Friday, December 18, 2009

Sometimes it's better not knowing...

Because when you have the information you have to do something with it, you can no longer go along in ignorant bliss. So, I've heard all this stuff about where our meat comes from and so far I've really looked at things from a mom point of view. I was concerned about the amount of hormones in milk and meat because I have girls (I imagine it's not good for boys either) and I didn't want them developing breasts at the age of 5 and having to deal with their period when they turn 8, know what I mean???

So, I usually chose natural meat and organic milk...usually. I limited fast food because common sense told me that would be the worst when it came to things like that, but we haven't avoided it altogether. After all, it is convenient when we're out to run through the McDonald's drive through and pick up something from their dollar menu.

But then I watched the documentary Food Inc. You can also find out about more about it at

Now I'm stuck with what I'm going to make for our family Christmas party tomorrow. I was planning on making a ham, but after watching how they treat the pigs and the workers who work in the slaughter houses I just can't. I'm not a big animal rights person, but it was just ridiculously cruel.
I won't give you a bunch more details. I already talked Bill's ear off and we agreed to do some things differently so I'll just tell you those and the reasons behind it.
  • Buying meat from self sustaining local farms. These farms are small and seem to focus on producing a healthy product for their customer, rather than growing to be the biggest and richest businesses in the country. Because of that these people have an uphill battle against the big meat companies and their lobbies ts in Washington.
  • Buying grass fed local beef. Feeding cows corn actually makes them more acidic which makes it more likely the cow will have ecoli or some other bacteria and also makes our bodies more prone to infection.
  • Planning ahead to avoid fast food. I admit, the times that we do stop and get fast food is because I did not plan ahead and simply bring something from home, or better yet, plan on being at home around meal time.
  • Making stuff from scratch. We all know the benefits of less processed and preserved food.
  • Making salmon for Christmas dinner. They didn't say anything about the fishing industry and I would think that with a wild salmon I should be safe. If that movie comes out I'm NOT watching it!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Some Fabulous Giveaways

Daisymay at Daisy Dayz is giving away some beautiful jewelry.

Another good one!

Here is another one that you should go and read. I burst into tears when I saw all the pictures of how happy their daughter was to be found. Wow!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

A blog worth your glance

I just wanted to share about this blog that I recently became aquainted with. This family is adopting a child from China right now and definitely needs prayer and support!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Week One lesson - Learn how to deal with failure

That's right after posting to all of everyone who comes accross this blog about a week ago, I have to admit that I have pretty much completely failed in my journey to being healthier...

In fact, after having a healthy breakfast of cheerios this morning I realized we still had ice cream leftover from Brayden's birthday and served myself a bowl. I really have no excuse for that and now I'm feeling not too hot!

My friends and I had a toy exchange last night and I begged one of them to bring brie in a pilsberry crust. It was so bad but so good all at once. In fact I couldn't decide how bad and good it was until I had a second piece;)

I'm not going to step on the scale, I'm not going to measure myself and I'm not going to beat myself up any longer about all of this because...well I was going to say it's a new day but this is the day I've been snacking on cookies and cream, so there's nothing really to say!

I'm going forward. I'm taking my failure with grace and I'm gonna shake what my mama (actually not my mama, probably one of my aunts) gave me tonight at zumba.

Tomorrow is a new day:)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I better write this down before I forget

Two years ago today our youngest child was born. We weren't planning on having any more children, but I remember driving down the street one day and realizing that no matter what we planned things were in God's hands. I found out two weeks later that I was pregnant.

We were so sure we would be having girl number 5. We thought "we populate the world with girls" and so when we saw that little penis on the ultrasound we were both in tears. A boy!

Planning a home birth was really exciting for me. I had gone natural before and just the experience of prenatal care with a midwife was such a nice change for me. No in and out prenatal appointments, she left plenty of time to answer each and every one of my questions.

"What if the cord is wrapped around the neck?"
"What if we have to go to the hospital for an emergency C-section?"
"What if he's turned the wrong way?"
"What if, what if, what if???"

She was so patient and reassuring and finally instructed me to stop watching Special Delivery on Discovery Health, a show featuring high risk deliveries.

My midwife, Charlotte Geddis, has delivered thousands of babies and told me stories of miraculous situations she's seen. Real miracles! That assured me that having this baby in the setting we were choosing was a step of faith, but God would meet us and be with us through it all.

On the night I went into labor I wasn't sure it was labor. No body tells you that the more kids you have the more false labor you have so I had already called her on two different occasions thinking it was it when it wasn't.
Bill went to bed and I got some sleep too. I did rest a little and then woke up and realized the contractions were still going. During false labor, going to sleep at night would be the end of them. I took a shower and the hot water felt great on my back. Then I sat on my exercise ball and watched some late late night TV. Finally the contractions were getting to the point where I needed to breathe through them so I woke up Bill to tell him it was for real this time.

