8.05.2014

New beginnings

Hello hello! I don't even know if anyone reads this rusty ole blog anymore. But if you do, head on over to my new place of personal musings and sorting out this very overwhelming world of HOMESCHOOLING!

eek!

We are going there.  The action starts in just 1 month.

My new blog is at SarahBlight.com

That's where the party's at.  HOlla!

9.17.2013

Our Newest Baby

I am udderly and completely embarrassed.

What the hay.

It's been an entire SEASON since I've written.

A season that has had its ups and downs and
moments where I wondered if somehow I had
bitten off more than I could chew.

And I have.

Haven't we all?

It's not the "oh.mah.gaw. I. am. so. busy."
kind of mouthful.

It's the "holy crap why didn't anyone tell me
that having kids is a lot of work and that
working from home is freaking impossible and
keeping the house clean? hahahha. You're hilar."

Ya know what I mean?

So that's where we've been. Diggin' ourselves out
of the mountain of clean laundry that was left for the
magic laundry fairy to fold and put away.

You don't even want to see the other attempts at a family photo. 




















Aside from our Little One turning one. W.T.H.?
And our not so little one turning four. Wha??
We busted out another book called Birth Book
it's right up there in the sidebar.

Guys at the risk of sounding like a super turbo
dance mom, "this book has the 'it factor.'"


















Truly.

So if you have preggo friends or family or yourself,
treat yourself to this badboy. This book will get you
FIRED UP for birth, not in the "crap I'm scared" kind
of way. But more like in the "how come no one told
me that birth was so freaking awesome?" way.

Trust me.


5.14.2013

How to Make Your Own Mosquito Repellent

I'm reposting this since it is looking to be the buggiest summer in Michigan with all the floods we've had here lately.   ENJOY!
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


For the majority of the country (save, Texas) there has been record-breaking rain which now means record breaking amounts of pesky things that buzz around your head and suck your blood.

J must think I'm a crazy person. I've been running around the house chasing these things that he now calls "quitos" with my shoes, smearing them on walls, cabinets, carpets or body parts. I don't discriminate, especially after killing 12 of them in one day (INSIDE our house!!) I knew it was bad when J grabbed a shoe a few days ago and started hitting the wall. I couldn't exactly tell him not to.
I was desperate to find some kind of a solution and didn't want to resort to spraying chemicals all over our yard which would last like 5 seconds *doing that and washing your car will guarantee rain in approx 24 hours* so I went online.

I found a recipe for vanilla body butter -which my mom and I made several weeks ago which was yummy (in a non-edible way) and smelled so good, especially after we added Lavender to it. Then I had a brilliant idea (if i do say so myself) ---use Eucalyptus instead of Vanilla & Lavendar *mosquitos can't stand the stuff* Possible brilliance? More than likely.

It seemed to work for J and I at our nephew's baseball game (when everyone else got tore up). But the true test was when Steveo gave it a whirl. Mosquitos love the man and he gets huge welts because he's allergic to them. So off daddy went, in shorts and a tank top to mow the lawn but not before slathering the eucalyptus body butter all over his manly body. It was about 7:00pm (twilight-ish) and he returned unscathed! We couldn't believe it!

It wasn't until after he had showered and was sitting on the couch that he got bit by one of those suckas! haha.

My mother in law suggested this become my new cottage industry (because apparently I need another one) but making body butter is not my passion. BUT because I love you and I know you will enjoy summer a lot more without getting tore up--- I will spill the beans on the secret sauce so you can slather it on and call it done. The only thing I ask is that you share this page and therefore this blog with others when they ask you about your secret sauce. Pinky swear?

Here's the goods.
This is the portion of the program where I tell you that you can use any container you have sitting around the house, including what i used for this batch, the veggie boullion jar. {Our repellent may or may not have the slight smell of veggies upon opening the jar ...glad I didn't use the red thai curry paste jar. }
Because oils do break down if exposed to prolonged sunlight, it's recommended by professionals that you use a colored jar or just don't keep it out all the time. We do like putting ours in the fridge so it's not melty (the coconut oil will get liquidy when warm) plus it feels good putting on.
So how much did it cost?
I'm happy to report that a little goes a long way, we just finished our first batch of the stuff and shared it with lots of people.
Being able to make super awesome stuff that has no chemicals in it and actually moisturizes the skin AND keeps the blood suckers away- PRICELESS.
Let me know what you think!

