Monthly Archives: November 2014

No Bake Lactation Balls Recipe

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I stumbled upon this little gem online one day, in my quest to start producing more milk for Lulu. (PPD had taken it’s toll and my supply had dipped way way way low. I was determined to get her off of formula supplementation and back on my milk, especially after a rocky rough beginning of our breastfeeding journey that involved lip ties and nipple shields and severe pain and bleeding and donor milk. I simply wasn’t going to give up.

Along with fenugreek and lots of pumping, nursing on demand and water, I added THESE bad boys to my daily routine. They are seriously crazy easy to make and who really needs an excuse to nosh on peanut butter and chocolate? C’mon now! So, I added a bit of my own flair into this insanely easy recipe and wanted to share it with all of my breastfeeding readers. (or future breastfeeding readers. Or maybe you know someone who you want to share this link with.) This recipe contains ingredients packed with protein, DHA Omega fatty acids and plenty of stuff to help up your milk production when combined with regular nursing and/or pumping. πŸ™‚

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Β NO BAKE LACTATION BALLS:

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup oats (old fashioned or instant.)
  • 1/2 Cup peanut or other nut butter (I use sunflower seed butter)
  • 1/2 Cup honey
  • 1/2 Cup dried cranberries or raisins
  • 1 Cup coconut flakes (I use toasted for an extra crunch.)
  • 1/2 Cup ground flax seed (flaxmeal) *
  • 1/2 Cup mini chocolate chips
  • 2 TBS brewers yeast *
  • 1 TBS chia seeds
  • 1 tsp vanilla

1) Mix all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl

2) Refrigerate for an hour so mixture is not so sticky and will be easier to shape into balls.

3)Roll into bite-sized balls. If you would like, you can roll the balls into crushed peanuts or more coconut flakes so they are not quite so sticky on your fingers.)

4)Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

* Flax seeds (flax meal) and Brewers Yeast are both galactagogues which aide in breast milk production.

Make it a habit to grab one or two to nosh on every time you sit to pump or nurse your little one! Don;t forget your water as well!

Happy Nursing! ❀

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My Postpartum Weight Loss Journey (so far)

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I thought I would share my progress. I am currently 8 months postpartum. After giving birth to my seventh baby. Back when I was in my 20’s I could pop out a spawn and bounce back to my pre-preggo body fairly quickly and with relatively no effort.

Then my 30’s hit. And the whole “get back in shape” game got a bit more complicated. Suddenly I had to watch what I ate, do cardio workouts (hello kickboxing) and be more patient.

Things got even harder to accomplish after Lucy was born. I was on bed rest with her for the second half of the pregnancy. And she was my first daughter and I discovered that you tend to crave sweets with girls. So, I wasn’t very active and I combined it with Krispy Kreme donuts and cheesecake and cotton candy. (No. Seriously. Those were my 3 staples.)

I gained a LOT. At 6 months postpartum I weighed as much as I did at 9 months pregnant with my second son. Plus 5 more pounds above that. For funsies. It was depressing. I am only 5 feet tall so 145 pounds is pretty obvious hanging out on my body. And speaking of depressing, I also am in the midst of battling PPD. Doing better than I WAS, but still…..it’s there. So, comfort eating was a tough thing to stop and getting up the energy sufficient to do a legit workout to burn calories and build muscle back up was pretty damn difficult. It was bad. I couldn’t walk up a flight of stairs without my legs turning to jelly and threatening to quit by the time I hit the top. I used to weigh 98 pounds with a six pack on my stomache that was just NATURALLY there. No, seriously, I was ripped without any effort. Now…….

So, I made some minor changes. I cut out all starches. And meats. And fats. The unhealthy kind at least. No, Mr. Cheesecake, I do NOT want to put you in my facehole. (Okay, yes. Yes I do. But leave me alone anyway.) I began a diet of fresh veggies, seafood, fruits, and healthy grains. Steel cut oats with strawberries for breakfast and a glass of juice with It Works Greens in it. (I cannot say ENOUGH good about It Works Greens. I SWEAR by that stuff. Helped my depression, gave me amazeballs all-day energy and helped me cut way way down on my soda and cigarette addictions) A stir fry of veggies and sea food for lunch and a salad for dinner. Late night snack of tortillas with salsa. Thats just a basic example of what I eat daily. I am careful to watch protein intake and get enough healthy fats as I am also currently breastfeeding.

