Today I would like to share a recipe that my Slavic community constantly uses and one that I have grown up with. This is organic homemade juice, with no additives, no high fructose corn syrup, and no concentrate or chemicals that may harm you, your family, and your little ones.
Once my son started eating and drinking liquids other than breast milk, I really wanted to be able to give him juice but something that was healthy and beneficial to him not just taste good and be harmful. I remembered how my mom and aunts would always make juice at home and it was delicious. This juice can be made with all sorts of fruits, whether one type of fruit or multiple fruit. I usually use apples as a base for my juice and tend to add strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, or whatever fruit I have on hand. Even just apples is satisfying to quench your thirst.
WHAT YOU WILL NEED (Sizes can be adjusted)
2 gallon pot
1 gallon of water
13 medium sized apples,
A handful of blueberries
A handful of blackberries
A handful of raspberries
Bring water to a boil
While water is boiling, cut apples into slices, the skin can stay on
Once water is brought to a boil, place all fruits into the water and cover
Let the fruit boil in the water for about 20-30 minutes.
Pour the juice through a strainer or cheese cloth to separate the boiled fruit from the juice.
The juice will be hot. I usually pour into a big mixing bowl
Once strained pour into a air tight jar if not drinking right away.
For a stronger taste to develop, let it sit for a couple hours or even a couple days.
If drinking right away, let it cool down and add sugar to sweeten.
Are you looking for a quick dinner meal? This meal is quick to make and does not require a lot of major ingredients! I was able to feed myself and my husband and have some for my 11 month old. This is my first time writing a recipe of mine out, therefore it definitely will not sound professional, but bare with me.
1 pound chicken breasts
1 cup of soy sauce
1/2 cup of honey
2 Tablespoons of Fajita seasoning (bought or homemade)
Mini potatoes (roughly 30)
1/2 stick of unsalted butter
1/2 head of cauliflower
1/2 long cucumber
1 container of grape tomatoes
1/2 an onion
1 cup of mayo
In a container, mix 1 cup of soy sauce with 1/2 a cup of honey and 2 tablespoons of fajita seasoning.
With a fork, puncture the chicken breasts on both sides and place into the marinade sauce. Cover and put aside to marinade while you prepare the rest. (I typically let it marinade for several hours if I know in advance I will be preparing this meal)
Cut the mini potatoes in half and place in salted boiling water. Roughly for about 6 minutes, until it has been almost cooked through.
While potatoes are boiling, break the cauliflower into smaller bite size pieces and place into a bowl.
Cut the cucumber into slices and then in half and place with the cauliflower.
Cut the grape tomatoes in half and place with the cauliflower and cucumbers.
Dice the onion and add to the bowl.
Mix in a cup of mayo and salt to taste. The salad is done.
Remove potatoes from the boiling water and strain.
Place back into the skillet or pan on medium heat and add the unsalted butter. Let the butter melt around the potatoes. Do not mix often to avoid breaking the potatoes.
Add onion powder, garlic powder, and salt based on your preference. Remove potatoes once they have become golden brown.
While waiting for the potatoes to become golden brown, take the chicken breast and place onto a skillet at medium to high heat. Pour the marinade sauce over the chicken and cover to catch the steam and prevent the meat from drying out. Flip meat over after 10 minutes or once golden brown and cook other side.
Today I had a complete mom day. By that I mean everything that I had planned was totally destroyed. I had planned to meet with my friend and her daughter who is the same age as my son for a little picnic in the park. No I’m not quarantining or social distancing. Judge all you want, I don’t care. Any who, we planned to meet at 1:30, my son’s nap time. But I was thinking I’d put him to sleep in the stroller and we’ll be fine.
