Sunday, March 31, 2013

Breastfeeding Support Blog Party

Nursing a 3 month old Delilah, now a healthy 3 year old!
Photo by Bella Photography by Nicole Aarstad
As an avid supporter of breast feeding, I was troubled to learn of Weston A. Price
Foundation's position on breast feeding. The Weston A. Price Foundation is a nutrition education non-profit that is respected by many in the whole food, organic food, and local food movements. To paraphrase, they have come out saying that only breast milk from mothers who adhere to a strict "perfect" nutritious diet should be fed to infants, and that their formula recipe is superior to breast milk from mothers who do not eat the diet they prescribe. Since I'm a vegetarian, my breast milk is automatically ruled out as adequate for my children. Nice, huh?

I have yet to see any legitimate studies to support their claims. On the other hand, there are a multitude of legitimate studies demonstrating the benefits of human milk for human babies.

Pregnant women and new mothers face enough uncertainty, anxiety, and misinformation about breast feeding without being made to feel that they must eat a strict diet in order to provide adequate milk for their children. I absolutely support providing information to nursing mothers about how to eat nutritiously, however claiming that anything less than a perfect diet is unacceptable is irresponsible, incorrect, and stands to discourage mothers from providing their babies the most perfect food for them, their mothers' milk.

Below is information on a Breastfeeding Support Blog Party, and a collection of links to Breastfeeding Support blog posts ranging from the composition of breast milk to tips for pumping mothers and everything in between!


On Thursday, bloggers from around the world came together in a show of support for breastfeeding mothers. New mothers have enough challenges without having to feel guilty for how they feed their baby, especially when they are choosing the most natural of means - breastfeeding.

Over the last few days there has been a lot of heated debates, controversial posts, and social media outcry against the position that the Weston A. Price Foundation takes on breastfeeding. While they do present sound information on the ideal diet for breastfeeding mothers, they do so in a manner that brings about guilt, fear, and confusion.

The bloggers who participated in the Breastfeeding Support Blog Party are not trying to create a divide between mothers. They simply want to offer support, in the form of blog posts, as to why breastfeeding should always be the first choice both for baby and mama.

We hope you take some time to read the posts that were written as part of the Blog Party. There are also over 140 posts linked up as part of this. Take some time to check them out here or link up your own breastfeeding support post!

 Dionna at Code Name: Mama has come up with 40 ways that family, friends, coworkers and employers can support mothers who pump breastmilk, along with a ton of resources for you and the pumping mom in your life. There are also some fun graphics you can print and pass out, with 70% of all proceeds going to buy pumps for moms in domestic violence shelters!

 Destany at They Are All of Me writes about ten common breastfeeding myths that scare women out of breastfeeding.

 Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama discusses how her diet wasn't WAPF perfect, but she still breastfed a perfectly healthy baby.

 Christine at African Babies Don't Cry is passionate about breastfeeding, here are her 101 reasons why!

 Kelly at Becoming Crunchy discusses the question of whether you should still nurse - even if your diet isn't 'right'.

 Jorje of Momma Jorje has enough pressure in her life, she is glad she doesn't have to worry about what, when and how much food she feeds her son since he is also still nursing.

 Angela at EarthMamas World discusses a few of the most common problems that a mama may encounter while breastfeeding. Angela also shares natural remedies for each of these breastfeeding problems!

That Mama Gretchen reflects on the beautiful bond breastfeeding has created as her two children have transitioned from their womb experience to their earth side one.

 Julia at A Little Bit of All of It shares ways breastfeeding and breastmilk are unique and special in a way only they can be.

 Amy W. at Natural Parents Network shares 5 scientific reasons that mother's milk is an unequaled form of nutrition and nurture: so awesome, and so unique!

 Laura at Authentic Parenting shares solid information on iron intake for the breastfed baby.

 Charise at I Thought I Knew Mama shares the questions (and answers) about breastfeeding she wished she had a friend to answer for her before becoming a mama.

