Thursday, April 30, 2009
Several years ago we converted to all 100% whole grains, and that's great...but now that new ingredients are coming to my attention, I realize that alone wasn't good enough. I always knew many WW breads had High Fructose Corn Syrup in them and I hated it, I just couldn't' seem to find one that didn't, so we lived with it.
I think I found our new bread... The back label is why I am so pleased....
It may not be the absolute best bread for us but it is certainly better than the other WW breads we used, and I found it at Target!!!!
What brand of bread do any of you think is best, or what ingredients do you focus on when choosing bread items (bagels, tortillas, etc.). Anyone have a better WW bagel than Thomas' mini(that's what we eat regularly)? They also have HfCS in them...so we opt for bread more than bagels but my boys love the mini bagels!
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
In prep for Ladybug, I ordered a Miracle Blanket off of Ebay, so we would be prepared! Krash used to break out of his swaddles with his crazy arms, and I heard the Miracle Blanket was perfect for solving this problem with it's genius arm flaps! Well, I LOVE the Miracle Blanket, but as with all things....it's NOT about ME!
Ladybug is 2 weeks old now, and we swaddled her until a few nights ago. She was sleeping restlessly and seemed to have tummy pains. We guessed it was because she was bound tightly and possibly she was one of the few newborns who preferred to sleep with legs bent and arms out. We were right! We put her in her sleep sack instead of the swaddle and she went from sleeping 2-2 1/2 hours to 3-3 1/2 hours during the night! She also seemed to have much less pain, she slept more peacefully.We got her wonderful sleep sack from TJ Maxx- but you can find them all over the place. I love that this one is lightweight cotton on the outside and a thin Minky (really soft) on the inside. Perfect and snugly but not too heavy and hot.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
What do I love about it? It is large enough to get ice in easily when the top is off, it seals perfectly when closed, when open-the drinking part is big enough that I don't feel like I am getting just drops, and it is the perfect size (24 oz) for my taste!!!
Not only did I find my dream bottle, I found one for Pac Man (age 7) too! I broke down and got him a nice one and it is perfect. We put it in his Easter basket and since then he has drank SO much more water, and hardly asks for anything else now. Getting him a special bottle was certainly worth it! Krash is next, he's getting his new BPA free Cars aluminum bottle(got it at Target) for his 3rd bday in about 2 weeks! I also got a new skinny Brita Water Pitcher, to replace one we used to have that didn't work anymore, so we are all enjoying nice, clean, COLD water, without the waste and worry of bottled water. AND guess what, the box had a coupon for another Nalgene water bottle for 99 cents! When I logged on to get it, they did charge shipping so I paid about $4, which is less than half of retail!!! I got my filter at Target last week, in case anyone needs one and wants to look for the coupon!
- the way you fold your top leg up and leave your bottom leg straight while nursing
- your many grunts, squeaks, and squeals...mostly while sleeping!
- your big beautiful eyes
- your long skinny feet and skinny legs
- the little curl in your hair right in the front
- the way you snuggle on my chest, with your legs all tightly folded up under you and your arms under your face and chest--you are a little ball of love
- the way you looked so tiny in Pop Pop's big hands...
Saturday, April 25, 2009
After coming home, I searched and found this page, listing all organic products carried at Shoprite. Trader Joe's and Whole Foods are great, but not at all convenient for weekly grocery shopping (theya re too far away from where we live), I am SO thrilled that Shoprite is jumping on board!
Currently we are able to get the following items organic AND reasonably priced from SR: milk, apples, celery, carrots, salad dressing, and yogurt. I will have to research prices on items from the rest of that list I linked to. Hopefully many of those things are nicely priced...we'll see!
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
First, the basket itself is the: SaraBear Diaper Caddy (I got mine at Target)
What's in it?
- Avent Breast Pads
- All of my medications (and her vitamin drops)
- Telephone and tv remote
- Baby nail clippers (easy to do while she nurses)
- Itzbeen Timer
- Burp Cloth (made by my mom of course)
- Baby Organics Lotion (for her and me-I LOVE it...see link on sidebar)
- Baby Organics diaper cream
- Diapers, wipes
- My journal (where I record her feedings and such), pen
- Changing pad (also made by my mom)
This basket is much bigger than the one I used before, but I love it. Once I start being more active, it is something I can easily send Pac Man to get for me if I am nursing in a room other than where I keep it (currently my bedroom).
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Monday, April 20, 2009
I knew I would probably like it, I had now idea how much I would LOVE IT!!! Sing Over Me is a beautiful collection of quiet worship songs and lullabies, sung by well known Christian female artists. Many are songs I know and love (How Great is Our God, Jesus Loves Me), some I haven't heard before and now love. It is just such a soothing cd, for both me and the baby.
