Monday, January 25, 2010

Don't be jealous...

...of my frozen pizza with Buffalo Hot Sauce. After all, I couldn't share because I'm pretty sure a frozen pizza is single serving.


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Dr. Bronner's as Handsoap

Anyone who knows me very well, knows that I HATE spending money. The reasonings behind my frugality are another blog entirely. Anyone who knows me well, also knows that I hate spending money on things that are horrible for the environment and equally as destructive to our bodies.

Getting involved in the whole organic living sphere can be quite overwhelming. What you previously thought was 'natural' because it said so on the bottle, you soon learn it's full of the same garbage as the normal stuff. Parabens, aluminum, DEA, just to name a few.

When you decide to 'go organic' or even green, your pocketbook can take a major hit if you're not careful.

Enter Dr. Bronner's liquid castile soap...
Dr. Bronner's castile soaps - peppermint, lavender and almond!
It's been one of my loves for almost a year now. I use it for anything and everything.  The ingredient list is nothing to fear. It's also Fair Trade Certified. I have a travel sized Lavender, an 8 oz. Peppermint and an 8 oz. Almond. My 8 oz peppermint bottle cost maybe $7-$8, and is lasting me forever, as it needs to be diluted for almost every use. Dr. Bronner's brags of it's many uses, and I can testify to most of these: body wash, face wash, shampoo, laundry, household cleaning, shaving cream, toothpaste, and today I found a new use!


I used Dr. Bronner's peppermint, as I haven't even opened my almond yet, and thought the lavender might be too feminine. I mixed 1 part Dr. Bronner's to 4 parts water(I used 4 TB of Dr. Bronner's and 1 cup of water) and put it in my soap dispenser. That's it - foamy soap on the cheap!
Dr. Bronner's peppermint castile soap for handsoap!

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

What they don't tell you about pregnancy

*Disclaimer: Don't read this if you are easily offended, grossed out by a pregnant woman's body, or generally uptight. Turn around now if any of the above applies to you.

What they don't tell you about pregnancy:

No, in all seriousness, people clue you in, you hear chats about it, but most moms hold the truth from you until you are actually with child. To be fair, we live in a world where we can educate ourselves with the click of our right pointer finger. When I found out I was pregnant, I signed up on multiple baby sites to get my personalized weekly pregnancy updates. Every week my inbox is flooded with things like, "your uterus is the size of a grapefruit" or "your baby's swallowing amniotic fluid now" or "your baby's eyes are no longer on the side of it's head and it now looks more human". Great. My little amniotic fluid-eating alien baby.

Here are a few things that they either don't tell you about pregnancy, or that don't happen when you expect them to happen, or the severity of these symptoms surprise you, or they don't happen to everyone.

1. Pregnancy fatigue, nausea, constipation and gas are all very real. I will never question or judge a pregnant woman again when she says that she's tired, she can't poop, or she feels sick. Just believe her.

2. Morning sickness doesn't end at 12 weeks. Or 14 weeks. Or 16. It's different for everyone.

3. Morning sickness needs an ENTIRELY new name. The term 'morning sickness' doesn't shed any truth on pregnancy nausea.

4. Pregnant women have to pee a lot, this is common knowledge, but the need to pee starts right away. I thought I wouldn't be plagued by an overactive bladder until later in pregnancy, when things start to get squished down there. No, things begin to get squished down there right away. You also begin to lose control of said bladder.

5. Speaking of things changing quickly, I always thought my boobs would get bigger in say, the 7th, or 8th month of pregnancy when my body was preparing to nurse. That's not true at all. Just ask all my old bras that were abandoned Week 5.

6. And while we are talking about boobs, no one ever told me that they would get such huge veins that closely resemble a cow's udder. Yeah. Veins. I told you to turn around a long time ago.

7. Apparently, you only need an additional 300 calories a day, at the most, while pregnant. A nice glass of milk and an extra piece of toast. What they don't tell you is that your body screams for 1,000 extra calories of all crap-foods everyday.

8. First trimester weight gain: 2-5 pounds. I'm gonna go ahead and pull out the BS card on that one too.

9. Your life and your body are no longer your own. Not because of the little alien resident living in your womb, but because everyone is analyzing your body, your movements, your eating habits and even your breath. And they will all tell you the sex of your baby based on those things.

10. Everyone shares their morning sickness/pregnancy/birth/breastfeeding/sleeping method/vaccinating/discipline/college savings fund opinion with you. Then they ask you your plans. It's usually in that order. Smile, nod, change the subject. Smile, nod, change the subject. Smile, nod, change the subject.

11. Most conversations begin like this:
She: So when do you find out the baby's sex?
Me: In July, when the baby's born.
She: How many weeks are you?
Me: Um, 16 weeks.
She: Oh! Just wait until Week __ (insert any number) when __________ happens!