 Abbie at Farmer's Daughter choose to breastfeed her children in part because it’s easier than bottle feeding, not to mention that it is the best nutrition for babies, that it has health benefits for both mother and child, that it encourages bonding, and of course that it’s free! Basically breastmilk is the ultimate convenience food.

 KerryAnn at Cooking Traditional Foods shares how the rush to recommend raw milk formula actually harms mothers.

 Starlene at GAPS Diet Journey shares her experience with nursing and why she feels it is an important piece of the your baby's health.

At Living Peacefully with Children, Mandy draws a connection between how formula companies market and how women are treated by society.

 Amy at Anktangle outlines a few of the many ways breastfeeding benefits both mom and child—aside from providing excellent nutrition.

 Adrienne at Whole New Mom shares Part One and Part Two of 100 Reasons Why Breast Is Best.

 Dawn at Cultured Mama shares her personal breastfeeding journey and how she overcame low supply issues and successfully tandemed nursed with only one breast.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Oatmeal Applesauce Quinoa Pancakes

The other morning, Delilah woke up talking about pancakes. I hate cooking up our favorite locally made pancake mix when her father's not home to enjoy them with us, so I whipped up these pancakes using some things I had on hand. The Quinoa was pre-cooked, which kept the prep time very quick, less than 10 minutes. I'm enjoying having some plain cooked quinoa on hand to incorporate in different ways, and these pancakes are something I'll try again. This recipe yields about 8-10 dense 4-5" pancakes and gets you from awake to pancakes in less than 20 minutes.

What You'll Need:

  • 1 Cup oats
  • 1 Cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 Cup cooked Quinoa
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • Pancake-cooking-substance-of-choice (I use coconut oil)
  • Pancake topping(s) of choice (I kept it simple with maple syrup)

What You'll Do:

  • Start heating a tablespoon of coconut oil (or cooking substance of choice) in the pan that you make pancakes in over Medium-High heat. 
  • Whir all the ingredients up in the blender. 
  • When you deem the oil ready to cook pancakes in, pour the batter in small amounts, gently spread the batter around a bit to thin out to 4-5 inches. 
  • Flip when edges start to bubble (about 2 minutes), cook until other side is lightly browned (about 2 minutes).
  • Serve hot with a drizzle of maple syrup or your favorite pancake toppings!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

In The Wake of Steubenville

I'm going to be honest. I've had a pretty serious case of feminist fatigue as of late. I've identified as a feminist for two of three decades of my life. In the past 5 years, thanks in large part to taking on a Women's Studies minor in my undergrad work, and in large part to the feminist circles I run in on these here internets, my knowledge and awareness of feminist issues has exploded. Things like blatant sexism, subtle rape culture, and internalized misogyny are visible all around me, everywhere I turn, hanging over everything I see like a thick, dark, foul-smelling cloud that won't lift. It's hard to take pleasure in watching a television show or movie anymore, because it's rare that more than a few seconds go by without an example of one or the other of the above, marked by a simultaneous heavy sigh from me and a cringe from my husband, who is starting to see it everywhere now, too.

It is so, so big. And dark. And smelly.

And it's just not going anywhere. It's not budging. And I'm sick of it. And I'm tired. And when I speak up, I'm preaching to the choir. And the people who aren't in the choir think that the music doesn't exist and that the singing is a bunch of crazy nonsense.

And then news of the Steubenville rape started to spread a few months back, and now this week, news of the outcome of the trial. The "justice". I'm too tired to link to the articles that I think do the best job of describing the events, but if you're reading this, you're surely familiar. Some high school boys (two were charged) dragged an unconscious (or barely conscious) high school girl from party to party, sexually violating her, photographing and videoing their assault on her, circulating the photos and videos online, and laughing and high-fiving one another about it. And it's highly unlikely it's the first time this particular group of boys has done such a thing. And because they were hot shot high school football players, the whole thing got pretty much swept under the rug, until it got drug out again and they were forced to face what they had done. And they were found guilty for what they provided photographic and video proof that they did to that girl.

Then the media talked about what a sad and tragic and life-altering thing it was.

For the rapists.

The rapists who raped someone.

