Breasts, pumping, truck drivers and bitten.

smp-8530Not so much traveling RV related but completely mommy blogger worthy. I received an email that my “successful” breastfeeding story is going to be published in a book! Not sure on all the exact details as to when the book will be released but it should be out in a few months. The book is a resource for moms looking for an online community for support. When I struggled with breastfeeding my daughter, I turned to the online community, friends and Le Leche League.

Sneak peek below…

As I sit here, with a glass of wine and write my “successful” breastfeeding story, I can only hope that I am not alone when I tell my story. One hand is typing while the other hand is on my right breast, trying to stop the bleeding. See…..I have a daughter who is considered a “biter.” She has been biting my poor nipples since she was 4 months old. Maybe other moms would have stopped after the first couple of times, however I am determined to continue as long as she needs mommy’s milk. We usually have two weeks of a blissful breastfeeding relationship and then as soon as she starts cutting teeth, she is back to biting. See I didn’t know it was going to be this hard, always thought it would come natural to me, just as natural as holding my daughter. Lets start from the beginning….

My background of breastfeeding before having my daughter was limited. I grew up knowing my younger brother was breastfed, however I found out, while pregnant, that I was also breastfed. I do not remember growing up around nursing, heck I don’t even remember my mother talking about it either. My mother breastfed me until I was 9 months old and my brother until he was 14 months old. Her only resource was her older sister who was always doing the “hippie” thing in the 1970s. My mother has said that if it weren’t for her sister, she would have never breastfed, she had a positive role model for nursing.

Fast forward 30 years and here I am pregnant and I have no idea where to start “learning” how to breastfeed. So I went to the internet….starting with the only thing I had ever heard of “what to expect while expecting” website and then turned to babycenter.com. After reading a few forums on these websites, I knew this was not the type of parenting
resources I was going to rely on.

During my pregnancy I started to subscribe to various gentle parenting groups, pro breastfeeding facebook groups, looking for new moms on meetup.com and signed up for a new mom Le Leche League breastfeeding class. I always knew that I was going to breastfeed, I honestly never thought of the alternative.( I understand that this line of thinking might have set me up for failure in the beginning, if we had not had such a great start)

The first thing I knew that would help me with a successful breastfeeding relationship was to have an all natural, drug free birth. After all the research I done online, to me, this was the first step in successful breastfeeding. I gave birth at a hospital with an OBGYN who also had a drug free birth and nursed her children into the self weaning ages. This is the whole reason why I chose her as an OBGYN. I had some other high risks health issues during my pregnancy that made sense to give birth in a hospital. I had the birth that I wanted and no real complications. My daughter was given to me immediately for skin to skin contact and I nursed her with 15 minutes of her birth. During my stay at the hospital, I never put her down, she was held every moment by me, she slept in my arms and I basically kept her at my breast at all times. She used me to pacify the time, not a pacifier. I requested a lactation consultant at the hospital and she taught me a few new positions, such as the football hold, my daughter was congested and this helped her nurse better.

Early on, I had an easy breastfeeding relationship with my daughter, but like any relationship you have many highs and lows. I turned to my online groups right before I went back to work after being off for 10 weeks. Like many mothers returning to work your anxiety level is so high. I was obsessed with building up a stash before I returned to work. I found everything from “how to store breastmilk” videos on youtube, online checklists for returning to work and an evening LLL league meeting for working moms. I am a full time working mom whose work situation is a little different, in that fact that I am in sales and my “office” is my car. So returning to work was twofold for me; learning how to pump and pumping on the road in my car. Once again I turned to online groups and resources to try and come up with a mobile pumping system.

After a year plus of pumping on the road, I only had a few incidents that made me break down and start crying. I will always tell this story of the day I was parked at a gas station in the middle of No Where, Texas. I pulled into the back corner of the gas station to set up to pump, much like any other day. I was about an hour overdue to pump, so I was quite engorged and leaking. I still had one more appointment left for the day but had to take a break to pump. I set everything up on the pump, got all situated, and thats when the motor on my pump quit working. I looked at my boobs, and thought “well I guess I am doing this manually”. I pulled the right one out, started manual breast compressions and right than a truck driver walks up to my car. He pulled back so quickly and said he was sorry with embarrassment. I never found out why he was walking up to my car, but I bet I gave him a sight full!

All the places I have pumped while on the road: Gas stations, airports, carwashes, many of my customers’ companies mothers rooms, car, parks, grocery store, courthouse and pumping while driving(while I never wanted to do this, it did happen a few times) pumpingwhiledriving should have been my blog name!

My advice to all new moms is have a drug free birth, skin to skin contact as soon as baby is born, put baby to your breast in the first 15 minutes of birth and feed on demand. Heck, let that baby have the breast all day for the first couple of days/week. I never removed my daughter from my breast and I really believe that is why I never had supply issues.

The biting is what has been the worst part of nursing and I have tried everything I can find online to stop the biting and am still trying new ideas that I receive from the online support groups. Every time she bites and draws blood, I think of weaning. My new research lately has been how to wean my daughter. Still just researching, not sure if we are ready to stop.

