Thursday, September 15, 2011

I've got evidence!

Remember how I told you that Tristan climbed that huge ladder at the playground? Well now I've got video evidence.

He's only 18.5 months old.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Our adventurous day

We're loving the location of our new house. We've got a huge library, a really nice Kroger, and two parks within walking distance! I feel like a whole new world has opened up for me and the kids! We've only got one car, so when Thad's at work we're normally stuck at home. There wasn't anything within walking distance of our old house, and we didn't even have a backyard that we could play in. Needless to say, we're pretty thrilled with our new spot!

Today we went to play at the elementary school's playground. It's a big playground for bigger kids. There were two playsets- the smaller one said it was for ages 5-12, and the bigger one didn't have an age listed. My three year old and 18 month old loved it though.

Hayden climbed on a jungle jym for the first time. She was nervous at first, but got the hang of it after the first time.

Tristan climbed up this ladder. By himself. With no help from me. I climbed up behind him of course, with a death grip on his little arm, but I didn't help him at all. I was terrified the whole time, trying to climb myself and stay steady enough that I was sure I could catch him if he slipped. He wasn't scared at all though- just completely focused on climbing up that ladder. 
You can see him there at the bottom for a little scale of just how high the ladder was. 

So after that, we quickly found something else to do. Mommy's blood pressure couldn't handle another climb like that. But I guess nervousness is just something that comes along with mommy-hood, because Tristan decided that he wanted to repeatedly run back and forth across one of those wobbly bridges. He also thought it would be great fun to stand in the middle and jump. And of course, the gap between the hand rails and the bridge was just big enough that he would have been able to fall through if he had slipped. More elevated stress levels for Mommy. 

Who knew the playground could be such a scary place? 

But the scariest thing of all was all the cracks in the super-dry ground. They were everywhere. This is Hayden next to the biggest one.

We really need rain!!!

I'm going crazy.

Well, not really. But kindof.

Our routine has been off for a couple of months now. I gave up on trying to fix it until after the move. We were driving back and forth between our old town and our new town at least once a week, usually two or three times a week. Both kids would fall asleep in the car, which meant that they'd then be up until 11 at night. Which then meant that Tristan would sleep in the next day, take a late nap and then be up late again. Hayden would still wake up early, but then be so tired that she'd take another nap, and then be up late again. It was a vicious, vicious cycle. And there was nothing I could do about it because we had to keep driving back and forth, and I couldn't possibly keep them awake in the car.

See what I mean?
(Yes, Tristan's in a pink car seat. Yes, Hayden's three and has a pacifier. Sue me.)

So, pretty much every day, Tristan sleeps in until 9/9:30, takes a nap around 1, and then doesn't go to bed until 10 or 11. Hayden gets up between 7 and 8, usually doesn't take a nap, and then goes to bed around 8. If she does have a nap, she'll stay up as late as Tristan. Since their schedules overlap like that, it means that from the time I wake up until the time I go to bed, I've got at least one kid awake at all times. I love my kids. I love playing with them, hanging out with them, and doing all that fun stuff. But I'm only human. I need a little time to myself. This blog has been suffering because it's just so hard to try to sit down and write when one of the kids is awake! I've been suffering because I rarely get a chance to truly relax! I need some me time, some down time, some keep my sanity time. Something's gotta change!

I had big plans for after the move. I've got a new routine all written up. It's so picture perfect- waking up times, meal times, playtimes, choretimes- and me time! But yeah- hasn't happened. On Monday we drove all the way back to our old town to spend Labor Day with the family. It was fun, but just reinforced our old sleep habits. I've been lazy and slept in a little myself too. Oops! Yesterday I took the kids out to the new library and the park, and we walked the whole way. I was thinking that for sure I'd be able to get both kids to bed by a decent hour after all that! But no- Tristan fell asleep in the stroller on the walk home. He was up until 10:30 last night.

Now I'm trying to figure out the best plan of attack. Tristan's sleep cycle needs to be pushed back about 2-3 hours. I'm not sure which would be better- to just go cold turkey, and just wake him up early one morning and stick with the new routine? Or would slowly moving waketime and bedtime back, say 15-30 minutes every day, work better?

