Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Body after baby

Now that Peanut is 14 months old, I somehow feel I have lost the right to claim my extra weight as “baby weight”. But since it technically IS weight that I gained while pregnant with her, I guess that’s exactly what it is.

As summer quickly approaches, I find myself dreading sleeveless tops, shorts and (cue drum roll)... swimsuits. Just the very phrase “swimsuit season” is enough to have me running for the nearest sarong.

It’s not about looking like I’m 18 again, it’s about not wanting the flab on my arms to flap around like it’s independent from my body. I have no excuses. If I wanted to lose weight badly enough I would have done it already, simple as that.

Thanks to Mama Notes, I’m turning over a new leaf as of tomorrow. I really want to lose about 15 lbs. Instead of focusing on weight loss, I’m going to focus on healthy eating habits and exercise. I’m betting that weight loss will be a nice side effect.

Short Term Goals: This week I'm starting small. I want to focus on getting in 15 minutes of exercise each day in addition to a 1-2 mile daily walk. I'm also going to eat a leafy green salad with at least one meal every day.

Long Term Goals: Increase my overall health and feel more confident in my body. (Translation: lose 15 lbs.)

Plan of Action:

Cut out fast food. I’m still eating out 1-2 times a week on the days I have to work.

Try new healthy recipes. I have a stack of recipes I've been wanting to try, now's my chance!

Cut down on snacking. I know it sounds simple, but that whole “only eat when you’re hungry” thing is harder than it sounds!

Take daily walks. Since Peanut loves the “ahside” so much, this shouldn’t be a problem.

Work on toning my trouble spots. When people tell you having a baby will change you, they ain’t kiddin’.

If you want to join in the self-imposed torture fun, head on over to Mama Notes and get started! I'll be updating this post weekly and linking back to it, so stay tuned.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Easy Guacamole

I’ve been trying for months to try to convince Peanut to add avocado to her limited diet. Did you know that avocado has the highest natural fat content of the most common baby and toddler foods? Since we hit the 12 month mark, Peanut has fallen off the growth charts and although I know she’s healthy and thriving, I’d love to see the little rolls on her thighs and arms return. Additionally, because most of the time I can only sneak in three of four spoonfuls at mealtime, I’m always looking to get the most “bang for my buck”, so to speak.

Anyway, back to avocados. No matter how I fixed it, she just was not interested. I decided to whipped up some guacamole today and it came out super yummy! I found a few recipes online and created one based on the ingredients I had on hand. The only thing I’ll do differently next time is add some fresh cilantro. Otherwise, I thought this was perfect.

Easy Guacamole

2 Avocados
¼ cup finely chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
½ lemon, juiced
1 TBSP. Sour Cream
Garlic salt and black pepper to taste

Mash up the avocados, squeeze in the lemon juice and stir in the rest of the ingredients.

I offered Peanut a big dollop on a corn chip and she licked every bit of the guacamole off and handed me back the chip. I kept refilling her chip until she decided she’d had enough. I’m thrilled that we not only have another food that she’ll eat, but one that is really high in essential nutrients. Woo Hoo!

Monday, April 27, 2009

New words and the return of the hissy fit

Peanut has a new favorite word. "ahside!", which in baby-speak means, "take me outside right this very minute!". This child just loooooves to be outside. Loves to get dirty. Loves to bite on rocks. Loves to throw total hissy fits* every time I bring her back inside the house. I'm talking melting into a pile, arching the back, screaming and shrieking like the world is ending hissy fit*. Oh yeah.

Thankfully, Daddy needed to wash his truck tonight, so she tagged along as his "helper". It was the happiest she'd been all day!

She was totally enthralled with the bubbles, I caught this picture when she splashed too hard in the bucket and some "bubbas" flew up and caught her in the face.

*According to wiktionary : A tantrum, a childish display of anger or frustration; an overly dramatic tantrum. (emphasis on the dramatic.)

Baby Steals

You guys know about, right?

If not, let me enlighten you. offers one great baby "steal" per day. They have limited stock, so once it's gone, it's gone. I've picked up some great items for Peanut - and some great gifts too! My favorite "steal" so far has been her Bical Grippers.

Seriously, how cute are those?!

ETA: I neglected to mention that in honor of the the online store's 1st birthday, Baby Steals is hosting a giveaway on their blog every day this week. Keep checking back all week for a chance to win some great stuff!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Ditching Shampoo

Hi, my name is Molly and I've been shampoo free for 15 days.

I'm hanging in there, but it's been rough.

The baking soda part is easy, make a paste in your hand and scrub into your scalp. Then I start having trouble. The first couple times I washed my hair, I just doused my hair in apple cider vinegar straight from the bottle. Ummm, just for the record, ACV really stings your eyes.

