Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Cloth Diapers and Baby Wearing

Evelyn switched to cloth diapers during the day yesterday. She wears disposables at night because cloth will make them feel when they are wet and wake them up. When she gets to the point of sleeping through the night we will consider converting to all day cloth diapering and only use disposables for trips. I actually think she likes them better. She wouldn't ever let us know she was wet with disposables because they are almost too absorbent. Now, she knows as soon as she needs to be changed. So far, the "hastle" isn't bad at all. I'm washing my first load of cloth diapers today though, so I'll let you know how that goes.

Also, BABYWEARING IS AWESOME! I made a ring sling (google if this confuses you) a while back and we couldn't figure out how to put Evelyn in it because she is so tiny and the sling swallowed her! Thanks to some help from the Green Parenting Board on What To Expect's website, I got some helpful advice from other hippie mommas. Apparently newborns go in backwards from the way pictures show them. Now, she's happily bouncing around the house with me and I'm actually getting stuff done.

Also, started nursing again. I try to nurse for two feedings and bottle fed one to get my body used to nursing again. So far, success! She is still latching (even if it takes some work) and I think we'll get the hang of this!

Next time: My review of "Yoga for Baby", a momma and baby yoga video Parents Magazine makes that Bethany got me and Evelyn and I'm super excited about! Apparently some of the poses help babies with digestion, and I'm rapidly learning how helpful that could be!

Monday, December 28, 2009


Okay, so Evelyn is officially here, and I think that means it's time to go over my goal list and see how we stand! Success will be counted on a scale of 1-5, 1 being FAIL, 2 being BARELY ANY IMPROVEMENT, 3 will be AVERAGE IMPROVEMENT, 4 will be EXCELLENT, and 5 will be SUPER HIPPIE!

Goal #1: Eat Organic, Local grown foods
Score: 4
We definitely buy organic produce, hormone free milk, made in Oklahoma products, and are doing great there. However, I haven't been going to the meat market for organic, hormone free meats as often as I would like, and I may have cooked a few freezer meals right after baby got here thanks to my lack of preparation with regards to cook and freeze before she got here.

Goal #2: No things for baby made by babies
Score: 3
I knew this one was going to be hard, but thanks to www.ecobabyandkids.com and the EcoBaby store on Brookside, I am happy to say that we have a local place to purchase toys, clothes, hygiene products, cloth diapering essentials, etc. that are all made out of organic materials and NOT made in sweat shops! We did pick up a lot of items from Babys R Us and Walmart, but we're hoping that we can finish out infant/toddler time without revisiting those places very often.

Goal #3: Spend more time outdoors
Score: 5
I walked at least a mile everyday until I gave birth and Doc and I have been enjoying more time outside together. Once it warms up enough for Evelyn to go out with us, we will try to do a daily family walk but I have complete faith that my goal of turning outside time into a habit has been achieved!

Now, time to reevaluate and set new goals for our family.

New Goal #1: Compete in a triatholon this spring.
New Goal #2: Race in the hotter n' hell 100 mile bike race in August
New Goal #3: Have family workout time at least 3 days a week once I am declared "recovered"

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Ugh, Breastfeeding

Well, I have met my challenge as a hippie in breastfeeding. My daughter is a "frantic nurser" for about the first 3 minutes, refusing to latch correctly and when she incorrectly latches she sucks like crazy. After 3 minutes or so, she will relax enough to let me get her latched correctly and nurse. After 9 days we've gotten to the point that I am torn up enough that breast feeding is too dang painful, so...

New Plan:

1. Pump and bottle feed with slow release nipples on the bottles for a few days until my own body heals.
2. Once healed, wake baby up/start nursing before she gets very hungry so she doesn't freak out when it's time to eat.
3. Once we are back to breastfeeding from the breast, I'm going to try pumping for a minute or two before I try to latch her so that the "let down" reflex (when milk starts really flowing) kicks in before she starts nursing to limit her frantic behavior with nursing.

I'm hoping that she will go back to the breast once I'm healed and we can fix it and successfully nurse. I'm pretty upset about how hard this has been. We've been struggling every 2 hours for 9 days to get her to nurse well. The only time I remember her letting me latch her right at the beginning of nursing was right after she was born, and it was a wonderful moment for us. I know that in just over two weeks I have to go back to school and she will be bottle-fed breastmilk most of the time, but I'd love to still be able to nurse her every now and then.

P.S. All those "I can't wait to not be pregnant because I can eat X again" thoughts went out the window. I have no interest in eating most of them now.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Homebirth Story

For those interested :) Evelyn Cadie Fowler is here! Here is the story of our home birth. I want to throw in that Doc was amazing! Never once did he lose faith or confidence in me and he showed me nothing but love. Without my amazing spouse I don't think I could have done this.

I woke up at 2:30 AM the morning of December 15th feeling what seemed like heavy menstrual cramps, but they started in my back and slowly moved around. They were coming every 7 minutes or so and were just barely too uncomfortable to sleep through. Doc was sleeping still and I didn't want to wake him up if it was more prelabor or false labor, so I waited an hour to make sure that they were still coming regularly and that they were becoming increasingly intense. At 3:30 I woke him up and he laid with me, beginning to time contractions. They were becoming bad enough that I wasn't a huge fan of talking during them, but between contractions we would joke with each other and share kisses, smiling and anticipating the within-the-day arrival of our baby. Soon I got the hang of managing through contractions pretty well, and Doc went into FULL FLEDGED SUPERDAD NESTING MODE! I have never seen my house so spotless! He did laundry, dishes, cleaned, vaccuumed, all while I rested between contractions and he would come when one started to rub my lower back and help me through them as they grew stronger.

