“If you’ve been following my blog, by now you’ve probably noticed that our family leans towards using natural products. There are a lot of benefits to using more natural products (they tend to be environmentally friendly and cruelty free), but for us a lot of it comes down to our health. There are a lot of ingredients that we simply cannot be exposed to due to chemical sensitivities and allergies, many of which are in your standard bathroom products like shampoo, soap, toothpaste and so forth. There are even some things in our water that we avoid!”
We harvested potatoes from our garden this week! 🙂 I asked my toddler what he thought about it and got his reaction on tape 😀 Enjoy!
Hi there! 🙂
I just wrote a post on what is in our beach bag.
Okay, so it is really about how my husband picked my swimsuit, what is in our beach bag AND my favorite ways to recover from a sunburn. 😉
You can check it out here: What is in this Natural Mom’s Beach Bag
I hope you all have a great weekend! <3
We take personally hygiene products – things that are supposed to be good for us and for our benefit – so much for granted. Do you know what is in yours?
Several weeks ago, I was contacted by the shop owner of SirenSistersElixirs! She asked if I was open for a giveaway and told me she made essential oil diffuser jeweler. While I had heard of essential oil diffuser jewelry, I didn’t know how it worked. So, naturally, I asked her to explain it to me! 🙂 This is what she said…
Essential oil jewelry works in two ways:
1. Jewelry with lava rocks: Lava Rock:
Lava rocks are porous and can hold the scent of pure essential oil for up to three days. Since the rocks are known for their grounding qualities and ability to calm raw emotions, they are a wonderful tool in creating peace within. They are meant to be worn directly to the skin, with no barrier so it may absorb negative energy.2. Jewelry with felt pads: the necklaces without lava rocks have a felt pad. When essential oils are dropped on the felt pad, they diffuse into the air. Depending on the oil, the scent will stay for 3 – 4 days.
Please note, my websites (New Crunchy Mom and Rebecca Lemke) and myself are not associated with any essential oil brand companies or schools of usage. I urge caution when beginning use of any product, natural or not. I am not a medical professional, and I don’t play one on TV. If your bottle of oils says to consult a physician in certain circumstances, please do so!
When I spoke to Erin, I told her I wanted to wait until my Facebook page hit 500 likes before running the giveaway. It was at around 420 when I said that. I posted to let everyone know the agreement and by the next day, it was over 500 likes!
This giveaway is happening because of the amazing support and community here and on the Facebook page. You all are the reason this is happening, so thank you! <3
Because I posted that announcement, I was approached by a second shop! The asked if they could sponsor the giveaway and allowed me to pick out some of their products to try for myself before deciding. I received their spearmint lipgloss, rosemary lipgloss, and outdoor activity cream!
I can honestly say, my favorite is the spearmint lipgloss! When my allergies and sensitivities surfaced, I had to stop chewing my favorite spearmint gum and couldn’t find any lipgloss with a safe ingredient list for me. This product has an ingredient list that is natural and is free from all my allergies and all of the toxic ingredients our family avoids. The rosemary is just as amazing, but the spearmint is my favorite because I previously loved it! The outdoor activity cream is also fantastic. It isn’t super greasy like other lotions and creams, and it is safe for our whole family!
I told the shop owner that I loved their stuff and accepted their offer to sponsor the giveaway. <3 We worked together to get some of their most well-loved products into this giveaway for you!
If you win, you will get rosemary lipgloss, spearmint lipgloss, outdoor activity cream, body butter, baby powder and shaving cream – all organic! 🙂 I’ve heard their baby powder is loved by many a crunchy mom. 😉
For those that don’t win, Crunchie Life is providing everyone a coupon code! It does not expire for my community, so feel free to use it whenever you want, as many times as you want. Crunchie Life is dedicated to helping moms like me be able to afford and use natural and safe products. Just use the code RLemke10 on orders of $9.99 or more and you will receive a 10% discount.
