Thursday, May 31, 2012

Très Chic Mama Diaries: 32 Weeks

     Hi Friends! It's another week that I am featured over on the Très Chic Mama Diaries. I talk more about pregnancy, family, staying in shape and my upcoming homebirth this time around. So hop on over and read all about it :)
*****
     Usually for my photos, I set up my tripod, plug in the shutter remote and pray I get a few good shots. But for this outfit, I got to have my photo taken by a super talented (and funny, witty, easy-going, yummy enchilada maker) photographer, Laura Aguon
       I met Laura through my new North Shore mama-friend, Monica, and Laura invited me to piggy back on Monica's family photo session to get some maternity shots. If you haven't followed yet, Monica aka The Grommom has 4 boys, so obviously my boys were in an excited frenzy to have so many boys over to play. Laura got a few candid shots of Coral and Sky in the midst of it all.


     Laura even caught a good shot of Brian with his Chai in hand and still literally covered in sand from his previous surf session.

     I am excited to share the rest of the photos from our shoot with Laura, so stay tuned.

With Love and Aloha, 
Maryam

Friday, May 25, 2012

Très Chic Mama Diaries: 30 Weeks Part 2

    I have to say that being pregnant in Hawaii is pretty, well... amazing. Spending a few hours each day outdoors in God's sunshine really does good things for the soul. I feel the healthiest I have in all of my three pregnancies and I've even had a burst of extra energy in this last semester. I think it's part sunshine, ocean water, healthy simple eating and exercise. I know how fortunate we are to have this time in our life to really enjoy family and the outdoor environment and I am not taking it for granted one bit.
{I got the original headband in store at the Francesca's Collections boutique.}

With love,
Maryam

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Breastfeeding in Style: Dresses for Under $30

     Hi Friends! Been very busy around here soaking up the sun with the boys, missing a lot of naps, working on new projects and celebrating Brian's Bday (today). I've had a few spare moments to spy on all the breastfeeding-friendly dresses out there on the inter-webs. Thought I should share a few of the supa cheap dresses you can totally breastfeed in.


Breastfeeding in Style: Dresses for Under $30




With love,
Maryam

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Très Chic Mama Diaries: 30 Weeks Part 1

     So I wanted to share my recent post over on the Très Chic Mama Diaries that's all about re-mixing an item three ways. I wore this linen skirt/dress thing in three different looks, so now I am here to share a few of the other photos from each outfit in three parts so they don't just sit on my desktop. 
     I also stalked my prior self on Myspace to find a picture of the dress worn back in the day. This is in Winston Salem, NC after a gifted massage from a dear friend "Uncle" Arta. Sidenote- myspace is very, very creepy. I need to delete that account asap. 
This top is now on sale at Forever 21 for $9.99! And this is one of my all-time favorite necklaces from Francesca's Collections

Till next time,
Maryam

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mango Summer Roll Recipe with Guava Dipping Sauce

     There's that time of the day, when all I crave is something fresh and yummy, and now that we're living here on the North Shore, my mind always wanders to the plentiful food options we had in San Diego. One of those places was this tiny little Vietnamese/Chinese/Thai place in Encinitas that has the best Pho. MMM... Pho. But that's not what I am here to share today...because I have no Pho skills at this point in my life. What I do want to share is my Mango Summer Roll Recipe. It's easy, has mango (duh, so good) and you don't have to "cook" anything. 
Ingredients:
  • 1 ripe mango
  • Fresh mint leaves
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • A few carrots
  • A cucumber
  • Rice Paper (see image below)
  • Bean thread noodle things
  • Sesame oil
  • Lime juice
  • (You can also add cooked chicken, shrimp or tofu if you want a little more oomph)
Dipping Sauce:
  • Store bought sweet and sour sauce (but if you are even cooler, make your own)
  • Guava jam (very abundant here in Hawaii, but would be good with maybe plum jam, if there is such a thing, or possibly some strawberry jam.)

