Saturday, May 30, 2009

Nipple Trauma

This concept may be unfamiliar to some mothers, and yet all TOO familiar to other mothers. Unfortunately, I belong in the latter group. Here are some symptoms to tell if you're experiencing nipple trauma and also some techniques to help ease the pain.


  • Sore, cracked, bleeding, or blistered nipples
  • Contact with bra/clothing is too painful
  • Pain during and after baby has nursed
  • A jumping-back reaction when baby comes close to latch for breastfeeding

Helpful Techniques
  • Hydrogels like Ameda ComfortGel Hydrogel Nipple Pads
  • Lanolin ointment
  • Expressed breast milk applied to nipple area
  • Nipple shields
  • Breast shells to reduce nipple irritation by preventing friction against clothing
  • Warm Compress
  • Pumping milk and bottle feeding temporarily while nipples heal

Nipple trauma is often caused by improper positioning and latch-on. If pain persists, lactation consultants can help. They are very helpful, understanding and supportive. They will really address your personal needs. I sought one within two weeks of giving birth. I was provided instant relief to soothe the pain. And the consultant worked diligently with me and my baby to get me on my way to healing and recovery. I was soon breastfeeding comfortably and with ease. I can attest that there's hope for us mothers suffering with nipple trauma!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Potty Training is Fun!

Okay, "fun" might be an exaggeration... but it is actually not as bad as I thought.

I was very excited about embarking on this task for obvious reasons... no more changing dirty diapers, saving money and saving the earth! At the same time, I was fearful of the mess that it was going to make (I envisioned poo and pee everywhere around the house) and thought it was going to be physically and emotionally draining... Take heart, all of you moms out there who are yet to potty train... you will be amazed at how easy it can be!

As I was researching how to potty train my almost 2.5 year old daughter, I read an article by Johanne Cesar "The Potty Trainer":

"Potty training is not an innate behavior. In other words, your child was not born with the ability to potty train. Pay close attention to what I am about to tell you. This is the whole secret. Potty training is a learned behavior..
Just like your child learns to walk, read, ride a bike, climb stairs...Potty training is learned. If you do not teach them, they will not learn it."

After reading this, I thought "I need to EXPECT and ACCEPT accidents"... and there I went, applying the method that was recommended to me by my mommy friends.. 1) Go "cold turkey" and let the child run around bottomless, 2) Reward the child with a treat, dance, sticker, etc. 3) Stay at home for at least three consecutive days, and 4) Encourage, encourage, encourage . And it WORKED!!! By the third day, my daughter got it! She understood WHEN she needed to go and WHERE she needed to go. If you're brave enough, you can also do 5) which is, put the child in underwear when they sleep. I didn't do #5 simply because I wanted to tackle day-time potty training before I tackle the sleep-time.

-Reward (Treats, stickers and potty chart, a dance/song, etc)
-Loose pants (if/when you do go out, put them in loose pants and nothing underneath)
-Underwear (eventually)
*Also, make sure you talk, read a book or show a DVD about potty training prior to the actual potty training session. Allowing your child to watch you use the toilet may be the most effective tool.

After potty training for three days, I am thoroughly impressed at how quickly children learn. I feel like I underestimated my child's ability to learn this skill. And it was A LOT less messy than I thought it would be (thank goodness!).

p.s. Getting them to go #2 in the potty takes a little longer... something I found out (and were told by other mommies) is that even at this young age they need their "privacy". So you can give them a book to read and leave the restroom if need be.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Spiritual Food

Sometimes in the busyness of my day, I'm unable to take uninterrupted quiet time to dig deep into the Word and nourish my spirit. However, podcasts have been a real treat because I can easily listen to brief Bible studies by my favorite speakers like Joyce Meyer or Ravi Zacharias.

Try it sometime. Whip out the ipod during the kid's nap times, while you're on walks strolling the kids . . . or even in your car (hook it up to your stereo). Whatever little time you have, listening to podcasts is a great way to squeeze in some spiritual nourishment into your day!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Outtings Made A Little Easier

I just love the Mommy Hook from Bed Bath and Beyond. Everyone knows the basket in strollers is not enough space. I tried plastic hooks from Babies "R" Us, but they're not sturdy enough and break easily. This Mommy Hook is ideal, just attach it to your stroller handle (I usually have two) during grocery shopping runs or during long outtings when you need an extra place to hang some bags. It's strong and won't fail ya!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Predictability, Consistency and Routine

My friend does behavior training for children with developmental disorders such as Autism and ADHD. She said that the three main things these children need are: predictability, consistency and routine. Making things predictable, consitent, and routine supposedly reduces the child's confusion and anxiety and helps promote positive behavior. This can be applied to all children, not just those with developmental problems. By setting up a predictable routine and being consistent with it, you will be able to reduce overtiredness, crankiness and tantrums which we all dread (not to mention no naps and no sleep at night). Having a routine makes everyone happy and well rested.