I called my family at 6:30 to let them know that the baby would be arriving today and I was in labor for real now. Doc checked my dialation and I had gone to 2 cm.

Progression + contractions = baby coming :)

We called the midwife just to let her know that I was in labor. She asked for continued updates as things progressed, but it was still going to be a while, so no worries yet.

We called our dogsitter and shipped A.C.E. our dog off to play with his friends around 8 and my contractions had progressed to being only 4 minutes apart. I moved a ton during labor, walking in the hall, leaning over things, using a birth ball, sitting, laying on my side, etc. I ate and drank a little, but found my appetite to increasingly disappear.

By 11:30 they were 2 minutes apart and extremely intense, but I had only dialated to a 4. We called the midwife again and she sent her apprentice out to see us at 2:00pm. The apprentice checked me, watched me for a while and commented "well, you're in real labor. It's odd that a first time mom calls us to say she's in labor and actually is the first time we come out." I went from a 4 to a 6 in 1 hour after that. The contractions were severe enough at this point that I couldn't keep my breathing regular through the entire thing. Soon I started feeling an urge to push. My bag of waters was pushing down hard, giving me an urge to push even though it wasn't time yet and making the contractions more severe.

My midwife arrived and began to set up for the birth. I slowly dialated from a 6 to an 8 and then finally a 10 by 6:00 pm. I had to push to get the rest of my cervix to open up, but cleared my cervix and was ready to push. My water broke with the first pushing contraction.

Pushing was way harder than I anticipated. There was a wall of pain that you had to push through to actually push well enough to cause progress. It was really hard to push when you knew it was going to cause more and more pain until you got to the point that you were pushing correctly. I also was really upset that I didn't get a pain break because between contractions, my midwife would stretch me and that hurt as bad as the contractions did.

2 and a half hours later, Evelyn was trying to crown by my perineum was not going to stretch and budge. She offered to cut an episiotomy and I told her yes before she even finished the sentence. With the next contraction she cut as I pushed. I could feel her cut, but it didn't hurt much compared to everything else I was going through. With the next contraction, I pushed Evelyn through crowning, then through shoulders, and then the rest of her beautiful body slid out. She was placed on my abdomen and immediately looked at me with these beautiful gray eyes. I couldn't believe I got through it. After 18 hours of labor and delivery, I gave birth to my daughter at home in my bed in the loving arms of my husband. She weighted 9 lbs which is why it took me so long pushing, why her head wasn't fitting without help, and why my labor took so long to progress. She is 21 inches long, latches like a pro, and is one healthy little girl according to the pediatrician she saw today.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Just an Update

Well, I'm still trucking along! 3 days until my expected due date and I'm still doing my 1-2 mile walk everyday, exercising regularly, drinking plenty of water, and trying really hard to eat well. Winter just leads to eating lots of heavier foods that aren't necessarily bad for you, but don't help when you are carrying an additional 25 lbs around.

We're hoping to film Evelyn's birth (no crowning shots or anything) to show what homebirth looks like and to have plenty of pictures through out the labor and delivery as well as our first few moments together, so I'll post a few of them on here after Evelyn arrives.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Green For Christmas

Ok, so wrapping paper is beautiful. It's my favorite actually. I love wrapping presents, but every year we throw away TONS of trashbags of wrapping paper. I have decided on an alternative. I'm thinking of a few different options.

#1: Paper sacks: These are recyclable, and if you use pretty ribbon with them, aren't that horrible to look at.

#2: Cloth sacks: Using Christmas fabrics, I can make little festive bags that are different sizes are reusable every year. This would be nice because they are reusable, but I don't want to give gifts to people and ask for the bag back.

#3: Gift bags: I know a lot of people already use these, but I've always been sort of opposed because you still have to use tissue paper. Maybe you could use newspaper instead and recycle it?

Friday, December 4, 2009

Ecobaby is my new heaven :)

Brookside Tulsa. Home to several elitist clothing shops, an expensive grocery, a Starbucks, a Pei Wei, another coffee house, and MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE NEW STORE EVER!

Check it out at ecobabyandkids.com

The store is called Ecobaby and they carry organicly and American/non-sweat shop produced goods. The clothing is adorable and they have the coolest toys! They have wooden blocks and trains you pull with strings! Also, everything you need for several different cloth diapering systems and several organic and natural products for mom and baby! It's pretty much a big fuzz of hippie heaven.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Amazing Gifts from Friends!

Check out http://www.etsy.com/shop/kendrahouser! She made me some absolutely amazing baby hats and because she knows me so well, was sweet enough to make most of them out of yarn made from recycled plastic bottles! Plus, they are adorable!

Also, I saw her son in one of the rompers and they are pretty much the cuttest thing ever. Doc even commented on how awesome his outfit was and if/when we have a son we're getting some :)

Thanks Kendra!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Proof that diet and exercise pay off. Eating healthy and staying active through out this pregnancy has paid off. My daughter is measuring at 6 pounds 10 ounces right now, which is basically ideal weight and all her other measurements are right on. I've had perfect numbers as far as blood pressure, blood levels, weight gain, etc. go. I feel like staying active and healthy has definitely attributed to that. I'm full term now, so baby any day between now and a month from now (a due month is way more accurate than a due date). I might be a little uncomfortable at night and take longer to do things, but I am in pretty good shape.