3.20.2013

Well Call Me Crunchy...

Today I was told I am "Crunchy."

I need to take a few steps backward in order for you to understand the irony that comes from that statement. 

When we moved here, I needed a pediatrician who was "vaccine flexible."  We do a selective vaccine schedule with our kids and not all doctors are down with that.  I called around and around and you might be surprised at some of the things I was told on the phone (but that's for another post).  I finally called an office and was told that while they don't encourage it they won't deny service to patients who are on a different "schedule" for vaccines.  I quickly realized that this was as good as I was going to get.

While the office has never been downright rude to us, they haven't been supportive either. It's kinda of like they give you a tight lipped smile with their eyebrows raised and say "mmm okay, sure" when I asked if they would write down the vaccine lot#, expiration, dose and manufacturer after they give my kids vaccines (because I'm a crunchy mom and like to keep my own records).

I've never been keen on the fact that each time I go in there, I'm met with a laundry list of questions:
-Do you have well water or city water?
-Do you have guns in the house?
-What year was your house built?
-Does your baby sleep on her back?
-Are you breastfeeding?
-Does your baby sleep with anything in the bed?
-Does your baby sleep with you? (God forbid)

This approach to gathering information presents itself more like an interrogation than establishing a baseline. And why do they ask the same questions every. Single. Time? I have no idea. So naturally , it puts me on the defensive. Because, I'm a crunchy mom. Remember?

At Em's 6 month check up, the nurse practitioner asked me if E was eating solids. I said yes, some veggies and a couple fruits. She suggested that I give Emers cereal. I asked "why?" (a great question to ask, by the way).  She said that it's fortified with iron and that iron deficiency is common for little ones since the iron stores they were born with are depleted by now and breast milk lacks sufficient iron.  I told her that we don't do cereal since grains are hard on the little one's digestive systems. Babies lack the pancreatic & salivary amylase to break down the grains for absorption in the body.  I asked her if by me eating iron rich food, if that would transfer adequately to the breast milk and she said she wasn't sure.

I thought that was bizarre.

I wonder if I casually mentioned that I just had a couple glasses of wine and then nursed my daughter, how she would've responded?

***

Flash forward.

I'm there today for Emersyn's 9 month appointment- which I contemplated cancelling because I dread it. But we went. The same nurse practitioner came in and was very pleasant and smiley. She started asking her questions, what is Emers eating, etc etc.  Then she turned to me and said:

 "I just learned a new word from one of the other moms who comes here...crunchy...I realized that you're CRUNCHY!" (she's smiling and looking at me in the eye).

I started laughing nervously and said "Wow. Crunchy huh? I'm going to go ahead and take that as a compliment."
- "Oh yes it is" (still smiling).
 "Do a lot of crunchy moms come here?"
- "Oh yes."
 "My mom was a hippie (laughter) and breastfed us when formula was the thing to do. I never thought that I would be a hippie or crunchy or whatever but I am realizing more and more that there are so many chemicals in our world, in everything that i am responsible to protect my kids from and so I do."
- "Oh yes of course. But you can drive yourself nuts worrying about everything and take it too far."
"Everything can be taken too far, don't you agree?"
- "Oh sure."
"I use common sense & research a lot and have found that that works for us."


The last admonition I received at today's visit was:
  "Remember, don't take her out in the sun. But if you need to, then make sure and use sunscreen." 

WTH doesn't even begin to cover what I wanted to say. 

***

The irony lies in the fact that I am not a consumer.  I am a researcher. I am proactive. I don't just take what people spoon feed me. I check it out to see what other options there are. I ask questions. I look at science. I seek advice. I pray about it. I go with my gut and intuition and common sense.

I look at the fact that in the last 20 years autism has risen 600% in our Country. How many kids have allergies? Asthma? Diabetes?  I look at the laundry list of vaccines that the APA recommends and think to myself "well that's an interesting coincidence." I also think that about pesticides in our food and red dyes, blue and yellow being rampant in food marketed and sold for kids- and think about all the children who have "ADHD" or hyperactivity disorders & are on medication and I think "well, that's an interesting coincidence."