Something has to change though. It's 10:30 right  now as I'm writing this, and Tristan's still asleep!!! He's never slept in this late before. I'm definitely not giving him a nap today, or he'll be up all night!

So what do you think would work better- cold turkey or gradual shift?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Respect for women?

So lets talk a little bit about that. One of the counter-protester's signs said "Pure Fitness: Respect for Women". To her that meant that PF was respecting a mother's right to choose when and how to explain to her son about breastfeeding. She felt that her parental rights were violated when her son saw someone breastfeeding before she was ready for him to, and without her there to explain what was going on.

I could talk about why it's so important for children to see breast feeding, and why it's actually a really good thing. But I'm going to save that for another post. Today I just want to talk about respect for women.

Would you ever dream of telling another woman what she should or shouldn't wear? Let's say you only feel comfortable wearing a one piece swimsuit to the beach. That's fine- it's your body, your choice. But would you walk up to a woman who was wearing a bikini and tell her that she needed to cover up? Of course not! It's her body- her choice what to wear. It would be disrespectful for you to walk up to another woman and assume that you had the right to tell her what to wear or not to wear, and which parts of her body needed to be covered.

Let's look at it from a bit of a different angle. Respect for women. In my mind, there is nothing more womanly than the acts of pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding. These are things that only women can do. These acts are necessary for our species to survive. It doesn't get more basic, more instinctual, more womanly than this! In the past, women supported each other and taught each other about these things. They were a normal part of life. I wonder what has happened to our society when it's ok for a nursing mother to be shamed and put down by another mother! This should not be happening. When we're telling a mom that her most basic act of caring for her child is something to be ashamed of or hidden- that is disrespectful to women on the most basic level.

When a mom is told that she has to use a cover, or that she has to find a private location, or has to pump and feed her child with a bottle, it sends the message that her breasts are something to be hidden. She's told that her breasts are something to be ashamed of. And why? Because her breasts are sexual objects. If we only see breasts as something sexual, then we'll think that they need to be hidden. We might as well be saying, "Okay, I guess you can use your sex toys to feed your baby, but if you really must do that, you need to keep it under wraps. No one wants to see you using your breasts for a non-sexual purpose." See how degrading that is? See how limiting that is?

Some people argue- why can't the nursing mom just use a cover/pump and bring a bottle/sit in her car/stay at home? Well, why can't she? Besides the obvious answer, that it's her choice to do or not do any of those things, there are other truly legitimate reasons as well. Some babies won't nurse if they're covered up. Some people might like to eat with a blanket on their head, but others don't. That's pretty reasonable. You know what- maybe she just forgot her nursing cover at home, but baby is still hungry! As far as pumping- some women's bodies don't respond to a pump. Some babies(mine included) won't take a bottle. Pumping and bottle feeding was literally not an option for me, and it's not for a lot of women. Why couldn't she just sit in her car? Maybe she was dropped off wherever she was. Maybe she took the bus. Maybe it's 100 degrees outside, and her car doesn't have air conditioning. Staying at home is the most ridiculous option of all- would you want to be stuck inside your home for an entire year or even longer? I know I wouldn't. That's not a feasible option for any mother, and to even suggest that as an option is truly ignorant.

My point is that you can't paint all women with the same brush. You don't know my circumstances, and I don't know yours. Breast feeding is so important to the health and well-being of both mother and child, and it needs to be supported unequivocally, without reservation or exception. When you assume that a mother could or should have done things differently, you put her into a box- and that, my friend, is disrespectful.

I'm sure there are some people that have been reading, and have made it this far, and still disagree with me. But before you leave, and think that I'm wrong, I want you to take a look at one picture. I want you to really take a look at it- soak it in and really think about what it means.

There is a (presumably) Muslim woman, in a burqa, with her face covered. And yet she has her breast completely exposed to feed her child. Here in our "enlightened" culture, we see the burqa as oppressive. We argue that it objectifies women, that it places extreme limitations on women, and that it degrades them. And yet we don't realize that we're doing the exact same thing when we tell women that they must hide breastfeeding.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Celebrating 18 months of nursing!!!

Tristan will be 18 months old tomorrow, and we're celebrating. We've been nursing for 18 months now, and I'm so proud of us. I wasn't sure that we'd make it this far- Hayden stopped nursing at 15 months. I really, really wanted to make it further with Tristan, and we're doing it! He loves his num num so much that I don't see him weaning anytime soon. I think we'll make it to 2 with no problem.

