Wednesday, December 28, 2011

10 years of wededness

Dec 28, 2001, I married DH. So we are celebrating 10 years of marriage. I think we have both worked our asses off when it comes to staying married. We both look at marriage as a job. Like any job, you have days that are wonderful and days that are off. Days were you can't believe you have the privilege of being with this person for the rest of your life and days were you can't believe you are giving this person the privilege of being with you for the rest of your life.

Marriage is marriage. We both have said that divorce is off the table. We will make it work or die trying. I find this mentally has worked very well for us. When times have been hard I don't look for the out; I don't toss out divorce to get my way. I know the bad times are not forever. If we work at it the good times will come back around.

I think the best advice on marriage I ever got was to "move away from home and learn to cling to each other."  I've heard it from couples who's marriages/relationships didn't make it. "We just did learn to depend on one another. We always turned to other people first.". So DH and I moved to Virginia in July of 2003. It was the best decision we ever made! I had to trust that DH had my back because I had no one else. We became a family. I know that if we hadn't have made that move we would have been divorced a long time ago. So even though we are back in Texas and back with family, we know that our first family is now each other.  Home is where we are and family is us.

Senior Prom '97
So today I celebrate 10 years of marriage.   They have been everything DH promised they would be: good/bad, sickness/health, rich(relatively speaking)/poor, funny/sad and so much more than I could have or would have thought.  The gift of our Audrey 2 years ago and the addition of Snoopy and Jasmin 3 years before that just added to the love in our family.   I think we both would like to expand the family with a few more children but we're learning to let God be in control and just enjoy the ride.

So to DH:  I love you.  I thank you for everything.  We've gone from 16-year-olds with nothing but dreams to 33-year-olds with a real family of our own.  I know we don't always see eye to eye but as long as you're willing to work at it I'm willing too.  I promise you I'm more stubborn and will always win at the "willing to work at it" game.  We celebrate 10 years of marriage but I hope that when we are looking back from our 50th that we'll see just how stupid and childish our views of ourselves were and how we have finally grown-up.  I look forward to many more years of dancing and singing and in general embarrassing of Audrey.  I pray that God blesses us with more children.  I can't wait to see the things that God has in store for us.  Love you always, Martha

Monday, December 12, 2011

Random recipe: glutenfree cheesecake

So this cheesecake is the result of my need for cheesecake and my random trying of various recipes I have found on-line. It combines two different recipes all while making it my own. Things to note: read the ingredients on all of your items to make sure there is no gluten in them and if at first you don't succeed, you still have a decent enough cheesecake so enjoy. :)

Preheat oven to 325.  You'll need a 10-inch springform pan.

1 box Betty Crocker Gluten-free Yellow Cake Mix
1/2 cup butter softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1 teaspoon cinnamon (I love cinnamon so I try it in everything, so it makes more like a Snickerdoodle crust)

Mix everything in a bowl until a soft dough forms. mold into your 10-inch springform pan. Go up about an inch or go all the way up and have an extra bit of cookie crust.  Now time to make filling.

3 packages of 8oz cream cheese, softened
1 & 1/4 cups sugar (regular stuff)
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 eggs

Beat cream cheese and sugar together on slow until blended.  Beat in vanilla and eggs one at a time.  Pour into crust.  Bake for about 65 - 75 mins until puffy and light golden brown.  Let cool and enjoy!

I think the hardest part is the crust.  The dough doesn't always want to stick to the pan or will try to fall apart.  It's gluten-free so keep in mind it's not exactly like 'regular' cookie dough.  Play with the recipe.  Add chocolate, avoid the cinnamon, but most importantly enjoy.  I've made this three times and each time it goes faster than the first.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Wheat challenge - Round 2

So Audrey's birthday is in 6 days! So hard to believe I'll have a 2 year old in less than a week. But this leads us to wheat challenge - round 2. Audrey's allergist suggested we challenge the wheat-free diet around Audrey's 2nd birthday. I guess 2 is the magic allergy number. So we decided to head to Olive Garden and order whatever we wanted!

I was excited. Order anything! Eat a breadstick! Not worry about what I"m eating, sign me back up for that life. I wish it was that easy. Having been strictly wheat-free for almost 2 years, plus off an on for 6 years prior, it's hard to go back to eating without worry. I don't know why I thought I would go back to old me in one trip to the Olive Garden. I still asked for the gluten-free menu. I wish they had an ingredients list. We do eat gluten-free since it makes life easier but strictly speaking we're wheat-free. Having something with a little MSG don't kill us so if the ingredients are clear of wheat we eat it. The Olive Garden's gluten-free menu is small and they have one penne pasta that is gluten-free. But I'm sure they have other things that are wheat-free that we can probably eat.

Anyways, we were going with a challenge so I start looking at the regular menu. What to have, what to have? Alfredo? Eggplant parm? Nope I start looking at Herb Salmon. Yep, even in my eat anything I'm still going toward the gluten-free stuff. I finally decided on the Chianti braised short-ribs. Not gluten-free but not pasta either. It comes with risotto. Where the gluten is in the dish I know not. We also ordered calamari. Audrey got a children's gluten-free penne with marinara. We didn't want to push her too much.

I got a bite of calamari. Strangely it wasn't as good as I remembered. I got a bite of breadstick. So disappointed. Why had I been pining for this stuff? Did we hit the Olive Garden on a bad day? I think DH said it best. "You're just a wheat-free girl now!" Laughing with glee. Evil wheat-allergic man! I did get mad. I don't like the food anymore. I didn't want the breadstick; I wanted a piece of Udi's with garlic butter. The calamari was just sad. My ribs were good. I guess the wheat is in the "gravy." Audrey ate some calamari, a bite of DH's spaghetti and lots of penne. Later that night we let her have a bite of "real" brownie. We had a wheat-filled day! or what we think of as a wheat-filled day.

So last night, 3 am, Audrey is crying. She's passing gas like crazy. She's rolling around unable to get comfy. Guess what, the kid is still allergic to wheat! She kept nursing but since I had had wheat she was just pouring more allergens into her system. Today she is all broken out. I think we can call this done. Audrey has a wheat allergy. Is it deadly? Thankfully no. If she decides to eat a piece of regular pizza, I won't panic. I don't be taking her to Mikey Dee's anytime soon but I think I can let go of some of the panic I've had in the past.

As for me, I am realizing that wheat-free isn't a diet or a change for now but a change for life. I'm learning to bake wheat-free. I"m longing for my food past less and less. I'm finding that "bread" doesn't appeal to me like it use to.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: two snowflakes

Pic from the Christmas parade

Friday, December 2, 2011

Sid the Science Kid

So if you have a child and watch PBS, you know all about Sid the Science Kid. It is a fantastic show that helps teach children about science and asking questions. They have great catchy music on top of teaching kids about science. It is a favorite of mine and Audrey's. DH loves that it teaches about science; I guess the whole part about DH being a physicist plays a part in the love of Sid.
So I just got a heads up that Sid will be featuring EMMY®-award winning actress America Ferrera (one of my favorite actresses) as the voice of marine biologist Dr. Rosalinda Cordova starting on  Monday, December 5 on PBS KIDS® .  They will be doing a entire week of shows for "Technology and Engineering Week" that focus on inspiring young girls to take an interest in science.  I know not everyone has a DH that lives and breathes science, so it's good to see a a show focus on getting our girls hooked on science.  

