Is breast milk the new Windex?

Those of you who have seen the movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” may know what I am referring to. For everybody else: in above said film, Windex seems to solve every problem. 

Fast forward to year 2015, and I’m determined that breast milk is now the one stop shop to fix problems, and I’m not even 2 weeks in! On top of all the benefits and perks of breastfeeding that we hear, I wasn’t expecting what follows…

John and I welcomed our baby girl into the world last week and as new parents do, within 24 hours, we were calling our midwife with concerns about our baby’s new skin. (This is after one home visit already at the 12 hour mark). Our baby girl had developed a little rash all over her skin and until we actually spoke to the midwife, we thought it was probably the detergent (which by the way, is as natural as you can get), and decided to re-wash blankets and sleepers and had our baby pretty naked until we were able to get our midwife on the phone. She assured us it was just the baby getting used to her new world and to stop washing all her clothes! Oops! She suggested I put extra milk on baby’s skin to help soothe and heal. So, after feedings, this is what I did and within 48 hours, her skin was perfect once again. 

This week presented a new concern. Baby’s eye was leaking and i immediately took to Google to find out why. Turns out this is COMPLETELY NORMAL and was most likely just a blocked tear duct. This time I waited until my appointment with the midwife to find out more. She assured me once again that this was normal, and if I wanted to help clear the duct, to drop some milk into baby’s eye and gently massage the duct. Wouldn’t you know it, within minutes of doing this, baby was once again, wide eyed and able to see her world again. 

I was told for any scratch, rash, or ailment of baby’s, try breast milk. When in doubt, put some milk on it. I know I don’t have many examples, but hey, my babe isn’t even 2 weeks old and already breast milk is solving all of her problems! And as a new mother, this is an encouragement to keep it up!

For now, mama’s milk may help baby’s issues, but I’ll keep my boobs clear of the windows and mirrors for now! 😉

Please note this post is NOT about the division between formula and breast milk, and should not be construed as such. After giving birth and going through a few tough weeks of feeding, I want to be clear that there is NO JUDGEMENT of mothers, no matter how you feed your child. It is a personal decision and each comes with a long list of pros and cons. As mamas, we need to support each other in the day to day decisions of motherhood… Only fellow mothers really know how truly difficult and rewarding our job is. 

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9 months.

www.capturedphoto.ca

As per the title, cats out of the bag! Baby ain’t out of me yet though! 😉

Well, I took a break from blogging (including my 52Week Project unfortunately), because, I could barely stand to write about anything besides my pregnancy. The break was partly my doing, partly my baby’s doing. She seemed to take all my creative juices, leaving me with little to write about, except how my first pregnancy was going. And to be completely honest, I wasn’t quite ready to share with the world… until NOW! Almost 40 weeks pregnant, on mat leave, and ready to share. 🙂

The past 9 months have been nothing short of a miracle. A gift from God. There is nothing more special to make you appreciate life than a tiny baby. Looking back, I remember when our baby was the size of a poppyseed–now a watermelon! And my baby girl was just as much a little life then, as she is now.

When they say it takes a village to raise a child, I believe them. What many people fail to mention, is, sometimes, it also takes a village to GROW a child. While my body may be physically doing all the work for the little human, by no means have I done this on my own.

During the first trimester, it took everything in my power, to get up, go to work, and not fall asleep on my keyboard. Husband stepped up BIG time, taking on pretty much every role except grow a baby. His selflessness was never lost on me, and I knew we were completely in this together. Doing whatever we both needed to do to ensure a healthy, happy pregnancy. That is love.

Second trimester brought new adventures for us! We decided to renovate our kitchen. Uh oh! Luckily my energy was back, so I was able to take over the regular roles (cooking & cleaning… though lets be honest, who really cleans during a renovation? A costco sized package of paper plates didn’t hurt either). While I was building a little human, living in a basement (anybody remember those college years?), John was building us a kitchen! WITH A DISHWASHER! PS: shoutout to ALL our friends who helped with the demo & rebuilding… a huge help!!! While the renovation may have almost killed poor hubby, we both got through the 2nd trimester without wanting to kill each other, and kept focusing on our love for each other and our lil baby.

