Saturday, September 19, 2015

What I Wish Breastfeeding Class Really Taught...

6 months ago I had a baby! I have breastfed for 6 months and pumped for my work week for 3 of those months. Everyone would give me tips when I would tell them what I was planning feeding wise. People would tell me it was worth the pain but that wasn't my experience. Here is what I wish friends and bfing classes could have told me.

  • Pain-Many people warned me about pain. I have actually rarely had pain. I found out through the internet that coconut oil felt so much better than lanolin. Everyone focuses on the pain but no one warned me about the cluster feeding all the time. Which brings me to point two.

  • Sleep- I know everyone warns you that you won't sleep after baby. Or sleep when baby sleeps. My baby, who also had jaundice, would sleep nursing a lot. How can I sleep then? How can I let daddy take him if he screamed for more food within a minute of trying to lay down? They say don't introduce a bottle early but what would have been a better option? I tried to sleep on the floor beside him to see if he would rest better. I had a co-sleeper. I had everything to do it "right." I still found myself barely sleeping and falling asleep on the couch nursing which is unsafe. And I almost dropped him in the hospital cause I was exhausted. Then "they" say sleep gives you more milk. What are the options available to get rest without hurting the breastfeeding relationship?

  • Pumping- Best ways to pump, best ways to clean pumps, when should the parts be sanitized, what happens if you stop responding. How do you pump more milk? I barely respond to my second pump. Yes, I have two pumps thank goodness. I can breastfeed my son all day and be good to go. Even have an extra few ounces. But at this moment, I struggle hard to make sure he has enough bottles.

  • Milk- How much milk is okay? What if my breastfed baby wants and is happy on more than 5 oz bottles? My son just changed to 7/7/5or7 and he is so much happier. But bfing "experts" on boards say that is "too much." He does not do well with paced feeding.

  • Bras- This is such a huge issue for me I have cried over this. I am too big for most companies and I guess a place a few hours away has up to sizeM but bras are expensive. Pinching some pennies for bras and a road trip.

  • Foremilk and hindmilk issues- How to fix this. I have fixed it twice. Once from breast and once from pumping. I realized my morning pumps were all hind milk. I block feed mostly now.

  • Boosting supply- yep. I now eat oatmeal every day, drink Gatorade, and stuff. The tea is gross.

  • Nursing injuries- I have never had bad back pain. My issue is my shoulder gets locked up from pressing my breast where baby has complete access while being able to breathe.
I am pretty sure there were more issues that I cannot remember. My breastfeeding class pretty much went over feed every 2 hours in the beginning, positions, and back support. All good and done but the bigger issues that have plagued my bfing relationship makes it harder. I did read, post and eventually found la leche league meetings. I wish i went to them when i was pregnant. I miss the in person support.

Did you feel lost when breastfeeding if you have?

Monday, June 23, 2014

Post Playthink

Oh mi goodness.  Playthink was amazing.  Playthink is one of the best festivals around.  First Wednesday, my best friend came to visit.  That morning we packed the cars and headed to Berea.  It was a rush to setup to get to my first class.  It didn't come out as much as I had planned a year ago.  I need to find my notes.  But I did have a few people come up to me and thank me.  Some said next year they will take my class again.  Of course, when people wander off, it makes me feel like aghhh this is a train wreck!

Overall, I took classes like staff 101 that really became steves 101, poi 101 for 30 minutes, mandala coloring (got a ton of ideas for 4-H camp next year), henna 101 and 102, fans, fans, and more fans.  One flow wand class that I think I eventually wandered off from.  Originally I wasn't going to do henna 101 but after my kids class kinda migrated, I didn't feel like standing.  Yes, my kids class was a kids class for 10 minutes, then a young adult beginner waist/chest hooping class and then a kid for another minute and then BALLOOOOOOONS kinda stole the next 30 minutes.  So I meandered to henna 101.  I am so glad about that!  I had a henna kit years ago and I am so thankful that it didn't have anything super scar inducing after hearing about the dangerous of not mixing your own henna.  I bought a few cones from Melissa and later let her henna me.  It was great to be able to ask more questions like that.  I have gotten some henna from artistic adornments and more on the way from

During the firewalk, Christine helped us with a fertility dance for my friend, Jacki, who is trying to conceive. She got a little fire kiss. I walked twice.  During some of the pre-walk, I was like cheeeeeer for everyone!  And later mini dance party with Angela.  The energy was amazing.

Unfortunately, I was unable to perform.  But I keep telling myself there must be a reason for this!  I loved the variety of classes and there was always something that I could take if I changed my mind about it.  Although I noticed there was no short string flow wand class which a lot of people wanted to try and there was a kid attempting to follow the long string class. Eventually I stopped and helped her out for a bit.

