Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Chic Cheeks- Promoting Cloth!

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This week I thought it would be a good idea to give some links to some awesome information about promoting cloth diapers and ask you what you do to help spread the cloth lovin' word! I find for myself that I am so in love with cloth that it is not hard to share my experiences and findings with other mamas, especially mamas who would not normally be prone to cloth diapering (which was totally me when I started!). In fact, I love doing it so much that teaching about natural parenting concepts and products is a big part of my business, Chic & Savvy Mamas.

I recently read this article on the blog Cloth Diapers and was very alarmed, although I won't say surprised because these are just the sort of tactics the big companies use (and it's smart really!). They are spreading the word about their products where we are growing to listen most- blogging mamas! So what can we do? Well, I think if we matched the sposie bloggers post for post and even surpassed them, it would make a huge difference! Participating in memes like this one is not only a fun way to share with other cloth diapering mamas, but spread the word to those mamas who would not normaly give cloth a second thought! Let's make CDing the norm!

Something else you can do in support of cloth is participate in this survey about how you diaper. It is a great way to share your experiences, knowledge level, and preferences- even if you don't use cloth. In fact, I would really encourage you to point your non-CDing friends to this survey too (they may be surprised by what they learn from a simple and quick survey!)!

Need other ways to spread the word? How about in real life? Hop on over to for not only wonderful information about everything from environmental to health reasons to switch to cloth, but also a wide selection of brochures, postcards and other cloth diapering advocacy gear! You can also direct your friends to this calculator on that shows parents the cost differences between sposies and cloth- very compelling in this economy!

So, what do you do to spread the word? Do you just show off your little one's cute cloth behind or are you more vocal? Join in and tell us what you do!

Monday, May 25, 2009

40 Weeks... no baby in sight

So today is the fateful "due date", as well as my midwife's birthday, so you can be very near sure that NOTHING will happen today! Bummer! So much for hoping on an early birth! My parents are feeling Wednesday (which is also my brother-in-law's birthday) and my grandma is pulling for Friday (which also happens to be her 70th birthday). Personally, May 28th (Thursday) has always stood out in my head for some reason, though I have no idea why, and I am more than willing to get this baby out before then!

I have found myself to be very bored in recent days! Other than working on blogging stuff, I don't feel like doing much of anything, and honestly, I don't want to do anything that could potentially make a mess because my house is all set for labor (and has been for days)! I feel like I keep following Roman around making sure there aren't toys out all over the floor and things are neat and tidy. Before we go anywhere I go into frantic-cleaning-mode, making sure the dishes and laundry are done and everything is just right! It's ridiculous and I am sure I am driving my family crazy! But I can't help it! It's instinctual!

So, to escape the madness of keeping my house "perfect" I decided to retreat to my garden today, which desperately needed (and still needs) to be weeded. However, when I got out there I discovered that it has been taken over not by normal, big weeds, but by thousands of microscopic weeds that you practically need tweezers to extract! Of course that would have to be the case! So, I got nearly one row of my spinach weeded before the heat got the best of me and I decided to head back inside.

Oh well! At this point, I don't really care! In fact, since I am writing this during nap time, I think a Snickers Ice-cream Bar and a chick flick are calling my name! Yes- I'm going to kick up my feet, try to get semi-comfortable and enjoy treats and a show! Have a wonderful Memorial Day everyone!

Don't I look thrilled?!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

I feel so honored!!

Earlier this week I received my very first bloggy award!! I feel so honored to have been recognized by Homeschool CEO over at Sweet Serendipity!


She has a great (and adorable!) little blog all about her family and their homeschooling adventures! You should definitely hop over and check it out!

