Staying Fit with Baby! -Guest Posts By Tiff

This is a guest post by Tiff! She is handsdown in my top 10 favorite IG follows (http://instagram.com/namastetiff). I wanted to do a little post about staying in shape while babywearing and there was no way I was the right mama for the task. Im still figuring out this being healthy thing. So I thought I’d get another mama to share her experience since she is proof that you can keep in shape and include your little one in the experience. Thank you SO much Tiff for sharing your knowledge with me and my readers! ❤
payson6We all know how hard it is to find “me” time when you have a little one – getting to the gym, going running, or basically any other physical activity!  But one great way to stay fit, is to include your little one in your yoga practice! You can do it pretty much anywhere and everywhere! It’s very beneficial for both mommy and baby and helps to create a stronger bond! Not to mention the extra strength you’ll get when wearing or holding your babe!  Here are a few poses that you can try out with your mini-me! (Remember to always stay safe and honor your own body as well as your little’s)
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•Warrior 2• virabhadrasana II
this is a perfect pose for babywearing! Or you can always hold your babe at your hip! Get in a nice wide stance with hips open toward the long edge of the mat, bend deep into the front knee (without letting the knee go past the ankle). Make sure your torso is still centered, not leaning too far forward or too far back. Raise the arm(or arm if you’re holding babe) to shoulder height, palms facing down and draw the shoulders down away from the ears. BREATHE.  Continue to hold this pose for at least five long, deep breaths. Inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the nose. Repeat on the other side.
YOU ARE A FIERCE MAMA WARRIOR
   *benefits:
      + increases stamina (which we know we all need right?!)
      + therapeutic for carpal tunnel syndrome, flat feet, infertility,    osteoporosis, and sciatica
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•Downward facing dog• adho mukha svanasana
Find yourself on your hands and knees (all fours), curl the toes under and lift the hips high as you press you heart back toward your thighs. If your little one is not crawling or walking yet you can place them lying on their back between your hands and feet so you are looking down at them. They love seeing you from different angles, like upside down, and they might just get a kick out of it! If your little one is walking or crawling, let them experience this pose with you! As you can see, mine loves to find my face or stand at my legs!
*benefits:
    + calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression
    + energizes the body (yes PLEASE!)
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•Dancer’s pose• natarajasana
This is another fun pose to do either while babywearing, or just holding your little! Start by standing tall and grounded in Tadasana-Mountain pose. Shift your weight into your right foot and grab on to the outside of your left foot with your left hand. If you are holding your baby, keep them on the right hip or arm.  Next, press the left foot into the hand while lifting the leg a little higher behind you. Remember to know your own limits and to stop whenever you need to in order to keep you and your baby safe! Traditionally, you would lean forward in this pose reaching out in front of you, but since we are babywearing/holding baby, we will modify to keep the torso upright. Find your balance and continue your yogic breath, in and out through the nose. Repeat pose on the opposite side (switching babe to the left arm/hip now)
*benefits:
     + develops a sense of balance and focus
     + stretches the shoulders and chest, the thighs, groins, and abdomen
Mommy and baby yoga
•Extended hand to big toe pose• utthita hasta padangusthasana
This one is a favorite of mine! Another balancing pose so you will start again in your mountain pose and then shift your weight into your right foot. Hold your babe on your right hip or arm. Lift your left leg up in front of you into a 90 degree angle grabbing ahold of the big toe (with your left two peace fingers). Find yourself steady and feel free to just hold here. Then, work toward straightening that left leg in front of you. Once you are able to get that leg straight you may open it out to the left side. Hold here, finding a focal point in front of you, a drishti, that is stationary. BREATHE. and then repeat on the other side.
I love this pose because every day I find a different challenge with it. Whether it be my balance, maybe more or less flexibility, or just noticing the soft side of my edge. I feel it’s a perfect symbol of our typical everyday mom-life… just another pose, another expression: another day of the same things; but finding the beauty in all of those little things. It only is what you make of it!
*benefits:
     + stretches hamstrings, hips, and adductors
     + improves sense of balance and focus
     + calms the mind

Thank you for letting me lead you in a little mini mommy and me asana practice! I honor the divine light within each and every one of you (and your littles!)  namaste 🙏

Tiff is using an Ergobaby Carrier.
for more carriers and babywearing knowledge please check out:
Carry Me Away

Adventures in Breastfeeding- Mandy

This post is a part of the Adventures in Breastfeeding Project sharing mother’s unique experiences, successes and struggles with breastfeeding. This post is by Mandy. Here’s what she had to share:

