Joanna’s Battle. Please Help. #CancerSucks

10 Jul
For the Love of Jo

Photo Cred: Jo’s Facebook Page

Joanna Sadaka. Her personality is as fiery as her name is cool.

We met Jo when signed to Island Records, years and years ago. I actually saw her last, at our old band manager’s funeral (RIP, John), so it’s been a few years. Like everyone that I don’t see on a daily basis now, I keep up with her fire and passions on Facebook and Instagram. I love Jo. She’s a beautiful person inside and out and deserves to live a long and full life.

I knew things had been rough with her family, but one day, she posted that she too was sick. It seemed that she would be ok, and was released from the hospital, just to get home, still struggle to feel “right”, and ended up in a different hospital that was able to accurately diagnose her illness.

Pancreatic cancer.

Shit.

Since April of this year, she’s been through hell and back, but is continuing to fight. After 4 rounds of chemo, she found out mid June that she needed 6 more weeks of chemo treatment.

I came across this fundraiser tonight and needed to post it. If you’re able to, even $5.00 will help Jo and her and her family. Her mom has breast cancer, her dad is hospitalized for tumors of a different sort, too. They need help. Please, please, please, help them if you can. If you can’t any positive thoughts and prayers you can donate will also for surely be appreciated.

Help Jo and her family.

Help Jo and her family.

 

New Mommy Must-Haves

11 Jun

When you’re about to have a baby, it seems that everyone has advise on what said baby needs to survive in the outside world. However, no one really talks about what the mommy will need to survive those first months of milky messes, dehydration, sleep depravation, and wardrobe malfunctions.

I managed to make it, as did so many of my friends before me, but as I watch my other friends who are becoming new moms struggle to perfect both their registries and homes in anticipation of their new arrival, I’ve decided to put a little list of mommy must-haves together. This is for you and your baby, because with the knowledge of these things in advance of having the baby, you will hopefully be a little more prepared, and you’ll be able to focus more on the importance of that new little lover. The list isn’t long, but I hope it’s helpful!

1. Water… all the time. WATER.

Keep Yourself Hydrated

Keep Yourself Hydrated

This was my number 1, most adored accessory (besides my new baby, of course). Brita’s individual water filtration system. I was/am a breastfeeder, which means that hydration is/was key for me to produce enough milk to nourish my baby. The biggest cause in my milk supply dips were typically related to how much water I was drinking. This thing saved me. You can fill it up anywhere and unlike a normal reusable water bottle, it doesn’t matter where the water comes from, it’s super easy to clean. It’s available at Target, or on Amazon. The replacement filters are available at either retailer as well. Super easy. No excuse to not be hydrated! I still use mine and love it.

2. Nursing Tanks

Keep 'em Comfy... and Available

Keep ‘em Comfy… and Available

If you’re going to be a breastfeeding mama, you’re likely going to be living in a nursing bra of some sort for the next year or so. I wish I’d have been prepared for this. You will need to have access to your boobs ALL OF THE TIME, and sometimes at the worst time, plus your old sexy bras aren’t going to fit for a while. I found that the best and easiest way to be able to nurse in public (and even at home, in mixed company) was to wear a nursing tank under every other shirt I wore. Here’s the reason; when you have to nurse and you don’t want to be overly exposed on top, or show off your awesome new “tiger striped” (or flabby) belly on the bottom, the tank covers your tummy, and when worn underneath another shirt, you can lift the top layer up, and lower just the top part of the tank to feed your babe, allowing you to comfortable hide part of your breast with the top shirt, while totally accommodating your baby. I also found this extremely helpful when the weather was hot and the Hooter Hider was just too sweaty and clunky. I mean, don’t get me wrong. The hooter hider was awesome at first, but as soon as my baby decided that he didn’t like having fabric over his face, and could reach out and pull, there was no point. Buy nursing tanks. You will thank me.

Scoop Neck or Low Cut Tops/Comfy Bottoms

When we got home from the hospital, I struggled with not having a thing to wear, once the baby was out of my belly and in my arms. My very wrongfully dressed arms. I came home with a baby (and what looked like a 6 month pregnant, postpartum belly) and realized that it was too cold to wear tank tops middle of winter (in Los Angeles, but still). All of my long sleeve shirts were too high necked and I had a hard time feeding the baby without lifting my shirt and starting at my belly full of swollen tissue and bloat. I had to cut the necks off of long sleeved shirts, so that I had easy access to the “feeding station”, and so that the middle-of-the-night feedings weren’t a total cluster necessitating a clumsy, sleepy-eyed, wardrobe change. If you’re a winter birther, get some low necked tee’s or thermals, so you can stay warm. If you’re a summer mama, who cares. Live nekkid (or in cami’s). Additionally, your pre-preg pants will be too tight for a while, and you’ll be wearing your maternity jeans for longer than you probably expected as well. Make sure to be well stocked on comfy sweats (not tight pants right at first, or you’ll expose your fancy new under garments) or lounge/pajama pants. Shirts with a low neckline are also optimal for feeding baby when you’re home, or don’t care about exposure. Camisoles and V-neck T’s become a must.

“Granny” Panties

Comfy Matters

Comfy Matters

Because the kind you’re used to, just aren’t going to work for postpartum things. Thankfully, my older sister, Nadia (mother of 3), knew what I would need and made sure I had them on hand. She’s also supplied me with massage oils and other fun recovery items, and that was really great of her, but the big ol’ granny pants? Those saved me.