The whole idea behind this award is to make new friends in the blogosphere and recognize those whose blogs you are new (or fairly new) to. Each recipient is to bestow the award to 15 of their newest bloggy friends. With this in mind, I would like to pass on the love to the following Lovely Bloggers:

Tales of a Crafty Mama
Homemade Mom
I Love Lamp
One Facet of the Human Experience
Katydid and Kid
Raising my Lil' Ladybug
Superheroes & Princesses
Spinner's End Nursery School
Natural Mommie
Two of a Kind Working on a Full House
Adventures in Babywearing
A High and Noble Calling
My Kitchen Cafe
Comfort Joy Designs

Congrats ladies and way to go on being lovely! Be sure to pass along the bloggy love!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Chic Cheeks- The Newborn Stash

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I thought it would be a good idea to post pics of our newborn stash while it is all clean at once- which I am sure will not be the case soon! So here it is!

So, how does it break down?
  • 14 Nanipoos Newborn Fitteds (2 aren't pictured because they are sealed up for the birth!)
  • 1 Sirius Fluff Fattycakes Fitted
  • 12 Newborn Indian Prefolds
  • 12 Kissaluvs Size 0
  • 1 Monkey Doodlez Micro
  • 2 Thirsties AI2s- X-Small
  • 6 Thirsties Fab Fitteds- X-Small
  • 4 Thirsties Covers- X-Small
  • I also have a pair of boy longies and girl longies, but those are sealed up for the birth as well! You can see them here though!
I would have liked to have had a few more covers, but we will just have to make 4, plus a couple pairs of longies work! I am thrilled with the number of dipes though!

The dipes I am most excited to use are our Nanipoos! They were a custom order (for the most part) and I just think they are the cutest things on the planet! They are really well made and were an AMAZING price! I will report soon on their performance, but if it is anything like what these dipes look like, it will be wonderful!

So, what do your newborn stashes look like? Are there things you are still wanting to get? Which diapers are you most excited to use? I can't wait to see!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Do I sound put together? 'Cause I'm not!

I find it funny how many of my lovely readers have commented on my patience and seeming "put-togetherness" as I enter the end of my pregnancy! Organized... maybe, but calm and happy to wait... not so much! Forgive me if I have given the wrong impression!

In all honesty, these last couple of weeks have been very difficult for me! Between my husband being in and out of town with work, my in-laws being in and out of town with a variety of adventures, and my parents being incredibly busy with a move (among other crazy, life-altering time-consumers), I have felt very much alone and on other people's time agendas! I have gotten to the point of down right panic at times, feeling like everyone's lives are so busy I will just end up birthing this baby by myself (funny how many of my pregnancy dreams have featured that topic for months- before I even knew of the craziness that was about to ensue)!

Yesterday, it came to a head. A mixture of off-hand comments about scheduling from those I am close to and the distinct feeling that my baby had changed position (and the fear that the new position was posterior- which, by the way, it's luckily not) were simply more than I could handle! I broke down! Then I spilled my fears to my husband (pour guy- most of the time he just gives me a hug and stares in bewilderment, not knowing quite what to do for me) and one of my doulas who is also a good friend (who, naturally, was filled with many wonderful, spirit-filled things for me to hear).

My doula has known for a while the stresses I have been facing and has been such a constant source of prayer and support I feel like I can never repay her! She talked through all the physical dilemmas I have been worrying over, along with the emotional stresses I have been carrying. But most importantly, she expressed her concern that I have been dealing with something more spiritual that overrides any of those other issues, and perhaps that was the most important thing I needed to be grappling with.

She was right. I have felt in recent months that I have made lots of half-hearted attempts to draw close to the Lord. Sometimes I feel that my lack of ferver for Him will simply make Him not want me to try to reach Him anymore- even tough I know that is just Satan talking. Sometimes it is hard to hear clearly through the hormones, emotions and other general garble.

Last night, however, the Lord spoke very clearly to me. I just flipped open my Bible and started reading (not a practice I rely on or deam as espcially God-filled, but last night it was what I needed to do), and ya know what? The Lord met me there. The passage was Psalm 139- all about Him knowing every part of me (and my baby), knowing all my anxious thoughts, and making it clear that I cannot escape Him- He is with me wherever I go (even just where I go emotionally). It was exaclty what I need to hear. I clung to those words for the rest of night and am still holding them close today.