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Ian wakes around 7am (this is a new, very exciting development, as it used to be 5:50am for like, his entire life). He plays and talks and sings for a bit, then calls out, “Mommy daddy come get me!” Usually dad goes in, changes his diaper, and brings Ian into our bed, where he will nurse, if scheduling permits, for about 30 minutes. I cuddle him and play with his hair. We talk about the day. We look at Instagram photos. It’s a lovely, quiet time to transition from sleep to play play play play play until (hopefully) naptime.
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Naptime is where the next nurse will happen (we may nurse in between, but those aren’t guaranteed, especially if we’re busy). We go into his room, change his diaper, turn on his small fan for white noise, grab his blue blankie that happens to be his receiving blanket, and have a nurse on a folded up brown futon. If he doesn’t pass out on the boob, the nap could very well not happen, but he at least has to have “quiet” time in his room for an hour while I take a break (i.e. pass out). His quiet time never is, but he does play pretty happily on his own with minimal disaster.

If a nap does happen, which it thankfully still does about 75% of the time, he will always want to nurse unless something super exciting is happening. He’ll go for another 30 minutes easy, and if he wakes in a bad mood, nursing is the only sure way to shift the energy. He is such an active child, always moving, always talking, and I see his nurse time help his body to slow, and when I talk to him I swear I can see his mind process.

The nighttime nurse. After teeth brushing, diaper change, story, kiss goodnight from daddy, Ian and I are back on the futon. This nurse also involves singing, and no matter how hard I try to bring new songs in the mix, I always end up singing Somewhere Over The Rainbow, Time After Time, My Favorite Things, The Sound Of Music, and Stay Awake from Mary Poppins. The last song is always Edelweiss, then a kiss on the forehead with the pronouncement, “All done with milks.” He’s awake and happy, tucked into bed, musical night light stuffed owl turned on, and mama’s out the door.
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I’ve been nursing since 1.1.11. Before my son was born, I didn’t think much about breastfeeding. My mom breastfed me and enjoyed it. I figured I would, too. I didn’t think about bottle-feeding and I also didn’t demonize it. I didn’t think about how long I would breastfeed or if I’d breastfeed on a schedule or if I’d pump and bottle feed…I was focused on living through the whole labor and giving birth part. Everything else was on the periphery.

Then he came out: A successful water birth at home after 47 hours of labor. Ian latched easily and has pretty much stayed on. He was born 7lbs 4 oz and was over 9lbs three weeks later. A well-meaning aunt said I should only feed him every three hours or he would gain too much weight. Another aunt told me if I let him nurse for longer than ten minutes per side, “There isn’t any milk left anyway, and your nipples will become raw as hamburger.” Yea, I tried that for about 90 minutes and when I couldn’t comfort him any other way, he nursed. We’re an on-demand family, my nipples are perfect, and he’s strong as an ox and in the 50th percentile for weight.

I guess you could say my story is about not having a plan. Ian didn’t take many bottles because I am lucky enough to be able to mostly stay at home. I do a bit of work from home, and when I needed to leave, he would take a bottle when he was younger, and now he’s old enough to supplement with food until I return.

Ian will turn 3 in January. He nurses about five times per day. I think about the unusualness of our nursing relationship a lot. I justify in my head why we’re still nursing (the health benefits, the unspoken comfort he receives when he can’t express to me exactly what he wants, the precious, quiet, snuggly moments we share because my high energy, boisterous kid is most often anything but snuggly). Sometimes I fantasize about weaning (long weekends away-BY MYSELF), and there’s talk about weaning once he’s potty trained (lord knows how long that will take). Honestly, and I haven’t officially committed to it, but the concept of fullterm feeding, nursing until he’s done, feels right to me. I feel incredibly sad when I read weaning stories of moms and babes who mutually loved nursing, yet stopped because “it was time.” This is not to say that I judge mamas who have a cut off date out of necessity or just because they feel done. I’m talking about mamas who love it, who mourn it, and wean because…why? Because Americans think it’s weird to nurse a toddler. Because the toddler can ask for it. Because their community no longer supports it.
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I recently heard someone say, “When we’re babies, we are encouraged to explore, walk, and talk, and for the rest of our childhood, we’re told to not touch, sit down, and be quiet.” The same goes for breastfeeding. It’s beautiful, and then your baby turns one, and it’s shameful.