Here is a brief description of what to expect this week on Sid:
  • I Want to be a Scientist!”  Premieres Monday, December 5
Sid whats to know, “What kind of scientist investigates animals?”  Fortunately for Sid, his class is going on a field trip to the Science Center, where a special guest greets them—it’s Gabriela’s Mom, Dr. Rosalinda Cordova (America Ferrera).  She is a marine biologist, and tells the kids about her exciting job SCUBA diving with whales.  Completely enthralled, Sid wants to know if scientists investigate other kinds of animals, too.  

  • The Amazing Computer Science Tool!”  Premieres Tuesday, December 6
Every time Sid's parents' computer “dings” Mom and Dad run to check their computer, so Sid wants to know what computers do.  Mom volunteers to show Sid’s class how a computer works, which helps Teacher Susie demonstrate the amazing way scientists use computers as a science tool.

  • The Big Cheese!”  Premieres Wednesday, December 7
While surfing the Internet with his Mom, Sid finds a funny picture showing that the moon is made of green, glowing, cheese.  Sid thinks this is amazing, and when he goes to school, he relays his newly found moon information to his friends.  When they tell Susie what they learned, Susie explains something very important—not everything you find on the computer is true.

  • Sid Wings It!”  Premieres Thursday, December 8
In his backyard, Sid shows off his homemade cardboard wings.  He’s wearing them because he wants to fly, just like the bird he has been watching all morning.  But his flight plans don’t work out so he heads to school to investigate.  Susie announces that the class is going to visit the Science Center to check out a special exhibit about FLIGHT.  Sid and his friends are thrilled to discover how people learned how to fly by observing birds in nature, just like Sid did. 

  • Sid Engineers A Solution”  Premieres Friday, December 9
Sid has a big, big, big problem.  He’s trying to grab a cereal box located way up high on the kitchen shelf, but he just can’t reach it.  At school, Sid and his friends encounter another problem.  They need to get a ball down that got stuck in a tree. Susie has an idea.  If they have a problem, it’s time to “engineer a solution.”  The kids work as a team, brainstorm some ideas, draw pictures of their ideas, and then try building their ideas.  

You'll have to check your local listing for times but as the mom of a young girl, I'll be making sure we tune in each day.  If you don't believe my high praise then just so you know, Sid has 5 EMMY nominations to it's credit.  It's from the Jim Henson Company, so you know it's fun and kids will watch.   I will warn you that the songs are catchy so be prepared to be singing them for the rest of the day!  

I'm so happy to have found Sid, and if you don't know Sid then you are really missing out.  Check him out on and don't forget to watch next week!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

5 things I should be ashamed of but I'm not

1.  I love Hootie and the Blowfish.  Yes, they are so 1990 but love is love.  Saw them in concert a few years ago.  Made my life at the time complete.  DH HATES THEM.  Oh well. :)

2.  I hate Pink Floyd.  Don't get them don't want to.  DH LOVES THEM.  Again, oh well.

3.  I am a Texan who has never been to the rodeo.  It was an animal ethical treatment thing for awhile but now I just don't want to go.

4.  I find smoking soothing, which is why I don't smoke.  It is a horrible nasty habit but taking just one drag can just calm my nerves then I begin to hack and my lung hurt for literally days.  So not worth it.

5.  I find the smell of pine to be the most soothing scent ever.  It was even my birthing scent.  My dad has always worked in a sawmill so pine is soothing and reminds me of my daddy coming home from work.

So there you go.  You know my not so secret shame.

Someone's youtube video from the Danville, VA concert, which I was at.  I was right at the stage in front of Darius!  I didn't see me in the video but I was there!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

So much to do

So I am coming up on my busy season.  I have Audrey's birthday, Christmas, my 10-year wedding anniversary, and DH's birthday.  December just tends to cost a lot of money.  Money which I don't really have but we'll make it work somehow.  We are having Audrey's 2-year portraits done next weekend; it will be a bit pricey but we are so happy we booked AMZ Photography.  Can't wait to post some pictures.  DH and I have decided to forgo a huge party for Audrey.  We are doing a cake and a trip to the zoo with her favorite cousin. 
Christmas will be on a budget, as usual.  DHa nd I both agree that Audrey doesn't really need much so we are going to do a few presents for her.  Thankfully Audrey is a happy kid so things aren't important to her.  I have no clue what to get DH.  He wants things way out of the budget.  He wants a tablet computer but the budget is $100 so the table is out.  Wish I had won one but Rafflecopter hates me.  I haven't won anything since most people have moved over :(
DH and I also have no real clue what to do for our anniversary.  We have always talked about having a vow renewal and then big party but it just not in the budget.  I was thinking about having a "wedding" session with AMZ.  I fit my wedding dress and DH could get a tux.  My friend H took our wedding pics but we never got professional shots made so that might be an idea.  I think we could do a quick vow renewal followed by a romantic dinner.  I know DH would love to run off to Vegas but Audrey isn't weaned and I'm just not ready to leave her overnight.
So much to do and so little time and money.  So any ideas for any of these things?
Picture from the night we got engaged, May 2001.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Gout, the other disease

So doc confirmed on Thursday that DH has gout.  I'm not sure about the scale but DH was 3 points above normal.  He's now on a med for the next 4 months to reduce the uric acid.  In 4 months he goes back for labs and possible med adjustment. 

His blood pressure was high in the office but has been good for the last week at home.  Doc thinks it was being in the office since at home it's good.  He is still on the blood pressure, again adjustment to come in 4 months.  Seems weird to have a standard refill order on the books for him.  We're only 32.  Besides I thought I would be on something long before him. 

So what does this mean for the next 4 months?  DH must take three pills per day.  DH must drink 8-16 glasses of water per day.  DH and whole family is going on a beef-less/high veggie diet.  Honestly we need more veg anyways.  I think the problem is we are looking at it as a diet.  DH has to lose weight; that is the key to going off the blood pressure med, according to the doc.  Losing weight means diet.

A diet is a horrible thing.  However, a lifestyle change is doable.  I know it's just words but words so mean something.  I tweet about a lifestyle change and nothing.  I tweet about a diet change and I get tons of replies to links on weight loss drugs!  Anyways, we're making adjustments in our diets.  I'm dropping sodas in favor of water, tea and coffee.  I'm finding that with the wheatlessness and breastfeeding I'm going back to losing weight mode.  Not a bad thing but I just bought new pants and they are already starting to be too big.  Hate that! 

Of course along with a food lifestyle change comes a change in activity level.  I need to exercise.  I keep feeling derailed on my goal to ran a 5K.  First the hip and now I"m out of the habit.  I keep saying that once I get a car I'll start going back.  It's just hard to make the time.  I want Audrey to have a stable bedtime.  Right now she's hitting 10 pm.  So I'm thinking I need to pick up Audrey (so my mom can go off to do her thing) and put her in the gym's daycare for an hour while I work-out.  They charge $4 a session.  I can handle that.  By the time it's all said and done, we would be home at about 7:30.  Not horrible; a little late for dinner but we'll adjust, right?  I must get off my ass.  If I get off of mine, then DH will get off of his.  Can't lose weight if you don't move.  I love DH as he is.  I think he's sexy and hot.  I really don't want him to change but if losing weight means I'll keep him longer than off to the gym we go. 

I"m thinking a big blog on New Year's resolutions will coming.  DH and I will be celebrating 10 years of wedded bliss next month.  10 years is not nearly long enough.  So if going wheatless, meatless, sodaless and whatever less is required, then I'm in.  For better or worse, in sickness or in health . . .
  I'm beginning to think we should have added something about food or allergies into our vows.  :)

DH and Audrey on her 1st Christmas Eve.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Mom's eye view

Just a warning: these pictures are of a toddler breastfeeding. View at your own risk.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I'm not that good a mom

So I read Healing Anaya: Rainbow Day yesterday and I cried, just cried.  How in the world can a person have the strength to do and then share something like that.  She is a much better mom than me.  I was talking to DH about it and he said that sometimes that is part of being a good parent.  "Sometimes letting go is the only way to show your love." 