I did buy new techy fire fans and they are SO wonderful.  I so recommend them.  They are from Forged Creations.  They are the bomb dot com.  Even when they are lit, they aren't wobble.  It's heaven!  Speaking of fire, I wasn't exactly thrilled with the circle.  Although the volunteers that are doing the fire circle should NOT be smoking.  Yes, that totally happened while I have a white gassed fire hoop.  I was like, "I'm going to step way over here...."  Either way, every time I hit the fire circle, there was way long line or they'd tell you to gas up when a person LEFT the circle to where it was empty.  I think if we have the numbers we have this year, the fire circle might need to be extended.  And I totally saw a kid legit gas up in the middle of the day cause "his friend was going to burn his poi later."  I still don't understand that mad science.

Video that was posted Jessie Eckles from the media share:

As soon as I left Sunday, I had to start getting ready for 4-H Camp.  And I was so dead tired that I just half assed it.  But it was worth.  I love Playthink so much and I hope I can share it with my kids one day.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Post Kinetic 2014

I just got back from Kinetic Fire Festival 2014.  Kinetic was held at Hannon's Camp America in College Corner, Ohio.  Let me show you the weather that was planned a few days beforehand:

So when your current weather is in the 80s, you may think, ahhh, 60s will be fine, right? WRON G WRONG WRONG WRONG DOUBLE MORE TIMES WRONG.  It was cold.  There was FROST on my windows on Sunday morning.  I packed for a bit of cold and warm.  What happens?  It's freezing balls cold outside.  I mean bad.  At some points I was wearing 3 pairs of leggings and 2-3 shirts.  Night time was horrible.  Remember I get cold sleeping during a normal night.  Not a horribly cold night.  I was more bundled up the nights after than you can throw a stick at.  I didn't even pack a lot of hot hands.  Just a few.  Lucky my mom had a package in the car.  So the next two nights I threw in a few in my sleeping bags.  Sometimes I couldn't feel my fingers till noon.  I only brought mittens.  So I would have to take gloves off for spinning.  I lived in my wooly hats and my mangled cleaves sweater.  Because it was cold, I felt coughy half the weekend and only went to the fire circle once on Saturday night.  And let me tell you, I was freezing my balls off then too.  Someone even told me, "Oh wow, you are bundled up." Yes, and I am still shivering with teeth cracking and all.  So I spun 3 times (I can't spin cold man).  Had a sucky flow wand spin to boot.  I left and went to bed.  

Other than the cold, it was raining.  And every once in a while the sun would peek out.  It was like HAIL THE SUN. WORSHIP IT'S GOODNESS!  And then I got a slight sunburn.  Does arnica help with that?  I hope. I don't have aloe!  By the end of the weekend, I think we all felt like a battered person with the rain and the cold.

On the upside, all this campfire huddling made it where my neighbors and I got very close. We huddled around a campfire and shot the wind. It was so great.  Best neighbors that were before-strangers ever.   I was given homemade pasta, laughter and friends this weekend.  Taught a few girls some flow wand pointers at camp.  I really want some pistol grip fire fans.

What classes did I take?  No hoop classes.  I've said this before on facebook and through conversations that I just don't see anything in most classes that will help me.  I am not a "trick" hooper.  I am not a polypro only sort of fan.  I am not advanced.  I'm just a girl that dances with a hoop.  Or the few classes are when I'm doing something else. So I did fans (intro with my neighbors for support), leviwand class with Lux Luminous, dance, and contact staff.  I feel like I hardly took any classes.  There was a fan class that was beside Ken's class which was so energetic that I wish I took that class instead! The fans instructor was like, "I'm not that enthused."  I want to pretend to avenge my master too!

I have to tell you that I was so nervous and scared.  I haven't lost any weight.  I feel even bigger.  I have hardly spun at all in the last year since Playthink.  This year has been so awful for me.  With my ex-husband losing his job, the divorce, moving, and managing on my own, I haven't had much me time.  That's why it meant so much to me everytime my boyfriend sent me a text message that said, "I hope you are having fun.  You deserve it."  Which is the complete opposite of what John told me last fall when he said, "You didn't deserve to go to Flow Camp even if we could have afforded tickets."    It's been such a bad year for me that I have hardly flowed at all. I feel rusty and stiff.

I don't drink black coffee. But let me tell you that when you can't feel your fingers and you are freezing, black coffee is the most heavenly thing in the world.  Also, a lot of flow peoples seem to be whovians. Rockin' the tardis hat.  I also missed the sign ups for the fire walk.  I miss it every time at Kinetic.  Where and when is the top secret fire walk location/sign ups/waivers and stuff?