Although I am still very ready for this child to make it's grand entrance I feel a peace today that I have not felt for some time. God know's my days, and this baby's days. As hard as it is, I just need to wait. The right time will come. The right people will be here. He promises, so I need to trust.

Psalm 139
For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.
1 O LORD, you have searched me
and you know me.

2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.

3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.

4 Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O LORD.

5 You hem me in—behind and before;
you have laid your hand upon me.

6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.

7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?

8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,

10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.

11 If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,"

12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!

18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake,
I am still with you.

19 If only you would slay the wicked, O God!
Away from me, you bloodthirsty men!

20 They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.

21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD,
and abhor those who rise up against you?

22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.

24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Mama Time- "Natural Health After Birth"

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Alright, I know that I am not technically postpartum yet (although there are definite moments I wish I was!!), but I thought I would mention this fantastic book to all you postpartum (or soon-to-be) mamas out there, since it is packed with such wonderful information that we can all soon be using! And hey, I'm a postpartum doula- I can't hep but want to make sure my friends are the most well-informed postpartum mamas on the web! The book is Natural Health After Birth by Aviva Jill Romm!

This book is packed with wonderful information to help mamas heal after birth! Everything from recipes for herbal healing baths, to teas and tinctures for just about every postpartum issue you may face, to learning the realities of just how long those hormones last in your system and what you can expect emotionally for the first year after birth (yup- I said year ladies!)!

I think so many of us, especially first time moms, don't really know what we are getting ourselves into as far as postpartum recovery is concerned. So much time is spent preparing for birth but we neglect preparing for postpartum healing, which is just as important and vital to our long-term physical and mental health.

For the most part I think we just don't even realize that postpartum recovery is something that we need to focus on since it is not given much attention in our culture. In the US, people direct their time after the birth almost solely towards the infant and in many ways forget about what the mother is dealing with. Ever wonder why we have such high percentages of women with incontinence issues in our country? Well, most of those problems can be directly attributed to women doing too much too soon after birth, when their muscles and ligaments have not yet had the chance to re-tighten and strengthen again! Too much activity can lead to prolapse of the uterus, bladder and bowels and can even result in the need for surgical repair.

However, indigenous cultures all over the world have recognized the mother's need for care and recovery since the beginning of time! In fact, most native cultures worldwide had (and many still do have) an instinctive, 40-day laying in period for the mother where she and baby were essentially waited on hand and foot. This time was set aside to allow her body the time to repair itself, as well as allow breastfeeding and bonding with the baby to become well-established. It was only after this time (which was literally held to be sacred in most of these cultures) that women were expected or even allowed to return to their normal work.

Aviva does a wonderful job of addressing these issues in her fabulous book, and helping you prepare for them (and no- I am not being paid in any way to promote this book! I just genuinely love it!). As a postpartum doula I can't stress enough how important all of this information is! Many midwives advise that new mothers not take stairs more than once a day for the first two weeks after birth, after which time only gentle activity (such as a leisurely walk around the block) should be performed for another 2-4 weeks.

So, please mamas, let me implore you to take it easy with your babe in the coming weeks and get the help you need to make your recovery meaningful and complete! In fact, I even have a Postpartum Planning Guide that walks mamas through this preparation- if you would like a copy, please don't hesitate to e-mail me (chic_kenz at yahoo dot com) and I will get you a PDF copy ASAP!

Moreover, are you doing anything in particular to prepare for life and recovery after birth? Do you have any great books or survival ideas specifically for mamas that you would like to share? Well, join the Mama Time Meme this week by posting the direct link to the post on your own blog about this topic that you would like to share in the Mr. Linky below! I am sure we can all learn a ton from each other about this senesitive time!