I cannot possibly convey how excited I am about this giveaway. 9 months ago when I started this blog, I NEVER imaged that I would be running a giveaway. If you told me that I would have so many people making up a community surrounding this blog, I would have told you that you were crazy. But, here we are. Thank you all (sponsors, community, family and friends) for the support, prayers and kindness you have shown to me. I will be forever grateful.
If you are planning on sticking around to be part of the community after the giveaway, you can join us over at my new site, Rebecca Lemke with the new tagline: “Holistic and regenerating living, both temporal and eternal”.
Good luck to each and every one of you in this giveaway! <3 Please note, this giveaway is not just for moms. If you want to win some of the products, but don’t have a use for say the baby powder, feel free to enter anyways and give the baby powder to a mommy in need!
Hey everyone! 🙂
Today I wanted to bring you a special guest poster. Her name is Lyndsey and she is a brand new blogger and fellow crunchy mama! <3 She offered to write guest post on cloth diapering while camping and I just couldn’t pass that up! If you’d like to check out her blog, you can find it here. I hope you find her post as interesting as I did!
Hi there, I am Lyndsey!
My family and I avidly love the outdoors, especially during the late spring and summer months. We love to go camping with our little ones and we cloth diapered our second child.
Now you must be thinking camping and cloth diapering is not something that you would assume goes hand in hand. Well at first that was my thought as a new cloth mom, but I decided to give it a try since I did not want to buy disposables. (I never bought any the whole 2 years we cloth diapered for!!! EEK) Our first camping trip was Labor day weekend in 2014 and some pictures included in this post are from 2015 camping trips.
Camping and cloth can work, and I will explain what I did to make it work. Hopefully it will help others take that step and venture out to experience it.
What I did to make this as easy as possible on me was using just diaper covers and prefold/flats. I pretty much packed a duffle with as many as I could fit just so I knew I would have enough. I brought a mop bucket to wash the diapers and a wooden spoon to use as an agitator. You can use a 5 gallon bucket I just had the mop bucket on hand. =) The detergent I used was All free and clear this will just depend on what you use. At that time that is what I used. Oh you can not forget your wet bag, I used a large one to hold all of the dirty diapers.
The reason I chose to use prefolds and flats with covers is because they dry fast than using an AIO (all in one) or AI2 (All in two). Thankfully the site we were at already had a little clothes line I could hang the diapers on. If your site doesn’t have one that is fine, you can make one or just lay them out to dry. Another plus is when using a cover, you can get about 3 uses out of them before you have to wash them which saves you in the long run.
The process is super simple! When you wash is dependent on you and your preference or need. I would wash when the wet bag was a little under half full, so about 3 covers and I don’t know maybe 5 or 6 prefolds/flats,give or take. I would take my bucket to the water spigot and fill it up. I put about half a cap of detergent into the bucket and added my diapers to it, then I swooshed them around with my wooden spoon for about a minute or two. Then I let it sit for a few minutes and stir it again for a little longer this time. I do that 5 or 6 times then I take the bucket to a bush and poor the water out while holding the diapers in so they don’t fall out. Once the water is out of the bucket, then I take the bucket to the spigot again to rinse the diapers. I found it to be easier to rinse them one by one under the spigot and put them in the bucket after it was cleaned out.
They are now clean, wahoo! I take them to the clothes line in the bucket and start flinging them over the clothes line to dry. It is very satisfying to clean and dry diapers (weird I know). Since each diaper is all only one layer they can dry pretty fast. These that I had hanging up were dry in about an hour or a little under and hour. That is great drying time since you want it to be fast and not take time away from your family adventure. That is my cloth camping routine, if that’s what we should call it.
I will say that if you use only AIO or AI2’s you can still cloth and camp, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t want to use prefolds or flats. With those diapers I would suggest that you just keep them in the wet bag and wash when you get home especially if it is not a super long camping trip. Diapers can go a few days before NEEDING to be washed, especially if you have plenty to use in between washed.
