Naturally Mama.

From one natural mama to another…

I am Woman. Watch me Lactate. January 26, 2011

Filed under: Breastfeeding — Naturally Mama @ 8:43 pm
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I make milk. My body brews a concoction that can prevent and cure sickness, heal wounds, and nourish a tiny body until it grows 2 feet tall with nothing more needed for a good year or more sometimes. I can look at my child one day and say “I did that. He grew because of me.” What is so “gross” and taboo about seeing such a miraculous act performed?

I don’t want to get into how breastfeeding is best, Facebook disrespects women’s rights by banning breastfeeding support pages/pictures or make formula feeders feel shamed (because I formula-fed my first child before coming to know what I know now and choosing differently for our family). These have been discussed many times over recently (and with good reason!) so there’s not much to add. What I do want to get into is this:

What is so wrong about feeding my child when my child is hungry?

It’s a simple question, but one that is often answered with invalid, unthoughtful and immature responses. I don’t scoff at formula feeders. I don’t stare at something I’m offended at (for no good reason) and make someone feel uncomfortable for it. I applaud Mothers who do the best for their children. I stand behind and support Mothers who take the time and energy to do something selfless and wonderful for their babies. Why would anybody want to do the opposite?

What have you done lately to support a breastfeeding Mother?


The No ‘poo Method of Hair-washing: Day One December 17, 2010

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I have really oily hair. It doesn’t matter what shampoo/conditioner I use, if I use conditioner at all, or how many times I lather, rinse and repeat… by the end of the day, my hair is oily in the front and I’ve usually pulled it into a ponytail or thrown it into a bun as to not openly share that fact with the world.

Recently, within the past 2 weeks, my scalp has also been itchy and flaky for the first time in my life. Huge flakes all over my head for all to see. My head was itchy all day long. I decided it was time to change what I was doing, yet I am not willing to pour dandruff and dry scalp chemicals on my head- regular shampoo/conditioner chemicals are bad enough.

I heard about the No ‘poo method of  cleansing your hair some time ago and I thought it was a little radical and I was very skeptical to even try it. How in the world was baking soda and water going to clean my hair when shampoo- suds and all- wouldn’t even do the trick? I needed something STRONGER, not weaker… right?

I saw a video on the Internet and it sounded easy. I had the ingredients right in my cupboard. I really had nothing to lose. So, I went for it. I mixed 1 TBS of Baking Soda with 1 cup of water into an old shampoo bottle. I then brought the apple cider into the shower with me (I was a little hasty and didn’t watch the whole video… it’s supposed to be diluted! lol) and poured that straight onto my scalp. I absolutely HATE the smell of vinegar, and I know I’m not alone in this. But the video promised that once you rinsed it out, it would not smell of vinegar.

So I shook up my no ‘poo mix and poured it onto my head. It just felt like cold water. I rubbed it all over my scalp and into my hair. It felt so good on my itchy scalp, but actually made it itch more at first. I let it sit for a minute and I rinsed. Then, it was time for the vinegar. I really wish I would have watched the whole video to see that you mix it with water! But instead, I poured it straight onto my head. It burned my sensitive scalp, but not in a painful way. It was VERY relieving. I let that sit for a minute also, and rinsed. Very, very well.

When I got out of the shower, I had my Husband smell my hair and he said it smelled like apple cider, not vinegar. I couldn’t smell vinegar either, and could hardly smell anything at all. If only the apple cider scent of the vinegar can be smelled after being applied undiluted (and it was a faint scent at that), then I’m sure it’s pretty much scent-less when diluted.

I blow-dried my hair afterwards (I had somewhere to be, otherwise I don’t usually blow-dry).  It was super soft when I brushed through it wet. It was clean and shiny after blowdrying it and brushing through/styling it. Stayed looking clean ALL DAY LONG. This morning,  it still was not oily. I have not itched my scalp since! I haven’t hopped back into the shower today yet, so we’ll see what it does to my hair over the coming weeks. So far, so good!


Organic and Natural DIY: From Dog Shampoo to Mascara December 14, 2010

Filed under: DIY Projects,Green Living,Home,Natural Living,Organic Living — Naturally Mama @ 7:21 am

I’ve compiled a list of some of some natural & organic DIY recipes. I haven’t tried most of them, but I plan to try almost all of them. Check ’em out- there are some great ideas!


“Shampoo and Conditioner” (no ‘poo)

Organic Facial

Face Wash- Oil Cleansing Method

Green Tea Facial Wash and Toner

Body Cream, Mineral Blush, Lip Balm and Face Mask

Natural Chapstick

Mineral Eyeshadow

Natural/Organic Mascara

Mineral Foundation



Organic Dog Food (that’s easy to make and inexpensive!)

Organic Squash Dog Cookies

Organic Flea Shampoo (Trying this tomorrow)

Organic Cat Food

Cat Treats


Wipes, Baby Powder, Wash and Baby Oil

Baby Wipes

Baby/Kids Mobile (Love this!)