For all the details about the Mama Time Meme you can click here! Thanks for participating!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

39 Weeks- Preparing for the Birth!!

Okay, honestly I have been very torn this last week or so- as a doula I know that this babe will come out when it is good and ready and I just need to wait patiently for that fateful day, however as a pregnant mama I just want this kid out!!! I am uncomfortable, not sleeping well, in terrible pain from my ribs and upper back (scoliosis) and just feel like I am done being pregnant! I even went so far as to rub my ankles for an hour the other night... to no avail (obviously!).

I have felt added pressure to have this child within certain time frames as well because people who are supposed to be attending my birth (such as my husband!!!) have been in and out of town for work and will continue to be over the next couple of weeks- talk about stress! My dear doulas have been kindly reminding me though, that the Lord has a set date and time for this babe to enter our lives on the outside and I am trying (and praying earnestly) to rest in that knowledge, as hard as it is!

Everything set up for the birth on the dresser in our room.

I have already come to that point where I feel "ready enough" for the baby to come. By that, I mean that I have finished enough (not all) of the pre-birth tasks I intended to complete, and figure that whatever isn't done by now can wait until another time. With that said, each day that passes does allow me to get a few more things done and checked off that no longer so important list, including some things that probably don't really need to be done at all! But hey- I just chalk it all up to nesting!

For instance, (and if you are one of the lovely women attending my birth this is where you should quit reading so your surprise isn't ruined!) I have tried to put together a few small things to make this birth feel more like an event than just another birth (as silly as that sounds- I know!). But basically I have a tray that I am going to put out with an assortment of teas (including some awesome pregnancy teas sent to me by Earth Mama Angel Baby to try out- yum!), little gift bags with the bath salts and such that I also made for Mother's Day, and a little "make yourself at home" note.

I have also put together detailed lists for the couple of friends I have coming who are in charge of R-man and the atmosphere of the birth- their main job is to insure that he is fed and entertained and that my primary birth attendants (doulas, midwife and husband) are taken care of with water & food and such. I also have things listed out for them to do such as make sure my birth playlist is running at all times, that candles are lit (and not burning down the house) and that everything around the house (dishes, toys, etc...) is picked up and neat when everything is said and done. I am so thankful to have these women coming and feel truely blessed by their willingness to help!

Beyond the discomfort and lack of sleep, there is also an overriding feeling of excitement and anticipation rolling through our home. I am so curious to find out just who it is I have been carrying around all these months! Will R-man have a little brother or a little sister? Will I be buying little pink and purple summer dresses in the coming months or pulling out all the hand-me-downs? How big will he or she be? What will this birth really end up being like? Will this babe be crazy and colicky like R-man, or calm and relaxed? Overall, how will we adjust to becoming a family of four? It is all so close, and yet still very sureal at this point. Soon though, very soon, my questions will be answered and I will get to introduce our newest addition to all of you! I can't wait... or can I?

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Summer of Baby Love! Running June- August!

Well, I have been mentioning the Summer of Baby Love Blog Party for a couple of months now, but here is the official post announcing it's impending arrival on June 8 (and lasting all summer long)!!! This is also where you can find all the rules and ways in which you can participate!

I am so excited to be bringing you a summer filled with wonderful memes and incredible giveaways and reviews for such sponsors as:

So how do you get involved? Well, first of all, you can add the Summer of Baby Love Button to your sidebar, which will get you one extra entry for every giveaway you enter! You can also participate in any of Mama Kenz Studio's Memes- see left sidebar for more info!

Summer of Baby Love Button

The main way you will be able to enter all giveaways is by answering a question I pose about the featured company, visiting the company's site and leaving your answer in a comment. Additional entries will be granted for all of the following (leave a separate comment for each thing on that week's giveaway post):
  • Being a follower (right sidebar)
  • Being a subscriber via e-mail (left sidebar)
  • Having the Summer of Baby Love button on your blog (as mentioned above- also in left sidebar)
  • Blogging about the giveaway (leave the link to your direct post)
  • Following on Twitter and tweeting about the giveaway (leave your screen name and the time you tweeted)
  • Participating in any meme during the week of that giveaway (leave the direct link to your meme post)

Rules & Guidelines:
  • All entrants must have a visible e-mail address or way for me to contact them through their blog
  • Entrants must live in the continental US or Canada for valid entry
  • All entries must be posted within the dates posted for that particular giveaway
  • Non-bloggers can enter but must leave their e-mail address with each entry
  • All entries will be checked for validity- let's all be honest!
  • Winners will be chosen through, based on the number of entries
  • Winners must respond within 72 hours of being notified of their win
So tell your friends and get ready to party! It's going to be a great summer for mamas and babies!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Vote for Sleepy Wrap & get extra entries this summer!!