My husband did a sniff test when I got out of the shower and declared that I smelled like french fries. The kind with vinegar, apparently.

Since I don't particuarly want to remind people of boardwalk fries, I put the vinegar in a spray bottle in an attempt to use less. Well, a fine mist of ACV really, really burns your eyes. In a second sniff test, husband announced that my hair reminded him of toilet bowl cleaner.

WHAT? Toilet bowl cleaner? (Seriously, he really said that.)

Apparently my horror was apparent and he quickly followed up with "That's a good thing honey, toilet bowl cleaner smells clean!". In his defense, I have been cleaning our toilets with baking soda and vinegar , so his observation was pretty accurate.

For the last couple showers, I've tried pouring just an ounce or two of ACV into a cup, diluting it with water and dipping the ends of my hair into it. Much. Better. Less smell, less burning of the eyes.

I'm having some trouble with an itchy, dry scalp (so if you see me tearing at my scalp, I do NOT have critters) which is very strange because my hair is greasier than ever. I just picked up some lavendar oil to see if that can help with both the toilet bowl/french fry smell and the itchness.

So the verdict isn't in yet. I've come this far and I'm determined to make it through this detox period...but if anyone feels inclined to give me a pep talk, I'm all ears.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I *heart* babywearing

Have I ever mentioned how much I love babywearing?

I really, really love babywearing.


When I was pregnant with Peanut, my mother and sister told me how much time I was going to have on my hands. “Babies sleep so much!” My sister even told me that when her oldest daughter was born, she would sit and just wait for her to wake up from naps so they could play.


When Peanut was born, my sweet, darling little girl wanted to be held all the time. So after bouncing, nursing and rocking for sometimes over an hour, if I laid her in her cradle, she would immediately wake up and we would have to start the process all over again.

I used a wrap that I made when she was very small and we’ve since graduated into slings and mei tai carriers. I’m very sad that I didn’t invest in a sling before she was born, I think we both would have loved it through that rough newborn stage.

My latest carrier is a hotsling. Can I just tell you how much I love that thing? She’s not to fond of the back carry, but loves the hip carry. On days when no one but Momma will do, this is how we roll:


What are some of your favorite baby carriers?

Friday, April 17, 2009


Bits and Pieces From My Life is having a giveaway! Enter here for a chance to win a $25 gift certificate to RG Natural Babies.

Check out Kristin's blog while you're at it!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Milk Money

Check out this 20/20 video:

Milk Money
Interesting stuff, huh?

I wish there was more exposure to the fact that there are very few women who are actually incapable of breastfeeding their babies. If there was more national publicity about the dangers of formula feeding, maybe it wouldn't be such an accepted practice.

I'm not the type to make people feel bad about their choices. But I wish moms would stop claiming nonsense excuses for why they can't breastfeed. It's a choice, and they are choosing to ignore scientific evidence that their baby will be healthier for the rest of it's life if they breastfeed.

You want to know what I think? Breastfeeding is hard work and it requires a level of dedication that some women are just unwilling to give.

There, I said it.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Baby Book

I just ordered this book a pregnant friend and I wanted to share it with my readers too.

I absolutely LOVE this book. I've yet to have a baby related crisis that it doesn't have an answer for. In addition to having valuable information on how to treat common illnesses, it has detailed chapters on the benefits of breastfeeding, babywearing, cosleeping and numerous other subjects. I've had to refer to this book while soothing a screaming baby and the information is organized in a way that makes it super easy to find the information you

You can purchase this book here or here.

My Baby is Growing Up!

Even though it seems like she was born just yesterday, here is the photographic proof that my little Peanut is growing up:

Last Easter, 5 weeks old

This Easter, 13 months

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Resurrection Day!

In Christ Alone
Keith Getty & Stuart Townend
In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
this Cornerstone, this solid Ground,
firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
when fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My Comforter, my All in All,
here in the love of Christ I stand.
In Christ alone! who took on flesh
Fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones he came to save:
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid;
Here in the death of Christ I live.
There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain:
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave he rose again!
And as He stands in victory
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me,
For I am His and He is mine -
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.
No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me;
From life's first cry to final breath.
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I'll stand.
Listen to this song here.

Friday, April 10, 2009

New Again

When I became a mother, I suddenly found that I had a fresh appreciation of the cross. I've always been very tender when it comes to Jesus's suffering and death, but realizing that God had sent his only Son to earth - knowing that he would be beaten, tortured and ultimately die, touched me deeply. I can't imagine ever purposely choosing such a fate for my own child.

