Saturday, October 24, 2015

Healthy Snacks For Breastfeeding Moms

Breastfeeding is one of the things that has been hardest for me lately. For the first two and a half months of Mary's life, I had a huge oversupply.  Then one day without warning it plummeted, and I haven't been able to get it quite back up to par.

Besides pumping after feedings and taking a lactation support supplement, I have been trying to eat more healthfully.  We are healthy eaters to begin with. Our diet consists almost exclusively of whole foods, largely fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and organic lean poultry and fish. What dairy products we consume are organic, and we try to avoid white sugar and flour like the plague.

But I have learned that I have a bad habit of not eating enough during the day.
It is not at all unusual for me to skip breakfast and lunch and only eat dinner.  This has never been because I'm trying to lose weight, but just because I often don't feel hungry, and so forget to eat.  Of course this is not healthy under any circumstances,  but especially not when I am also nursing my baby.

So over the last two months, I have been on a mission to find some easy and nutritious snacks to keep me going throughout the day.

Here are a few of my favorites:

 These No Bake Energy Bites are not only delicious, but are packed with healthy fats and ingredients that help to boost lactation.  These are so easy and quick to make that I try to always have some in our fridge. Made with peanut butter, honey, oats, flax, coconut and dark chocolate, these balls are so rich that I can only manage one or two at a time.  They are delicious with a cold glass of almond milk!

This trail mix is probably my all time favorite snack. We used to buy it already packaged, but I realized that the ingredients are so simple it was just as easy,  and cheaper, to make my own. This mix would be so easy to alter for any one's taste. I like to use: raw almonds, raw cashews, raw peanuts, dried cranberries, dried cherries, and dark chocolate. (We love the Lindt 80% Cacao bars)

 Greek yogurt is another incredibly easy and tasty snack. We like to buy the Greek God's Plain Yogurt (not the low fat one, I'm needing those healthy fats in a major way to keep my milk supply up) We love to slice up a banana, add a handful of granola,  and sweeten with a little drizzle of raw honey or agave.  Some other favorite ingredients are blueberries, raspberries,  or pomegranates.  So yummy!

When I'm needing a little protein, I love to make up some chicken salad and top it with an avocado and some goat or feta cheese. (healthy fats again) You could easily add this to a bed of lettuce and spinach, a sandwich, or a wrap for a more substantial meal.

I also drink a lot of smoothies. There are tons of "Lactation Smoothie" recipes all over the internet. My favorite ones usually include peanut butter and cacao, of course. :)

All of these snacks are also things I put in my husband's lunchbox all the time, these are not just good for the nursing mama!

I would love any other ideas for some fast, easy, and healthy snacks. Leave a comment below!


Thursday, October 8, 2015

First Weeks of Motherhood~ Being a New Mom is Hard

Being a mom is hard. 
I knew a lot about babies before Mary was born.
I have seven younger siblings, I worked as a nanny for years, 
and have spent countless hours babysitting throughout my lifetime.
I had pretty realistic expectations going into this.
So the sleepless nights, and the endless demand on my time and my body were no surprise to me.
What was surprising to me was that I am  not as strong or as tough as I thought. 
Being a mom is hard.
Not sleeping is hard.
Breastfeeding is hard.
Learning to live with your post-baby body is hard.
Trying to get everything done is hard.
Pretending that you've got it all together is hard.

(Notice the unfolded laundry.....)

But you know what?
Being a mom is beautiful.
Quiet stillness in the middle of the night when you are soothing your child back to sleep is beautiful.
The special bond of nursing your baby is beautiful.
Learning to reject the world's standard of beauty and
learning to accept the amazing things your body has done is beautiful.
Sometimes, choosing to give your little one a little extra time and letting the laundry and dishes pile
up just for a little while is beautiful.
And sometimes in accepting that you don't have it all together you learn that Christ is beautiful.

This time is far too short. Already I regret the times I haven't cherished each moment enough.

Being a mom is beautiful.
It makes me more beautiful:

It forces me to be selfless.

It forces me to be humble; when my daughter fusses endlessly through Sunday's sermon.

It forces me to let things go occasionally; I tend to stress when the house isn't clean, the laundry and dishes aren't done, dinner isn't ready, or whatever. Of course those things are my responsibility to keep up, but the earth keeps turning if the dishes don't get done one day.

It makes me evaluate myself; our children are our mirrors. Little reflections of our strengths and flaws. That terrifies me.

Yes, being a mom is hard.
But it is more than worth it.
It is a high and lovely calling.

So if you are a new mom, be encouraged. What are you struggling with most?
If you are a much wiser and more experienced mom,
please feel free to offer us your words of wisdom!

Leave your comments below.

Thank you for reading!!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Three Month Baby Updates and Happenings

 It's so hard to believe that the three month mark has already come and gone. 
My little girl is growing up too fast. 

Does anyone know how to slow it down?
Please tell me!

As of today, Mary Joy weighs 14.4 lbs.
She sleeps well at night, usually only waking up once around 2:00 am.
She doesn't nap very well during the day, unless someone is holding her. 

