Monday, September 15, 2014

Obviously I need to update {Tonsil Stones}

I cannot believe I'm writing yet another blog post on tonsil stones!!! Seriously. More comments asking if I have found a resolution to these disgusting things than about the details of an IUI cycle! Haha!

And yeah, haven't blogged for awhile and this is my comeback post?! I'm cool. And yes, I'm semi back to blogging.

So for those that are finding my blog by way of the NY Times article I was interviewed for, hi! Read my other tonsil stone frustration posts here and here!

Quick update, how I got rid of tonsil stones? Cut gluten! Seriously! No more gluten in my diet (thanks to my oldest daughter) and the tonsil stones vanish! Give it a try before doing something drastic like removing tonsils! I read several articles linking gluten to tonsil stones and sure enough, for ME that was he correlation!

Try it and let me know how it works for you in my unscientific poll! :-)

Monday, March 10, 2014

Overhauling

I feel like our life, every nitty gritty detail, is in the process of an overhaul. Where we live. How we spend our time. What we eat. Doctors. Grocery stores. Routine with everyone home. Heck, even feeling like my blog needs one. After all, it doesn't exactly include Little Sister in the header. With all the changes going on, you would think we were implementing New Years Resolutions! Haha!

Change is always hard though I like to think I am pretty good with just going with the flow.

In talking about the changes we are embracing, the most exciting change is the fact we rarely took vacations. Now, we have been given the reminder not to take any day for granted thus our desire to travel and enjoy the days together. Making memories in the little and big moments! Our first trip in the planning? Somewhere with a beach. A real beach, not the imitations Callaway Gardens has. Thinking that's a perfect place to welcome the start of my third decade anniversary.

So while we dream our perfect vacations, what is your ideal vacation??

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Another Anniversary

Anniversaries continue to come. Today, well, four years ago on this date we found out we were pregnant with Little Miss! To think it has been a short, yet long, four years is mind boggling.

Just four years ago, I was staring at a positive home pregnancy test in disbelief. I managed to get the words out that we were pregnant to Charles but not without tears or actually getting up off the toilet first.

Now that tiny spot we saw on our first ultrasound is now our big hearted, high spirited, little mommy, fashionista 3 year old! Every tear shed, pill taken, shot received, ultrasound done, IUI attempted, and 1,509 days we waited for her were worth it!

Fashionista Little Miss curtesy like the Princess she is.
Excuse the complete disarray as we are trying to organize, still.

And it gets better... 4 years later, I'm the proud mommy to TWO precious little girls! Little Sister turns 7 months today! Please, someone find the pause button!

Four teeth! Two on top, two on bottom.

Pulling to stand and "walks" her feet around. Balances really well too.
Definitely an anniversary I'm celebrating today!

Monday, February 17, 2014

What's this about 30?!

Gotta love Facebook and the birthday reminders. Just about every week, someone else is turning 30. 

30.

30 years old.

Ahhhh!!!!!

I still have a few months but as I've learned, time passes quickly! I spend a moment reflecting on my goals, dreams, and accomplishments and while I have not met some goals, I've exceeded others. Some dreams have gotten bigger and some within reach. My accomplishments are far greater than I imagined.

My greatest moments in my 20's revolve around who I am in great thanks to my journey through infertility and overcoming to motherhood. Lowest and highest wrapped in one.

I will enter the "flirty 30's" confident in who I am. I am the daughter of the King of kings. Imperfect despite trying to be perfect daughter, sister, wife, mother, and friend. I will enter this decade healthier than I entered the last. I will have fun and explore this beautiful life God has blessed me with. I will find my laugh again.

Bring it on 30! I've got this!

(Please someone remind me of this on May 29 as I spend my last day officially in my 20's....)

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Andy Pandy Diaper Review and Giveaway {2 winners!}

I know I'm not the only mom who has spent hours researching disposable diapers online...Please tell me I'm not anyways! Being a loyal cloth diaper supporter, I was very disappointed when Little Sister was having so much trouble with our adorable cloth diaper stash. {Details dedicated to a different post} When I began truly searching for my perfect disposable I stumbled across Andy Pandy and so thankful I did! What perfect timing too as they have only recently launched September 2013!


Do you see all those wonderful qualities that make up these super soft diapers? Straight from owner Jessica's fingers, "The bamboo that we use in our diapers is "non-woven" meaning it is 100% pure bamboo and does not go through the all the processing that "bamboo rayon" goes through." Add that to their dedication of ensuring quality from every company they work with from their bamboo harvesters and manufacturing facility to other material providers are companies of integrity (no child/elder labor, no loss of bamboo habitat or affect of the creatures of the bamboo forest, decent wages, hours, etc). 
 

