Sunday, November 29, 2009

local : all aboard!! santa is on the christmas train in fillmore and is ready to take you to pick out your christmas tree! and then you'll chop it down (ok, that's kinda sad) and take it back home on the train. are you enjoying my longest title ever?

less than an hour north of los angeles, you can jump on a holiday train in fillmore.  santa will be on board to take you to the christmas tree farm where you will select the perfect tree.  then, they will load your beautiful tree onto the train upon your return!

this sounds so super fun!  a wonderful holiday treat to enjoy with the kids (and hey, there is booze sold on board!  sa-weet!).  but seriously folks, there are food and beverages sold on board...i don't think they're organic ;).

also, there is another option---the santa dinner train that departs on friday and sunday evenings and serves a full meal while santa visits with all the kids.  and finally, your third option is to go after christmas on their "return santa claus to the north pole" train a vintage train!

tree farm visit train:

saturdays and sundays nov 28th through dec 20th
departures 10:00 and 2:00

santa dinner train:

friday and sunday nights dec 4th-20th
departs 5:30 pm

return santa to the north pole train:

saturday december 26th and sunday december 27th
departs 6:00 pm

Saturday, November 28, 2009

sids linked to crib mattresses?

if i could talk you into buying one extremely important item for your newborn, it would be an organic mattress....whether you intend to have your baby in your bed or her own crib.  i have logged many many hours on researching the link between non-organic mattresses and sids, and i think you will be shocked how little information is shared with the public once you look into it.  i came across the site below that has an awesome article on the toxic mattress link to sids, and in order to not write the world's longest post here, i would love to refer you to it:

healthy child

i was a little wary at first since this site sells a variety of organic items including mattresses.  but they have clearly done their homework (otherwise i would never refer them) and list all of their legit references at the bottom of their articles.   plus, they directly link you to variety of safe mattress options which is nice.

click on the additional links within the above article that will lead you to other important topics like:

factors that may increase the risk of crib death (including the vaccination link)

co-sleeping and toxic gases in adult mattresses

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

what may help shorten your labor

i was recently speaking with my lovely friend danielle, who was my incredible doula (i'll post more on her amazing-ness later), and she shared with me the 2 things that the shortest first-time mom natural labors she witnessed had in common.  they were:

pre-natal yoga at least 2-3 times a week and acupuncture right around the due date to help induce labor.

danielle told me i was one of these short labor examples---my labor was 7 hours plus pushing.  i did pre-natal yoga 3 times a week.   i had acupuncture on my due date and a couple days later on the eve of my labor.  i delivered naturally 4 days late.

i just spoke with a first-time mom friend yesterday who walked around for weeks at 3cm, days at 6cm, and had about 20 minutes of labor/contractions until she quickly pushed the baby out!!  guess what she did?.....pre-nata....ok ok, you get the point....

my usual never know how your labor will go, but there are things you can do that may likely help you stay ahead of the curve....

random post : ovarian cancer

please read about the subtle signs of ovarian cancer (just so you know!) from this young mother who was diagnosed with stage II after being dragged to the doctor by a friend who learned of her symptoms:

Thursday, November 19, 2009

so easy! make your own organic baby food for cheap.

whenever you decide to introduce solids, you can start slow and introduce one meal a day.  funny, we use the word solid, but the phrase should be "introducing goop."

if you intend to store batches, try to stock up on some glass baby food jars, as mentioned in a prior post, or order some 4 oz. mason jars on amazon (see amazon link in sidebar).  order a couple dozen if you really want to make life easier.

though we haven't introduced meat to our one-year-old, dinner is in the style of a meat and one or 2 sides.

our "meat" (otherwise referred to as "mulch" by my husband):
combo of high-ish protein, high fiber items---anything from organic lentils to barley to split peas to broccoli to green beans.  we literally combine all of these.  they are cooked, if necessary, and run through our twin gear juicer (see amazon link in sidebar).  here are more affordable single gear juicers : omega 8003 and green star.  read more here on why blenders are not ideal for pureeing food.

any single or combined organic fruit or veggie...more often fruit.

pick one day every week or 2 to make a batch.  cook, if necessary, and then run everything through the juicer (including skins--high in good enzymes) or dice by hand.  keep enough in the fridge for 3 days worth and freeze the rest for the coming week.

then, any time you want, you can grab a couple from the freezer and leave them in the fridge to thaw for the next night's dinner.  it's fun for you, and baby, to mix and match.

here are some helpful sites:

nutritional information on all foods with info on steamed, raw, etc of each.  enter item in search box.  or you can enter the nutrient you desire and it will reply with a food match.

shelf life info whether refrigerated or frozen.

bon appetit!!

