Saturday, March 30, 2013

Easter eve ramblings

The house is so quiet.

Both boys are fast asleep and Joel is at work.

All I can hear are the hands of the clock.

I should be cleaning since we're hosting Easter for Joel's side of the family tomorrow night.  I should be prepping the Easter baskets and making the little Easter bags of goodies for nieces and nephews.

But I'm not.  I'm sitting down to breath and to write.

My body aches from the wedding I photographed today.  My hand that focuses my lens aches and the muscles in my legs ache.  Being a wedding photographer, you do a lot of squats and sometimes I even sit on the floor to get the shot I want.  My dress code is all black for this very reason.

I just want to curl up in bed with a good book, and when my eyes get heavy... drift off to sleep.

It's funny, of all the things I talk to my boys about... I haven't talked about the true meaning of Easter.

Jesus nailed to a cross for all the bad things you've ever done or are going to do... what a horrible thing to tell a child.  And then he died and rose.

We pray every night, but we are not religious.  We believe in God, we believe God is love and we believe in all paths to God.

I grew up in a home where I was forced to go to church every Sunday.  Forced to wear a dress (later after much fighting- dress pants, I was a tomboy).

I grew up and accepted my religion.

Then my brother overdosed on drugs one night and everything I thought I knew about the world changed.

We'd drive three hours to a mental institute to visit him and hear him ramble on about nothing while he was so doped up on thorazine he could barely walk.  Did I mention he believed himself to be Jesus during this time?

His eyes looked dead and I cried the whole three hour car ride home the first time I visited him.

I was 16.

To me he was dead.  Sitting in front of me talking, but dead.  I even told a stranger my brother had died.  It didn't feel wrong at the time.  I didn't know where he was and in my mind he was never coming back.

During those years, I remember going to church and not wanting to be there... I called my Dad (who doesn't attend church and never did with us) to come pick me up.

I felt like it was all wrong.  It felt forced for me, and even fake.

He drove me home in silence and the only thing he said was... "You might want to go back someday, and I just want you to know that's okay.  You're going through a lot right now."

I love him so much for that.

I was angry for a long time.

And I could never find God in church.

But then I started to see him all around me and then within.

In the night's sky, in the miracle of a plant growing, holding a newborn baby... laughing so hard your stomach hurts.

This was God, and realizing that freed me.

He knows my heart.
And just because I don't go to church, doesn't mean I'm a lost soul... (yes I get the look occasionally).

Tomorrow as you spend time with loved ones or drive to church... look up at the sky, take a deep breath in... one that reaches all the the most intimate places within your body- this is God too.

And if you completely disagree with me, that's fine too.  You have a right to believe whatever you want, and I respect that.

Well it's getting late, guess I should go wash some dishes now :)

Thursday, March 28, 2013

because it's funny that's why

Goats can yell like humans, did you hear?  
I never heard of such a thing.  
I've watched this video around five times. 
Jack thinks it's pretty funny too. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Thanks North Korea

... you know, for all the nightmares.

It's amazing, I read a few articles on CNN and tell myself not to get too worked up just yet,
 but I guess my subconscious is in panic mode.

I watched the second plane hit the world trade center in junior high.
I didn't understand what was happening until I saw a teacher crying.
I learned the word "terrorism."

I remember this song like it was yesterday...

War is over.
(if you want it)
- John Lennon & Yoko Ono

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

you have to be grateful

Jude was in his jumper this morning and Jack handed him a block and said, "You have to be grateful."

My my Mama heart started to sing.  
We've had the grateful talk a lot lately.

And after I ate my breakfast, I looked to my left and saw a four year old with the sweetest smile... 
so I gave him a wink.

Then I looked to my right, and I saw the most beautiful baby in a high chair chewing on an elephant ear.

Two beautiful souls.

I am grateful.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Saturday, March 16, 2013

everyone panic!

It was too good of a title not to steal.
And I did panic... for like 3 minutes until I went to bloglovin'.

Did you hear the news?  Google is doing some "Spring cleaning" and decided to dump google reader... yep, you read that right.  No more "followers" on your site.  

Lucky for me I read Jen's blog post before a real freak out. 

Ever heard of bloglovin'?


