Tuesday, November 27, 2012


I've never nursed in public. I think it's perfectly acceptable, I just wasn't brave enough.
I was envious of Beyonce nursing in public, I mean she's Beyonce! She has papparazzi!!
I don't take bottles with me because I wouldn't even know what to do with them. Baby only gets bottles when I'm at work, so I can't say I've ever even prepared a bottle for her. And, what am I supposed to do anyway, walk into Kohl's and be like "excuse me, can I just plug in this bottle warmer you have on display here?"
I digress. Normally I'll stop what I'm doing when baby gets hungry, sit in the backseat of my car, and feed her, or we'll schedule things around her feeding time.
We were out to lunch today, and she started fussing. I tried rocking her and distracting her, to no avail. It was her lunch time, too.
The food was about to be out, and I really didn't want to go out in the cold car just to feed her. Bravely I say to Husband "hand me the apron!" (nursing cover) ...He looks at me like a deer in headlights and says "..here?"
"Yes, here! She's hungry, I have to feed my child" I say proudly, and then whisper to him " omg, I'm nervous, I mean, I've never done this before...."
Pictures start flashing through my head about a disgusted waitress and glaring customers that ended with us getting kicked out of the restaurant.
Baby starts eating and the waitress approaches. I hold my breath. "Would you like more salsa?" she says with a smile.
Slowly I look around the restaurant and find.....

....that no one is paying any attention to me.
I was proud of myself for doing what I find to be completely natural and beautiful, even if it did take me 3 months to build up the courage.
In the end I was upset nobody said anything ..I was so ready to chastise them with my best breastfeeding is natural!!! speech.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

A setback

I was reading an article today about unsafe foods. Microwave popcorn was on the list, just don't tell my best friend, she thinks it's a food group.
I always thought of popcorn as a light, low-cal snack that I indulge in every once in a while. Apparently the stuff from the bag leaches into the popcorn.. and you see where this is going..
Ok, so popcorn may not be the best choice, but tomatoes? Tomatoes are incredible for you and I love them in just about every form. I don't can my own tomatoes (who has time for that?) but I thought I was doing something good for my family by making my own tomato sauce. It's rare, but when I have time I've made it for pasta, sloppy joes, and even my ratatouille.
Well, apparently I've been poisoning us instead. The acidity from the tomatoes makes the stuff from the can soak into them and stays in your body for years affecting your hormones. Wonderful.
I sat here getting angry, thinking, "is nothing safe anymore????" "Why am I even trying?? Does it really matter? But everyone else uses them." etc. etc....
I was ready to give up on it all and go chew on some plastic, but as I went on feeling sorry for myself I realized I will never be perfect, and the point is to make better choices, not live in the woods.
So on a scale of eating ramen noodles to composting in my backyard, I strive to be somewhere in the middle. I want to know what is going into my body and into my home. I know I will never be able to get rid of everything bad and toxic, but I will do the best I can for my family, and most importantly, my daughter.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Small changes

Normally when I delve into something, I go at it full force. I've had to step back a bit with wanting to change our lifestyle because, well, it can't be done overnight. It is a commitment and an ongoing learning experience and I feel like if I change everything all at once, it'll be too much and I'll give up. But this is important to me to make a better life for my daughter and for husband and I's quality of life as well. I want it to be second nature for her to pick veggies over french fries when we go to a restaurant.

It's about the small changes; first off, I want to try to eliminate as much plastic as I can from our home. When I saw my measuring cup start to crack from overuse, I could just picture all the toxic chemicals leaching out of it.
I bought a glass one and if one can be in love with a measuring cup, I am.
Also, I was keeping frozen breastmilk in the freezer inside a tupperware container. It was way too small, and I kept having to use multiples. In search for a bigger container, I also bought glass.
I know that as small as it is, it is making a difference and before I know it, it will become second nature to me as well.

As far as healthy eating goes, to me healthy eating is not about fat-free foods and shredding calories. It is about eating clean food, knowing where it comes from, and minimizing/eliminating boxed foods that have ingredients no one can pronounce.

