Saturday, October 23, 2010

Article on Vitamin K for newborns

Here is a great article with sources on some risks of the Vitamin K injection after birth. It also gives alternatives to the shot, like my last post. I personally didn't give my baby the shot or the oral dose. I breast fed her directly after birth and practically all day and night for the first couple days. In the article, it mentions that there is a natural form of Vitamin K in colostrum. It is interesting to note that babies started having trouble with Vitamin K levels when hospitals routinely and immediately separated mom and baby for hours if not days after birth and weren't allowed to breast feed right away. After a couple days, mom's colostrum is gone and along with it the Vitamin K. After reading up on it, I think that Vitamin K shots or doses aren't necessary if my baby gets lots of immediate colostrum, but each parent has to make their own decision. Read this article and choose for yourself.

Article via Giving Birth Naturally.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Oral Vitamin K

Here is the site to order oral Vitamin K for babies after birth. Oral Vitamin K can be given instead of the routine shot. It is non-toxic, plant-derived, and fat soluable. It is believed by many natural birth practitioners that oral Vitamin K is a kinder, gentler way to administer this vitamin. It can even be taken by the nursing mother instead of the baby.

Here are some cool facts about babies:

•Babies are born with very poor vision.
•Babies are born with the ability to hold their breath.
•Babies are born without proper kneecaps.
•A study of 7000 mothers found that those who ate fish at least once per week had babies who scored higher in verbal skills at 15 months than those whose mothers ate no fish.
•Babies do not normally shed tears until 2 to 6 weeks.
•Babies are born with 300 bones, but by adult we have only 206 in our bodies.
•A newborn baby’s head accounts for about one-quarter of it’s entire weight.
•A fetus in the womb can hear. Tests have shown that fetuses respond to various sounds just as vigorously as they respond to pressures and internal sensations.

Facts taken from Cool Facts About Babies.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Miso Soup- the original Ramen noodle

I heard about how Miso soup is packed with all these vitamins and minerals on the radio a while back. Then my daughter and I were eating at the local sushi restaurant a few weeks ago and she couldn't get enough of the Miso soup! So I researched it and found out it is a powerhouse of nutrition. I bought a tub of the miso paste at Harmons, our local grocery store, and now use it for a quick lunch or dinner. Oh, and it's so packed with isoflavones that 2 - 3 bowls a week for mom is supposed to prevent breast cancer. I now consider this my ramen noodle soup substitute. It's just as fast and let's be honest, way better for your kids. How does no MSG sound? I'm loving that. Serving suggestions? I drop a whole egg in at the end to add protein and bok choy for more cancer-fighting power. But I love this picture of the long, wavy noodles. Trying that today for lunch. So here's to hot soups on chilly fall afternoons with your kids. Cheers!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Early Bird Special for Friday October 1st

Just a reminder that the earlybird special price for my HypnoBirthing classes in October ends Friday, October 1st. Email me your registration form and have your tuition deposit postmarked by then to qualify. Can't wait to see you there!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

HypnoBirthing® Classes in St. George, Utah

I'm so excited to announce that I will be offering HypnoBirthing® classes starting in October! Contact me via email at for a registration form and for details. I will start teaching mid-October, but if you sign up before October 1st, you get $50 off.

I'm thrilled to bring calm, gentle birthing to the Southern Utah area. To celebrate, I will be sharing HypnoBirthing related articles, videos and links for the next few weeks. Here is a link to some of the best Hypnobirthing stories I have ever read. They come from HypnoBirthing students of Carolyn Potter, who is a HypnoBirthing Educator and Hypnotherapist near Crowthorn, England. You have to scroll down to where it says "What do other parents say?" The third story is my favorite.

If you have a HypnoBirthing story, I would love to hear it, too!

Saturday, June 5, 2010


Summering for a month in Buenos Aires with my family.... be back in July. Chau!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Olive oil and my Ear

A couple weeks ago I picked up my phone while it was on speaker phone full blast and someone blasted my ear drum. Then a few days later, my opposite ear got all stuffed up, started ringing and I couldn't hear from it. I got a few fleeting headaches with it and was worried it would turn into an infection, so my husband candle burned an old newspaper while it was funneled and sticking in my ear, but all I felt was a little fizzling in my sinuses. Then we poured a few drops of warm extra virgin olive oil into my ear and covered it up with a wet, warm cloth. I pulled on it all day before that, and finally the next day it cleared up. I'm gald it didn't turn into an infection. Have you ever used olive oil to soothe an ear ache?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Birth Stories Blog

Hello readers, The girls at Birth Stories saw me on Design Mom and asked if they could post my story on their blog. This time, I included a picture of me in labor. (Check out how relaxed I am) I also really liked the home birth story posted before mine entitled, "The Home Birth of Rosie."