I think I am a bad parent.  I have to admit I would be selfish.  I can't let go.  How could I ever let go?  I know I shouldn't say that.  If something happened to my Audrey and letting her go was require, I honestly don't think I could.  I would hold on tight and refuse to let go.  I would put me first.  I would be selfish.  I am a bad mother.  I think I would let go eventually but not until well after when I should have.  I don't do selfless well.  It is hard to think that I won't let go.  That I would put me first.  Maybe I wouldn't.  Maybe I would grow up in that moment and realize what I needed to do but I don't think so.  God willing I'll never find out.  God willing most of us will never have to find out. 

I am praying for Anaya's family and the many other families that have to live through things like that.  I know God has a plan and his timing is perfect but we are all human and seeing the bigger picture is hard.  So for all those parents that were selfless and put their child first I send a big virtual hug.  For the ones that have shared their story I send a big thank you for sharing.

DH's health

So DH is doing well.  He goes to the doctor on Thursday and we've heard nothing from the blood test so I'm going with no news is good news.  His blood pressure is coming down.  I'm happy about the down turn in the blood pressure but I think this also means that he needs blood pressure meds.  I'm still hoping that a change in diet and a major change in activity level will help him lose a few pound and he'll be able to come off the meds.  I guess we'll know more on Thursday. 

The gout meds have helped a lot.  He is down to one does a day for the pain.  I think this is another time that we'll have to wait for the doc to see if he needs a med for the gout to help him get rid of the acid build up.  Still seems weird for him to have gout.  DH is just a few months older than me so he's 32.  Not exactly 'gout age.' 

I'll keep you posted.  I'm hoping for good news on Thursday. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Busy 7 days

We've been so busy over the last week.  We started with Halloween.  I work until 7pm and then had to run Audrey to see her grandparents.  Poor kid was exhausted from her trick or treat time in the afternoon so she was not in mood play.  She kept laying down and demanding to go to bed.  Then she was so tired it took her forever to go to sleep.
My little flamingo princess.
Over the weekend DH had starting suffering from a lot of big toe pain.  After a visit to the chiropractor, DH concluded he must have gout.  He would be seeing the doctor on Thursday for high blood pressure and now gout.  Thursday was a long way away.  I took half a day and went with him.  Good news/bad news time. 
Good news:  It's gout and we can treat it.
Bad news:  The medicine will make your blood pressure go up so he's now on a blood pressure med.  Also a major change in the diet since DH must lose weight.  (So on top of wheatless, nothing fried and cut down/out the sugar!)

Friday was spent waiting to hear how DH's medicine was working and labs.  We won't hear on any lab results for 2 weeks!  That seems like forever but that should give enough time for all of the medicine to work and if anything that requires attention before that she'll call us in.  Still it's a long wait and it's hard to watch DH constantly taking his blood pressure and me freaking out with every up tick on the meter.  So needless to say it was hard weekend but DH is doing what he needs to and I'm proud of him for stepping up.  I'll keep everyone posted.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Schar Samples! - Glutenfree bread :)

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Schar for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

So if you are wheat-free or gluten-free like me you know how hard it can be to find bread that you like and that doesn't taste or feel like cardboard.  This is an endeavor that can be very costly; $5 for a bad loaf here, $6 there, it can add up quickly!  So what if I told you can try some gluten-free bread for free and that after you try it you wouldn't end up hating it? 

If you can haven't heard of Schar, they are one of the big names in gluten-free around the world.  I was pleasantly surprised to find them on the shelves of my local grocery store.  They are relaunching their brand of Sub Rolls, ciabatta rolls and even a bagette!  I don't know about you but I miss bagettes and ciabatta.  I can't wait to try them out.  I'm thinking bagette with brie and summer sausage and a glass of wine.  My favorite back in my wheat-filled days.

Okay so to the free part:  Schar is offering a new Schar club.  You sign-up and get the latest in products, tips for gluten-free living  and for a limited time a free sample of the ciabatta bread.  So you'll need sign-up then go to your toolbox and click on giveaways.  How easy is that?  Warm fresh ciabatta to dip into your soup on a cool fall day.  Sounds like gluten-free heaven :)  No more looking longingly at brie cheese and wishing for a gluten-free bagette, just open your Schar gluten-free bagette. 

This is perfect timing in my opinion.  With winter around the corner and soups back on the menu, gluten-free bread is a must and Schar is and answering the call.  Just heat, serve and enjoy.  So what are you going to try first?  Leave me a comment with your plans for the new Schar breads.

Screen Shot 2011-10-12 at 10.37.57 AM

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Sunday, October 30, 2011


So, I've been called many things.  Most recently a hipster.  DH has become obsessed with the concept of being a hipster.  He keeps saying I'm a hipster.  That is so hipster.  See you are a total hipster.

Before I can really decide if I am a hipster, I need to know what the hell is a hipster.  So I googled and here is what I found:
Hipsters are a subculture of men and women typically in their 20's and 30's that value independent thinking, counter-culture, progressive politics, an appreciation of art and indie-rock, creativity, intelligence, and witty banter. 
That is the beginning of the definition on Urban 

I am 32 and a woman so I'm fitting the def so far.  Do I value independent thing?  Doesn't everyone?  I don't think I'm counter-culture.  I mean I cloth-diaper, homebirth, and breastfeed but those aren't exactly counter-culture, are they?  Progressive politics, who knows what is progressive these days?  An appreciation of art and indie-rock, I'm pretty with the crowd.  I love pop music; doesn't sound very hipster to me.  Value intelligence and witty banter, again doesn't everyone?  Are there people in this world that think thinking is bad?  And who seeks bad conversation?  If you can banter and have fun talking then why even open your mouth?

At the end of the definition, it mentions a liberal arts degree.  DH has me there.  I do have a BA from my beloved Hollins.  I think having knowledge in a little bit of everything is a good thing.  The definition also has a large section talking about style.  It mentions a couple of stores that I've never been in but then style isn't my thing. 

Am I a hipster?  If I am is that a bad thing?  If I take this label do I lose my hippy label?  I have no clue what to think.  I guess I am a hipster.  I guess it's not a bad thing.  DH does say that hipsters are douches so maybe it is a bad thing.  If that is what he thinks then why would he want to call me that?  Am I a douche?  Think this is a topic that will be coming back.

Random Favorite things

Just writing a list of things I like/love.  Not in any particular order or rhyme or reason.

Favorite Band: The Killers
Just love them.  Everything about them rocks.

Favorite song: Triangulo by Los Babys
Reminds of drives to Mexico to see my grandparents.

Favorite sports team: The Pittsburgh Steelers
The why is complicated but they are my team.  In good times and in bad.

Favorite Athlete: Troy Polumalu
He's a Steeler.  He's one of the best at his position.  He's a good guy and a real role model.

Okay that's the list for now.  I'll be back with more stuff later!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Wheat-free not Calorie-free

Okay so the number one thing I hear about going wheat-free is "Wow, I hear you can lose a lot of weight doing that."  I guess people just want to be positive; you know find the silver lining.  I think it doesn't help that I've lost about 30 lbs since I went wheat-free. But the research actual shows that usually people that go wheat-free/gluten-free gain weight.