Nursing a toddler has been such a learning experience for me. I didn't expect that. After over 2 years total of nursing, I didn't think there were any surprises left. I had no idea that nursing a toddler would be so different from nursing a baby. But it is. Nursing a baby is one thing- they're tiny, helpless, and completely dependent on you for their survival. Not so with a 20+ lb, 18 month old little boy. He's talking, climbing on everything, and eating like a horse. He doesn't need num num to survive anymore. He needs it for the attachment. He needs it to feel close to me, to feel secure and safe. To feel comfort. And giving that to someone, to someone who's turning into a little person in his own right, is much different than giving food to an infant.

Nursing into toddlerhood has transformed my outlook. In giving of myself to my son, my eyes have been opened. I'm learning what it is to truly connect with someone, to open your heart and let love in. I'm giving him more than just milk- he could do without the milk at this point. I'm giving him love- connection on a most basic human level. And it's one of the best things I've ever done for myself. After 25 years of life, 6 years of marriage, and 3 years of being a mother, I feel like I'm finally learning what it truly means to LOVE. And I'm so thankful for the sweet little boy who's teaching me.

Happy 18 months sweet boy. I'm so blessed to have spent them with you. I love you with all my heart.

* I do feel the need to remind everyone that breastmilk still does provide nutritional and immunological benefits after the first year. Don't want to be spreading misinformation!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Today's Mission- Breastfeeding Activism!

I went to my very first nurse in today. Can I call myself a true lactivist now? I hadn't met any of the people there before, but we were all united in one goal- to promote awareness of a mother's right to breastfeed whenever and wherever she chooses to.

We were protesting in front of Pure Fitness, where just a couple of weeks ago, a nursing mother was asked to move to a more private location to nurse her baby. She had just picked her baby up from the gym's childcare room and sat down to nurse. She was approached by the gym's owner and was told that she needed to move- that she wasn't allowed to nurse there!!! Apparently this gym owner was not aware of Texas law, which states that a nursing mom can nurse wherever she is legally allowed to be.

The kicker? Pure Fitness is a women's only gym. No men allowed.

So as usual, the breastfeeding community banded together, and a nurse-in was organized. This is my account.

I showed up about 5 minutes late, and just as I got Tristan and all our stuff loaded into the stroller, the cops approached the group. They told us the parking lot in front of the gym was private property, and that we had been asked to leave by the owner. She said that we were all being charged with trespassing, and that if we didn't leave we'd be arrested! Arrested over breastfeeding- that'd make quite a story.

Of course we wouldn't let a little thing like trespassing stop us. There was a grassy ditch/shoulder between the parking lot and the road, and the officer said that since it was private property, we could be on the grass. We all moved our vehicles and set up shop on the grass.

There were even some men that came out to show support. So awesome to see a guy holding a sign supporting breastfeeding.

Here's me and Tristan nursing at the nurse-in. He'll be 18 months old on Sunday, and I can't think of a better way to celebrate 18 months of nursing. I'm so proud that we've made it this far, and can't imagine it any other way.

Excuse my face- it was 105 degrees out there, and super sunny. We weren't exactly comfortable.

Interestingly enough, Pure Fitness sent out their own protesters with their own signs. It's funny though, some of their signs read, "Pure Fitness is for ALL Women" and "Pure Fitness: Respect For Women". Couldn't we have used those signs too? Or are breastfeeding mothers not included in "all women" anymore? Do breastfeeding mothers not deserve respect as well?
Here's me with a sign.

Why yes, yes I do. I do have the right to nurse any time, any place. And that right is fully protected by Texas state law.

I was so thrilled to get to protest alongside Jessica Martin-Weber. She's the founder of The Leaky B@@b- an incredible breastfeeding support group on Facebook. I've had tons of respect for her as a mother, woman, and lactivist for a while now, and it was a true honor to get to meet her.

I had such a blast- it felt good to actually get out there and DO something to stand up for injustices against breastfeeding moms. Nursing is NORMAL, and we won't stop until it's fully accepted as such.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

My gluten free story, Part 2

You can read part 1 here...