So, if you are pregnant and want an amazing birth, I would get a mid-wife. Part of the reason I loved my birth experience is because I had a mid-wife, who stayed with me through the whole labor and never left my side. I felt so at ease and reassured by her the whole time. I heart midwives. I would never think of birthing without one. Usually, you need to see your midwife throughout your labor for pre-natal check-ups so you get to know each other. But I only started seeing mine the last month of pregnancy, because I switched birthing centers. Not planning on having a home or birth-center birth? No problem. Midwives can go with you to the hospital.

A picture with my midwife, Kelly, one week post part um.

I am So Blessed

I finally convinced my boss to let me work from home and remote into the office on my laptop. I feel so blessed that I get to stay home and be my daughter's mother full-time. I love Hazel! These are some cute pictures of her after a baptism. Hazel is on the left, and her cute friend Hali'a is on the right.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Choline by Standard Process

Are you looking for a product to help clear up your "mommy brain" also known as memory loss during and after pregnancy? I take Choline from Standard Process. It has helped me remember what I want to blog about. You wouldn't believe the times I've had a great idea during the day about what to post the next day, and then when the next day came, I couldn't remember what it was. Does that kind of thing happen to you? It drives me crazy, but this totally natural supplement has helped clear the fog out of my memory. Want to learn more about how and why it works? Go here.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Hypnobirthing- Taking the Birthing World by Calm

By popular demand, I am posting about Hypnobirthing. Ever since my birth story was featured on Design Mom, I've gotten several requests for more information about the method I used. I recommend going to to get a basic over-view of Hypnobirthing and to find a practitioner in your area to take classes from if you are pregnant. Also, the Amazing-Birth website is a great resource to read articles on Hypnobirthing from media sources who have done stories on Hypnobirthing. Click on the "Amazing Birth Stories" tab to read some stories of natural birth via Hypnobirthing.

Go here to read another great Hypnobirthing story from a Hypnobirthing Practitioner in Rochester, NY.

I took a class from Hypnobirthing Practitioner Vivian Keeler with Amazing Births and Beyond in Miami Beach, FL. She was great. I loved the classes because it dispelled all my fears about birth through going over chapters in the Hypnobirthig Book, by watching videos of live, calm births from women all over the world, and by listening to the CD throughout the day and before going to bed. The CD really relaxed me and put positive thoughts in my head about birth. That was really the only "Hypnotic" part about Hypnobirthing, just listening to a cd. Plus I loved learning the deep breathing exercises in class with my husband and learning about the different natural birthing positions that help baby come down the quickest and without straining. I didn't get to "breathe my baby down" all the way because I had a doctor who took over and made me push. But if I would have had my wits about me, I would have told him off and kept breathing my baby down. I think the deep breathing helped me and my baby stay healthy during the pregnancy, because you take in so much oxygen and hold it, and then slowly let it out. When my baby came out, she was completely white and pink. I think that was in part due to the fact that I breathed so deeply and slowly during the birth, which kept oxygen flowing to her the whole time, hence her beautiful, healthy hue.

She was also the only baby underneath those horrible lights that didn't cry for the whole two hours she was there in observation. My husband watched her the whole time and said that she only let out a few little peeps, not even a cry. I like to think that was in part due to the fact that she had such a wonderful and calm birth experience.

Ten minutes after she was born, I immediately started nursing her for the next 45 minutes, until the nurse snatched her away from me. In the hypnobirthing classes, you are taught to apply skin to skin contact to the baby right after birth to a) keep it warm and b) foster a bond between mother and baby. It is thought that a baby's first few hours after birth shape the babies temperment and personality a lot. A plus for having your baby in a birth center or at home is that you control the hours directly following the birth.

What is great about Hypnobirthing is that it is a collaborative, not an alernative method. You can use it in any birth environment: in the hospital, in a birth center, or at home. I would recommend it to anyone who is pregnant and wants a calm, relaxed birth.

