to me. I was immediately drawn to the Sleepy Wrap, but at the same time, horribly intimidated.

Tip #1: Have someone who knows the wrap show you in the beginning. They have wonderful tips online that I used multiple times in the beginning, but I don’t think I wouldn’t have figured it out (or it would have taken a lot more effort) without her physically putting it on me and Peanut into it.

The biggest reason why I love the Sleepy Wrap more than any sling is comfort. Slings make my shoulder hurt after a half hour. The Maya Wrap eventually makes both my shoulder and my hips hurt. I have literally—on many occasions—worn Peanut all day long in the Sleepy Wrap and it never hurts.

Tip #2: Breastfeeding in the Sleepy Wrap is difficult at first. To be more correct, breastfeeding is difficult at first. I got frustrated when I wanted to breastfeed her in it when she was just a couple months old and couldn’t figure it out. I think size plays a big part in the ease of breastfeeding in the wrap. Bouncing to get her down helps too.

I think holding her head up played a part in it. She has always had a strong neck, but there comes a point where she can hold her head up for long periods of time and not tire at all and that is where breastfeeding in the wrap suddenly got easy. Now I commonly breastfeed her while walking through the grocery store or the like.

As I said, I’ve had my Sleepy Wrap since Peanut was a newborn, but they were nice enough to send me an organic one for this review. I would definitely recommend spending the extra twenty dollars for the organic if only for the piece of mind. If your babe is anything like Peanut, you’ll be carrying them around in this constantly and their little baby skin will be touching the wrap all the time. Why not splurge a bit so you know that only the best is touching your bundle of joy? Also, I noticed that the organic Sleepy Wrap just feels softer. Softer = better for baby, right? lol

Tip #3: Dry on low heat! One thing I didn’t expect to notice with the organic versus non-organic is the elasticity. I think this has less to do with organic materials than the fact that I was drying my old wrap on normal in my dryer. With this new wrap, I’ve been drying it on a special mode that doesn’t actually heat, just blows air. Yes, it takes longer, but it’s worth it to preserve my wrap so I can use it with future children.

Have I talked you into getting one? I sure hope so, because I love it! And I have a coupon!! Use the code “Adventures” (get it, because I’m The Adventures of Lactating Girl?! hehe) at check-out on the Sleepy Wrap site and get 10% off your entire order! Yeah, I’m cool like that. I get you coupons and stuff. Coupon is valid until March 27th 2010.

Written by theadventuresoflactatinggirl

02.26.10 at 12:00 pm

Posted in Babywearing

Tagged with Babywearing, Babywearing Review, Breastfeeding in Sleepy Wrap, Comfortable Babywearing, Cute Baby, Cute Baby in Sleepy Wrap, Cute Baby in Wrap, Drying Sleepy Wrap, Mom Carrying Baby, Organic Sleepy Wrap, Sleepy Wrap, Sleepy Wrap Coupon, Sleepy Wrap Help, Sleepy Wrap Review, The Lactation Station

Baby-led Weaning Wednesday: Spaghetti Round Two

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I already did a post about spaghetti, but with such a vast change in the procedures for eating it, I decided it was a topic worth re-addressing.

I’m a big fan of noodles. Really, grains in general. If I had to pick one part of the food pyramid that’s my favorite it would probably be either produce or grains depending on the day. Needless to say, we eat a lot of grains in my house. My husband loves red meat so grains + red meat = frequent spaghetti eating. Since we eat spaghetti frequently, I decided to use it as the example for how eating behaviors for Baby-led Weaning babies change over time.

It starts with a mess. As I’m sure most of you know (or are soon to know), Baby-led Weaning is messy. This is a picture of Peanut after eating spaghetti from around 7.5 months old. Back then, I would strip off all of her clothes and even her diaper to eat spaghetti. She would grab handfuls of it and try to shove it in her mouth, inevitably smushing it all over her face and body in the process. She’s always loved spaghetti, but at this time it seemed like a big hassle.