Crinkle Tag Blanket

Diaper Changing Pad


Non-toxic Cleaning Kit

Various Types of Household Cleaners (Click through the arrows above the picture and look to the right of the page for recipes)

Wool Dryer Balls

Natural/Organic Carpet Cleaner

Organic Ant Traps

Organic Garden Pest Control

Non-toxic Air Freshener


Air Freshener

Eco-Friendly Car Wash

Have any recipes of your own to share?


Life Without a Microwave: 2 Weeks and Counting December 10, 2010

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So first, I want to admit a few of things in regards to getting rid of our microwave…

  1. When I first heard that microwaves are bad for your health, I chalked it up to a bunch of nonsense. Of course, this is before I researched it. So, I ‘knew’ about the health hazards for quite some time and simply ignored them while zapping my food to eatable temperatures.
  2. I didn’t think I could do it. How could we really get rid of the microwave? What about leftovers? And… lazy tea, lazy quesadillas, lazy… everything else?
  3. I was pretty sure my family was going to resist. My Daughter and her Dad are 2 peas in a pod: they bore both always right even when they’re wrong, and they both have a tendency to resist change. I had made a lot of recent modifications and eliminations in regards to our health and natural living. Sometimes I feel as though I might overwhelm them, even though I try to slowly introduce new ideas and ways of living.

So now that those confessions are out of the way, I am happy to report that I do not miss my microwave. I can’t believe how much better things taste cooked in the oven, a toaster oven or on the stove top. Things that I would usually heat up in a microwave would come out floppy, or hard in spots, or cold in some spots, hot/warm in others… no more! Food is cooked quickly, evenly and with better flavor!

The family was surprisingly easily converted. My Husband had his reserves at first, but transitioned beautifully! (Bravo, Honey) My daughter didn’t even really think much of it, as I mentioned the upcoming change a couple of times over the course of 2 of weeks to prepare her. So when she saw we made the switch, she didn’t complain and jumped right in to learn how to use it. Such a champ.

Also, an unintended bonus: You eat less ‘convenient’ crap without a microwave. You might think this would inconvenience you and be a lot of work, but I pretty much don’t buy anything frozen these days and it’s not much more work at all. And when you pass by that freezer section, you think twice- saving you money. I actually enjoy what I eat now and feel good about it.

Have you researched the effects of microwaves on your health? Here are some of the highlights:

  • Microwaves change the molecular structure of your food into something your body cannot properly recognize and break down.
  • Microwaves severely diminish nutrients in your food. Researchers found that after heating breast milk in a microwave, over 90% of disease protecting agents were eliminated. Same type of results with other foods.
  • Microwaving food causes biological effects such as destabilized metabolism, brain circuitry destruction, hormonal imbalances and brainwave disruptions.
  • Microwaved food has been linked to cancer and tumors.

The (horrific, in my opinion) list goes on. Here are a few good places to start in your research, which I hope you will do if you haven’t already. Let me know your thoughts and it if you decide to make the switch, keep me updated. I would love to know how goes!


Tickles and One of Those Days. December 9, 2010

Filed under: Baby Milestones,Breastfeeding,Everyday Baby Stuff,Family,Parenting — Naturally Mama @ 8:24 pm


I start this post on a very happy note: Cohen laughs when you tickle him. Sooooo stinking adorable! He’s ticklish on his upper arms, especially on the right side. I could have spent hours tickling that baby, but I don’t think he would have enjoyed it for that long. My little Turtle Man will be 3 months in a week!

Now onto the real reason for my post: it’s been one of those days. I’ve had a lot of self doubt lately, anxiety about the health of my baby (when he looks to be completely healthy) and regrets about parts of my life (which keep resurfacing). The self doubt I usually just push away without really thinking too much about it and then it just creeps right back up- only for me to push it away again. I guess I’m doubting that I’ll follow through with everything that I want to follow through with- because I get caught up in the moment of things and small things consume my whole being- making me irritated at the world for what the world would probably see as no good reason.

My Husband told me yesterday that sometimes he’s apprehensive to talk to me about certain things because I’ve been so irritated in general lately… and when he said that, I thought “What the hell are you talking about?” but then today, something small went wrong, which made something else go wrong with pissed me off and overwhelmed me so I stomp off to the bathroom and as I’m peeing I yell to my Husband “You’re right! I need a chill pill!” …if only I took pills just to chill.

And this is what’s been bothering me the most: I am constantly worried about Cohen’s health and development. Is he growing fast enough, gaining enough weight, meeting the right milestones, is he developmentally delayed (although I have no reason to believe so), does he have some kind of tongue tie (although I’ve been told he doesn’t… the tip of his tongue is always on the roof of his mouth however, and nobody will validate my concerns)…Why am I constantly worrying about if he’s ‘normal’? I will love him no matter WHAT. And he is what he is, there’s no changing it. I did the same thing while I was pregnant with him… excessive Mama worry. I knew it was terrible for me and for him, yet I couldn’t push it away and still can’t.