And the icing on the cake? Owner Jessica is an absolute pleasure working with! She is a mom too so she gets it. I have purchased 4 packs of diapers before hosting this giveaway and will continue to do so! The diapers are so incredibly soft and very absorbent!

Andy Pandy in action! {Please excuse the poor photo quality as we have recently moved and cannot locate the cord to my "real" camera so mobile device had to due} Little Sister was 13 lb 12 oz 2 weeks ago at her six month check up! Ah, crazy! She has put them to the test in rolling, crawling, and pulling to stand and the diaper keeps up better than we do! The absolute best part?! The rash that Little Sister had in other diapers, cloth and disposable, has disappeared since using Andy Pandy diapers!

We have found size smalls overnights has us running a small risk of leaks come morning smiles, so we use a size medium for overnights and smalls throughout the day and nap without any leaks. She is in the overlap weight range with Smalls running 6.5-17 lbs, Mediums 13-22 lbs, Large 2-31 lbs, and X-Large 26+ lbs!

Sporting the Size Small - 6.5 to 17 lbs

Sizing up the Medium - 13 to 22 lbs

And just because I can't resist sharing the cuteness that Little Sister is!
Ready for the fun part?! Owner Jessica at Andy Pandy is sponsoring a giveaway! 2 winners will be chosen to win 1 pack of diapers in their selected size. USA entries only, sorry. Giveaway ends February 28, 2013 at midnight so hurry and get your entries in!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Toddler tooth decay

Feeling pretty frustrated right now... For the last year, we have been in an uphill battle to figure out the pieces of the puzzle Little Miss is missing so we can remineralization her teeth.

It is possible. I have seen success! I just wonder if their is something else I am missing...

Around March 2013 we began to see changes in Little Miss' upper front teeth. Changes that went from questionable to bad, quick. We made an appt with a dentist in May, but before then I did some research on healing tooth decay naturally. If bones can heal, why not teeth? It was then I was introduced to Weston A. Price's work and immediately purchased Green Pastures Fermented Cod Liver Oil/Butter Oil gel. Thankfully, Little Miss loves her "chocolate"! Even asks for it! The dentist blamed our daily consumption of almond milk for the decay (reflecting on it now, I realize that it probably did contribute since phytic acid is a tooth killer since it inhibits nutrient absorption). Then she referred us to a pediatric dentist. 

In August we went to the pediatric dentist. Dr. Jason Spareti was amazing! Between May and August though, I spent a bazillion hours reading every single study/article/blog I could find on toddler tooth decay. The tears I have shed are countless. He was very open to my non convential way and remarked that the decay has halted. Yay! He agreed to a wait and see approach I wanted versus his hospital operation to consist of two crowns and four caps under general anesthesia. For baby teeth?!?! 

He did comment that it appears, with her decay pattern, that the lip tie is the main culprit and the one year molars were not protected from the way her tounge fell when sleeping. Not once did he blame her continued breastfeeding and in my heart of hearts I know her teeth would be a lot worse if she was not breastfed for as long as she has been. She has a gluten intolerance we did not know about and she did not really start relying on solids for her nutrients until about 18 months though still nursing, so that helped her intestines more. We don't know if she has celiac disease nor do I care for the title so we will not put her through testing and am treating her as if she does just in case. Maybe when she is older we will test.

Mommy instinct kicked into high gear! We went gluten free first and then paleo and even more so by eliminating nuts and limiting fruit to once a day. In observation, I noticed when we are certain foods she would chew on her fingers more. I had people tell me it is normal while my gut knew she was having discomfort from her teeth. I learned that glycerin inhibits remineralization because it leaves a coating on the teeth so the saliva cannot get to them to distribute nutrients. We rarely snack between meals to give her saliva ample opportunity to remineralize. We coax her to drink as much raw cows milk and eat raw cows milk cheese as she will tolerate. I encourage chewing of hard foods like carrots to exercise her jaw to ensure closed mouth breathing especially during sleep. We eat grass fed beef regularly, eggs every morning for breakfast, and grass fed butter by the block! Bone broth. Every bit of good fats I can get in her possible!

She's a trooper in taking the many supplements....
Fermented cod liver oil/butter oil, chocolate gel
K2 
Calcium/phosorophus/zinc/magnesium liquid
Living streams alfalfa probiotic
Living streams bifido
Cell salts #1, 2, 8, 12
Vitamin d3
Papaya enzyme
Black walnut (6 weeks on, 6 weeks off)

And for daily teeth maintainence... 
AM brush with Earthpaste
PM brush with coconut oil, Christopher's tooth powder first
Next, brush with coconut oil and pascalite clay
Every other day, paint iodine on decay then brush

All that and we have new tooth growth between her healthy gums and decay line! And, unless I give in to a sweet treat, fingers are no longer in her mouth! She is even fully acting on her role as a dog these days and carrying heavy items with her teeth! Surely if her teeth hurt or were weak she wouldn't be doing this... The gluten intolerance symptoms have subsided too! She rarely complains about her tummy hurting and when she does, I can often link it to cross contamination with gluten. 

