Lactation Station coming your way!

Zutano lactation suite

Zutano lactation suite

These wonderful little pods make me very happy!  I am a nursing mom and will nurse wherever I have to without worry.  I have a wonderful aden + anais swaddle  (this can be purchased at http://www.shophappymango.com)  that I use to cover up and I’m golden!  I have had a few mishaps.  I have had my daughter expose her milk source when she decided to pull of her swaddle at a restaurant.  I have had her kicking while I’m trying to cover up.  I have had my son running amuck while I’m trying to nurse.  It would have been great to have a pod to contain my boobs and my kids with out anyone looking at me.

me nursing in a restaurant under my aden + anais swaddle

me nursing in a restaurant under my aden + anais swaddle

Enter Zutano

“Founded by two designers prompted to action by their personal experiences as working, nursing moms, Mamava designed freestanding pods called “lactation suites” to provide mothers with safe, private places to pump and nurse. The first pod, complete with seating, a fold-down table, a power supply for breast pumps, and plenty of space for bags and strollers, was installed at Burlington International Airport in August 2013.

Now you can find lactation suites (in 15 states) at airports, malls, and college campuses across the country. Three more pods are also set to open at JFK, LaGuardia, and Newark Liberty airports in New York and New Jersey this May, just in time for Mother’s Day. To find a station near you, download the free Mamava Lactation Station Locator on iTunes.”

thank you mommas for making your vision come to life!

I have become the second kid mom from the Luvs commercials

I am on kid number two. I have heard that things change when the second one comes.  Word on the street is you mellow out a bit.  I didn’t thing this would be true for me.  I was uber neurotic with my first and still am just a tad.  I noticed during my second pregnancy I favored donuts over my almost vegetarian diet with my first kid.  That should have been a sign.

lolol

lolol

Today my daughter had a sticky, gooey booger in her nose.  She was also mooing because she was hungry.  I put her on my lap to nurse her while I picked her nose.  That booger was much larger than it appeared and was  pretty darn gross.  I looked around and noticed I had no tissues, wipes, or anything appropriate for me to put a booger on.  I didn’t even think twice, I wiped said booger on my $200 jeans and went back to making phone calls.  I had a bowl of cherries on my desk and I was hungry so with my daughter still on my lap and booger on my jeans I grabbed a few cherries and enjoyed.  After cherry #3 I realized that I had not washed my hands.  I am now enjoying cherries with booger and breastmilk essence on them.  Oh how the mighty have fallen!  All I could do is laugh lololol.

There is something about having the stick out of your proverbial arse that feels amazing!  I actually stress less now that everything does not has to be perfect.  I even let my dirty 7 year old kiss his sister when he comes home from school.  Imagine that duffel bag of germs on him!

Birth Stories – The Birth of Agya

the JOY of birth!

the JOY of birth!

I have decided to do a birth stories series on the blog.  A few weeks ago I ran across a Facebook page which minimized and dismissed mothers who had given birth via C-section.  I was appalled and very upset at the number of likes this page had gotten.  The comments in my opinion, were downright disgusting.  Birth is birth.  The objective of most mothers is to bring their child into the world the best way possible.  Often times what you think and what you get are very different.  For that reason I wanted to tell stories of birth.

Today is my son’s birthday so I will kick it off with his story.

I found out I was pregnant after having an extreme need for a Whopper.  I don’t eat fast food, nor do I eat beef, and I felt like if this Whopper did not get in my belly sooner than later I was going to melt.  It was then that I figured I should go get a pregnancy test.  I had just turned 30 and once we back tracked to date of conception I realized, my son was my birthday present:)

My pregnancy wasn’t planned per se but it was very welcomed!  I was excited beyond belief!  I was the first of my crew to have a baby.  I had two friends that had babies already but they both got pregnant right out of college so Here I come 8 years later lol.  I knew nothing. All I knew is me and my ignorance were about to have a baby!  yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!

My first trimester was pretty harsh, I was sick all the time and I had major headaches.  I was the owner of a clothing boutique and I had not yet told my employees that I was pregnant.  After several naps in the dressing rooms, in my office, and on the clothing racks, one of my employees pulled me to the side and made me tell him what was going on.  Thank God I did.  My team was so helpful and didn’t let anyone bother me if I was sleeping lol.  Even tho I was sick as a dog, I was still blissfully happy.