Tristan's birth was perfect, but that's a story for a different time! When Tristan was about 10 months old, I started getting desperate to find something to help me feel better. Gluten intolerance had been mentioned to me a couple of times in the past, but I was in total denial about it. I didn't want to have to make such a drastic, permanent change to my diet! I always pushed that thought to the back of my head and didn't do any research about it at all. But in January of this year, I read an excellent article in Experience Life magazine about gluten intolerance. It explained everything for me in a way that I had never heard before. I never knew that so many people have a gluten intolerance(they estimate at least 30% of Americans), and that most of them don't even know it! I never knew that gluten intolerance could be linked to depression, auto immune disease, cancer, and many other things. I really started thinking about giving gluten free life a try. I was still hesitant though- it seemed like such a big change. I thought I'd give myself several months to read up on it and really learn about what I was getting into and prepare myself. I think the Lord had other plans for me though, because just about that time my issues started getting really bad. I was in a lot of pain, I was miserable, and I could barely leave the house. I had to do something.

I decided to just jump in head first. I spent a couple of late nights on the computer reading everything I could find about going gluten free. I made out an entire meal plan for a week- breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. It shocked me when I realized that with the way I was currently eating, I was having gluten at every single meal! This was going to be a tough transition! So I got my meal plan in hand, did my grocery shopping, and celebrated my last night of gluten with a piece of ganache-glazed chocolate cake from Carrabbas. My plan was to eat gluten free for a week, and then eat a piece of bread to see if I had a reaction.

The first couple of gluten free days were interesting. My stomach felt calmer than usual. I didn't have any blood in my stool. But I wasn't convinced yet that I had a sensitivity. It was so hard for me to stick to the diet at first that I almost gave up after just 2 or 3 days! Thad talked me into at least finishing out the week that I had planned. I never got around to eating that piece of bread that I was planning on though! About 5 days into eating gluten free, I stopped at Carrabbas to get some dinner after a very crazy day out with the kids. (Seeing a theme? Thad worked at Carrabba's at the time.) Carrabbas has a gluten free menu, which is great. But on this night, the restaurant had just gotten a new kitchen staff that didn't quite know what they were doing yet. They forgot to leave the grill baste(which has gluten) off of my chicken. I was exhausted and starving by that point, and decided to just eat it and see what happened. Within an hour or two, I got really bad diarrhea- and blood. I was pretty sick that night. I knew then that I truly did have a gluten intolerance. I've been gluten free ever since- going on 7 months now!

Going gluten free was hard at first, but honestly not as hard as I thought it would be. For me, planning was the key, quite literally. Since I was nursing, it was especially important for me to have something to eat every couple of hours! But when you're gluten free, it's a lot harder to rely on convenience foods. If you're out doing errands for longer than you expected, you can't just grab a quick burger! If it's been a totally crazy day, you can't just throw together spaghetti and call it dinner. (Although now I know that you can, with rice noodles.) So for the first month or two, I meticulously planned everything, down to every single snack. I had to.

But now that I've been gluten free for 7 months, I've gotten the hang of things. My fridge and pantry are stocked with gluten free snacks that I can grab if I need to. I know what the portable snacks I can take with me are(Larabars!). I've got my go-to dinners that everyone in the family loves. And I know which restaurants I can stop at in an emergency.

It was hard to have to cut out so many staples of my diet, all at once. Gluten is in so many yummy things! But I really tried to make it a positive experience. Instead of thinking about what I couldn't eat anymore, I focused on all of the good foods that I still could eat. And really- those first couple of weeks were kind of fun! I was trying so many new recipes, and new foods that I hadn't tried before or used in a while, and almost all of it was delicious! I also tried to use the gluten free shift as an opportunity to change my diet in other healthy ways. I figured if I was making a big change anyway, why not go all out!? I'm trying to make as much food as I can from real, whole ingredients. I do buy some packaged gluten free things, but I try to leave those for treats, and regularly eat the things that are naturally gluten free.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

My gluten free story, Part 1

In case you didn't know, I'm gluten free! In January of this year I discovered that I have a gluten intolerance, and I've been gluten free ever since. Today I'm going to share my gluten free story with you!