Music moves me in a way that written and spoken word never have been able to. I ran across this song last Easter, just a few months after I had Peanut. It brings tears to my eyes everytime I hear it.

Take five minutes and listen here. It's worth it, I promise.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Natural Toilet Bowl Cleaner

My first attempt at making my own household cleaners was a smashing success...and I have pictures to prove it.

A little background: We just moved into a brand new house but we are already having trouble with iron stains in our bathroom fixtures. While my dear husband is working on a solution to our hard water problem, the job of keeping the fixtures from staining has fallen to me.

Last week I used some kind of commercial grade toilet bowl cleaner - it didn't work. I ended up buying some Iron Out, which worked but made my nostrils and throat burn like crazy.

Yesterday I decided to break out the vinegar and baking soda and see what they could do. I started with this:

(I promise, I JUST cleaned this toilet 3 days ago and it already looks like this)

And I ended up with this:

Here's the step-by-step instructions:

1. Plunge toilet. (TIP: It does absolutely no good to pour cleaner of any kind into a bowl full of water. It just dilutes the solution which is totally counter productive.) I have this toilet brush which does a great job.
2. After the water level is down, sprinkle baking soda in the stool and vigorously scrub the surface with a rough kitchen sponge.
3. Spray vinegar over the entire surface of the bowl.
4. Pour some vinegar on your baking soda caked sponge and scrub some more. This should coat your bowl in a nice white fizz.
5. Let it sit for 1 hour. (I don't actually think you need to leave it this long - I intended to check it after 30 minutes, but got distracted.)
6. Scrub off stains. I had to use some elbow grease, but they came off pretty easily.

I have to admit, I was pretty impressed with the results. Chalk one up for natural cleaners!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

My No 'Poo Experiment

I just ran across a post on this site that really intrigues me. (Which doesn't take much by the way, my husband says I'm way to easily entertained.)

I'll admit that I've spent a small fortune on shampoo, conditioner and styling products over the last decade, so a solution that's cheap AND good for my hair and skin sounds like a genius idea.

Since I happen to have everything I need on hand and I'm just about out of my last bottle of shampoo, I see no reason to put off the experiment. I'm super excited to see (and share!) the results.

Check out this and this for more information.

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Safe Sippy

Last Friday Peanut and I stopped by our local cloth diaper store to pick up a few new diapers. The second I put her down, my eighteen pound wrecking ball started on her path of destruction. One of the first things she found was this cup. She immediately adopted it and threatened one of her embarrassing temper tantrums when I tried to pry it from her tiny fingers. She somehow maneuvered her way around the packaging and got her mouth of the spout. She made little smacking noises with her lips, followed by “Ahhhhh!”, a little antic that she learned from her Grandpa. She continued in the manner until I was finished shopping, at which time I decided I had better add the sippy cup to my pile of loot since she had destroyed the packaging and slobbered all over it. It was a little pricey, but let me tell you - this child LOVES this cup! It’s easy for her to hold and because it’s stainless steel, it acts a thermos and keeps her drinks cold for a lot longer than the plastic competition. Best of all, it’s totally BPA free and can go in the dishwasher. Score!

It’s Monday…

It’s Monday and as usual, I’m struggling to get back into my weekday routine. So instead of jumping into the housework, I’m getting in some computer time while Peanut has her morning nap.

We had a full weekend - a old time plowing event with Daddy on Saturday....

A carnival on the church grounds after service yesterday...

and some of the family came over for Sunday dinner.

I also bought a juicer over the weekend - it’s such an easy way to pack some more nutrients into your diet. This morning Maddie and I had some carrot/spinach juice - Yum! Check out the health benefits here and here.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Household cleaners - Read your labels

I’ve been interested in making my own household cleaners for some time now. So I sat down this afternoon to do some research. Among other things, I’ve found some frightening information about how dangerous the fumes from most cleaners are to humans, especially small children and infants. I do plan to share some of this information, but it’s way too in depth for just one post. What I will share, is some interesting information regarding product labeling from the EPA.

The EPA has implemented a system of signal words to indicate the care that should be taken when using a particular product. The words are:

Danger: This is the highest signal word. It indicates a high risk if the product is used improperly. Risks include blindness and death.

Warning: This is a lower classification than “Danger” but still indicates serious health risks if used improperly.

Caution: This is the lowest level signal word. The products with “Caution” on the label could still cause minor problems such as skin irritation, but is not as dangerous as the other two classifications.

After learning this information, I decided to take an inventory of the cleaning products I had on hand. Here’s what I found in my cleaning closet:

Danger: Old English Dark Wood Polish

Warning: Soft Scrub, Bathroom Cleaner, Showers N' Stuff

Caution: Pledge Clean & Shine, Iron Out, 409, Window Cleaner, Floor Cleaner

I was actually pretty surprised by what I found. The products I expected to be dangerous, like my 409 cleaner, was only classified as a “Caution” and my seemingly harmless bottle of furniture polish scored the only “Danger” in my cabinet.