I can’t do belly workouts. I don;t know what it is. But I get really bored with crunches and all that jazz. I lay down, do one, and then watch tv from the floor for an hour. So, I decided to try out corset training. Not to the extreme as some folks do. I don’t want a freakishly thin waist. I just want to streamline things, put some curve back, and not have to put in so much effort. Lazy? Mayhaps. i don’t care. I do what I want. πŸ˜‰

So, I bought two really pretty corsets off of Amazon. And fell in love with corsets. I strapped it on and yes, it took a bit of time to grow accustomed to breathing more from my chest while wearing it. But I loved how it corrected my posture. I hadn’t been aware of how MUCH I tend to slouch until wearing a corset. Suddenly I was sitting up and feeling rather ladylike. I liked it. Plus it forced me to be more aware of my movements. In general, as a person with ADHD, I tend to do an awful lot of things without being very CONSCIOUS of doing them, if you know what I mean. Plus, it had the added bonus of making me look pretty darn sexy, according to Justin. (Helllooooo instant thin waist and big ta-tas!)

So, approximately 8 hours a day in the corset. Which also helps me not cheat on my diet and binge on cake. Because you cannot wear a corset and eat like a pig. It won’t happen.

Then at night, I strap on a pair of 2.5 pound ankle weights and do leg lifts. Side leg lifts, front and back. I do them all. And then I take them off and do 60-100 squats and 20ish lunges. I do all of this to get rid of my thighs and ass. To perk up and slim down that area in general. And I can’t show you pictures of THAT area but trust me when I tell you it is WORKING. Those ankle weights were the BEST $12 I ever spent. And squats are pretty darn easy. And effective.

Anyhoozle, here are my results thus far. The before pictures were taken at 5 months postpartum. The after pictures were taken an hour ago. I did use an It Works Wrap in between that time as well but the results didn’t stick around very well since I then sat around and did nothing and kept eating like crap. So, what you are seeing in the After are technically the results from the past month. When I finally started doing all of this. (Eating clean, corset training, and lower body workout)

I also went from 145 pounds to 137 pounds. Not a lot but I am pretty darn happy. (I actually GAINED 4 pounds the first month. Which caused me to cry. Until I was reminded that I was probably replacing fat with muscle and muscle weighs MORE than fat. So, I am paying more attention to the photos and less to the numbers. πŸ™‚

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Not too shabby. I’m more than happy. And I notice that the change in my diet and my body improving has really done buttloads to improve my mental state. My depression fog is not near as thick and gray these days. I’m feeling more energy and I can put on clothes I haven’t worn in AGES. I’m not done yet. My goal is 110-115. I’m getting there. πŸ™‚ Just thought I would share my progress this far.

Small Business Review: Queen City Artist

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While scrolling my Facebook newsfeed a couple weeks ago I saw a posting by a fellow mama on a breastfeeding support group. She was sharing her finished work of a beautiful painting she had done, inspired by her breastfeeding journey with her son. I fell instantly in love. I have always had a love of mermaids and took THIS photo while on our family vacation this past summer with the title “Mermommy nursing her merbaby”.

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My love of this photo inspired me to decide that when Lucy got her own room when we moved, it would have a mermaid theme. And this painting on FB was PERFECT. So, I hunted down her etsy business, ordered a print and received my own. And it is GORGEOUS. Perfect.

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It is handpainted, with thousands of tiny dots of paint making up all of the mesmerizing details. This is a process called pointillism and takes an eye for detail and a whole lot of talent.

The first 50 people who buy a print of this gorgeous painting pay the special low price of only $14.95! Price goes up after that so order yours today! This would make a wonderful gift for a mother to be! It is FAR more beautiful in person. My photography skills do not do it justice. She even included stretch marks on the Mermaid Mom. ❀

You can find her Etsy business here to place an order and see her other works.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/QueenCityArtist?ref=l2-shopheader-name

She also has a FaceBook page and she currently has a truly stunning piece of art posted while she is in the process of painting it. This one is of a babywearing mama. Babywearing, along with breastfeeding, are two things I hold dear to my heart. She has already added some gorgeous details and color to it and I can’t wait to see the finished product! Her Facebook page isΒ https://www.facebook.com/queencityartist . Go check her out there as well as on Etsy. Make sure you click Like so you can see her new works and order something today!