My story begins almost 3 years ago, about 9 months after Hayden was born. I'd never struggled with any kind of medical issues before, but around that time I started having some pretty serious digestive issues. TMI ALERT!!! I started having diarrhea every day. Then I started to have blood in my stool. I was seriously freaked out! I'm no expert, but I knew that blood in the stool definitely wasn't something to just ignore. I was having a lot of discomfort as well. I didn't know then what I know now about diet and natural healing methods, so the first thing I did was get a recommendation for a GI doctor. Even though we didn't have insurance at the time, my issues were serious enough that we knew I needed to be seen anyway.

The initial doctor visit was very confusing. She asked several questions and I tried to explain my issues as best as I could. I asked her what she thought could be causing my problems, and why they would have come on like they did. She said that she wouldn't know without some testing, and that she wanted to do a colonoscopy to see what it would find. Then she explained that my issues were probably related to my pregnancy, and that some women have gastrointestinal issues as a result of the changes of pregnancy.

That didn't make sense to me at all! Hayden was already 9 months old. I didn't have any problems during my pregnancy, or even in the first few months afterwards. It didn't seem realistic to me that these issues could be linked to my pregnancy. I was totally freaked out about the colonoscopy! I felt like I had this huge medical weight on my shoulders, and I hadn't even been diagnosed with anything yet. I knew I didn't want to live with a chronic condition, and I definitely didn't want to be on medication for the rest of my life. I was pretty nervous about it, but I didn't know of any other options to find help! 

A couple of weeks later, the colonoscopy date came around. The day before, we picked up the colon clearing drink that I was supposed to take, and I called the clinic just to double check that it was ok for me to drink it while I was nursing. While I had the nurse on the phone, I double checked with her that I was going to be able to nurse right after the procedure the next day. The doctor had told me initially that it would be fine to nurse after I woke up from the anesthesia. But this nurse told me that no, I was going to have to wait 24 hours after the anesthesia to begin nursing again. I started to panic. The nurse told me, "Oh, just pump some milk and have it on hand for her to drink."(And this is just another example of the majority of medical personell being completely incompetent when it comes to breastfeeding. It would have been impossible for me to pump the amount of milk that she'd need in just the 12 hours before the procedure.) So pumping was out, and formula wasn't an option in my mind. I'd nursed Hayden for 9 months without a drop of formula, and I certainly wasn't going to give her any now! I knew that I needed help with my issues, but I wasn't willing to sacrifice my nursing relationship for it. I got off the phone and talked things over with Thad, and we decided to cancel the colonoscopy.

The next year and a half to two years were very hard on me. I tried to learn to live with the issues as best as I could. There were good days and bad days, but on the bad days I was in a lot of pain and it was hard for me to even leave the house. And on top of all that, I got pregnant again just a few months after the canceled colonoscopy. If we didn't have money to spend on doctors before, we certainly didn't now! We were struggling just to pay my midwife. I shared with her about my issues, and she suggested a probiotic. It was a good idea, but didn't help at all. I was disappointed, but just focused on getting through the pregnancy and birth. I'd try to find a solution after I got through that. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

What I Learned from My Placenta

Yes, I'm serious. A couple of days ago, I uploaded some photos of my placenta to share on a message board. While I was eating. I'll be honest. I'd seen the photos before, of course, but it had been a while, and my first reaction was a little bit of shock. If you've never seen a placenta before, they can be pretty graphic. Definitely bloody, and slimy, and very organ-like. A placenta is an organ, after all.

But then I started to question myself(a good habit I've gotten into lately)- why was that my first reaction? Why was my first impulse to think of my placenta as gross? Is it because that's all I've ever heard about them? I've heard placenta jokes, heard that they're disgusting, heard people say that they don't even want to catch a glimpse of their placenta when it comes out. But why? Placentas are actually really, really cool. Think about it- in the course of 9 months, your body not only grows a baby, but an entire ORGAN that nourishes your baby while it's inside you. A temporary organ- we only use it during pregnancy! It's amazing the way the blood vessels connect to mom, and also to the baby via the umbilical cord. The baby doesn't even have to breathe in utero- all the oxygen and nourishment that it needs passes from the placenta, through the umbilical cord, and to the baby. The placenta is an amazing, life giving organ.