I caught my reflection in a store window today and thought "it is INCREDIBLE that my body can do this!"

P.S. Saw Evelyn's face today when Doc did an ultrasound (I was the practice dummy for him to learn a machine). It was all smashed up like when you smash your face against a piece of glass...but still adorable.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Staying Healthy - Getting Harder

Motivating myself to go on walks every single day is really difficult. My daughter has settled down low into my pelvis making walking progressively uncomfortable and difficult. Who would have thought walking around the block would challenge my endurance like this? I'm finding quickly that laziness is a slippery slope. I keep telling myself all the excuses to justify not working out, not eating well, not drinking enough water. The truth is, I'm in the home stretch and just need to suck it up! The best trick I have for keeping on task with food is to ask myself "would I feed this to my baby?" Would I give my daughter a king sized reeses? Probably not. So I don't need to eat it right now. Especially without getting all the good foods too. So today I am eating healthy and taking the dog on a walk. Tomorrow will be another fight to convince myself to stay on target.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Homebirth Information - not for the faint

Ok, so as many of you know, Doc and I decided to plan a homebirth for our daughter. This means that I will labor at our home and deliver baby Evelyn here with a CNM (certified nurse midwife) in attendance to make sure that both myself and the baby are safe during the process. I've been asked a lot of questions about this decision, so I thought I'd post and answer a few.

Is that safe?: It can be. Midwifes are normally very selective (ours sure is) in who they will allow to plan for a homebirth. I am in excellent health, with great blood test numbers, appropriate weight gain, and a healthy baby. I'm a good candidate. Homebirth has a more narrow window for when you can deliver at home too. We will be going to a hospital if I go into labor before Thanksgiving OR if Evelyn refuses to come out on time and I need to be induced at a hospital.

What are you doing for pain medication?: I'm going without pain medication. We've taken classes to prepare and my husband is highly supportive of my decision to avoid medications if at all possible. I have been told I'm crazy many times for choosing this path, but I believe it's what is right for my family. It's certainly not right for everyone's.

What if something goes wrong?: We have a backup OBGYN just in case anything goes wrong. The midwife will call the OB and the hospital (less than 1/2 mile away) in the event we need to transfer to a hospital at any point in time. Her transfer rate is under 6% and the majority of those are mothers who decided they were too tired to continue at home or changed their mind about not having pain medication.

What is a CNM?: A certified nurse midwife is an RN with additional education and training in the field of women's health. My midwife can prescribe certain medications and my insurance covers her as my primary care during pregnancy. She IS NOT some old witchdoctor lady who brings a stick for me to bite on and chants alot during labor.

What about the mess?: It's not so old school now that you have a few warm towels and some boiled water and hope for the best. We ordered a birth supplies kit from "In His Hands" online. It includes medical devices (gloves, clamps, etc.) as well as absorbancy pads to control the mess from birth. One of the requirements for homebirth is that we clean our house thoroughly, especially the room we intend to deliver in.

What does your husband think about all this?: This question makes me laugh. Anyone who really knows Doc and I knows that we don't make decisions like this without being completely on the same team. Doc believes in my ability to birth as do I. He knows the risks involved with labor and has seen how well I have taken care of myself so far through-out pregnancy. He's on board. I do not think I could have the strength to do an unmedicated birth at home without his complete support.

Any more questions? Let me know!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Humane Pest Control Worked Better Anyway!

We made the switch to live traps and let me tell you, WAY MORE AFFECTIVE! Not only could we catch 4 mice in each trap, but in about three days, we'd caught all the mice. No signs of them for the last 4 days now. We had kill traps set up still, but the mice didn't go near them. Hurray for not killing the mice AND having it be the most successful form of pest removal!

P.S. Released the mice out of the live trap at a park a small distance from the house. Backyard release = mouse back in house.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I Can't Think of Anything Greener...

Than a Naked Baby!
Just thought I'd post this picture of a cake from one of my showers. The hostess told me that she was talking with the cake lady and said that the parents were very into being green and her response became the title of this entry. So when you think green, think naked baby.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Solution to Sweat Shop Dilema!

Success! At least in one area! I don't want Evelyn using a ton of things that have been made by babies in other countries. I would love to have American made products for her to use. Goodness knows our economy can use the support! Well, it's slightly difficult to find a whole lot of clothing options that are Made in the U.S.A. but super easy to MAKE baby dresses! Here is one image of the success I have had so far in making Evelyn's clothes!
This one is made out of flannel. The material is most likely not U.S.A. made, BUT I can probably find fabrics made in the U.S. and order them to make clothes out of for a bit cheaper than buying them already made.
This dress took about two hours to make start to finish. The materials cost about $10 total.

Friday, October 23, 2009

I think I'm hopeless.

My house has mice in it. I don't hate mice. I used to own them as pets. But they do carry disease and poop on everything, so I went to the store to look at mousetrap options.

We tried the basic mouse trap. Little snap traps. We put peanut butter on them, set them, went to bed, and found them unsnapped and sans peanut butter. So I went back to the store.

