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The active child & co-sleeping

21 Aug

One obvious benefit of co sleeping that is terribly obvious but I gave little thought to is cuddle time. O is and has always been on the move, rarely still during his waking hours. I always imagined a calm, chill, relaxed and quiet child but I got the opposite- of course! And I love it! He keeps me on my toes and watching him explore and learn new things is amazing.

When it’s nap time we settle into bed together and I nurse him to sleep. That’s when I get my quiet time with him. Usually he’ll stay at my breast, snuggled close, with his legs wrapped tight around me. These are amazing moments. The closeness of my baby to me, his home for 10 months, is pure love. If I had listened to the nay-sayers telling me to get him into a crib asap, these moments wouldn’t exist. Sure my apartment would be cleaner, dinner would be better, and maybe I would have some “me” time. But happiness is in experience and doing what you love. I love my son so much and spending quiet, loving, close time together is the best use of his nap time, for the both of us. I get to read, check e-mails and chill out or nap myself. Without co-sleeping I would rarely have close, quiet time with O, which is quite sad to me. I can’t imagine any benefits deriving from less love and less closeness, especially for a baby that moves about constantly while awake. Of course it isn’t for everybody and there are times when I’m restless or I really have to pee!!!! Those are the things I’ll forget but I’ll never forget his little sleeping face next to me and his tiny little hands reaching out and finding me, right next to him.



Hello from Babyland!

31 Dec

It’s been many months since my last post. Since then my son Oliver Sebastian was born! One day I’ll share his birth story but not today. Today I want to share some products that have been absolutely priceless. They’re exactly what I will buy when invited to a baby shower.





Earth Mama Stretch Oil. This stuff works. I used it every morning from month 2 until I delivered Oliver. I’m awesomely prone to stretch marks so I figured I’d end  up with a bunch no matter what. Well I have none! I really think I owe it to this magical stuff right here. They should use me as a spokesperson because I can’t sing their praises enough. A warning though, it will stain your stuff. It ruined my favorite vintage dress and some other items but it was a small price to pay. All Earth Mama products have no toxins/chemicals (really all natural) and they’re vegan/cruelty free.












oilEarth-Mama-Angel-Baby-Angel-Baby-Bottom-Balm-859220000310These are 2 more products you need if you’re having a baby and they just so happens to be from Earth Mama also. I promise I have no affiliation with them! Okay, so I was gifted Destin at my baby shower. It’s totally not vegan but I kept it just in case Oliver got a bad diaper rash since everybody swears by it (hey, it was freegan). So the day came when he got a wicked diaper rash and I pulled out the Destin. It got rid of the rash after a day of use…. It smelled disgusting and after I put it on him I read the ingredients- cod liver oil. Yuck. It felt weird putting it on him before I read that because I knew it wasn’t  vegan but after that it got tossed in the trash. I don’t know what I was thinking.  So I had some Earth Mama baby Massage oil  & used it when he got a tiny rash on his chubby thighs. The rash disappeared within hours! So I ordered their butt lotion and now those are the only 2 items I use on him & he’s been rash-free ever since. Beats slathering him in chemicals & fish oil (gag).




The Nosefrida is the simplest and smartest invention ever. You put it at baby’s nostril and suck the snot out. There are filters so you don’t eat the snot or anything! Since babies cant sniff or blow boogies out, they just stay in their nose and they sound Rosie Pig. This remedies that. I’m kind of obsessed with it.






Shea Moisture is no joke. This cream quickly helps with cradle cap. Cradle cap is basically dry flaky skin on baby’s head and sometimes on her/his eyebrows. A lot of sites recommend olive oil but I prefer this since it’s less messy. I use it while Oliver is asleep and i scrape the dry skin away with my nail. Easy Peasy. Of course it’s vegan, chemical & cruelty free.







