November 13, 2017

birthing affirmations-for cesarean mamas

when i was pregnant with bry, i didn't have very many resources or positive support in having a healthy birthing experience. we went to the child birth education class that the hospital provided, which gave us some very textbook advice on what to expect during child birth. but beyond that, i didn't have anything to meditate on. needless to say, i did not have a supportive and positive birth experience with her and ended up with a cesarean. as a result, i suffer from a lot of post traumatic stress because of it. 

oliver was a repeat cesarean, but even then i didn't know about the advantages of a positive mindset while giving birth; especially when having a cesarean birth. and while i don't regret that his birth ended up being a cesarean, i wish i had been more at terms with the outcome at the time. 

it wasn't until i got pregnant with joseph that i discovered birthing affirmations. joseph was a planned home VBA2C, so i really relied on these birthing affirmations to get me through pregnancy and prepare my mindset for birthing my baby naturally. and even though i got really far into my labor with joseph, he ended up being a repeat cesarean as well. (not because the birthing affirmations failed me, but because i was tired, he was stuck and i was ready to get.him.out of me. read joseph's birth story here.)

because i've had three cesareans, my state has very strict guidelines for being able to attempt a vaginal birth. i would have to find a doctor willing to see me for prenatal care and work in, or have privileges in, a hospital that has 24 hour anesthesia available and is willing to do a TOLAC. i definitely qualify for a TOLAC, but currently do not have any available doctors anywhere near me who allow this. because of that, i am almost certain that our next baby-whenever that may happen-will be delivered via cesarean. this really brings up a mix of emotions for me. we all want a positive birth experience, however we decide to deliver or whatever the outcome may be, and birthing affirmations are a great way to achieve that. and while there are loads of birthing affirmations out there available for purchase or to download for free, cesarean specific affirmations are just not available. so i decided to create my own; for my future baby and for all of you cesarean mama's out there. 

i turned to my trusted nest group to help come up with these. the phrases came from mamas who experienced a cesarean and found these phrases to be helpful or wished they'd had them to meditate on. i hope you can find comfort, support and strength in these cards. 

to download a free printable file, click here

please note: i am not a professional and do not design for a living. i used a template from picmonkey, available to me with my paid premium membership. these affirmations are free for you for personal use only. please do not copy or sell these, and as always, as a courtesy, give credit whenever you share. 

November 09, 2017

diapering journey

long time cloth diaperers over here. we absolutely love the convenience of saving money and think cloth diaper bums are adorable. with all the fun prints available, it can definitely become addicting. we built up a pretty good stash this time around! but let me be real with you: having postpartum depression and anxiety while cloth diapering is rough. with a wash routine of every other day, to every two days, i felt like i was drowning in laundry on top of all of my other laundry that i was doing daily. or, i would forget to wash the diapers until day four or five (or maybe even a week at times) because we had such a large stash and never ran out, and then i'd be really upset with myself for forgetting.

then i decided: screw it. we're switching to disposables. as much as i hate throwing a diaper out, i really need to take care of myself and not get so overwhelmed with a simple household task. so i jumped online, ordered some diapers with 2-day shipping, and had them delivered to my door; because who has time to go to the store to get diapers when one can't even wash them? me!

i feel free. it feels so good to not have to worry about washing and stripping and hanging cloth diapers to dry anymore. so i did one last strip and wash, sunned those babies out, and packed them away for the next baby. no guilt. 

let's all live a guilt-free mamahood, ladies!

oh! and what's your favorite brand disposables? we love seventh generation. share with me below!

October 10, 2017

international babywearing week + the end of our babywearing adventures

last week was international babywearing week. it's  week long celebration to 'promote, advocate for, and focus media attention on the many benefits of babywearing.' (

this years theme was 'threaded together', inspired by the weaving process of the carriers that let us hold our babies close. this outreach is sponsored by babywearing international and is an event that i have participated in several times over the course of several years. celebrating it with my second baby, oliver, and continuing that celebration each year up until this year.

unfortunately we didn't get to participate this year (we still celebrated, though!) because about two months ago joseph decided he was done with uppies. done. no more.

my heart is broken.

babywearing is a passion of mine--and my addiction to baby carriers is unreal. so when he started protesting uppies, i ignored it at first, continuing to buy ring slings in hopes it was just a phase. and then one day i realized that he was actually done.

except he still wants to be in my arms. no walking. no being independent. just in my arms, without a carrier.

so in my mourning of not being able to wear him, i also had to mourn the loss of all my pretty carriers too. one by one i sold them; letting go a piece of what was so very important to us on so many levels you wouldn't even be able to know or understand. my husband is keeping our tula ukulele and his lenny lamb dragons. i am keeping my lenny lamb smoki. we will covet them for the next baby. (no lie... i really want to buy just one ring sling just in case, but also for the next baby so it's already here and i don't have to order later)

so as both international babywearing week and our babywearing adventures come to a close, here are some highlights from some of our amazing babywearing adventures.

now if he could only quit nursing (instead of babywearing).....