Connecting online with other mothers who are going through the exact same thing you are going through helps tremendously. I feel like online moms are way more honest with what is going on with their children. Often times you get a group of mothers together for a playdate and they tend to over exaggerate how well things are going with their children. Online mom groups tend to be more real and they usually seek out the group for some type of support.

My daughter is now 17 months old and our breastfeeding relationship is still strong. I promise to stop saying how old she is in months when she turns 2! I never thought I would be breastfeeding a toddler, but than again I never thought I would be co-sleeping, cloth diapering, drug-free birth or baby wear. I have no end date in sight, I will let my daughter choose that and instead sit back and relax with these good reasons for nursing a toddler.

smp-8541

All You Need is Love

Love Chevron Valentine’s Card
Find unique birthday and Valentine’s cards at Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

First off, I think Valentines Day is a waste of time and money for couples. I feel super sorry for the men out there that are trying to live up to some ridiculous standard. If you want to “spoil” me on a certain day….go right ahead but don’t make it February 14.

Now for children, I think it is another awesome excuse for me to do fun themed crafts with my kiddo, bake some shit that is pink or red and send out cards! So when I found this idea on Pinterest. I thought this would be a great craft for the grandparents! I made the homemade edible paints and let Zoe run naked while painting these artistic paintings. But when mixing up the paints, I quickly remembered I have that weird kid that does not like to get messy or slimy. She touched the paint, stuck a handful in her mouth, quickly spit it out just to give me a look like “you are crazy if you think I am going to continue to touch this crap.” The “Art” turned out great and it took several days to dry enough so we could mail it off to all grandparents.

By the way, the things I make from Pinterest never turn out like the pictures. Who is the person posting those “model” craft photos?

20130213-150738.jpg
.

20130213-152036.jpg

The start of No Poo-Week One

What the F is NO POO? No….I am still going to take poops, not sure if that is physically possible. As if I can take a magical pill and only poop once a week just like that birth control you take that fakes your body into only having 4 periods a year. But I digress…

First off, maybe I should start by saying one of my 2013 list/resolutions/goals whatever you want to call them is to be some what “chemical free” by the end of 2013. Technically you can not be completely “chemical free” because baking soda(sodium bicarbonate) and Vinegar(acetic acid and water) are chemicals. Hell even salt(sodium chloride) is a chemical, although most people would not consider this harsh, unless you are consuming way to much of it. But you can definitely strive to be “harsh chemical free” to the foods we eat to the beauty products we buy. My goal is to stop using commercial shampoo/conditioners, face wash, lotions, hair dyes, traditional deodorant, hairsprays and lotions/creams.

I have stopped using traditional deodorant for about a month and finally have found something that works for me. (I think you could ask any of my friends and they would/should say I smelled wonderful or at least I hope) I currently use a crystal rock salt that I wet before applying and than follow up with a peppermint or lavender spray. No aluminum, which some researchers have linked to breast cancer.

So back to the NO POOING…

I have completely stopped using commercial shamPOOS and conditioners as of a week ago. I have a friend in Kansas that told me if I stop showering and grow out dreads, she will no longer be my friend. Well I am still going to shower, just not shamPOOing in the traditional sense. So far I am on day 7 of not using commerical shampoo.

What you will need if you want to start No Pooing:
Baking Soda
Apple Cider Vinegar-I have read that you can use whatever vinegar you prefer, however I am going with the one that smells less “vinegar-y.”
Water
Other items I am using for my wavy/frizzy curls. Apricot Oil and water.

Here is the blog where I have found the best recipe and instructions. No need to reinvent the wheel. She has has some great FAQs about No Pooing.

Day 1 note to blog-mixed together a tablespoon of baking soda and enough water to make a paste. My suggestion is to add just a bit of water at first and than add more later. I made the mistake and used way to much water the first time and it ended up looking like milk instead of a paste. Rub the paste into your scalp like a circular motion and let it sit there for a minute. It left my hair feeling “chalky” but clean. I followed up with the vinegar rinse and I only put it on it on the ends of my hair. Rinsed everything out, combed my hair and let it air dry. Weird….I thought I would walk around with a pickle factory smell, but once my hair was dry, no more smell.

Day 2 note to blog- my hair feels really weird and kind of itches. Anyone that knows me intimately knows that I have struggled with dandruff since the birth of my daughter. My hormones have been jacked. So the itching thing makes me think that my dandruff may come back again. I have read some troubleshooting about No Poo and it looks like I used to much baking soda.

Day 3 note to blog-Head really itches, so I decided to mix up some more vinegar and water and squirt that on my hair and rinse. Seems to be helping with the itch. Note to self Vinegar really burns your eyes.

Day 4 note to blog-purchased some bandanas and headbands. It might be awhile before my hair is back to “normal.”

Day 5 note to blog- mixed up another batch of baking soda paste and vinegar/water rinse. I used way less baking soda this time.

Day 6 note to blog- Hair feels frizzy, dry but does not itch. Just got my hair wet today.