So why the gaining of weight?  I think it comes down to this: wheat-free is not calorie-free.  People are always looking for the easy fix, which means buying things labeled wheat-free and stuffing your face til you are so full you can walk.  What's wrong with this approach?  Well it is wheat-free but not calorie-free so you are still overeating and not exercising so you gain weight.  Processed food is processed food so you get calories from the sugar and the other stuff in the food.

I think the only reason I lost weight is that instead of buying lots of replacement gluten-free versions of processed foods I was eating homemade items and lots of fresh fruits and veggies.  Basically I was eating healthy without wheat.  It's only been in the last few months that I've been buying gluten-free bread, muffins and cake.  Weight loss has stopped since I discovered processed gluten-free food.  I make this wonderful fat-fill wheat-free cakes and stuff my face.  Not going to loss weight by eating chocolate cake, even if it wheat-free.  So in closing, wheat-free is not calorie-free.  Even we wheat-free peeps have to watch the calorie counts and use portion control.  Just because my Carl's Jr burger is half the calories since it has no bun does not mean I should eat 2 to make up for it.  Maybe I'll try the tofu noddles, I hear those are wheat-free and almost calorie free too but they are pretty price so we'll see.

Wheatfree Chocolate Cake, my downfall

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Random Recipe: Wheat-free Cinnamon Pecan Pancakes

So I'm starting to get more adventurous with my cooking.  I'm a follow the recipe kind of person but I'm trying to adapt my old recipes for wheat-filled things for my new wheat-free life.  I'll be posting my experiements, successes and failures.  We learn from everything so we'll see how much I learn :)

I have always loved pecan pancakes.  So I dusted off the recipe and gave them a wheatless whirl.  Word of caution, I'm labeling things wheat-less not gluten-free because I live in a mixed house.  Cross contamination heaven to say the least.  Besides I read labels and look for wheat not gluten so read your labels!

Martha's Wheatless Cinnamon Pecan Pancakes
2 cups Bisquick Gluten-free Mix
2 cups Whole Milk
2 eggs
4 Tablespoons vegetable oil
3 teaspoons Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Nutmeg
3 handfuls of pecans chopped via food processor

Mix.  I added the pecans last but I don't think order really matters.  Cook and serve.
This yielded about 14 pancakes.

I put lots of butter and syrup.  I would post a pic but I was lucky to get any to eat so forget the pics.  My personal feelings where they were great but next time I will add a bit of sugar and a dash of vanilla.  My dad and DH both said for me to cut the pecans out.  My mom enjoyed them plain with nothing but a bit of butter and normally she hates pancakes.  So that's the skinny on the pancakes.  Let me know if there are tweeks or suggestions to make them better.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: on daddy's shoulders

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Read anything and everything

So as a librarian, the question I get asked most often is how do I get my children to read or to read more?  My first question to them is what does your child like to read?  Usual answer, nothing.

So what is up with the lack of love of reading?  Is it a new thing?  Can we blame the internet?  Personally, I blame parents.  Okay okay, hear me out.  Not every parent is to blame for their child's lack of love of reading.  The love reading is complex thing.  Well in reality, all love is complex but anyways.

How can a parent help their child read/love to read/read more?  I think, this is totally just me, no research, just an opinion, parents need to read.  Your child needs to see that you read.  If the parent reads then the child will see that reading is important.  They see reading and then they begin to think that should read.  Simple, right?  Be the change you want to see.

Many times when I ask parents for a topic for books for their children, the parent has no clue.  Well I think she might like a book on fairies.  Do you have anything for a 3rd grader?  Reading level has nothing to do with developing a love of reading.  I have read things above my head (anything Shakespeare) and things that super easy but keep my attention (Don't let the pigeon drive the bus).  Telling a librarian a grade level doesn't really mean much unless your only goal is AR points.  (I hate AR but that's a post for another day).

I know the next problem is my child is behind.  My child has a special issue.  My child can't read so how can they ever love to read?  I have watched children who are mentally handicapped enjoy books.  Looking at the pictures and being read to are things anyone can do and love.  To bring your child's reading level up read with and to them.  So again the parent needs to have an active role.

My own reading journey starts with my dad.  My dad is a reader.  My grandfather was a reader.  I am a reader.  My child is a reader.  How do you have a line of readers?  You read.  It is not unusual to see DH, Audrey and myself reading in front of the TV.  Yes the TV is on and no one is paying it any attention.

I know that in schools the focus is on testing and that makes reading level most important.  Your child's reading level should not be the only focus when you choose a something to read.  READ ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING.  Read a cereal box at breakfast.  Read the funny pages.  Read the Wall Street Journal to your baby.  The what is not important.  Reading in and of itself is the important thing.  Please let your child read a manga/comic book.  If they are excited then let them read it.  Parents read, read to your child and read with your child.  If you want a reader in your house then you have to be the example.  If you talk about how horrible reading is or how dumb it is to read then don't be surprised when you a child that hates reading.

Please ask the school and/or public librarian for help.  We love to help people find the right book but don't look at us cross eyed when we ask you for help.  We're librarians not mind readers.  Find your library and use it.  Choose graphic novels, picture books, long fiction books, maybe even a magazine and take them home.  Don't force it.  If you put the example and read something then your child might just start picking through the pile and read something too.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Do I have to?

So yesterday, DH and I took Audrey to the Cadwell Zoo in Tyler.  We had a blast.  Got to see an elephant pretty close.  I think Audrey was actually disappointed to not see a hippo; Cadwell doesn't have one. 

While there Audrey asked to nurse twice.  The first time she got distracted by pine straw and a friend so she forgot she wanted to nurse.  The second time, we found a rocking chair at the entrance/exit and sat right down and got to nursing.  I was a bit worried that someone would say something but no one even noticed.  It was busy so no one had time to notice.

We decided to take Audrey to a hibachi place since we had been missing good hibachi since we moved from Virginia.  I must say this was at about 5pm, which is prime Audrey nap time.  We knew as soon as we got her in the car for 90 min trip home she would fall asleep so we decided to try dinner with a sleepy baby.  Almost as soon as we sat down she started fussing for "BOOB!"

I so did not want to nurse her at the table.  At almost 22 months and super active, she is not one to allow me to be discreet.  If I lift the shirt a bit then she will lift it up above my head, or at least try to.  What to do?  What is a lactivist, LLL leader, committed breastfeeding mom to do?

I had put on a nursing tank so at least no one would see my rolls and I nursed my toddler at the table.  I'm mean what else was I going to do?  It was either nurse or suffer the wrath of Audrey.  I know the people at my table didn't want me to nurse but once food started coming out Audrey turned her attention to the food and we had a pleasant dinner.  I know if I had fought her off the boob, dinner would have been horrible.  At our table, there were two pregnant women.  DH said that yes they noticed but that they just blew it off.  Considering the turn around in Audrey's behavior, I would say that they had a positive impression.  So maybe women who would have never thought about breastfeeding might give it a second thought and try. 

So why didn't I want to breastfeed?  Well at a hibachi table you are sitting very close to other people.  When we are in a non-hibachi eatery, I have no issues whipping out a boob.  But with strangers at your table it's a bit different.  Maybe it shouldn't be but it was.  So why did I breastfeed?  Well I'm a walk the walk type of person.  How can I tell mom's to NIP if I won't?  So out came the boob and Audrey's world was safe and calm again.  If I can NIP a toddler at a table with strangers without a cover then anyone can NIP.  Just take a deep breath and remember that baby comes first.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Horrible person

So I am a horrible person.  Hear me out.  I don't mean in general but in one specific area.  I am not happy for one of my friends.  I am trying to be happy for him but the harder I try the harder I find it.