This picture is from about 9.5 months old. By this point she had decided that she needs to eat each individual part of the spaghetti separately. It’s something to really explore and experiment with. During this stage she takes every food and runs it through a series of test. Can I smash it between my fingers? If I rub it on the table, does it leave a mark? What happens if I put it on the floor and step on it? One of the reasons we do Baby-led Weaning is because it helps her to learn about food and form a healthy relationship. When she throws it on the floor, I’m not assuming that she’s being defiant or testing me, but rather she is seeing what happens when she throws it on the floor.

Here she is hitting the noodle on the table like a whip. Not only is she exploring, but it’s fun too!

Now we’ve gotten to the stage where she’s trying to use utensils for eating. Sure, she’s still messy and still likes to explore and play, but I feel like we’ve crossed some threshold and now she’s more of an mini-adult eater. Really, it feels like she’s becoming more of a mini-adult in many ways. I’m sure that we still have far to go with our Baby-led Weaning adventure, but it’s amazing to look back and see how far we’ve come.

Written by theadventuresoflactatinggirl

02.24.10 at 4:30 pm

Posted in Baby-led Weaning

Tagged with Baby Eating Spaghetti, Baby Using Fork, Baby-led Weaning, Milestones

Newsletter — 11 Months

with 5 comments

Hello Miss Dea,

You are one crazy walker! You have decided to officially change from a crawling baby to a walking toddler. At the beginning of this month you would only walk when coaxed into doing it, but now you use walking as your main mode of transportation.

Not only do you walk, but you want to walk everywhere. When we’re going out to the car, you want to walk out the door and through the garage. When we’re in the store, you want to walk over and take a skirt off the rack and then walk around the store with it while Mama tries to explain it’s not the right size, then you scream when I put it back. You’re Walky McWalker from Walksville.

Oh, the screaming. You are a champ in the tantrum throwing department. You throw yourself backwards and just screeeeeeam. When you don’t want to be picked up, when you don’t want something taken away, when something isn’t going exactly right… you screeeeeeeeam. It’s definitely made life more interesting around here.

My favorite thing you’ve been doing this month is mimicking. When I say “bye bye” you say “bu-bu” and when I say “thank you” you say “di-da” and it makes me laugh every time. You’re not necessarily mimicking the actual sound more than the tone in my voice, but I count it as one step closer to talking.

Other random things you’ve figured out this month: squatting, standing up without holding onto something, sort of running (which immediately turns to falling down within a few seconds), you’ve signed back “more” a couple times and I think you did “all done” once, you started letting me put you in the playpen for about 15 minutes before getting angry (a big deal for Mama), you think putting away toys is fun, if I ask you “can I have that?” you’ll give me what’s ever in your hand and even things out of your mouth. You’re really growing in leaps and bounds at this point.

I feel like you’ve turned into a little human—as opposed to a baby—this past month. What an awesome (and challenging, but mostly awesome) little human you’ve turned into.

Love,

Mama

Photo Credit: My Friend Alexis

Written by theadventuresoflactatinggirl

02.21.10 at 5:52 pm

Posted in Newsletters

Tagged with Infant Sign Language, Mimicking, Playpen, Running, Screaming Toddler, Squatting, Standing Up, Talking, Tantrum Throwing, walking

Healthy Living Saturdays: Whole Foods

with 7 comments

No, I’m not talking about the store. Whole foods meaning foods that are whole. My goal this week has been to each almost everything made from whole foods. I realize there will be the occasional processed food that makes it into my diet, but I’ve been avoiding it as much as possible.

So what is considered a whole food? Obviously, I’ve been making dinners that don’t use condensed soup as an ingredient (which is surprisingly difficult by the way), but it goes beyond that. It’s not just processed and unprocessed—there’s a lot of gray area.

I obviously use fresh organic produce and fresh hormone-free meat. Technically the organic dried herbs I use are processed, but I would consider drying and grinding minimal processing.

