Friday, February 26, 2010

It's Grub Time!

As we promised, LBG will get to being eating purees soon!

He turns 5 months old on March 17th and we will celebrate by eating avacado!  I should mention that I'm not a guac. fan but I'm hoping he will like.  Oh yeah, The Father isn't a fan either. 

Being first time parent's we've decided to purchase as many unnessesary items as humanly possible.  Here are a few of tonight's purchases:

Gotta steam and puree the yummies somehow!

Dining on the fine stainless
These spoons and forks are made from corn! We also got two bowls.

There are a few other purchases that will be made soon.  I can't, well actually I could, empty the checkbook in one sitting!  I'll post more about them later, but items include a high chair, storage containers, a few Pyrex containers, and some more bibs.

Oh yeah, and a note about the highchair:  As you read in my last post, we were given an amazing 3-in-1.  It will be used as a highchair, but not right away.  Our dining area is carpeted and we are worried about it's stability.  We also won't have it finished in time.  Of course, can't forget that LBG is probably going to want to use it as a rocking horse/ desk.  Besides, it will be great to have a second baby sitting device for when we have dinner guest with small children in tow.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


No, not a printer/scanner/copier.

The Grandfather and The Grandmother gave LBG one of the coolest gifts I've ever seen!  I can't wait to have it finished and LBG grow a bit more so he can have hours of fun with it. 

Now imagine a highchair that is also a rocking horse, and on top of that is a desk!  To cap it all off, it was handbuilt!  I'm almost certian that not a single piece of machinery has touched this fine piece of awesome because the chair was built by a family friend who happens to be Amish. 

I bet you are totally lost as to what this contraption looks like.  Fear not, I have photos for you to see. 

You see LBG in the background?  He was hanging out in the swing while I took these photos and fell asleep!  Sneaky boy!

I bet you want a 3-in-1 now too, don'tya?!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Exploring the Fabric Store!

Today I met up with a fellow mommy friend and her wee tot, who has the most contagious smile ever, (check out their blog!) and we went frolicing in the fabric store! 

We had a great game plan- buy fleece for making those blankets where you cut little strips in the fabric and tie two pieces together.  Do you know how much fun it is looking at fleece?  It's almost as fun as looking at flannel which is my all time favorite fabric.  I couldn't help myself and LBG will be getting 3 new blankets! 

I happened to come across some really cool fleece called Make it Green!  It is 30% recycled plastic and 70% polyester.  Isn't that cool that plastic bottles and such can be recycled to make fabric for fun crafty projects?  Two of the blankets will be made out of this fleece.
I bought this and another that I can't find a good photo of. 
I haven't quite decided if I want to tie them up into those cute blankets or just leave them plain and LBG can roll- not that he can really roll yet- around on them.  Maybe he will get one of each!

We'll tell him that he is all bundled up in his recycled Similac canisters!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Here's the Skinny!

Yesterday I took LBG to a new doctor.  Mommy instincts told me that if I'm dreading taking him to the pediatrician again, it probably isn't a good sign.  Luckily for me, a friend *check out her blog!* recommended a family doctor for us to try.  Sure, it's an hour and 15 minutes away, but we will be moving closer soon so we decided to give it a shot. 

LBG didn't see the doctor, but saw the nurse practitioner instead.  She was really nice and super concerned about his skin!  We've seen two pedis previously and they brushed it off as a "phase" and told me to keep lubing him up with lotion.  Luckily for us, and not so luckily for my sweet boy, he developed some major flair-ups during the car ride.  It was nice to be able to show that what we were seeing on his wrists and elbows was what usually covers his face and whole body.  We also learned poor LBG has eczema in his ears!

Anyhooo, back to the subject-  Karen, the NP, believes that he might have an internal yeast infection.  This would explain why his eczema travels around his body rather than staying in just a few select places.  Instead of giving LBG more steriods, which haven't helped a whole lot, she gave us some natural remedies to try.  If they don't help, then we'll go back to steriods plus a few other ideas.  She said she's seen better success with the remedies for skin worse than his over conventional medications. 

I'm skeptical, but we'll try it.  If we don't see an improvement in a week, we'll go back and try some more medications. 