This friend of mine is B's husband.  As you might remember B died in childbirth just a little over a year ago.  I have really struggled to come to terms with her death.  Everytime I think I'm "over" it, something just snaps me back to how not "over" it I really am.  Just an example, I got an Averett University magazine.  B and I both earned MEds there.  Just flipping through the mag and got to the "Deaths" secetion and there was her name.  It's been a year but it hit me like it was yesterday.  I dropped the mag and cried.  So not over it. 

So back to B's husband.  He's getting married.  I'm sure she is a wonderful person.  He is a good man and I have no clue the pain and struggle he has had.  To lose your wife on the day your first child is born.  I can't even image.  So I should be happy that he is happy.  I am happy for him.  I really am.  Baby J will have a great mom.  But it feels bad to happy for him.  Like I'm giving up on B.  I don't really know how to describe it.  I want to go on his Facebook page and congratulate him but I can't.  Everytime I try I just backspace it all and close the page.  I don't know how to be happy for him without feeling like I am betraying my friend.  She can't be there.  She is gone and he deserves to be happy.  I am horrible person.  When will I be okay with it?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: babywearing win

Monday, October 3, 2011

Super dirty baby

Okay yes I am a lazy mom.  If you have read any of my other posts, I fully admit and accept that about myself.  Along with being lazy, I think I'm a pretty good mom.  My child is by my side and she is filthy.  She is happy.  She is calm.  She is giving me kisses.  I too am filthy; covered in fingerpaint and sweaty from teaching Audrey to play catch with our dogs Jasmin and Snoopy.  Oh yeah I forgot we both have bubble solution in our hair since I ran the bubble machine.  Filthy and happy.  I like it.  Okay, I love it.

I don't understand moms that refuse to let their children get dirty.  I feel bad for children who get yelled at for playing with dirt.  (My own nephew has a mother like that.  Kid just about has a nervous breakdown when he gets dirty.)  Growing up I got to get dirty.  I'm thankful for parents that understood and appreciated the value of a good mud fight.

I could keep Audrey inside all day.  I could hide all of the pens and pencils and refuse to buy her fingerpaint but what would that really do?  Kids need dirt!  So I have a super dirty baby.  I have a wash and wear baby.  It is amazing the things soap and water can clean :)  Let your kids be kids.  Bring on the dirt!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Birth goddess

I am a birth goddess.  I am tired of people telling me that I'm not. 

So where do I even start.  I had a homebirth.  I had no medication.  I had no doctor at my DD's birth.  DH almost didn't call the midwife in time because I was convinced that I wasn't in labor yet.  DD was just under 7 lbs.  I'm thinking I had about 12 hours of active labor but again the pain only got overwhelming during transition.  I am a birth goddess.

So why do people feel the need to poopoo my birth?  I tell them I had an amazing homebirth and then I tell them that DD was almost 7 lbs and then I get the hand.  "Oh well my baby was 8 lbs so I had to have pain meds."  I am not competing with you or your birth.  You feel like you had to have pain meds, okay.  Your body your choice, I have no clue what you were going through so I believe you. 

It makes me mad that people want to diminish my birth.  I had to push DD out.  It would not have matter if she was 10 lbs; she was coming out.  One way out during a homebirth so I was going to birth until she arrived.  I have met many a mom who birthed a 10 lb at home.  I remember I once asked my midwife if it was true that more homebirth babies were over 8lbs.  In her experience, homebirth babies were bigger. 

I get mad and then I feel bad for them.  Like maybe they are just trying to justify their own birth to themselves.  If they put me down then they feel better.  I don't want to feel bad for them.  I mean their birth is/was their birth.  But I feel bad because I feel like most of them didn't choose but were told how to birth.  I know TV shows birth as all pain but dude thrush was worse than birth.  My bursitis was worse than birth.  So I am a birth goddess.  Just had to get it off my chest.

30 days down

So Saturday was Oct 1st and the first thing I did was brush my hair straight!  I had missed the look but after I did it, I missed my waves/curls.  I think the waves are going to be more apart of my everyday style.  They are easy to do and take no time at all.  It also seems more natural.  No heating up my straightening iron, no worrying about Audrey grabbing the iron.  Just towel dry, add curl creme, scrunch and go. 

So what have I learned.  That I look good with curls and straight hair isn't all that.  I think Spanish telenovelas are to blame for my obession with straight hair.  There are no "good" women with curly hair.  The "good" girl has straight hair, shiny stick straight hair.  What is up with that?  Why do we listen to TV so much?  Well anyways.  I like my hair.  I like it wavy and curly.  I think I'm going to save the straight iron for special occasions.  Most excellent way to spend 30 days, falling in love with my hair.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Diva Cup for me

So I started the project to green my period about 7 months ago.  I had a two part reason for it. 

One, I was sick of the accidents.  I'm 31 years old and I'm still having accidents like a 15 year old.  I mean seriously, it's embarrassing.

Two, I was a bit jealous of Audrey's cloth diapers.  I was sitting on a plastic pad five days a month and she was on comfy on soft cotton.  Surely I can get that comfy feeling too.

My first step was the Instead Cup.  I could buy it at the store and go.  I liked it okay.  You can read my full review here.

My next step was to bite the bullet and buy a Diva Cup.  I say bite the bullet because I had to go online and order it.  I decided to order from Luna pads so that I can support a small business and to get a package deal of a Diva Cup and a couple of Luna pantyliners.  I wanted to slowly wade into the land of mama cloth (cloth pads). 

I have been using the Diva Cup for about 5 months now.  I love it!  When I first opened the package, I thought wow this is so small!  Then I tried to use it and then I was like wow this thing is huge!  In truth with a bit of practice, I've mastered the Diva Cup.  It did take a bit of practice but after one cycle I would say I had it down; unlike with the Instead cup where I have yet to get it in the right place.  I will say if you want to have sex during Aunt Flow's visit, you'll want to go with an Instead since you can insert it up high.  The Diva Cup sits in the vagina so there is no room for other visitors unless you remove it.  My only real complaint about the Diva cup is that it doesn't have an easy way for me to tell when I have rotated it.  I would love if it had just a couple of numbs so that I can tell if I have rotated or not.  For the most part, I can tell but still it would be nice.

The only accidents I've had since my switch are when I don't listen to my body.  It sounds strange but I can tell when I need to empty my cup.  On my heavy day, I have to empty three times.  I actually only use the Diva Cup for the first three days of my cycle.  With the Diva cup, my day 4 is next to nothing so I just use a cloth pad.  My cramps are gone.  I've cut a day off my period from 5 to 4. 

For me there has been no down side to switching.  I can't image going back to plastic pads.  I also recently got a stash of mama cloth from a WAHM so I'm set with my green period.  I'm so glad I switched.  I can't believe it took me so long to go green.

I have not been paid for this review.  The folks at Diva Cup, Luna Pads, and Instead Cup have no clue who I am.  I'm going green and sharing. 

Hip, Hair, Hooray!

So my hip is better!  I'm stopping the ibuprofen as of today.  Not sure about running yet.  I want to see how I do without any medicine before I stop jogging again.  I guess I need to start slow.  We'll see.

I'm loving this haircut!  I just use a little water and a bit of curl creme and off I go.  It's so easy!  Why didn't I do this forever and a day ago.  I must admit I still miss the sleek look of my straighten hair but the wash and go ease of this hairstyle is hard to beat.  With a 21 month old, the whole bed head look is tops.