1. Get the hot water running, and when it's real hot, just fill up a bowl. 
2. Put a bunch of the bean noodles in the hot water because they will need to soak for a while.
3. Now it's chopping time. Julienne your cucumber, carrots and mango. Also, tear apart the mint and basil leaves to set aside.
4. Now grab another bowl, put the cucumber, carrots and pre-soaked noodles in there. Put about 1 tablespoon-ish of sesame oil and about 1 teaspoon of lime juice in there with the cucumber, carrots and noodles. Give them a little stir and let them marinate a bit while you make the dipping sauce.
5. Grab another dipping size bowl, and add about a tablespoon of the sweet and sour sauce and a tablespoon of the jam of your choice. Then mix mix mix.
6. Now it's time to grab a big shallow bowl that you can soak the rice paper in and a plate that you'll be rolling these puppies on. Get the hot water running again and when it's HAWT, give the paper a good dipping for about 10 seconds. 
7. Lay the soaked rice paper on the plate so when you're looking at it, it's a diamond instead of a square. Add a bit of all the ingredients in the center of the paper (maybe a little lower than the very center, toward your body) and roll it up burrito style. In my mind, burrito style means fold that bottom corner up over the ingredients, give it one roll, then fold in the right and left corners and roll all the way up to the top corner.
>>THEN DIP & ENJOY EVERY.SINGLE.SECOND OF IT<<
(It's so good, you may want to make it during nap time so that you don't have to share. Just sayin')
With love,
Maryam