Who is educating our providers?  Why does a nurse practitioner know that cereal is a good option for iron but is clueless about how my intake of iron would impact my breastfeeding baby?

Why does my provider tell me to keep my baby out of the sunlight at one appointment and but encourages me, at preceding appointments, to supplement with Vitamin D-visol drops (which have yellow dye in them by the way!!)

No one besides me and my husband will work harder to ensure the safety & well being of our children besides us.

No one.

If that's what being "crunchy" means, then I am damn proud to be crunchy. 

And wouldn't we all be better off if those, whose jobs are to be our "health care providers," were crunchy too? 

I am now in the market for a new pediatrician. If anyone knows of one in the Grand Rapids area, let me know.

*ps sorry i don't have pics. my phone wasn't cooperating with me. if you want to follow me on instagram, come on over and request a follow!

1.15.2013

It's January already?

How'd it get to be the middle of January?
How is it that I have a 7 month old daughter?
Why am I still so sleep deprived?

These are the thoughts swirling around in my brain lately.

Instead of filling you in on our lives lately, I thought I'd link to this post that I shared yesterday on YourBabyBooty.

http://yourbabybooty.com/blog/sometimes-you-just-gotta/



That pretty much sums it up. Don't cha think?


9.17.2012

3 Months, 2 Kids, 1 Tired Mama.

Oh boy. This is embarrassing.  It's been 3 months already.  Eesh.


Emersyn is quite the spunky peanut.  She's a pretty easy-going baby until she's not. Sleep alludes both of us at the moment which makes for some cranky mommy/Emersyn moments.

So where have the past 3 months gone?  Well.

2 weeks after E was born, my sweet nephew decided he needed to bust outta my sister's womb, 3 MONTHS early. So at 26 weeks Brady James was born, 2lbs 12 oz.


The next part of our summer was a blur. Going back and forth to Cincinnati to support my sissy and her hubs as they worried, prayed, and spent day and night at the critical care NICU which was 45 minutes away!

This is Brady now.

What a miracle that boy is.  Two and half months later he's probably 7 pounds by now!  
The Lord has answered our prayers.


Steveo and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary a couple weeks ago.
My idea of celebrating was "Hey, let's rent a hotel room for a couple hours...so I can NAP!"  haha.


Finally our Little Man went to his first day of preschool.  Steve and I both had a little heart break that day.  Sigh.  The days are long but the years go quickly!


So those are some of the highlights of the past 3 months:)

Since I haven't posted my birth story yet, here's a video which tells the story better than I ever could.

Enjoy!



8.07.2012

all in the fam

people have been saying that Emersyn looks like J, so I decided to dig up some pics of J & E and compare.

Whaddaya think?

8.01.2012

Summatime

Woah there turbo. How in the H did it get to be August? I mean. Seriously.

Obviously I've been MIA for the past (almost) two months.

This has been the craziest summer ever.

It started with the birth of this beauty.


I can't believe she'll be 8 weeks tomorrow!! Ah! I just want to soak up the newborn cuddles.  E is such a great baby.  Super laid back and actually doesn't cry that much...just when she's hungry or sleepy.  Steve and I were preparing ourselves for a hellion since J was a pretty laid back baby too... but not so much.  Maybe we'll stop while we're ahead;)

About 2 weeks later, my sister who was 26 weeks along went into labor.  They weren't able to stop labor and so she gave birth to this cutie patootie Brady James.

He was 2 lbs 12 oz when he was born ( a lot bigger than they expected)....he's now up to over 4lbs!  He still has some growing and developmental milestones to accomplish before he's out of the NICU, but he's a champ!  We've been going back and forth to Cincinnati to support my sis and her hubby during this tumultuous time.  

Oh and we are throwing them a baby shower next weekend...and guess what? We picked THE ONLY shower theme that WOULDN"T work for a premature birth:   "Ready to Pop"  

so now we've decided the theme is just "Popped".


In the midst of our 2012 BabyPalooza, we also just birthed another "baby".  This one has been in the making for over a year, our website which is online childbirth education- on demand.  It's pretty groundbreaking and turns traditional childbirth classes upside down while simultaneously giving it a much needed makeover:) We just launched on Monday.

