Saturday, December 31, 2011

Diaper Change

We've made a permanent switch in diapers. Everett has been wearing Huggies Pure and Natural.

These diapers use organic cotton and are hypoallergenic. Those two things are what interested me in them in the first place. I've now learned that the organic cotton is only used on the outer part of the diaper, not on what actually touches the baby. And the cotton isn't even certified. The lining also contains wood fibers. Ew.

We've made a very welcomed change to Comforts Touch of Nature. There's nothing "greener" than cloth diapering (which I'm not sure I could do since I'm a huge germaphobe but I'm open to the idea with the next baby) but in my opinion, these may be the next best thing. Other diapers along this line include the ones by Earth's Best, Tushies, 7th Generation, and the ones produced by Whole Foods. I went with Comforts Touch of Nature because they are available at my local grocery store (Fred Meyer, but they're sold at any Kroger store as well) and they're the cheapest. These diapers are chlorine free and have more biodegradable material to them opposed to the popular Huggies and Pampers brands. Instead of wood fibers, they use natural plant-based resources for the diaper's inner and outer linings. Also, they are manufactured with renewable materials, therefore, less energy used and friendlier to the environment.

Each time I go to change Everett's diaper now, I will have peace of mind that I've taken yet another step in "greener" living. {Now I've just got to take the next step in this aspect and consider cloth diapering!}

Friday, December 30, 2011

Bathtime Fun

Everett's really been enjoying his baths lately. He's always enjoyed them but lately, he's discovered that toots in the tub create bubbles and funny noises and that he can makes waves when he moves his arms and legs really fast. I hear a lot of giggles during bathtime these days. I love it. He's had a few squirt animals but didn't know how to use them until recently. He thinks it's hilarious to squirt the water out, especially when it hits Mama and Dada.

Happy boy in the tub!

{We've since gotten rid of the gigantic bottle of Johnson's Shampoo!}

Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Favorite Products and "Greener" Living

I'm currently in the process of replacing things such as household cleaners, hair/body/hand products, bakeware, cookware, storage containers, Everett's cups and dishes...just to name a few.

I've realized in being more active about reading labels that many cleaners and body products are alcohol based. Not only can excess be toxic to your body but it can leave your skin dry and irritable. Since changing Everett's body/hair wash and lotions from Aveeno/Johnsons products to California Baby, his eczema and dry skin has improved. I recently purchased these for him:


They're offered in scents including calendula and lavender but his skin seems to be on the sensitive side so I stuck with the fragrance free products. California Baby products are natural and organic.

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I purchased Mrs. Meyers Clean Day Lavender Dish Soap. It's 98% plant derived (as are all her products) and includes Soap Bark Extract, which is nature's best degreaser; not to mention it smells calming too. Who doesn't need a little calm when you're doing a big pile of dishes, eh.

I replaced my kitchen hand soap with the Honeysuckle soap and can I say how delicious the smell is?! The smell remains on my hands for awhile and leaves the sink smelling just as good. All of Mrs. Meyer's products include essential oils. Best of all, my hands aren't dry from washing them so much. Before, my knuckles were so dry they were beginning to crack and bleed.

Her products are actually very affordable too! A set of 3 decent-sized products are only $9.99. {I want to get this Honeysuckle set!}



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I didn't realize how harmful BPA (Bisphenol A) is until most recently either. I did a little research and in short, it can affect the body's hormones and can lead to developmental disorders, cancerous tumors, and birth defects. While there's still a lot of research going on, past research and their findings was enough for me to convict myself to throw away all of Everett's dishes. Toys R Us has a BPA free version of his favorite Munchkin straw sippy cups that I just ordered online. Until I can find BPA free bowls and plates, he's been {carefully with a lot of adult supervision} using our small glass plates. My next step is to replace all of our tupperware with either stainless steel, Pyrex, or Corningware.

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Everett has always had about a 95% organic diet but within the past handful of months, I've converted Dale and I to the same. I've always thought that organic was extremely expensive but when it comes to produce, much of it is about the same, if not $0.50-$1.00 more. Other things are not as expensive either but things like peanut/almond butter, dairy products, and condiments can be. The other day at the store, I saw a jar of peanut butter for $9.99. Holy Moley. I stuck with the $5.00 organic jar. Ultimately, for me, it's peace of mind and taking action on things I can control, like reducing/eliminating the amount of toxins/pesticides my family consumes. It's worth all the extra money to me. I grew up on a farm where we raised goats, chickens, sheep and had about 1/2 acre for a garden so I somewhat grew up with the knowledge and background but even so, I tended to buy whatever was cheapest, which isn't necessarily always the best. You get what you pay for.