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

{My Breastfeeding Story Series}: With Nicole from Urban Baby Bonnets

     I am excited to introduce you all to one of our new sponsors, Urban Baby Bonnets. They are adorable sun hats that are designed by and handmade by moms just like you. I've also learned that one of the added benefits of these cool little hats are that they are perfect for the babe to wear while breastfeeding in that it completely acts as a nursing cover. WIN WIN.
    The boys and I got to host the Hawaiian distributor, Nicole and her adorable girls, here at our casa for a playdate. We had lots of craft time and some outdoor bubble blowing. I also go to get my hands on a bunch of the Urban Baby Bonnets and check them out myself. I loved the prints that were chosen and that they are reversible. 
     As Nicole and I were getting to know each other better, she shared a little bit about her own breastfeeding story. I think every single mother out there has different challenges one way or another and it's comforting and empowering to hear these stories shared from mother to mother. So here we go, here's Nicole's story... (also, you can here more about how she got into Urban Baby Bonnets at the end of her story as well.)
     As soon as I found out I was pregnant (on Christmas Eve!) with Junebug I knew I was going to breastfeed. Honestly, I couldn't wait. It never even occurred to me that breastfeeding might be challenging, never mind, INCREDIBLY DIFFICULT and stressful, which it was. But I did it (twice), and I'm proud of it! Here's my story: 
     Junebug was born in September of 2008, and she was absolutely perfect in every way. I nursed her for the first time soon after she was born and while it was sort of awkward trying to figure out how to hold her and not suffocate her, all the while making sure she was actually getting milk (or colostrum at that point), overall it went well. She immediately latched on and we were on our way! While my milk came in quickly and my supply was incredible the biggest challenge I faced early on was nipple pain. Breastfeeding hurt, so badly in fact, I often cried from the pain. I was certain I must have been doing something wrong. I saw the lactation consultant numerous times in the first few weeks and each time I was told everything looked great (latch, positioning, hold, etc), but it still hurt. However, I was determined to make it work, and I just kept going. It hurt, but I could deal with it, and I did. 
     Eventually, the pain lessened, but it never went away entirely. Again, I figured I must be doing something wrong, but I felt at a loss as to what to do to fix it. My nipples were incredibly sensitive to the touch, even to the point that I experienced discomfort getting dressed, taking a shower, and going outside- due to the change in temperature! On top of the sensitivity I felt like my milk production was OUT OF CONTROL! I'm pretty sure I could have adequately fed two sets of triplets from my right side alone and I'm not even kidding! I know there are mothers out there who would give anything to have that kind of supply, but it was frustrating. I would constantly soak through nursing pads in record time, and I could never even go without a bra in the privacy of my own home, even for short amounts of time, without milk dripping and spraying everywhere. And, I'm not just talking about the first few months, this was my experience the entire time. I often felt like a milk-soaked disaster! But again, I was determined to breastfeed, and I did.
     Starting around 2 months of age I began to notice streaks of blood in Junebug's dirty diapers. Of course, as a new mom, I completely freaked out! I took her to the pediatrician and was told she likely had a breast milk allergy. I eliminated nearly everything from my diet but the problem persisted. It was incredibly frustrating, and scary! Finally, around 5 months, our pediatrician recommended formula feeding for 6 weeks (up until this point she had been breast fed exclusively) in order to let her tiny little digestive system heal, so I did. It worked and I was incredibly relieved! During the 6 week hiatus I continued to pump and luckily, thanks to my incredible supply and easygoing baby, we went right back to nursing. Although, I did continue to give her a bottle of formula at night, I guess I just assumed that I couldn't possibly be producing enough milk to sustain her. I have no idea why I thought this, but I did. 
     In hindsight, after talking to lots of other mamas and reading about others similar experiences with breast milk allergies, I realized it's actually pretty common and very likely that Junebug would have eventually outgrown the allergy had I continued to breastfeed. Unfortunately, my pediatrician never really shared much information with me despite repeated, worry-filled visits to her office. If she had recommended it I certainly would have continued to breastfeed. I just wanted reassurance that my baby was going to be fine, and I never got that- I didn't realize it was common, and almost normal. Despite the nipple pain and breast milk allergy setbacks and the fact that I was incredibly lopsided due to my insane milk production (on one side), I managed to nurse my baby for the first 11 months of her life, and I'm proud of that accomplishment!
     In February of 2011 we welcomed Littlebug to our world. We were blessed with yet another perfect little girl. Again, I was confident that breastfeeding would be easy. After all, I had successfully nursed one baby and I was certain there was no way I would repeat my past breastfeeding "mistakes." I nursed Littlebug as soon as she was born, and just like her sister she latched on right away and nursed like a champ! However, the pain quickly set in and honestly, I think it was worse the second time around. That, combined with the fact that I was now responsible for a demanding infant and an even more demanding (and incredibly jealous) toddler made for a very stressful and emotional first few weeks at home. At one point during the first week my nipples actually started bleeding. I was ready to give up. In fact, I asked my husband to go buy some formula so he could give her a bottle and I could give my body a break. For 24 hours we formula fed. The next day I met with an amazingly kind and supportive lactation consultant who showed me how to use a nipple shield (I used it for about a month), which ultimately enabled me to exclusively breastfeed Littlebug for the next 13 months (she never once took a bottle!). While my nipples were extremely sensitive, and basically sore the entire time, I was able to deal with it. At some point, after a consultation with my OBGYN, I realized that the pain had nothing to do with baby's latch and everything to do with hormones. My body is extremely sensitive to milk production, so even if I had pumped for every single feeding, I would still have experienced discomfort. I probably could have taken some sort of medication or something for it, but honestly, I never wanted to go that route. Anyway, I did it, and yes, I'm proud that I did! 
     For me, my go to nursing items were the boppy, this awesome nursing tank because it was so comfy AND stretchy that it actually fit my pregnant belly AND post baby body (rather than being baggy and sloppy when I was no longer sporting the bump!), and this sweet little bonnet that I regularly used in place of a nursing cover while on the go. In fact, I loved my urban baby bonnet so much that I'm working for them now- so yes, if you buy one and use the code milkfriendly for free shipping, I'll make a few bucks, but that being said, I really love this hat. For me, it was just much easier to put a bonnet on Littlebug rather than a nursing cover over both of us. And if you're like me, you're packing like you're going on vacation every time you leave the house, so it's nice when one item can serve multiple purposes- great sun coverage, discrete nursing, oh and it's just plain ADORABLE! If you think it might work for you, give *ub2* a try- I promise you'll be happy you did :) AND, please know that the mama who made your bonnet may have even taken a break in between working to nurse her own little babe :) Urban Baby Bonnets is owned and operated by a WAHM, Colette Palamar, who employs and even encourages other moms and dads to work at home too! Pretty awesome, huh? Either way, happy nursing!


With Aloha,
Nicole

Monday, May 7, 2012

Breastfeeding in Style: Spring 2012 Easy Up

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