The flats that I used are super cheap and wont break the bank either. They are just flour sack towels that you can pick up from good ole Wally world or pretty much any store with kitchen stuff I believe. They are 5 in a pack for about 5 or 6 bucks they are super inexpensive and great for cloth diapering! I also made them fun by tie dying them.
It doesn’t take time away from your fun either, I washed in the morning and they were dry by mid day. I hope that this post helps other moms venture to camping with cloth diapered babies!
Would you ever cloth diaper while camping?
Hi there! If you have ever been a friend of mine on my personal Facebook, liked the blog Facebook page or followed this blog after a certain time, you’ve probably noticed that despite the fact that I talk about breastfeeding with some regularity, I don’t have any breastfeeding photos posted.
That might seem a little weird to you, and maybe you’ve wondered what the deal is. If you belong to one of the mommy groups I am in, have been following me from the beginning of this blog, or were following me since I began the Facebook page, you might remember a few times when I did post a few breastfeeding photos, but if you were to look for them today you wouldn’t find them. There is only one breastfeeding photo of my son and I that could be found online now, and it is a very small or cropped photo.
So why are they all gone? Why don’t I regular post breastfeeding photos to help #normalizebreastfeeding?
The answer is pretty simple to the second question, I prefer to write or talk instead of post a photo.
The answer to the first could be a touchy subject, but I am going to talk about it anyways. The reason you won’t find any past or future breastfeeding photos of me and my son is because my husband asked me not to post them.
When he asked me not to post any, it was amidst thepublicblogger competition and I had already released a professional breastfeeding photo to be used in the promos. It was already too late to take it back, and my husband was grieved about that. I hadn’t consulted him about posting breastfeeding photos (I consult him about everything) because it never crossed my mind. I was being told by other women that it was normal to post lots of breastfeeding photos all the time and any objections that were raised were considered outlandish.
Then my husband objected. Then my husband raised concerns. He didn’t just raise concerns, he was visibly wounded by my lack of consideration for his feelings on the matter. We talk to each other about nearly every decision in life, especially what goes on our social media accounts, so this was out of the ordinary.
I was saddened and confused. One side was telling me it was “my body, my choice” and that any objectors had to be insane and the other was asking me with a vulnerable and genuine heart to please not post breastfeeding photos. The voices of people who I thought were my friends would rally against people like this, like my husband. It was dividing, and everything I thought I knew about breastfeeding and society was thrown out the window.
I went back through my blog, Facebook and mommy groups and deleted the photos I had posted.
The truth was, and is, that it isn’t “my body, my choice” to post breastfeeding photos. My belief in Christ is central to my life, and the bible states in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 that our bodies are temples and all we are to honor God with our bodies. In order to honor God, I also honor the vocations I have taken on in this world. Namely honoring, loving and respecting the man I swore to when I married him. The man I gave myself to and said I trusted him to take care of me, even if I wouldn’t agree to everything he decided. I think it is important to note, even before I got married, my body was not my own, but a gift from God that I am a steward of and I regret entertaining a different way of thinking, even for a moment.
My husband didn’t make this request to be mean, or to flex some sort of dominating patriarchal muscles as some might suggest. He did it for the benefit and good or myself and our son, whom he has taken on the responsibility to protect. While I don’t intend to go through all his reasons, I will discuss part of them.
Many people claim that breastfeeding isn’t sexual. I would say that they are right, in most instances. With as much sexual abnormality that has been widely condoned by our culture, I don’t see breastfeeding fetishes as being stigmatized for much longer. I’ve heard stories of women being solicited to be nursed by grown men, or be told that their photos would be used for sexual activities. Before I might have considered these scenarios to be rare, but I personally know many women who have told me things like this. The perversion that our society is capable of is nothing to be underestimated.
