July 31, 2010

The Things We’ve Handed Down

Perfect for a pregnant mommy or a mother of a new baby.
My preggo friend on Facebook posted this tonight and I wish I would have found this while I was still pregnant. I love it.

The Things We’ve Handed Down by Marc Cohn

Don’t know much about you
Don’t know who you are
We’ve been doing fine without you
But, we could only go so far
Don’t know why you chose us
Were you watching from above
Is there someone there that knows us
Said we’d give you all our love

Will you laugh just like your mother
Will you sigh like your old man
Will some things skip a generation
Like I’ve heard they often can
Are you a poet or a dancer
A devil or a clown
Or a strange new combination of
The things we’ve handed down

I wonder who you’ll look like
Will your hair fall down and curl
Will you be a mama’s boy
Or daddy’s little girl
Will you be a sad reminder
Of what’s been lost along the way
Maybe you can help me find her
In the things you do and say

And these things that we have given you
They are not so easily found
But you can thank us later
For the things we’ve handed down

You may not always be so grateful
For the way that you were made
Some feature of your father’s
That you’d gladly sell or trade
And one day you may look at us
And say that you were cursed
But over time that line has been
Extremely well rehearsed
By our fathers, and their fathers
In some old and distant town
From places no one here remembers
Come the things we’ve handed down

July 21, 2010

Making Lotion

There’s not a lot to this post – I should be writing my research paper and folding laundry instead of thinking about making my own lotion and shopping for ingredients online. But if you’re anything like me, you know how well that works.

I’m going to try to attempt making my own lotion soon. I have eczema, so I can’t use a lot of the commercial lotions which is fine since I’m trying clear my household of products with unhealthy chemicals in them (I’m pretty sure my MIL thinks I’m nuts). I used to use Melaleuca’s ReNew lotion, which works great for me…but has some ingredients that I’m trying to steer clear from. Boo.

Anyway, I’ve stumbled upon some rather simple lotion recipes. It sounds like it’s going to take some experimenting, but hopefully I won’t get discouraged before I find a recipe/combination that works for me. I’ve got all my ingredients picked out at Mountain Rose Herbs.
They have some awesome stuff on there, including some cute glass jars – although canning jars would probably be cheaper. Will be checking into that.

I’ll keep you posted on my results.

Have you ever tried making lotion or body cream? How did it turn out? Do you make any other body products?

July 7, 2010

Shampoo Bar

I’ve been trying to slowly eliminate chemicals in my household products for some time now. Slowly being the key word…first it was the dish soap, then the all-purpose cleaner. Now I’m working on my body products (shampoo, toothpaste, lotion, etc) one at a time. I’ve been searching for a good shampoo product for awhile now. The other day I happened across a product review on Woman Uncensored’s blog for Prairieland Herbs shampoo bar.

I was skeptical at first, even though the reviews I’d read were good. I mean, a bar that lathers (without chemicals) enough to wash your hair?? I bought one (Peppermint & Tea Tree Oil) and prepared myself for the worst…even so, I got really excited when it came in the mail. I hopped in the shower to test it out and, lo and behold, it was AWESOME. And I mean, awesome. It lathered better than I ever could have imagined, even better than my normal store-bought, chemical-filled shampoo. And the smell…oh, the smell is wonderful. I can’t speak for the other scents (yet), but the peppermint made me feel so invigorated and refreshed. Yum. Oh, and my husband also likes it. He’s not as enthusiastic about it as I am (nor is he into the all-natural thing like I am either), but he loves that it can be used as a body soap as well (dare I mention that he said, “my genitals feel refreshed” after his shower this morning? That gave me a good chuckle). Also, did I mention that it makes my whole bathroom smell great?

Anyway, I’m SO excited about finding a wonderful shampoo that actually works great and is safe for me to use, I just had to share! I’m very excited about trying some of their other products. I ordered their bug repellent wand also, but haven’t had a chance to use it yet.

Let me know if you have tried, or do try, any of their products and tell me what you think about them! Or if you have tried any other chemical-free products that work well.

June 30, 2010

Being A Mom

I love being a mom. There, I said it. I love it, I really do.