I decided to leave an hour early to stop by the grocery store thinking the lines won’t be there since it was about midday. Boy was I wrong. Thanks Coronavirus. So I decided not to go in and thought I’d arrive at the park a little earlier. As soon as I get there, my friend texts me asking if we could meet later since she just got home from waiting in line forever at Costco and her daughter just fell asleep…
Now picture this, I’m at the park with a cranky baby no longer meeting my friend and have to drive 20 minutes back home and put him to sleep. My picnic bag was all ready by the way. And once I got home I now had to put an overtired toddler to sleep which is harder than normal tired. And then my friend has to cancel completely because her mom was over.
From one plan going awry, I couldn’t go grocery shopping and didn’t have our play date. Total bust of a day.
Any body else have total mom days where EVERYTHING goes wrong??
As I sit here inside my home, during this time of chaos, the selfish people come out from hiding and tear the food off the store shelves. They store it for themselves, leaving the next family to come in and have almost nothing to choose from. If everyone shopped like usual, the food would still be there, as we are still allowed to go grocery shopping. During this time, I start to think of my son’s future and I hope, I trully hope and wish my son does not have to witness this fear. But if he does, I hope he does not catch the fear but lets faith remain in his heart. May his faith in our Lord remain and counsel him. For if Yaweh (Our Father God) takes care of the birds soaring in the sky and the creatures roaming through the fields, wildreness, and woods, then surely he will take care of him and you.
Throughout this time of the Coronavirus going around, I must say it has affected me more than I would like to admit. Since it first started going around, I tried to not look too far into it, and regected its existance in this world, whether it was purposefully made to go around or if it was just a mere coincidence. I continued on with living like I always do and shopping like I always do, until I couldn’t buy the meat I needed for a dinner meal for my family.
And then the nurning homes shut their doors and access to my father was taken from me, my mom, and my siblings. During a time when my dad needs us the most, we are not capable of being their physically next to him. The relationship with my dad was very rocky until his near dear experience recently, putting him in a nursing home for rehabilitaion. And when our relationship was finally healing and the excitement to see him was starting to come back, it was taken from me. I am thankful we can still talk on the phone, but I sure do look forward to when I can see him again in person.
My mom is currently sick as well, no she has not been tested for the coronavirus, but has been isolating herself inside her home for about a week or more now with my two brothers. I know she will be okay but I have not been able to be much in contact with her, as I used to see her every day. Now I quickly drop off food on the porch or kitchen table at hands reach from the front door and make my way back home.
In America, we have gotten so used to have everything at our fingertips. And I hope this time wakes us up to appreciate all that is around us, including the little things like going to the park or eating out with friends or family. Even grabbing a coffee at the local coffee shop. Or having a family gathering or birthday party, which right now is out of reach. And to the women who are giving birth without their loved ones present, I applaud you and give you my prayers and encourage you to stay strong. For this will be written into your history and will be a testimony that you can share. Know that you are not alone, as there are other women going through the same feelings you are. And your loved ones are also hurting knowing that they can not be there next to you. Keep your heads up and focus on the boy or girl that will soon be in your arms, loving you completely and entirely. My heart does hurt for you knowing your fear of giving birth alone.
Stay in contact during your labor either through the phone or face time or any way possible. Your family is also anticipating and will have you in their minds and hearts as you bring life into this world.
As fast as the Coronavirus came, lets hope that’s how fast it will be gone.
I am no doctor but if you are feeling sick, take high doses of Vitamin C!
This post will be a little different than my other posts, as I am out here seeing if I can relate to some other mothers out there. Do you ever feel like a bad mother? Or that your little one deserves better? Whether it is because you didn’t get to your son or daughter in time and they fell and started crying? Or they are teething and you thought they were just being cranky but really they are in pain. Or one day you think they are crying for no reason but turns out their tummy really hurts.
Does every mother beat themselves up mentally, hoping or wishing that they were better or should be better? Is it just mom guilt? Do we not see ourselves as confident women or wonderful mothers just because we are more judgmental of ourselves than others?