I had a wonderful first LLL meeting on Thursday.  I had two leaders and four moms.  I did the ABC's of breastfeeding and we had really good discussion.  Even carried the meeting on to the local coffee shop and closed them down.  It was nice to have a girl's night out.  I did miss having my Audrey but it did me a world of good to go and hang with girls.  I can't wait for my meeting next month. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

2 weeks of natural hair

So I finally got my haircut on Friday!

This is my before shot.  My hair is fine and thin.  There is a lot of natural wave but after years and years of the flat iron it tends to just be lifeless.  So no hair products or blow dryer, just plain hair


I lost a few inches.  Gone is my traditional angled bob.  I love the new length and it has been easier to bring the curl out.  Stylist put Kendra Curl Creme or something like that on it. 

We'll see what the boss thinks tomorrow.  If it is professional enough for the library.  I really do like it but I'm struggling to get the curl back into the back of my head.  The front curls up very easily.  The stylist did say it might take my hair a bit to get the curl memory back after so many years of straightening.  So far so good.  I'm bringing curly back.

More Tracfone love

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of TracFone for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Can you tell I love Tracfone.  My mom and dad only use Tracfone.  Tracfone just makes it so easy to stay on budget and get great service.  I actually have called the customer service line and the representatives are always helpful.  While I think the service and phones are easy to use for my parents, the customer service line is a life-saver. 

With no contracts, no credit checks, no activation charges or cancelation fees, great nationwide coverage and excellent reception/connectivity, Tracfone is great way to connect to people and stay connected.  With their excellent customer service, Tracfone is an every better deal.  Here is what Real TracFone customers have to say.

You can find brand name phones from leading manufacturers like Motorola, Kyocera, LG, Nokia and Samsung with So many features You can go super high tech and get a Bluetooth®-enabled "Smart" phones or go with a super budget-friendly simple "Candy Bar" phones.  With phones as low as $10.00, you can afford to get everyone in the house their own phone.

While you might think that Tracfone is only pay-as-you go, they do offer several monthly plans and options. So you can hit up the local store and buy a card to add minutes; you can go online to add minutes; you can add directly from your phone; or go old-school with a monthly plan that gets added directly.  Tracfone also offers cool packages that gives  1 year service cards, double minutes for the life of your TracFone, and 800 minutes, for only $119.00.  Lots of the phones now come with “Double minutes for the life of your phone”  or you can buy it separately for only $19.99.  My mom loves watching her 200 minute card become 400 minutes on her "Double minutes for life phone."  So she is getting 400 minutes for like $30.00! 

If you need to make international calls, Tracfone is the only wireless service where you can call internationally, for the same price as any other call.  Talk about savings and a good way to control your budget!  Call over 60 international destinations directly from your TracFone at no extra cost!  With the International Neighbors program, you can provide family and friends in Mexico or Canada a local phone number in those countries to reach you at your TracFone in the U.S. 

I'm always a fan of things that keep people on budget.  With today's move fast world, a cell-phone is a must.  Tracfone give everyone a way to have a sleek phone without the hassle contracts and/or budget busting monthly bills.

My mom has the LG420 phone.  Honestly, it's more phone than she needs but she loves it.  See why:

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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Bursitis of the hip

So the official diagnose is bursitis of the hip.  Doc gave it a more specific name but I didn't catch it enough to repeat it.  I know it's the top bursa not the lower bursa (whatever that means).

I really like my doctor.  She is super down to earth.  She's a breastfeeding mom and a runner so she totally gets me.  Never had a doctor that got me before.  She gave me three options: 1. 800 mg ibuprofen/3x daily + rest (2 weeks) 2. Oral steroids 3. Steroid shot in the hip with a huge needle.  After much discussion with doc, I went with option 1.  I'm not a take meds kinda girl but huge needles and steroids sound like overkill.  Hopefully I won't have to turn to the other options in two weeks time.

The problem with having a diagnose is access to the internet.  I've been searching non-stop for the last few hours and it's freaking me out!  So many people talking about pain for years!  Pain even after treatment and surgery.  Martha needs to lay off the internet searching and just rest.  So the question is this does bouncing a toddler count as high-impact exercise?  I was rocking Audrey to sleep, which requires bouncing her in a mei-tai, and I had a bit of shooting pain in my hip.  I guess I should have asked doc.  Oh well, maybe I'll call doc and ask. 

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Finally vacation

I'm finally on vacation.  My first in three years.  My plans so far are a bust.  Thankfully I don't mind.  Instead of going to the zoo with my Audrey, we are enjoying the rain from Tropical Storm Lee.  We have been needing the rain!

My 30-day hair challenge is going okay.  I'm struggling with frizz and how to fix my hair.  I am really hoping for a trip to the hairdresser soon.  I've gotten lots of recommendations on products and am still trying to decide what to buy.  So many different things to try!

On Tuesday I will be going to the doctor to see about my hip.  My right hip has clicked since a couple of days after Audrey's birth but never in pain.  After my first attempt to go from couch-to-5K, I think I finally super injured whatever had started before.  I remember being in pain for two weeks but it got better so I was just dealing.  The clicking is worse and now painful.  The real issue is the pain at just about all times.  Not fun when you are trying to deal with a toddler.  Not sure what I am hoping hear other than rest it.  I'm thinking the worst news would be surgery or never run again.  I want to run again.  We'll see and I'll report.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

30 Days to love my natural hair

So I hate curly/wavy hair.  Yeah I said it.  Yeah I know I have wavy hair.  Yeah I know my biracial child has curl beyond curl.  Yes, that is the reason I'm going natural.

I don't know why but I have always wanted straight hair.  To me wavy and curl is not professional and doesn't belong in the office.  That is a Martha issue.  I don't want it to ever be an Audrey issue.  So I'm going natural.  I'm going to love my hair.  I'm going to put up the flat iron and get over myself. 

So today was day 1, I put mousse in my hair and scrunched.  Actually came out pretty good, I was nervous about wearing it to work.  I wanted to flat iron it so badly!  I took a deep breath and out I went.  The boss actually liked it.  I did put a hair barrette in but by the end of the day I was almost digging it.

So what is the point?  Honestly, I hope to learn to love me as I am, waves and all.  I really don't ever want Audrey to look in the mirror and hate her reflection.  How can I expect that from her if I don't feel that way?  Why my hair is an issue to me I really don't know but I'm locking away flat iron and maybe even the blow dryer.  I am already discovering that I need a haircut.  I think I'll get more bounce with a little less length and a few more layers.  I'm thinking I might need different hair products too.  I'm going to do it.  I'm going to go natural and love it, right?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sunday - Suspicions and Spaghetti

So Sunday I decided to get Audrey out of the house.  She stays at home with my mom and doesn't hang too much with other children so I try to get her out of the house when I can.  With the super hot Texas summer, cool places are hard to find but luckily the local mall has an indoor playland.  Off to the mall we went.

It was like any other trip to the mall.  She played and insisted I take video.  She had a grand ol' time.  After a walk around the mall, we headed back to the playland.  It was packed.  Kids everywhere!  She was having fun.  I soon as we got there I was scoping out parents and kids.  Seeing who belonged to who; checking to make sure the older kids didn't hurt Audrey or the other smaller kids.  A couple, I'm thinking a mom and son, caught my eye.  No children were going up to them.  They weren't calling after any kids.  They were just sitting there.  Part of the reason I noticed them is because they looked 'mixed' like Audrey but there were no 'mixed' children playing besides Audrey.  I noticed they were watching Audrey and me.  I got a bad feeling.  I got Audrey and we headed home.  Maybe they were super nice but tired people and just needed a place to sit (there were four benches within 10 feet).  Maybe they planned no harm to my child.  I was taking no chances.  It felt bad so we left.  Better to be over protective than have a regret.