When we got pregnant, it was unexpected. I was pretty freaked out every time I thought about the huge responsibility of being a parent. I cried when I thought about the sacrifices I would have to make. I felt bad for feeling this way because it was selfish and because I did want a baby…SOMEDAY, I just wasn’t sure I was ready NOW. Would I even be a good mom?

Since my baby was born, I haven’t even looked back. All those huge parental responsibilities? I actually find them fun. I don’t even mind changing diapers. My daughter is the best things that has ever happened to me. And I know that sounds cliche, but I’m not just saying that. Even when she wakes me up two hours before I want to roll out of bed, it’s with cooing and giggling and that’s about the most awesome sound in the world.

I’m still me. I’m still a 24 year old hippie/rebel. I’m just learning and growing as I go. If I don’t accomplish anything else in my life besides being a wonderful mom, that’s okay (hell, it’s GREAT) with me. I know mothering isn’t for everyone, but I’ve found my purpose and I plan on being damn good at it.

June 25, 2010

Co-Sleeping: Our Habits

We co-sleep. Since there is lots of confusion about this term and there are several different ways of co-sleeping (including any combination of them), here are 4 ways to co-sleep that I took from Naturemoms.com:

The family bed: Parents and baby sleep together in one bed usually king-sized.
Side-by-side: The child sleeps on a separate mattress or futon on the floor next to the parent’s bed.
Sidecar:  A cradle or crib is nestled adjacent to the parent’s bed, sometimes with one side of the crib removed.
Shared room:  The baby and parents have separate beds in the same room.”

We share a room all the time, and then part of the night Ellers shares our bed with us. She generally starts off in her own bed, but when she wakes up for her nightly boob session, she stays in our bed with me. It just works out that we all get more sleep that way. And since she starts off sleeping in her crib (which is in our room – something I would have never dreamed of doing before I got pregnant), I still get my snuggle time with Daddy. Works out great for us.

We fell into co-sleeping sort of by accident. Before I got pregnant I swore I didn’t want my kids sleeping in my bed with me nor in our room after they were a few months old. I figured the two bedrooms on the other end of the house were the perfect distance away from our bedroom. But after Ellers was born (at home), I couldn’t even leave her in her bassinet on the other side of my bedroom that first night. I couldn’t sleep. I had to get up and check on her every few minutes. And the tearing sensation in my heart at having my newborn baby that far away from me was unbearable. So for those first few nights, she slept solely in my bed with me. I didn’t sleep well because I was very, very conscious of her next to me, but it was better than not sleeping at all.

As time has gone on, we have changed our sleeping arrangements/routine several times and I anticipate that they will change many more times before it’s over with.

After those first couple nights, I started letting her sleep in her bassinet. When she woke up to eat, I would sit up and nurse her, then put her back in the bassinet. This was exhausting and finally. I started letting her sleep with me after she woke up to eat. I got a LOT more rest this way.

Gradually, her night time feedings decreased, until currently, she only wakes up once to eat a night. Another thing I love about having her sleep in our room is that she doesn’t have to wake up at all. Her grunting, “I’m-getting-hungry” noises wake me up before she’s ever even hungry enough to open her eyes. Fabulous. I might or might not be able to hear them on a baby monitor; I don’t know since we have never tried. But that would mean getting up and walking to another room, which I’m pretty sure would wake me up a lot more than walking six feet to her crib. Also, I don’t think I would like not being able to see my baby or hear her breathing at night.

While co-sleeping doesn’t work for everyone, keep in mind that co-sleeping is an umbrella term for many various sleeping arrangements. Do what works for you and your family!

June 25, 2010

First Post – An Introduction


I guess the best first post for a blog is an introduction to the author and her family, right? I’m a mother of one – a baby girl (Ellerbeans) who is currently 5.5 months old and growing waaaay to fast. I’m married to her father (Daddy) and we’re coming up on our second wedding anniversary. Where has the time gone?

Our life sure has changed a lot since the arrival of little Ellerbeans (of course, what baby DOESN’T change lives), and we’re loving every minute of it. I sure turned out to be such a mom.

I’m into cloth diapering, breastfeeding, baby signing, and parenting by my instincts. A lot of my original ideas of mothering/parenting have changed over time and I expect that they will continue to change. Hope you enjoy reading about our lives and my ideas (and watching to see how they grow and develop over time).