I already ate relatively healthy and with this baby growing I wanted to make sure I was eating healthier.  I was living in LA, so that wasn’t a problem.  I developed a serious need for enchiladas, that was my vice.  As long as I had enchiladas I was cool with my mostly vegetarian diet, and daily juices.  I walked to and from work daily, and I got the maximum hours of sleep possible.

While I was on my health kick I discovered waterbirthing.  I decided that is what I wanted to do!  I sold the kid’s dad on it and we put that plan into action.  We found a midwife that would attend the water birth for free because she wanted to up her resume.  Our doctor wanted to also be hands on in the water birth because he had never done one and he wanted to offer that as an option to his patients.  The hospital we were delivering at had a water birthing suite so we were in there like swimwear!  One of my friends introduced me to his girlfriend who had just had a waterbirth with their daughter.  We will get to her birthing story at some point in time this year.  I promise you it was like a scene from Lion King.  The baby was born as the drummers drummed, and singers sang, and the sun shot a beam of light directly into her womb gently pulled her daughter out.  I mean is was the best story ever, after she told me this I was convinced I could do this!  A vaginal waterbirth was now on the books.

The kid’s dad and myself took the prenatal education classes, I read what to expect when you’re expecting, I ordered every pregnancy magazine I could find.  I was ready!!  HIm, not so much lol

Fast forward 4 months later and it’s showtime.  My sister came in town on Sunday and she was determined to get the baby out.  She castor oiled me up and made me walk four miles.  After that I was in labor that night.  Once that first contraction hit all that waterbirth kumbaya went out the window.  I was very clear that I needed drugs. The kid’s dad was just along for the ride.  He was pretty freaked out and just wanted it to be over with lol.  When we got to the hospital I was 3 centimeters and dehydrated.  I was put on an IV and the next morning the nurse said that I had stopped contracting so I was more than welcome to go home, labor naturally, and come back.  Umm, excuse me?  I’m already in here, we are having a baby!!!!  The nurse gave me my pitocin and the party started.  By the time my doctor made it to the hospital hours later he asked me what happened?????  I told him as soon as I felt that contraction I was done.  No water would take away that pain.  My midwife was just as disappointed.  Did I care?  Nope!  Not at all!  I was given the epidural around 4 centimeters I believe and for some reason I could still feel everything.  They gave me another one.  That last dose was the kicker.  Not only could I not feel the actual pain (I still felt the pressure) I couldn’t feel enough to push.  The doctor was yelling PUSH at me and I really thought I was pushing.  Clearly, I wasn’t.  I remember crying because I thought I was pushing.  I was beginning to get scared. There was more yelling and then I heard “We have to go in there and get him” I don’t really remember much after that except my son coming out.  There was more pushing encouragement so I think between myself and some mild suction we got him out of his comfort canal. I was ecstatic!  We were all happy to welcome our healthy, fully functional baby boy into the world.  I was very groggy from the epidural so I was pretty out of it.  I remember trying to nurse him and that’s it.  I was so numb for the rest of the night and day I could not walk to the bathroom without assistance.  With all of that I was still happy.  Nothing could dull the happiness of new life.

In hindsight if I could have done it differently, I would have done more research and really prepared for my birth.  However, you wouldn’t know that you need to prepare until you have been through it.  My labor was 16 hours and I learned that was because pain killers slow your labor.  I used all of this knowledge and experience to prepare for baby number two. I would have like to have been more present mentally during my son’s birth.  At the end of the day I would have done anything that resulted in getting a healthy baby.  No matter how you have your baby it takes the will of ancestors past and present to get you through it.  The female  body is an amazing vessel

Meatless Mondays – Kid’s lunch edition!

Meat free and yummy!

Meat free and yummy!

With summer coming up many of us will have to pack lunches for our children for summer camp.  Your children can join in on the meatless Mondays challenge by having fun meat free lunches!  Below are some really cool lunches that I found online.  I can’t post any of my kid’s meatless lunches because they aren’t this pretty and I posted all the pretty ones last week. lol, I’m fresh out of pictures that make you think I’m Mary Poppins.  I’m on regular old Phnewfula made lunches now.  I’m well aware of my shortcomings I’m not pintrest queen.

super cute! If you don't do cheese you can make a pb&j sandwhich

super cute! If you don’t do cheese you can make a pb&j sandwich

this definately took some time lol

this definitely took some time lol

kids-school-lunch-130208bb

i make a lunch very similar to this with soy dogs

Here are the sites I pulled these lunches from

http://www.glorysmischief.com

http://www.apomme.com

http://www.remodelaholic.com

http://www.boulderlocavore.com

http://www.healthyhere.com

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Cloth diapering is not as unsexy as we once thought!