It's like google reader but better.

So if you want to stay current with all your favorite blogs go sign up and import all your blogs over (take two seconds and they do it all for you).

Also the plus sign icon is going to be popping up everywhere so be on the lookout.  
It's your way to follow a new blog on bloglovin'.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

decaff coffee & a foreign film

Today I was the opposite of super mom.

Today I let the dishes pile up and I didn't make anyone eat their veggies.  

Today I had a migraine and Joel had to work a double.

And right now... I'm sipping some decaff coffee and watching a French movie with subtitles.

This is my therapy.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

an HONEST review: The DivaCup

Before I start, I just want to say that if you're a woman, you owe it to yourself to read this article.

And if you're familiar with "Sex and the City"... and you relate to Charlotte, you might want to grab a glass of wine... make that white wine. 

I'm a Carrie.  No prudes up in herrrr!

So sit back and relax because you're about to get a big dose of "no way"... and "I didn't even know that existed!"

So I was over-sharing a few weeks ago and asked my readers if anyone had tried a DivaCup.  A few had heard of it, but no one had actually tried it.

And it must be a small world because DivaCup also stumbled across my blog and offered to help a Diva out.  They sent me a DivaCup and DivaWash to review for free. 

People are curious... they WANT to know what a DivaCup is!

See?  Curious. ^^
(my instagram feed)
So what's a Diva Cup?

"The DivaCup is a reusable, bell-shaped menstrual cup that is worn internally and sits low in the vaginal canal, collecting rather than absorbing your menstrual flow."

The DivaCup Features:
12 hour leak-free protection
Made from the highest quality healthcare grade silicone to assure comfort and durability.
Does not contain any of the following: latex, plastic, PVC, acrylic, acrylate, BPA, phthalate, elastomer, polyethylene, and free of colors and dyes.
Reusable and eco-friendly – no waste, no chemicals.
Features extra grip ridges for easier removal.

So you can get a feel for the size, here is the DivaCup next to my index finger.  
Here's my week in review:

Day 1:  I dragged the kids all around, went to karate, dinner with my parents, back home, baths, bedtimes, and then I watched a netflix movie... and not once did I have to think about changing a tampon or pad.  When I finally decided to go to bed, I took it out and washed it and put it back in. 

Day 2:  Woke up, no leaks.  Woo... this is too good to be true.

Then my period started to get heavier.  And while I thought I was wearing it correctly- I wasn't.  I had two major leaks (at home) and decided to go with tampons the rest of the day since I had a lot of errands to run. 

Day 3: Still a bit tired and not knowing what I did wrong, Joel asked if I was wearing my Diva Cup still.  The man who didn't want to see or hear about it... was asking about it!

I told him I had some leaking issues and he shook his head saying, "Wow you gave up fast."  

He lit the fire and pissed me off.
(Note to readers: I told Joel he'd be in my review and I got thoroughly made fun of.)

I sat down and googled "leaking Diva Cup" to hopefully troubleshoot the problem and I stumbled across this message board.   Awesome advice from real women.  I read every suggestion and tried again.  I recommend this message board to anyone who plans on trying the Diva Cup. 

Day 4 to the end of my period: No leaks.  I found out my cup wasn't opening completely and that's why I was having leaks.  I found I have to stick my finger up there to make sure it's really open and right under my cervix... yes I know what my cervix feels like, maybe you should too.

It's a bit of a learning process.
Do you remember the first time you wore a tampon?

I do.  I didn't insert it far enough and I was jumping on my friend's trampoline and it fell out (hilarious now, embarrassing as hell then).

So, don't try it once and give up.  Troubleshoot the problem and give yourself enough time to get familiar with it.

I like it.  I like how it's reusable, saves money, can be worn up to 12 hours.
The 12 hours thing I really love, I don't have to carry tampons or pads at all.

Still cringing?  Don't.  Seriously... I wish I could have been a fly on the wall the first time the tampon was big news.  I mean just imagine the rumors and stereotypes being throw out there.


"If you stick a tampon inside of you, you're no longer a virgin."

Is anyone else just wanting to quote "Mean Girls" the movie?
Hmm... just me... you've GOT to watch that movie!