Images from IdealBirthing and WellBeing

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Non-toxic House Cleaners

It's springtime and it makes me want to clean the house. I like to use THIS product everywhere: kitchen floor, bathroom, cabinets, doors, even for carpet stains. It's called Advanage, The Wonder Cleaner and it's an all-purpose cleaner made from an aloe vera base. The lady who sold it to me even ate some to prove that it's natural and non-toxic. It comes in a huge, concentrated bottle, which lasts all year. I love it for killing ants, too. (Sorry if you think that's cruel, but we get infestations in the winter here. If you know of a different non-toxic ant-killer or deterant, let me know!) I love non-toxic cleaners that actually work, and this one totally does. And the best part about this cleaner is it smells good and you don't have to cover your nose and mouth while you use it. It's even safe to use during pregnancy. A huge bottle costs $39, but if you buy three you get a big discount. My friend, Daniella, uses Maleleuca products, which are also non-toxic and biodegradable. What cleaners work for you in your home?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A Milk Facial and Bath

Doesn't this sound refreshing? After the winter, my skin needs some serious revitalizing, especially since I live in the desert. Go here for instructions on how to do it.

Also, check out this milk bath recipe I found via Bath and Body Recipes. And you can read the benefits of a milk bath in this article from The Spice Diva via

I think using whole or raw milk would be the best, as they have the most fat. The fat and protein in the milk are what rejuvenate the skin.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Ink Stains and Milk

Has your kid ever taken a pen to something and you thought it was ruined? That happened to me with my beautiful, 700 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets I got for my wedding. My daughter had just turned one and she took a blue ink pen to my bed. It wasn't just a little mark, it was a good 1/4 of the sheet, covered in bold, blue circular one-year-old marks. I frieked out for a minute, and then I called my friend's mom who is from Venezuela. I'm sorry but "Latin mami's" totally know where it's at. She said to try putting milk on it. I was seriously skeptical. I had never heard of milk taking out any kind of a stain before, but it was worth a try. I was really just debating between throwing them away or scrubbing on them with Stain Stick until the cows came home, which hadn't proved fruitful with past ink-stains. So I went for the milk option. I dipped a large part of the stained sheet into a cup of milk for a good minute. I thought, if I'm going to do this, I better go all the way, right? When I took the sheet out, I almost couldn't find where the stain had been. It worked that well; it had disappeared, without even scrubbing it. Then I took a toothbrush to the little parts that hadn't been completely erased by the milk, and it came all the way out with little to no elbow grease. Not a trace of ink was left, and my sheets thread didn't have to be scrubbed and bleached to almost transparency to accomplish the whiteness. Just milk. When I saw my sheet completely white again in such a short amount of time with so little effort it made me so happy I think I cried. I still use those sheets to this day, and the greatest part is that my husband has no idea it even happened.

Go here to see four more amazing uses for milk like: make frozen fish taste fresh, mend broken china, get heavy grease and dirt off hands, and make a refreshing facial mask.

Check out this Reader's Digest link to see more amazing uses for common household items. Who knew you could do so many things with sugar, tomato juice, or mustard.

Healthy Snacks

Perhaps you are in the snack-predicament phase like I was when my daughter became a toddler. There are so many snacks out there, but I hate all the processed, packaged junk. Then one day it hit me: apples and peanut butter. It's so simple I never thought of it. And the big plus? It has fiber and protein, two things that most American kids and adults lack in their diet. My daughter can't get enough of it. Make it even healthier with Adam's 100% Natural Peanut Butter.

Saturday, April 3, 2010


I cook with so much garlic. Not because I'm Hispanic or Italian. I'm actually American, but I use almost lethal amounts of garlic whenever possible because it creates an indestructable immune system. I live in a household with three different families: My dad and little sister, my brother and his wife, and my little family of three. We all cook different meals at different times and eat separately. I know, it's sad, but again, we're American, and that's how we roll. My sister-in-law and brother are vegetarians, my dad and little sister eat a very American diet (you know what I'm talking about), and my little family eats whatever I cook :)

So this winter, everyone got sick in the house. Everyone but my family. My dad got the flu big time, my little sister did too, my brother was on and off sick the whole winter... but my family? Not a symptom. And I will tell you why I think that is: garlic. When a recipe calls for one clove, I put in 5 or 6. When I crack open a can of Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup, I chop up a good 4 - 5 cloves and boil it with the rest of the soup. (I use that quick fix a lot if I feel a sniffle or something worse coming on.) When I make spaghetti sauce, I not only saute garlic and onion before browning the meat in it, but I will slice several cloves and put them in with the tomato sauce. And when starting any sauce, salsa, soup or frying up meat, I ALWAYS start it with a saute of onion and garlic, and usually more veggies like green pepper, celery and carrots... but one thing is for sure, I never leave out the garlic. :)

The saddest thing I have ever heard about the use of garlic is that some moms stay away from it because they don't like the way it makes their hands smell. Are you kidding me? When I chop up garlic, I try to get as much under my nails as possible (ok not really). I love the after-garlic-chopping smell. It's like a natural anti-bacterial soap on your hands for two days that will keep germs at bay. If you don't believe me, just google "garlic." And besides, moms need that extra immunity boost after all the lost sleep and dirty diapers we are changing.