Check it out  www.YourBabyBooty.com and like us on facebook!!  (and we're also on Pinterest as you can see above).

Phew. 

How is YOUR summer going?  Flying by? 


6.11.2012

Our Amazing Weekend:)

We had the most incredible weekend.  It actually started on Thursday for us.
My mom cruised back into town on Tuesday after her boss cleared her schedule and kicked her out of town with strict instructions not to return until "that baby was born."

So that's what she did.

Mom, Lil Man and I cruised up North 1 hour to see my midwife. For our  (40 weeks) chat (some people call them appointments) :) All was well in the womb (as I pretty much already knew, since baby was super active).

Then we went home, put J down for a nap, which is an automatic nap for me as well and then we ran some errands later.

It was a GORGEOUS day outside.  No humidity, around 80 degrees, just perfection.  We decided to eat outside, J was playing and running around the yard while Steve mowed the lawn.  I adore those lazy, perfect summer evenings.

Around 6pm I felt some contractions but nothing painful, just uncomfortable.

Around 7, I decided to do some NipStim (nipple stimulation) with the old breast pump.  Sorry if that's TMI for you, but you need to know that NipStim was the equivalent of hooking up a '57 Chevy to a set of Jumper Cables.  Things ROARED to life.

I called our midwife and said, "things are picking up, there's no real pattern yet but contractions are getting more and more uncomfortable."

After about 30 minutes, I called Steve upstairs and told him to call our midwife. I was so afraid she'd miss the birth, living an hour away and having baby so low and being so dilated.

Long story short. Midwife arrived at 9pm and this precious bundle of joy (GIRL!!!!)  was birthed into the world at 11:17pm.


Can you say TURBO?  Emersyn Aleeta weighed in at 7lbs 10 oz and 19.25 inches long.  We were pretty shocked that she was that much over 7 lbs (since everyone and their MOTHER was commenting how small I was)... my midwife commented that I have a gorgeous pelvis. Well that 'splains it:)

Sweet Emersyn was birthed at home, in water (in our playroom).  Lil Man slept like a champ through the whole thing in the room right next door  (Thank God for Turbo Fans that sound like 747 Jets taking off. ) and pretty much was bewildered when he woke up to a brand new baby in da house. The toys he's received from everyone who stops by seem to help ease the bewilderment a bit!! haha.

I still need to write out the detailed birth story for those who are interested, but that's pretty much the jist!

We're stoked to be a family of 4 (and still somewhat in shock about it).

How was your weekend?  (wink wink)

6.04.2012

39 and feelin' fine


So blogging hasn't (obviously) been at the top of my "to dos" recently.

Figuring out if I"m in labor, on the other hand, has.

So far, two false alarms (hence sending my mom BACK home on a 5 hour drive both times).

When they say "each pregnancy & birth is different" THEY aren't lying.

I am currently 39weeks 5 days- 5 cm dilated and 100% effaced and all signs of prelabor have come and gone and come and gone and come and gone one more time (just for fun).

People ask me "why don't you just induce?"  Well the complete answer to that would take a really long time and is fully answered on our new site (which is getting ready to launch ANY DAY!).  THe short answer is: we're in no hurry and baby (not to mention God, the One who knit my little one in my womb to begin with) have determined the day, the hour, the minute of birth.

It's all part of "expecting."  Letting go of our control, our desires, our hopes, our agenda, our timeline (gasp) and letting God orchestrate.

I'm not sayin' it's easy. But there's something really neat about knowing that this baby will come in his (or her) time and not mine.

So there you have it.

I'm soaking up the sunshine, the restless sleep, the snuggle time with Little Man, the runs for Fro Yo (frozen yogurt), the breakfast dates with my men and the general "in between" time that I never thought I would have with this pregnancy.

When Little One decides to come out da womb, I will be sure to let you all know:) In fact, you may hear cries of joy right inside your own home.

Here are some pics from lately (quality stinks but that's phone pics for ya):
Yes, he picked those for me!
Yep. This is how I feel right now.

Seriously, how much do you love J and his cousin A?



Let me hear it, how far did you guys go before baby came (on its own?)