If you’ve read any of my past posts or you know me personally, you probably know the breastfeeding issues that we have. I have Insufficient Glandular Tissue, or so I’ve been told it’s more than likely what is going on since there’s no true scientific way to diagnose the condition. I cannot, for the life of me, after trying with every OUNCE of my being for 2 months straight… *Deep breath in* …make enough milk. *Deep breath out* I’m trying to come to terms with this, and the fact that I have to use donor milk to feed my son. He stopped wanting to latch to my breast when the SNS isn’t attached because apparently he now realizes what it does and how much faster the flow is with it. I’m literally (gently) forcing him to drink from my breast. He’s drinking less and less and it tears me up.

BUT… to wrap it up and keep this post from being an hour long… I have no choice but to come to terms with it. So, I’m trying. I love my son and I absolutely love breastfeeding, but our breastfeeding relationship is strained, always has been, and I hate that. Things could be worse, however. I could make no milk at all, right? Right. Also, with the insane amount of worry has come so much joy and happiness… new experiences, amounts of patience and more love than we thought we had left in us.



36 Questions to Ask a Potential Midwife

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I came across my list of questions that I asked my Midwife at our consultation. She let me ask every single question, answered them thoroughly and did not rush me for the hour and a half we were there. I think this is all of them, but I might be missing a paper since they were not attached. Some of these questions my not apply to your specific situation. Some good questions to ask, Anyhow. Enjoy!

  1. How often will you want to see me for prenatal visits?
  2. Do all visits take place in your office?
  3. What days/times do you schedule visits?
  4. How much time is usually allowed for visits?
  5. At what point in labor do you want us to call you?
  6. At what point in labor will you head to our home?
  7. Do you have a birth ball or other equipment that you will bring?
  8. Can you tell us about the birth kit and medications you will bring to the birth?
  9. Is oxygen carried to all births?
  10. What do you consider ‘slowly progressing labor’ and how do you handle it?
  11. Under what circumstances do you recommend induction?
  12. What methods do you suggest to induce labor under those circumstances?
  13. What are your protocols for breaking the bag of waters?
  14. What do you consider prolonged pushing and how to you handle it?
  15. What is your protocol regarding fetal monitoring during labor?
  16. How do you feel about a Doula being present at the birth?
  17. What comfort measures do you encourage during labor?
  18. How do you feel about eating/drinking during labor?
  19. Are there any restrictions on photography or video-taping during labor/birth?
  20. Do you have anything against the baby being birthed into my hands, or my Husband’s hands?
  21. How hands-on are you during labor? Do you insert any past of your fingers or hands into the vagina during the active pushing stage?
  22. Do you support newborn assessments being done in my arms and after bonding?
  23. What are our options when it comes to opting out of the Vitamin K and eye ointment?
  24. Do you give a Hep B shot?
  25. Will you deliver breech?
  26. How far past the ‘due date’ will you deliver?
  27. What do you use to stop a postpartum hemorrhage?
  28. If there is a complication or emergency, are you able to accompany us to the hospital?
  29. What problems/issues will you handle on your own and what would require a transfer to the hospital?
  30. What are your infant/mother mortality rates?
  31. What is your hospital transfer rate?
  32. How do you feel about water birth?
  33. How many water births have you attended?
  34. Any water birth concerns or past complications?
  35. What is the desired schedule for follow-up care?
  36. How is the filing of the birth certificate handled?

I could probably come up with 4 more to make this post ‘40 questions to ask a potential midwife’ but I’m feelin’ a little lazy 😛

Have some questions to add? Leave it in a comment for others to see!


Menu Planning Monday: Frugal Vegetarianism (One Day Late!) December 7, 2010

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I’m recently a second time around vegetarian and this time, vegetarianism is here to stay. I’m also not the best cook and very impatient when it comes to cooking (I’m working on this). I scour the Internet for cheap and easy vegetarian meals every week and it takes a lot of time! So I figured “Why not share what I come up with? Someone will find these useful.”

I hope I’m right 🙂

*I use almost all organic ingredients.

Monday: Yesterday, we had Spaghetti with whole wheat noodles, tomato and basil sauce (pre-made in a jar), whole wheat bread with butter and garlic seasoning, and steamed broccoli. I cut up fresh organic broccoli and freeze it in a large ziploc bag to have on-hand.

Tuesday: Veggie Burritos.

Wednesday: Parsley Fingerling Potatoes and Pasta E Fagoli with corn.

Thursday: Vegetarian Chili (my own recipe) and Golden Sweet Cornbread.

Friday: Pizza. The bad-for-you-kind.

Saturday: No-crust Quiche and French Bread, buttered and baked in the oven.

Sunday: Rice and Black Beans and Quinoa Salad (this recipe says red, but I’m using regular).

I would love feedback if this is something anyone can use. Feel free to leave me a comment!


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