Friday, September 30, 2016

#MIMmindfulliving: A project on Sustainability

I've been thinking a lot about waste and sustainability lately. How much are we wasting as a family? How sustainable are we? Where do the products that we buy come from? Who makes my clothes? Are they being given fair wages? Or are the clothes that I'm buying being made by small children? How ethical are the products that we buy?
How far did my food travel to get to me? I know these are some hard-hitting questions and if you're anything like me it can be so daunting to think about them. It can also be really hard to convey them without sounding like I'm on a soapbox or I'm on some sort of high-horse! The truth is that I've had these questions for quite some time now.  But wasn't until recently that I began to wonder if there was anything more I could do about it. Moreover, I knew that I could do more.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Peck &Bushel apple orchard

This weekend we decided it was the perfect time to squeeze in a visit to the apple orchard. Going to the apple orchard has become one of my very favorite yearly traditions. It's definitely worth all of the work to head out there now with the five of us. And it's still so wild to say, the five of us! We decided to change it up a little bit and visit a different orchard this year. I heard about  Peck and Bushel Organic Fruit Co. via Miltown Mom's. Do you guys follow/read Miltown Mom's?! If you don't you should because they're an amazing resource for local mother's and provide all sorts of info on free family-friendly events and activities in and around Milwaukee! The other day I was catching up on my Instagram and saw that the only organic apple farm in Wisconsin is only about a 30 mn drive outside of the city where we are. I thought why not head over and check it out in person. I love being able to buy local and organic as much as I can and this was the perfect time to support a local and organic orchard first-hand!
It's always so amazing to see how the boys experience apple picking every year as they grow. This year Cristian was all about finding and picking as much fruit as he could from the ground. Right where he could reach! I love that they don't care about getting dirty or messy and just have so much fun. He ate abound 2 whole apples while we picked and I don't know how many more once we got home haha! Pretty sure he'll be okay with his fiber intake for the next few days! 
You all know how much I love to babywear but I ended up forgetting my baby carrier and ended up having to hold Lucia the entire time. But it all worked out because she is such a huge fan of facing outward. She loves looking around and see what's going on. And when we talk to her we have to face her because she really likes to see our faces and know that we're close. I just love watching her grow. She's getting so strong now.
Year's from now when we look back at these pictures I know I won't remember how tired I was or how much work it was to head out here. But instead we'll see how little they were, their mouths full of apples, and be so thankful for these little moments and that we did it all anyway.
He really is the best papi and this has got to be my favorite capture of him and Lucia so far.
I think next year we'll head out here sooner in the season because I had a sample of the Riverbelle and was so sad when I found out they were all out. However, we fell in love with the taste and quality of the Honeycrisp. I say this in all honesty, you can taste the difference of these apples. They're so fresh, crisp and it's always great to know that they're not covered in chemicals.
A boy and his apples.
Gabriel was so helpful and excited about apple picking. Three can be such a challenging age so far but it can also be just as endearing. Now that he's learning how to be polite and remembers saying thank you's and you're welcome's he often goes, "thank you so much for making this for me, Mami!" Or, "I'm having so much fun-thank you!" And I'm over here like who are you?! My heart just about explodes and I often ask myself, how'd I get so lucky? He also freaked out a few times because, "the ladybugs are biting me!" Right now lady bugs are bees and any other insect hehe! We're working on that ;)
If you want an orchard with the hayrides and trains this isn't the spot for you. But if you want a more quiet experience walking, picking, and eating apples then this is the perfect spot for you and your family. We really enjoyed eating our own little lunch, and snacking on their caramel apples on their picnic tables before walking up to the orchard. It's a beautifully wooded area and I'm so bummed I forgot to snap a picture. But I guess that means you'll have to visit to experience it yourself ;)

I can't wait to visit again and can't make more time for all  the Autumn goodness before the season is over.

For those wondering you can get my sweater here, and my boots are from here.

Wishing you a great week ahead!

Monday, September 19, 2016

living room gallery wall

It 's slowly starting to feel like Fall around here but I'm not trying to rush it because I'm soaking up the rest of summer that we have left! Something about it still snowing in May really puts things into perspective for me and pushes me to enjoy this season even more. I've been meaning to write this post for a while now but it wasn't until recently that we finished up our gallery wall project. It was a true labor of love because there were specific pieces that I wanted but it took a little while for me to find all of the prints and frames. Before I dive into the gallery wall let's talk a little bit about the color of my living room walls. For starters, I didn't paint them. They were recently painted before we moved in and my first thought was it has to go! However, they were in really great condition and I was in love with every other detail. Now I really can't imagine this room any other color for now anyway ;)

Friday, September 16, 2016

breastfeeding: tips on relieving a plugged duct naturally

It's about to get real over here so get ready! These past few days I've been nursing a clogged duct. Breastfeeding can be a beautiful bond to share with your little. However, it's also very hard and sometimes painful. I have had plugged ducts before but after massaging they go away. This time was different because it was getting worse. It was so bad that the area was hard and inflamed I started to worry because I knew it was headed towards mastitis. Although I'm not against using antibiotics (do what you need to do!) I really wanted to try to relieve my symptoms naturally before calling my Dr. If my fever would have gone up above 100 I would've called right away because I do not want to deal with a massive infection that can be fixed rather quickly with meds. 