All of the effort is worth it to heal her body. Even if we did the surgery, unless we get to the root of the cause it would be back. So many stories of baby teeth with caps/crowns falling off and needing additional work. Our goal is to keep her pain free and pray these teeth fall out early! :-) I think I will cry crocodile tears of relief when they fall out while she is crying from the experience of loosing her teeth! 

I am obsessed with her health. I believe her tooth decay is an outward sign of an inward health concern so by healing the inside, the outside will heal. Oh how that applies to so many ailments....different blog post.

The looks I feel like I get by those I don't know or have chosen not to share this journey with absolutely kill me. Like I am neglecting her oral health. If only they knew the obsession I had in healing her. The hundreds, quickly approaching thousands of dollars we have spent in supplements to heal her. I have to force myself to look her in her beautiful blue eyes instead of analyzing her teeth every smiling chance I can. I have even observed her doing a smirk smile and I can't help but wonder if it is because of me.... Her radiant smile may not be "perfect" to others, but to me her smile tells her story. 

Early childhood caries, bottle rot, toddler tooth decay....whatever you want to call it, it has a unique passionate story behind that perfectly imperfect smile. Get to know it. Something is happening with this generation as the rate of occurrence is ridiculously high! So many theories as to why and yet the best protocol of treatment is one curtailed to the individual for upmost healing.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

How do you use Facebook?

I'm sure we have all been there, scrolling through the pictures of what seemingly is the perfect family from the perfect girl from high school.

I admit it, that was me. Not the perfect girl but the longing girl. Comparing my closed door cluttered closets to her polished party portraits.

What about keeping up with family or friends solely through Facebook? Yep, me again.

To say I was sucked into Facebook is an understatement. Shamefully, I have updated Facebook before caring to update my parents on life. It is easy and relationships are shallow.

While Facebook is great at keeping distant family members up to date, it isn't good at building relationships between siblings. To say I have a relationship with any of my three brothers is merely saying I am genetically related to them. I truly long for that which is why they are no longer "Facebook friends". I want to be real life friends. That only happens with real interaction.

As I stated in my previous post, once we make the move to Georgia, all local Facebook friends will be unfriended in hopes that in person interaction will ensue. Already done. 398 "friends" down to 133. Let's see how many of those now local really want to be apart of our life outside technology.

I venture to say I am not the only one that has struggled with technology impacting relationship. So how do you balance technology in your life?

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Feeling optimistic

In 11 days we will make the move back to Georgia... 

While I'm so not thrilled at living in my Inlaws one bedroom basement apartment, I am at peace about it. I just hope it is short lived and Dept of Labor gets over themselves and pays Charles so we can get on with our lives and get our own place again! I hate we are leaving the Carolinas and the wonderful friends we've made here, I am looking forward to more time with family and making more memories with my long time friends I grew up with. Most of them have kids all around the same age so it will be fun to watch our kids grow up together.

My Inlaws have like 10 acres so if I can convince them to utilize it for their benefit instead of wasting it on two non functioning horses (giant dogs people, giant dogs), I foresee chickens in our future. Fresh eggs from happy chickens that I know aren't being fed soy or GMO feed... That excitement alone is enough for me to make the move! And Alpacas. And dabbling in a food garden, of course. And honey. Maybe? I'll leave the raw cows milk and grass fed beef to Country Gardens though. Me, on a farm? Oh my!

First priority though? Little Miss and Little Sister enrolled in swimming lessons and infant survival swim. I've had too many nightmares about Little Miss drowning and now having a pool in the backyard (as well as at my moms house) to not be proactive. Every pool alarm available will be purchased too.

So we will make the best of these last several days here... Maybe even sneak a date in to Charlotte since I have two bags of frozen breastmilk that need using so I don't have to worry about moving. That's a good enough excuse for a date night, right?

Saturday, January 11, 2014

"Can't go home again"

Ya know the saying, "You can't go home again"? Yeah, I seem to have it stuck in my head as we face the very fact that we will be moving "home" again very soon...

To say this is bittersweet is an understatement. My eyes swell with tears at the very thought.

Yeah, it'll be great to have our kids grow up with all their grandparents less than an hours drive away. It will be great to jump off where I left with my long time friends. It'll be great to hopefully have a REAL relationship with my youngest brother, the only one that still lives in the area. At least in theory... Is this the part that "you can't go home again" is warning us about? To wipe away these hopes? To pretend we are moving there for the very first time....though that's not really possible.