We’ve been trying not to use refined sugar, but it’s in everything and I can’t substitute with honey yet because Peanut isn’t old enough. I’m still figuring out substituting other things for sugar like pure maple syrup. What about corn starch? I’ve been listening to The Omnivore’s Dilemma audio book lately and I am beginning to question that corn starch I use to make gravy. What do you even use instead of corn starch?

I feel like I’m cooking “from scratch” when I use things like canned beans and chicken bullion cubes. How “from scratch” is that really? I checked out the ingredient list of my chicken bullion cubes today and was appalled at how much stuff there is in one of those cubes. So do I need to make all of my chicken broth from boiling bones? I don’t even know how to do that.

So when I say I’ve been trying to eat whole foods, what I really mean is I’ve started the process of getting rid of processed foods. One day I would love to be one of those people who buy their meat from the farm and make mayonnaise rather than just buying a bottle, but it’s all in steps. So for now, I won’t use things like condensed soup in my dinner. I won’t buy frozen pizza and packaged cookies. I will take small steps to start eating whole foods and maybe one day I’ll be one of those people who don’t crave pop-tarts.

Starting Weight: 163 lbs

Current Weight: 158 lbs (still)

Photo Credit: Hart Healing Arts

Written by theadventuresoflactatinggirl

02.20.10 at 6:30 pm

Posted in Healthy Living

Tagged with #mamafit, Fresh Food, Healthy Living, Hormone-free Meat, Organic Food, Real Food, The Omnivore's Dilemma, Weight Loss, Whole Food

Review: Nursling Necklace

with 61 comments

I’ve always had a problem with Peanut grabbing, pinching, pulling hair, etc. while breastfeeding. People kept recommending a nursing necklace, but I was convinced it wouldn’t work. Eventually I started wearing regular necklaces, but they only kept Peanut interested until midday, then she would go back to pinching.

I eventually resorted to just unlatching her for a few second whenever she would hurt me enough that I would yelp, but of course that ended in her screaming. Luckily, she’s grown out of the behavior for the most part.

I really wish I would have found Little Nursling‘s necklaces while I was in the midst of Peanut’s mean nursing manners (alliteration FTW!). Peanutloves this necklace. The kind love that means she won’t even let me wear it because she must carry it around with her and chew on it (make sure to keep an eye on a baby playing with a necklace because they can be a choking hazard).

When she does let me wear it, she’s playing with it the entire time she nurses. It’s great! I haven’t had my hair pulled once since I started wearing it!

And this necklace is entirely natural!

Who wouldn’t want to own one? Guess what? You get a chance to! One lucky reader will win a free nursing necklace from Little Nurslings! How do you win such a thing?!?!?!

Mandatory First Entry: Comment and tell me which nursling necklace you’ll choose if you win!

Extra Entries: Please leave an additional comment for each additional entry.

1 entry — Follow me on Twitter.

1 entry — Tweet about this giveaway (i.e. “RT @LactatingGirl Win a nursling necklace from Little Nurslings! http://wp.me/pDcm9-cl #breastfeeding #giveaway”). You can RT once a day.

1 entry — Follow this blog by RSS or email.

1 entry — Vote for this blog on Top Baby Blogs by clicking this link.

2 entries (leave 2 separate comments) — Become a fan of The Adventures of Lactating Girl on Facebook.

2 entries — Become a fan of Little Nurslings on Facebook.

3 entries — Blog about this contest (leave a link in your comments).

This giveaway ends February 26th, 2010, at 11:59 MST. A Random Number Generator will be used to choose the winner who will have 48 hours to respond to my email before a new winner is chosen. Yay first giveaway!

Contest is CLOSED. Winner: Tweeting Mama! Congrats!

Written by theadventuresoflactatinggirl

02.19.10 at 10:52 pm

Posted in Breastfeeding

Tagged with Breastfeeding, Giveaway, Little Nurslings, Nursing Manners, Nursing Necklace