After the mall and church, my DH had lovely gluten-free dinner for us.  Spaghetti!  Audrey and I love pasta (I know, it is so cruel).  We're lucky that we have found a rice pasta that we love from Tinkyada that I think is just like the real thing.  So we were enjoying family time with spaghetti and Udi's bread with garlic spread.  I said to DH, " you know if anyone came in right now, they won't be able to tell we are eating totally gluten-free."  It was a nice feeling to feel like a regular Americana family.  Toddler in the high chair grubbing and wearing spaghetti.  DH and I fighting over garlic bread.  We were normal.

So that was Sunday.  Suspicions and spaghetti, I wonder what the week will bring.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Tracfone for you?

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of TracFone for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

So I am all for Tracfone.  My parents both use TracFone and I have friend who has had TranFone for years.  For a few months to keep expenses down DH and I also had TracFones.  In fact I wish we still had TracFone, this contract thing is for birds!  Here are some more real TracFone customers just follow the link to learn more.

Why go with a pre-paid wireless?  The cost!  Surprisingly the coverage with TracFone is great and because I know the number of minutes I have left I can budget my time and money.  Here are real TracFone customers signing the praises of no surprise phone bills.  TracFone offers the least expensive way to own and use a cell phone in American!

If you have children, the TracFone allows you give your kids a phone without worrying about blowing your budget.  They have phone but you have control.  The kids get a brand name phone like a Motorola, Kyocera, LG, Nokia and Samsung and you can pick a simple "Candy Bar" phone to a Bluetooth-enabled "Smart" phone and not go over budget.  Because there are no contracts, no credit checks, no activation charges or cancelation fees there are also no surprises!  We're talking phones with so many features and did I mention no contract!

Here are some of the awesome features:

Monthly Plans:

• Pay as you go online or with cards available at thousands of retail stores across the country.

• 1 year service cards give you so much more. Receive double minutes for the life of your TracFone, and 800 minutes, for only $119.00

• “Double minutes for the life of your phone” is a feature that can be purchased separately for only$19.99, but some phones include it!
• Choose monthly plans with 200 minutes for under $30.00, and as low as $9.99 for 50 minutes.

International Long Distance:

• This is the only wireless service where you can call internationally, for the same price as any other call.

• Call over 60 international destinations directly from your TracFone at no extra cost!  My parents use theirs to call family in Mexico.

• With the International Neighbors program, you can provide family and friends in Mexico or Canada a local phone number in those countries to reach you at your TracFone in the U.S.

Phone Selection:

• Simple phones for simple needs, calling and texting capabilities for under $10.00

• Great phones packed with features like camera/video recorder, web access, app capabilities, mp3 player, and full QWERTY keyboard, for $29.99 

So many choices, so little money.  I say give TracFone a look if you are in the market for a wireless phone.

Here's a youtube clip on the reliability of having a TracFone.  Just because you have a contract doesn't mean you always have service.  Just saying :)

Here is a short video on the LG Tracfone phone.  My mom has this phone and loves it!


Just a short video on the cool features of the Samsung phone:

Visit Sponsor's Site

Sunday, August 21, 2011

I am a breastfeeding nazi?

I am a breastfeeding nazi.  I am a breastfeeding nazi!

So I bet you can guess what has been on my mind lately.  The first week of August was World Breastfeeding Week so my facebook feed had a lot of breastfeeding articles and I also attended a W.B.W event at the local WIC office.  I was just being me and I guess that means that I am a breastfeeding nazi.  At least that is how some people see me.  I'm militant.  I'm in your face.  I'm opinionated.  I'm judgmental.

Strangely I just don't see myself that way.  I mean yes I am big into breastfeeding.  Yes I am an open lactivist.  I have never jumped on a mom for using formula.  I have never told a mom she's evil for not breastfeeding.  I have never done those things because I don't believe those things.  I know that everybody is just doing the best they can. 

Now with that said, I will never say that formula is as good as breastmilk.  There are trues and that is one of them.  Breastmilk is the normal food for babies.  I like the way that Dr. Darcia Narvaes said it, formula is emergency food.  So if my scientifically backed assessment of formula means I'm a breastfeeding nazi then sure I'm a breastfeeding nazi.  I know "they" mean it as a bad thing but I just look at it to mean that I stood up for my belief and that bother someone else.  Their problem not mine. 

I won't back down to make someone else feel better.  If you formula feed then that is what you do.  I know that the formula companies thank you for your money and hope that you will always turn to formula.  If you have children in the future and you want to try breastfeeding please do.  Just because you formula feed one child doesn't mean you can't breastfeed the next.  I'm hoping that women will make decisions for themselves rather than let the formula company or the doctor or the hospital make it for them.  Do what works for you not what someone tells you to do. 

I would love for every baby to get at least colostrum.  Every ounce counts.  I would love for people to be open to the idea of extended breastfeeding.  I would for people to realize that just because I'm pro-breastfeeding doesn't make me a nazi but I'm sure I'll win the lottery first.  Anyways, that's what has been on my mind.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Wheat filled panic

Last Friday I had a moment of panic followed by a moment of being overwhelmed.  We were at the indoor playarea at the mall.  Since Audrey doesn't go to daycare I try to take her places where she can meet other children and play and with the Texas heat it needs to be indoors.  She loves the slide in the area and just climbs and slides, climbs and slides.  Love to hear go "WWEEEEEEEE" during each slide and of course the instant clapping and fit of giggles. 

So the panic was this, there is a TV area where Audrey likes to see and watch herself on camera.  I noticed and then she noticed that there was something orangy on the floor next to her.  First thought in my head "goldfish."  I instantly grabbed it to make sure she didn't pop it in her mouth.  Now how long this orangy thing had been there I have no clue.  It was a top, no wheat but nothing something that any child should be eating.  I panicked; I dashed; I tried to make sure my baby would be okay.  After a moment of relief, I just had a moment of being overwhelmed with the whole allergy thing.  I hated that I was so worried.  I hated that no other parent had freaked out and grabbed this thing.  I hated that it felt so unfair.  I should have worried that she would choke on a piece of plastic not that she would eat a damn goldfish.  I hated the whole situation.

After my little pity party, I got some clarity and then later a true reality check.  I mean I am so lucky.  Audrey's allergy isn't going to kill her.  There are so many moms that have to deal with deadly allergies and all I have to worry about is a horrible stomach ache and broken out skin.  But it is a big deal to me.  I don't want my daughter to hurt.  If I can prevent the pain then I try to.  Later that night on the way home we got milkshakes.  No big deal, right?  Well Audrey and DH both spent the night in agony.  So there I had been worried about a goldfish and the turned around and fed her wheat anyways.  I didn't even think to ask about the milkshake base.  Yeah, I worry and things still get by me.  I guess you can say I'm still learning the ropes.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

1 year wheatfree

So Audrey and I are celebrating our one year anniversary of being totally wheat free.  Which means it's been a year since Audrey was released from the hospital for a UTI.  While the doctor never said so (since she's a twit and doesn't believe in the food/body connection) I totally believe it was our eating wheat like it was going out of style for the two months prior that lead to the UTI. 

To be honest, I had been ignoring the signs of her allergy.  The broken out skin, the gas, the night fits, I had my head in the sand.  Thinking back now, I don't know why or how I could do that.  I was upset about the move and all I wanted to was feel normal to eat like a normal person.  So I did.  So we did.  So Audrey paid for it.  All my fault.

Once we brought our baby home I went totally wheat-free.  With the exception of communion each Sunday, I've had no wheat for the last year.  I do miss wheat.  There are times I watch people eat doughtnuts or hamburgers and think man I really want to eat one.  Just one bite can't hurt.  But it does so I don't. 