And there is outrage. Justified, angry outrage. I share in it deeply. I am angry at those boys. I am angry at their parents. I am angry at their friends for not stopping them. I am angry at their coaches and their school for looking the other way. I am angry at the people who are feeling sorry for them. I am angry at the society that would bring them up to not realize that what they did was wrong.

As angry as I am, I am far more sad. Defeated. Hopeless.

This is the world I have brought two children into. This is the world I have brought a girl and a boy into. A world where my daughter gets messages from every direction that she is an object. That her worth is based on what she looks like. That whether or not she will be violated and attacked will be partly her responsibility, based on her behavior, her clothing, or her level of intoxication. A world where my son gets messages from every direction that women are a commodity to be consumed by him, a possession he is owed by virtue of owning a penis. That he is not expected to be in control of his actions or desires because boys will be boys.

As I sat taking in some of the thoughtful, angry, absolutely necessary and appropriate reactions to it all, I sat nursing my sweet baby boy. I looked down at that innocent little baby boy, and a wave of love for him washed over me, and I thought of the mothers of those boys that raped that girl, and how their sons were sweet little babies once too. And I cried.

We are failing our daughters; and we are failing our sons.

So in the wake of all this that weighs so heavily on me, and with this dread that this world simply won't change fast enough for it to make a real difference for my children, I'm left wondering what I can do that will make a difference for them.

What I can do is everything in my power to teach and guide them, and to be an example to them.

I can teach them that they have value and worth, and that all other people do, too. When I chose to give birth to them, I granted them full status as human beings. They have a say over who touches them and how, and nothing they do, or wear, or drink, takes that say away. I can teach them that "no means no," but that more importantly, the default is "no," and that "the only yes is a yes." A person who hasn't said or who can't say yes has said no, whether they've heard it or not.

I can teach them that it is never, ever, not at all their fault if someone hurts them. I can teach them that it is always, every time, 100% their fault if they intentionally hurt someone else.

I can teach them to treat alcohol and other substances with respect and to consume them carefully. I can teach them that alcohol can be dangerous, and not because abusing it can get you raped, or can cause you to rape someone, but because abusing it can lead you to make bad decisions or even to become addicted.

I can teach them to take care of each other and the people around them. To speak up when people say hurtful or dehumanizing things about others. To step in when someone might hurt someone else. That if if they are scared to step in or it isn't safe to step in, they should get help from someone who can. I can teach them that they can call me or their father, in any situation, without fear of getting in trouble, and that we will help.

So for a brief moment, I am hanging up my "angry feminist" hat on this one, and I am letting my very capable sisters (some of whom I'll link at the end of this) carry that torch. I will cloak myself instead in the warm and varied garments of  "mother with lots of feelings." I will relish the bursts of oxytocin as my son drinks in his nourishment from my breasts, relish his smiles and his inquisitive eyes, and I will be thankful that today, no one will hurt him, and he will not hurt anyone. I will delight in my daughter's laughter and her songs, in her passion for creating elaborate train tracks, and I will be thankful that today, no one will hurt her, and she will not hurt anyone. I will make smiley face breakfasts and change diapers and will this time in which my children's lives are so simple to last forever.

I will feel sad for the little girl who got hurt. I will feel sad for her mommy. I will feel sad that those little boys somehow missed the message, as they grew into young men, that people have value, and that they are not entitled to use people for their own amusement or enjoyment. I will feel sad for their mommies.

And it won't be long, I can almost guarantee, before I put that angry feminist hat back on and resume preaching to the choir. If the swelling crescendo of the chorus in response to the events of Steubenville has shown me anything, it has shown me that little by little, person by person, day by day, the choir grows. Every day more people are hearing the music for the first time; they are realizing that the music is indeed real, and that singing is worthwhile, and like I did, they are joining the choir. We will keep singing, louder and louder, and we won't stop until the whole world joins in our song.