And a tip for getting kids to like garlic? Start them in the womb. I ate it when I was pregnant, and my daughter loves it.

Organic Cotton

I never saw my baby happier than when she was wearing organic cotton onsies. I'm not kidding. I literally saw a physical change in her. I could see her say, "Ahhhh, now that's what I'm talking about," .... even at 2 months old, no joke. It's that powerful and that comfortable. When a nice friend gifted one to me after my daughter was born, I thought, well that was probably a waste of money, I don't see any difference between this onsie and all the others I have, but what a nice thought. And then I put it on her. I actually remember the moment I put it on her for the first time. I was standing by my bed she was laying on, and I saw it. I saw the difference. It's undescribable. All I can say is that she wore that onsie as a shirt when she grew out of it, almost until she was 1 and 1/2 (it was made big). If you have an infant, just go and buy one and you'll see. Mine was by Gerber, but I found some even lovier ones with a little more design on Fawn & Forest here.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Food Revolution

I'm so glad someone is forcing us to look at what we and our children eat. Good nutrition is about feeding our children's cells, not their mouths or stomachs, and that's what Jamie Oliver is trying to teach all over America. He's all about cooking your meals at home with fresh, healthy ingredients. You can check out his website and sign his Food Revolution Petition (that he will later submit to the President) at You can see how's he's doing on Fridays at 9 pm on ABC. Cheers, Jamie! Keep up the good work!

Feeding your Baby

Here is a super "au natural" soup for anyday of the week. It works for babies of any age. For infants, puree it, toddlers can use the cooked veggies and beans as finger foods, and older kids and adults love it, too. The best part is I just grabbed whatever I had in my fridge and spice rack. I didn't go to the store to make this one and didn't even use chicken broth- just water. The olive oil and seasonings gave it so much more taste than lots of more complicated soups I've made. It was so easy I couldn't believe it turned out so well. Even my husband thought it was fantastic. The picture is of Hazel getting ready to put the lime juice in at the end last night. She gobbled it down. Accompany this soup with any kind of cracker or bread. We used rolls.

Au Natural Vegetable Soup

2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 Onion
4 cloves garlic
4 - 6 cups water
1/2 cup rice
1 Carrot sliced and chopped
1 Tomatoe, chopped in chunks
1/2 frozen or fresh peas
1 can Kidney Beans
Kale, broken up into little pieces
Salt to taste
Pepper 1/2 tsp.
Paprika 1/2 tsp.
Garlic Powder 1/2 tsp.
Oregano 1/2 tsp.
Italian Seasoning 1/2 tsp.
Goya Seasoning 1/2 tsp.
1 Bay Leaf
Dash of Cumin (This totally made the soup for me. Too much can make it too spicy for kids though, so be carefu
Cilantro and lime (optional)

Directions: Sautee the onion and garlic in the olive oil. Then I poured in the water, rice, carrot and tomatoe. Let that come to a boil, then turn down to medium low and cook for ten minutes. Then add the peas and kidney beans and the rest of the seasonings and cook for another ten. Add the kale and cook for a few minutes to soften. Season to taste and garnish with cilantro and lime.

You can substitute almost anything in this type of soup: pasta instead of rice, corn instead of kidney beans, celery instead of carrots, fresh thyme or rosemary instead of cilantro, etc. Use whatever you have in your kitchen! The best part is all the ingredients are fresh and packed with nutrition!

Monday, March 29, 2010

My Birth Story on Design Mom

My birth story was recently featured on! Check it out here! Design Mom blogs about all aspects of mothering and how to do it with style.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Potty Training

I started introducing my daughter to the potty at 1 and 1/2 years old. She was having some bouts of urinary tract infections, which were a mystery to the doctors, so I wanted to get her out of diapers to see if that was the cause. She went a couple times by herself in the potty back then, but she was so little, she couldn't really speak and didn't understand everything I was telling her, so I kind of gave up on the issue. I wanted it to be something she did on her own.

Then, at around 26 months, I started to get really frustrated with changing diapers everyday still, so I read four books on potty-training and watched a video from my local library. In the video, which we watched together several times, it taught some super basic but helpful tips. Here are a few I remember.

