Monday, December 31, 2012

December Thirty-First, 2012

I haven't written a contemplative post in awhile.
Since I'm sitting here by myself on New Year's Eve, now seems like a good time.

I have only one thought that is (barely) worth sharing.  The rest are either too controversial, too personal, or too time consuming to explain right now.

So here it is:
While in town today, Nathaniel and I drove past the grocery store on who's sign read the words
Happy New Years

Nathaniel spoke just as I was going to voice the same thought:
The 's' is unnecessary.

Let's wish someone a Happy New Year or a Happy New Year's Eve/Day but refrain from saying  Happy New Years.  

Thank you.

P.S.  I love that I have a child with whom I can laugh over grammatical errors that occur in advertising, that we can point it out and not have to explain ourselves.

P.P.S.  Nathaniel and I did a concert at a nursing home health care center today.  My favorite moment(s)?  When the 92 year old lady in the front row woke up to sing the choruses of "God Will Take Care of You" & "God Be With You Till We Meet Again" along with me.  Her sweet, clear voice was a blessing to me.

Happy New Year from our house to yours!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Twelve Months Old on 12-12-12

'Member how I said I was gonna post pictures of Elizabeth on her birthday?
And then remember how I didn't?
Yeah, me too.

I'm more dependable in real life.
It's a good thing, 'cause, like, if I said I was going to pick you up at 4:00 and then I didn't show up until a week later, that would be bad.
If I said I was going to pick you up at 4:00, I'd most likely be late, but not that late.

So back to my baby's birthday.
She woke up with a yucky nose (I think it was her first) just in time for her "big" day.
Our brand-new one year old!

We had 4-H that morning and a couple quick errands to do while we were in town
so we couldn't do her little party until we got back home.
Here she is after her wardrobe consultant Linnea got her dressed.

She loved the lighting of her candle
and enjoyed the pink frosting even more.

When we moved into the living room to open her gifts,
she was willing to do one of her few "tricks"--
She makes sure to get her arms WAY up there.

After many times being told "no" about the gifts under the Christmas tree,
she was understandably a bit wary of ripping into her birthday wrapping paper.
She seemed to think that using her teeth was a good option, though.

She finally decided to rip the paper after much encouragement from me and the children.

On the Saturday following her birthday,
this girlie got to have another little party with Grandmas and Grandpas.
The candle was equally mesmerizing and she was equally clueless as to what to do when all her siblings were saying "blow out the candle, LittleBit!!!"

She was much more interested in the m&m's on her bar. :)

She loved the stuffed puppy from one set of grandparents

 and tried putting on her pretty new shirt from the other set.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Day Before LittleBit

If you've read my blog for awhile, you might know I have a thing for "the day before" an event.
It's not the anticipation, though--it's not knowing it was going to be the day before something big or life changing.

And if you know that about me, you probably also know that I was past my "due date" with Elizabeth one year ago.  (You can read about that if you click here or over on the right hand side the link that says "Number 9".  You'll need to scroll down a bit, but it's only a few posts down.)

LittleBit's birthday is tomorrow so today marks her Day Before.

I wrote down some of the texts I sent Dennis in the days leading up to her birth.
Dec. 7     Me:  Why won't this baby be born?
               Him:  It will
               Me:  That was a good answer.

and a bit later that morning    
             I just wanna shut myself in my room and not come out all day.
(I didn't do it, though, just so you know.)

Dec. 8     Clothespins on my pinky toes don't even hurt.
(I had done some research on google about pressure points for labor; clamping clothespins on your pinky toes was one suggestion.  If I tried it now, it would hurt like the dickens; days away from delivery it felt kind of good actually.)

Dec. 10    Thanks for letting me sleep.
(That message was written at 9:21 am; the latest I have slept since I was 15.)

and later that evening
                I would like the option to stay home from church tomorrow, depending on how I feel.

Dec. 11    I'm not going to church but I have kids all ready.  Baby feels so low down.  I'm just not up to facing all the people.

Dennis and the kids went to church and I was home ALL ALONE and loving it.  I can count on one hand the times that I have been all alone in my own house--and I wouldn't use all my fingers.
Moments after they arrived at church, he sent me this:

                You just wanted ME to have all the questions, didn't you!
To which I replied
                You caught me

I chomp ice incessantly in the last months of pregnancy.  I had asked Dennis to bring me some from town on their way home from church.
Worried that he'd forget, I texted him this, hoping I'd catch him in time in case he had indeed forgotten.
                Did you get ice?
His reply
                Did you have a baby?

Both questions had the same answer.