 She learned how to roll over just a few days ago, and is now a pro.
Once she has rolled over, she usually pulls her knees up underneath her and sticks her little bottom up in the air.... this girl is going to be crawling before we know it!

She is growing more and more interested in her toys, especially one bright pink rattle.
She loves to look at everything....
Sometimes when she is fussy, Scott will carry her around the house stopping for a few minutes in front of every piece of  artwork, this will keep her happy for as long as he is willing to keep it up.
Along the same lines, she loves to look at books, photos, magazines, toys, peoples clothing, 
anything and everything.

She loves to make spit bubbles, 
and put anything she can get her hands on into her mouth.

She hates her car seat and cries as soon as we set her inside it, and cries until we take her out.
This is by far our biggest challenge with her yet. 
It makes running errands a nightmare, and going out miserable.
I am hoping that in the next few weeks as she gets better at using her hands, I can keep her happy by passing her new toys as we go.
We have tried a number of things, but haven't found anything that has helped yet.

Cloth diapering is going so well. We love it. 
We use a combination of bumGenius 4.0's and Thirsties Duo Wraps with organic cotton flats.
I am working on a post about our system and how we like the products we use.

Breastfeeding has gotten a lot harder lately.
But we are still going strong.
I'll try to do a post about that too.

Finally, and our most exciting update, is about Elimination Communication.
Mary is doing so well, and I can't help but be proud of her.
Before she was born I read the book The Diaper Free Baby and decided we'd give it a go.
At first I was too overwhelmed with being a mom to try it, but as we got into a routine, I worked on it every now and then. But one day it just clicked. 
She used her little potty for the first time and was so visibly happy about it that from then on, I was pretty hooked. 
Another post coming in the future with more details on that too.
For now, she uses the toilet several times every day, and is getting better at it all the time.

And it's just adorable to see such a tiny little thing on the potty! :)

All in all, she is such a good, happy little baby.  She brings us so much joy and laughter.
Scott and I both love parenthood. It feels like we were made for it.

I have to brag on  my sweet husband a little bit here.
Scott is a fantastic daddy.
This was such a smooth transition for him that he seems like a pro.
He handles diapers, spit up, swaddling,
 and crying so well you'd think he's been doing this every day for years.
Mary is always more cheerful when he comes home from work,
 and of course mama is too!

That's all from our family today.

If you have children, what was your favorite stage?
And if you hope for children in the future, what do you look forward to the most?\
Leave a comment below.

Thank you for stopping by!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Lunchbox Ideas

Today I didn't manage to wake up in time to pack a lunch for Scott, so I am taking one to him.
I like to eat lunch with him at his squadron at least once a week, anyway.

One benefit of this is being able to take him a hot lunch, which is nice every once in a while.

Today I baked some cute little potatoes and loaded them up with all the goodies. 
Butter, salt and pepper, cheese, bacon, sour cream, and green onions.

Our garden harvest has been surprisingly bountiful, considering that we have NOT been excellent gardeners this year. But, nevertheless, we are enjoying lots of fresh produce, so I also made a little cucumber and tomato salad with a balsamic dressing. 

A sliced apple and a little cup of Primal Fudge completed his lunch.

And there you go. 

I don't usually make anything too fancy. 
But I like for him to have something tasty, filling, and healthy to eat.

I would love to hear any meals you pack for lunch, 
whether it's for yourself, your children, or your husband.
Do you have a favorite lunch idea?

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Outfit of the Day, August 19th

Today we ran errands, had lunch with Scott at his squadron,
 cleaned and organized, and went to Bible Study.
It was windy enough that I wanted to wear a sweater, I tend to get cold easily.

  Jeans: Express (Altered)
Blouse: Shopko
Nursing Tank: Target
Cardigan: Macy's
Sandals: Payless

Earrings: Shopko
Locket: Local jewelry shop

I NEVER wear lipstick, lip gloss, lip liner, or anything on my lips, but today I felt like trying something new, so I wore this nude lipstick, which I ended up loving.
It might even become a daily thing! :)

Lipstick: Covergirl 235 Champagne

I want to make a disclaimer here:
 I do not by any means claim to be knowledgeable about fashion,
makeup, hairstyles or anything like that.
I am only sharing what works for me, and what I enjoy. :)

Thank you so much for stopping by.
Have a lovely day.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Outfit of the Day, August 18th

Today we stayed at home all day, I didn't even run errands;
but I still like to look nice when Scott comes home from work; 
so this simple outfit is easy and pretty. 

Both the skirt and the blouse are from JC Penney. 
I am also wearing a nursing camisole from target underneath.

When I'm wearing a loose fitting blouse with a long skirt, it's easy to end up looking shapeless, so I just tucked the front of the top into the skirt band to give my waist at least a little definition. 

I love wearing flowing blouses over a nursing tank because it's easy to pull my shirt up and still be covered and it's not as obvious as a shirt made specifically to have nursing access.

Most days I wear this simple silver locket, if I wear any jewelry at all.
I love simplicity in clothing, I always feel uncomfortable when I try to wear too many layers or accessories, so this look suits me very well.

I hope your day is lovely.