How Hand-expressing saved my life!

The funny thing is, when I first decided to write this article I was 3 Months deep into breastfeeding my second child, attempting to figure out how I could possibly nurture my newborn, work 2 jobs and hold down 3 online courses and a situationship. My mind was swimming in sociology 101 and IT courses when all I really wanted to do was feel like an “adequate” mother. The kind of mother that had an answer for every question. I hope this will help you answer some of yours.

I had to learn what kind of LOVE that I needed. As soon as I would “come up for air” emotionally I found my breasts,( which I affectionately call “Ninny Jugs”), begin to swell and become sore. Frustration wasn’t the word honey, I was upset because with my first-born I was on my own in so many ways. I had every ounce of “liquid gold” mapped out, and with this baby I was all over the place! An emotional mess triggered by what had become a tumultuous relationship with my ex- fiancé.

Although I was pretty gifted with my Medela double pump at the time, I found myself most comfortable with an easy hand-expresser with a bottle attachment.

For some reason this contraption made me feel in control of my own body. Nothing against Medela- however, I’m not a cow.

For what was happening in my life, I didn’t need something else tugging at me and draining out precious liquids constantly!

I’m an honest writer and I have to be, because I like to read “real pieces”. Even in journalism classes “hard news”, seemed to comfort me a bit more than fluff pieces. So when I tell you that struggling with a relationship on course for destruction didn’t make breastfeeding any easier. As much as I wanted to rely on my mate to bottle-feed during pumping sessions or feed my two-year-old- I JUST COULDN’T!

You have to give yourself what you NEED. Whether that is alone time in your mind or alone time in your home.

I learned that you have to take control of your happiness and use your WILL to attract positivity and light into your life.

I am not a religious person, however, I do KNOW that the energy you put out comes streamlining right on back to you, so if you ACT like you don’t know what kind of love you need, you will surely find an individual that is incapable of showing you that love.

So, since I love happy endings, I can tell you that courting my wonderful man for 9 Months was the UNIVERSE giving me what I had asked for. A nurturer, a friend, a confidante and a REAL man capable of bringing, giving and creating love within me. I wouldn’t have be blessed with him unless I had made my mind up about what I NEEDED, instead of COPING with INCOMPATIBILITY within my life. Cheers!

Teaching our children to love their hair!

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I remember as a young girl seeing “Just for Me”, commercials and thinking, “What is wrong with my hair the way that it is”?
My aunts were beauticians so I was very familiar with black hair in all of its forms and found it strange that you had to go to the store to find something to make you beautiful.

I had a long, thick variety of hair that caused the neighbors to become alarmed because of my “tender head,” they could never know that my mother was such a puritan that she would NEVER been seen putting Pink lotion or any other souped up relaxer of the day on my tresses.

As I style my own young daughter’s hair I think about what she may have to face due to ignorance. With a head of thick hair like her mother’s, I see the need to stress the fact that it’s not what’s on the top of the head, as much as what is in it.

Your children have to know that they are valued and beautiful regardless to trends and tantalizing advertisements that favor ease over health time and time again.

Many of these products never divulge the damage that they do to the actual strand and follicle of the hair. While plenty of them say that there is not enough of the chemical “lye”, to actual harm the scalp, many parents almost always burn the scalp, causing damage because the product is applied to long and this can cause it to get in to the blood stream. Once the strand is “cooked”, this cannot be undone and you must wait until the the hair regrows or breaks off due to prolonged damage.

Coconut Oil, Shea Butter and all natural products are great when styling your child’s hair and water works miracles. A weekly hair regimen will keep your babies hair tangle free, healthy and manageable! Use a wide-tooth comb and start from the ends of the hair. Moisten with a bit of water and work with small sections at a time. You just have to put in a little work and it pays off! Don’t be concerned with the length of the hair as much as the health. Every one’s hair grows at a different rate any way.

You can never win if you favor ease over overall health and this applies to the body as a whole! We all can be found guilty of taking shortcuts, however, when you know better you do better. We are responsible for teaching our children the best way first and leading by example. They are most beautiful in their nature state contrary to what this society leads us to believe.
Teach them to value themselves and that hair is just that! What’s in the head counts. We have to work together to build up children of substance and value to build a new world that is not convoluted with ignorance and lack of love for one’s self.

Breastfeeding – Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Chia Pudding Recipe

Breastfeeding can be a handful! Nurturing this tiny human being solely from yourself with no other liquids can be as daunting of a task as climbing Mount Everest. Not only are there tons of feeding positions, there are also feeding frequency and times and the only manager of this department is YOU! Yes, I have broke down crying and felt the shame of having to bunker down and give my baby Enfamil or Similac, however the “leaner” in me always took a long look at the ingredients list and what I was giving my little baby meant EVERYTHING to me. Ingredients I had never even heard of were mixed into this brightly colored powder product and I just couldn’t cope.
I am NEVER going to tell another mother what to feed her child, however I’m not okay with taking the risk of not giving my child the best. Yes, JoAnna (5 Months) is EBF and supplementing and I’m okay with that.
I am most definitely not a quitter so although my baby is supplementing with Goat’s Milk (Cow’s Milk Allergy/No soy), I will still be attempting to give her Breast Milk or Ninny Milk (as I affectionately call it) as much as possible so I have been researching foods that are beneficial for breastfeeding mothers and Chia Seeds were recommended by a SUPERMOM that I know. I am so excited to try out some fun recipes in my kitchen and to share them with all of you! Here is a dairy-free and gluten free recipe for this little Super Seed! Enjoy and feel free to tell me how you liked it. Breastfeeding is a full-time job, however the benefits last a lifetime and the peace of mind is the reward!

Gena’s Basic Chia Pudding (yields 3-4 servings)
from Choosingraw.com

3/4 cup chia seeds
2 cups almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3-4 pitted dates
Tiny dash salt

Simply mix the ingredients together, and let them rest for a few moments. Stir the mix well with a fork every five minutes or so. At first, it’ll seem far too liquidy, but over the course of thirty minutes the chia seeds will plump up, till the pudding resembles tapioca pudding.chia-pudding-with-oats