Fresh Avocado Salsa

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Fresh Avacodo Salsa

If you are looking for a fresh alternative to a traditional salsa or guacamole to serve at an upcoming gathering, consider this recipe for Avocado Feta Salsa. This chunky salsa is fresh and bright with creamy feta and tangy lime.

This is one of my husbands favorite recipes, he actually discovered this and I adapted the original to suit his tastes. Never be afraid to change a recipe, play with your food and discover for yourself what tastes good or not so good!

Remember to buy local, fresh and organic if possible!

Ingredients:

2 large avocados
2 medium sized tomatoes
1 shallot
2 cloves of garlic (minced)
1 bunch of flat leaf parsley
2 tbsp of olive oil
1 small lime
4-6 oz of crumbled feta cheese

Now it’s really simple roughly chop tomatoes, parsley and shallot and place into bowl. Add minced garlic and oil stir gently to combine. Cube your avocados and add them along with the feta cheese. You want to do this last to preserve the size and consistency of these ingredients. This is a chunky salsa not a creamy dip. Squeeze 1/2 a lime over the top and fold with a spoon to evenly distribute all ingredients. Taste and add the other 1/2 lime if needed. Place the avocado pits in dish to help keep fresh.

Serve with tortilla chips, pita or crackers. Enjoy!

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My Breastfeeding Experience: A Difficult Journey

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My Breastfeeding Experience: A Difficult Journey

I thought that Breastfeeding would come naturally to me. I thought it would be easy because our bodies were created to nourish our offspring. I thought it would be this beautiful bonding experience. Everything I thought, turned out to be wrong.

I read lots of books about pregnancy, labor, birth and breastfeeding while pregnant with Jack. It was not even a question in my mind as to if I would nurse my baby. Of course I would, I was not going to give him an imitation when I had the real thing free and readily available in my very own body. I would never drink baby formula myself or even the first two ingredients – corn syrup & vegetable oil so why would I give that to my baby? So the decision to breastfeed for me was an easy one. What was not so easy, was actually doing it!

I had Jackson on a beautiful warm morning in October. My labor was a short but intense 6.5 hours resulting in a medicine free natural water birth. It seemed so easy and natural and as soon as I took my slippery pink son into my arms, he immediately began to root searching for my breast. I put him to breast before even getting out of the tub. I thought WOW! He’s already nursing like a champ, this is going to be great! We nursed a few more times before leaving the birth center to return home.

That evening it was my husband, myself and our new baby all alone. We had no idea what we were doing, and panic started to set in. Our baby cried all night long, he awakened every 30 minutes to an 1 hour around the clock. I nursed him on demand just like the book had said, and changed sides, just like the book had said. But something was just not working.

The evening of day four, my husband brought me a diaper and said “hey this looks kinda weird”. I looked at the diaper and saw my worst nightmare. A light red rust like substance lay there revealing the hard truth, my son was dehydrated. He wasn’t getting enough colostrum and my milk still had not come in. I felt defeated and totally lost. The next morning Jack had another diaper laced with urinate crystals and I was grief stricken. He was still crying day and night, hungry no doubt and it was all my fault. I contacted my friend Brigid who was nursing her sweet baby girl at that time. I asked her if she would be willing to give me some of her breast milk to feed my son, since I was not able to at that time. She brought milk over right away and even tried to nurse him herself, but he would not latch. We filled a small medicine syringe with breast milk and slowly filled his mouth. His face and whole body relaxed in satisfaction and he instantly fell asleep.

I pondered what I would do next? Would I start formula? Would I try to obtain more donor milk? What was wrong with me? Where was my milk?

Another friend visited me that afternoon to comfort and console me. As we were talking she looked over and asked me, “what is that on your nipple? IS THAT MILK?” Sure enough my milk had come just shy of 5:00pm on the 5th day after birth. What a relief! I could finally feed my son like I needed to. But my problems were far from over.