*Helpful article for new moms*
"When it comes to both bedtime and naptime for your baby, it is important that you observe the principles of consistency and predictability. This is one of the ways that babies learn. Babies who have nap routines in the daytime that are consistent are much more likely to sleep for longer periods at a time during the night. If you get your baby into a consistent bedtime routine this will be something he comes to get used to over time and it will guarantee that he will likely go to sleep easier and sleep better throughout the night. Incorporate bedtime with familiar and pleasant rituals that set the stage for your baby to sleep well. For example, a warm bath before bedtime is a way to soothe a baby. Other activities that are equally advisable include quiet activities such as rocking your baby, singing lullabies to him, talking to him gently, cradling him and nursing him. What you are trying to do is to create a pleasant environment in which a baby learns that these activities then automatically lead to sleep time."
-Baby Sleep Help (Consistency and Predictability are the Name of the Baby Sleep Game)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Good Guy vs. Bad Guy

Be wise and mindful about showing your little ones movies and TV shows with good guys and bad guys. They often can not distinguish who the good guys and bad guys are.. and even if they can, they do not know not to copy what the bad guys say or do.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


"Your beauty should not come from outward adornment,
such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and find clothes.
Instead, it should be that of your inner self,
the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit,
which is of great worth in God's sight."

1 Peter 3:3-4

More Energy... Please!

Every ounce of energy helps when you're a mom... so I wanted to share with you this great supplement that my mother-in-law told me about.

I have been taking this Energizing Iron by Enzymatic Therapy since I was pregnant with my second child... and honestly, I've noticed a significant increase in my energy level.

What is special about this supplement?

-It provides enhanced endurance and energy

-Energizing Iron is a source of nutrients to support the body's need for iron, vitamin B12, and trace minerals.

-The iron found in this supplement is heme iron - easily absorbed by the body and more gentle on the stomach than other supplemental iron forms.

-Produced from beef liver obtained from animals raised in Argentina, Energizing Iron contains no chemical sprays, pesticides, or antibiotics from livestock feed.

-Vitamin B12 - the energy vitamin - helps form red blood cells and maintain the central nervous system.

You don't have to be anemic to take iron supplements, but you must consult your doctor/OB/midwife before taking them.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Marriage First

Marriage First.

Seems like a no-brainer right?...But when we spend all day thinking about and caring for our children, we can easily forget and/or neglect the needs of our husbands. We attempt to meet the needs of our children all day long, why can't we do the same for our husbands?

Proverbs 31 says, "Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies. The heart of her husband safely trusts her; so he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life." In order for our marriage to stay strong, we must make every attempt to be good to our husbands, showing him that he is (and our relationship is) more important than anything else in our lives.

Dr. Laura Schlessinger, mentions a few ways we can do this:

-Thank God DAILY for such a terrific guy, mentioning specific qualities for which you are grateful.

-Look for DAILY ways to be a blessing to your husband (trying to understand what pleases him, anticipating his needs, etc.)

As challenging as this may be (especially at the end of a long and tiring day), we must remember that our marriage (and our husbands) are worth all of our love, effort, sacrifice and investment!

Friday, May 15, 2009


Last year while we were home-shopping, we saw a few we liked but were afraid these houses did not have enough room for our kids to run around... I remember my very wise friend telling me, "Children DON'T CARE how much room there is in the house... ALL THEY CARE is that their Daddy and Mommy are happy."

This is SO true. Our children don't care about the size of the house (it looks ginormous to them anyway), or the clothes they wear (although they may be picky as to WHICH one to wear), or the things they have. If we are happy about the house, so are they. If we are thankful for the clothes we have, so will they. If we want our children to be content in whatever state they are in (Philippians 4:11), we have to live our lives accordingly.

Naturally, as mothers, we want to give our kids the world. But what they desire most is that we're happy and enjoyable. Thus, HAPPY MOM = HAPPY CHILD.