Flip Diapers Cloth diapering system

Flip Diapers Cloth diapering system

As the owner of an eco-friendly store I do my very best to minimize my carbon footprint.  One of the things that comes to mind when one has a baby is cloth diapering.

My struggle with diaper options is evident in my store offerings in that department.   We used to carry Nature Baby Care which is a biodegradable diaper.  I loved that diaper brand however, once I started seeing them in clearance bins at Babies r’ us I knew we needed to phase those out.  I have tried a few others and I haven’t found the perfect diaper yet.  I’m still looking.  When I do, I will offer them for sale on the site!

As of now I have literally tried 5 different brands and my daughter is only 5 months old.  Some were good enough, some were disastrous.  All of them were eco diapers.  One late night, I realized I had 2 diapers left, a sleepy and whiny 6 year old, and an overly tired infant.  I desperately needed to stop and get diapers and at this point I was using Earth’s Best.  The only place I could get those in my area was target.  I was not up for the production of target.  There was no way that I would escape the Avengers displays and the 90 million questions of “mommy can I have, because Captain America is my favorite, and the Hulk is awesome, and mom did you know Tony Stark is an inventor like me, so when can I have it now please.” demands disguised as questions.  I decided to go home and cloth.

One size fits all!

One size fits all!

I have carried Flip diapers for the last 3 years and my customers have loved them.  I have had nothing but positive feedback.  Me, I don’t like poop.  I’m not going to voluntarily sigh up for something that means I have to touch poop more than I already do.  I spoke to my sister who has 2 young ones and has purchased the Flip diaper system from me and she raved about it.  Down to just one diaper at this point, I figured either I used the cloth diapers or my kid is going to have paper towels tied to her until I go to the store.  Cloth diapers win!

The Flip diaper is a hybrid system, there is a diaper insert that  you use and once it’s soiled you take it out and replace it.  Genius! The shell is waterproof so you can just rinse it and keep it moving if need be.  My daughter made it all through the night with no leaks, no issues.  I tossed the insert into the wet bucket and washed them later that day.  This really was super easy. How could I have denied myself this wonderful diaper??  Flip also travel diaper so that you can dispose of the insert when you are done instead of washing it.  I must say I am in love!

how to use flip diapers

how to use flip diapers

I’m not 100% committed to only cloth diapers, but I’m definitely on board the cloth diaper train.  I figured if I only used cloth diapers at night I would save 30 diapers a month which equals about $15.  $15 dollars times 12 equals $180.  I can go to the spa, buy new shoes, or fly to Miami!  I have decided that my daughter will wear cloth diapers anytime we are in the house thus doubling or tripling my savings.  The other great thing about the Flip diaper is there is never a need to buy a bigger size.  They grown with your baby.

You can purchase them at www.shophappymango.com

Cutting it in the Atl!

Cutting it in the Atl

Cutting it in the Atl

I had the privilege of going to see an advanced screening of cutting it in the Atl, a new reality show about the hair industry in Atlanta.  I generally don’t watch reality shows unless it’s Top Chef.  I was interested to see this show because it was centered around the actual business owners.  Not having many expectations, I went.

cast q & a

cast q & a

After seeing the full show I actually enjoyed it!  There is obviously going to be a certain amount of ridiculousness and cat fighting because that’s what the viewers want to see.  I did however, see how the women cared about their businesses and their brands.  There were two stand outs on the show that I really want to watch.  One is Maja who owns a chain of lesser priced weave shops and the other is Mushiya who owns a natural hair salon.  Maja made i believe she said 1.2 million dollars last year and it was all self-made so yes, I will absolutely listen to her.  Mushiya, lives her brand which I believe is very important.  If you have a natural hair salon then no one in your salon should have hair that does not reflect your salon offerings.

I will do my best to watch the entire season so that I can see how exactly these women do.  I love to see entrepreneurs at work especially women.  Even tho I’m not a fan of the drama I am a fan of seeing businesses expand and employ.  We all if done right reality TV definitely gives you a platform for expansion.

my elevator selfie

my elevator selfie

Above is a clip from the season.  Unfortunately, this trailer is PACKED with drama..