The performances were amazing!  Ken's H staff and LED performance was out of this world.  I mean amazing.  His LED staff was killer. It looked like real fire!  Trippy trippy trippy.  Lux and Aileen were great to watch.  There was only one hoop performance but a lot of poi.  The MCs of the night were hilarious.  Although in the middle of it, I got the worst charlie horse in the world in a spot where we were all crammed in together.  It sucked so bad.

The most amazing thing of all was when I finally got home.  I went through the backdoor.  My boyfriend has been feeding my cats.  At first I didn't really notice the difference till I was fully in the door.  Everything.  I mean everything was clean and put up.  Kitchen, dining room, dishes, hallway, bathroom and hallways closet.  He had cleaned my whole apartment for me (it was a wreck trying to get packed quickly) while I was going.  I stood in the kitchen crying in shock and happiness.  I mean my ex-husband would do that whenever I left but he lived there.  My boyfriend doesn't even stay overnight with me.  He just did this to make me smile.  He doesn't understand why I cried.  I just looked it up.  Evidently when strong emotions are present the amygdala can't tell the difference and goes all crazy with the tears.  I was happy with immense gratitude and shock.

My feet are sooo sore.  I can barely walk.  I've been taking some NSAIDs and soaking them.  I just hope it helps.  I don't think if it wasn't for the fact that my boyfriend came over when I was resting my feet, it would have been agony just getting unpacked.  Some things need to be cleaned and packed but I can't do it right now. Thank goodness I have tonight off.  I love you flow family, each one of you.  Some of the hugs and support I got this weekend was the greatest thing ever.  I also pretty sure I love my boyfriend unequivocally.  He supported me through this entire trip process and such.  I feel like that shows what sort of person he is.  He may not be participate in flow arts but he welcomes me participating.

There is photographic proof I took a class that was posted on my feed:
This is from the 3 inch bruises on my arms class! This is also the spiral group hug class. I will have to try that cause that was fun!

And look what was just delivered today:

Next up is PLAYTHINK with my best friend, Catmandu!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

How to Prepare for a Festival

I've been to about 6 festivals now. Playthink Movement Festival x 2, Flow Camp x 2, Florida Flow Festival, and Kinetic Fire Festival. So what should everyone bring to a festival? Here is what I bring:

Sleeping Arrangements:
-stakes (cause I've lost a few)
-Sun shade
- Tarps (I never seem to have enough). Lately I've been attaching tarps around my sun shade to give me a little more protection from sun and rain.
-Sleeping bag. I really believe this is a must have. I get really cold easy. And any of the times that I've not used one, I've regretted it.
-Pillow. Yes, I have forgotten a pillow before. Although I've started to just bring a small little couch pillow. Then it doesn't touch the sides of the tent.
-string cause I use that for the tarps
-Mat for tent entrance. Oh yes I have gotten a welcome mat before for my tent
-air mattress/cot if inclinded

-Capris, shorts, leggings. Whatever legwear you are comfortable with. I think one year at Flow Camp, I wore just leggings the entire time. It was cold in the morning and then I could just roll those up to create capris later. Or I would change. You won't regret some nice jeans/longer leg-things when it's cold.
-Shirts. Remember you may be hula hooping or fire dancing, so those natural fabrics will be great. Whatever you are comfortable with.
-Costumes! I have a variety of little hats and masks to make any outfit a costume. I also have some sort of belt things that also make things fun and dressy.
-Underwears/bra/whatever you wear underneath your clothes.
-Pjs. Remember I get cold? I usually sleep in 2 layers of clothes plus warm fuzzy socks

-Rainboots. Dewy mornings= wet pants. And it rained all of Kinetic last year. I lived in them. Which reminds me I need to buy a new pair before Kinetic Fire this year.
-Whatever you like to run around in. Vibrams, tennis shoes, whatever.
-Sandals. For those showering times.
-socks cause you never know when you might need some