All of the songs are great, but there is one that is really special, "Hold Onto Jesus" (which I have heard before but LOVE this version)
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Now, I know I have only been using it for 5 days, but already it is a lifesaver. I used it in the hospital and of course now that we are home. It is the Itzbeen Baby Care Timer...
This product was made for ME. I have always kept a journal with my kids, recording their nursing, diapers and such for at least the first few weeks. I am not an obsessive schedule momma, but I do forget easily and like to have a reference in case my brain goes scatter! This timer doesn't allow me to be scatterbrained!! It has 4 different timers, for whatever you need to time.
Right now I am timing her feedings, and my 2 pain medications. Each time I begin one, I just click the appropriate button and it begins counting up again it shows me how long it has been since the last time.
It also has a light up button, so I can see it in the dark, as well as a nightlight which I use while feeding her at night. It has a lock feature-so the buttons don't accidentally get reset, and a clip so I can wear it on my hip if I need to (when I begin moving around a lot again).
I am in love with this gadget, so glad I have it to be my brain while I am still looking for mine.
- Your adorable double chin
- Breastfeeding you, everything about it...the snuggling, the sweet looks, the way your hands move and lay, the way you cross your little feet
- Burying my face in yours
- Eye time with you
- Seeing you all snuggly in your blankees
- Your unhappy squeak/yell...which we rarely hear
- Your long skinny feet
- Your tiny little noises and squeaks when you are relaxed
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
For all purpose/glass cleaner, we currently use Clorox Greenworks, and it is good, but not the best. It is easy to find, inexpensive, and better than traditional cleaning products. I would like to switch to a cleaner even better than this, but want to research what is out there and the cost before I make any decisions. Here's a review I found about Clorox Green Works.
I am considering:
For laundry, we went back to All, or Tide when I got on my CVS kick. For years we had used the Melaleuca detergent. We only have 2 bottles of All left, so it's time to make a decision. I also know that dryer sheets are full of chemicals but I LOVE dryer sheets, so I have to find an alternative. We are on our last box of Bounce...
In the running:
For toilets, we still use Lysol, I hope to find something that actually works well, but isn't Lysol.
For hard floors, we got rid of all chemical cleaners and went straight for the steam method and have LOVED it!! We bought the Shark Steam Mop and LOVE IT!!!
For wood, we still have our Melaleuca stuff, but it is almost gone, so I need to find a good replacement to polish our wood furniture.
I am also looking into natural, home made ideas for cleaning, but am just not sure it is for us. We'll see!
Monday, April 6, 2009
- Body Lotion
- Shaving Cream
- Face Products (cleaner, toner, lotion)
- Bug Spray/Repellent
Current Status on these...Body Lotion
We currently use Aveeno, but are about to run out. I got a sample of Burt's Bees and don't like it. My favorite item is Renew from Meleleuca but I let my membership go there, I can buy it on Ebay though. I plan to look into the cost of Aveeno vs. Renew and make a decision. Body lotion is a big deal for us since all of my guys have really dry skin.
We currently use whatever we have gotten for free from CVS (mostly highly *toxic* according to Skin Deep). Pac Man either uses this or Suave Kids. Krash still uses Huggies Natural Hair and Body wash. Krash will begin to share the new Baby Organic Hair/Body wash with Ladybug, but I know that won't work for long on him and certainly not for Pac Man. I want to give the Whole Foods 365 line a try as I have read good things about it, and the whole family can use it. The price is reasonable too.
I use Dove, Suave, or Secret, Daddy uses Sure. I am not overly concerned about changing these yet, as it's not the kids using them. This change will be further down my list.
Daddy and I will continue to use our ENORMOUS stockpile of TP from CVS, but I did change the boys to Kiss My Face Kids Toothpaste. We haven't tried it yet. This switch was mainly for Krash because of the artificial dyes in most normal kids' toothpastes.
Another not-so-concerned category, since it does not involve the kids. I have switched to Aveeno, and plan to stay with that, unless I can find something better and cheaper. Daddy uses whatever we have for free from CVS, normal guy stuff. Later I will look into this.
This is a me thing and I have been concerned about this for awhile, I used Garnier for a long time since I had it stocked up for free. I then looked it up on Skin Deep and grew concerned! I just ordered cleaner and toner from Kiss My Face Organics, but haven't used them yet. I am trying to find a face lotion I like. Currently I am using up a sample of Burt's Bees Radiance, but I don't really care for it. Face Lotion is expensive so I am taking my time to decide.
We have a stock of this (free from CVS), which Daddy and I will use up, but I do plan to get the kiddos safer stuff for this summer. It is high on my current research list, as summer approaches.
