Archive | June 2014

Breastfeeding – It does your baby good!

Some moms find breastfeeding to be a difficult task and either choose not to breastfeed or to only breastfeed for the first 3-9 months, while other moms find it to be a blessing and hold on to breastfeeding their child as long as possible.  I am a mom that falls into the latter category.  My breastfeeding story is one that will probably make you cringe.  I say cringe because I went through a lot in order to be able to breastfeed my daughter. Many moms out there would have given up in the first week; so I guess you can say this is also a story of courage and determination.

When I first gave birth I was super excited to see my daughter latch on with no problem.  I did not feel any pain whatsoever, most likely due to my level of excitement or perhaps it was due to my level of exhaustion after 21 hours of excruciating labor. In any event, she latched on, got fed, and fell asleep. The next day however, was a different story.  After breastfeeding her a couple of times, my nipples began to tear and they even bled a bit.  After the 3rd of 4th feeding I could not stand the pain, it was awful, “toe curling” the nurses referred to it.  The lactating consultant provided me with some breastfeeding tips (how to hold the breast, how to latch on the baby, etc.) and told me about the Nipple guard and cream/gel.  The Nipple guard was a lifesaver, although it did not relieve the pain completely, it did so enough to allow me to keep giving it a try and prevented my nipples from tearing more.

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Tips for properly breastfeeding

Two days later I was home from the hospital with my baby girl.  Now, it was all up to me to continue breastfeeding. I read about all of the great benefits of breastfeeding, so I was determined to provide that for my daughter.  Every two hours I endured the worst pain ever (aside from giving birth).  It was just absolutely awful.  I cried every time (no joke).  By the end of the first week I was ready to give up.  I contemplated it every time she latched on and my hubby kept encouraging me to continue and telling me it would get better. One particular day in the 2nd week I decided to pump one breast while feeding my baby on the other breast. Although, not a bad idea to multitask in my opinion, that day I was so exhausted I fell as sleep pressing the pump on my breast.  I must have been out for like 3 minutes, but those 3 minutes made the whole situation even more difficult for me.  When I woke from my 3 minute nap and took off the pump, within seconds my breast became hard as a rock.  I called my midwife immediately and was recommended all sorts of natural in-home remedies.  I had to massage, put cabbage on, soak in warm water, breast feed mainly from that breast, just to name a few. Although, it alleviated the pain, the lump was just too large and was not subsiding.  Again, I called my midwife and made an appointment.  After she saw me I was recommended to a lactation expert.  She was amazing, two hours with her and I learned so much.  With over 20 years experience, she was a master at this.  She encouraged me to continue through the pain as breastfeeding is one of the best things I can do for my child.

After my visits with my midwife and lactation expert, it was determined I had developed mastitis and had to be put on strong antibiotics.  I continued to breastfeed through the pain, one feeding session at a time.  I continued to cry, massage, put cabbage on, take my antibiotics, not sleep due to the sharp needle pains I would feel while sleeping, curled my toes every time my baby latched on, etc.  I kept telling myself it would get better to keep pressing forward. It took over a month for the mastitis to fully dissolve. By the time my mastitis was all gone my nipples were more accustomed to the breastfeeding and I was so glad I no longer had to curl my toes in pain. So I never gave up.  I pushed through and proudly say I would do it all over again if I had to.  I had so many reasons to give up, but just one that made it all worth it to endure the pain.  Today my baby girl is two and a healthy little rascal.  I can’t say her great health is 100% due to breastfeeding and its benefits, but I know breastfeeding has played a huge role in it.  I am so thankful that I am one of those mom who have been blessed with the chance to breastfeed and I am so glad that I was strong enough to push through the pain and not give up.

I know not every mother has the opportunity to nurse their child, but want to badly and so resort to milk banks to be able to provide their child with the benefits breast milk provides. So, for all of the mothers out there that have been blessed with the ability to breastfeed and are struggling with the demands of it, I say, don’t take it for granted and try your best to do at least 1 year of nursing. I know for a fact it can be harder for some mothers than others, but stick with it as much as you can, it does get easier. I know that some babies don’t always latch on well to the breast, if at all; however, are still able to bottle feed, so in that case I suggest pumping and storing the milk if necessary. So don’t give up, breastfeed if you can, your baby deserves the best!

Now, with all that said and this magical story of breastfeeding, today I still breastfeed my two year old daughter.  And although it has been a great experience, I am ready to shoot myself.  Please get her off my breasts!!!

Essentials I recommend from own experience:Nipple guard and breast pump

Stay tuned, I may have another breastfeeding blog soon, about how I stopped. 🙂

xoxo

Karintia

Finger sucking remedy?

Index Finger suckingJaxson my almost 5 year old still sucks his thumb. He initially began the sucking with his index finger when he was about 5-7 months old. The sucking actually started unfolding one night that I lost his pacifier. I lost his pacifier for about 3 days and now that I think back to that time, he was actually quite patient and not crying but soon within those 3 days discovered his little index finger on his left hand and did not release it for quite some time.