12. In my weekly pregnancy updates, there is usually a little talk about hormones, and how you can expect to be a little more emotional or weepy. This is one of the biggest lies I've encountered. I seriously think my poor husband has honestly considered a complete psychiatric evaluation of me as I oscillate between sobbing through a commercial and the next minute hysterically fuming because someone asked me about my due date, and I didn't want to talk about it. God bless him, and anyone else who has to come within 10 feet of me.

13. Vitamins before pregnancy = Fine. Prenatal vitamins while pregnant = the most disgusting thing you could ever ingest.

14. No one ever told me how much I would love my little alien baby, even when it was just the size of a sesame seed. I never knew how much maternal instincts would kick in to do anything in my power to protect and nourish my baby. I never knew I would dream and pray for something so often that is so small, and that I've never seen.

I know there are many more things that are yet to be found out. What things did you learn in pregnancy, that you never would have known without experiencing it?

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Saturday, January 16, 2010

My addiction

Being that last night was Friday night, D and I spent most of the time lying on our respective couches watching Season 7 of 24. For anyone who hasn't seen '24', there is no other way to describe it but as the crack cocaine for tv. Your entire body escapes to CTU, or LA, or Washington, DC with Jack Bauer. You are racing with him, combating terrorism, throwing punches, outwitting the enemy, and never taking a breather, because you know, that in 24, it's not over until 8am the following day. Even after you turn off your tv, you are startled by the jacket hanging on the doorknob in your house, your heartrate is still elevated, and you listen for every little sound in your still house to give you a clue as to what your next move should be. Your 24-induced paranoia can even disturb your sleep and infiltrate your dreams. As soon as your body begins to rest again, which may takes minutes or hours, depending on your body's sensitivity to Crack 24, you start to crave it again. You barely remember the events that occurred in the last hour on 24, but you remember the euphoria and complete transcendental bliss that pulsed through your veins.

What I have just described for you is a typical 24 high. Once you start watching, you can't stop.

But it didn't work that way for me last night. I could barely watch the show, I was dreaming of "dangerous" things. Things that most people will warn against. I was dreaming of Haiti, and all the perilous things that are occurring there right now. I was googling flights, MRE's, and talking to my friend, Rhyan ,who is currently working in an orphanage there, who was begging us to come and help. They have enough food and water for us, and we could do physical work, especially my big, strong husband.

But what good am I, a pregnant woman? The nannies have their own families and losses to contend with right now, but are sacrificing that to care for these little orphans. They don't even have the time to grieve for their losses, their people's losses, their country's losses, because they believe so strongly in serving "the least of these". I can't do major physical work, but I can help with these precious ones. I can change diapers. I can feed little ones. I can clean. I can cook. But what will I say to them? I don't speak a drop of Creole. I don't know anything about Haitian culture. But I do speak the universal language of love and human touch. I speak the universal language of tears and heartfelt compassion. I speak the language of comfort. I also speak the language of Hope.

D and I have never let fear drive us, or at least we've tried. God has called us to many things that people don't understand, and when we begin to let those doubts fill our minds, we are constantly reminded of some of our life verses:

"The Lord directs the steps of the godly.
He delights in every detail of their lives.
Though they stumble, they will never fall,
for the Lord holds them by the hand.
Once I was young and now I am old.
Yet I have never seen the godly abandoned
or their children begging for bread.
The godly always give generous loans to others,
and their children are a blessing."
Psalm 37: 23-26
People may not understand if God leads us to go to Haiti at this time. That's OK. I don't understand why they chose to stay home and uninvolved.

The bottom line is I don't know if I'll ever be content just laying on my couch watching 24. As much fun as it is, I would rather live a worthwhile adventure; a life ready and willing to serve and help, no matter what my personal circumstances are. That provides a high that far exceeds anything else, and just like 24, I can't wait for the next thing.

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Friday, January 1, 2010

This Changes Everything

How do you officially start a blog? Do you announce it to friends? Send e-mail invites? Post your blog address on Facebook? Maybe all of the above? I've been toying with the idea of starting a blog for quite some time, but honestly, we don't have that much cool stuff to write about.

But now we do.

I've been told that having a baby changes everything. And I guess that everything is already starting. For one, my body has totally changed. Maybe this blog isn't the place to detail this. Maybe it is. Either way, those who have been pregnant before don't need any descriptions. In a matter of weeks, my mostly healthy vegetarian-bordering-on-vegan self turned into a ravenous un-vegan carnivore, craving the nastiest, fattest, greasiest and most unhealthy food. Before this I couldn't remember the last time I went to McDonald's or Burger King or had a frozen pizza or ate a piece of string cheese. My dedication to a fit, muscular body has been thrown out the window, in hopes of a few more minutes of laying on the couch so I don't feel so sick.

My thinking has completely changed. I rarely thought, "Will this hurt me?", but now I continually think, "Will this be safe for the baby?".

Since I found out I was pregnant, I don't think I've gone 10 waking minutes without thinking of you and your well-being, Baby. And I don't feel bad about that one bit.

You have turned my world inside out. Upside down. And I love it.

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