Also high on my list for obvious reasons. I have never felt good about any type of bug stuff applied to them. I am hoping to find something safe that really works for them, as the bugs can be bad in our backyard.
Saturday, April 4, 2009
Sources I read:
From EWG (Environmental Working Group):
Bottled Water Quality Investigation
Guide to Safe Drinking Water
Here I found specifics about our city water and what is in it. I always thought our city water was OK, I was surprised to learn it isn't all that great (not the worst, but not entirely safe either).
Tap Water Quality Database
From: History of Organic Farming on Wikipedia...
To me it looks like the big farming movement took place between 1900-1940 with the introduction of tractors, nitrogen fertilizer, and affortability.
"Consciously organic agriculture (as opposed to the agriculture of indigenous cultures, which always employs only organic means) began more or less simultaneously in Central Europe and India."
Pesticide use came about massively post-WW2...
"Technological advances during World War II accelerated post-war innovation in all aspects of agriculture, resulting in large advances in mechanization (including large-scale irrigation), fertilization, and pesticides. In particular, two chemicals that had been produced in quantity for warfare, were repurposed to peace-time agricultural uses. Ammonium nitrate, used in munitions, became an abundantly cheap source of nitrogen. And a range of new pesticides appeared: DDT, which had been used to control disease-carrying insects around troops, became a general insecticide, launching the era of widespread pesticide use."
DDT was banned in 1972...hmmm, that took awhile.
"In 1962, Rachel Carson, a prominent scientist and naturalist, published Silent Spring, chronicling the effects of DDT and other pesticides on the environment . A bestseller in many countries, including the US, and widely read around the world, Silent Spring is widely considered as being a key factor in the US government's 1972 banning of DDT. The book and its author are often credited with launching the worldwide environmental movement."
Into the 21st century we see where the attention has been...
Throughout this history, the focus of agricultural research, and the majority of publicized scientific findings, has been on chemical, not organic farming. This emphasis has continued to biotechnologies like genetic engineering. One recent survey of the UK's leading government funding agency for bioscience research and training indicated 26 GM crop projects, and only one related to organic agriculture. This imbalance is largely driven by agribusiness in general, which, through research funding and government lobbying, continues to have a predominating effect on agriculture-related science and policy.
- HER health, as I know everything I put into my body enters hers through my breastmilk.
- MY health, as I desire to get back into shape in the fastest and healthiest way possible. With K I just waited around and didn't kick myself into gear until he was around 7 months old. I can't do that this time. With 3 kids who need me this summer, I want to be back to *ME* as fast as possible and possibly be an even better, healthier me.
So, here come my lofty goals. Hopefully by writing them down and sharing them I might be more motivated to actually reach my goals!!! I am going to give myself a couple of weeks with out totally obsessing over health, although I have actually begun many of these things. With family here cooking for us, it is just to hard to be 100% committed.
Before I dive into this, I want to share my goals from January 2007, when I kicked things into gear to finally get in shape after Krash was born. Let me say...IT WORKED. I followed my plan entirely for 30 days and noticed a HUGE change in almost every aspect of my life.
This is copied directly form my personal blog, January 4, 2007...
- EAT breakfast (I am making myself a smoothie with fat-free plain yogurt, OJ, frozen berries, a banana, flax seed, and psyllium seed husks)
- Drink ALL of my water
- NO sugar in my coffee (I am a sugar-aholic so this is a huge change for me)
- Walk 30 minutes every day (I had been doing this at least 3 times a week)
- NO eating after 9:30pm (I am a evening snacker because I wasn't eating during my busy day)
- ALL 100% whole grain products (bread, tortillas, rice, pasta, etc)
- Eliminating almost everything that has high-fructose corn syrup or the equivalent (Bye Bye my favorite honey mustard dressing, I am now using balsamic vinegar and olive oil)
- Eating to stay full throughout the day by adding snacks in BEFORE I even get hungry (things like: avocado, clementines, pumpkin seeds, almonds, whole-grain crackers, apples, cheese, fruit leathers)
- Eating the SAME thing for lunch each day (I have chosen a turkey wrap on a whole grain tortilla with hummus, and spinach or Lean Cuisine if I am in too much of a hurry)
- NO candy or sweets (again a tough one since I am a candy freak!)
- Trying to get enough SLEEP (this is a tough one though)
And now, for my modified version, to begin within the first month...
- 100% Whole Grain products
- As 100% Organic as I can possibly eat, within options and budget
- Avoid GM foods, as MUCH as possible
- Drink tons of water
- Drink Organic Milk
- Veggies: Spinach, Carrot sticks, Celery Sticks...on a daily basis
- Fruits: banana, berries (organic frozen combo, and fresh), kiwi, apples, etc.