All of my other choices at Wal-mart were sticky traps with poison in them, or poison blocks you put in wall cracks so the mice eat them and then run off and die in the wall and smell up your house like dead vermin. So I got the sticky poison traps and figure that the mice would eat the poison and be stuck there until they died.

Yesterday, I came home around 7:00 and noticed on of the sticky traps had moved under the washer a little bit. I picked it up, and there was an adorable little mouse, his eyes still staring at me, in that white boxy trap. I started sobbing. What was I thinking? How could I get something that would cause a mouse to suffer? He must have been terrified when he got stuck!

So Doc comes home and I'm heaving from sobbing so hard. He freaks out thinking I went into labor or there is something wrong with the our baby and when I finally choke out "I..ki-killed a mouse!" He starts trying really hard not to laugh, looks at the mouse in the trap, and then ushers me out of the house to go to dinner.

I finally calm down. Enjoy dinner, and on the drive home started remembering the poor dead mouse. "He didn't even look dead." I commented.

"He wasn't dead." I stared at Doc. "I thought you knew that."

I started losing it again. Turns out I happened to have bought a few traps that were not poisoned sticky traps. Just sticky traps. They catch the mice in them, and they starve to death there or have heart attacks from stress and fear. So we got home, I put on rubber gloves and with tears streaming down my face pulled the trap apart and carefully pried up the little mouse slowly. He lost a lot of fur and squeeked pitifully a few times, but I freed him and set him on the porch outside. He hobbled away, his little feet still kind of sticky.

The moral of the story. We are using catch and release traps only from now on...and I may have put some cheese on the porch after Doc went to bed.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Whenever a new family forms, they bring old traditions from their old families, and they create new ones for the new clan they began. Us Fowlingtons have been blazing our own trail for two years as of today. I thought in honor of Doc and I's 2 year anniversary, I would share one of my favorite traditions we started.

Candles are used as symbols in most religions. In our little clan, we burn them in honor of something. For example, on Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day (Oct. 15th) we burned a candle we have for Adelaide, the daughter we lost last January. She has a deep red marble candle that smells like cinnamon and is perched atop our mantle. It rests next to her sister, the soon-to-be-arriving Evelyn's, whose is pale blue and smells like water lilies. On the other side is Doc's, an orange marble apricot scented candle, and then mine, a pale green tea scented candle. In the middle, sits our prize candle: the Unity Candle from our wedding day. The tall candle sits on it's silver stand with the brown and red ribbons from our wedding colors still wrapped around it's base. Every October 20th, this candle burns all day to honor the beginning of our clan.

As for the rest of the candles, each person's candle is burnt on their birthday and on significant days for that person. On the day Evelyn is born, every candle will be lit to celebrate and honor our growing clan. On the day I graduate, you can rest assured that my candle will burn brightly.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Reached My Threshold

Shopping for organic foods, cooking, cleaning up after cooking....all things I had plenty of time for in the summer. Now that I'm 31 weeks pregnant, having a lot of trouble moving thanks to pulled muscles from cramping in my legs, and bombarded with school work...not so easy.

I haven't been able to go grocery shopping in over two weeks. I'm pretty sure I have a pot that has been soaking for a few weeks but I can't bend over the sink long enough to clean it (thanks gigantic belly!). So I guess for now I am going to have to resign that I am going to have to eat some processed things for a bit. I wish I had time to eat better, but with Doc not able to help out at all, and my current courseload, and Evelyn...no hope.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A Few Thoughts on "Away We Go"

Away We Go is a fun little movie about a couple who is expecting their first baby and travels around the U.S. and Canada visiting family and friends to try to figure out where to move so they will be close to someone. On this little journey, they run across a character played by Maggie Gyllenhaal who lives in a "continuum" family house and is the biggest hippie I've ever seen on screen. So here are a few of my comments to her lifestyle:

1.) Really funny exaggeration of what being a "Crunchy Momma"* can mean.
Crunchy Momma: Mother who supports homebirth, breastfeeding, baby wearing, cloth diapering, co-sleeping, gentle discipline, etc. One who questions the established medical authority, tends to be a vegetarian and/or prepare all organic foods.

2.) Doulas and midwifes are wonderful if you research them and it's the right choice for your family. Hospital births are not the devil and are sometimes necessary even for those who don't want to go that route. It doesn't mean that children born in hospitals are screwy.

3.) Who the hell breastfeeds someone else's kid without permission? LoL.

4.) Co sleeping (allowing your children to sleep in bed with you, normally for the first year, but occasionally for a while after that) has some good research behind it if it's done well. A lot of countries do it. Having sex in front of your children is just too much for me. That being said, Doc and I do not plan on hiding our nakedness from our children. I think up to a certain age, it's okay. I still plan on kissing my husband and cuddling with him around them. But there will be no sex in front of children.
Basically this character is a great example of what is wrong with some of the green movement. First of all, there are always extremist crazies. However, I don't think the point is to be "holier than thou" because you recycle more or do something else that is more eco-friendly. It's like Christians who think because they go to church 8 times a week they have a front row seat in heaven. Being completely "green" or "holistic" is not really affordable for most of us. I think the best we can do is decide what we feel comfortable doing, make an effort at least every now and then, and share great ideas when we have them or stumble across them.
Anyway, it was a good movie. It's an odd type of humor but if you get a chance to watch it, you should :)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Local Stew

In celebration of Harvest time and the last Cherry Street Farmer's market of the season, I decided to make an all local, all organic stew! So here's how it went!