Over the following weeks, I continued struggling to feed my darling son. I suffered extreme nipple damage. Both sides were bruised, cracked and bloody despite the creams, soothie pads, and air drying, I was in constant pain. I cried every time I fed him, tears would stream down my face. It was so unbearable, I dreaded nursing him and he ate so often. Unknowingly I battled nursing a baby with a thick upper lip tie and light tongue tie. I was made aware of this after reaching out to a lactation consultant at a local hospital. Getting it surgically corrected at that time was out of the question. I was not in a proper emotional state to deal with that, so we waited.

And waited, and waited. I waited for it to get better like the ladies at the La leche league said it would. For the constant shooting pain to go away, and i waited to not HATE feeding my baby whom I loved with all my heart.

For two months straight, I took it day by day & nursing session by nursing session trying to keep our breastfeeding relationship alive. I stayed active on the local la leche league Facebook page and attended meetings for support. Finally around the 3rd month, I felt like things were getting better.

I practiced all the healthy habits to protect my milk supply. I never supplemented with formula to sleep, I drank water like crazy, took fenugreek, and ate a million lactation cookies. I also stopped eating dairy in an effort to help Jacks horrible tummy aches and extreme gas.

Jack is 6 months old now and he’s still nursing. It’s easy now and I don’t have any pain. The only problem I have is the occasional love bite, I say love bite because he’s always smiling when he clamps down on me. I’m proud of myself for enduring the pain and fighting for our nursing relationship. I am so grateful to be able to provide the best nourishment for him.

It’s hard for me to think on my breast feeding journey. I feel angry, robbed and ashamed. I feel angry because I wasn’t prepared like maybe I could have been. Angry because things did not happen like I wanted. Robbed because I did not get the deep intimate bonding that I thought I would have. Robbed of the enjoyment of my newborn son. Precious, unrecoverable time spent exhausted, in pain and constant despair. I had waited so long for him and then could not enjoy him, how sad?! Last of all I feel ashamed. Ashamed that I ignorantly allowed my son to get dehydrated before reaching out to someone for help. Ashamed because I hated nursing my baby, that I didn’t even want to look at him sometimes because of the pain I was in.

I do not have birth trauma, I have nursing trauma. This experience has scarred my heart and makes me question having more children. I hope that my heart will heal over time and that one day I will be able to let go and forgive myself.

If you have trouble with nursing please reach out to other wise women who have nursed children, your local La Leche league and lactation consultants in your local area. Know you aren’t alone in your struggle and you can get through it!

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The Power of Words

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The Power Of Words

Words. They are thoughts that leave the mind through writing, voice, or even sign language. They are powerful. Words can build up, destroy, inspire, bewitch, provoke, or even instill fear.

Think about a time when someone uttered a phrase that greatly affected you. Maybe it made your heart pound, your palms sweat, and your soul leap. That’s how I felt the first time I heard my husband tell me he loved me. Three words, I love you, set off a chain reaction in my body causing a wave of emotion.

But what if someone told you that they hated you? Or told proclaimed your worthlessness? What kind of reaction would that spark?

The bible says

Proverbs 18:21 ESV

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.

We all say things we should not and we all get out feelings hurt from time to time. It’s those times that the words cut the deepest, I find myself reflecting on my own choices. Am I as careful as I should be? Do I choose my words wisely?

Wives, do you speak to your husbands with respect or cut him down? I know I’ve made my fair share or mistakes, but I strive to make far less in my future than I have in my past.

I am often reminded by the news how powerful words can be when teenagers take their own life because others have not chosen their words so wisely. Teens taunted, bullied, reviled and ridiculed to the point of exhaustion and despair.

Take some time, reflect on this. Be kind to one another in your words. You never know what is going on in the life of the person you have encountered.

Check out this list of bible verses on the subject by clicking here.