Why switch from tampons/pads to a Diva Cup?
My reason was a heavy flow since Jude has been born.  I was wearing tampons and pads together and it just plain sucked.  I was a total tampon girl before Jude was born.

I'm also the type who changed a tampon a bit too soon, and if it's not completely saturated it can be painful to remove not to mention disturbs the PH balance of the vagina.  The other products are full of chemicals too, so if you're looking for something safer for your body and also eco-friendly, the DivaCup is the way to go. 

Some surprising facts:
The DivaCup is good for up to a year (or longer).
What I normally spend on tampons/pads in two months is the amount I would need to buy a Diva Cup and their wash.

The reason for this review is to educate and empower, two words DivaCup really embraces and I love that.

DivaCup is catching on.  Soon it won't be so foreign, and when someone brings it up in a conversation you'll actually have the facts and who knows... you might even be wearing one.

I picked up a Cosmo two days ago as a treat to myself in the checkout line... and guess what I saw inside?

And if you're still on the fence... just think of the polar bears.  

sh!t my kid says

“I'd rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints.” 
-Billy Joel

I actually write this stuff down as it happens.

I know everyone thinks their child is hilarious... and I am no exception.

Jack IS hilarious. 

[Exhibit 1] 

Me: "Jack it's time to get ready to go." 
Jack: "Your boobs are getting ready." (good one)

Jack: "Mom, your breath smells like dirty garbage."

Jack: "Where is baby Jesus?"  
(In a very angry and serious tone.)
Then I realized he's talking about the Christmas manager I put away.

Me: "Jude doesn't know better Jack."
Jack: "He needs to know better!"

Jack: "Is Jude real?"

Jack: "Where is that little holiday?" (referring to Valentines Day)

Jack: "Booberry" (Blueberry)

Me: "Jack just poke your head in and ask Daddy if he wants an omelet."
Jack: "You want me to poke him in the head?"

Jack: (Hands me a piece of paper)
"This says you hurt my feelings."

Jack: Actually scratching his nails on a chalkboard. (AHH)

Me: "What do you want for lunch?"
Jack: "Porridge." 

Me: Being the lady that I am... I come out of the bathroom and say, "Boy that was a stinky one."
Jack: "Yea good job mom!  I've been working on a big one."

Me: "Jack you're yawning, I think it's time for bed."
Jack: (In a pleading tone) "But I won't yawn anymore."

Me: (At dinner with lots of people laughing.)
Jack: (whispers in my ear) "Mom, say penis."
Me: "WHAT WHY?" lol
Jack: "Because it's funny."

[Exhibit II]

I was just about to tell Jack not to play with his oranges until he said, 
"Look, it's you Mom!"

Jack: "Look!  Mom yelling!"
(hmmm lol)


In the tub singing, "Mama Ma Mama Mama Maaaaaaa."
Someone got into Daddy's bedside table.
Those are CONDOMS on his hands and feet.
After we got them off... he was slipping and sliding all over the kitchen because of the lube. 

Right after Jude was born, I was in the bathroom and Jack hadn't seen a tampon in almost a year. 
He asked all the questions a child his age would.  

I was honest, yet vague. 

He actually said, "That sounds dangerous." Ha!

Then he asked if he could see one and said, 
"I promise I won't put it in my vagina."
More explaining.

Then I let him see one and open it, push it out, etc.

Fast forward to the following morning.
Jack kept talking about protecting the tadpoles.
I was so tired I just said the auto responses we give our children at the butt crack of dawn.

Then I noticed my tampons were missing.

He took all my tampons and put them in baggies to "protect" them.
I found them on the living room couch. Ha!

Share those stories!  I want to hear them, how hilarious are your kiddos?

Connie would you like to borrow my binoculars? lol
(a little inside joke)

Saturday, March 9, 2013

slow quiet steps

Life is like this.
Moments you want to hold onto... not posed smiles.

I love this photo of Joel & Jude, 
so much, that I'm considering blowing it up and having it framed with my other images at the 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

someone is 6 months old

Dada & Jude

Dear Jude, 

Such a sweet baby who loves to cuddle.  You sit up with assistance and have been a bit stubborn when it comes to baby food.  