Relationships are complex, especially family ones. Seemingly, especially ours. We moved away from Georgia as husband and wife of 4.5 years with two dogs and income. We will be moving back as husband and wife of 10.5 years with two kids and one dog and moneyless {until resolution with the Dept of Labor happens anyways}. Talk about a hit to your pride...Having to move in with mom and dad to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table.

I'll miss like crazy our "Tallahassee house" as my mom refers to it. {We lived in Tallahassee, FL for a short while and the street we lived on, not even a neighborhood, was amazing! It's seriously what we have now. We love our neighbors!} Watching Little Miss run to hug her BFF "Soph" as she's now calling her, is the sweetest thing! Having surrogate grandparents across the street who are there for us at any moment. The awesome play dates... Oh the memories we've made in the short amount of time we've been here!

I have deep within me peace about it that only comes from the Lord. My human side is throwing a bigger temper tantrum than Little Miss did today in the middle of Target! {Her very first lay down in the middle of the store and kick and scream while we watched from afar as strangers stopped to check on her. Seriously. It happened.}

So what will it be like "going home again"...? I don't know. What I do know is I have changes I want to make. Essentially, more face and less technology. I want to use Facebook as a means to keep up with family and friends from afar, not next door. Once we move, all in town friends will be deleted from my Facebook in hopes if it is a true relationship we will have face to face time to catch up, not via status updates. So if you're reading this and will soon be local and want to stay connected, let's go back to the old fashioned exchanging of phone numbers or chance a random run in at Target where you may very well hear my child before seeing her... Sigh. It's a right of passage for children, right?

So in saying all that, their have been some exciting things that have happened. The Lord is opening doors we never imagined. Like, not just regular doors but beautiful double front doors swinging wide open so you just have to walk through them! I don't think now is the time to divulge everything but we can say without a doubt that this is the new path we are to take.

Now the details to work out and a house to sell....

Saturday, December 21, 2013

He is with us.

The Lord has truly made His presence known to us during this time of being in the valley. Just when we think we are sinking, The Lord meets our needs in some unsuspecting ways. Financial blessings from family, friends, and strangers. Amazing. Encouragement in the strangest of ways. Fascinating.

Matthew 6:25-27
25"For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26"Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?27"And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?

During one of our prayer times, I literally felt like I was in the Lords presence and a hand was on my shoulder. It was a time in which I lingered as long as I could before opening my eyes again. It was such a high. Another encouragement that we are not walking this journey alone.

The Lord said it in Matthew 18:10 20"For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst."

A trip to visit Santa Clause at Bass Pro (free there!) led us to a kiosk, It's His Gift, where we were in awe of the beautiful items for sale. Little Miss doesn't meet a stranger and struck a conversation with the gal working. She proceeded to declare Little Miss needed a bracelet and walked to the other side of the cart. Here, she handed Little Miss a rubber awareness style bracelet with "TETELESTAI" on one side and "33AD" on the other. She proceeded to give (for free, despite them selling these bracelets) Charles and I one as well. "What is Tetelestai?”…Simple answer…“It is Finished”. The last words spoken by Jesus on the cross, He said: “It is Finished” all of our sins have been paid in full. (John 19:30)…33AD is on the back of the bracelet, representing the approximate year that He died on the cross. Walking away from the cart, Charles and I were in awe. The Lord sent us yet another reminder that it is finished. He has taken care of everything for us. Big and small. Just a few hours later, we were gifted a financial blessing from only The Lord knows where.

And The Lord even cares about Jack.... After three separate snipping incidents with Little Miss, we knew it was not safe for the girls to keep him. I contacted about 20 different rescues but once I gave the full disclosure, I was quickly turned away and told the best thing would be to euthanize him. Charles and I both felt euthanizing him was not the answer. He still had love to give, just needed a home without young kids. We were beside ourselves on what to do. Lo and behold, The Lord provided a perfect home for him! A couple with another Jack Russell about the same age. They live on two acres and pamper their dogs to the max. Jack loves to be pampered! While extremely sad for us, it is best for him.

And then today...

I woke this morning and told Charles my dream from last night. A dream that we received a cash offer on our house. {crazy! Who pays cash for a house these days?} About 9am, we received notice we had a showing at 11am. We ended up having a showing at 11am and 11:45am. 5pm ish we received a phone call with a, you got it, cash offer! Not kidding! Tell me that dream wasn't from The Lord.... And boy am I glad I told Charles that dream before it happened or else he surely would have thought I was crazy. :-) {In negotiations}

Isaiah 55:6-7
Seek the LORD while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way And the unrighteous man his thoughts; And let him return to the LORD, And He will have compassion on him, And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.