If you're wondering what happened to the avocado from last week, it never did ripen: It eventually grew some things, and walked itself to the trash can.
Since it's college football day at our house, I was determined to give it another go. I found ripe avocado at the store today (though I'm willing to bet it was the same avocado that was sitting there last week) and made yummy guacamole. My husband doesn't like guacamole, so I made buffalo chicken dip for us as well.
To my surprise, I preferred the guacamole over the dip and devoured the whole thing.
Husband tried it and said "it's not horrible." I assure you that's a small victory.

Knowing my kitchen history, I'm sure you're dying for a recipe from me, but I didn't actually have to cook anything so it doesn't count. ;)
I didn't measure anything, but for one serving I used:
1 avocado
Juice from one lime
a pinch of salt and pepper
about 1/3 cup of chopped sweet onion
One small tomato, chopped
a pinch of cumin and chili powder (this was a new addition for me, and is a combination of two different recipes I found for guac, I think it made a huge difference in taste from my previous guac)
Mash the avocado, mix all ingredients together, enjoy!


Friday, November 16, 2012


You're hoping that I'm talking about the movie... no such luck. I know I know, by now you'd think I'd have learned my lesson and just stay out of the kitchen already.
I won't give up in my quest for healthy eating and as I was telling my husband last night, we're going to be in for a rude awakening once baby starts on solids here in a few months. Let's just say there aren't going to be any pureed french fries and chicken nuggets... my little nugget is only going to get the good stuff!
Anyway, the ratatouille wasn't that bad. It was a learning experience, and I know what to do differently next time. I did throw it in the oven (like in the movie, though not as pretty) rather than doing it on the stove top and using a bunch of oil to cook the veggies. 
The recipe called for a seasoning called herbes de provence.. I had never heard of it, but happened to have it in my spice carousel we received for our wedding. So I generously dumped sprinkled it onto the veggies.
I proudly made the tomato sauce myself, and it tasted delicious... it was the only thing that was delicious.
The veggies came out of the oven and the colors were beautiful and vibrant. As I poured it onto our plates for dinner I could tell the texture was perfect. And then we bit into the yummy goodness...
...and almost spit it riiiight back out. Husband and I looked at each other and he said "this has a really weird taste." Yup.
It was the seasoning...I used quite a bit and it made the dish taste very bitter.
Next time I'll stick with basil.

Thursday, November 8, 2012


I was nursing baby and she was just about to fall asleep when BEEP! ...what in the world is that?! It sounded like it came from the kitchen. Another minute later, BEEP. Ugh, this is going to have to be investigated. Baby is still nursing and if I put her down, she will scream like she hasn't eaten in 4 days. So I get up, baby to boob and walk around the house.. shockingly none of this phased her. BEEP. I text husband to call me, and he doesn't right away.
Doesn't he know this is an emergency? So I call his work.
Husband: what's up.
Me: The house is..BEEP.. beeping, hear that? Is it the smoke detector?
Husband: Probably low on battery. Change it.
Me: ehm...how?

This requires climbing on a chair so I put baby down since she is half-way asleep at this point. BEEP.  As husband is walking me through what to do WAAAH! hold on I say, let me get the pacifier. BEEP. Uh..... oh, geez!

Eventually I took the dang thing down and switched out the battery and as it's sitting in my hands BEEP.

The previous homeowner was a fireman so there is a fire alarm about every 7 inches throughout the house.
Shoot, I got the wrong one.
Husband says there's one in the office, one in the nursery, and one in our bedroom as well.
I go in the office and BEEP. AH-HA! Gotcha, sucker. Took it down, took out the battery, BEEP!
You've gotta be kidding me. Third time is the charm I guess.
I go to put the other two back, and can't figure out how to screw them back into the wall. Husband, this is now your project. I hope the house doesn't burn down while we're napping.