So why all the placenta hate? Is there something strange about the placenta that causes people to be repulsed by it? I don't think the problem is with the placenta. As I pondered these questions, I began to see that the aversion to the placenta is just a symptom of a bigger problem. As a society, we've become detached from reality. We're so detached from the basics of what it means to be human. We're so constantly surrounded by fakes, by artificial images and concepts, that when we do get a chance to see the real thing we're repulsed by it.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Birth Story Bash!

I'm so excited today to be a part of a Birth Story Bash, hosted by one of my favorite bloggers- Heather at Mommypotamus. If you're a birth junkie like me, head on over and start reading! I can't wait to read all the wonderful birth stories- I'm sure I'll probably cry a little too.


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Tristan's Birth Story

I had been having contractions on and off for about a week and a half. It was driving me crazy! I kept thinking and hoping I was in labor, but nothing would came of the contractions. Prodromal labor can be so frustrating. I had my last visit with my midwife, Paula on Monday, February 22nd. She checked to see if I was dialating, and I was at 3 cms.

I was in a rough place emotionally. It had been a hard year, and because of our vehicle situation I was stuck at home most of the time. I felt like my life was stuck too and I was just waiting to have the baby. And I just felt like I was missing something. I was nervous about going into labor with that feeling.

Does birth matter? My story.

Does birth matter? The baby matters, of course. But is the way we welcome the child into the world really of importance? Is there something to be gained or lost, for the mother or child, in the act of giving birth?

Although these questions evoke some strong thoughts feelings for me, I'm not going to attempt to answer these questions all-encompassingly, at least not in this post. Instead I want to share something more personal: a different side to my birth story, my answers to these questions.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Why am I still nursing my toddler?

Little T will be 14 months at the end of this month. He's walking, "talking", climbing couches, and digging in the dirt. He's also still nursing. Oh, and not just once or twice a day. Six or seven times a day, and a couple of times at night too(we mostly co-sleep). Want to know why?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Making Coconut Milk

I just made coconut milk! No, really-I made coconut milk! In my very own kitchen, I turned a whole coconut into delicious creamy milk! (Can you tell I'm a little bit proud of myself?)

It started just before dinnertime. I had some leftover rice in the fridge, so I was going to make my favorite red curry shrimp to go on top. It's a quick, easy, delicious meal. And then I remembered. The last time I went to the store, instead of picking up a half gallon of coconut milk, I had gotten a coconut.

Crap. I don't think that's going to work well in my shrimp dish. 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Getting to Know You!

For the next two weeks, I'm going to be joining a natural parenting blog party, hosted by The Peaceful Housewife! I've never participated in a blog party before, but it sounds like a lot of fun! You can see the button in the margin to the right if you want to join in as well!

We're starting with this list of questions as a "get to know you" kindof thing. And since this is a pretty new blog, I thought it might be helpful for my readers to get to know me a little as well! So here we go.

1. How many children do you have, and how old are they? I have 2 children- a daughter who's almost three, and a son who's 13 months. I'm choosing not to share their names at this point for privacy's sake. Sometime soon I'll come up with some of those cute little nicknames that some bloggers use for their kids.

Azure Standard- Affordable Healthy Food!

I was so excited to pick up my Azure Standard order yesterday. A little giddy even. As you know, one of my goals this year is to make some lasting, healthy changes to our diet. I started by going gluten-free in January, and I can tell such a difference already. The downside is that eating gluten free is costing us significantly more. And that's where Azure Standard comes in.

Azure Standard is a company/farm out of Dufur, Oregon. They sell just about anything healthy/all natural/organic that you can think of. It's literally like an entire natural foods grocery store in a catalog. (They do sell a variety of non-food items as well). They ship UPS, but the best way to get the food from them is through their truck routes. They currently deliver to 22 states. If there's a drop point near you, then ordering is pretty simple. You can order online, by phone, or by mail. And then once a month, Azure's driver will drive your route and drop off your groups food at your drop point.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Is Mandatory School Lunch the Right Way to Teach Kids About Healthy Eating?

Think the idea of outlawing sack lunches in school sounds crazy? Well think again- that's exactly what one school in Chicago has done. Students are no longer allowed to bring lunches from home, and they must eat the lunch provided by the school. The only exceptions are for children with medical needs or allergies.