- Yogurt: 100% Organic, from the big tub
- Flax Seeds: ground up whole, or flaxseed meal (if I am feeling lazy)
- Protein: Eggs, Organic PB, meat at dinner
- Grains: WW bagel, WW bread, WW pasta
- NO: high fructose, candy, sweets, etc.
- Switch my coffee creamer to an organic kind (gotta find this), try to find a natural sweetener to replace the sugar I use, or learn to do without. Coffee is one thing I am not giving up though :). I gotta make it as healthy as possible and that's it!!
- Begin walking on my treadmill when I recover from the surgery. I will set a walking/exercising goal then.
Things I am still researching to make a decision on:
- Teas for health
- Cheese and other dairy products-how to make the best decision
What will be MOST difficult for me:
- No sweets: I am over candy for the most part, but I love brownies, cookies, etc. This aspect will be hard, but I need to do it.
- Remembering to actually eat. I often get going and forget to eat, then I am starving, and grab something quickly.
- Taking the time: I am often lazy when it comes to prepping healthier foods. I want something fast and if I don't cut up fruits and veggies the night before, I often won't do it the next day. I need to think in advance.
- When I am not home: I really struggle at restaurants, on vacations, etc. I am going to let myself off the hook a bit on these occasions, so I don't feel overwhelmed. I want these goals to carry on longer than a month this time, so I need to be realistic.
Here we go...praying for a healthy me and a healthy baby in the coming months ahead!!!!
I must begin by saying that cloth diapers are not for me. Not to mention my husband who would refuse! So, knowing that, I researched the safest, most economical option for our daughter.
With both boys I used mostly Huggies, Costco store brand, and the Especially for Babies (Babies R Us). I used fragrance free wipes, enjoying Huggies brand the most! Krash actually still wears size 5 Huggies :( and we still use the Huggies, or Costco wipes on him.
Back to Ladybug...I have a stock of diapers already for her, Huggies Natural Care, and Pampers Newborn Swaddlers. I am going to use these, as I can't afford not to, however I have decided to change over to Seventh Generation Diapers and Wipes for her.
SafBaby Diapers & Wipes Review
SafeMama Wipes Review
Seventh Generation Baby Wipes on Skin Deep (Here's our Huggies)
For me the wipes (due to the chemicals found in them) were a bigger concern than the diapers, but when I realized that I could get the safer diapers for only cents more than the Huggies we are using, I ordered them. Amazon is unbeatable for these products. I ordered the bulk set of both, and put them on their Subscribe and Save Program. They also had an Amazon coupon available, so I save tons, here is a copy of my saving on the wipes:
Shipping and handling: $10.89
Shipping Discount: $-10.89
Subscription Discount: $-6.60
Promotion Applied: $-4.40
edited to add 7/09...here's a new article about another brand of safer baby wipes.
Friday, April 3, 2009
A great website to start with is The Environmental Working Group (which is also a great resource for MANY of the issues I am learning about).
They have a specific part of their site dedicate to organic produce, and I learned a ton from their comprehensive list...The Full List. I printed this list and then highlighted the items we consume the most of and created my two lists...
My Needs to Change Priority List, ones in bold we have already switched...
My Thank-Goodness List (these are low in pesticides, and we eat them a lot)
I also signed up so I could download the Dirty Dozen, Clean 15 Guide in a smaller format, that I can carry in my wallet when I am shopping.
Another resource I used in determining which items to switch first I found here-5 Easy Ways to go Organic. On this list we have already switched milk, peanut butter, and ketchup.
I also learned a lot form this article from Dr. Greene's website-Organic ~ A Choice for Our Children.
I plan to extensively research my shopping options in my area to locate where to get the best organic produce at the best prices. Cost is a very important factor for our family, so I need to be responsible.
I began researching GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) the other day and this has caught my attention BIG time.
Here are some websites I am reading right now...
- Institute for Responsible Technology
- From SafBaby...
Part 1: The Truth About GMOs
Part 2: Why Babies & Children are Most Vulnerable to GMO
- The True Food Network
- Seeds of Deception
What am I doing about it NOW...
- I downloaded the Non-GMO Shopping Guide from Institute for Responsible Technology
- I downloaded the Shopping Guide from The True Food Network
- I am reading through them and highlighting our key products
What I HOPE to do in the future...
- Educate myself about ingredient labels and learn to notice GM ingredients without the list :).
- Remove as many as possible without going overboard (and making my husband crazy)
- Focus mostly on my breastfeeding health and my baby girl, as these ingredients are one of the biggest culprits to the issues I am most concerned about.