She didn't have much to say about his reflux other than suggesting we homemake formula using goat's milk.  You can't buy goat's milk formula on the market in the US and the idea of making it myself is something I'm not comfortable with.  You have to add lots of things to it so he gets all the nutrients and that scares me.  His formula is what he eats to survive, I don't want to risk messing that up. 

The rest of the appointment went really well!  Both the nurse and NP commented on how strong his is which was sweet.  I don't know many babies to compare him to and it's not like I can count how many pounds he's benchpressing!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

4 Months!

LBG is 4 months old today!
The grown-ups were right, kids grow up waaaaaaay too fast!  I can't believe that 1/3 of his first year has come to a close.  If anyone knows a way to keep him from growing up so fast, I'm all ears!

We could celebrate by cooking up some pureed peas for him to try, but we aren't.  At the advice of our pediatrician, we gave him a few spoons full of rice cereal for his reflux.  That was last week and yes, things change in a week, but we are certain he isn't ready to eat food.  We'll wait until next month and re-evaluate things. 

He did reach a really cool milestone this morning!  My sweet little boy rolled over!  He needed help the last 3 inches or so because his arm was in the way, but he did most of the work all by himself!  I nearly cried!  Soon we will have a mobile baby and that's just a bit scary!

Typically, The Father and I don't buy him gifts for his monthdays, but we did this time.  We ordered a dozen unbleached Indian prefolds for him!  New undies always make for a great gift!

Happy 4 Monthday, Peanut!

Monday, February 15, 2010

A really sad fact-

One day way to soon, LBG is going to grow up and go to school.  I know for a fact that I will be spending plenty-a-mornings packing his lunch for him. 

It's also a sad fact that I've already picked out his lunch box!  I came across To-Go Ware's lunch carriers one day and have been in love with them ever since!  The Father might be getting one for is birthday, which will be here very soon!

So here it is:

Meatless Monday

Tonight we were in a bit of a pinch.  We didn't have any veggies other than a head of garlic, we'd eaten pasta last night, and I was out of eggs which meant no waffles.  I rummaged around in the back of the pantry and found a canister of Arborio rice-- Risotto, it was!

Our risotto consisted of sauted garlic, vegetable broth, and butter.  Twenty minutes of stirring gave us the most wonderful, creamy rice!

LGB even loved it.  Did he eat any?  No.  Did he sit in the kitchen while I cooked screeching his head off in delight?  You betcha!  I can't wait until he gets to try some of my culinary delights.  In just a few short months, he'll be dining like a big kid!

I'd share my recipe with you, but I didn't exactly use any measurements and risotto just consists of sauting rice, then simmering it for 20 while gradually adding in broth.  The fun part is that you have to constantly stir the rice for the entire 20 mins!  Talk about a shoulder injury in the making!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Composting and Gardening, part 3

I live in what's known as "Middle Tennessee."  I also live in the land of clay rather than soil.  Starting a new garden is a big of a challenge, but it can be done... and this is how I did it!

The first thing you need to do is get a soil ph test.  If you have soil that is too acidic or alkaline, your plants aren't going to grow to their fullest potential.  You can usually get soil sample kits from your county extension office.  They will also tell you what you should do to change the ph to a more optimum level for what you intend to plant.  There are also so pretty cool soil testing gizmos on the market.  I own one, but I'm not sure how much I trust it.

There are a few ingredients you will need:
Cardboard or newspapers
A gardening rake
Top Soil
Peat Moss
A tiller

Once you know where your garden will be placed, you will most likely need to kill off the grass.  This is easily accomplished by laying down a layer of cardboard or newspapers.  Wetting the covering will help keep them from flying away in the wind.  A few bricks can be helpful, too.  If you lay down your covering on Monday, you will probably be ready to compose your garden by the weekend.  You don't need to kill all the grass, but every bit helps. 

I should also remind you to make sure there are no water or power lines in your garden space.  This could cause some serious issues.

Fast forward a few days and you are ready to mix up your ingredients. 
The easiest way to get started is to till up the existing soil.  Remove any rocks, or if you live in my old house- bricks and other construction waste.  If you hit any roots, those can be easily removed with a small saw. 