Your first bite of real food was a reeses ice-cream bar.  I know I'm horrible, but I know your Grandma Dorothy and if I didn't do it she would have. 

Anyways, It was just a small nibble.   

I tried organic bananas when the time was right but you didn't like them.  I went back to square one with organic whole grain rice cereal and then organic pears... both you were not exactly fond of.  

Jack ate all your jars of bananas for you. 

Your Dada is currently holding you in the other room saying, "You are so handsome.  You are so cuddly... you are so smiley, why are you so smiley?  Those legs are getting stronger, yea they are.  Aww he's a big kid, you know that!  Ohhh Daddy's gotta poop!"

If he only knew I was typing as he spoke. haha!  

Oh my God he cracks me up. 

Your six month shots are tomorrow and I'm pretty sad about it.  I mean I'm happy they have vaccines but I'm not happy to see you cry. 

You giggle sometimes.  You are quite the tough crowd though, only Daddy, Jack and I can make you laugh. Usually through scaring you.  Yep, you love to be scared.  

I rock you to sleep a lot and you always smile at me from across the room. 

You really like peek-a-boo and you're also teething.  Jack is always getting a frozen teether for you, and  sometimes I put an amber necklace on you when you're awake. 

You're around me so much that I haven't really noticed the stranger anxiety until we visited Grandma Dorothy last week.  You cried so hard until she handed you back.  

You got use to her though and eventually let her hold you.  Joel calls it "stranger danger"... and although it scares you, it makes me happy that you know I'm your Mama and you belong in my arms.

I'm getting a tattoo in honor of you soon.  Haven't decided where exactly, but it's coming... it will be your name.  My sweet Jude.   

Your hair is turning pretty blond.  And it's getting curly.  You have bed head a lot. 

Daddy thinks you're going to have my hazel eyes, I hope so. 

Jack and I have been teaching you sign language.  We're working on: Mama, Dada, Brother, Milk, Eat and Fan.  

Fan is the "fun" sign that they suggest to mix into the learning.  Random I know... you'll pick them up within time. 

You're growing like a weed... time is so precious. 

                                                                                      Love you sweetpea,

Us sleeping
Photo by Daddy

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Dear Jack

You remind me a lot of your Daddy.

I think you got his gift of always knowing the right thing to say.

It's a great gift to have... because as the saying goes,

"...people will always remember how you made them feel."
-Maya Angelou

Yesterday you asked me a lot of questions about my pregnancy with you.  

You asked how I knew you were in there and I explained what a pregnancy test was and how you pee on a stick.

Two lines means you're pregnant, one means you're not.

You laughed a lot.  You thought I was joking.  

You rolled around on the queen bed while we all slowly woke up together (you, Jude & me). 

You asked how you got there, and I told you God put you there... that getting pregnant is a lot like magic.

I told you that you were a special gift from God.

I told you I was lucky that God chose me to be your Mama.  And you told me you were lucky too.

I confessed that I remembered the exact moment when I found out I was pregnant with you.  I remember feeling every emotion in the book, excited, nervous, scared...

"Scared?"  You asked me.

And I said, "Yes scared... I'd never been a Mama before.  I wanted to be a good one."

And then you said it... typing it out makes me tear up all over again.

You said...

"And you was."

                                                         My first born and the one who made me a Mama,
                                                          You will always hold a very special place in my heart,
                                                                                     Love you always,

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Cloth Diaper Update

We're six months in!

We still cloth diapering (yay) but we're also using disposables at night (boo). 

Things don't always go according to plan, but I've come to learn... it doesn't have to be all or nothing.

We're still saving a lot of money and we're still being green. 

We're using disposables at night because of leaking problems we were having, but I feel like once we start more solid foods (Jude just started accepting rice cereal and stage 1 foods) then that problem will go away because he won't be drinking all of his calories. 

When I put 2 stay dry inserts in his shell, it helped... and it was fool proof with a hemp doubler under that, but I only own 3 of them and we could easily use all of them in one night. 

So, I took the easy route and bought disposables... but writing that out sounds a bit silly because the amount of hemp doublers we need could have easily been bought by what I spent on disposables for nighttime in one month.  So once they're gone, I'll be buying more hemp I just decided. 