While I was searching for a photo to use with the term “breastfeeding” for my last post on twiddling while breastfeeding, I was surprised to find that many of the photos were tagged with terms like “erotic”, “sensual” and “sexy”. Breastfeeding photos, guys. This was more than one photographer tagging their photos like this too!
Any doubts that I had heard about the concerns based on sexualization of breastfeeding, whether made by my husband or others, suddenly started gaining a little more credibility in my mind.
After I did a little bit of digging in my analytics trying to find search terms to see if my site had ever been visited by an unwanted search, I was surprised to find that a lot of my audience is male. About this same time, one of my readers began asking me a little bit about breastfeeding.
Turns out, breastfeeding pictures don’t normalize breastfeeding in male eyes as much as you might think. Instead, it makes breastfeeding an exotic unknown, which might be how it manages to be sensual to them in the first place. As we spoke, he confessed he really didn’t know much about how breastfeeding worked. What he did know was that it supposedly felt good.
While it was a little bit awkward, I decided to explain what breastfeeding has been like for me and what it can be like and has been for other women. There are so many different things about breastfeeding that we don’t talk about and even shame other women for, it is no small wonder that the topic is filled with lots of glamorous (or nursing gymnastics) photos, but we don’t really discuss what it is like to the people who would sexualize breastfeeding to begin with (not that I am saying my friend would, but speaking about males in general).
Ultimately my husband requesting that no uncovered breastfeeding photos be put on social media was the right call for our family, and I understand it is a decision that won’t be understood by most.
Am I saying you should live in fear because there are creeps on the internet? No way! I’m not even saying that breastfeeding photos are bad. I totally understand the excitement and wanting to show people the bond you have with your baby! I respect my husband so much and I regret that he was apprehensive in requesting this of me because he thought I would be angry or upset. This topic is just one that I chose to address because our family’s stance on breastfeeding photos is unique and the breastfeeding experience looks different for everyone. For us, it looks like this. 🙂
What do you think? Do you post breastfeeding photos?
Hi there! 🙂 If your baby is anything like Bubba, you may have dealt with the dreaded twiddling and have found yourself here trying to find a way to make it stop.
If you aren’t familiar with twiddling, allow me to explain. Twiddling is a term for when your baby is nursing and has a restless hand that wanders (or forcefully grabs) your other nipple, exposed or not, and starts twisting, pinching, scratching or otherwise injuring it. While I consider this normal baby behavior (though not all babies twiddle), it isn’t pleasant and it is a good idea to begin teaching your baby to do something else to mindlessly entertain themselves while nursing. At least, if you don’t want to have damaged and bleeding nipples.
When I started breastfeeding, I was told how painful it would be, but no one warned me about twiddling! It is equivalent to the levels of pain some women experience while breastfeeding a newborn, especially when you are on your period! It is very painful and there have been many times that I have seen red and declared that I was weaning Bubba because I just couldn’t take it anymore!
Wearing t-shirts is a valid option for some mothers, but Bubba is determined and persistent, he manages to wiggle his arm and contort it to get to a nipple anyways. After a long time of dealing with Bubba’s twiddling, we’ve found five “battle-tested” things to help keep him occupied that don’t include awkward grabs for the inside of my shirt and pain. None of these have completely gotten rid of Bubba’s twiddling habit, but they have significantly improved it.
Here are our five things that have made breastfeeding a twiddling baby manageable!
#1 – Twiddle Necklace
Our twiddle necklace has been a lifesaver! I ordered in when Bubba was three to four months old and while it took awhile to get here, it was well worth the wait and money. I chose a light blue necklace that fit Bubba and I perfectly and it is beautiful and practical. I purchased the necklace from Mama Two Fish and although ours wasn’t a custom, you can customize your own necklace through her shop.
Our necklace is shaped like a simple fish symbol and is perfect for Bubba’s baby hand to grab onto. The alternating colors and size of beads captures his attention every time. As long as I remember to wear it, it works 100% of the time. He never tries to twiddle when I have it on. The only downside to this option is that, our twiddle necklace is not for teething so when your baby begins teething you’ll want to make sure they don’t gnaw on it.