I bought some stew meat (beef) from the local/organic butcher. Browned it and threw it in the crock pot along with green beans, corn, potatoes, and tomatoes from the farmers market. I skinned the tomatoes (before my mother explained blanching to me) and diced them. Then added the other cut up veggies and a little salt, pepper, and garlic. Voila! The veggies crocked for about 7 hours on low and tasted unbelievable. The green beans still had a slight crunch (nothing soggy like you get from canned green beans) and the potatoes where soft and yum. Delicious! Completely healthy and completely local/organic!

Happy Harvest!
NOTE: The Cherry Street Market has ended, but Boston Avenue is starting their market next week! A new market! Exciting!

Friday, October 2, 2009

I think I am doing something wrong....

So, vinegar is a wonderful substitute for household cleaners. Particularly if you have a dog like mine that follows you everywhere and wants to stick their nose in every substance you put on every surface. I've found that it works really well too. The smell is not my favorite, but it goes away once it dries completely (it makes my wood look pretty too).

So I came across another handy use for vinegar. White vinegar makes a wonderful fabric softener! Absolutely true! I pour a little in with my washer and my clothes feel great! The smell goes away a lot during the rinse cycle and the rest goes away while they dry.

And now...where I think I am screwing up. Recently, I decided to try a few of the "shampoo free" alternatives. I have heard so many raves about no longer using shampoo and switching to "washing" your hair with a baking soda and water mixture every few days and using a Apple Cider Vinegar rinse. I ran out of conditioner, and thought "okay vinegar! You have never led me astray! Let's do this!"...the smell does not rinse out or go away completely when you dry your hair. I'm so confused. It's never done this to me before! Time to find some answers.....

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Inquiry Project Strikes Close to Home

So as part of my teacher training, I have to write a children's nonfiction book. Considering I already have tons of ideas brewing through this blog, I've decided that I am going to write about buying local meats and produce. I can take pictures nearby to use in it and interview farmers/butchers. Should be fun! Look forward to transcriptions of interviews and pictures posted here in the near future!

The Meat Market

Doc and I missed the farmer's market this weekend. He'd been working night shifts and I had a cold, so we ended up going to a local meat market (literally two blocks from us) that afternoon instead.

Harvard Meats is an all natural all organic meat market. They sell kosher meats as well. We ended up buying 2 steaks, a 2 lb roast, and a rack of pork ribs for about $30.00. Not bad, considering that meat is 10 meals for Doc and I. So far, we've just eaten the ribs and they were incredible. Their lean ground beef sells for around $4.50 a pound, but it looks/smells incredible compared to the cheaper ground beef at Walmart.

This store also sells local eggs, cheese, sausage, barbeque sauces and salsas, all organic and natural.

So, pros and cons of the meat market option compared to Wal-mart.


Organic and natural products
Supports my local economy
Most products have never been frozen (better taste)
Better quality meats
Within walking distance


Not open 24/7
More expensive than Wal-mart

So, to my surprise...buying local and organic meats is actually easier than produce. This place is open Monday-Saturday and relatively long hours while the farmer's market it twice a week and only early in the mornings...as well as seasonal. I'm not sure just yet what I will do for produce when it hits November and you can't shop at the farmer's market anymore.....

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Attack of the Fleas

Ok environmentally savvy tree lovers. Here it is. The big leagues. How do you cure a flea infestation without killing all the good bugs in your yard? Better yet, how do you get them out of your house and off your dog when you are pregnant and can't touch flea shampoo? Here are a few of the "green" ways to keep your pet and house flea free!

Borax your carpet: Borax can be found in most laundry aisles at the store. You sprinkle the powder on all your carpetted surfaces and leave it there for 24-48 hours. Use a broom to brush it into the carpet for best results. Then, vaccuum it up! Fleas apparently like the taste of Borax, but it's poisonous to them. (NOTE: it is also poisonous to pets, so please make sure you keep your dog/cat/baby out of the room while it is being Boraxed). After vaccuuming, throw the bag out (like outside) to keep eggs from hatching in the bag and babies from reinfesting your home. Vaccuuming everyday is a big part of keeping the flea population from springing up. You can repeat the borax treatment a week later too. (NOTE: Borax also seems to make my carpet smell fresh and look cleaner too).

Apple Cider Vinegar: One teaspoon in your pet's water dish. Apparently this will make your pet taste/smell bad to fleas and keep them from bringing them in as much or being bitten. Completely safe product.

Tea Tree Oil: This is the money maker right here. We have a tea tree oil soap that we use on our dog. It soothes existing bites and works as a natural flea repellent (repels lice as well, FYI). We wash our dog with it daily right now (we will cut back when there are no more fleas). It's also something you can bathe in at night if, like me, you are worried that you could potentially get bit by the stupid things at night.

Launder EVERYTHING: All fabrics that you can...drown those fleas and their larva and eggs. Make sure to wash pet bed fabrics daily.

Vaccuum daily: This keeps those eggs, larva, and cacoonish thingies from staying in your carpet and settling in.

We did have our house sprayed a few weeks ago. I'm a bit OCD about bugs. However, since then, we've been trying to be as green about this as possible, without letting our house get infested or our dog eaten completely.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Thank goodness for Pillsbury!