There are two ways you can go about this next step.  You can mix your top soil and peat moss together in a large container or make lasagna.  Peat moss usually comes in a large bail but breaks up in a fine dust similar to saw dust.  It's hard to control and this is why I like to mix it into the top soil.  If you decide to go lasagna style, it helps to wet down the peat a bit after to put it on the ground just to give it a bit of control. 

I don't have a set ratio of top soil to peat, but I suppose you could do 25% peat and 75% topsoil.  The gardening rake comes in super handy with making sure the each layer or your mix is spread out evenly over your plot.  I like to use enough mix to make a good inch or so layer on top of your tilled earth.

Till 'er up!

The type of garden you are constructing will dictate how far you go.  Just general run of the mill garden or flower bed will benefit from a good dosage of compost.  If you are doing a woodland/shade garden, you'll want to till in a healthy layer of compost and dried leaves.  A garden full of lavender (my favorite!) will require sand mixed in. 

I like to till, rake out any clumps and even everything out, then till again.  I might repeat this a few times just to make sure everything is well mixed. 

You are free to plant right away, but I found it to be a bit more effective to give everything a large gulp of water and plant the next day.  If you get the ground too soggy, you might need to wait an extra day or so to let it drain out. 

One final note:  Mulch is your friend!  It took me a whole year to learn this lesson.  Keep in mind that different types of mulch might change your soil ph.  You aren't limited to just wood chips- straw is a great cover- so don't be afraid to cover everything up.  This will save you a ton of water and backache!

Happy Gardening!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Composting and Gardening, part 2

As promised, here is my "two bin" composting process and how to harvest it.

When my very first bin filled up, I was uncertain as to what I should do next.  I knew three things: it needed to "cook" a bit longer before I could use it, there wasn't any room to add anything new, and I didn't want to stop.  I decided to start a second bin.  They were labeled Bin A and Bin B.

Year 1- Start A and fill as much as you can in one year
Year 2- Start B and add your materials.  Don't add to A.  It's cooking.  Just stir it up once a week or so.
Year 3- Harvest A and refill with left over uncomposted materials.  Don't add to B, but stir once a week.
Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

This process worked really well for the 4 years I had my compost bins running.  You could probably even have a 3rd brewing and then you'd have even better compost!

Harvesting is super simple.  You can Google and find all kinds of sifting screens, but I'm lazy and my way works well for me.

Most of my compost went to starting new flower beds so I just dumped the bin out where I wanted the compost, shoveled buckets full to use in other locations, and set to work tilling it in!  If there was a random apple core or pineapple top, I tossed it back into the bin.  I made sure to leave a few inches of compost in the bin as a starter so I didn't have to completely start from scratch.  Don't worry about random nut shells or anything else small.  They will continue to cook down in the garden.

At the end of the growing season, you can empty the flower pots right back into bin and the cycle will continue.  I like to reuse my potting soil so I have a bin that the soil goes into while the dead plants and roots go into the compost.  When I go to fill flower pots again, I use roughly 50/50 or 25% compost and 75% soil- depends on the type of plant and what kind of soil they like.

Tomorrow- amending Middle Tennessee's crappy soil!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Composting and Gardening, part 1

I just posted about starting a new compost bin.  I was asked a few questions about how it's done so here's a post all about composting my way.   This will be a series of a few posts for fear that I might write an epic tale!

There are two very important aspects of composting: greens and browns, and drainage.  If you don't have these two ( I guess 3) things, your compost isn't going to work out so well. 

Greens are things like veggie scraps.  Browns are paper, leaves, grass, etc.  You want to have a good mix of both in order for your compost to be the most beneficial.

Here is how you start a small bin:
You want a very, very big plastic bin.  I use the biggest rubbermaid storage bin with lid that I can find.  Drill plenty of holes in the bottom and around the sides.  You can do some in the lid too if you want.  You'll want your compost to have optimum drainage so I rest my bins on top of bricks or cinderblocks.  I haven't quite found a way to retrieve the "tea" which also makes great fertilizer, but one day I'll find a way.