I had spent those precious two hours alone listening to a sermon on the radio and trying to catch up on some Christmas gifts I was making.  I couldn't sit long at the sewing machine, though, as my feet and legs kept swelling and going numb.
I made dinner for them all once they returned and spent the rest of the day trying to keep working on those gifts.  I think I took a nap later on, and then all the regular work of laundry, supper, bath time and putting kids to bed.
I experienced a lot of insomnia the last several weeks, and to tell the truth, I sort of looked forward to being awake in the dark and quiet while everyone else was asleep.  They were the most peaceful hours of my "days".  I sat with the Christmas tree lit, read a ton of stuff online, read books, had snacks all to myself...not sleeping had it's benefits.

Because she wasn't born until the evening of the next day, her birth day is almost like a Day Before in and of itself.
That morning, as was our agreement with my midwife, since I hadn't had the baby by Monday morning that I was to call her and talk it over, I dutifully called...but I waited until afternoon.  I'm spunky and defiant that way.
She asked us to be there by 3:00 and we were pretty close to that time.  You can read that story here.

So there you have it--Elizabeth's Day(s) Before.

And tomorrow, I hope to post some pictures of my birthday girl who will be 12 months old on 12-12-12!!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Eureka--No More I Reek-a!!

I've tried just about every kind of deodorant there is with minimal-to-no success.

I feel strongly that aluminum in conventional deodorants is very dangerous,
especially for women because we shave our armpits (usually) and that makes the skin especially permeable and because of the proximity to sensitive breast tissue.
Breast cancer has risen exponentially since the advent of antiperspirant deodorants.

But what to do??
I used to sweat--a lot.  And when I sweat because I'm stressed or nervous, I STINK.
At this point, I'd like to thank my friends and family for not pulling me aside and telling me that I stink.
That said, maybe their silence on this sensitive topic wasn't all that noble...maybe they just didn't want to come near enough to pull me aside.  Hmmmmm.

I said I'd tried just about everything, right?

Before I made the switch to "healthy" deodorants,
I tried nearly every kind of conventional antiperspirants--even the "clinical" ones.
All of these just seemed to make the problem worse (to which I now say to myself DUH.)

I tried any "natural" deodorant at Wal-Mart/Target (ones that didn't contain aluminum)
and several from our local natural foods store, inlcuding Burt's Bees spray, Crystal rock spray, a few from Tom's of Maine, and one from Kiss My Face.
I tried the one from Norwex; no luck.
I tried some crystal salt powder that was ok, but still not great for me.
I tried apple cider vinegar and I tried rubbing alcohol; both of these worked for a short time but were very hard to take with me.
(That was where I was at--having to keep some form of deodorant with me whenever I went out.)
To be fair, I gave each one a good month or so of use to let my body get used to it--
just so you don't think I tried one for a day or two, decided it didn't work, and then ditched it for another.
Add all that time up, and that's a lot of lost money and a lot of stink.

That is, until--UNTIL--I stumbled upon this recipe from Crunchy Betty,
I thought, what's to lose except ingredients?
 Solving the World's Deodorant Crisis:  A New Soothing Recipe
I also think Crunchy Betty is hilariously funny, which somehow lends credibility in my book.
I know.

It was hard for me to wait the two weeks for the herbs to steep in the oil, but it was absolutely worth it.
Eureka--no more I reek-a!!

Seriously!  I take a sniff throughout the day and I don't stink.
Even when my stress response kicks in, I only sweat--no accompanying stink.
I only apply it once a day (in the morning) and by the next morning, still no stink, even after working out.

I'm telling you--this stuff is amazing.
Here's why I think that is:
coconut oil is a natural bacteria buster and body odor is caused by bacteria
the herbs (I cut open tea bags and measured out the herbs) are soothing to the skin
arrowroot powder is non-gmo so it won't irritate the skin like cornstarch
essential oils are AWESOME--antiviral, antibacterial, soothing, they are God's way of providing perfect medicine through nature (his creation).

I would highly, HIGHLY recommend trying this route whether you have stink issues or not.
Let me know if you do!
I mean, let me know if you try it and if you like it--not if you have stink issues.
Well, you could tell me that, too, because I understand what that's about.
So, either way I guess...

The essential oils I chose to use were lemon and orange; it has a very pleasant--and not over-powering--citrus scent.  I did this so that it was "gender-neutral" for our home. :)
I store mine in a small canning jar (I think it's a half-pint size) in the bathroom cabinet.
If I had to describe the consistency, the best I can come up with would be to compare it to a paste-y peanut butter.
It looks like this after months of use:

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