That's right! I can eat my non-processed foods and STILL have some chocolate chip cookies baked from a package when I get the craving. This is a new product from Pillsbury (relatively new) that you can find with all of their other cookie doughs. I baked a batch a few days ago and they were amazing. There is a coupon for a dollar off on the Pillsbury website as well, so eat your heart out non-preservative lovers! Quick cookies are still in the card for us.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

30 minutes of yoga a day....

Today is day 3 of my everyday yoga adventure. I can only do a limited amount of poses right now, so about 30 minutes is pretty reasonable.

Suggestions for relaxing and getting into the "yoga mood" for busy people:

1. Turn the lights down, have only natural lighting coming into your room and maybe the light of a few candles. It helps lessen distractions.

2. Try streaming Pandora. They have a pre-made "Spa" channel that is perfect for relaxation and focus.

3. Aromatherapy can do amazing things! Try using a scent that is calming (I like lavender) and have it around everytime you are trying to relax. The smell will eventually help your body get into a heightened state of relaxation faster because your body will associate calm with that scent.

4. Try going on a walk afterward. Meditation can highten your awareness of sounds and smells and make your morning walk a bit more interesting.

Yoga Noob? Try GIAM videos. I like these because they have modifications in the videos for beginners and vary the level of difficulty.

If you are in Tulsa, drop by the Yoga Room on Brookside or another walk-in yoga class and try it out. Most drop in classes cost around $15, but if you like it you can buy packages where the classes end up being about $10 a piece (not bad for all the health benefits and stress relief it can provide!)

Monday, August 31, 2009

Pure Birth Graduates!

Last night was Doc and I's last Pure Birth Class. We successfully completed all 8 classes together to help us prepare for the birth experience we want for ourselves and Evelyn. After reading research and discussing what our desires where we decided that a homebirth with a midwife was the best option for our family. Natural birth and homebirth are not something everyone chooses for themselves, and I have no issue with anyone who decides to take a different path than Doc and I have. Some people think I'm crazy for wanting to do this. I think the medical world is crazy for doing many of the things they still do in labor/delivery even when the science behind them proves they don't help and might even hurt the process. But hospitals are businesses...

I am considering having the birth filmed. I don't a video of Evelyn crowning, but I'd like it to be more educational. I want there to be film of the midwife preforming medical procedures (checking the fetal heart rate every now and then, checking dialation of the cervix, blood pressure and heart rate monitoring, etc) to show that there are safety measures in place, as well as to show other mothers/mothers-to-be considering this what a homebirth looks like more fully.

I'm not sure how interested my friends would be in seeing it, but I think my instructor from Pure Birth wouldn't mind having an additional resource and I might offer it up online to some of the natural birth friendly websites.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Need Motivation?

Watch Super Size Me. Yesterday, I ordered a Hawaiian Pizza from Mazzios and I ate over half of it. I was amazed. I haven't eaten that much since high school! Granted, I'm 6 months pregnant, and it's bound to happen sometimes...I felt horrible after eating it. I was still under my suggested caloric intake for the day, but man...ugh. SO! To refocus! I logged onto Netflix and searched for "Super Size Me" and watched it on instant play.

Needless to say...

FULLY MOTIVATED! Please oh please let me eat healthy food everyday for the rest of my life and avoid fast food at all costs! Anytime I feel weak minded again, I will return to that documentary!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Guided Meditation

For those of you who don't know what guided meditation is, it's where you practice meditation while being guided by an outside source. For example, you can buy CD's with guided meditation sessions on them designed to help you reach a peace of mind about different subjects, such as healing the past, calming current worries, etc.

Generally I struggle with guided meditations a bit. There are some that tell you things like "now imagine that you are flying over a vast field toward a mountain" and the two year old in me makes me giggle at it. Regardless of the rediculous notions in guided meditations, I always end up crying during them. Not sobbing, but a slow running of tears type cry. I think it's because of the voice that guided meditation leaders use. It's very soothing and sympathetic, sort of like when you are upset about something and someone says "why are you about to cry?" in a grandmotherly way and you start bawling.

The last meditation I did that was guided was at birthing class with my husband. The expectant mothers were asked to meditate and relax and focus on taking this journey in our minds the CD would lead us through while our supporters helped us relax by slow stroking of our backs or holding us in a comforting embrace. It was a wonderful bonding experience for us and has peaked my interest in looking for guided meditations meant for couples to do together.

I'm still meditating the good old fashioned way. I am focusing on breath awareness and letting myself just be.

Monday, August 17, 2009

I will never use vegetable oil again!

At least, not in baking.

A few days ago, I began to get a strong craving for baking. It happens sometimes. I feel the need to preheat and make everything I can out of what I have in the house. Last week, it was blueberry muffins. So I go to my delightful blueberry muffin mix (not organic, but it uses real blueberries) and check the box. Need 2 eggs. Check. Need 1/3 cup vegetable oil.....no check. I was out and not in the mood to go to the store. After all, I had already started preheating the oven!

So off to the good old world wide I went and after entering "vegetable oil substitute" into the Bing search bar (I'm giving Bing a chance) I stumbled across the best alternative ever. APPLESAUCE! Tell me that blueberry muffins made with applesauce doesn't sound amazing! So, I had this awesome granny smith applesauce with no added sugar in individual serving sizes (that is just a tad over 1/3 cup). I opened up a package and measured out 1/3 cup of yum yum applesauce into the mix, and 20 minutes later swore myself away from EVER using vegetable oil in baking again!