I got a Facebook comment from a momma who is going gluten-free for her child.  I could hear the stress in her comment and it made me realize that I don't talk too much about my wheatless life, anymore.  Once I came to see it as my normal, once I stopped fighting it, I just stopped talking about it.  I'll try to remember to talk about the struggles.  To remember that helplessness I felt when I first when wheatfree and the joy/calm that still comes over me when I meet other wheatless folk.  So I'll try to share tips and reviews and the such. 

So tip number 1, if you have just gone wheatless/gluten-free know that you are not alone.  Know you can do it.  Know that it is okay to morn the loss of wheat. 

Friday, August 5, 2011

All breastfeeding ends

So with this being World Breastfeeding Week, I've been thinking alot about breastfeeding (shocking I know).  I was thinking that all breastfeeding ends.  As you can see by my breastfeeding timeline, I've been nursing for close to 20 months.  That means I'm starting to get looks and have been getting comments like really, gross, well different strokes for different folks.  I don't mind the last one.  I mean everyone is different and for everyone breastfeeding ends.  If you go 1 week, 1 year or until baby/child stops it all ends.  Nobody breastfeeds forever.

So that brings me to my breastfeeding journey.  My plan was to make it to 2 years.  24 months is the minimum recommendation from the World Health Organization.  So I've always wanted to make it to two years but past that I really don't know.  I know many women who are comfortable with a 3 year breastfeeding but not many that go past 4 years.  Where is my comfort level?  I want to be the momma that lets Audrey decide when to stop.  I want to be okay with going 4 years plus but I just don't think I'm that woman.  I think once we start pushing 4 years, I will begin actively weaning.  Does that make me a hypocrite?

If I preach baby-led weaning does me actively weaning mean I am not practicing what I preach?  I mean my feeling might change.  I might not actively ever wean.  Audrey could quit tomorrow.  You would think that I would be actively trying to wean Audrey even now.  I've been wheatfree for a year!  But don't think the thought hasn't crossed my mind.  No one would blame me for weaning.  No one would think twice about me telling Audrey to get over and shoving a doughnut in my face but I wouldn't be able to look at myself.  When my Audrey was born I looked at her and said I would give my life for her and that is what I'm doing; granted for now it's wheat but you know what I mean. 

So anyways, yes Audrey is still breastfeeding.  At lunchtime, when I get home from work, and a few times at night.  Very normal for a toddler her age and nothing I can't handle.  I know there will be a time when I offer and she'll turn to run after the dogs instead (heck she does that even now).  I won't see it coming or maybe I will.  I might even actively pursue it.  After all all breastfeeding relationships end at some point.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Multi-tasking Toddler

In honor of World Breastfeeding Week, I present Audrey nursing and using the iPhone!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Happy World Breastfeeding Week!

Just wanted to share a little song with you.  One of my favorites when it comes to promoting breastfeeding.  So in honor of World Breastfeeding Week:

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Bittersweet Birthday

Today is Baby J's first birthday, which means it's Brianna's one year death anniversery.  As DH said, it's a bittersweet day.  When I realized what today was I had to hold back tears.  DH also pointed out how many almost bittersweet birthdays there are in our families.  He almost had a bittersweet birthday; his nephew and my brothers' too. 

I know prior to Audrey's birth, DH's father was very worried about my survival of a homebirth.  Both of his parent's mother's died in or right after childbirth.  Childbirth is natural and death is natural but that doesn't mean we don't worry. 

Today I say a prayer for all of the people with bittersweet birthdays.  Today I also plan to give my Audrey extra hugs and kisses.  I want to live to give thanks to God for Audrey and for the opportunity to raise her.  Instead of getting mad that she won't go to sleep or that she knocked my glasses off my face, I'll smile and thank God.  I know not all of us get the chance to complain about sleeplessness.  So here's to you Brianna.  With your life you taught me to be kind to the least of God's children and with your death you taught me to be grateful for each day.  Happy Birthday Baby J.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Thrush Again!

So you know I'm passionate about breastfeeding.  Part of the reason so many mom's give up on breastfeeding is the lack of help when it comes to dealing with problems.  The problem that almost sunk my breastfeeding was THRUSH!  I hate thrush.

I first got thrush when I had been breastfeeding about 3 weeks.  I leaked and still leak like a loose faucet and I decided to save money by buying cheap thin nursing pads.  So cheap that they trapped the milk next to my skin and I developed a yeast infection on my boobs, thrush.  Yes, it's just like a yeast infection in your vajayjay and it is treated about the same.

My problem was that I didn't get help as soon as I had a problem.  I thought it was my latch.  I thought it was not nursing enough.  I didn't ask for help.  By the time I got help I was literally on my knees at night crying for hours the pain was so bad.  One time Audrey tried to latch and I screamed and then she screamed and we both cried for an hour.  It was bad.

I ended up going to my gyn/ob for an RX for diflucan (sp?).  I had to go through two rounds!  I also used Grapefruit Seed Extract and coconut oil.  It was a good month before it was totally gone.  Don't wait!  If you think you might have a problem ask for help.  Ask a friend, a local La Leach League leader, heck send me an email but don't suffer to the point of quitting, besides it hurts!

Here are some links that I found very help and that I turn to, even now going through thrush for the 4 time!

Dr. Jay Gordon: Identifying Thrush and how to use Grapefruit seed extract

KellyMom: Thrush Resources

Coconut Oil for Thrush Treatment

La Leche League - Thrush

Hope a momma with thrush finds this helpful.

Seven "Siete"

Ruby from Growing up BLACKXICAN tagged me to participate in this new Tag named Seven "Siete"
So here we go:

The rules are to share a blog post in each of the following seven categories:

#1 Most Beautiful Post

The sweetest moments

#2 Most Popular Post

Fear of Birth

#3 Most Controversial Post


#4 Most Helpful Post

Giveaways to know about

#5 A Post Whose Success Surprised Me

Cloth diapering on the cheap

#6 A Post that Didn’t Get the Attention I Felt It Deserved

When you stop fighting

#7 Post I'm Most Proud Of

Shut your pie-hole Crunchy Bitch

Now to tag 7 people: (okay so I'm tagging 7 blogs worth your time)

1. Naturalmente Mama

2. Growing up Blackxican

3.The Marci Factor

4. Party of 5 and counting

5. Blacktating - no longer a good breastfeeding site :(  now it's just porn

6. The Mahogany Way

7. Mom's Depot

Go check these blogs out.  They are awesome!

Wordless Wednesday: Dino dig

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Coming out of the closet

Okay so not really that kind of news but it kinda is.  I have officially finished all of my work towards becoming a LLL Leader!  I have my letter in the mail and then I will be official official.  It's nice to be able to say it out loud!  They ask us not to talk about ourselves as leader applicants so this is my official coming out. 
I'm excited about starting to host meetings and helping moms.  While I've always helped moms, I have more questions in my inbox about breastfeeding than anything, I hope that now that I have some training I might be more help. 
I know that I can come across as militant but really I just want to help mom's reach their personal breastfeeding goals. For me that goal is 2 years, anything past that is gravy.  I know for some moms it's 1 month.  But whatever the goal, I'm here to help.   Really that is every LLL leaders goal.  I know there are some leaders out there that confuse the situation and try to make everyone a militant AP mom but that ain't me.  I can live no one else life and they can't live mine.  What works for me, won't necessarily work for anyone else.  We all do what we can, the best we can.
So anyways, I'm here I breastfeed ask away :)