Today is one of those days for me. My almost 9 month old son is sick with a small cold and each time I go to wipe his runny nose it really irritates him and he starts to cry. His naps were sort of off schedule today making him a little tired and I just felt all over the place. Now here I am wishing I was better for him today.
Today feels like a day where I let myself down, or let my standards down a little. So as of right now, I am looking forward to tomorrow. To start fresh and be the best mother I can be for my little boy, and the best wife I can be for my husband, as well as a better person for myself and those around me. It’s hard to not judge yourself or criticize yourself when you have these goals or envision the type of person you want to be.
That brings us to the question: What kind of mother do I want to be?
I want to be a mother where at the end of the day I deserve that hot bath because I did everything I could to take care of my family, one that made the meals and satisfied the hunger and thirst of my son. A mother that put her phone down to crawl around the floor and enjoying the small moments that will one day no longer be there. I want to be a mother that puts a smile on my son’s face and am there to hold him if he gets hurt or the mother that quickly catches her son before he gets hurt.
I don’t want to be inattentive, missing the moment my son stands up for the first time or takes his first step or says his first word. I don’t want him to feel that my phone takes time away from him.
I want to leave you with a story that always make me think. I was told this story a few days back and can’t get it out of my head.
One day a little boy was at school and he was given an assignment. The teacher told the students to write about what they would like to be if they could choose anything or anyone in the world. The little boy turned in his assignment which was read by the teacher. The little boy wrote… If I could be anything in the world I would like to be a cell phone. Then maybe my parents would pay more attention to me. Then maybe they would want to play with me. And just maybe they would always have time to talk to me.
May we always have time for our children, giving them the love and attention they not only desire but also need.
As my son is almost 9 months old, I can already see that he will be walking soon. There are so many different types of walkers out there. I personally prefer wooden toys when I can, so when I found this wooden walker on Amazon, I was thrilled! It is slightly difficult to assemble but once I was done with it, I was in love with the outcome. My son is still getting used to it but little by little I see him using it more.
When my son was a new born, he got one of the worst diaper rashes where he was constantly crying. The rash was red and looked like some of his skin was starting to rub off. I at first did not know what to do. I started applying diaper creams but nothing was helping right away until I realized that the fastest way to heal it was also the easiest. If your little one seems to be getting a diaper rash, get a small bowl and put warm water in it as well as some soap and mix it so that the soap is dissolved in the water. Next taken a cotton ball and dip it into the warm water and wipe the diaper rash gently. Let this air dry. Once the rash air drys, put some organic coconut oil on it. You will start seeing results that very day.
Coconut oil, coconut oil, and coconut oil. I am a big fan of coconut oil for my son. I use it all the time when I see a rash about to form, when his skin is dry, or after a nice bath for some smooth skin. I no longer use lotions. Coconut oil is not only organic but also seems to work better than everything else. If you are breast feeding/pumping, breast milk is amazing for helping dry skin. When my son had cradle cap, I started to apply a little bit of breast milk on his head and it helped it go away.
Once again I would like to mention coconut oil. When my son got thrush when he was about a month old I believe, I searched for natural ways to take the thrush away so that not only was it better for him, but so it would not spread. I smeared a little bit of coconut oil on my finger and rubbed it onto this tongue.
Organic Coconut Oil (Refined v.s Unrefined)
I prefer to purchase unrefined coconut oil. The natural the better.
Refined: Refined coconut oil is better for things like baking and cooking, as it has a longer shelf life, is also odorless and tasteless.
Unrefined: Unrefined coconut oil has a slight coconut smell to it, which preferably I like, and it also has a slight taste to it. Unrefined also has more health benefits.
I will paste a link below on the coconut oil I prefer
When I first started my journey with breast feeding, as in my other post, it did not turn out how I had planned and from starting off with exclusively breast feeding I started exclusively pumping.
In the beginning of my pumping days I started with a Spectra pump provided by the hospital I gave birth in. I must say I really did like it, other than the fact that pumping in general made me feel like a milk making machine or some sort of cow being milked. The Spectra was really easy to use and had minimal buttons to press, and included a little light so that you can see what you are doing in the dark, if you pump during the night.
