This blog was inspired by my one-year old son, who was recently diagnosed with peanut, soy, and egg allergies and our family friend who has a dairy allergy.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Have you seen this photo yet? It's the latest topic of debate amongst talk show hosts, bloggers, and Facebookers. The magazine has not hit news stands yet, but the article, as the title suggests, focuses on . This style of parenting is nothing new and simply focuses on promoting a strong mother-baby dyad through simple and "as-old-as-time" activities such as reading the baby's cues, babywearing, co-sleeping, and breastfeeding.

"Are You Mom Enough? Why attachment parenting drives
some  mother to extremes-  and how Dr. Bill Sears  became their guru."

Hearing the words "breastfeeding", "attachment parenting", and even seeing this photo cover, seems to evoke strong negative emotions from many people. I spent some time reading through dozens of Facebook comments, most of which, deem this image as perverted, pornographic, inappropriate, and shocking. I just don't get it, as I first saw this photo on my Facebook wall, where my best friend posted it with the simple comment, "us". We both have boys who are almost four and have been weened for at least two years. But, as we are currently nursing 10 and 15 month olds, we are constantly joking to each other that our little baby boys will nurse until they leave for college. Sure, we may be weirder than most moms and would simply shrug our shoulders with an "eh, you may be right", if someone called us perverts- but that would be for breastfeeding-unrelated reasons. 

So will this really be "us"? Yes. Even if we don't nurse our babies until they are three, like this boy on the cover, we intend on nursing until it is no longer mutually beneficial for us and our babes. We won't let society, friends, or family members pressure us into stopping something that we feel is a very important aspect of parenting. 

If you want to read more about Dr. Sears, visit his website at .

Dr. Sears and Attachment Parenting:
Dr. Sears and Breastfeeding:

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Why yes, they do.

Since L was diagnosed with his peanut, egg, and soy allergy, I've been making most meals from scratch. It's sad that I can no longer depend on Trader Joe's "turkey balls" or a frozen pizza when I'm in a rush. But in an effort to look on the bright side, we are producing less waste. We went from a 13-gallon bag of trash per week, to this wee little grocery bag each week. Pretty good for a family of four, with one in diapers.

one week's worth of trash for a family of four
And yes, we do use reusable grocery bags. But on those trips when I forget them in the house, I get free bags and get to use them to line our little waste baskets.

Creative uses for those plastic grocery bags:

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Have you ever seen the show ? It's a weekly show on Fox, about a forensic anthropologist and her hunky FBI agent partner. Together, they solve crimes, using a combination of brains and good old-fashioned instinct. Hard and soft science often collide on their quest to find "who-done-it", but at the end, we learn that it's often a combination of the two approaches that gets the job done. Lately, I've been pleasantly surprised that the main character and her co-worker, who both have new babies, have referred to breastfeeding. They've used terms such as "lactating", "breastfeeding", and "pumping". I do not recall ever watching a prime-time television show refer to breastfeeding.

In case you are not aware, in the world of feeding our babies, there is a raging debate on breastfeeding versus formula-feeding. I'm not here to debate the points of either side. If you know me, you already know that I breastfeed my children. This post is about the latest "scandal" surrounding breastfeeding. 

Somehow, an Oreo cookie ad, which was , went viral and captured the attention of breastfeeding bloggers, natural parenting bloggers, and Facebookers. Facebook eventually pulled down the photo from very prominent Facebook Pages, such as , citing that it violated their "nipple showing" policy. This reaction really reminds me that breastfeeding has a long way to be normalized in our society. We need to start seeing it more in public, read about it more in books, see it in movies, on tv, on blogs, and be around friends and family members who nurse without shame.

breastmilk and Oreo cookie

Speaking of shame (not really), I am an Oreo addict and I will publicly admit it. I should really (really) seek help. I know Oreo is not organic and it has the "dreaded" high fructose corn syrup. But I had to make the switch from the Trader Joe's Joe Joe's or the organic Newman-O's, because neither of them are peanut allergy safe. I sneak these evil treats behind the backs of my children. I eat them in the pantry, behind closed doors, and sometimes in the bathroom. As for my boys, they get to occasionally indulge in graham crackers. Actually, we have found that with L, who is prone to constipation, that a daily allowance of graham crackers is good for him. I'm definitely disappointed that I can't find an organic graham cracker product that is peanut allergy safe, but we are happy with the Trader Joe's brand.