If there's anything that is stressing you out today or putting you in a frumpy mood, stop what you're doing and go play, laugh and enjoy your little ones (and let them enjoy YOU!).

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Baby Boot Camp

For all of you brand new Mamas who recently gave birth... and trying to keep your eyes open during the day... and trying not to breakdown in tears... there is LIGHT at the end of the tunnel! You are just going through, what we call "BABY BOOT CAMP".

Definition of BABY BOOT CAMP:
The first 6 weeks (give or take) of adjusting to life with no sleep, taking care of another being that is completely helpless, backaches, breasts engorged, nipple trauma (if you're breastfeeding), emotional roller coaster, and don't forget the hormones raging.

Baby Boot Camp seems like it's going to last forever... but don't worry it won't. Believe it or not, IT DOES GET BETTER (otherwise women would not be having babies). Just when you think you can't handle it anymore... the baby starts to sleep longer at night, he/she starts to smile at you... and Ahhh... you will find that it was all worth it.

Typically at 6 weeks life starts to seem normal again. Every experience is unique because every woman, every baby, and every delivery and recovery are different. Some Mamas may find that taking care of a baby is a piece of cake, while others may wish they never have to give birth again (that was me, but after a year, I wanted to have another). We just want to encourage you to hold on.. and to make sure that you ask forHELP. A relative to come over and clean and cook for you, a lactation consultant to help you feed your baby, a husband to rub your back, a child to make you smile... whatever you need you should ask for. You just GAVE BIRTH, and became a MAMA! CONGRATULATIONS!!

Travel Tips for Tiny Tots

If you are going on a trip with the fam soon & are wondering what to bring on the plane, here are some tips.

First I am starting with the goods that would make the trip nice for mom.


Earplugs: Help reduce headaches due to cabin pressure and loud noises from the engine (people in the Army use earplugs when they fly, so it must be good) You can buy earplugs from Target. There are different kinds, foam or silicone. There is actually a brand called Earplanes earplugs that are pressure regulating.

Origins Peace of Mind: On the spot relief lotion ... "apply just two dabs of Origins mind-clearing formula on the back of your neck, temples and earlobes. You'll feel a tingling sensation as pressure, tension and tightness begin to melt away." The smell of Peppermint and Eucalyptus is so invigorating! It comes in a little bottle that is only $10 but totally worth it. Not only does it reduce stress, but it drowns out odors from surrounding passengers and food. Love love love this!

Lotion, Moisturizing Lip Balm, Eye Drops, Drinking Water: Dehydration can occur while flying on airplanes, minimize your caffeine & alcohol intake, and stay moisturized and hydrated. Drink one cup of water per hour of flying on an airplane.

Make-Up Touch Up Kit: Concealer to cover redness and puffiness to look rested and also for under your eyes if your eyeliner runs and accentuates dark circles. Powder, use to give a refreshing look and to soak up oil build-up on skin. Blush for a warm welcoming rosy cheek smile when you greet your friends and family at baggage claim.

Next, this list is for the kiddos. Try to seat them next to a window. They'll enjoy playing with the window flap and looking at the view. Make sure to disinfect with antibacterial wipes first because kids like to put their lips on the window and bite the window flap handles.


Kid I.D. Tag: Place a band aid or adhesive tape for skin on the arm of your child. Write your name, your child's name and two emergency phone numbers to call in case your child is lost.

Layer the kids because temperature varies in the airport and airplane. This is also good for mom in case baby spits up on you. You won't have to smell it and tolerate it through the entire trip.

Travel Pillow or Blanket

DVD Player with Fav/New Movies

Disinfectant Antibacterial Wipes

Empty Water Bottles: Bring bottles through security and then refill them from Starbucks. Ask for a Venti Ice Water (the water is filtered and free). This will help if you're using formula for the babes. I was given this advice from the security lady at the airport. I love this tip!

Hyland's Chamomile 30X: You can buy this at Whole foods to calm your children's nerves and help them nap better on planes

Apis Mell or Benadryl: In case your child has an allergic reaction to something, you will want to come prepared with something to immediately counter the reaction. Apis Mell is the homeopathic solution to allergic reactions. You can also buy this at Whole Foods.

Sandwiches: Peanut butter and jelly or your kid's favorites

Bagel & Cream Cheese: An alternative to sandwiches

Fruit: Clementines are easy to transport and my kids find it fun and delicious

Snacks: Our palette craves both salty and sweet so bring your child's favorite snacks or some new ones that your kids will be excited about! Ex. string cheese, teddy grahams, goldfish, dried fruit, dried cereal like Cheerios or granola/fruit bars...