If you know that you are pumping, definitely do some investing in a durable, rechargeable, portable pump. Pumping gets easier if you know you can travel with it and not worry about finding an outlet.
Two great options for that would be an Elvie pump and a Willow pump. Both are expensive but with the time you will be spending pumping, it makes it worth it. They fit snuggling right into your maternity bra and suction onto your breasts when turned on. If I had known about these pumps earlier, I could have saved on so much headaches, stress, and anxiety from the pressure of being home or finding a place to pump. Both come at around the same price, one pump for around $280 or double pumps for $500. The willow I believe only sells as a double.
I personally have the older version of the Willow Pump, the Willow 1.0 but right now they have a 2.0 that is out. With the 2.0 you can either pump straight into the bags that you can purchase from them, making it easier to pump and store during travel, or you can pump straight into the container and dump into a storage bag of your choice or bottle. The Willow 1.0 can only pump into their spill proof storage bags. From the research that I have done, a lot of people say that it is silent but from owning one I will say that you can hear it but it is definitely quieter than a normal pump.
Both the Willow and Elvie pumps connect to an app that keeps track of all your pumping sessions as well as the ounces pumped, whether the right breast or from the left breast and also stops pumping automatically once the bags or containers are filled. Both pumps are very easy to put together and also simple to clean.
My sister-in-law has the double Elvie pumps and she loves it as well. Being a new mom and knowing that she would be pumping, she got two right away to double pump and save on time. This also allows her to be able to pump while she is making dinner for her husband or is out on the road visiting friends or family, or if she is running late to an appointment, she can pump on the road, which I have also personally done. To be able to pump in the car is amazing and relieving.
They try to advertise them as being silent and unnoticeable but from my experience, they are not as silent as some say and you can notice them because they make your breasts look like they doubled in size. So, I would not be out at a restaurant with them in my bra but if that works for you then go right ahead! I just found it easy to go places as I could easily pump in the car every few hours or in any bathroom en route.
I got my portable Willow pumps too late, when my son was 7 months because I was so tired of dealing with pumping only at home or carrying around the big pump and trying to find an outlet wherever I went.
For my next pregnancy I will be investing in the Willow 2.0 to not have to deal with what I dealt with during the beginning few months of my pumping journey. I am choosing the Willow 2.0 because it can pump straight into the storage bags or the container made for it, giving me more options. If straight into their storage bags then there is less to clean as well. Although you need to keep buying their specific storage bags.
So, all you mothers, invest in your happiness! Because these pumps definitely make a difference. They have in mine and they will in yours too! And no I am not sponsored by them, just writing this from experience and hoping I can save some of you from doing the mistake that I did and got them too late.
Final Pros and Cons of Willow Pump
Easy to store
Can pump into storage bags
Can pump into container
Easy to clean
Better suction than Elvie
Can pump anywhere anytime
Not completely silent
Can only use their specific storage bags to pump into
Suction is less than Spectra or Medela
Final Pros and Cons of Elvie Pump
Easy to store
Pumps into container
Easy to clean
Quieter than the Willow
Can pump anywhere anytime
Can slightly hear it
Has a light on when in use that you can see through your shirt
Breastfeeding. Sounds so easy, doesn’t it? You just feed the baby with your boob. Well, as easy as it sounds, it couldn’t be any farther from the truth. My breastfeeding journey did start off easy, and I thought I had lucked out or that secretly I was a pro and had breastfeeding all down to the core, as my little newborn come out latching perfectly, making me one proud mama.
I had taken a breastfeeding class prior to my giving birth and was confident that everything was going to go well. Little did I know that I would soon become educated and experienced when it comes to milk ducts getting clogged, Mastitis, as well as breast abscesses. Yes, it did go that far for me and yes as horrible as it sounds, it was so much worse.