I reached out to my Snap Chat family and was immediately blown away with all of the amazing momma's who gave me some great tips and advice! So this post is really a collaboration! I figured it would be helpful for any of my breastfeeding reader's. If you're experiencing a clogged duct, I hope this list helps. As always consult your medical care provider with questions or concerns.

Tips on how to relieve a clogged duct naturally: 

How to know if you have a clogged duct? (The following info is directly from a great breastfeeding resource website,
"A plugged (or blocked) duct is an area of the breast where milk flow is obstructed. The nipple pore may be blocked (see Milk Blister), or the obstruction may be further back in the ductal system. A plugged duct usually comes on gradually and affects only one breast. Mom will usually notice a hard lump or wedge-shaped area of engorgement in the vicinity of the plug that may feel tender, hot, swollen or look reddened. Occasionally mom will only notice localized tenderness or pain, without an obvious lump or area of engorgement. The location of the plug may shift.A plugged duct will typically feel more painful before a feeding and less tender afterward, and the plugged area will usually feel less lumpy or smaller after nursing. Nursing on the affected side may be painful, particularly at letdown. There are usually no systemic symptoms for a plugged duct, but a low fever (less than 101.3°F / 38.5°C) may be present."

  1. Massage, massage, massage: This is going to hurt because your breast is likely already sore but you want to loosen up the clog. I start with a circular motion and move towards my nipple.
  2. Use warm packs: I had a genius idea from one of my followers who suggested making one with a sock and rice (this can be heated up in the microwave for 60 seconds). You can also make one by wetting a washcloth, squeezing the excess water and warming it up in your microwave for 60 seconds. Then place it on your breast. This provided some pain relief for me as well!
  3. Use a comb in the shower: Take a wide-tooth comb and comb the area of your breast where you have the plugged duct. This is going to be very uncomfortable but it works. Again you're trying to loosen up the plug. 
  4. Take a hot shower and hand express: Let the hot water pour on your breast and hand express as best as you can. This was ultimately the one that worked best for me. Although it was also painful it helped a lot. Don[t be alarmed if you breast milk is thicker, watery or string like. As this is your plugged duct getting loosened up!
  5.  Try to relax and drink some tea: I had the sweetest friend drop off some tea and coconut oil at my door and I was so teary-eyed with gratefulness! It takes a village! It was so comforting to drink some warm tea while I was already having a low-grade fever. 
  6. Pump and have your baby nurse from that side: This was harder for me because Lucia didn't want to nurse from that side. I've read that when you have a clogged duct the breast milk changes and it may become salty in taste which could explain why she was rejecting it. However, after I hand expressed and continued to offer it to her she started nursing more. Babies are really the best pumps!
If all of this fails I'd definitely recommend reaching out to your healthcare provider! I hope this helps out and gives you some relief if you're experience this. It's hard and I know how painful it can be!

PIN it and save it for later!

Monday, September 12, 2016

getting organized

This weekend was just what we needed. Instead of heading out we decided to stay in and tackle our remaining list of things to do around our home. It's been 4 months since we've moved in and even though we've accomplished a lot we still have boxes left to unpack... It all still feels so hazy, the moving, the birth of Lucia, and all while B starting his second year of residency. Especially these first few crazy months that we referred to as, bootcamp. Now it may come as a surprise to some of my reader's or maybe not haha but I have a huge confession to make.

I am NOT a very organized person. For as tidy as I can keep our home I really haven't had any system in place to help me find structure. This is something that has plagued me for years and I know that it's one thing that holds me back from accomplishing and reaching my full potential. Being a corner cleaner is really a way for me to compensate not being an organized person ha! It really is the way that my personality is built. Being flexible has helped me when it comes to raising our little's and with B's career. I have a tendency to be able to go with the flow, be spontaneous, and not plan things. Don't get me wrong when it comes to the bigger picture we have a lot of organization in place. However, when it comes down to organizing for things like my blog, what's for dinner, when I do housework, I struggle big time. I've realized this more recently as I start working more and try to juggle being an at home mom. I know that this is all very meta as I blog about my struggle of trying to blog but please bare with me.

I realized that I needed to start getting organized when I wanted to create more in this space of Mommy in Milwaukee. Normally, I wouldn't give much thought to what I would be doing during the week with the boys. I usually had a daily routine that involved playtime, reading maybe an outdoor adventure and I would let the day unfold as it would. Now that Gabriel is three, Cristian is almost two and Lucia is here I quickly realized that wasn't going to work anymore. But here's the thing, I was getting so anxious and nervous about getting organized. I knew I had to do it but it literally scared me. It really was and still is at times an irrational fear. I knew I had to start somewhere. The tipping point for me was definitely when we decided not to enroll Gabriel into preschool but instead I'd begin homeschooling. Things got real and I knew I had to change.