Is That Poop On My Leg? Some Thoughts On Motherhood

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Yesterday I was sitting in the floor at a friends house and noticed a slightly sticky and foul smelling substance on my leg. I ignored it for the moment and continued on wrestling with Jack. A few minutes later I realized this same unknown matter was stuck to the back of his head. I sighed and wondered aloud “is that poop?” I had changed an especially heavy poop diaper right before exiting my house. I decided that some must have escaped while Jack was doing the proverbial “Macarena” during his nappy change. I could care less if it was poop, I got out a wipe and cleaned it off his head and my leg. This was my life and completely normal.

Turns out it was not poop but the remains of a chewed and spit out creme snack drop.

I was pondering this whole exchange this morning and realized, my life is unrecognizable compared to my “pre-mom” era. Pre-mom, the thought of someone else’s poop on my leg would have put me in a panicked tailspin of sorts, now it’s my new normal.

My new normal consists of lots of sleep deprivation, blowing belly raspberries, screaming fits over naps, late night snuggles, sharing my almond milk yogurt, lots of giggles and my body resembling something much like a sock filled with lumpy gravy. And although I sometimes long for the freedom of the pre-mom era when I get tired and run down, I would never return to it.

I love being a mom. I love my new, totally normal life even if one day it actually turns out to be poop on my leg.

Jack turns 7 months today!

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Verse of the (SUN)DAY! May 5th 2013

Since this is the first Sunday blog post why not start at the very beginning…

Genesis 1:1 KJV

1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.

7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.

8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.

9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.

10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.

11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.

12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

13 And the evening and the morning were the third day.

14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:

15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.

16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.

17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,

18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.

19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.

21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.

23 And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.

24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.

25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.

31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

This is the creation story. Simple and wonderful, I like to read it on bad days. Why bad days? It reminds me that this life I’m living was not an accident. God created everything including us, humanity, on purpose. It also reminds me I’m not alone, he’s there and always has been.

Happy Sunday Everyone!

The Birth of Judah Paul – Guest Writer Entrusted Motherhood

This entry was written by Entrusted Motherhood, it is the birth story of Judah Paul, her second child. To visit her blog click HERE.

Judah Paul Elrod – Born Dec 2nd 2010 at 3:27 AM, 6 lbs 1oz, 20 inches long

Judah was my second baby. My first was Elise who was 8 months old when I got pregnant again. When giving birth to her I had a typical medicated vaginal birth. In my heart I wanted a natural birth but I honestly didn’t even know what that all entailed. I was induced and labored for 15 hours. I fought so hard to go without pain meds but by hour 13 I couldn’t handle it anymore. I was not traumatized by this birth but I knew that next time would be different. I knew I needed to go on my own journey to find the birth I wanted for next time. So after I recovered I set off to find out all I needed to know. After 8 months of digging and searching and hoping and praying I ended up pregnant with my sweet boy. I decided I would use an in hospital midwife as I was still not comfortable with the idea of home birth. Maybe I didn’t fully trust my body. Only time would tell.

I went through each visit with a different midwife or OB that the Midwives were under. I declined all testing and ultrasounds that were not necessary. I thought for sure I was on the right track. I was healthy, not gaining much weight, active, and happy. I was eating right and taking my vitamins religiously. At my 37 week check up they noticed some protein in my urine. I didn’t think much of it. I had no signs of hypertension or pre-e. No indicators of an unhealthy pregnancy. They sent me home to do a 24 hour urine analysis. Lucky for me I did the test wrong and it happened to be over the weekend. This delayed a few things and I had to redo it the next week. There was still protein in my urine. Instead of the midwives telling me how to adjust my diet by eating extra protein, drinking fluids, and doing more walking they called me in for an induction. The head Dr. called me personally and told me that if I didn’t go in that day that my baby and I would die. She said I was hypertensive. I asked her what hypertensive was and she said “Well we don’t really know what it is but you will die.” I asked again and only received the same answer. I was scared. Shamefully I woke my husband and told him we needed to go in and be induced. We were heart broken. Crying all the way to the hospital. Cramming in as much food as I could so I would have the energy to go through this medicated delivery. I was still determined to do this without pain medication.