1)Give the potty to your child to play with at first, not even mentioning anything about what it is for.

2)Then, when they are comfortable with the new apparatus, you show them how their toy dolls or super heroes can sit on the potty.

3)Then, after they've let their dolls play potty, you empty their diaper into the potty a few times to show them what is supposed to go in the potty. That step backfired on me. My daughter started taking off her diaper and putting her poop in the potty on her own, making a serious mess in the process. But I think it may have helped her in the long-run feel in control and involved in the potty-process.

4)Then finally, you have them sit on the potty themselves. First with their clothes on, just so they get used to the feeling of it, then just like they would be going to the potty.

Some people read their kids stories on the potties at regular times in the day, But I didn't have a super rigid schedule for my daughter at that point, so she didn't go at the same time everyday.

What worked for me was bringing the potty into the main room of the house all day at first, instead of having it locked up in the bathroom, far away from me or where my daughter was playing. That way, she always knew it was near, and if she needed to go, she could control her bladder/bowels enough to step over to the potty and go. If they have to run down the hall or up stairs when they are first getting trained, their tiny bladder-control muscles usually won't make it. Plus toddlers aren't disciplined enough to leave their play area on their own to go to the potty at first. Playing is way too fun to leave.

As my daughter got better at using her potty, I moved it back to the bathroom down the hall, but that wasn't for a few months. In the mean time, was just had a potty in our family room/kitchen.

Now it has been a few months and she never has accidents when we're out or in her bed. I contribute that much to the fact that I never forced the subject or made the potty a battle-ground. It was always there, as an option, and she started using it when she felt ready, which ended up being around her 26th month. At one point, I thought she wasn't going to be trained until she was 3 or 4, but one day I came home from my part-time job and my sister-in-law, who watched her at the time, told me that Hazel had used the potty on her own.

I hope that helps any readers who are having a hard time potty-training, are frustrated, or have just gotten in a rut. I know I felt like that a lot after my daughter turned 2. And thanks to Nisha from for inspiring me to write this potty-training story.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Cloth Diapers

I found the coolest webpage. It's called Wellsphere and it has tons of great natural parenting information as well as "Ask a Health Maven." They feature two health experts on their site at a time, and you can email them your questions.

I found their website while researching cloth diapers. I'm sending my sister-in-law in Argentina some to see if she likes them. I wanted to use them while my daughter was in diapers, but we lived in an apartment without a washer/dryer, and I didn't want to be trekking dirty diapers to the washer in our complex. But if you do have a washer in your home, I would totally recommend using cloth diapers. Not only is it environmentally way more friendly, its so cost effective. You can buy a set of cloth diapers that will last your child's whole diapering for about $300. You spend that on disposables in the first 6 months alone. has a great selection to choose from.

Chinese Medicine Solutions to Infertility

This image came from a Chinese Medicine doctor's website filled with successful stories on helping women get pregnant with the help of acupunture. His clinic is located in Virginia Beach, VA. He studied at a Chinese Medicine college in China and practiced there before moving to the states. See his website here.

Make Your Own Organic Pureed Baby Food

Speaking of food and feeding your baby, I loved this solution to feeding your infant who is starting on solids. Instead of buying the bottled, processed Gerber products, lots of progressive, natural parenting moms have fed their babies pureed vegetables which they make in bulk and freeze in ice cube trays in the freezer. See specific instructions from Yves, mother of 10 month-old Dylan on this blog post.

I would also say that when you go to heat the frozen food cubes, I would do it in a glass container in hot water, the same way you would heat a baby bottle. If you went to all the trouble to make organic baby food puree, go the whole way and heat it in the least nutrient-killing manner. Avoid the microwave and plastic materials which leach toxins into food when heated.

Feeding your baby

One of the things I wish I would have done before having kids is make a long list of nutritious, easy to make foods for kids. Why do I wish I would've done that? Because by the time I think of something and cook it (this usually takes about an hour), my daughter has already stuffed her face full of junk and isn't even hungry anymore when I put the bowl of steaming-hot, nutritiousness in front of her. I can't be the only one this has happened to... repeatedly.

So don't repeat my stupid mistake. Start researching and ruminating on this list now, ideally before your baby is born, and stop the Easy Mac insanity! 'Nuf said.

P.S. Even if your baby is older, you can still make this list. My daughter is 2 and 1/2 and I'm just starting. Please feel free to post comments with hilariously sad EasyMac/Ramen Noodle stories, etc. and/or nutritious, quick recipes.