I'll just come right out and say it- I think this is outrageous! My family is far from perfect, but I work really hard to try to ensure that what we're eating is healthy. I read labels, buy organics when I can afford it, join natural food co-ops, and cook most of our food from scratch. And that's just a start- I'm working on lots more changes to make our diet just as healthy as I can! And to go through all that effort to be told by a school that my children must eat what they're supplying? That's unacceptable.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Thank God For All I've Missed

I think I'm finally getting to the place where I can say that. And I'm realizing how blind I've been.

You see, I want more out of life. I want to go places and do things. I want to learn, teach, and help people. I want to get an education. I want to prove, to the world and myself, that I can be more and do more. That I am something extraordinary. That I can DO something extraordinary. That I can change the world in a way that no one else can.

But it hasn't always been this way. I haven't always felt this way. Growing up, I wasn't exactly encouraged to want great things. I was taught that a woman's place is at home, and for her to desire anything else was wrong. I wasn't taught to think for myself. I wasn't taught to dream for myself. I didn't go to college(well, to be honest I've had 2 semesters at a community college, but those hardly count); I didn't have aspirations beyond being a wife and mom. I was placed into a box, and I was comfortable there. I thought I liked it there. But I wasn't happy. I wasn't fulfilled. And sometime in the past couple of years, the box has been opened, and I'm seeing just how much world there is out there. And I want it.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Back in the Saddle Again (with cloth diapers!)

After almost 2 years straight of cloth diapering, I was ready for a break. Plus we were dealing with some stink issues that I just couldn't seem to resolve. We used disposables for about 2 months. And not even the eco-friendly, chlorine free disposables. Nope, just the plain old, cheap-o Target diapers. (Which are great, btw.) But now we've resolved all our issues, I've had my break, and we're back in the saddle again! It feels great!!! So in honor of that I'm going to share our cloth setup and some of the basics of cloth diapering for those of you who might be interested.

Why cloth?
It's better for your baby, better for the environment(did you know a disposable diaper takes 200-500 years to decompose?), better for your pocketbook, and better on the eyes!

Who could resist that cuteness???

Monday, April 4, 2011

Zooper Twist Review

The time had come for a new stroller, and like the baby gear nerd that I am, the choice was not something I took lightly. I spent hours reading stroller reviews and watching review videos on you tube. I asked other moms for their opinions. And after narrowing it down to my top three choices, I even made a list of all the stroller's features and scored each stroller first, second, or third. The stroller with the top overall score would be the one I would purchase, of course.

I'm pretty sure that if I could afford it, I would be a total stroller snob. 

But since I can't afford to be a stroller snob, and since I knew this would most likely be the last stroller I would ever purchase, I wanted to get the most out of the experience. I decided on the Zooper Twist.

The Twist is a upgraded umbrella-type stroller. It folds compactly, umbrella-style; but still has a lot of the features that you probably love about your travel system/full size stroller. I think it's pretty snazzy looking! It looks great in person- the colors are vibrant.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Organize: Master Bathroom

As a recovering pack-rat, my goal this year is to simplify. I'm going through my entire house- every room, closet, cabinet, corner, and shelf. I'm throwing out what I don't truly need, abolishing clutter, and organizing whatever's left. I've made a lot of progress sofar, and it feels great! But more on that in another post.

Today I decided to tackle the Master Bathroom. I can't believe I'm going to share these pics! Who willingly posts pictures of the inside of their bathroom cabinets on the internet for anyone to see? But in the spirit of education and inspiration, I'll take the hit.

Under Sink 1-Before:

The Breastfeeding Doll: Promoting Promiscuity?

Unless you've been hiding out in a cave somewhere, by now you've probably heard about the breastfeeding dolls that are making their way here to the states. The Breast Milk Baby has been sold overseas since 2009, but is just now being marketed to Americans.

I'll admit- although I had heard about the doll, and scanned a couple of blog posts and articles about it, I wasn't too concerned about all the hype. That is until I turned on my radio this morning. I was driving home from the DPS(such a lovely way to spend a Thursday morning), and the radio host just happened to be talking about the breastfeeding doll. Of course I turned the radio up right away, and what I heard infuriated me. 

First of all, he said that the doll was encouraging young girls to be promiscuous, and that in a sex-crazy world we don't need one more thing promoting sex. Then he went on to say something like, "What next- a pair of dolls that can have sex with each other?!?!"