September 13, 2017

oily baby

i started my essential oil journey several months ago to help with certain ailments, ward off germies, and (hopefully) help my littles drift off to sleep more easily. i knew that i wanted to get oils from reputable companies, but i also wanted it to be affordable; since i wanted to get several blends. a girl i worked with use doterra's onguard touch on her little ones, so i decided to buy some of that. then a friend of mine kept posting positive reviews on plant therapy, so i checked them out and found they have a kid safe line. this took the guesswork out of whether or not i could use them on my kiddos! another bonus: they were affordable! some are almost half the price of doterra and young living if you order the rollers (which i did). currently in our little one's oils stash we have:

any time one of the boys has a bug bite, or a scrape, or a bruise, we use better than kisses. i haven't actually tried it on myself, so i don't know how well it actually works, but my boys always stop complaining after putting it on, so i'm sold. when oliver is feeling overwhelmed in large crowds or when there's loud noises, we pull out calming the child and he's almost instantly leveled out. i have yet to use sniffle stopper on them (thank goodness!), but did use it on myself and it helped. we put sweet dreams on the boys every night before bed and any time we're out in a public place or they're in child care for my mom group, i roll a gallon of onguard touch on them and pray. seems to work just about every time! 

the boys really enjoy using oils, especially joseph. in fact, he gets so mad if we don't let him use them himself (we watch him, obviously). he likes to roll them on behind his ears, on his wrists, and sometimes on his cheek. 

i made him an oily baby onesie since he's so obsessed. and i had to order an oils shirt for myself as well. i also needed a place to store all of the kids' oils separate from mine, so i made them an oils bag with star wars fabric, because star wars. 

we've really benefited from using the oils so far. i alone have been able to keep my anxiety in check with some blends that a friend of mine made, and have also had some nice sexy time with my husband thanks to plant therapy's sensual synergy blend.

we do want to expand our use of oils beyond just using them topically, though. by the end of the year i want to use essential oils in several other ways around the house; especially with cleaning and deodorizing. thankfully, plant therapy has a good selection of accessories to help bottle some cleaning recipes.

in what ways do you use oils? do you have a favorite brand/blend/recipe? drop some household cleaning recipes below! happy oiling!

my shirt is from cocogonegreen

July 15, 2017

life with clubfoot-mama's point of view

it's so easy to go through the day not thinking my child has a disability. And then nighttime comes and we have to put his bnb on, or every 12 weeks we have to drive 4+ hours to his specialty doctor, or we have to be mindful of the type of shoes and socks we buy for him and i am quickly reminded that my child has clubfoot.

i think a lot of why i feel that way is because it's not something i feel like i can talk about. that, 'it's just clubfoot' and it's not a visible disability (anymore); it's not like my child has a deformity you can see. i don't even feel comfortable saying my child has a disability, because it's not something recognized by most states-or the general public-as a disability, and so it must not be one-right? but really, the awareness just isn't there. people don't understand clubfoot, and once the child's foot is fully corrected, they can't even tell there was a problem in the first place; so many people don't even know what clubfoot is! and while there are several groups and forums online that i participate in who share the same condition as joseph, locally i feel alone. there are only four families in my entire county with clubfoot and ours is one of them.

on the flip side, when joseph was in his casts for five weeks, then bnb 23/7 for three months, people asked me all sorts of questions (how did your baby break his leg? did you break it? *whispers* i bet she wasn't watching the baby and he rolled off the bed...) and often stared me down like i injured my child or something if they were too afraid to ask or whisper crap behind my back. i guess if anything, i'd rather his clubfoot not be visible than hearing all of that.

and i know; joseph could have it much worse, but just because he doesn't, that doesn't mean it's easy for us, or him. there are definitely some pretty 'normal' times, which make the hard times worth it, but i wish often that he wasn't born with clubfoot. and then i feel like a terrible mother for even thinking that because joseph is perfect. 

i'm sure we will reach a point where this will wash over us and we will have more and more 'normal' days. and really, i should just enjoy the time we're currently in while looking forward to total freedom from this.

July 06, 2017

easy homemade toothpaste

i've been using truthpaste for about a year now and recently my husband just made the switch. and while purchasing natural toothpaste is totally worth it, buying a new jar of paste every six weeks or so isn't ideal. i'll continue using truthpaste, but i am cutting my husband off; completely off. he went through a jar of paste in six weeks. six weeks. as i type this, he is walking down the hallway and i am about to ask him to turn his butt around and show me just how much paste he is actually putting on his toothbrush, because i just don't believe it! but, since he has to brush his teeth, i can't cut him off from toothpaste entirely. i mean... i have to kiss that mouth, so it needs to be fresh. i decided to dig around for my old toothpaste recipes-from when i used to blog and sew daily all things crafty-and make him a jar of his own toothpaste.

if ever there is a recipe that is super easy, it's toothpaste. you only need three ingredients for the simplest paste; more if you want to switch up the flavor. those ingredients are:

  • coconut oil
  • baking soda
  • essential oil
  • optional: spices

for a basic peppermint toothpaste, mix 1/4 c each of coconut oil and baking soda. add 20-30 drops of peppermint oil and mix. 

for a cinnamony flavor (the one i made my husband), mix 1/4 c each of coconut oil and baking soda, then add 1 teaspoon each of nutmeg and cinnamon, and lastly 10 drops of clove essential oil. mix together.

you can switch up spices for variety or keep it simple with the peppermint oil. store homemade toothpaste in a small glass jar or container. i reused the empty truthpaste jar my husband annihilated and this amount fit almost perfectly. i think i'll alternate flavors when he runs out to keep it fun. 

what's your favorite flavor and brand of toothpaste?