Plus, applesauce...way healthier!

Friday, August 14, 2009

My Favorite Healthy Snacks

So I have been asked by a few friends what particular brands I have been buying that let me eat healthy and not break the bank...so here are a few of my favorite things all from Wal-mart.

Veggie Sticks and Ranch
Organic girl celery - celery is # 4 on "The Dirty Dozen" list of fruits and veggies most affected by pesticides which makes it one that I think is worth the extra buck to purchase.
Organic carrots - carrots are #11 on the list. There is only one brand of organic carrots available at my walmart, and they are delicious.
Hidden Valley Ranch Dip - the powder package you can buy. It's not super healthy when you make it as instructed by we can fix it!
Dannon All-Natural Non-Fat PLAIN Yogurt - DO NOT GET VANILLA! LoL. It will taste horrible. Mix the Hidden Valley Ranch Dip powder in with the tub of plain yogurt. I get the larger size of yogurt because it lasts a long time even with the ranch dip and it's hard to find plain yogurt in single serving sizes.

Cheese and Crackers
Kashi Tasty Little Crackers: Fire Roasted Vegetable - Ok, Kashi is amazing in general! BUT these little crackers are fabulous. They have a little bit of spice to them, no cholesterol, 2g of fiber and 3g of protein per serving. Kashi is an all whole grain product and they have no hydrogenated oils and are all natural!
Cheese - go to the deli at your walmart and look at the blocks of cheese they have in the refridgerated area. They have blocks of cheeses and you can pick from most of these. Just check to see if it is non-processed (no velveeta here!) and sounds yummy. There are smoked cheddars and smoked baby swiss that are my favorite. The smoked taste is amazing with the fire roasted crackers.
*HINT: slice your cheese slices really thin. You won't be as tempted to eat a lot if you have little amounts to go on each cracker!

The trick with nuts is to only eat a little! So DO NOT put these in a bowl out in the open where you can just eat them all day long and pay no attention to them! My favorite nuts are almonds and cashews. You can go to the nut section and pick out which ones you want. I think raw is better...but dry roasted are okay. Try to look for unsalted or unseasoned nuts though. All of the extra stuff makes them less healthy. Nuts are great for their protein and good fats, but you have to watch it or you'll eat the whole can......it only happened once......

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Baby Item Success!

Today, I ordered diaper covers from thirsties diapers. They are made in the U.S. and use products manufactured here in the U.S. to make them! They're also really stinking cute! Check them out!


Sunday, August 9, 2009

A Morning Walk

My dog has inspired this new habit of mine. I get up, let the dog out, eat breakfast while he runs around, get dressed, and then leash the 10 lb fuzzball so we can take a morning walk. It's the nicest part of the day here in humid Oklahoma, before 9:00AM. The air still smells fresh and hasn't taken on the humid moldy smell it gets in the afternoon. We walk about a mile total, which is about as much as my pregnant body can handle right now in one stretch. I find it really seems to get me up and going for the day. I get much more done on mornings where I go walk outside. I see other parents walking in the morning and pushing their strollers or carrying their kiddos out in the fresh air. I'm excited to show this to our little Evelyn!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Made in the U.S.A.

What brands come to your mind when you think baby products? I think Graco, Gerber, Carter, Kids Line, CoCaLo, and everything else you can find at Babys R Us. Guess what! They all manufacture the majority if not all of their products overseas. So guess that means I need to look elsewhere for baby items that are made from organic or natural products and under fair labor laws. The best way to do this is to buy products that are Made in the USA! And why not? Our economy needs all the support they can get! Though it's not easy to find a lot of "mom and pop" places that make their own products, I did find two great websites that sell some really cute USA products and some are even organic!


I LOVE All American Baby because it doesn't just have bedding and clothing that is made in the USA but also toys, furniture, lighting, skin care products, etc. The prices aren't horrible either considering I expected them to be higher than mainstream U.S.A. mega-stores. They don't have a huge organic selection, but at least there is one :) Now, I can't register here...but it would definitely be possible for us to snag a few things.



This site just lists companies that sell children's clothing that is made in the U.S.A. I'll probably find this more helpful a little further along the line.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Moments Meant for Us

So I have to take a break from my normal earth-friendly posting to talk about the incredible experience Doc and I shared last night. Doc finally got to feel the baby moving. I have felt movement for several weeks, but our little one has stopped moving the second its dad touched my stomach. Not last night. Our little Ninja finally showed off all of the amazing karate moves it has been practicing for its daddy. Laying there last night, knowing that every tiny but powerful movement could be felt by both of us was like watching a meteor shower. You never know when something beautiful will dart across the sky, but knowing that someone else saw it to makes the experience incredible. You know that those fleeting moments were meant for the two of you alone and will never be exactly the same for anyone else. I don't know that I've ever felt so peaceful and in love.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I Feel Great!!!!

So since my tea party kick off, I have been on my healthy eating kick. Lots of raw fruits and veggies, yogurts, soy milk, cheeses and yum! I will say that I feel really healthy. Pregnancy takes it's toll on your body sure, but between the meditating and healthy eating I'm already really glad that I have began these changes. The weather has been too icky the last few days for me to do laundry or be outside much and has put a delay on some of my other projects, but don't worry, there will be more posting soon!!

AND...just incase you are wondering how great I feel....