breastmilk and graham cracker

This post is in honor of those who have: my sister Heidi, of the award wining blog, . She was the first mother I saw regularly breastfeed at home, in restaurants, and anywhere her four kids were hungry. She also nursed them all past the age of one. This post is also in honor of my bestie, Raegan, who is not afraid to post photos of her breastfeeding dyad, has gone to a nurse-in with me, and fought getting kicked out of our local gym for nursing pool-side. 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Homemade Granola- It's So Easy

Homemade granola is so easy to make, even my three-year-old can do it. All it takes is measuring, mixing, and spreading. The hardest part for J is waiting patiently for the granola to bake and for me to hear him impatiently ask "is the granola done yet?" 88 times.

mixing up our homemade allergen-free granola


4 C Puffed Brown Rice Cereal (I find this in the gluten-free section)
4 C Old Fashioned Oats
1/4 C Melter Butter (or any non-dairy "butter" product")
1-2 Tbsp Brown Sugar (optional)
1/4-1/2 C Ground Flax Seeds
1-2 Tbsp Molasses
2/3 C Maple Syrup or Honey (something sticky and sweet)
Pinch of Salt

Place the brown sugar and butter in a bowl and melt. Mix all of the ingredients together. Change proportions with your taste. Add dried fruit or even chocolate chips. Spread and mash down on a cookie sheet and bake at 250 degrees for 1.5 hours. I use stoneware- so cooking times may vary.

*Note- I don't measure the wet ingredients- so my measurements are approximates. As long as your oats and cereal and coated and sticky, you have enough. If you use too much, you will need to bake for a longer time and run the risk of overcooking in order to dry out the granola.

Does Breastfeeding Prevent Food Allergies?

We donated 68 oz of breastmilk today.

Two weeks before L's first birthday, I met my sister and long-time friend in NYC for our annual Broadway adventure. Armed with a handpump and silk scarf,  I easily bottled my own milk in restaurants and theaters. It was satisfying arriving back home with almost 20 four-ounce bottles, along with souvenirs for my boys.  Unfortunately, one week later, L was confirmed with a peanut, egg, and soy allergy, rendering the liquid gold much less valuable.

I kept putting off finding a better home for the milk, until yesterday, when I joined the Facebook group, .  Within 24 hours, I donated the milk to adoptive twin six-month-old boys, whose parents picked it up in the middle of their road trip from Kentucky to Northeast Ohio.

While it has been rewarding to donate breastmilk to babies in need, I am pretty bummed thinking about how I couldn't use the pumped milk. Since the L's diagnoses, I have stopped eating peanut, egg, and soy as well, so I can now pump and feel that I am giving my son milk that is safe for him. But I still question why he has food allergies in the first place, considering that I breastfed and still breastfeed him.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

My little man is allergic to peanut, soy, and egg. Additionally, lots of foods, such as milk products and most fruits and vegetables seem to bother his tummy and aggravate his eczema. So it's been rather tough finding variety, especially for breakfast. Lately, he's been eating homemade pancakes, bread, pear, or graham crackers. But this week, we tried Kashi's Organic Island Vanilla wheat biscuits (thankfully, he is not allergic to wheat or I'd be crying more than normal).

Use this link
L loves his rice milk soaked wheat biscuits.
Kashi provides very thorough allergen information on their  (see below) and after reading their information, I feel comfortable giving this cereal to L.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I have recently been reminded that children who are raised on farms and exposed to a variety of dirt, have stronger immune systems and are less prone to allergies. My three-year-old doesn't like getting his hands dirty, but he will happily dig and play with worms. On the other hand, this little guy here, the one with the food allergies, likes to crawl around in it and even participate in taste tests. He hasn't found a rock that's been worth swallowing though.

Will playing in dirt help L overcome his food allergies? We hope so!
Helping Daddy dig a trench.