And it was, they suddenly were very intense and pretty regular. I decided right then and there that I would rather go to the midwife's office instead of having her come to our place. I think I decided that because I was suddenly worried about progressing slowly. With Ruby (and pitosin) I kept thinking I was transitioning because of the pain and when the nurse checked me I was only almost to 3cm. I know that had to to with being induced, but I was still afraid that would happen again.

Our kids had spent the night at my parents house so that was already taken care of. I originally was going to have my two older girls there, but changed my mind about that too.

I was the one having the baby so I went with what I wanted.

We got ready to head over to Charlotte's and then we realized we couldn't find the keys to the suburban. No problem...we had Bill's work van! Not a comfortable ride.

We headed over and I suddenly forgot my very simple breathing patten of deep breaths in through the nose, out through the mouth. I started taking little breaths and hyperventilating until my husband reminded me how to do it. He was so good and how did I respond?

"You are getting a vasectomy!!!!" I yelled. He drove faster.
That ride was so bumpy that when we got to her office I stumbled out of the car and barfed.

I told the assistant to prepare the tub. The midwife wanted to check me first. I didn't understand why they couldn't multitask and start the tub and then check me but I guess they sensed I was farther along then I thought. Yep, 9 1/2 cm.

She broke my water, I quickly got to 10 cm and the contractions pretty much stopped.
After some contraction inducing tactics they started back up again and I started to push. This part of it was what my husband appreciated and why he recommends everyone to go to a midwife. Charlotte was praying over us while she was watching, taking care that I didn't tear and waiting for my little boy's big round head to descend.

Just to give you an idea, Emma took all of three pushes, Ruby took absolutely none at all, but Brayden's hard head had me pushing for 40 minutes.

But then he emerged into the world and into my arms (I actually reached down and pulled him up onto me) and the feeling of euphoric elation overcame my tired body. He went right on my breast knowing exactly what that was for.

After the placenta passed, Bill cut the cord. The midwife and assistant cleaned and weighed him. 7 pounds 14 ounces and 21 inches long and that was two weeks early.

I stayed and snuggled with my baby boy while Bill went home to get the suburban and the car seat.

He got back and we headed home, stopping at Dairy Queen for a bigger meal than I'd had in weeks.
The girls were so excited to meet their little brother.
For the rest of the day I laid with him in bed, rested and fell more in love.

Then night came. My milk of course had not come in and clearly the yellow stuff was not enough for my hungry boy. With the girls they simply whimpered and sucked on their hands when they were hungry as a tiny baby, but not Brayden. He screamed! Every two hours he screamed! I seriously remember saying something along the lines of "Oh no, what did we get ourselves into?"

And where was that cute little baby cry that babies are supposed to have?

My milk came in and he slept for longer than two hours but screaming his head off when he was hungry continued.

I got his name from one of those 35,000 baby names books and I thought it was an English name that meant "broad hill" or "wide valley", one of those. But then I found a name very close to his in my Strong's Hebrew dictionary. The word brayed means "to scream with hunger"....yep that fits him.

So, his verse is this "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. " Matthew 5:6

This morning I sang Happy Birthday to Brayden and then said "How old are you now???" He exclaimed "10!" Hey not so fast buddy! Happy 2nd birthday.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Come with me on this journey

It will be much less painful than it is for me...lover of sweets and baked goods (I'm sooo a dessert before dinner kinda gal)

Isn't it funny how as moms we usually don't know how we look until we see a picture? I mean, how could I know? I glance toward the scale every once in a while and actually stick out my tongue at it. I put my make-up on in front of the overhead mirror in the car (better lighting) and I AM the picture taker.

So this summer when I set down the camera while at the beach and my husband got ahold of it and took this shot I was a little surprised to see myself from behind!

And yep, that's a nice picture of my butt, which is so much cushier than it was before baby number 4...well no 3! Aren't you glad that I trust you people? And yes, I will admit to you and only you that that is back fat you see! Aghhhh!

Anyway, for some reason in the middle of cooking constantly, food galore and my bestest friends, jackets and scarves, I'm all of a sudden motivated to lose some weight, gain some muscle and just be healthier! You know, treat my body better...

Part of the reason is because I finally gave in and stepped on Bad Mr. Scale! That gave me a goal...lose 20 pounds!

Another reason is because I FINALLY found a workout that I love....ready for it? Zumba!

Yes it is so much fun! I took dance when I was younger and believe lose those skills. The first time I went I was so lost and could NOT keep up with the steps, but by the end of the session I was such a sweaty mess and I didn't want to stop because I was having so much fun. I went again a couple weeks later and followed a little better but it still kicked my cushy butt!

Yesterday I daringly went all alone to the town's fitness center which is known for it's gossipy people; so out of my comfort zone. This was the first time that we actually were in a dance study surrounded by mirrors...yikes! This was the reason I went to the health club's Zumba, because I knew the mirrors would help me actually get some of the more difficult steps.

