We care about the environment here at Snugabell. We want to make sure our babies and their babies (and so on and so forth) inherit a healthy planet from us. We have been making changes to ensure that Snugabell is as environmentally friendly as possible.
Instead of printing a paper receipt to include with our products (a paper receipt that, let's be honest, is most likely immediately thrown into the trashcan or recycling bin), we email our receipts to our customers. It's a simple but effective way to reduce waste on every single sale we make.
When we do need to print something, we have recently made the decision to start using tree-free sugarcane paper. Paper made from sugarcane uses waste that would otherwise be land-filled; is cleaner to produce than traditional paper; and biodegrades more quickly. Being aware of whether or not something really needs to be printed and then printing on sugarcane paper (double-sided of course!) are steps we're taking to help protect our trees.
We also cut any white space off of paper that is headed for our blue boxes and create our own scratch pads from these trimmings. You'd be surprised at how much usable paper is diverted, at least for a while from our blue boxes. This of course, in turn, reduces the number of scratch pads we're purchasing from our office supplies vendor.
Here at Snugabell headquarters, we take our mission to be green seriously. We use only washable mugs and cutlery and have a recycling station set up to ensure that we are throwing out as little waste as possible. It takes a little more time and effort than using disposable kitchenware and throwing everything out but we feel it's our responsibility to be as "green" as possible.
What changes have you made to be kinder to the earth?
I was about 10 years old when my family first went to Disneyland and I remember it being a huge deal. I wanted to give that same sense of excitement to my girls, to make their first time at Disneyland really special. Mike and I devised a plan: we told the girls I was going on a business trip and they were just dropping me off at the airport (nothing out of the ordinary). Then, at the last minute, sitting in the airport, we broke the news. We were going to Disneyland!
Our cover story was so well-rehearsed (I had so much luggage with me because I had extra samples to ship; Grandma came to the airport so Daddy could take her to a nearby plant nursery after dropping me off; I had to show their passports to that man because they have to keep track of who is at the airport) that it took a minute or two to properly sink in. Michaela (my youngest) had cried the whole way there because she doesn't like it when I go away and now here we were, minutes away from going on our first big family vacation. I was so happy that we had managed to pull off such an elaborate surprise. I felt like the best mom in the world!
The last time I went to Disneyland was with my parents, and my older sister and her family. My dad was already pretty ill (he passed away in 2007) so the memories are bittersweet. This trip gave us the opportunity to create some new Disney memories with my mom. The girls loved sharing the trip with their grandma and it was nice to have another adult around as another set of eyes and an extra pair of hands!
My favourite part of the trip was Cars Land because the main attraction - Radiator Springs Racers - is set up like a slot car race. My dad used to race slot cars and I know he would have loved the 50's feel. We finally managed to get a Fastpass on our last day but when we showed up for the ride, it was shut down. I was so disappointed. We went for dinner and then decided to try our luck one last time. We were happy to find that the ride had re-opened while we had been gone and we were able to enjoy a "race." It was nice to feel that closeness to my dad while enjoying the ride with my girls.
The low point of our trip came in Tomorrowland. My youngest was tired and cranky; the long days and excitement had taken their toll on her and we'd been dealing with tantrums and whining all afternoon. The long days had affected me as well; finally I snapped and spanked her bottom. I felt like the worse mom in the world. Now, I can count on one hand the number of times I've spanked my kids; it's just not something that Mike or I use to parent. I instantly felt like I'd turned from *good* mommy into *bad* mommy in that one moment of exhaustion and frustration. I felt incredibly guilty for losing my temper. Days later, when we were back home, I sat down with Michaela to talk about what had happened. I was surprised when she said that she didn't remember me spanking her! In her mind it was like it had never happened but there I was, punishing myself by reliving the moment over and over in my mind. It also drove home just how exhausted she truly was.
In retrospect, the four-day pass may have been a bit much to push into five days but we (meaning me) wanted to get the most out of our time. I was so excited to share all of my past Disney experiences with my girls that I found myself pushing us from one attraction to the next (it's difficult not to get caught up in the excitement!). If there's one thing I learned from our trip it's that you don't have to see everything, especially since the girls would have had no idea what they were missing.
If I could back and do things differently, I would have stayed for at least a week - having a few relaxing days to just hang out at the hotel pool or go shopping would have provided some much needed rejuvenation and could have prevented the meltdowns. Our days were long (on average we were gone from the hotel for twelve-hour stretches) and that's hard on kids (my girls were 8 and almost 6 when we went and still sleep 11 and 12 hours respectively). Another thing I would change is staying closer to the park. We booked last minute (and got a great deal!) but that meant we didn't have much choice when it came to our accommodations. Our hotel was about a 30 minute walk from the park and at the end of a long day that 30 minutes felt like 30 hours. The main thing I would do differently, though, is try to be less Type-A and just relax and enjoy the moment instead of trying to push to see everything.
