Friday, July 22, 2011


It has recently been brought to my attention (ahem...lindsey) that I have unusual feelings about hugs. Apparently, most people love hugging and give hugs away willy nilly. I, on the other hand, am what I like to call a "selective hugger". I will only initiate hugs with certain people at certain times. I think I was born this way. My grandparents tell stories of me as an infant "pushing away" when they would try to hold me close. I never liked to be rocked or held I wanted to be laid down in my crib. To this day I'm not a cuddler or snuggler. I can't sleep if I'm touching Jackson, I like to keep to "my side" of the bed.

All this to say, sometimes I get "hug aniexty" if I know I'm going to be approached with an unwelcome hug. Anybody know what I'm talking about? Family members and close friends are never in this category by the way. I will hug them without any hesitation. However, sometimes I feel like you are in situations where everyone is hugging and you may be faced with hugging someone you don't know very well or don't want to share such close contact with. This is a dilemma because you don't want to seem rude. So you have two choices, you can avoid the hug entirely by positioning yourself far away from the person and get away with just a wave goodbye or you can go in for the side hug, which is also awkward.
Has anyone else ever gone through this mental game? Sometimes I just feel hugs are not a necessary interaction. To me, hugs are a sign of affection for people you know well and have a relationship with. I don't know, I just don't enjoy pressing my body up against someone I don't know very well, especially a man that I don't know very well. I feel it's almost an intrustion on my personal space. I'm trying to think back and I'm pretty sure I've never been tramatized by a hug. I know that since I posted this people are going to come up and give me hugs but I just have to know if there is anyone else who would call themselves a "selective hugger". It's not like I have nightmares about people hugging me, I'd just prefer not to sometimes. Good thing Angelina Jolie shares my feelings. Anybody else...anybody?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Our Journey to Health

Let me start out by saying I am by no means an expert on nutrition or health in general. I am however, a wife and mom trying to do the best I can to provide my family with nourishing foods that will help their bodies grow, function at their best and set them up for a healthy life. Over the past four years, I have learned a lot and changed many of our eating habits. When Jackson and I first got married, I knew very little about nutrition and all manner of frozen food graced our house. Frozen "Digiorno" pizzas, pillsbury cinnamon rolls, fast food, etc. We ate whatever we thought tasted good. Wow have things changed.

I thought I would come up with a few things that we have changed that might be helpful if you are contemplating a "healthier" lifestyle with food but don't know where to start. So many blogs I read are great but the writers are talking about sprouting their grains and making their own yogurt and that can be a little overwhelming if you are just starting out.

Here are some changes we have made over the years:

1. Buy and eat whole foods. This means food that is not processed in any way. Fruits, vegetables, grains, meats, etc. One practical way to do this is shop around the edge of your store in the refridgerated section. This is where most of the produce, dairy and meat is. Now, this does not mean that I NEVER buy anything processed. But I do try to focus on whole foods. For us, this means I've changed the way I cook. I cook much simpler meals that require fewer ingredients than I used to because of our budget and now I'm now prioritizing quality over quantity. Now we might have a small portion of organic chicken, sauteed green beans and sweet potatoes. Cheap, delicious and easy. Everyone's happy.

2. Don't skimp on meat. Meat quality is very important. Just watch the documentary Food, Inc. to see what I'm talking about. Meat is one area I don't compromise on. Trader Joe's offers organic, grass-fed beef and organic chicken and this is what I buy. Now, because of our budget, we don't eat meat every night. I usually buy us 1 pound of ground beef and 1 pound of chicken and that's it for the week. There are lots of tasty meals you can make without meat!

3. Buy organic when it counts. For me, this means I buy organic dairy whenever possible, organic meat, sometimes organic eggs and usually always the "dirty dozen" produce list from the EWG. It really doesn't matter all that much if your bread or crackers are organic. It may make a marginal difference, but for someone on a budget you have to buy what is going to have the biggest impact on your health and that's the things I listed.

4. Just say NO to High Fructose Corn Syrup and Trans Fats. These things have no place in our diets. HFCS is NOT metabolized the same as cane sugar and it is not good for us. HFCS is in almost everything, seriously it's really startling. A few months I ago I went through everything in my pantry and fridge and threw out everything with HFCS with the exception of two things, our Heinz ketchup and Hungry Jack Syrup. I know, the hungry jack is garbage...but maple syrup is SO expensive and Jackson doesn't like it. Ugh, what's a girl to do? I will be buying non-HFCS ketchup when our bottle runs out. Also, trans fats are horrible. Do a pantry/fridge search and throw out anything with trans fats. You should NOT be ingesting these.