It's a learning process.  

We also switched detergent.

I originally made my own, but after going through ammonia stink and burn... and reading lots of suggestions I took the tide original (liquid) and calgon (a liquid water softener that goes in your load of laundry) approach and never looked back.  I blame our hard(ish) water.  I bleach once a month and we haven't had any other issues... and we're almost 6 months in.  

His diapers also come out super bright white, no stains at all. 

Stripping.  The dreaded idea of stripping, it wasn't so scary... it's what you have to do to get your diapers back to square one and get rid of build up or anything that might be causing them not to perform as they should.  I did this after our ammonia problem and that was the one and only time.  It worked wonders by the way. 

How I stripped
1 tbsp blue dawn dish-soap and 1 cupful calgon
I turned our water heater up all the way, locked the bathroom doors (so Jack wouldn't accidentally burn himself) and waited almost 4+ hours then started the wash leaving the lid open so the load would soak for several hours (if not overnight, I can't remember).  

I just know I left the house after running the load and when I returned almost 4 hours later... the water was still hot!  

Then I ran the washer again with just water.  Then I ran the rinse cycle only until I didn't see anymore bubbles... I think I ran it a total of 1 wash and 3 rinses. 

I also bought two Planet Wise pail liners in avocado and baby blue and a tall white trash can and removed the lid for storage for dirty diapers.  

An open pail is actually less stinky.

Imagine a gross gym bag with sweaty clothes inside, if you unzip and let air get to it... it won't stink so bad, leave it zipped and in a dark place and it's extra gross.

The quality of the liners is amazing, I wash them right along with the dirty diapers every other day and no signs of wear.  They are great.

We originally decided on cloth wipes, damp, in a wipe warmer.

It didn't work for us, they started to smell musty and I just didn't feel like they were cleaning Jude good enough.

I also didn't care for rolling them individually and putting them in the warmer every other day.  So we went with a dry/spray bottle routine.

We keep the wipes dry in a pile and I make my own wipe solution that I spray on the wipe right before use.

Wipe Solution Recipe
8 oz hot water
1tbsp baby oil
1tsbp baby wash

Joel & Family

Joel is still on board.  The idea of saving money is still a favorite of his and he doesn't do the wash so the only thing he has to do that he hates is the occasional spraying of the poop in the toilet.  I'm still shocked he was so on board from the beginning.

Grandmas & Aunts use the cloth and have no issues.  My mother-in-law is so so supportive, she even tried to talk her friend into talking her daughter into cloth, ha!  We are a lot alike with our money saving, Eco-friendly, thrifty ways.  Or Joel as Joel would say, "hippies."

So that's it!  Any questions? :)

Anyone else on the cloth diaper route?  I can't believe how many people HERE (in the middle of Ohio) who are so open minded and taking on this new trend.  I have four friends who I know personally who cloth diaper.

I even went to a local organics store and saw some diapers for sale... granted the lady behind the counter didn't know what they were or how to use them, but they were there!

And since we're on the topic of re-usable and Eco-friendly- I'll be having a Diva Cup review posted soon!  Aren't you so excited?  I am! haha

Friday, March 1, 2013

words on repeat

"2 AM and I'm still awake, writing a song
If I get it all down on paper, it's no longer inside of me,
Threatening the life it belongs to
And I feel like I'm naked in front of the crowd
Cause these words are my diary, screaming out loud
And I know that you'll use them, however you want to"
"Breathe" - Anna Nalick

It makes me angry that I'm awake with words echoing in my mind.  Words that should have never been spoken.  Words that you make seem harmless but they're more than that.  What they make me feel is real regardless of intentions.

I don't owe you an explanation. 

"So cradle your head in your hands... and breathe, just breathe."

I rocked my baby to bed tonight with you in mind, words on repeat. 

Words you speak shouldn't be on repeat in a person's mind.  

If they are, then you're the person who fucked up. 

"Don't be that person.  Don't shoot that dagger." - a good friend of mine referencing being the person to speak unkind words that echo in someone's mind for years. 

I need to let it go.  

I need to just breathe, and I just need to write it out... to get it out, so I can finally sleep.

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