Dale used to give me a hard time and call me an "Asian Granola Girl" and didn't quite understand why I read labels and researched so much but once realizing such overlooked things like hotdogs having nitrate in them for example, he realized the amount of toxins we were putting into our bodies. Not only is it a health issue but it's saving and supporting local farmers and our environment. I would encourage you to take some time to read some labels and look up some of the hard-to-define ingredients. You'll be surprised at what the stuff exactly is. I feel like we owe it to ourselves and to the body that the Lord gave us.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Recap

Well, Christmas 2011 came and went, didn't it?! Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were both tornado of days. We were going here and there and every direction. It was so wonderful seeing all my relatives that I see only on holidays and other specials occasions. We fellowshipped and praised God and celebrated the birth of our Jesus Christ. We sat in a circle and sang Christmas songs and had a dysfunctional but yet memorial time trying to take a family photo with 25 people by a small Christmas Tree. There were more takes than I can remember and everyone was getting impatient, sweaty, and complainy. The memory puts a big smile on my face.

Christmas morning, we surprised Everett with a train table. {Thanks Anika for the information on the table!} I was mostly excited to see the look on his face when he first saw it.


He absolutely loved it!


Everett got to meet his cousin, Toni for the first time. They seemed to really enjoy their time together and Everett was a bit fascinated with him. It was adorable. Toni wanted him to play but Everett was mostly interested in just watching him.


I enjoyed doing some holiday baking as well. I made some Crunchy Peanut Butter Balls and Breakfast Cupcakes. {I received the Breakfast Cupcake recipe from Emily's Blog.}


While Everett is usually a very cuddly boy, I wasn't allowed many hugs and kisses during Christmas time, as he was so consumed with everything going on around him. I did manage to hold him so I could get a quick photo though.


It was all so much fun but left us a bit tired.



Luke 2:1-20.



Thursday, December 22, 2011

Lining Things Up

I've been meaning to blog about this for awhile now and finally getting to it.

I don't know if it's the age but a fellow mom blogger, Rene, posted photos of her son doing the same thing: lining toys up. Everett loves to meticulously line anything up. Toys, book, shoes, pretty much anything.

He started lining his cars up on the window sill when we lived in Oregon City this past Summer. It was the very first thing he did after breakfast.


He lined his monster trucks up in wheelies.

I came into my bedroom this evening and saw that he had removed by books off my night stand and lined them up.

I think it's awfully cute how they can have such organized, meticulous behavior at this young age!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Tree

We finally put up the tree yesterday. Yes, we were a little late this year. I typically like putting it up the day after Thanksgiving but we've been trying to take things slowly and calmly around here with my recent health issues. {I'll post an update to that here soon.}

These photos are from my not-so-great camera phone...




We had the tree set up and decided to move it. Talk about difficulty moving a fully decorated tree! I don't think we could've done it without Everett's help though. He was so helpful holding that branch.

{The tree skirt was given to us by Dale's mom 2 years ago. It's almost 30 years old! The same one that was under each of Dale's Christmas trees growing up.}

Friday, December 16, 2011

Manners

The last few months, we have been working on enforcing basic manners. You know, "thank you", "please", "excuse me", and covering his mouth when he coughs...things like that. He's caught on real well with the covering of his mouth when he coughs. It's important even with fake coughs too.


video

His grandma taught him to hold his arms up in the air when he coughs too and he's lately been confused on whether he should cover his mouth or put his arms up in the air. It's funny because he tries doing both at the same time and he looks like he's got a case of Tourettes. You'd have to see it to think it funny. Nonetheless, he's catching on to this manners stuff. I think he gonna grow up to be quite the polite, little boy.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Shower Filter

I've always had a dry, itchy, flaky scalp. I've never seen a doctor for it and have just dealt with it for most of my adult life. It's gotten worse the past few years. I've tried all kinds of dandruff shampoos, assuming it had to do with the hair products I used. Within the past year, my scalp has turned red and produced hive-like bumps after each hair wash.

I belong to the Crunchy Mamas group on Babycenter and someone suggested getting a filter for the shower. It removes dirt, chlorine, and odors from the water and is easily attached to the existing shower head. I just received the one I ordered from Bed Bath & Beyond today and am excited to see if it helps!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Randomness

  • Everett had his 2nd birthday party this past Sunday. Here's a sneak peak photo. There will be a full blog post of his birthday to come! I'm working on collecting photos from everyone.


  • Everett had his 2 year check-up this past Monday. Healthy as can be! He is 24 lbs and 35 inches tall. I don't know the validity in those measurements though. Dale went with the assistant to weigh Everett the first time and she came back and said he was 20 lbs. I told her there is no way he's 20 lbs. He was 20.5 lbs at 13 months. So, I went back with her and she got 24. He squirmed and cried the whole time so I'm doubting we got an accurate reading. Same with the height. He was 32.5 inches tall at 19 months and the assistant got 35 inches with him squirming this time around.
Admittedly, up until Monday night, we rocked Everett to sleep for naps and bedtime. Highly suggested by his pediatrician, we stopped cold turkey. We have been so pleasantly surprised at how well he has adjusted. We tried sleep training and tried to quit rocking him to sleep several times in the past and it lead to nights of him screaming/crying for up to 5 hours. We finally accepted the fact that he would eventually wean himself off. Nope. He became very dependent on it. Monday night, he cried for an hour and conked out. Last night and tonight was only 10 minutes. Same with naps- 10 minutes. He's getting more sleep now, as it took us up to 2 hours a night to "rock" him to sleep. I am SO proud of my little guy.