Small Business Review: LeZray’s Boutique

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Can a girl ever have enough bling?
The answer is a resounding NO. Because, as she says on her FB business page: “Accessories turn your outfit from ordinary to extraordinary.”
LeZray’s Boutique is a WAHM small business that offers some really gorgeous, unique products at phenomenal prices! She mainly makes custom-made jewelry but she also offers things like scarves and vests (just in time for cooler weather) and adorable tutus.
She recently sent me a truly stunning necklace to review. And let me tell you, her photos on her page do NOT do her products justice! I had browsed her page and knew how pretty her stuff was. But the WOW factor when I opened my package…….
The necklace was gorgeous. Classy and a lovely blend of colors. And it had a dainty silver locket frame on it. This necklace had some weight to it,it wasn’t just cheap plastic beads. I fell in love instantly and couldn’t wait for a chance to test it out. Luckily, Justin and I had a date night at the opera with Princess Peanut coming up.
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I most certainly plan on ordering more beautiful jewelry from her very soon! She has a loyal customer in me. And I love the fact that I can help support a WAHM and her hearts desire to be able to stay home with her children and help with financial needs of her family.
Her prices start as low as $2! You really can’t beat that.
Here are some examples of some of her products that she offers. You can also PM her a request for a custom order!
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And this review comes with a FREE GIVEAWAY!!!!!
Here’s how to enter. First, go to her FB page and LIKE and share it. https://www.facebook.com/pages/LeZrays-Boutique/1407530462869522?sk=timeline
Then buy anything from her boutique. Anything. A scarf for your sister. A tutu for your daughter. A jewelry set to wear on Thanksgiving. A Christmas gift for a family member. Anything. Once you place your order,(You have to PM the boutique to place an order.) comment on my FB post of this blog and you are automatically entered to win a bracelet or 2 sets of earrings of YOUR CHOICE. (including custom orders)
So, go take a peek! Tell her Tonia sent ya! Happy shopping!

Hardest Job On Earth?