Here are some important things to think about, from women who said them better than I could have, even I'd had the energy:

A Letter to my Sons About Stopping Rape
I am not Your Wife, Sister or Daughter. I am a Person.
Modern Sexism
So You're Tired of Hearing About Rape Culture

Broccoli Cheddar Quinoa Bites

Last summer, I tried and shared a recipe for Quinoa Pizza Bites. My sister brought me some cooked quinoa and I wanted to make some, but didn't have the right ingredients on hand, so I decided to try my hand at a cheesy broccoli version instead. The results were delicious! This recipe makes approximately 36 "bites" which I assume freeze well. (I just found some of the pizza bites in the back of my freezer from August, and they held up great!) It takes about 5-10 minutes of preparation and 15-20 minutes of baking time.

What You'll Need:

  • 2 Cups cooked Quinoa
  • 2 Cups chopped fresh broccoli florets (I imagine frozen would do in a pinch)
  • 2 Cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp ground mustard
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp of your favorite all-purpose seasoning

What You'll Do:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  • Prepare a mini-muffin tin by spraying with cooking spray, greasing in your chosen manner, or filling with mini-muffin papers. (I used cooking spray.)
  • Combine all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.
  • Spoon mixture into mini-muffin pan (heaping tablespoon) and press down lightly with the back of the tablespoon.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes.
  • Allow to cool on wire racks.
  • Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Baby Wearing Just Like Mama

Delilah loves wearing her babies! The other day when she saw me get Canon cozy in a wrap, she put the ring sling on all by herself and had Daddy help her put her baby in it. She corrected him on positioning and told him to make sure the baby's head was OUT! :)

Mama wearing newborn little brother Canon in the same sling (a Rockin' Baby Reversible Ring Sling):

She's also very fond of her Beco Mini Doll Carrier!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

March Simply Living Blog Carnival

Welcome to the March edition of the Simply Living Blog Carnival - Clearing the Clutter cohosted by Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children, Laura at Authentic Parenting, Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy, and Joella at Fine and Fair. This month our participants wrote about de-cluttering and cleaning up. Please check out the links to their thoughts at the end of this post.
Unfortunately, I was unable to de-clutter my life enough to make time to write for the carnival this month, but there are lots of great tips in the participants' posts below!


  Thank you for visiting the Simply Living Blog Carnival cohosted by Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children, Laura at Authentic Parenting, Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy, and Joella at Fine and Fair. Read about how others are incorporating simple living into their lives by clearing out the clutter. We hope you will join us next month, as the Simply Living Blog Carnival focuses on Going Green!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Simply Living Blog Carnival: March Call for Submissions

Welcome to the Simply Living Blog Carnival cohosted by Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children, Laura at Authentic Parenting, Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy, and Joella at Fine and Fair. We hope that you will join us on the third Tuesday of each month as we share posts about simple living in our lives. Submission deadline will be the second Tuesday of each month. Clearing the Clutter.

Not all clutter is physical, but any type of clutter can get to us. Do you declutter on a regular basis? Have you cut back on activities to spend more time as a family? Did you struggle with letting go? Share with us your views on clutter and how you incorporate those views into your lives.

To submit an article to the blog carnival, please e-mail your submission to mandy{at}livingpeacefullywithchildren{dot}com anddelilahfineandfair{at}gmail{dot}com, and fill out the webform by March 12. Please write a new, unpublished piece for the carnival. We will e-mail you with instructions before the carnival date. We ask that you publish your post on March 19.

We want you to use creativity and to express yourself as you see fit. To that end, you are welcome to post at your discretion with a few guidelines in mind. Please be respectful in your posts. Avoid excessive profanity and poor grammar or spelling. As the co-hosts of the carnival are all advocates of peaceful living and gentle parenting, we ask that you not post about non-gentle practices or violence toward others. While we will not be editing your articles, we do reserve the right to not add your post to the carnival if it is not on topic, is poorly written, or goes against the guidelines which have been set forth.

 Blog carnivals are a great way to generate blog traffic and build a supportive community. Your blog will receive links from many other blogs and you and your readers will have the opportunity to discover other blogs with similar goals in mind. Please join us as we embrace Simply Living through Simple Living! We hope you will consider joining us every month as we discuss ways we simplify our lives.
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