So yea, I’m nursing my big old boy. He’s 33 pounds, 37 inches tall, plays soccer and baseball and volleyball and golf and thinks he’s Super Why. He asks for “Milks.” I’m not running away from this aspect of our relationship. I embrace it. I totally didn’t think I’d be the nursing toddler mom type, yet here I am. As a doula, I’m grateful I can bring my experience to the table, not to pressure anyone into breastfeeding, but to be a support for mamas who want to experience it, because it takes a tremendous amount of support. It’s usually not easy, especially in the beginning. I was lucky in terms of an easy latching kiddo and abundant supply, but I also had mastitis six times. I can’t think of anyone I know that didn’t have an issue with nursing at some point. It’s hard, and it’s easy, just like parenting.

Letting go of “the plan” has been one of the most painful lessons I’ve learned (and continue to learn) as a mom, and surrendering when Ian will be done nursing is part of the great mystery I’m beginning to embrace.


Mandy has also shared a video of her first nursing session. I instantly have fallen in love with her awesome family. So much YES.
You can follow her amazing blog here: Mama Mandy.

quiet afternoons

Our home has people coming and going constantly. School schedules, working days, working nights. Leaving for dance practice or to go pick up coffee. But there are a few times a week mila and I get a few hour block, just us two. For the most part she naps and I watch master chef. But sometimes I just watch her. Now Im not implying I don’t miss Lucy and Justin when they are out. I DO! but not always. Sometimes the quiet is just so darned nice.

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I’m Vegan….Again…

Anyone who knows me probably just rolled their eyes…cause this is like the 14th time i’ve gone vegan. There were times I lasted a year, other times a couple months, other times a few hours…but this is nothing new. My issue is that I never lose weight or anything by cutting out meat and dairy so I think “oh man, if only I  could eat egg whites and chicken breast..THEN i’d stick to a diet!” ha
! Um yeaaahhh…i’m jill. i dont stick to anything very long. Remember when I was into hotrods? or when I was a makeup artist? or when I was really into reggae and soul? How about when I went paleo? …but I digress. The one thing I do love about being vegan though is that my body really does just agree with it.
I cut out all the meat and dairy a couple weeks back then fell off the wagon after lucy’s 1st day of school and she wanted to do a pizza night. MY FACE BROKE THE EF OUT!! My mom even looked concerned. She was like “i didn’t want to say anything but i’ve never seen you have acne..and that’s ACNE!” it was within hours of eating dairy!!! and I told her..”watch 48 hours of being vegan and my skin will be clear and dewy.” Sure enough..all the major patches of acne were gone. No one ever believes me cause apparently food/zits arent actually associated with eachother but maybe its some sort of allergic reaction or something. Either way, if i’m vegan my skin is AMAZING! I use 1/3 the amount of foundation. My hair grows crazy fast. And my anxiety almost entirely goes away. And after 16 months of not being able to get pregnant, a few weeks vegan and I was pregnant with Mila. For whatever reason my body just doesn’t do well with meat, dairy, eggs, etc…
Now I dont think it works for everyone. Some people thrive on gluten free, others do well living off high protein diets, whatever reason I am my healthiest an happiest eating like this. I decided to document what exactly I eat in a day because I know people hear vegan and picture nuts, berries and $6 cupcakes. But I eat just normal food! (im not crazy strict though, a friends ex boyfriend described himself as “veganish” Im more like that…so no I dont need to hear that they use dolphin tears and bull piss to make tortillas)

Breakfast I do oatmeal with steel cut oats. I MAKE RIDICULOUSLY GOOD OATMEAL! I’ll do almond butter and raspberries, or banana and walnuts. Yesterday morning I did chia seeds, toasted coconut and a lil brown sugar. deliciousness. veganpost1 veganpost2

For “lunch” I stood in the kitchen with mila on my hip and binged on hummus and carrots and pita chips veganpost3

we drank starbucks. veganpost4

For dinner I gussied up bean burritos by making them like enchiladas and chopping lots of fresh toppings. I also add one can of whole black beans to the Amy’s refried beans so its not so…muck like. veganpost5 veganpost6veganpost8
 Then during Dance Moms (OMG SO EPIC LAST NIGHT!) I had a super cold pear with super hot ginger tea. Try it. So good!

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as you can see my days aren’t filled with organic quinoa and nuts and berries and seeds. Ok there are seeds and I make a great garlic quinoa. But for the most part I eat pretty normal stuff. I mean chips and salsa, pb&j even oreos are vegan (though they aren’t organic and aren’t exactly healthy so im not trying to say eat oreos..i’m just admitting that I do) and just about anything Asian or Mexican can be made vegan.  And if Justin is home I just bake chicken or pork and make his slightly different. Its really not a big deal at all.

I’ve put in my time, I already have a pretty good list of go-to meals but if anyone wants to link to me favorite recipes or anything please do 🙂