I also found some other disturbing notes in the Caution/Warning/Danger section of my product labels. For example, my Iron Out stats that “…vapors may cause breathing problems” and most of my Caution labels called for use in a ventilated area, which isn’t always possible.

All in all, this has really inspired me to start making my own household cleaners and to really get serious about getting some of these toxic materials out of my house. There appears to be no downside - everything I’ve read says they provide a superior clean and are much cheaper to use. I have a few key ingredients on my shopping list this week, I’ll be reporting back when I actually have an opportunity to try them for myself.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

How a Little Time Can Go A Long Way

Have you ever noticed that your kids seem more needy and whiny when you have something time sensitive that you need to accomplish? Have you ever considered that maybe that’s not a coincidence?

Last Saturday was one such day for me. We just moved into our house the week before, so I was still unpacking and finding a home for all our stuff. On top of that, I was expecting 30 guests for dinner the next day and was cooking and cleaning like a madwoman. Of course, my little Peanut girl decided this would be the perfect opportunity to attach herself to my leg and get into everything she shouldn't be getting into. I kept trying to distract her with toys and even (gasp!) TV, but nothing was working. She just wanted Momma. Somewhere in between peeling 10 pounds of potatoes and scrubbing rust stains out of the toilet, I gave in. I took her to her room and read her a half dozen of her favorite books, played peek-a-boo and even had a little sing-a-long starring the Itsy Bitsy Spider. Guess what? My needy, whiny toddler morphed into a happy, contented toddler and played happily in her room for the next hour. I was able to fly uninterrupted through my list of chores - talk about a return on my investment!

I now have a theory that encouraging independence in a child is not developed by leaving them alone, but by spending time with them. I’ve been putting this theory into practice all this week and it’s working like a charm. Whenever I have something pressing that I need to complete, I make sure Peanut has at least 20 minutes of “Momma time” and then she’s content to play by herself or at the very least just happily follow me around.

The moral of the story? When you’re in the middle of a crazy busy day, don’t neglect the littlest ones in your life. Twenty minutes of your time could transform your entire day.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Why I Use Cloth Diapers

Choosing to cloth diaper my baby was an easy decision for me. First of all, it wasn't new to me. My mom cloth diapered a couple of my younger siblings and I have memories of dunking soiled diapers in a bucket. I didn't really give cloth diapering my own child a thought until I ran across a cloth diapering forum online when I was pregnant with Peanut. The pictures of "today's" cloth diapers looked so different! There was a huge variety and some of them just looked like a fancy bloomers. I began my research and quickly decided that this was the way to go.
Parents choose to use cloth for a number of reasons. For many people, it's all about the environmental benefits. That wasn't a factor for me. Don't get me wrong, I'm all about doing what's best for the planet, but it had very little bearing on my decision. There are two specific reasons that I choose to use cloth:
  1. To Save Money. No matter which way you slice it, using cloth is cheaper than using disposables. The biggest downside to this is that the initial investment is a little painful to your purse, but you could easily diaper your child through the age of two for less than $500. To save even more money, I wait until I have a full load until I wash (usually every two days) and hang my diapers to dry whenever possible.
  2. It's Better for My Baby. This was the main reason I chose cloth over plastic. I'm in the middle of some interesting research on this topic, but here is the synopsis: Disposable diapers contain numerous dangerous chemicals. First, they contain a toxin called Dioxin, which the EPA has labeled the most toxic of all the cancer-linked chemicals. Secondly, they contain a chemical called Tribuyl-tin that can be absorbed through the skin and has been linked to hormonal problems in humans and animals. Lastly, they contain a substance called sodium polyacrylate. It's the chemical that is added to the diapers inner layer to make them absorbant. Ever notice little crystal-like beads sticking to your baby's bottom? That's sodium polyacrylate. It's now illegal for use in tampons because it can cause toxic shock syndrome, a deadly condition - but for some reason, it's still legal to use in diapers.

After doing my initial research when I was pregnant with Peanut, choosing cloth over the nasty mess I've mentioned above seemed like a no-brainer.

So there you have it. I'll admit that there have been times when I've had to remind myself why I'm using cloth, but for the most part it's been a whole lot easier than I expected. If you are just starting out - give yourself about a 3 month learning curve. It takes awhile to figure out which diapers work best for your baby and your particular lifestyle.

I have many more posts planned on this topic, including some product reviews and how-to segments, so stay tuned!