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Early Friendly Tea Party

So yesterday was the big organic/fair-trade/locally grown if possible tea party.
Mission: Host a tea party using only fair-trade, organic, or locally grown products.
Mission Status: Relatively Accomplished!
Organic carrots and celery (not in season here yet, so not possible to get locally grown)
Organic and locally grown cucumbers
Whole wheat bread (non-processed)
Organic yogurt (used to make veggie dip by adding spices)
Non-processed cheese
Non-processed whole grain crackers
Organic fair-trade berry tea
Black tea, curtesy of Tazo (I added peach juice to flavor it from locally grown Porter Peachers).
Review: The bread was my biggest let down. I should have planned better about getting a hold of it. I will say though, the food tasted wonderful! Especially the veggies! Everything tasted fresh and full of flavor and I didn't end up spending more than I would have had I taken a junk food or non-organic approach! So I found it a great way to kick off my new life approach to eating well and supporting my local economy and farmers.
Looking Forward To: Meat. Where do I find local deli meat? What about thinks like summer sausage? Can I find an alternative?

Friday, July 24, 2009

Road Blocks and Detours

Money, money, money. It's all about the $$. "Going green" is often the more expensive option. I noticed this with laundry detergent. I'm almost out, went to buy more, and was once again amazed that the "green" option was more expensive by a lot, especially when you compared the amount of loads the detergent did. So....thanks to my friend Kendra, I was referred to the Duggar Family Website. You might know them from the TLC show "18 and Counting". Their website has recipes for laundry detergent and fabric softner, and all of the ingredients are eco-friendly! I'm having some trouble finding Borax...which suprised me, but next week I will definitely try making it. The Duggar's website predicts a $2 cost for 5 gallons of liquid detergent, so I'm excited to try this out!

Coming Up....

Tea Party with my friends, all organic and fair-trade teas, fresh local grown fruits, veggies, and other earthy snacks!

Sunday (hopefully):
Laundry Soap Making Day!

Paint Baby Room!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

New Life Adjustments

There is nothing better than a new life coming to your family to motivate you to change your ways. It is much easier to start with a brand new life and follow a new lifestyle than to try to modify an existing one. We've thought a lot about what kind of a life we want our child to grow up in and what habits we want to be second nature for our children. Doc and I have been slowly developing a more "earth friendly" lifestyle. We recycle, and don't buy things that come in containers that can't be recycled. About two years ago, when we first got married, I bought cloth bags and decorated them so we don't use plastic grocery bags. So we feel like our waste consumption is getting under control now and we're moving on to the bigger overhauls. Here are my remaining goals to achieve before Ninja baby gets here.


1. Eat organic, local grown, preservative free foods only. No more processed foods or shipped meats. There are plenty of farmers markets and meat markets in Tulsa as well as whole food stores to make this possible, it just requires some more planning.

2. Nothing for baby that is made by babies! We want to start researching where we buy goods from such as clothing and try to buy from places that do not use sweat shops, starting with baby goods. This is going to be more challenging.

3. Add more outdoor activity to our lives. I would like for us to make park visits, wildlife reserves, nature museums, and other such places that encourage appreciation for life around us a normal part of family activity. Exercising indoors is great, but I would like for us to do more bike rides, hikes, and picnics with games when the weather permits.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Lingerie on the Line

I did it! Success! Behold my overly offensive and yet...daringly adorable Sunday Morning Clothesline!!!! ...beware future brides...this may appear as your lingerie shower invitation, MWAH HA HA!

But seriously, my older neighbor who is in his 80s, Jim, was doing yardwork, saw me hanging up the line, and looked a bit confused, then went right back to work. He didn't even go get his wife to show her or anything. Oh well, cute picture at least :)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Can I Get a Lightswitch in my Uterus Please?

Dear Ninja Fetus, whom I love:

Please stop kicking the hell out of me when I am trying to sleep! I realize that there is no window into your womb to tell you that the sun went to bed and so should you, but dear lord child! Do you have to train for the olympics at 2 AM? If my OBGYN could install a lightswitch to tell you it is sleepytime...I would. So here's the deal. I'm gonna poke the shit out of you all day to keep you awake so you sleep well tonight. Mommy can be annoying too....

Your Mum

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Underwear on the Line...

So I'm doing laundry this morning and as I'm hanging up some of my panties on the line, I remember my 9 year old sister's giggling remarks about how embarassing hanging up your underwear must be. Not because there is anything wrong with my underwear. No. Because the neighbors might see over the backyard fence! Or someone might walk around my house while they are walking their dog and see! I've never really understood the fear of people seeing clothing you wear. Don't they normally wear underwear too? Maybe they will be jealous of how cute my "unmentionables" are.

You'd think it would be affirming for them, in case they worried that maybe you free-birded too often or didn't wear a bra. For those terrified neighbors, they could count my undies for each day since laundry to make sure I'd been properly concealed for the last week and feel safer.

So now I've decided to do something that is sure to make neighbors uncomfortable, just to see if any of them peak. I'm going to hang all of my lingerie out on the line this coming Sunday. That's right church goers, I'm targeting you :) We will see if anyone comments.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Pick Up the Pace

It's summer. Doc works 12 hours everyday. And until the fall, I have an open schedule. So it's time to stop sitting around all day doing a few chores and complaining about how I have nothing to do. It's time to pick up the pace! So, for the rest of today: make a list of things that need to be done before school starts, clean house. Tomorrow, I start picking up the pace.