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I will admit, I have not been the most tenacious about limiting his finger sucking habit and have not been very proactive in finding a solution for him to finally quit it until recently. I’ve just threatened him and clearly that has not worked and I know it’s not the wisest thing to do as a parent. However, he does listen to the threats a little, well, actually he has listened to the little fear that I’ve tried to instill in him if he keeps sucking his finger. I know, I know, instilling any type of fear into your children is not the wisest thing to do either to get your way. What is a mother to do!? Anyway, I say some of the fear worked because one day, about a year ago now, I noticed how pruney and gross his little index finger was becoming so I told him to look at his finger and to notice what was happening to it, that if he kept at it, it will soon fall off. Ouch!

Thumb suckingThe next day, I noticed he was now sucking his thumb instead of his index finger and I asked him in great surprise what that was all about, he responded by showing me his hand and telling me that his index finger was not going to fall off because he was now sucking his thumb instead. They can be so clever these kids; got to love them! I couldn’t help but laugh when he told me that but still warned him that he can’t suck any of his fingers, they could all fall off.

Low and behold, the sucking still continues and for the past few months I’ve threatened to put spices on it, particularly cayenne pepper which is very spicy. He cries every time I tell him that and quickly removes his finger from his mouth. However, I must happily admit, although I’ve been a bit scared to try it, that I finally put that cayenne pepper on his thumb this morning and he shook it all off his finger and complained/cried a little. A few minutes later he must have forgotten about the cayenne pepper or assumed he had shook it all off and went in for the thumb. I heard him crying a little and wiping his tongue with his shirt. I told him “you see, it’s spicy, now come finish your oatmeal it will take the spiciness away.” It was a great way to get him to finish his breakfast and to realize that I’m not just threatening him about the cayenne pepper anymore, I’m going to actually do it until he breaks this horrible habit. Oh, and needless to say, I had to change his shirt before the school bus came as it was all full of saliva and bits and pieces of oatmeal. Got to love being a parent!

To wrap up this story as I’m not sure if the cayenne pepper will suffice, I was doing a little research online last night and found a device called the ThumbGuard or TGuard and it claims to be the thumb/finger sucking solution. I may try this if the cayenne pepper does not resolve this issue within a couple of weeks. If you have ever tried it for your child I would love to hear how it worked out for you guys.

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Here is their website and a little YouTube video if you are interested in learning more about it.
http://www.tguard.com or you can find it here

Much Love!
Belmax

Make it for Dad!

If you are like me, you are probably going bananas trying to find the best gift for dad…at the last minute of course! Because nothing you’ve found so far really tells the story of how grateful you are for him and all that he has done and continues doing.  Whether it’s for your own dad, grandfather(s), your child/children’s father or grandfather(s), you just have to find something that speaks to them.

I have come up with a few ideas I found through pinterest that might help you narrow down your gifts choices and perhaps celebrate Father’s Day the perfect way…with love and smiles all around!

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Want to make a first time dad get all sentimental? These are some of the cutest do-it-yourself ideas for dad and he will surely love it! A constant reminder of probably the happiest day of his life.

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If you are looking for a gift for your own dad, grandad or husband. These ideas are classic and you can never go wrong with them. Does your dad or grandad like beer? Personalize their favorite beer with a unique touch and celebrate his special day. You can also make your husband breakfast, lunch or dinner and make him a cute menu just like the one here (Maybe even with help from the little one(s)). For the coffee or tea lover, get some paint and a plain mug and create a cute design; maybe something funny that can get a laugh for years to come.

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I thought these were such great ideas that are easy to make and are always appreciated. Sometimes making him something yourself is loved and enjoyed even more. So if you haven’t found the “perfect” gift, don’t fret, because you can always do it yourself.

You can find more gift ideas on our Pinterest page: http://www.pinterest.com/becausewearemoms

Written by: Karintia De Jesus

We Are SPARTANS!

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The first two weekends of June have been quite active and exciting for us as a  family. Although we have been cheering for daddy for a while now as he does his  elite Spartan Races, these past two weekends were all about my daughter and me.  On May 31st I became a Spartan  as I completed my first Spartan Race with my  hunny by my side and our daughter watching  from the sidelines.  She was so  excited to see her parents getting muddy, climbing over walls  and crawling under  barbwire among other things.  It was so much fun! I completed 4.5 miles  of hilly t  trails with over 25 obstacles along the way.  Of course, I fumbled on a couple and  had  to pay the penalty of 30 burpees, woo hoo! What’s a Spartan Race without  some burpees?!  Hahaha.  The event as a whole is so full of energy; everyone is  laughing and motivating one  another or helping each other throughout the race, whether it is a hands-on push through an obstacle or simply some words of encouragement to complete the course, it is there for you.  It was definitely a great feeling to know I had my other half there with me helping me through  any obstacle I couldn’t do on my own.   However, the best feeling wasn’t just completing the  race with my love and jumping over the fire holding hands, but the smile on our daughter’s  face as she saw us run the course and waited for us at the finish line.  Seeing her parents doing  something together and having fun, while being active and pushing their limits, it’s an image we wanted imprinted in her mind and I think we conquered.