Third Trimester came along and I must say, based on stories from others, I really can’t complain. My pregnancy has been so wonderful to me, my body, and my babe. Bonus? I made it through Ottawa’s winter without slipping on the ice AND without having to buy a pregnancy parka. Because the only thing worse than a lumpy jacket is a lumpy jacket made for extra lumps of course. 😉

The most exhilarating moments of pregnancy for me: feeling baby for the first time, husband feeling baby for the first time, and finally, being able to see baby move! Feeling her flutters NEVER gets old. As soon as she moves/hiccups, my mind is instantly brought back to her and there isn’t a chance I can concentrate on anything else. As if I needed reminding of my baby basketball!

Now, 9 months, thousands of kicks, punches, and hiccups later, we’re ready for Baby Babs! And she is ready for us! At this point, I’ve heard stories that many women are ready to get the baby out of them, and yet, I feel complete peace and patience about her arrival. But…. that ain’t stopping me from plenty of walks, pineapples, and spicy foods!

For all the mommas out there, what did you do to try to naturally induce labour?

photo credit: Austin Jean http://www.capturedphoto.ca/

#TheDress

B_aAal7WEAAZEadBy now, most of us have seen #thedress hashtag. “Was the dress black and blue? Or White and Gold”. People all over Twitter, Facebook, and the news were weighing in, even if just to say that they couldn’t care less the colour of the dress.

But now, #thedress has brought forth a real conversation, with real impacts, on real women. Everybody should care MORE about the woman behind the dress. People see blue and black, or people see white and gold. It is a matter of perception–our minds tricking us into believing something is true, that isn’t really.

Why didn’t people think the dress was black and blue? The lighting, combined with our eyes, tricked (at least some of) us into believing the dress was white and gold. BUT WHO CARES? (I certainly didn’t, though I’ll admit I found the social media trend over something so ridiculous fascinating.)

Apply the image of the dress to a woman suffering domestic abuse and we all should care! Yet, we still fall short and let our perceptions decide reality. A woman may cover up her black and blue patched skin with beautiful white and gold lace, but deep down, she is hurting, and too many of us cannot see passed the “filters” being applied.

It gets even trickier when the bruises cannot be seen. They’re beyond skin deep and hurt the heart, mind and spirit. Physical nor emotional abuse should NEVER be tolerated. Tragically, sometimes women are too blinded by internal perceptions of their white and gold dress that they do not know how to leave, or that they even need to leave.

Approximately 17% of women are victims of abuse (according to SA’s ad). But 100% of us need to be more aware, which is what I hope Salvation Army’s #thedress campaign will do. Let’s take the conversation beyond the trending hashtag and learn about signs/signals of abuse and how to help those who may be struggling in an abusive relationship.

Start asking questions, be ready to listen, and throw away the image of the white and gold dress.

An early winter hibernation

Ok, so I’ve been MIA. Admittedly, I became too tired in the fall and could barely keep up with work/ eating, let alone have enough energy to write a “mandatory” blog post every week.

Now, after an early winter hibernation came, I’m wakening my inner writer, with no guarantees to how often I’ll be back, but know, that when I write, it be out of inspiration, not out of an obligation.

Rest is important to us all. A human necessity. After a few months of resting my body as much as possible, I’m ready, almost restless. Perhaps due to changes in the air… Or maybe it’s this darn month, when winter seems to be never ending. Either way, my soul has awakened and warming me up, from the inside out.

For those who were following/ interested in my 52weekchallenge, please know that I’ve been doing something new, every week, sometimes every day. More on that in a future post. 😉

From now on, I intend my blog to be a place of passion, where my soul sets free, and I’m able to share my thoughts on a whim. Staying true to the “babblings”, the blog may become random, but perhaps that’s how words are best shared, without a rigid structure, where the letters form to be whatever they may be….

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#52NewWeeks – Week 5 – Pretty feet

Ok, disclaimer right off the get go. Obviously pedicures aren’t a new thing for me. But this time, it was different (and new)!

Typically, whenever I visit my family in Vancouver, my mom and I will make time for a pedicure. This time, we were lucky enough to have somebody new join us! My beautiful sister-to-be, Dora, came along for lunch and pedis and it was the first time the “Dagg” ladies became a trio!

Plenty of wedding chatter, delicious food, a bit of wine, and perfectly painted toes–it was the first of many lunch/pedi combos for us three.