There are two ways to start filling.  You can either aquire some compost (then just add to it) or you can do the layering method.  If you are going compelely DIY, start by laying down some newspaper or empty the contents of your paper shredder.  Then lay down some greens.  Continue layering greens-brown-green-brown.  I try to do two layers of each.  Replace the lid and Voila! you are composting! 

It's best to stir every time you add to it.  Once every couple of days at the least.  It's a good idea to dig a small hole and bury your additions just in case there are some pesky raccoons around.  It will take about a year of adding and stirring.  In the warm months, the bin will probably feel hot inside.  This is the compost cooking.  If at anytime it starts to stink, you've got a problem.  Usually it's drainage.  The cooking pretty much stops during the winter, but you can still add to it.  I didn't know this until recently so it's a new addition to our repetoire.

There are a few things you will want to avoid:
Gourds including the decorative ones you in the fall- the seeds don't seem to die off, thus growing in our veggie garden and choking most of the plants (true story.)

Weeds- It's hard to know if the seeds will die and that's the last thing you want growing in your garden.  For this reason, I don't put grass clippings in my bin.

Meat/anything from a meat eating animal- Bad bacterias will grow.  Droppings from vegetarian animals like cows, horses, guinea pigs, rabbits, etc are fine and even encouraged.

Ash- It will affect the ph balance. 

Synthetic materials- no plastics, lint from the dryer is fine but only if it's natural. 

Human waste- refer to Meat/anything from a meat eating animal.

Oil or Grease- it doesn't break down well

A few things that people don't think about that are great additions: egg shells, leaves, wood shavings, urine (seriously... it's great for it!) tea bags, coffee grounds and filters, nut shells, cardboard (tear it up first) and hair. 

We shred all of our important documents then compost them just for some added security.  I don't know about composting cooked fruits and veggies because I try to finish them off.  That is something you might want to look up. 

If you are looking for a more uninvolved compost collection, you can do what The Grandfather did when I was a kid.  Just pile up grass clippings and leaves.  Dig a hole in the pile to add your food scraps then cover it back up.  Over the course of 5-10 years you will have some amazing compost. 

The pile I grew up with served not only as our fishing bait (worm) collection area, but as an animal burial ground.  While it's supposedly against the "rules of composting" The Grandfather informed me that dead chickens, an occasional deceased cat, and one dead calf all composted down just fine in about a year.  I wouldn't suggest it, but if the need arises you could always give it a shot.

Tomorrow I'll tell you all about my "double bin" process and how to harvest your compost for usage!

Beautiful Bloggers

I'm quite shocked to learn that I've been given an award!  I'd love to thank The Crunchy Baby for awarding me the Beautiful Blogger Award!  I'm truly honored!

One of the rules is I tell you 7 things about myself...

1. I am a classically trained ballerina.
2. I love to vacuum.  I have a contest with myself to see how full I can get the canister after each room.
3. I'm a complete night-owl.
4. It is almost impossible for to find a bed soft enough to be comfortable.
5. Most days I miss my former job.
6. I graduated a semester early from high school.
7. I met The Father on the internet when I was a senior in high school and he was a senior in college.

1. Thank the person who nominated you and link to their blog.
2. Copy the award and paste it to your blog.
3. Tell us 7 interesting facts about yourself.
4. Nominate fellow bloggers that you love and link up to their blog

My nomations are: Mandalyn & The Stinky Cheese, Life with Sweet Cheeks, Charmingly Chandler, Kibble 'n Dribble, Happily Ever After... My Way!

We've started up again!

We've restarted our compost bin!  I can't tell you how excited I am to say this.  I was really beginning to miss how much fun was.

Our failed worm bin has been sitting on our deck since our little adventure.  Since it was just sitting there with shredded paper, some carrots, and an apple core, I might as well just continue to add to it.  Of course, it will be much smaller than our original bins, but it's still something and we can use it as a starter later on down the road.

I set out a bowl on the kitchen counter for compostables collections.  It will be emptied and washed every night so we don't get any buggies in the house. 

I haven't quite decided if The Father is being very resistant to this minor change, or if he really has forgotten how to compost.  Last night I found a full coffee filter in the trashcan and leftover fried rice in the bowl.  hrmmmmmmm... slightly backwards!  It's ok, he'll get the hang of it soon enough.  Plus, I remember how much he enjoyed having homemade fertilizer for his veggie garden (that's a whole other story- I might tell you one day.) 