Pack/sack/the rest of the things things: 
-Spray glitter
-lip balm
-camp chair
-hat/things to protect your face. I like sun visors. I'm a dork
-fan (my mom used to get me a portable one with batteries but at kinetic, I realized a random hand fan was SO much cooler)
-gogirl/portable toilet seat covers
-TONS OF BABY WIPES. Travel ones and a whole pack for my tent area.
-hairbrush, if you are inclined.
-makeup, if you are inclined.
-did I mention rain gear?
-some camping soap
- shampoo, bodywash, pouf/rag/whatever, towel
-toothbrush,toothpaste and mouthwash
-headlamp flashlight thing. I really want to get a fancier one this year. My mother will take certain times of headlamps and make a flashlight bracelet. She always has one handy.
--This is the type my mom gets me:
----this is the one I really want with pivoting head:
-various flashlights/lamps/etc. I found ceiling lamps over the last year. They are circular and will light most of a tent fairly well. I got one for my tent and outside.
-decorative tent things. I really like the $1 chinese lamps from dollar stores. I can light one before dark and that glowing orb can help me find my campsite, especially when it's crowded/more tents have popped up since you left the campsite. Things look different in the dark.
-Extra batteries. Cause something is bound to happen yo.
-Baby powder. Anti chafing is so cool. Actually, I love the gold bond's that you can get in travel packs. When it's 90 degrees, go to the bathroom/tent and just powder that on. It's like quick mid-day air conditioning really quick!
-backpack/fanny pack. I take both and switch between the both.
-Toilet paper and travel toliet paper. I take at least 2 travel toilet papers (they come in little plastic to keep it together) and at least 1 roll of toilet paper. You won't regret it when you go to the porta potty at 2 am.
-all the things in zip lock bags!
-sunglasses, contacts, glasses, all that noise
-Hand sanitizer.
-bandana to wipe sweat off yo face
-laminated schedule x a few
-if you are a menstruating person, emergency period stuffs. I love cloth pads and cups though. Great for camping
-Extra sunscreen cause you'll run out or may want to share.
-pen, notebook, things like that.
-this is really random but something to do while sitting down. I am lame. I am the person that doesn't mind a festival that may sit out time for siestas and lunches. But when you are chilling at your campsite and have no friends, are you going to sit and watch the trees (okay, I have done that). But seriously, a book or something to do productively. I have actually taught someone to knit at my campsite before one year.
-camera, extra batteries and memory cards.
-Wattttter. I like lipton jugs and a few of the big gallons to use as a hand washing station
-tables for the camp site
-EARPLUGS and maybe sleeping aide.
-if you have taken an allergy medicine within 6 months, bring it JUST IN CASE.
-Obviously any medicine you depend on
-Print directions to the location and BACK. Print directions to the nearest convenience store and gas station. Store this folder of different directions where you can reach it (not buried under the camping stuff). Because if you wake up needing emergency stash of something, you can't hear and stuff, you may not be able to find a walmart or something. A lot of places like this barely have service and if you can't get out of a hole to GET service, you can't use your gps.

-mini camping stove
-pot, skillet
-food in a cooler  (any tips on great festival food? Although I am a fan of beef jerky)
-plate, spoons, forks
-paper towels
-trash bags (take your trash with you people!)
-energy drinks
-cooking spray
-extra tables
-can opener if needed
-popping popcorn
-basic first aid stuffs (for me just some ointment and bandaides.  I don't go out expecting to get bit by 30 rabid racoons)

Flow life:
-Obviously bring your flow prop. Hoops, if you can bring a few different sizes. I taught a girl to hula hoop with my big flammer hoop at the camp site before. Sometimes you will be able to borrow.
-LED props and charging stuff. You may find someone that has the capabilities to charge it.
-The props I have: hula hoops (regular and mini), fans, flags, poi, flow wand, contact juggling ball
-Fire safe clothing. Natural stuffs like cottons and wools.
-If you plan to spin fire, BRING FUEL. If you are traveling, buy your fuel at home cause you won't find any near the place.
-Be willing to safety! And have a safety! Spin fire SOBER. Go to fire safety classes and listen! (and always double check your fire equipment between burns)
-good things to have that I never have: portable musicy equipment to rock out the campsite or stuff.
-WATCH.  For 95% of these festivals you can't use your cell phone (no service/electricity)
-travel alarm clock (remember noooooo cell)

Speaking of porta potties. Only use your head lamp when you go to the toilet. You don't want to sling the good flashlight your mom got you in the toilet at 4 am. Which I did at Playthink last year.

I personally have to get new capris and batteries for this year for all my lamps.  I really don't know if this is everything. I feel like I am forgetting stuff!  Since I haven't updated my blog in a century, I doubt anyone will read this. Boo.

Friday, October 25, 2013


So it's my birthday this weekend.  If you want to help me sort out my life any, a great birthday present would be some cash.   So follow the paypal linkage!

And I want to say that the hooping community is SO amazing.  The pouring love I've received has touched my heart.  It makes me feel so much better cause I've been feeling so fragile lately.  I believe I am 99% sure that I've gotten good news today.  I mean there could be issues that could rise up.  But we've already hit the one hump but my mother is AMAZING.  She's offered to help me out and overcome this.  I feel so much better.  Maybe it's because after a few days, I realized I am making the right decision.   Maybe it's the love and support from my readership (even the ones who offered to be references!).  Maybe it's because I feel like the biggest hump may be taken care off.  Now the only stress I have is to pack.  I hate packing. :(

Thank you again everyone!  I love you all.  I've actually have hooped a little this week.  And it was an amazing 10 minutes.