As you may remember, Sleepy Wrap is one of the wonderful companies that will be featured in the Summer of Baby Love Blog Party starting next month at Mama Kenz Studio. These awesome wrap baby carriers are taking the babywearing world by storm with their ingenious stretch design and thoughtful research! Sleepy Wrap also just found out that they have been nominated for Pregnancy & Newborn Magazine's Readers' Choice Awards, running through the end of May! This award would not only help promote their company but spread the benefits of "real" babywearing (as I like to call it) to moms all over the country who may have never even heard of the concept, or of a wrap-style carrier! Voting for Sleepy Wrap is a great way to not only show your support but be an activist for babywearing as well! Oh, and did I mention that voting in the Readers' Choice Awards automatically enters you to win an awesome prize package from Pregnancy and Newborn Magazine that will include one of each of the winning products from the Awards!? How awesome is that?!

Sleepy Wrap is so thankful for all of your votes that they are offering a generous 15% off of any of their new Organic Sleepy Wraps! Just use the code "ivoted" (no spaces) anytime between now and May 31st when the Pregnancy & Newborn RCA poll CLOSES!

Want another perk for voting for Sleepy Wrap? If you visit Pregnancy & Newborn Magazine's Readers' Choice Awards and vote for Sleepy Wrap as your favorite baby carrier, you will receive 3 extra entries during the week of the Sleepy Wrap giveaway in the Summer of Baby Love Blog Party! Just take a few minutes to pop over there and vote, then come back here and leave a comment that you did (please be honest!)! Make sure you get your vote in before May 31!!

Show your support and gain extra entries for a Sleepy Wrap of your very own- what have you got to loose?!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Knit Bits- a technique you want to try!

Knit Bits Meme

For this addition of Knit Bits I want to hear about a knitting technique that you would love to try out for the first time and a project you would use it on!

The new technique that I have had my eye on for quite some time is this method of cabling without a cable needle! How cool is that?! I especially want to use it on a cute cabled baby hat (after the baby is born so I can make the color gender specific) or pattern such as this for some little wristlet gloves (my hands are always so cold)!

Want to get involved in this Meme? Just write a short (or long!) blog post about the technique you want to try and a project to try it on, and post the link in a comment so we can all see! If you have recently done something new we would all love to see that too! I can't wait to see what you all have to share!

Friday, May 15, 2009

A Meme for Chic' Cheeks!

If you cloth diaper your babe than I have no doubt that you are probably as addicted to the whole experience as I am! Cloth diapering is not just a way of taking care of your babe's bathroom needs- it's a culture! With trends, styles and flat out addictions there are few (if any) baby products I love and adore more! And so, Mama Kenz Studio's final meme being introduced this week is all about what we put on our little one's bums!

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Join me in sharing our favorite (and least favorite) diapers, the trials and tribulations we encounter, the latest tips and tricks, and where to go for the best deals and contests, among other things I'm sure! Just post a direct link to your Chic Cheeks post in the Mr. Linky and take part in the wonderful cloth madness! Oh, and make sure that you post the Chic Cheeks button (code in left sidebar) on your post if you would like to be included! Happy Diapering!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Introducing A Babywearing Meme!

There are few things I love more in life than babywearing! It sounds crazy, and of course there are those times when a mama just needs her space, but I can think of only a handful of things that are as precious as having my little one nestled closely to me in a carrier! Along with the shear fact of the experience, I also thoroughly enjoy trying a variety of carriers! So, the meme I will introduce to day is, of course, all about babywearing!