Got to the hospital sad but determined and excited to meet our baby and they set me all up. Plugged me in and hooked me up. Stuck in the bed. I started feeling the first pains within about an hour. Not too bad though. I was still myself. I remember my mom came and we were playing cards. I could still concentrate. About 20 minutes into the game I could not focus anymore and decided that I needed to stop the game and get up and walk. It was all a blur from there. I remember being on the ball. My tailbone hurt so bad that I could not sit or lay on the bed. So I rocked on the ball for hours. When it started getting intense I got in the shower. Such relief I felt! But my fingers and toes started to turn into raisins and I couldn’t handle that. As soon as that water turned off the pains hit hard… worse than before my shower. I remember my friends and family being in and out quietly. I remember seeing my beautiful friend Josie by my side. I don’t think I said a word to anyone. I remember my mom being in and out. And I remember my husband letting me hold on tight to him during each contraction. I remember seeing my sister Chanel walk in. But that was all. I was in my own world. At some point I remember hearing another woman laboring naturally in the next room. I felt awful for her because I knew how she was feeling.

After about 35 hours I got into the tub. I was tired. That tub felt amazing. I felt more relaxed. After a couple of hours my midwife said, “Okay you are at a 9. You are so close! Are you ready to catch your baby and bring her up your chest?” Oh I was ready. But we didn’t know the sex yet. So our anticipation was skyrocketing at this point. Another hour or so passed. I was getting frustrated and tired. My contractions were long. I mean like 5 minutes long. I cried, “What is wrong with my body!?” My midwife checked again. I was back down to a 7. She didn’t tell me. But I could tell something was wrong. I had to get out of the tub. My feet were numb. I was tired. They decided to put me back on Pitocin. And all at once the nurses and midwives were gone. I heard screams from the other room. My heart dropped. She had her baby. The lady across from me. And here I was struggling to go on. What was happening? I had been fighting so hard. It wasn’t working. After a while about 5 nurses and midwives all came in and brought up the cesarean. I instantly burst into tears and couldn’t say a word. My contractions were more intense. I lost my fight and my drive. I begged them to hurry because I no longer had a goal. I yelled and cried and threw fits. I screamed the whole way to the OR because my contractions were so long, intense, and I was full of hurt. I yelled at the nurses. I yelled at the Dr. But as they put the spinal block in I squeezed the nurse. I brought her so close to me I thought she would just explode. I cried again. I couldn’t feel the pain anymore there was a more intense pain in my heart. They started and I finally saw my husband. He was pretty cute in those scrubs they provided.

I told the Dr that we didn’t know the sex. I wanted him to tell us when he found out. Within a few minutes they pulled out my baby boy. I didn’t get to see him for about 20 minutes. I kept asking my husband through my uncontrollable shaking if he was okay. I finally heard him cry. He was wonderful. 4 weeks early and wonderful. A head full of hair. I was in heaven when we got back to our room. He nursed right away. Nursed the rest of the night. I didn’t sleep after that. Not for another couple of days. I was elated to have my baby. He was healthy.

After we got home a few days later and the love hormones slowed down. Reality set in. I could hardly move. I was so sore. I would have my husband check my incision every day to check for infection. I cried every time he did. I cried because it reminded me of my failure. I cried because I couldn’t get up to get my son when he would cry. I cried when friends would tell me that it’s okay my baby was healthy. He was healthy. He was great. He was wonderful and amazing and beautiful. But I wasn’t okay. I was lost. I fought so hard. And it was all just taken away from me. Sometimes people don’t understand this because it just isn’t high on their priority list. And that’s okay. But it was important to me.

My son is now 2 and a half. He’s perfect. My body has healed. You wouldn’t even hardly know what happened. But I will never forget. Next time I will fight harder. I will stay home. I will have a better knowledge. This will not happen to me again. Many people have gone through this exact thing, almost word for word. My heart breaks for you. I know healing will come. For you and for me. Until then I will love my daughter and my son more than anything that walks on this earth. I will share with them the joys and hurts that life has to offer so that one day they will be prepared to live this life on their own.

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