Which leads me to the final reason I'm wanting to do this. I got a look at myself in fitted workout gear in that full length mirror and suddenly saw the difference from when I was really in shape! I thought no wonder I feel the way I do! I know that was before children, but still, I want to feel good again. I want to be able to play tag with my kids and not get completely winded after only five minutes. I want to be able to go out dancing with my husband. I want to NOT have to rely on jackets and scarves to hide that middle area.

So here's my plan. I would totally go to Zumba 3x a week if I could, but that's not very practical with my already busy schedule, so I'll at least go once and then start working out at home too again.

The bulk of my diet (there has to be some room this time of year) is going to be whole grains, lean meats, veggies and fruits. I've also been drinking Acai berry juice this week and feel it doing something in my digestive system.

And lastly I'm going to tell you all about it:) Lucky you!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

You DON'T want a Barbie Dream House???

Tis the season to be....unsatisfied!

Yesterday we were eating dinner and the kids were talking about what they were hoping for in the way of Christmas gifts. I've asked them to narrow down their usually extensive lists to ONE thing and one thing only. Mean Mama? I'll get them each more than one thing, I just don't like how big long lists filled with Wii wishes and Ipod dreams make for unhappy Christmas mornings on every one's part.

Anyway, Shariah says "and by the way Mom, this year can you please NOT get us barbies that look like us???" WHAT??? Seriously, no barbies? Did these girls come from me? And I get so excited to buy a strawberry blond, blue eyed Midge for Shariah, brown haired barbies for Emma and Azzie and a dark blond one for Ruby. I don't think that's too much. I wasn't going to buy Brayden a Ken doll or anything. Seriously girls, can't your mom go back to her childhood a little at Christmas time???

That got me thinking to my Christmas' growing up. I don't think I have to say anything further about my own love for barbies and at the very very top of my Christmas list was the Barbie Dream house. The one with three levels and an elevator to get you there(pictured below - my how it's changed) ! I'm pretty sure it was similar to the kid in "A Christmas Story" wanting that Red Rider BB gun.

So Christmas morning came and presents filled the base of our little tree. Us kids were up at the crack of dawn anticipating...well pretty much just the gifts.

My dad passed out presents to each of us and I instantly noticed the familiar shape of my rectangular wrapped box. I tore the paper to find a bikini clad blond barbie doll. Oh, she's going to love her new house I thought to myself. The next present caused even more excitement. A kitchen and dining set, all pink of course and elegant enough to be in a three story home with an elevator.

I think some other gifts followed. Things like stuffed animals and socks.

Then almost all the gifts were done. Two presents remained and one was rather large, so when they handed the large gift to my younger brother and stuck the smaller one in my lap I didn't know what to think. I can't remember what my brother opened, but in my box I found a pink outdoor Barbie Soda Fountain Shop! First I was confused. That was it? Were my parents hiding the dream house in their bedroom and just teasing me with this soda shop?? I mean, it was nice and it was pink, but it was something that would be down the street from what I really wanted.

I didn't get that barbie dream house that day or ever. It probably had cost more money than we could afford at the time and I suppose the house would have been dumb if I had no furniture or barbies to put in it, but I have to admit, I cried! I cried right there in the living room surrounded by presents on Christmas morning.

My mom volunteered at the Food Bank around that time and one day she brought home dozens of gray Dairy gold milk crates. I stacked those milk crates sideways on one wall of my bedroom and so were invented...the Barbie Ghetto Apts. Yeah, the beautiful pink dining room set looked a little out of place, but there were plenty of small studio apartments for Barbie, Ken, Skipper and the rest of the gang. There was no need for an elevator because there was a handle sized hole in each floor that barbie could just climb through.

I wish I had a picture of that complex in all it's glory, but you're just going to have to use your imagination.

I was happy with the apartment complex and feel that my childhood would definitely be missing something without it, but nevertheless the dream failed to completely die knowing that someday I would have girls of my own and I dreamed of the look of elation on my own daughter's face when she came down Christmas morning to find her very own Barbie Dream House waiting for her.

But my daughters don't even want barbies who look like them!


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Why didn't I think of this??

Last night I went to a Toy Exchange with some moms from church. What a great idea. I packed up a few toys that are still in nice condition and hauled them to the exchange. Now I was kind of sad to see some of these things go. (I can't say what in case any kiddies peek at my post - not that they are even going to miss them). I was sad mostly because we had paid full price for this stuff for something that was thrown in the toy box and forgotten! Then (and this is all on my drive to the exchange) I got kind of mad, at my kids and at myself. That turned into resolve to NOT buy toys at full price anymore. So, now I'm pretty much done "shopping" for my youngest two and I'm thinking about having another toy exchange myself:)

April you'd be into that right???


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