The rock n play is a miracle worker and not for the reasons you may think. If Oliver is fussy after I’ve nursed him, burped him, changed his diaper, entertained him and nothing works- I use this. It makes him poop, fart and/or spit up. It must be the angle or something but it works like a charm. I don’t know what I would do without it. Life Saver. I  have the one pictures because it’s softer and cozier (IMO) than the others, and that’s important in cold New England.





cloth-diapersWe don’t exclusively cloth diaper just yet.  My only excuse is that Oliver is on my person 24/7 which makes soaking, ringing out and then laundering dirty diapers a 2 day task. Shockingly, cloth diapering is easy. Before introducing solids & if you’re breastfeeding, then baby poop doesn’t really smell strong and it’s liquid. It prevents diaper rash too which is why we started doing part time cloth diapering, all that means is that I use cloth diapers until I run out and then sub with disposables. It’s way cheaper than disposables and WAY more environmentally friendly.  I know there is information out there that says they’re not really THAT much better for the Earth but whoever holds that opinion has never dumped 20 disposable diapers in the trash everyday for a month! It’s horrible and I’m making the switch to full time cloth very soon!



So that’s what you need if you’re going to a baby shower or is you’re having a baby! Order them all before baby arrives, trust me.

Feeding your growing belly

20 Jun

During the first 3 months of my pregnancy I suffered from major all day sickness and food aversions. The thought of onions would make my stomach turn. I really couldn’t imagine what feeling normal felt like, it was that bad and I feared I would never again feel well. Rest assured, if you’re experiencing this you will feel like your old self again soon. Around month 3 I stopped feeling nauseous all the time but I still couldn’t handle the smell of certain foods and after eating anything I would feel a little sick. At around the 4.5 month mark I could eat and feel normal and by month 5 I could eat onions again! Right now I’m at 5 months and 2 weeks and I ate my first raw onion a few days ago. I feel good.
As a vegan, people will immediately harp on your protein intake and blah blah blah. I honestly paid little attention to my diet pre-pregnancy, I took a B12 every couple of days but that was the extent of my care. I figured if I was consuming a colorful variety of food then I was pretty okay… Well, I was right. My levels have always been perfect and I rarely ever got sick. Now that I’m with child I’m paying closer attention to what I eat (as all mamma’s to be should).
My midwife had some helpful suggestions and some I came across on my own. Here’s what I’m eating.

Organic food! I’m not exactly a stickler when it comes to organic foods but if I have a choice, I’ll choose organic. The 2 foods I will only eat organic are soy & corn since the non-organic varieties are usually gmo and soaked in chemicals. Organics do cost a bit more but with the rising number of kids with ADD, autism, and allergies, I don’t really want to risk it. You know in 20 years they’re going to links tons of ailments with the poisons we’ve been dumping on our food. I’d rather be safe than sorry.

Organic cereal enriched with iron! You can find cold cereals enriched with upwards of 50% of your daily iron requirements. This is great of you’re at all worried about your iron levels. I buy Trader Joe’s organic corn flakes since it has 45% of my requirements (and a bunch of B vitamins!). I know there is a big debate about corn but hey, I’m not perfect.

Enriched organic coconut/almond/flax milk! I try to lay off the soy since it’s added to everything and because I love tofu. So I don’t buy soy milk anymore. This also helps me avoid coffee since I only like soy in my coffee:) I always get organic and enriched milk. These enriched milks usually have more calcium and B12 than cows milk.
Kale & Spinach! These are my go-to since they’re dark leafy greens loaded with fiber, protein, calcium, iron, potassium, and magnesium!!! Super awesome foods for baby and mom!
Snack attack foods! My midwife suggested I eat a little every 2-3 hours… This is kinda hard since I prefer eating 3 meals and 1 snack a day. I’ve been buying lara bars, primal strips, and nuts to get me through the day. I know the first two, especially primal strips are very processed but trying to find a tiny protein rich snack at 11:30 at night with little sugar is difficult! I’ve also been eating grapes, apricots, and a lot of 1/2 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
Water! This is no joke. I have a gallon jug I fill with purified water every morning. Sometimes I finish it and sometimes I don’t, but I make sure to at least get through 1/2.

Being hungry or thirsty when you’re pregnant is no joke. If you’re going out for a while, especially on a subway or something, bring snacks and a nalgene of water. It goes from thinking about food one minute to being absolutely starved and light headed the next. My advice would be, if you think you might be getting hungry then eat. There have been a few instances where my wife has had to get me a sugary beverage because I’ve suddenly gotten light headed out of nowhere. Each time I thought I might be getting hungry and didn’t eat. Here’s a terrible picture of me drinking a super nasty sugary bottled lemonade at a baby store on one such occasion.


I’m pregnant…. Now what?

5 Jun



19 Weeks on June 1, 2013

First things first. Vitamins!

