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8 Feb

hair 1Photo and article source: Refinery29

I’ve been in love with balayage (hand-painted strands of color) for about 10 years now when I first read that that is how Giselle achieves her sun-kissed, “bronde” color, but only found a stylist who actually does it fairly recently. I’d been looking for an alternative to at-the-root highlights while I was pregnant and also wanted something that looked a little more natural and required less upkeep.

I started balyage in my third trimester and fell hard and fast. But oh my gosh, was it pricey! Interestingly, (and predictably), I started to get the urge for a color refresh right around the same time as I used to for my old look (a partial foil of those same old at-the-root highlights I just mentioned) but eventually started stretching out my appointments and eventually, adjusted to the look of my grown out roots and lighter ends.

I’d been toying with the idea of lightening the ends even further when I saw the picture above on Refinery29, which sealed the deal. Hello spring look!

Breastfeeding Update

2 Feb

Things are changing! Emilia is so active and on the go that I sometimes only nurse her two or three times during the day lately — in the morning, before her second nap, and in the early evening — but I have to really work to get her to sit still now that she’s pulling up and walking with a walker. She never sits still and is into everything.

She started to “pop” her top two teeth last weekend (January 23-24) and was uncharacteristically irritable and miserable until we gave her Hyland’s teething tablets. These really helped, but I started to notice a drastic decrease in even the limited nursing we were doing during the day and a massive uptick in night nursing. Friday, Saturday and Sunday were among the worst, darkest, most exhausted nights we’ve had since the newborn weeks if you can believe it which resulted in more than a few hysterical calls to my mom AND Brian early last week. (Sorry to both of you and thank you for upending your schedules to come home early from work or drive out here to give me a hand for a few hours. It was so appreciated!) Michelle also came by to play with Emilia one night after work, which was a lot of fun and a much-needed change of pace for us as we’re struggling through this tough time, getting teeth.

Part of the reason I wanted to post an update now is because I’d wrongly wondered if this was the beginning of Emilia starting to self-wean herself off breastfeeding. I’d noticed a reduction in nursing the last time she was teething too (and an increase in night nursing) so I wasn’t terribly worried. I’m so happy I reached out to some of my online communities for advice though because it made me realize that I’m actually not offering to nurse enough and have also started to overfeed solids to the detriment of my nursing. I also learned that babies under 12-months don’t self-wean.

It’s funny because I’d been doing so well, nursing on demand, largely letting Emilia decide what she wants to taste, food-wise, whenever I’m eating something (and she has an incredibly diverse palette) but someone expressed concern that I wasn’t feeding her enough solids. I lamely tried to defend myself that my milk provides nearly everything she needs and that while she does get solids, we still consider my milk to be her main source of nutrition.

Since then, I’d been feeding Emilia more regular meals and didn’t realize the drop in nursing until this teething issue came up. It was eye-opening! I need to be better at not letting myself be influenced by advice without thinking it through and weighing what following that advice will mean as far as my plans for how I want to raise Emilia. That’s not to say that I don’t appreciate and see the wisdom in the advice of a more seasoned parent or even say, a pediatrician, but ultimately, I need to trust that I know what is best and not worry so much about defending my choices to anyone else.



Teething Update: Hyland’s Baby Teething Tablets

24 Jan
Emilia is popping her two top teeth and has been irritable, whiny and restless — very unlike her. We’re finding that this starts to scale up as we approach bedtime, with near hourly wake-ups to “comfort” nurse ALL-NIGHT-LONG. I don’t mind being her binkie, per se, but was curious if there might be something out there to take the edge off.

On recommendation from friends and family we’ve been giving her Hyland’s Baby Teething tablets. They’re a game-changer! But I do want to share some information along with my praise for this product.
In researching them before giving them to her, I learned that they were recalled in 2011, when they were linked to seizures, due to inconsistent amounts of Belladonna. If you’re a Practical Magic fan, you might remember that a Belladonna overdose accidentally killed Gillian’s boyfriend, so when I read that the tablets contained this, I was a little wary.

There have been no recalls since, thankfully, and the company’s immediate, cautious response, and transparency about what happened and how they fixed the issue spoke volumes for me. It was unfortunate to have happened but the fact that they have been around for 85-years certainly helps me to believe they are doing something right. So we felt comfortable giving these to Emilia with strict adherence to dosage.
Anyways, in the film, it was my impression that Belladonna induced sleep but in fact, belladonna is, among many things, an anti-inflammatory and pain-reliever. The first symptom of overdosage of the teething tablets, for example, is actually dry mouth. It seems that the ingredient “Coffee Cruda” is noted by the company to help with sleeplessness in the tablets, which I wasn’t expecting.

In my extensive research into Belladonna I learned a lot of fascinating facts. Atropa belladonna or “deadly nightshade” is one of the most toxic plants found in the Eastern Hemisphere. All parts of the plant are toxic, especially the root, and the plant’s berries ripen to look very similar to blueberries. The active agents in belladonna, atropine, hyoscine (scopolamine), and hyoscyamine, have anticholinergic properties.
I found this particularly interesting, since anticholinergic drugs are often used to treat Gastrointestinal disorders, like Crohn’s Disease. Most interestingly, many years ago, scopolamine was used in “Twilight Sleep,”the amnesic condition characterized by insensitivity to pain without loss of consciousness — used during childbirth for many starting around 1914.
So interesting, right?

On a totally different note, I also want to mention that Hyland’s tablets contain “lactose NF”, which, is formulated from cow’s milk but is completely purified of milk proteins, making it safe for babies under 1, who often have trouble digesting milk proteins earlier than that.

All this to say that research is incredibly important and worth the effort when it comes to my daughter.  I’d been a bit hesitant to give her anything for teething but I’m glad I did because they’ve made an incredible difference.
Thanks to everyone who recommended them to us!

For more information, here are some of the resources I referenced:



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