A week into my breast feeding journey I had a home nurse visit, which was optional, just to check in and make sure I was adjusting well with the baby and if I had any questions, as well as weigh the baby and such. I was never thinking too much about how my breasts were feeling until she started asking me questions, did my breasts feel okay, have I noticed any tenderness, soreness, any spots warm to the touch, etc. Which in turn had me answering that everything seemed to be going good.. That is until she left and I started seeing and feeling all the symptoms that she was describing. The symptoms for a clogged milk duct.
Once I realized that I had a clogged milk duct, I freaked out. I called my breastfeeding mentor and completely broke down over the phone, telling her how scared I was. A great way to get rid of a clogged milk duct is to apply a warm compression to the area while massaging it. That is if your little one can’t suck it out. You are still supposed to feed from that breast, because nothing can suck better than your baby. But aside from that, definitely apply a warm compression and massage the area with your thumb, putting pressure outwards as if you are pushing the milk out. That’s what cleared my first clogged milk duct.. As well as the second.
Now when it came to my third clogged milk duct, I must say I did not take it as serious as I should have. And what made it worse was that it was in the same spot as one of my previous clogged milk ducts. My third clogged milk duct developed into Mastitis.
Mastitis occurs when the clogged milk duct becomes infected. You start to get fevers and the pain increases. Once I got Mastitis, I was given antibiotics by my OB. Which I took for several days. The antibiotics did not work and I then was referred to a lactation consultant and prescribed a different antibiotic. At this point my mastitis had already developed into a breast abscess.
I was once again seen by my OB who confirmed I now had a breast abscess, and boy was it painful. I had been going through misery for about a month at this point, getting adapted to my fevers and the pain in my breast. And at the same time I hated looking at myself and seeing this huge lump just bulging out the side of my breast.
I was referred to a surgeon at the nearby hospital and scheduled for them to drain my breast abscess with a needle. Ouch! Relief flooded my body as I was finally going to get rid of this lump of pain. Or so I thought. That same night my breast abscess returned and just as big. The next day I sluggishly dragged myself to the emergency room, for I was exhausted mentally from having to deal with this for so long. I was again scheduled for surgery then and there but this time the surgeon was to make an incision and I was going under anesthesia.
That night I was going to drop breast feeding all together, for fear of having this all happen again. For the sake of my son, I stuck to giving him my milk, for I knew that was what was best for him. Through all the aches and pains and even to the last string, a mom will always be a mom, and will always stay strong for the sake of her children.
If you were to ask me, “Were you ready to have a baby?” my answer would definitely be “No.” You will never be “ready” to have your first child. But, I definitely did want my baby boy and I sure was excited to meet him.
From the first day I found out I was pregnant I was ecstatic! We had not been really trying, but we weren’t preventing either and were willing to go with the flow, whether I got pregnant or not. So, when I took the pregnancy test for the first time, I was excited but also still in disbelief and took the test three more times. Yes, THREE more times! And still it was hard to believe that I, ME, was having a baby. That a tiny little human with fingers and toes was starting its’ life inside of me.
So back to the first question, was I ready to become a mom? No. But did I want to become a mom? YES. So at the same time the excitement kicked in, so did the fear. I knew I would have to take work off, but in my case I was going to become a stay at home mom. I knew my life was going to change completely and I started to worry about what it would become. Would I miss work? Would I still be able to see my friends? Would I enjoy being a mother? How will my body change? And the scariest of all, What will it be like giving birth?
A thousands questions started to pop into my head. Was I ready to sacrifice my time? And will I still have a life? All these questions I will answer as you join my journey of being a stay at home mom. Follow my blog and I hope you enjoy the read and that any mothers out there can relate to me and not feel alone. Because yes, I did go through a tough time of feeling sad and then guilty for being sad about my new life with my son and being a mother, but I am taking it one day at a time and am willing to share my life and journey with you. Stay strong all you mamas and women! We got this!