Day 7 note to blog- Did another round of vinegar/water rinse on my hair in the shower. Still got some in my eyes and it burned.

So thoughts so far are that my hair goes back and forth from feeling really dry and frizzy to oily. I am going to need to work on the baking soda amount and how often I use the paste. This might take awhile and I will apologize up front for my hair looking like poop for the next two months( pun intended)

20130212-092854.jpg

The deodorant I was using.

20130212-093049.jpg

This is what I use now for deodorant.

20130212-093230.jpg

My old hair routine.

20130212-093331.jpg

No Pooing routine. (The blue glass bottle is a mixture of apricot oil and water that I use as a detangler for my wavy hair)

If you would like to find out more, comment below, send an email to roadmaptonomad@gmail.com, or send a singing telegraph. Also if you haven’t yet, go hit that subscribe button or “like” me on Facebook.

Bucket/To Do List for 2013

Learn how to improve my website- I need to take some online free classes on WordPress.

Swimming lessons with Zoe- we joined the YMCA just to get into swim lessons and yoga.

More physical activity during the week-see above

Read all my books, from my book club- January book, not so much. February Book-check!

Try a new meetup.com at least once a month

Run a few races, 5K or 10K’s

Eat more whole, local, organic food.

Take a baking class

Go paperless

Start Yoga-YMCA!

Chemical Free with beauty products. No more commercial shampoo and conditioner, no more caustic face wash, no more liquid toxic body wash and no more leathery lotions.

Post more videos and photos for the grandparents and family

Going down to one income, one car, one cell phone and 230 sq ft?

DISCLAIMER: I realize I am about to rant about things that are considered first world problems. I understand that people are perfectly happy living with less and I am part of that category now.

We are going down to one income, one vehicle, one cell phone and 230 sq ft home…..sound the chimes…you think we are crazy?

First, we went down to a 230 sq ft home. We went from 1700 sq ft to this tiny trailer. We have made it one month today! However with my compulsive organizing disorder and label maker syndrome, everything in our trailer has a place, is labeled so you can find it and everything has a dual purpose. For instance, the bath tub is also our dirty laundry storage area. Zoe’s toy box is also an ottoman or a chair depending on the placement. The oven, when not in use is storage for pots and pans. Yes the pure amount of indoor space has dramatically changed but think of all the outdoor space we have gained. With a new outdoor space every week or so it will force us to be more exploratory.

Second, we went down to one income. I have heard everything from “this is great” to “why would you give up such a great job?” And you are right DENNIS(hehehe, that is my step dad he always has the practical voice) , it was a great job and a wonderful job and I loved my job, but I love my daughter more. And luckily for me, I have a partner that thinks my happiness and our daughter’s happiness is more important than extra spending money in the bank. Not everyone can stay home and not everyone wants to stay at home, but I am telling you right now I WANT TO STAY HOME. This is a choice and this choice can be changed at any moment if this doesn’t work out.

Third, we went down to one vehicle. It just doesn’t make sense to have two at this time. Especially since when we are on the road this summer we would have to find a place to park it for a few months. This does mean I may be asking for rides from some really great friends (wink, wink)

Fourth, we are going down to one cell phone. I think this is the one that Derek likes the most. No one can get a hold of him, it would seem like he likes that idea. Plus if I really need to get a hold of him we can do this.

Tomorrow starts a new chapter for my life the transition to Stay At (Mobile)Home Mom! Oh and check out Derek’s video from the past beautiful Austin weekend.

Love and Travels,
M

Transition of Working Mom to Stay At (mobile)Home Mom.

I have been working for 19 years. I started checking coats at a relative’s restaurant at the age of 13. I started making sandwiches for a local deli when I was 15. I waited tables from the time I was 18 to almost damn near 25. I always held a job while going to college, even worked part time at a bar while I was playing soccer at junior college. I worked full time, while going to grad school. Bottom line, I have been working for a long time. I have been back to work for almost a year since having my daughter, I have struggled internally for the past year on whether to stay at home with Zoe or work to provide for her future.

One of the main reasons why I couldn’t stay home was we were trying to keep up with a lifestyle. The big house. The expenses with having a big house. We live IN Austin, not a suburb. We travel, and want to continue to travel. The gadgets. The toys. The upgrades. The debt. I am the only one with debt and it is student loans. Luckily I started the Dave Ramsey program 2 years ago and I have gotten rid of the majority of my debt. Because of all these things, it didn’t make sense for me to stay at home with Zoe. My income outweighed the cost of child care. So this “thing” that we are doing, this change that we are making is actually two fold for me. We will be able to travel more, I am able to stay at home and take care of our daughter, all because we are living a simpler life.

Is it weird that I have fantasies about being a SAHM? Wondering what my days will be like? Park days, swim days, running errands days, kids museum days, stay at home days. I know that this other world won’t be all rainbows and unicorns but at least I will get to spend it with my Baby Love.

I resigned from my job today. It was bittersweet and after 5 years working for this company, I know that I can always come back. I will miss my co-workers and my customers but who wouldn’t want to spend their day with this smile?

DSC_0245