Side note: I also tried a new brand of paint, Deborah Lippmann “my old flame”, so technically two news in one spa visit. The color represents the classic feminine toe, in my opinion. No chips yet, I’m very impressed!

Now, on my way home to Ottawa, I can’t wait for the next time I get to meet up with my momma and my sister-to-be for some vino, chit chat, and perhaps another new colour on my toes.

Oh, and I couldn’t leave Tiffany out, after all, she had her own spa visit this week. I promise she didn’t have her nails painted though. 🙂
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#52NewWeeks – Week 4 – #IceBucketChallenge

Earlier this week, I was nominated to do the ALS Ice Bucket challenge. Throughout the past few weeks, I’ve been reading about the social media craze, with people of all sorts of opinions sharing their thoughts. So now, after successfully completing the challenge, it is my turn.

photo-4In my opinion, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge (ALS IBC for short), has been a great summer attention grabber, the perfect way to raise awareness and funds for a well worthy cause. For all the cynics out there, know that many (if not all) who are donating, do it in addition to regular charitable giving. Further, I didn’t view this as a social media craze to get attention—really, if people wanted to do that, there are probably better ways than posting ice water videos similar to the more than 1 million other videos posted on Facebook—I viewed this as an opportunity to get connected, learn more, and speak out for a great cause.

And while this AWESOME PR / Fundraising Campaign may have been raising awareness for ALS, I didn’t actually understand the depths of ALS or knew what it had to do with cold water. So, I did my research and came up with a bit of info to help spread the awareness a little further.

  1. ALS stands for: Amyotrophic Lacteral Sclerosis
  2. ALS is a neurodegenerative disease that triggers a slow paralysis on those who are stricken by causing the nerve cells to stop working.
  3. Those who have ALS suffer from muscle spasticity, rapidly progressive weakness due to muscle atrophy, and difficulty in speaking, swallowing and breathing.
  4. There is currently no cure for the disease. But I pray, with all the money raised from the ALS IBC, researchers will be well on their way to finding the cure!
  5. Icy water is very cold, and our initial reaction is to jump out of the way. People with ALS may not have the opportunity given their lower motor neuron degeneration.

So what’s my new thing for the week? Yes, I’ve been to Nordik Spa before and stood in that freezing cold waterfall (never with my gym clothes on though), and if you’re ever in Ottawa, it is a MUST-DO! However, I went out of my way to learn something new about a disease that affects so many people, and donated to a new cause that I may not have ever thought about giving to before. This week has brought enlightenment about a disease I knew nothing about and thankfulness for today’s blessings.

I leave you with a video, which has also found its way onto my Facebook Feed many times over. It is worth the watch. There is no better way to learn about something new, or someone new, than by hearing from the source.

http://www.upworthy.com/the-last-ice-bucket-challenge-you-need-to-see-and-you-really-should-see-it?g=2&c=ufb1

#52NewWeeks – Week 3 – SuzyQ DOUGHNUTS

SuzyQ Doughnuts is FAMOUS! Did you know? And yet, only a 5 min. drive (10 min. bike ride) from my house, I have never gone. That is, until my lovely Sis-in-law came to visit this past weekend, and with a slightly rainy walk through Hintonburg, how could we not make a stop for doughnuts?

There was a line up when we arrived–we found out later that it was their busiest day of the year (obviously a rainy day in Ottawa town = a need for sugary dough). Peering through the window, which was slightly fogged from the piping hot doughnuts, I knew it would be well worth the wait.

Walking in, my senses were overwhelmed, in the most wonderul way. The sweet smell of icing filled my nose, giving me a sugar high before the doughnuts even hit my lips. My eyes were glazed over, seeing the glass case full of doughnuts. Dare I say, it was the same feeling as being in a jewelry store, staring at the sparkly diamonds. Ok, not QUITE, but you get the picture.

After some deliberation, we made some very serious choices: Flower Child (a weekend special), Strawberry Fields, Maple Bacon (DOUBLE new for the week), Cookies & Cream, London Fog, oh and just a few more…

We went home immediately to start sampling the flavours, and matched with a cold glass of milk, I don’t know if there is a better way to spend a drizzly Saturday.

I highly recommend every Ottawan, Quebecer from across the bridge, and visiting tourists make a stop here. It was my first time, but it certainly won’t be my last. Next time I’ll limit myself to one doughnut though… 🙂

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