This is all a huge step for me and here I am at almost 32 realizing that what I've been doing for so many years needs to shift in order for me to succeed not only in teaching Gabriel but also in my own personal ventures. I'm starting G's schooling in the next few weeks and will be sharing that on here as well. Wish me luck! It's so tough breaking bad habits but I'm excited to pursue a different way of doing things because what I've been doing just isn't going to work anymore. Thank you for reading while I figure things out!

Here are a few things that I've started to steer me in the right direction:

1. I bought this planner- I don't know why I've never bought a planner before?! I've been using my phone for a planning calendar but  using my phone's calendar has a tendency to overwhelm me. I realized that writing things down felt more concrete and it's been a great way to start my day in the morning. It also gives me a clear idea of what I want to do. It also forces me to get away from technology and it feels good.

2. I downloaded this app. Meditation has always been very helpful for me. However, after having three little's I can find every excuse in the book to not make time to do this. But the truth is that it works. This app helps me do it and it reminds me which also helps!

3. I started working out. I haven't had a gym membership in years but before Lucia was born I decided I wanted to have one to gain my core strength back. Little did  know, how much this would help me not only physically but also mentally. It's been so great to have a set time to head out three times a week and do something for me while our three little's are in childcare. It's now a habit that has helped me build more structure and do something that makes me feel great in the process.

I'd love to know what are some things you do to stay organized?! Please let me know in the comments!

Wishing you a great week ahead!

Saturday, September 03, 2016

West Allis Farmer's Market

Every summer I try to visit the farmer's market weekly to pick up local produce for the week ahead but since this summer our sweet Lucia was born I haven't been able to visit. However, this past Thursday seemed like the perfect day because the weather was cool and I had enough energy to head out with my crew! It's amazing how much more I can handle when we go out now. I remember feeling the same way with Gabriel at first too and then when Cristian was born. It really is true that it doesn't get easier but we just get stronger and learn to become more efficient in the process. I have a lot of amazing mama's ask me how do I do it. Meaning how can I go out all the time with my three. To be completely honest with you guys I don't have a choice haha! But seriously. With B's schedule if I didn't venture out on my own we wouldn't have food, a clean house, toiletries and the list goes on. This isn't saying that B doesn't do these things with us when he is able but the way that residency is set-up it isn't an option. I don't mind though because I've always been very independent. And as much as I love going out as a family I know I can do it on my own just as well.

It really is flattering when I get comments on Instagram and messages about how I'm so brave to go out with all of them. But the truth is that I believe we can all do these things! Whenever I go out I always see a few other mama's (some with 4 or 5!) walking through the lanes at Target and rocking it like no other. The only difference is that I snap selfies and stop to record everything lol! But seriously we can all do these things and have fun while we're doing it. So Here's a quick list of things I do to make it easier for me when I head out with my 3! Also, keep scrolling because at the end I have a code for free shipping on this amazing choker from my mama friends new macrame jewelry shop!

Boho flowy top (this style available in-store) via Versona c/o | Macrame choker via Zo Jewelry ( use code KEILAFREESHIPPING for free international shipping on your order!) | Jeans via Loft | Back pack baby bag via Lily Jade c/o | sandals via Versona

Be patient- Okay, I know this is easier said than done but it works. They're just little kiddos who are learning the ways of the world and they need more patience than anyone because they are learning. Repeat after me, they are learning. They pick up on my energy so quickly and it's amazing how well they do when I remain calm. It's  to the point that when I start becoming frazzled Gabriel stops me and says, "Calm down Mami, breathe." I kid you not, haha! He's a natural yogi that one. But that's exactly what I tell him when he's having a tantrum and we both breathe together and it works.

Mornings are always better- The boys have always been early risers and a lot of time if 10 am rolls around I already feel like half of the day is gone! So we end up leaving earlier and they are so much more cooperative with me. Generally, unless I have an extra pair of hands I don't go out after 3 pm with them. It's a recipe for really cranky toddlers. I'm pretty strict when it comes to their evening/bedtime routine so this helps a lot!

Pack their favorite snacks- This one speaks for itself. Kids listen when they have their favorite snacks!

Listen- Again, you might say I'm speaking in metaphors but what helps me when the boys are having melt downs is to listen to what they want. Nine times out of ten it's something I can do. For toddlers you are their world and when something seems out of place they freak out. I cannot tell you how many times I've been able to calm Gabriel down after he's been crying out loud in a Target. I breathe in, get down to his level, then I ask him calmly, "Que quieres?" "What do you want?" Then even if he's crying, yelling I wait patiently. I wait and ask again, and again calmly until he realizes that I just want to talk to him. Once that happens, he always calms down and tells me. Then we go from there.

Babywearing- You all know I'm a huge advocate for babywearing and it's because there are so many benefits. I'm writing up a post on my fave carriers soon also!

Don't worry about what other people think!- This one should really be first haha! But I've had to learn this early on. You are your children's parent and you are caring for them. Not one of those people that are being snarky or rude are caring for your children. Kids will cry and they will have fits. It is in their nature because they are learning. Who cares what anyone else thinks?! You are helping your child and that's all that matters.

I hope this list helps if you're starting or wanting to venture out more with your little's! You can do it mama's!

All photos taken by the super talented Glenna of Lagazo Creative

Wishing you a great Labor Day weekend!