The coolest part about restarting our compost collection is that when it's ready in the summer of 2011, LBG will get to use some in his very first flower pot!  Yes, I fully intend to help him plant a seed when he is 1.5 years old!  It will be something fun for him to watch grow.   Maybe by that time we won't have to use a shovel to mix up our bin.  Hopefully, we'll have a bin mounted on a stand that uses a crank to spin the bin around thus mixing everything up.  I bet he'd have fun turning the crank!

Yay!  I can actually feel like I'm not wasting our kitchen scraps. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Our First CDing Water Bill

Today was the day we've been waiting for!  Our very first water bill since LBG has starting living in cloth.  I was expecting it to be at least 15 dollars more than our usual one.  If it was $75 more, we might reconsider our choice of diapering method.

Keep in mind, in the month of January, The Father was away for 2 weeks.  We also stripped two loads of diapers which each had at least 10 or so.  Then, there was the very first load of diapers I ever prepped which was 5 wash and dry cycles.   Not to mention, one load of diapers every other day. 

The Father's trip doesn't really play into our water bill very much because he does shower at work most days.  I just listed it because it was a change from the usual.

With all of our water usage our bill was....

Wait for it....

Wait for it....

$5 less than Decemeber!

I can't wait to see what our bill for February will be like since we are now in a routine and The Father will be home all but 3 days this month.  Once our clothes line is installed and in use, I'll be just as excited to see our electric bill!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

All-Purpose Cleaner- revisited

There is a slight side effect to my AP Cleaner recipe.  The Dr. Bronner's Soap curdles.  YIK!

I'd just shake the bottle well and go on my merry way cleaning what needed to be cleaned.  The Father brought up a point I hadn't considered.  What if we aren't getting the fully benefit of the soap because the curdles might not fit through the sprayer tube?

I went to the lab, to see what was on the slab.  My kitchen once again became my chemistry lab.  A small part of me wish LBG was old enough to do mini science projects with me.  I bet he might enjoy them.  We will probably revisit this one for fun in a few years.

A small drop of Dr. B's into some vinegar and a small drop into some water revealed that the vinegar is the culprit.  I don't exactly know why, but I'll accept my finding.

My usual mixing process is water, vinegar, soap.  What if we switched it up?  Knowing that the vinegar makes the soap curdle, it probably isn't a good place to start.  So, I added my soap to the water and stirred it all around to mix it in.  Then came the vinegar.  The whole mixture turned a milk white evenly through out!

Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner!

So here is how it goes:
Mix the Water and Soap together first, then add the vinegar.

1 cup Water
1/4 tsp Dr. Bronner's Magic Castille Soap
1 cup White Vinegar.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Meatless Monday

This week Meatless Monday will be happening on a Tuesday.  No, I won't be entitling it Tofu Tuesday.

It's a funny story, really.  The Father made some amazing fish and chips yesterday.  We don't really eat fried food, but this is our exception.  He used up the rest of the frozen fish freezer which in turn made for tons of leftovers.  They probably won't be good tomorrow, so they are our dinner for tonight.

As penance, I've planned an amazing dinner!
I'll be trying my hand a making spinach quiche!  I've never made a quiche so it shall be a fun adventure.  Lunch will be slightly boring- baked potato for myself and a microwavable noodles with peanut sauce doo-hicky.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

One Tomato... Two Tomato...

I've finally finished reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle!

There is a story the author tells about growing and canning her own tomatos for use the rest of the year.  I can't remember the exact number, but she had something like 300+ pounds of tomatoes that summer!

This got me thinking about my quest to can my own tomatoes this year.  How many cans of diced tomatoes are we going to need all fall, winter, and spring?  Crushed?  Stewed?  Of course, we can't leave out salsa, pasta and pizza sauce!  How many pounds of tomatoes are we going to need?

There is another small issue that I have to address.  I've never, ever made homemade pasta sauce with fresh tomatoes! Or salsa for that matter!