Nursing Pads/Mattress Pads/Washable Surface Pads

Most people know about nursing pads, but make sure you have a solid, waterproof (or milk proof) mattress pad on your bed as well. Some people (not mentioning names) can have REALLY high milk supplies in the early months and end up having to wash their sheets almost daily… Or just living in what feels like purgatory for a while, because you just can’t keep up with all that laundry, so you sleep in old milk. We co-slept and my babe would drool milk all night long, in addition to the spouts I found attached to my body, that had a mind of their own. I ended up cutting an old mattress pad up, sewing a sheet onto it, and creating my own “waterproof sheet”, which resembled a washable puppy pee pad. I put it on top of my regular bed sheets, and the baby and I just slept on that.   It’s much easier to toss in with other laundry, than it was to strip the bed everyday. I wish I’d have made it in advance, but then again, I probably wouldn’t have been so leaky if that were the case (Murphy’s Law loves me). Anyway, “water stains” automatically void your bed’s warrantee, so if that’s a thing for you and you want to have the ability to make a claim on your bed one day, should you develop a good “taco” in the middle from all the snuggling, KEEP IT SAFE.

A Flexible Mindset

Breastfeeding does not burn calories for everyone in the same way. Not everyone who breastfeeds (or exclusively pumps) will loose their baby weight by doing so. This is a fact. If you’re lucky enough to get back into your old clothes in the first few months of your baby’s life, god love ya. I’m still working on that 16 months later. Some of us just hold on to weight differently. I’m convinced that all of the crash dieting I did in my 20′s taught my body to hold on to every calorie it could, because it needed to feed someone else. It’s primal survival for your infant. Anyway, all of this to say, be flexible if things don’t go as you expect. It’s ok! Your baby needs your body to produce milk, not to lose weight. For me, every attempt at exercise or calorie cutting, negatively impacted my supply almost immediately. Not the case for everyone, but this was the case for me and that’s ok.

If you had something that was imperative to your early motherhood survival, leave it in the comments!

Diaper Sale at Target

10 Jun
$10 gift card with the purchase of 2 boxes!

$10 gift card with the purchase of 2 boxes!

I always run out of diapers.

I’m not sure why/how, but it happens all the time!

Anyway, I typically order on Diapers.com, but run out anyway while waiting for the order to arrive, so I have to go to Target to buy on demand. This week, I went to Target in advance of running out, and they were out of our size in 3 different brands!!! It was like the diaper fairy for size 4 babies showed up and stole them all.

Anyway, thank goodness, because today, I had to go back to Target because we were completely out, and they’re having an amazing sale. Sharing is caring, kids.

For most brands (including our Seventh Generation or Babyganics preference), if you buy two boxes, you get a $10 gift card at check out. On top of it, the box of 80 Babyganics, size 4, diapers are on sale from $27.99 to $24.99, so you save $3 on each box, then get a $10 gift card, so really, it’s like you’re saving $16.

You’re welcome.

My Hot Bloggy Mess

5 Jun
One Hot Mess; A Linkup by The Fike Life.

One Hot Mess; A Linkup by The Fike Life.

I dream about blogging all day long. In fact, I have written hundreds I witty posts in my imagination that will never be remembered when I actually have the time to write them down.

In my head, I’m awesome. Hilarious. So entertaining. Helpful when help is needed, be it child-rearing advice (because I’m such an expert) or a bubble of laughter. I’m your blogger. You identify with me and I with you. I drink belinis every night as I sit on my porch overlooking the wilderness, computer on my lap, thoughtful gaze on my face. I make your life feel more understood, and well, we inspire each other’s Pinterest boards, because my photography of normal life’s events is just so amazing. I’ve always got my laundry done, my kitchen clean, my roots bleached, eyebrows waxed, bed made, dinner on the table by 5:30, and nightstands clear of glasses and tissues, and I still have time to make my husband feel like the rock of my fortress. Also, my perfect toddler naps for hours on end, and sleeps a perfect 12 hours at night, waking up no earlier than 7:00AM. Of course, I wake up an hour before my family (since my family is on a perfect and predictable sleeping schedule) and have time for “me” as I get ready for my day, showering away the perfectly unsweaty night’s sleep, sipping my cuppa’ coffee, all while preparing for another glorious day.

I am perfect. No, I’m not. 

Living in my wild imagination is pure bliss, but when you’re living in my body, it’s exactly the opposite.

This is my guest room... not that any guests could use it.

This is my guest room… not that any guests could use it.

Computer is still on the couch opened to work emails about motorcycles (yes I work with motorcycles) not all the blogs I’ve bookmarked “to read at some future date”, I don’t have a porch overlooking the wilderness (unless you call West Hollywood “wild”), I don’t know exactly what goes into a belini (just that I love them and have to pay $14 for them at any local restaurant – thanks, WeHo) and I have a house full of clean laundry begging to be put away, dirty laundry dying to be washed (lest my dogs pee on the pile again), dishes in the sink and bathroom needing to be scrubbed. Floors, oh the floors… wearing socks that accumulate the hair of my two dogs counts as “sweeping” right? I party all the time too, but those parties (like the one I just had) consist of cleaning out the fridge and finally cleaning up the sticky salad dressing that spilled on the top shelf two months ago. It’s a blast.

Hooray for reality, transparency and hot messes.

I can’t count on consistency in my family’s schedule, but I can count on the fact that no matter what… baby’s up. Gotta jam.

Some “Happy” for Your Monday (WATCH)

2 Jun

This is not my child, and I don’t know these people, but this is a MUST WATCH for your Monday.

Get ready for a heart explosion of cuteness:

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