Where I Babywear Button

Much like I Was Here... Breastfeeding, Where I Babywear will be all about the places and ways we wear our babies! Along with my posts I will include a Mr. Linky for all of you to share in the fun, and inspire us with the creative and adventurous ways you wear your babe (or toddler!). Just link to your direct meme post and show us your daily triumphs and trials with a little one attached! Oh, and make sure that you post the Where I Babywear button (code in left sidebar) on your blog post if you would like to be included!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

38 Weeks- and the diaper bag is done!

Alright- less than two weeks to go (hopefully a lot less- but I'm not counting on it!). I am finally feeling ready too- as amazing as that is (I never thought I would). I finished my cleaning this morning (baseboards, light switches, door handles and all- can you say nesting?) and all my big projects are complete- including the diaper bag I have been talking about for months! So here it is!

Two Pockets in front that snap shut:

A zippered pocket on the back for my wallet, cell phone and such:

A pocket on one side (for keys or whatever):
A large, waterproof main pocket, split into 3 sections- one for diapers/wetbag/changing mat, one for water bottles/snacks/toys, and the other for changes of clothes (for me and babe), receiving blankets and whatever else.
An adjustable strap that allows me to wear the bag long across myself while babywearing, or shorter over one shoulder.
I also made a coordinating set of burp rags; extra-large, comfy changing mats; and a nursing cover with adjustable neck strap.
I am particularly excited about the changing mats I made! They are about 24" x 28" so there is plenty of room for baby to move around and when I am out in public I don't have to worry about him or her accidentally touching the nasty public changing tables! I also made them in 4 layers- microfleece next to babe (to wick away any stray sprays during a change!), flannel to absorb any sprays, PUL to make it waterproof, and then the decorative fabric on the back. Here you can see all the layers:

I liked this changing mat idea so much that I made two for at home too (along with matching burp rags)! These ones have a layer of minky for next to baby and flannel on the back as the decorative fabric as well as on the inside:
It feels so good to just have little projects that aren't total necessities left! I am just going to take the rest of my time til baby comes to work on some of my certified lactation educator training, bloggy stuff, reading and keeping the house clean (now that it is). All of my birth supplies are organized on our new dresser and my midwife delivered the tub to us at my appointment last week. It was bigger than I anticipated, but she may be able to get a little bit smaller one to us if one of her other clients as her baby soon. R-man, however, LOVED it!We blew it up just to check the sizing (as you can see, it takes up most of the room- toughing our bed and our dresser!).After checking it we then deflated it, but R-man keeps asking if we can blow it back up! He really wants to "share it with me" at the birth and I have to keep explaining to him that it will just be for mama! Haha- he is cute and excited! He has also been asking a lot lately about what the baby is doing throughout the day, if it is sleeping or moving, and when it is going to come out! Soon, buddy, very soon!

Mama Time- A Meme for Postpartum Mamas

Let's face it, in our culture babies are the people focused on after birth, not mamas. Rightfully, babies should be doted on, but mamas need special care and attention too! Our bodies are going through incredible changes (as are our brains- can you say hormonal changes!?), and we can't forget that fact in the days, weeks and months after birth as we try to recuperate- even if most other people seem to.

With this in mind, I have decided to introduce (yup you guessed it!) another Meme: Mama Time!

Mama Time button

This Meme will be devoted to all things postpartum! With each entry I will be talking not only about my own recovery but about tips and ideas I have learned as a postpartum doula to help all of us through this joyous yet difficult time! My hope is that all of you will share your experiences and tricks for survival as well, and link to your direct posts in the Mr. Linky I will include at the end of each Mama Time Meme. I think we can all learn from and support each other so greatly and I can't wait to hear all of your input and experiences during these postpartum times!

Oh, and make sure that you post the Mama Time button (code in left sidebar) on your blog post if you would like to be included!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Little ways to fight back & a new Meme!