UPDATE : my son would only eat pureed foods until he was about 13 months.  at which point, he started protesting by spitting them out.  he wanted little diced morsels of solids instead.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

great soft-soled shoes for new walkers...

this line of shoes from pediped is perfect as it is the next best thing to barefoot walking.  babies that are just learning to walk are encouraged by doctors to do it barefoot or in soft leather sole shoes.  pediped was created by a couple in 2004 that saw a hole in the marketplace.  check out all of the cute styles here.  sizes start at newborn.  they also have a line for older kids with rubber soles that are "a smart choice for parents concerned about the long term development of their children's feet."

we've recently resorted to buying shoes for the first time for our one-year-old as they are the only way to keep him from pulling his socks off----plus, barefoot doesn't work so well in the winter....

UPDATE : save 15% with promo code DEC09 until december 31st.

be aware of your body's vitamin levels during pregnancy and while breastfeeding...

if you are going to breastfeed, it would be ideal for you to get a blood test of, at the very least, your vitamin levels.   try to get this test done in the baby's 4-8-months-old zone.  by this time, you can accurately detect what the baby is sucking out of you (ie making you deficient in) in time to change it without it affecting baby's health.   lactating women are commonly deficient in vitamin d, b12, and zinc.

regarding pregnancy, it is often normal for your ob/gyn to conduct a blood test near the beginning of your pregnancy to test for anemia, etc.  of course, you can certainly request a more in depth test too.

while pregnant and breastfeeding, your recommended dietary allowance of these most commonly deficient vitamins is likely:

vit d3 (as calciferol) = 5,000 IU -- or spend 20 minutes/daily in sunlight, no sunscreen.
vit b12                     = 2.8 mcg
zinc                         = 12 mg

for pregnancy and lactating vitamin and mineral supplement fact sheets, check out the national institute of health's site.  although, i know, for example that they really low-ball on vitamin d.  read more about 5,000 iu of vitamin d here.

the best way to know for sure what you should take to supplement is to get a blood test--if you are deficient in something, you may need up to 5 times more than the rda.

this is a random post : awesome organic towels on sale!

in the event that you MAY be looking for new awesome organic cotton towels, i wanted to let you know about some on sale.  this past year, i cheaped out and went with west elm's organic towels and immediately saw threads raveling.  learn from my mistakes, people.  buy these from under the canopy...i have some of their hand towels ($8.49 now! $12.99 bath towels) and the quality is fantastic.  they have lots of other beautiful items as well...bedding, clothing, and more!

recent nyt article : does breastfeeding help you loose the baby weight?

this past week, there was an interesting article in the new york times about whether breastfeeding helps mothers lose weight.   some not only lose the weight, but start dipping below their original pre-pregnancy weight.
if you intend to breastfeed, you'll have to eat approximately 500 calories more than normal for your baby.  but be careful that they are not just empty carb calories.  aim for fruits, veggies, nuts, whole grains, etc.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

first weeks with baby : you're going to need help

you may be superwoman, but caring for a newborn is like nothing you've ever experienced.  it certainly is not impossible, but at the very least, please ask your husband to stay home form work for the first week home from the hospital.  beyond that, trust me, take up every offer of help because you will need it.  if someone offers to drop off food, just tell them yes and when they should do it.  if a friend offers to come over and sit and hold the baby, say yes and take a shower or a nap.  and have them grab lunch for you on their way---and they may also need to put it straight into your mouth for you or you might forget.  if you're breastfeeding, you need to constantly eat to replenish--and some days it is tough to constantly prepare snacks for yourself.  also, you should drink at least a glass of water each time you breastfeed your baby.

affordable, accurate, eco-friendly ovulation test

those disposable pee stick ovulation test cost a bloody fortune, so you may want to invest in a fertile focus ovulation test.  you can use it over and over and over again.   it looks like a tube of lipstick and you just put a drop of saliva on the little piece of glass inside.  then it tells you whether you're "not fertile", "transitional", or "fertile".  i can personally vouch for this product as i used it successfully when trying to conceive.   read more here.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

if you breastfeed, try to do it in front of young girls....

does my title sound extremely creepy?  all i'm trying to say is that we learn by example, and it's important that girls witness women breastfeeding their babies.  that way, those girls will grow up and not only feel comfortable breastfeeding, but also have an idea of how it's actually done.