  • I had an emergency visit to the ER Sunday night. I thought I was having a heart attack- chest pains and trouble breathing. My heart rate was nearing 200. Normal rate is 60-100. They did blood tests and an EKG and found nothing.
They gave me an IV of medication to slow my heart rate. Of course the nurse missed my vein and had to try a few times. It reminded me of when I was being prepared for my c-section. It took them 5 pokes to find my vein. I currently do not have insurance and I am currently praying that there will be an affordable way for me to have some further testing done.

  • I've always wanted to try yoga. A friend and I signed up for a 7 week session starting the new year. I'm really looking forward to it.
Just a quick post to recap on some current events.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Facebook Break

I temporarily deactivated my Facebook account. It was a huge time suck for me and it was beginning to be more negative than positive in my life. I also have a lot of things going on (mostly dealing with some unfortunate things that happened all at once in a short period of time) so I'm refocusing and prioritizing my life.

I took a long break from blogging but because it's something I enjoy doing and have failed to do, it's one of those things I'm making more time for now.

I'll probably eventually reactivate my Facebook account but for now, I'm actually enjoying not having it. I only used the mobile version of it so I was on my phone more then I should've been and Everett absolutely hated when I was on my phone. He would start acting out because my attention wasn't directed towards him. He's also hit his Terrible Two's (and can I say that "Terrible" is an understatement!) so he's needing even more of my attention and direction.

Anyway, for those that were wondering (Anika!) about the disappearance of my account, that is why. I apologize for not mentioning it sooner. I've been meaning to. I do look forward to staying in touch with all you mommies through your blogs though!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Oral Hygiene

Everett brushes his teeth everyday. Meaning, he takes his toothbrush and gnaws on it. I have to replace his toothbrush every few weeks because he chews on it so hard the bristles flatten quickly.

I let him choose which color toothbrush he wants and he rinses it off before I put (fluoride free) toothpaste on it. He gnaws for about 5 minutes and that's what we call "brushing" our teeth. Ha.

I recently read in What to Expect The Toddler Years and they mentioned that parents should effectively be brushing their teeth. There is no way Everett will sit still and allow me to hold his mouth open while I brush.

I am a bit concerned that he isn't getting the oral care he needs. I know now is the time to take him in for a dental check up and honestly, I don't even see the point of taking him in since knowing my child, I do not foresee him sitting in the chair and allowing a person he doesn't know to touch his mouth, let alone clean his teeth. There are dentists out there specialized for children but I think even with the kid-friendly environment there, they don't stand a chance of seeing inside his mouth for a check up.

Have you taken your toddler to the dentist yet?

What is your teeth brushing routine that you have with your toddler?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Everett's 2nd Birthday

I have a two year old. I HAVE A TWO YEAR OLD. All I can say is that time flies. I am still trying to swallow the fact that I no longer have a baby but a toddler who is becoming very independent, opinionated, bossy, and energetic. The first time I laid eyes on him two years ago, I didn't know I could love something so much. Here we are two years later and I love him even more.

As a mom, you want everything to be perfect for your child. Unfortunately, I've had the flu and I wasn't able to do everything I wanted for his birthday but thanks to my wonderful family, I know Everett had a memorable birthday. My parents and two of my siblings came over for dinner to celebrate. My brother Garret cooked and made one of Everett's favorite meals, spaghetti!

I knew that Everett knew that it was a special day made just for him. I wish I would've captured the moment when we all began singing happy birthday to him. His face and his eyes lit up brighter than I had ever seen. I watched him as he looked at everyone and I knew he was full of absolute contentment and happiness. That made my day and that's when I knew that even though I wasn't able to create all the birthday ideas I had planned, it was perfect for him.

Opening his birthday gift from Momma and Dada.

Fire Station!

Fire truck!

We realized 5 minutes before dinner that we didn't have a cake. Dada saved the day on that one.



Thanks to my wonderful mom, she brought some fun party hats!

Me and my handsome birthday boy.
Everett's birthday party was scheduled for today but was canceled and rescheduled for next Sunday. I feel like I'm on the mend and look forward to crafting and baking this week for his party!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Birthday Boots

Everett received his first pair of boots from Nana and Papa at his birthday dinner last night. They're a size too big but he wanted to practice walking in them so he'll be ready the next time he goes out to the farm.



{Birthday dinner blog post to come.}