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I’m about to ruffle some feathers. Or probably just piss some folks right the fuck off.
That’s okay. I’m getting better at doing that and not caring so much as I get older. I think by the time I’m 98 I will be a real snarky bitch. It’ll be fun. πŸ˜‰
But seriously, my opinion on this topic may surprise a few people.
We’ve all heard people say : “Oh, Motherhood is the HARDEST job on earth.”
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Um….REALLY?
REALLY?
I see it proclaimed almost daily on at least one of the parenting groups I am a member of on Facebook or other online forums. How difficult Motherhood is as a job compared to every other job and what douchey douchholios their spouses are who bust their asses all day at work and then come home and expect to sit and relax for a few minutes after battling traffic for an hour. How dare they when SHE has been, and still is, working at the hardest job there is????
And let me throw out a quick side note, yes I acknowledge some women have children with special needs that require a job that exceeds the typical mothering role. And some spouses/partners are out there working cushy easy jobs and coming home and acting like indignant fuckwads who want a cold beer and 6 hours of gaming waiting for them. This blog is a generalization. It doesn’t apply to everyone.
That being said…..
Look, if you have time in your day to be sitting with your tablet in hand on the couch, coffee beside you, in your pajamas, while your spawns watch Doc McStuffins, typing out some long winded post about how Motherhood is the hardest job on earth…..you might be wrong.
Personally, I think that being a stay-at-home-mom is pretty damn cushy. I got up this morning, changed and fed the baby, let the dogs out, and now here I sit, coffee by my side, blogging for you bitches. In my pajamas. I am blessed to have a man in my life who allows me the joy of being able to be home with my baby. Heck, when HE got up this morning, it was 2 hours before me. He put on his work uniform, grabbed his lunch and drove off t battle at least an hour of traffic. The commute home for him will be closer to 2 hours.On his lunch break he has to drive to 2 different banks to deposit a check and then go pay rent to our landlords account. After work he has to stop at the grocery store so he probably will get home around 7:30. That’s a 14 hour work day including the commute. And once he gets home he will help here and there if I request him to, by changing a diaper or putting jammies on a toddler, etc…. And I want to bitch because I didn’t get to pee in complete privacy today? Really?
What kills me even more is the amount of moms who will admit to their houses being a wreck. Clutter and mess and chaos. Look, I get that kids make messes. But to say you just can’t keep up? Maybe what really needs to happen is you quit commiserating with fellow moms about the state of your kitchen on line and instead you shut OFF the internet and get up and GO CLEAN. Make an effort. Take pride in your job. If you worked out in the workforce and did your job half ass some days and just said “Meh, Fuck it.” and let it go to shit, you would get fired. I think it would be incredibly disrespectful to my man if he was at work all day, working hard to provide for our needs, to pay the bills and rent on a house that he comes home to and it’s a mess. He deserves to come home to a tidy, peaceful home. I’d be pretty annoyed if I came home after working all day and had to move crap around to find my shit. It would send a message that I didnt appreciate what he was doing for our family.
And before you go getting pissy, may I remind you that I have seven children and three dogs. Keeping this home organized and tidy is not an easy task. I wash dishes by hand three times a day, vacuum twice a day, steam clean the carpets once a week, dust, wash walls, clean out the fridge,and wash all the windows weekly. Clean both bathrooms at least once a day. Do 3-5 loads of laundry a day. Sweep and mop the kitchen twice a day.Give the dogs baths bi-weekly. Plus all of the daily upkeep. The kids are responsible for their own rooms but the toddlers room is my job plus the rest of the house. Add to that list the fact I am home schooling 5 of my 7 kids. Plus all the typical mom stuff like bandaging boo boos, breaking up fights, feeding babies, changing diapers, answering questions, making meals and snacks (mostly from scratch),ironing church clothes, taking time to play with them, read to them, etc etc… I’m not some judgy Mcjudgerson with my 1 newborn baby who sleeps 87 hours a day saying “Oh this is a piece of cake.”
Look, it’s NOT. Being a stay at home mom is WORK. Some days it can be emotionally draining. Exhausting. Last night I got a whole 3 hours of sleep. Which beat the night before where I barely got over 2 hours. I don’t get very many breaks if you consider breaks to be a solid half hour uninterrupted to eat a hot meal or take a nap. But I can manage time and accomplish enough that if I need to, I CAN nap in the afternoon. It means I stay up til 2 a.m.finishing chores and I have to have some major finesse to get both babies to nap at the same time and convince the other 5 to sit quietly and watch a movie in peace. But I can manage if I need to. When Justin comes home, dinner is cooking and the house is relatively tidy. I take pride in my job. And I try to remember to tell Justin every day how much I truly appreciate not only his hard work, but also the fact that he encourages me to be a stay at home mom.
What job are harder than being a stay at home mom? Well, look, it;s not all roses and sunbeams and leisure. Some days I’d take a job out in the world over this gig. But not just ANY job. Because there are some occupations that make being a stay at home mom of seven look like paradise in comparison. Toughest job in the world? Maybe not. How about loggers or commercial fisherman. Do you know how many commercial fishermen die annually while working? 152 out of every 100,000. Do you know how many stay at home moms die from work-related deaths annually? Probably substantially less. πŸ˜‰ Other jobs I wouldn’t trade for my role as a SAHM include:
*roofers
*recycleable and trash collectors
*ranchers
*police officers who work out on the streets in rough neighborhoods
*surgeons
*truck drivers
*power line installers
*mining machine operators
All of these jobs are more risky, dangerous, physically trying than what I do.I’m not risking my life. I don’t have to wear a uniform. I run my own schedule. If I am feeling sick, I can choose to slack on the housework for the day.
You cannot feasibly claim you have the toughest job on earth and then in the same breath mention how you haven’t gotten out of your pajamas all day or brushed your hair. With all that I have on my plate, I still take the time to put on makeup, do my hair, dress nice. Even if dressing nice is just throwing on a simple sundress or a clean pair of yoga pants with a tank top. As long as it is clean and I look decent. And before you think I am being all sanctimommy, I will be clear and honest and say when I was going through my deepest of darkest postpartum depression, there were days and days in a row when the house was not up to par, the laundry and dishes piled up and I stayed in the same damn yoga pants for 3 solid days. But the thing is, no one fired me. I was able to take the time I needed to feel the darkness, to embrace my depression and not suffer any major repercussions. I still had my job.
In so many ways, being a stay at home mom is HARD. It really is. I have to be the queen of multi tasking. I run on 4-6 hours of sleep. And those 4-6 hours are interrupted every 1-2 hours. I don’t get much privacy. I get worn thin and stressed out and have been known to lock myself in the bathroom to cry from time to time. BUT……I also feel strongly that being a stay at home mom is also a luxury. One I am so very lucky to be able to have in my life. I wanted these kids, dreamt of being a Mommy my whole life. It’s harder than I ever thought it would be. It is also more fulfilling than I ever thought it would be. It is so very much fun and wonderful and I treasure the snuggles and nursing sessions on the couch and the satisfaction I get while watching my family eat a meal I worked so hard to prepare or feel pride in myself when Justin comes home and comments on how good the house looks. It is also trying, tiring, stressful, overwhelming at times. But Toughest Job On Earth?
No. Just no.