So here is my plan.  We will start with diced and crushed tomatoes.  I'll dedicate a whole week to canning crushed tomatoes, and then a whole week to diced.  In the meantime, I'll be trying out salsa and pasta sauce recipes until I find one that The Father and I like.  Then I'll dedicate a whole week to each of those.   I've decided our magic number will be 50!

That's right... 50 jars of each type of tomatoes!  We try to not eat the same meal twice in one week so this will give us enough jars to have chili, pasta, stew each week.  Will we eat all three each week?  Surely not, but the option is always there.  On top of that, the pasta sauce jars will be small because we only use about 1/2 a jar of store bought sauce per meal.  If I'm cooking for a larger crowd, I can open two jars.  In fact, most jars will be on the smaller side to mimick the metal cans you buy at the market.

LGB is going to spend his first summer making plenty o' trips to the farmer's market and will be smelling lots of tomatos cooking away!  It will be like my family's summer tradition of shucking (in the South, we shuck our corn!) 50 billion ears of corn each summer.  We'd sit on the kitchen floor for 2-3 days swimming in corn huskes and corn cobs.  We'd eat corn for 3 meals a day and watch as many rented movies as we possibly could.  At the end of our hard labor, my family would have enough homemade creamed, kernaled, and corn on the cob to last us until the next summer! 

My family had corn, LBG's family will have tomatoes.  Please don't ask where we will be storing all these tomatoes, we don't even know where we will be living as of yet.  We own a jelly cabinet who has been begging us to return him to his original purpose of holding homemade canned items!

If you are wondering how many pounds of tomatoes we will need, I can assure you of this:  It will be more that 1 and less than 1,000. 

Trivia for the day:  I HATE raw tomatoes!  I'll only eat them cooked as a sauce or in fresh salsa.  I only like the juice from the store, bought salsa jars!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

...and now it's time for tea

I'm a bit of a tea junkie!  I can't wait to be able to share my love of tea with LBG!  As the good Mississippian I am, I love sweet, iced tea.  As the kid and wife of New Englanders and having going to high school in Connecticut, hot tea has a special place in my heart as well!

Since we are currently living in the month of February, here are the current favorites for drinking hot!
  • Zhena's Gypsy Tea's Red Lavender- It's fair trade, organic, and caffeine free.  The sachets are compostable and the tin is recycleable!
  • Zhena's Gypsy Tea's Coconut Chai- Fair trade and organic.  It's moderately caffeinated and is certified gluten and allergen free.  You can compost the sachets and recycle the tin.
  • Mighty Leaf Tea's Organic Spring Jasmine- Of course, it's organic and lightly caffeinated.  The pouches are biodegratable and the box is printed with soy ink!  
  • Guayaki Yerba Mate's Mate Chocolatte- An organic, shade grown tea.  The company is a member of the Fair Trade Foundation.  
  • Tazo's Organic Apple Red- USDA Certified Organic and the box is recyclable.  They don't say the tea bags are compostable, but I've always thrown them in the compost bin.
  • Stash's Raspberry and White Tea- Decaffinated.  Once again, I compost the tea bags.
  • Traditional Medicinals' Seasonal Herb Sampler- Contains four types of tea that are all caffeine free.  100% organic ingredients certified by the California Certified Organic Farmers.
You should give them a try!  I bought all of them from my local Kroger so I assume they are fairly easy to find in grocery stores.  If they aren't in the tea section, check out the organic area.  Remember, if you use honey, locally harvested and raw is best!  You support a local beekeeper, but also the local pollens in the honey help with pollen allergies!

Friday, February 5, 2010

At what point do you give up?

LBG's skin has never been the soft and smooth baby skin everyone dreams about.  He was born with what he referred to as "Newborn Rash" which led into baby acne, and now most recently he's developed eczema.  I'm actually afraid he will have skin issues his entire life!

We brought his issues up with our pediatrician at his 2 month appointment.  She didn't think it was very severe and just told us to stop giving him baths every night and use lots of lotion.  This was a bit hard for us to swallow because he enjoys bathtime and he would sleep really after.  We didn't wash him every night, it was more of just a soak to relax. 