As many of you are probably aware, The World Health Organization (WHO) has a code, that most of the world (other than the US) abides by, which outlines appropriate practices of formula companies so that they do not undermine the mother-baby breastfeeding relationship. Among the items on this list is not marketing formula directly to mothers as it makes them feel as though at some point they will fail and need to supplement- it sends the message that mother's milk can't possibly be adequate all of the time (which is of course, untrue!).

Regardless, US formula companies host one of the largest advertisement campaigns of any industry and continue to market to us mothers not only through the mail, but also through our reading materials (magazines & websites), and even doctors and hospitals- all of which are against the WHO Code. In addition, I have even seen advertisements from Enfamil lately that specifically promote what they call a "breastfeeding support kit"... which includes formula! Doesn't sound very supportive of breastfeeding to me!

Obviously- this is a huge frustration for me as a breastfeeding mother, doula and lactation educator in training! So, I do what little I can to fight back. First, of course, by helping educate mothers- informed consumers make the best choices, and really, breastfeeding mothers have no need to be "consumers" of infant food anyway! Second, I try to send a message back to the companies- hence the pictured envelope! I send it back and make the message clear! Also, if I attend an event or appointment at which any formula propaganda is distributed, I refuse it.

What else can we do? How about call the companies or write a letter? We can also boycott other products distributed by formula companies (such as Nestle'). We need to let these companies know that their practices are not acceptable and are directly contributing to the horrendous rates of breastfeeding in the US! Every little bit helps!

Nestlé-Free Zone

Of course, beyond "fighting the man" directly we can also do so by simply breastfeeding, and doing it publicly! By this I don't mean that we should be flashing our breasts everywhere, but rather modestly feeding our babies in public locations so that the breastfeeding image returns to the norm in America. The general public needs to be educated in order for any change to occur.

In honor of this idea I will be introducing a new Meme in the coming weeks for all of us BFing mamas out there! It will be called: I Was Here... Breastfeeding!

I Was Here Breastfeeding button

Each week I am going to try to post a new picture of some place I have breastfed that week- whether it be the park, the mall, the lake, or my son's baseball practice, it doesn't matter as long as I am out there doing it! And I want you all to join me! I will have a Mr. Linky for you to post the direct link to your own post with a pic of where you have been out breastfeeding! Oh, and make sure that you post the I Was Here... Breastfeeding button (code in left sidebar) on your blog post if you would like to be included!

Come on ladies- let's form an army of publicly breastfeeding mamas, share our experiences and help change public perception! This Meme will begin just as soon as this little person pops out of my belly, so keep watching!

Monday, May 11, 2009

A Week of Memes!

All this week I will be introducing the new memes that Mama Kenz Studio will begin hosting this summer with the arrival of our new babe! It is my hope that these memes will be fun and enjoyable as well as inspiring and informative for everyone involved! I can't wait to hear from all of you who choose to participate- I think we can create an awesome network of support for all mamas of little ones! So please, join in!

Here is a sneak peek of the memes being introduced this week:

I Was Here Breastfeeding button

Mama Time button

Where I Babywear Button

CC button

Stay Tuned!!!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

A Simple Mother's Day Gift Idea

I think everyone is strapped for cash right now, which makes holidays such as Mother's Day difficult. What can you give your mama that will still make her feel special yet not break the bank? Well, why not some homemade products to pamper you mom? This year I decided to make bath salts, bath tea and milk bath for the special mamas in my life (my mom, mother-in-law, grandma, and all the women who will be attending my homebirth). All the recipes were fairly simple and cheap to prepare, but heartfelt and should provide a nice dose of pampering and relaxation! Here are the recipes if you want to try some or gift some yourself!