Books: Light, small books, maybe with flaps or texture, are help pass the time

Toys: Playdoh is ALWAYS a hit. Get a nice container to put a few colors and tools. Magna doodles (or a smaller version like Dora/Diego doodle) is great. Crayons and coloring books have also worked well with the kids.

Pacifiers, Sippy Cups and Lollipops (for age appropriate toddlers): To reduce the air pressure for the kids, give them something to suck on during the ascent and descent.

Things To Talk About: Explain enthusiastically to your children with books pictures or just storytelling about their trip on the airplane, like where they're going, who they will see and what things they will do. They love details!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Feeding Time

I'm learning how to feed all over again...

It has only been about two years since I learned to feed my first child "real food", but it's amazing how you forget these things. I feel like I'm re-learning everything again.. although, I am definitely a lot less anxious about the whole process.

Feeding solids to a baby gets really messy (not just during feeding times... you moms know what I mean..) but it can also be a lot of fun! You just have to relax and go at your child's pace (they will use facial expressions to let you know what they like and don't like... also when they are full) and the most important thing is to watch for possible food allergies.

Here are some feeding time items that I absolutely love! They are great inventions AND investments!

Fisher-Price Healthy Care Booster Seat:
Affordable ($26), easy to clean, you can just attach this on one your dining chairs (great for if you have a small dining space), and it's travel-friendly (folds up and it's VERY light). I use this on a daily basis and my kids love it, so it must be comfortable too.

Baby Bjorn Soft Bib:
This is a catch-all bib (literally catches anything from water, yogurt, noodles, bread crumbs, you name it!). Probably not meant for babies but great for toddlers! Once again, super easy to clean and dishwasher friendly. You can find it at Target for $9.99.

This I have not tried but have heard great things... From IKEA for only $3.99 (for 2 pack). I would imagine that this will for sure keep your child from getting covered in tomato sauce, popsicle, soup... anything that drips, splashes and stains.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Keeping Up

Keeping up with household chores when taking care of little ones can seem impossible at times (some times it IS impossible). You may feel like putting it off until the next day, next week or even next month simply because there is NO time (or energy!).

What you can try is making a "one-item-per-day" list. Don't feel like you have to clean the whole house while your child is napping... just clean ONE thing per day. For example, on Monday-clean the kitchen sink, Tuesday-the bathroom sink, Wednesday- the bath tub, and so on.

This way, you won't feel as overwhelmed taking on the task of cleaning... AND you will have cleaned at least one thing at the end of the day! What an accomplishment!!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Dear Lord, it's such a hectic day
With little time to stop and pray
For life's been anything but calm
Since You called on me to be a mom
Running errands, matching socks
Building dreams with building blocks
Cooking, cleaning, and finding shoes
And other stuff that children lose
Getting lids on bottled bugs
Wiping tears and giving hugs
A stack of last week's mail to read
So where's the quiet time I need?
Yet when I steal a minute, Lord
Just at the sink or ironing board
To ask the blessings of Your grace
I seen then, in my small one's face
That you have blessed me all the while
And I stop to kiss
that precious smile


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Thank You God...

I just LOVE listening to my 2 year old praying... Often times, she will pray before she eats, thanking God for her food, for her family (names each one), and for her friends (names the ones she played with that day). It mostly sounds like gibberish to me, and I can only pick out some words here and there... but it's SO neat that God knows her heart and is faithful to answer her prayers!

One day, she was reading "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" and after the part where the caterpillar ate a watermelon, she wanted to eat one herself. I told her that we would have to go to the store and buy one (not having any idea whether the store would have any and whether it was even in season). So on our way to the store, we prayed a simple prayer together... "that God would provide us a watermelon so we can enjoy it that afternoon". As soon as we got to the store, we noticed a HUGE box of cute little mini watermelons (just for her!) right in front of the entrance doors! I just thought, "Thank you God for showing yourself to my little girl!"

This experience reminded me how important it is not only to teach my children how to pray but to pray with them.. the things that concern their heart (and mine), no matter how big or small.

As we celebrate the National Day of Prayer today, pray with your child (out loud) ... and see how He answers!

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." Philippians 4:6

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Worth a Try!