Here is the incriminating evidence.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The disaster that's my kitchen

I was going to post a yummy guacamole recipe today, since our normal go-to snack on football sundays is queso from a jar. Queso from a jar has 26 ingredients, half of which I can't pronounce.
I knew when I bought the avocado yesterday that it wasn't quite ripe.. none of them were.. no big deal. I thought they'd ripen some in a day... so I go to cut into it and cut all the way through...and  cut through the pit ..eeeh.. that's never happened before. I poke the avocado - rock.hard. crap! So I google how to ripen avocados quickly.. someone said nuke em in the microwave for 1 minute...ooooook.. (didn't work). Someone else said put lemon juice on em and stick em in the fridge wrapped in plastic wrap... currently waiting to see what will sprout out of my surely not going to get ripe avocados. sigh....

Fast forward to this evening.
Me to husband: We've got those two bananas that are getting pretty brown. Maybe I should make banana bread?
Husband: I don't think you should do anything pertaining to cooking.
(is it that bad?)
Husband: I'd rather eat brown bananas, I don't want you to ruin them. But at least set the timer this time.
(it is that bad, apparently).

SO, I'm determined to make a healthy version of banana bread and lo and behold I found this recipe.
I didn't have whole wheat flour but didn't think it was a big deal, I'll just sub all-purpose. Also, I don't have those cute bundt pans, so I halved the recipe and stuck it in a loaf pan. I go to get the greek yogurt and don't have an original one... only strawberry and blueberry... umm, I guess it's going to be blueberry-banana bread.
In goes the blueberry yogurt. On another note, I guess I could have just scraped off the top since the blueberries are on the bottom...hindsight.
Baby was screaming and didn't want anything to do with dad, so I mixed ingredients while holding her...and since I only had one hand, the measurements probably weren't as precise. But at least she was happy for the time being, and enthralled with what I was doing. (see where this is going?)

Baby went in the bath, and we smell something burning. ...not again...
After the bread cooled off husband was the first to try it.
Me (anxiously awaiting): aaaanddd?!?!!?!?
Husband: you try it....

Whatever. It was edible... though a little chewy.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Just a dab of formaldehyde

Way before I was pregnant, I dreamed of all things mama. I perused the aisles of the baby section imagining all the things I would get my little one. For some reason, the one thing  I couldn't wait to use was all the divine smelling baby shampoo that was sure to make my little one smell heavenly. Oh, Johnson and Johnson, you tease! I got about 6 or so bottles of J&J shampoo, lotion, and body wash. When I delivered baby, her first bath in the hospital was given by the nurse who used Johnson and Johnson products on my little one. Mmmm, I could eat her right up.
A few weeks later I was perusing the internet and noticed an article saying that J&J baby products contained carcinogens. Surely, not! They are  reputable, well-known, and most popular among baby products. And, what doesn't have carcinogens in it these days? Even the air we breathe does. I didn't think much more about it until I came across another article a few days later from Johnson and Johnson addressing the issue...stating they will slowly phase carcinogens out of baby products...by 2015. Whaaat? One of the carcinogens in question? Formaldehyde!!! You know, the stuff that preserves that precious frog you're cutting up in science class! The stuff that has a BIOHAZARD sticker on it, saying "do not get on skin." 
ohhh, is that why baby skin is wrinkle free?
There are other questionable, carcinogenic ingredients as well.
You see, maybe it used to be "johnson and johnson - a family company" but is now  a multi-million dollar fortune 500 corporate giant that continues to expand globally and produces "pharmaceutical, diagnostic, surgical, biotechnology, and personal care products." To me this would signify a loss of quality control. ( This is my personal opinion. Don't send me any angry e-mails.)

Anywhooooo, my point is this: What am I putting on my child's skin?
I started using California Baby (organic), and so far have been happy. Baby's skin is happy, and although it doesn't smell like J&J baby shampoo, it still makes my baby smell good, and it's good for her!
Recently they have re-formulated some of their products ( I had already bought mine before I found this out) which caused some ruckus in the mom community.

One of the culprits is sodium benzoane. California Baby claims that it is certified for use in organic products, and I say, I will pick my battles. Formaldehyde, anyone?
That being said, there has been some more controversy regarding the new ingredients which I won't get into here, and I will probably make a switch to something else once I run out/

Resources:  ewg.org/skindeep I use their ratings (with a grain of salt) when purchasing products, as well as safemama.com. She is amazing, and my go to for better alternatives. Check out her Cheat Sheets.