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The following weekend, on June 8, it was all about our little Spartan, Kiara.  I got her all Spartan geared up and told her she would be running with daddy.  I asked her “Do you want to go running with daddy?” and she replied “Yea, Kiki run with daddy!”  – So we headed to Tuxedo, NY and Kiara was ready to earn her medal.  Needless to say she was the smallest and youngest (at 2 years old) Spartan, but she was all for it. No hesitation, no fear.

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She did her stretches with daddy and all of the other little Spartans before the race and got ready to take on her first .5 mile obstacle course.  She walked through muddy waters, climbed walls, rolled under walls, ran up and downs the hills, crawled under “barbed” wire and more. The best moment was receiving her medal, she was so proud!  She had a blast doing the course and on top of that she was rewarded; she truly loved it.  She kept saying, “look mommy, look daddy, Spartan” as she showed us her medal.  She continued to show her medal to everyone throughout the day, she was so so proud of herself.  It was such a fantastic feeling to see her so happy.  We want her to grow up knowing she can conquer anything she puts her mind to and I believe we are on the right path.  These types of events are a great way to instill such habits!  We are so very proud of our little Spartan.

This weekend we became a Spartan Family!

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**If you are a parent interested in running a Spartan Race or having your child run it – My hubby is a Spartan Group X Coach and his training programs get you ready for any race.  You can get more info here: www.AragonFitness.com

Written by: Karintia De Jesus

 

FiLIP

The Filip watch has been a life saver for me, regarding my peace of mind. I got my son, Jaxson, Filip a couple of months ago when he began his new school. The Filip watch locator was invented by a father who lost his three year old son for 30 minutes at a shopping mall. After going through the agony of finding his toddler in what I imagined was a crowded, large mall, the father realized something needed to be invented to give parents peace of mind if they are to ever let their eyes off their children for just a few seconds.  He also wanted the device to give children the playing freedom they desire. If you are a parent you know how stressful it can be not knowing where your child is at any given moment.filip1

My Jaxson is hearing impaired due to unnecessary intervention and over-dosage by the medical doctors and staff of an antibiotic called Gentimicin when he was a newborn. That is a whole other article in its own and perhaps I will share that story in detail at a later date. Jaxson goes to a private school now.  It is an out of district pre-school for children that are deaf or hard of hearing. Honestly, they should just say “hard of hearing” in my opinion because the children either have regular hearing aids or have cochlear implants, hence they are all able to hear and this particular school is an oral/auditory school which I love.

To stay on topic, I just really want to express how helpful and useful Filip has been for me as Jaxson needs to travel far on the school bus to get to his new school and then gets dropped off at the after school program at the regular elementary school in town until I am able to pick him up after work.  He has a very long day with new drivers from time to time and obviously that can be very stressful to me.

The Filip watch is a smart locator and it is actually a phone at the same time but I mainly use it for its GPS purposes in order to locate Jaxson at any time. However, the watch has settings you can tailor to your liking. For instance, I have the watch set to text me as soon as Jaxson arrives at school, leaves school, arrives at the after school program, and leaves the after school program as sometimes his father may pick him up.  It is awesome!

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I also have 5 emergency phone numbers programmed on his phone which are the only numbers that can call him and he can call. Yes, he can talk right through the watch. I am also able to send text messages to the phone. Perhaps when he is a little older and already able to read and write I’ll send him sweet reminders of how much I love him. If you’d like to know more details about the watch/phone you can go on their direct website at http://www.myfilip.com  Or go to the ATT&T website as it is currently sold through AT&T stores and services.

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Just an added bonus story regarding Filip; Jaxson was picked up by yet another new driver on this particular morning, which was just very recently, perhaps only about a week ago. Anyway, he gets picked up and it was the driver’s first time doing this route and the aide on the bus was also new. I was a little nervous but trusted that they would get my son there safely and on time.

I get a text message from his teacher at almost 9 a.m. Jaxson usually arrives by 8:45 a.m. at the latest and when I got that text message from the teacher I panicked a little. I immediately used the GPS locator on my phone and it showed me their exact location which was right around the corner of the school. I assumed they may have just taken a wrong turn which caused them to be a few minutes late. As I’m in the middle of reaching out to the bus company to call the driver to find out where they are, I get my text notification from Filip informing me that they had just entered the school; before the person from the bus company whom I was on the phone with could come back on the line to assure me of the same information I had just received. It felt good to know that I am also on top of my child’s whereabouts and that at any given moment I can get an exact location and drive out there to find him if I need to. Again, it just gives me peace of mind and that’s a great feeling!

Written by Belmax De Jesus