In the time between his 2 month check up and when we went back for this 3 month shots, his skin exploded out of control.  We were given three days worth of steriods, some hydrocortisone cream, and told to lube him up with vaseline.  We were also told to wash his hair with Selsun Blue once a week.  I wasn't thrilled about all the medicine, but we gave it to him so he'd be more comfortable.  I purchaced a hazelwood necklace which is supposed to help with eczema and began to help!  His neck cleared up!  The idea of putting petroleum on his skin didn't sit well with me so I bought a tube of Un-Petroleum Jelly and a jar of pure, unrefined shea butter.  We'd butter him up, seal it in with the jelly, and then use the medicated cream on any hot spots.  We also started using pure lanolin as a midday moisturizer.  Do you know how hard it is to wash a baby's hair with something that isn't tear-free?  On top of that, he is always putting his hands on his head to scratch!

Thing were rolling along as best as they could be until last weekend when his skin exploded out of control again!  Now his whole back is covered- which it wasn't before and his eyelids are crusty!  My poor, sweet little boy spends his whole day squirming trying to itch.  I consulted a friend who is insanely wise and my voice of reason to get her opinion.  We came up with the idea that maybe my Burt's Bees Baby Bees products were too harsh and I should try Californial Babies' Super Sensitive Skin products for baby wash.

Here is the strange kicker: his diaper area is the only place untouched by this yucky ailment!

LBG has been having some tummy issues as well so yesterday I took him to the doctor to see if maybe his tummy issues and skin issues were related.  I was less than impressed with the doctor because she didn't understand that we don't use Dreft for laundry (I make my own detergent, remember) or spray Fabreeze in the house.  It was like she was telling me to stop doing things that we don't even do!  Not, being satisfied with the outcome of the visit, I did something I rarely do and asked a friend for her professional advice (she's a pedi.)  Her response was amazing!  She recommended her favorite products which aren't exactly eco-friendly.  In my desperation, I'm going to buy them today and start using them.  We will now be using Cetophyl products.

This leads me to my question.  Should I have just used the petroleum based products from the get-go and saved my sweet little crusty critter from a month or so of torment?  Was it worth giving them a shot in the beginning?  Would All Free and Clear have been a better option for laundry detergent over my homemade that I'm 100% sure of every ingredent is not a yucky chemical and is completely dye and fragrance free? 


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Food for Thought

If you are what you eat and you have pork chops for dinner, does that make you a pig?

Or if you have chicken boobs?  Are you a big fat chicken?

And if you add to that logic, are vegetarians vegetables?

Think about it.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Forgive Us, Mother Earth

For we have sinned.

There is this thing that sometimes happens after having a baby and it can't be helped or avoided.  It's called "Hair Loss."  I honestly thought I'd escaped that we after effect with my locks intact.  But, no. 

Two weeks ago, my hair started thinning.  At first it was just a little bit, then it got a bit worse.  After that it got to the drain clogging stage.  You'd be in the shower and look down only to notice that a whole school of fish could survive in the tub!  Yikes!

First, we made our handy-dandy drain volcano.  4 times in fact!  Then, we made our own little coathanger pipesnake.  FAIL!  Apparently our drain isn't very pipesnake friendly.  The fury animal from my scalp was firmly planted and wasn't going emerge. 

I was sad... my hair was lost in a cold dark drain.  The Father was annoyed and started using the guest bathroom.  We were slightly running out of options.  There was only one thing left to do.  Call in the big guns.

We're talking big, bad wolf on a stick.  He'll huff and puff and blow that clog into oblivion!  Yeah, no.  Didn't work.  Not only is our drain anti-pipesnake, it's also anti plunger!  One squish with the plunger, and the drain stopper is now in place. 

Good Gravy on a Train!  We were running out of options.  The very last thing on the list was to buy the scary bottle of Draino.  So, with a heavy heart and making sure I explain to LBG that this will not be a habit, we went to Target and bought a bottle.  You know the situation is bad when you get home and before you are barely in the door, the bottle of Draino is already 1/2 way up the stairs!

The Father wasted no time in pouring the nastiness down the drain!  I feel so bad for our water supply and any fishes it might come in contact with. 

At the end of the day, we have a drain that works.  I guess you win some and you lose some.