Clearheaded Relaxing Bath Salts
  • 1 Cup Epsom Salt
  • 1/4 Cup Sea Salt
  • 2-3 Tbsp Baking Soda
  • 5-10 drops essential oils (I used Lavender, Tea Tree and Eucalyptus)
  • 1-2 tsp Glycerin
  • 1-2 Tbsp Ground Oatmeal
Directions: Combine all ingredients in bowl and mix well
For Bath: Use 1/4-1/2 cup

Oatmeal Milk Bath
  • 2 Cups Powdered Milk
  • 1/2 cup Ground Oatmeal
  • 1 Cup Corn Starch
  • 1/2 Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Cup dried herbs (I used Rose Buds & Lavender- Rosemary or Chamomile would also be good choices)
Directions: Blend oatmeal and herbs in blender or food processor. Add milk to blender. Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
For Bath: Use 3 Tbsp

Healing Citrus Green Tea Bath Tea
  • 1/4 Cup Green Tea
  • 1/4 Cup Calendula Petals
  • 1/4 Cup Ground Almonds
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 5-10 drops Lemon, Lemongrass and/or Orange Essential Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Jojoba Oil (left out because of expense)
  • 2 Tbsp Dried Mint Leaves (couldn't find at the store I went to)
Directions: Mix all ingredients in a bowl until thoroughly dispersed and saturated
For Bath: Good for 2-3 baths. Steep for 10 minutes on stove and pour into bath water through a strainer.

37 Weeks! Is it possible?

So, technically speaking, if this babe came right now he or she would be considered full term! I just can't believe I will actually have a babe in my arms sometime in the next few weeks! It really couldn't come at a crazier time- my husband has a crazy job schedule right now, my in-laws are in Mexico (of all places! Let's hope for no swine flu!), and my parents are moving and working 'round the clock! It is just nuts! I feel so isolated, but in some ways that is good because I still have a fair amount to get done before this babe comes!

Speaking of which- I had another nesting surge last Thursday (the day my husband was coming home from out of town), I just felt like I needed to have everything in the house at least decent so that I wouldn't be going cleaning crazy in early labor (if I were to go into labor over the weekend- which obviously I didn't!)! For the most part I have been able to maintain the progress I made that day, but I am planning on doing another deep cleaning this next Monday just to make sure everything is in it's place.

Right now the things I still have left on my list to complete include:
-Sewing my diaper bag (which most of the pieces are cut for- I want to get this one done today)
-Making my labor/birth playlist
-Finish and send out our babyshower and birthday thank you cards
-Figure out our baby announcements
-Replace the elastic in our diaper pail liners
-Prepare some meals for the freezer
-Get our front room ready for postpartum (including making the futon into a bed)
-Finish some of my CAPPA Certified Lactation Educator work
-Wrap up some blog prep for the Summer of Baby Love and the new memes I will be introducing this summer!

Hmmm.... that is more than I thought- I better get on it! At least I got my garden mostly in this last weekend and I am feeling more mentally ready for birth. I have been having many more braxton hicks this last week or so- especially if I am very active (Monday night every time I stood up I had one!) and although I don't feel like I will be giving birth this week, the thought does cross my mind that this babe could show up earlier than planned (my doulas, midwife and chiropractor also consider this to be a distinct possibility). I'm sure we will soon see! Roman definitely is ready for this babe to come (or so he thinks!)- he keeps asking for the baby to come out and wonders what the baby is doing throughout the day- very sweet and cute!

Oh, and on a funny little note, I had another crazy pregnancy dream a nights ago. I have had quite a few of them this pregnancy (mostly being about birth, which seems to always include being in a hospital for some reason and having the staff treat me horribly- to the point where I end up giving birth by myself- fighting the power- haha!), but last night in my dream I just started going into labor (all the early signs were there) and I was at Disneyland!!! I just kept telling my family that I needed to get home because I was going to give birth soon- crazy!

On a final little pregnancy note- these are my current addiction:

Mmmmmm, yes! Pretzels with melted Rollos on top, smashed down with a pecan! Heaven in a bite- let me tell you!! Pop them in the fridge after they are done and they are simply the best thing EVER!!! The perfect combination of salty and sweet- you must try some! I think I have probably polished off... well, I shouldn't reveal the number, but just know it's a LOT! Oh well- 37 weeks, I can get away with it!