A la Natural

Guess what this is...

 Recently, I made my first big milk donation!
I sent over 80 ounces of frozen milk to a mom who has an adopted baby she is only feeding donor breastmilk to.
I thought I would try to take a neat picture but then this guy:
 showed up exactly when they said he would & I had to quickly pack the milk (I left it in the freezer as long as possible) before shipping it overnight to baby H.
There was something deeply emotional for me about sending my milk to a baby in need.  
I was so thankful to be a part of a program that allows  my excess milk to sustain life in another baby.

I'm also contracting with a company, Prolacta, that makes the only human milk based formula on the market for critically ill NICU babies. It's an incredible concept that offers fortified milk with nutrients only found in breastmilk for very sick babies.
I'm currently in the screening and collecting process for them - but am behind on my end of the paperwork (they require a lot of documents/testing... which is important since it is going to sick babies but time consuming for me.)
I hope to get it done before surgery, otherwise I don't know when I'll get around to it.

Will asked what I am doing and I had the opportunity to explain that Ellie is getting all the milk she needs and Mommy has extra milk so we are sending it to sick babies and babies whose mommies don't have enough milk for them.  When he walked in on me pumping recently, he said, "Mommy, is that milk for Ellie or for the sick babies in hospitals?"

R keeps calling me a hippie.  I'm not, really.  I just have been so thankful to nurse Ellie and am oddly competitive with myself and therefore push myself to always have a certain amount of frozen milk on hand.  Moreover, Ellie began several months ago to refuse a bottle which, though I love that, it means that a lot of my milk was going to expire before I would be able to use it in making her baby food and no way was I going to throw out perfectly good milk that I worked hard to get.  Donation made perfect sense - Ellie won't drink it from a bottle and it would expire and otherwise not get used!
I think part of my love of nursing her is also that it is an opportunity for us to have something normal.  So much of my time with Ellie is spent doing her therapy or taping her or sitting with her in doctors' offices. Feeding her gives us a normal.  It also gives me time just to hold her and love on her that doesn't involve therapy.  And, with our lifestyle of so many appointments and traveling, it's actually more convenient for us.
(I don't ever want to come across as judgmental for how others may choose to feed their babies - for us, this works.  To each their own.:))

I'm not sure which is more hippiesque but one afternoon recently, while my children were napping, I finally got around to taking a shower.
(At some point in early motherhood, I realized that personal hygiene had become a luxury - "me time.")  I only wash my hair a few times a week and it was hair wash day.
I was out of conditioner.  (Does anyone else have this problem - tons of bottles of shampoo in my shower - no daily conditioner?)  So, I checked simplemom.net and got her recipes for homemade shampoo & conditioner.
It literally took me three minutes.
I whipped it up in some salad dressings bottles I found in the kitchen.
(The irony is not lost on me that I can apparently make homemade shampoo but am not making homemade salad dressing.)
The shampoo is just water & baking soda.  The conditioner is water and apple cider vinegar.
And, just for kicks, I made face wash too - olive oil & castor oil.
These are things you probably have in your pantry.  So cheap - & my hair felt so good - not tangly at all thanks to the vinegar (which, by the way, does not leave your hair smelling like vinegar.)  My hair actually felt lighter and was easier to brush.  And my face has felt cleaner too.
And it only took three minutes to make.
I admit that when I am traveling it is easier to use what I have in my travel bag so I haven't taken my mix on the road yet.
But, at home, I really like it.
I added some oils too - organic lavender oil that I borrowed from Ellie's cast care box I am creating & Moroccan oil (which I put in the conditioner the first time but don't recommend- just use it as you normally would after you get out of the shower - but, oh, that stuff is addicting!)  And tea tree oil for the face wash - just a drop goes a long way & it is a natural way to fight acne (thank you, age 30.  Or stress. Or hormones.  Or something.)
But, lest you think I've gone too crunchy,
I'd like to point out that I drank a diet coke while creating the above products.

And that is the story of why lately R has taken to calling me a hippie.

PS - Stay Tuned- GIVEAWAY coming tomorrow!!!
PSS - and it's a good one!
PSSS- And don't worry - I am not giving away any of my, ahem, homemade products.

3 thoughts:

gtown1 said...

You're awesome Katie...and totally inspiring in so many ways.
Would never have thought to make my own shampoo...and you didn't tell me about the milk...that is truly amazing!
What a gift of health and life you are giving and such an example to Will that it truly is better to give than to receive.
Love you-ejw

Lisa said...

You are something else again!!! Love the "hair wash day," i thought i was the only mother who did that!!! baby powder in the hair cuts oil and gives you ONE more day until offical hair wash day!

kelly said...

yaaaay! i love homemade stuff! will have to try these... i've made homemade body scrub - basically just salt or sugar (i like coarser grain of either) + oil (sunflower, olive, etc) & you can add a fragrant oil - i like rosemary.
i've actually been making my own laundry detergent for about 6 months - i keep thinking to blog about it - so cheap & works so well!
my next project is dishwashing detergent!
embrace the crunchy, i say!!

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