5. Consider switching to full-fat dairy and use butter. The average American Diet is low in Vitamin D. Vitamin D is naturally found in only a few foods, milk being one of them. Vitamin D is also a fat soluble vitamin meaning it must have fat to properly assimilate and be used by your body. With the crusade for "fat-free" diets, most Americans drink skim milk. The problem is, the fat in milk is necessary for us to absorb the vitamin D. Also, there is research indicating that saturated fats are actually good for us and our body needs them. Read this for more info on healthy milk choices and some disturbing info about organic, ultra-high pasturized milk.

6. Take a cod liver oil supplement. Cod liver oil has so many great things in it. It contains DHA and EPA, Vitamin A, and Vitamin D. All of which are lacking in most American diets and very important for healthy brains, hearts, bones and immune systems. It's seriously jam packed with goodness. For more info on cod live oil go here. I bought Carlson's lemon flavored and it's not bad at all, I can't even taste a fishyness to it.

7. No sugary drinks. Parks doesn't drink juice daily anymore. Juice is a special treat when we are out somewhere. I don't even buy it anymore. Sugar is an enemy of our health and the less you consume it the better. I have found that not having sugary drinks is a major way to consume less sugar. This includes gatorade, vitamin water, etc. We drink only water and milk at home and somtimes Jackson buys his 2-liters haha.

And there you have it, the past four years combined into 7 points. I will also note, it is important to be balanced with all of this. Yes, I want to do the best I can to provide my family with whole foods that will nourish them. However, I never, ever want to be so consumed with health that I forget that God is in control of everything or that I can't enjoy life. For example, we still go to Five Guys and eat burgers. I still have diet coke sometimes. I still go to Chick-fil-a. And if Parks is at someone else's house, I'll never say "Oh, he can't eat that because it has HFCS!". No, not at all. I figure I do my best when we are at home, and the rest I don't worry about.

Monday, July 11, 2011

a turn for the worse

**Warning, this another post about #2, read at your own risk**

This is an update from my earlier post "Chamber Pot Days". We have moved on from the Chamber Pot. Normally this would be a joyous occasion where the child realizes he no longer needs the small potty chair and can use the "big potty" just like mommy and daddy, (yay!). We enjoyed this bliss for about 2 days. And then, things took a turn for the worse.

Parks has struggled with "holding it in" with #2's for over a year. I won't go into detail but I think you know what I mean. We have to be very vigilant about making him go or things get ugly and really painful for him. Think hysterical crying and suppositories. Yeah, it's not fun. So when you combine that with potty training things can get tricky.

A couple weeks ago, Parks had another bout of "witholding" and I was getting desperate. He refused to go on the potty and continued to hold it in. Finally in a moment of pure desperation I said, "Parks, would you like to try to go in the grass?"(Parks, like all little boys, loves to pee in the grass in our backyard so I thought maybe he would go #2 there as well). Big mistake! Oh, he went in the grass alright and since then he ONLY will go in the grass. Yes that's right, our child is potty trained like a DOG, an ANIMAL! I let him "out" in our backyard to poop. It's beyond ridiculous. He tells me to "leave" and "go inside" so he can have privacy of course. So there I am, watching him poop from a window inside and then I have to go outside quickly before he touches it and properly dispose of the waste or otherwise our yard would be a minefield.

I feel so bad for our neighbors. Our yard is only partially fenced with a privacy fence so there's no telling what indecency some of our neighbors have seen!

So here we are again, another unforgettable moment of motherhood. All I can say is I hope this is a phase.

2 months old!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

"who does she look like?"

It's the question every parent gets asked when they have a baby.  Sometimes its blatantly obvious but oftentimes the baby is a unique mix of the parents.

We used to say Parks looked like me as a baby but really analyzing the pictures now, I don't think he does at all and the older he gets the more he looks like Jackson to me.  Parks really doesn't look like me at all.

Now I think Reese favors me, but is not identical.  Here are some pictures of Jackson and I as babies:


As you can see, I had hair as a baby but nothing like what Reese has!!  What do you think?  I think both our kids are a blend of each of us with Parks favoring Jackson and Reese favoring me.