When I found out I was pregnant I vegged out on the internet, researching how to best fortify this growing being in my belly. Of course, this all went right out the window when morning sickness hit at about week 4. The first 3 months are important but that thing is so tiny it doesn’t need much. Basically everything I read said these 2 conflicting statements: ” Eat healthy food and never ever go without eating!!” and “if you can’t eat anything besides crackers, it’s okay.” Since I was hit with major food aversions and all day sickness I pretty much stuck to the “eat whatever you can keep down” side of things. This mainly consisted of ice cream and cereal. Those first 3 months your baby is so so so tiny it doesn’t need much. I wish I could have eaten healthier during those months but I really couldn’t. The one thing I tried to stick to was my vitamins. These were a little difficult to take because of how big some of them are but all I can say about that is to suck it up and try to take them with food. Bad advice but it’s my only advice. Here are the ones I started month 1 day 1.


Prenatals. I started taking prenatal vitamins as soon as we decided we were going to try to conceive. Everything I read said to do this as well as the fertility clinic. I use Rainbow Light Prenatal One  (with the vegan guard  logo). I order it through amazon since it’s much cheaper than buying it elsewhere.
DHA. DHA is a vitamin necessary for fetal brain and eye developement. I use Deva Vegan Omega- 3 DHA-EPA capsules. Again I order this from amazon since it’s hard to come  by vegan capsules of DHA. If you find liquid DHA I suggest skipping it and getting it in capsule form, even if you have to order it. It smells like the algae it’s made of which is rather unpleasant, especially when you feel queasy already. I have a method for taking it: I hold my breath and spill 1 capsule from the bottle into the cap. From there I hold my nose (breathing through my mouth), toss the capsule into my mouth, then grab my glass of water, and drink it down without inhaling through my nose. I took the DHA a couple of times like a normal person but I couldn’t stand the lingering taste of fish in my mouth. Seriously, even if you get the slightest whiff of DHA it’ll make you taste it. I think I’ll have my wife record how I do this 🙂
B12. This is one most non-vegans can skip (the others you shouldn’t!). I take a B12 anyway so why skip it while pregnant? During the first 3 months I took it every other day for no reason other than paranoia that I was ingesting too much. Now I take it every day.
Vitamin D Ahhh vitamin D. This is an important one. Like DHA it’s hard to find vegan D3 (which is what my midwife recommended) in  your everyday shops like Whole Foods. Although books like The Vegan Pregnancy Survival Guide tell you D3 is never vegan, you can find vegan supplements online like Natures Plus Source D3. My midwife recommended 2,000 IU of D3 but from my research up to 6,000 IU of D3 is good for a pregnant woman. Unfortunately I accidentally bought a D3 supplement that is not vegan (which is why it isn’t pictured above). I think after staring at supplements and reading labels for like 40 minutes my eyes became fatigued and I missed lanolin on the label 😦 I didn’t notice this until more than a few days (and more than a few pills) later. So I’m finishing the bottle out and ordering my D3 from the internet from now on.

I’ll definitely be posting about what foods I’ve been eating to keep the little one (LO) healthy!

My New Idol

8 Nov

I’m against kids playing contact sports like football but they do and this girl is amazing.

This makes me happy…

5 Nov

This makes me feel happy and deeply sad all at once.

Our Garden

26 Oct

This past Spring we moved into our tiny cottage. One of the first things we did was plant a garden. This was actually a doomed process as the yield was 2 tiny peppers… Sad but true. These photos are from our optimistic start. We planted organic tomatoes, strawberries, cucumbers, kale, cabbage, and peppers. Right now it’s a much sadder sight and sadder still since we’ve been informed by our landlord that he will be selling this property so we won’t have the option to renew our lease. $100 garden down the drain… BUT it was beautiful to look at and it was fun to maintain, so for that I’m happy we did it. The entire garden you see (minus the cinder block garden) was buried beneath years brush and rubbish. The last photo is of the steps I exhumed,  you couldn’t even see them. This is actually the second home with hidden outdoor steps I’ve found and dug out…. I replaced the stones on these steps as well- The tops step is finished in this picture and the bottom step is not. The tiny boarder you see was also buried beneath years of brush, rubbish, and neglect.  My favorite part of living in an older home is finding all of the hidden signs of love and care from years before.