#2 – Alternative Stimulation
Instead of your baby occupying their idle hands with twiddling, beat them to the chase and play a game with them! Patty-cake, peek-a-boo and other games are great for this. I also like to show Bubba new things he can do with his hands or fingers like wiggling or bending his finger and holding hands. This works pretty well, unless he is tired. When he is tired he wants to do repetitive motions like twiddling to fall asleep and I haven’t found any game or interaction that satisfies this need of his, apart from the twiddle necklace.
#3 – Redirection
This is a great option if you can handle your baby repetitively playing with a different spot like your collarbone. Bubba likes to poke my nose (I’m supposed to say “boop” when he does this) or play with a toy for this. I will remove his claws from my flesh and then put his hand on my collarbone or give him a toy and he will generally be content for a minute or two. For short nursing sessions, this works pretty well!
#4 – Boundary shaping
This is, by far, my favorite solution to twiddling because it has long-term benefits beyond peaceful breastfeeding. To truly stop twiddling, pinching and other undesirable baby behavior, you have to set boundaries with your baby on what you will or won’t tolerate. It might sound harsh, but I believe it is actually healthy for your relationship with your baby.
For Bubba and I, this looks like me saying “Ouch, don’t do that.” and removing his hand and holding it for a few seconds before releasing it and giving him a second chance. If he continues and does it a second time, I make my voice a little more stern or sad and say “No, stop hurting mommy.” I hold his hand for a little bit longer the second time before giving him a third chance.
If he does it again, I lightly pat his hand to get his attention, look him in the eyes, remove his hand and tell him “No, no more milk for now.” and then set him on the floor for a minute. He usually cries a little and asks to be picked back up.
I give him one more chance and if he is still genuinely hurting me (which stops any letdowns for me so nursing is not possible at that point), I tell him “No.”, remove his hand and put him in his playpen with no toys for a minute or less since he is one.
After that, and our minute of separation, I go on to #5 so that he can still get some milk without me having to endure the nipple abuse.
#5 – Pumping
If your baby is like mine, sometimes they can take a while to catch on at first, and really, what else can we expect for a tiny human that hasn’t learned the ways of the world yet? Bubba generally only has days this bad as far as listening goes when he is very tired, or has had a lot of excitement. I try to extend grace and empathize with him without allowing him to rule the roost or give him any more chances to damage my milk makers!
When we have days this bad, I break our my electric pump, you can find it here on my retail therapy page. I’m generally pretty tense after going through the process of trying to teach Bubba and simultaneously trying not to lose my temper, but I find some good music and then pump a few ounces to give him in his sippy cup. It isn’t the ideal situation, but it can save your sanity and get you through the particularly rough patches when teaching your baby to stop twiddling.
I’m happy to say that setting boundaries with Bubba has been working well and we haven’t had to depend on the other tips as much since we started this. Make sure that if you do decide to teach your baby that you don’t want them to twiddle and they do something right that you praise them! It is important to make sure that they know when they’ve done something right so they don’t feel like they are constantly being criticized. <3
With Bubba I always clap and say “Yay!” when he reaches to twiddle and then stops himself, looks at me and shakes his head. He knows that he isn’t supposed to do it, and the praise reinforces to him that he isn’t a bad baby and he is learning the right thing. 🙂
Thanks for reading, I hope that this list can help you with your twiddler and improve your breastfeeding relationship! Obviously I am not a medical professional, so all of the advice here is based off of my own experience with my son.
Have advice on twiddling that you want to share? Drop us a comment bellow!
New Crunchy Mom
Hi there! 🙂
Today Bubba and I wanted to show you our indoor garden that sits on our windowsill at out house. It is filled with flowers, lettuce grown from leftovers, and two avocado pits growing in water.
If you have any questions, or something you would like me to talk about on youtube, please let me know in the comments!
New Crunchy Mom