On the flip side, one of the areas where I feel we were successful was with our meal budget. Our hotel room had a fridge so we stocked up on items like yogurt, bread, cereal and fruit, and ate breakfast in our room every morning. We packed lunches and snacks so that we didn't have to stand in line at the busy park restaurants or pay their exorbitant prices. I don't know that bringing your own food into the park is encouraged but we were never stopped or told we couldn't when they checked our bags. We ate our dinners at one of the many restaurants across the street from the main entrance. It was nice to have a break from the hustle and bustle of the park and a lot of the restaurants offer free meals for kids under the age of twelve. We were able to stick to a fairly manageable food budget and we will definitely do the same on any future trips.
I'm so happy that Mike and I were able to surprise our girls and I love that we have started our own family Disney memories. I can't wait to go back in a few years!
Have you ever had a similar good mom/bad mom moment during your family vacation? Do you have any Disney tips to share?
Hi! My name is Hillary (with two Ls please) and I run Snugabell's Facebook page. I met Wendy last year when she put out a call on the Facebook page for local breastfeeding mamas to model pieces from the Toni Collection. Check out the banner on Snugabell's Facebook page - I'm the mama on the far right.
My job is to post interesting, informative content on the Facebook page every day to help Snugabell connect with their customers and supporters in an online space. I love the conversations that can build out of a post and I really enjoy interacting with the Snugabell community.
I became interested in the world of breastfeeding (and pregnancy, birthing, mothering, etc) after the birth of my son in 2011. I had very set ideas about what my life with a child would look like; I'm happy to report that my life looks nothing like what I thought it would/should. I went back to my corporate job when my son was six months old but found the strength to walk away six months later when the stressful environment, long hours, and horrendous commute were making me miserable. I don't regret leaving at all. I am currently a work-at-home mom (WAHM) who is studying to become a DONA-certified birth doula. I spend my days chasing after a spirited toddler and my nights in front of a laptop. My life has never been so busy - or so full -and I wouldn't have it any other way.
Come say hi to me on the Facebook page; I'd love to chat with you!
January is a time for resolutions and losing weight seems to be top priority for many women. Nursing mothers need not exclude themselves from dieting if they wish to tackle a weight-loss goal; however, care must be taken to ensure that a mother's milk supply is not negatively affected. A woman's milk supply can take six to twelve weeks to be fully established; dieting should wait until after this has occurred.
Breastfeeding burns (on average) 200 - 500 calories per day, which means that even without a reduced-calorie diet or exercise, if you choose to breastfeed your baby you are burning extra calories.A dieting nursing mother's goal should be to consume enough calories to maintain an adequate milk supply. Drastically (or suddenly) cutting calories can decrease milk supply.
A nursing mother is still eating for two, especially when baby is being exclusively breastfed. Fortunately, there are many lactogenic foods (foods that support lactation) that can aid in weight loss. Oatmeal is at the top of the list. Oatmeal is low in calories, low in fat, and its soluble fiber makes you feel fuller longer. Though not scientifically proven to boost milk supply, oatmeal has traditionally been touted as a galactagogue (a substance that promotes lactation.) This pumpkin oatmeal recipe is an excellent way for nursing mothers to introduce oatmeal into their weight-loss diet.
Self-care is important when undertaking a weight-loss plan. There can be a lot of pressure on mothers to lose the "baby weight" but the last thing your baby cares about is how much you weigh. Keep your goals within reach and celebrate your victories, no matter how small they may seem. Losing weight should be a gradual, gentle process to ensure that your milk supply isn't upset. Most importantly, losing weight should be your goal, not society's goal for you. This article on Postpartum Body Image and Weight Loss provides an enlightening look at the physical and emotional changes women may experience in the months after their baby is born.
What are your post-baby weight loss goals or tips?
New Year's Eve is drawing near and with it comes one last chance to be festive and merry before the drudgery of January hits us. There's no need for lactating mothers to abstain from the celebration; responsible alcohol intake and breastfeeding are not contradictory.
According to La Leche League International, "alcohol passes freely into mother's milk and has been found to peak about 30 to 60 minutes after consumption, 60 to 90 minutes when taken with food. Alcohol also freely passes out of a mother's milk and her system." That last bit is noteworthy. Motherisk clarifies it further by explaining that alcohol elimination is not accelerated by drinking water or coffee, sleeping, or "pumping and dumping" breast milk. Alcohol is not trapped in breast milk; it is diffused back into the bloodstream.
So what does this mean for a nursing mama who wants to ring in the new year with a glass of bubbly? It means drinking in moderation. Time alcohol consumption so that there is enough time between feedings for your blood alcohol level to drop. Pump breast milk before you drink so that your little one has a meal ready if a feeding is required before you feel able to nurse.
The Motherisk team produced a helpful table to show how long it takes for alcohol to clear the breast milk of women of various body weights. They've made it easy to find out how long you should wait before nursing after you've consumed alcohol (generally speaking, of course; for more personalized advice you should speak to your health care provider).