I was talking with an older friend of mine about how to get my 2½-year-old son to pick up his toys and to share with his little brother. My friend suggested using charts. I thought, charts? Charts are cute, but do they really work?

I didn’t know how powerful charts could be until my friend told me that her kids are avid readers, were good in school, and are responsible. And she honestly thinks that charts had something to do with it. Charts encourage activities that are repetitive and sustain attention, which in turn, develops the skills of concentration, self-discipline, and self-motivation.

Her kids agree with her that using charts all growing up helped them become better learners. They remember having charts charts charts for everything! And it worked! They loved the thrill of being recognized and rewarded when a task was completed.

Praise your child and give a sticker for every time your child gets closer to the goal written on the chart. She will love placing the sticker on the chart and will look forward to completing future tasks. Make sure the reward is drawn or written on the chart so your child knows what she is working towards. For a reward, you can choose a favorite dessert or a special treat. And as she gets older, she can choose a favorite outing (within reason). If you have more than one child, color coat the chart. For example, your oldest son could be blue, your daughter purple, and your youngest son orange. Children will love this new, fun approach to getting things done.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Universal Baby Language

Did you know that ALL babies, regardless of their nationality, speak the same language from ages 0-3 months?

Priscilla Dunstan, founder of Dunstan Baby, made this amazing discovery after giving birth to her son. Her story is actually pretty amazing.. You can read more about it here. I first saw her on the Oprah show when I was pregnant with my first child. Here are the notes I took:

Neh- means "I'm hungry"

Heh- means "I'm uncomfortable"

Eh- means "I need to be burped"

Owh- means "I'm tired"

Supposedly, this language only lasts up to 3 months... But I'm certain that my 5 month old still says "Neh" when she is hungry and "Owh (or Awh)" when she is tired. If you are a Mama with a newborn, you MUST give this a try. Understanding your baby's cries will not only help you with your sanity, but will also help you to become a better listener!

You can also check out the video clip of Oprah's show here.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Hold Fast!

We as Mothers have a tough time as it is taking care of our children. Yet, we find ourselves confronted from time to time with criticism from family, friends and even strangers about our child rearing skills and techniques.

However, Charles Stanley gives a good reminder to take courage and know God is doing a good and eternal work in our lives. When we face difficult circumstances and then have to endure negative opinions and comments from others, we need the courage to stay positive-to continue to believe that the Lord is with us.

Hope and faith are not automatic responses in times of hardship and trial; they require an exercise of the will, bolstered with courage. Ask the Lord to give you the courage to continue to believe in Him and in His presence with you as you go through adversity. He will renew you for “those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31).

We as mothers need to encourage each other when faced with trials to “be strong and of good courage, to not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord our God, He is the One who goes with us. He will not leave us nor forsake us” (Deut. 31:6).

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Praying Against the Enemy

I was talking to my prayer warrior mother-in-law this morning, whom I respect very much, and she reminded me how we need to continuously pray against the enemy (Satan).

The bible says that "the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy" John 10:10. We are constantly in a spiritual battle, where Satan is not only trying to plot FEAR in our hearts, but he tries to take away the joy and the blessings that God has in store for us.

May we be fervent in our prayers, not only for things but against "the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms" Ephesians 6:12. Pray that the Lord will surround your family, especially your precious children, with His angels and protect you from Satan's schemes and lies.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Communicating with Your Baby

Do wish to know what your child is trying to communicate to you? Does your child get frustrated because you don't understand what he/she is trying to say?

Teaching your baby some basic sign language can help your child (and YOU) to communicate more effectively and get less frustrated (also to avoid breakdowns and tantrums!). There are SO MANY benefits of using Baby Sign Language. First of all, it gives your baby the ability to express his or her important needs and thoughts.

Here are some additional baby signing benefits:

  • Promotes the development of language skills
  • Increase speed of spatial reasoning development
  • Develops understanding of language for communication of emotions
  • May increase IQ
  • Increases creative thinking
  • Teaches a 2nd language that is formally recognized (ASL)
  • Reduces unexplainable emotional outbursts
  • Increases early literacy skills
  • Teaches baby how to start (and participate in) a conversation
Just teaching your child simple words like "more", "all done" and "milk" will make your life SO much easier. It is also fun to teach them good manners early on by teaching words such as "please", "thank you" and "sorry".

Here are some great tools that will help you and your child learn some basic signs:

Baby Sign Language Basic by Monta Z. Briant

Signing Time DVDs