Thursday, December 26, 2013

Pregnant After IUI: Week 7

Merry Christmas! ...a day late.

So, yesterday I was 7 weeks pregnant, but since it was Christmas and I spent it with my family, I didn't get a chance to blog.

We announced to the world on Tuesday that we're pregnant. =] It feels good telling people, because now I can update my Facebook status to something like, "Impulse-bought a big jar of pickles the other day... best purchase ever. Does anyone know: Do they sell just the juice anywhere?" or "My pants are already a bit too tight," and they won't think I'm getting fat because they'll know it's all baby. (Actually, I've lost weight recently, so I KNOW it's either bloat or baby. There is a good chance it's bloat.)

Baby has doubled in size again. S/he is about half an inch long, or the size of a blueberry. The brain and kidneys are continuing to develop and get more and more complex, and the arms and legs are beginning to form.* Quite the busy little bee, while I sit here and bemoan my lack of motivation and ability to have a bowel movement.**

Speaking of which, let's go over symptoms. My biggest, most uncomfortable issue right now is constipation. I have hardly pooped in weeks, and it's starting to bother me. Now, I'm typically pretty irregular, so some bloat I'm used to, but this... ugh. So very uncomfortable. I'm going to call my doc today, I think, and get some ideas and okays for relief. I'm thinking epsom salts, or prune juice, or magnesium are good places to start (I'd like to keep it to natural approaches, at least at first. The DigestZen wasn't doing anything... although maybe if I apply it topically it would be better. I just don't like the smell...) The constipation is so bad that I don't ever feel hungry, it's making my back hurt, my gut feels like a million pounds, and I'm irritable. So we need to get this figured out soon.

Other symptoms include more nausea (although still not terrible) and getting motion sick (nausea, headaches) very easily still. Peeing... maybe a little more than before. Oh, gagging while brushing my teeth. That's the only time I've "thrown up." (It was a teeny tiny amount.) But this one is super counter-productive and irritating. Smells are stronger. Still no real food aversions, but Baby loves mushrooms. Food has sort of lost it's appeal; it's main goal now is to make my stomach not hurt; but it's hard to find something that sounds good. Most of the time I just eat to eat, not because I want something specific. Although white bread toast with butter and grape jelly is a staple that I would eat every few hours if I let myself. So yummy. I have had more vivid dreams than is typical (um... more or less.) but none of them are about babies. I guess I've been a bit more emotional than average, but nothing major (still).

I have an ultrasound scheduled for January 7th, but I have to contact insurance and see if they'll cover 2 ultrasounds or not, because I don't want to have to end up paying for like the anatomy scan or something. I can't wait to hear the heartbeat... I think that's when I'll really KNOW and FEEL like I'm pregnant...

So, there's my week 7. Sorry these posts tend to be so long. Hope you all had a great Christmas and have a Happy New Year!

* Info found at
** Sorry if I give out too much info on some things. I'm really open about stuff, and I want to be able to look back and remember everything. If you don't like that, don't read my updates... or something. Most pregnant women are queens of TMI.

Pregnant After IUI: Weeks 5 and 6

My baby's heart is beating, kidneys are forming, and even the nose, eyes, chin, and other facial features are beginning to form. How crazy is that?! And yet some try to tell me that it's not a real baby yet...

Let's jump right in to the symptoms. My symptoms have changed so much! My boobs got really sore and then settled down. I'm so much more tired during the day (but don't sleep great at night). Before I wanted to eat everything, and now food just isn't as exciting. Some things still sound good at first, but then when I think more about it, I'm not so sure. I've been starting to get a little nauseous, but only if I go too long between meals. I don't get hungry anymore; I get sick! If I eat a little something, though, I feel much better for a while... maybe an hour or so, then I need another little snack. So I feel like I'm constantly eating! My motion sickness is really bad... I get car sick ssssoooo easily now a days. Even looking at moving objects can set me off. My back has been hurting off and on, but nothing that using my Pilates roller can't fix. My cramps have gotten much less bothersome; however, if I move a certain way my uterus "twinges," which my mom said is completely normal and is just telling my body not to move that way any more. Those also have decreased in frequency. I have never in my life craved anything other than water to drink. But I WANT APPLE CIDER. Jon is actually going to stop and pick some up for me today. I'm so excited. I am so, so constipated...It's awful. Just terrible. I have been taking a DoTERRA Essential Oil blend called DigestZen that is supposed to help (very much diluted, btw, and safe for pregnancy) but I haven't noticed a huge benefit from it. What else...? Irritability has increased, but is still bearable (for me... Jon may say otherwise). Mild night sweats. My sense of smell has increased. Just today I realized our dog stinks. I can't say I have to pee much more, but anyone who knows me know that I already pee quite often. Wow this is a long paragraph.

Now, as for what I've been taking/ doing this pregnancy: I am taking an organic prenatal (that still has soy, go figure), a probiotic ( I want Baby's "first meal" to be a good one!) and taking that DigestZen (1-2 drops in a capsule filled with a carrier oil, taken on a full stomach). At first I kind of ate crap, gained 2-3 pounds, and then "felt" malnourished, so I've gone back to eating better (Baby needs no additional calories in the early stages...) and I've gone back to my starting weight and feel better. I am looking for high-protein meals and well-balanced snacks. I am also going to be looking into early pregnancy exercises and other things I can do to prepare for labor. I am trying to get more walking in, but that hasn't worked out very well.

My mom is already convinced this is a girl. I'm kind of hoping she's right, but I'd be ecstatic either way. I just can't believe I'm finally pregnant. =]

4 Weeks... PREGNANT!

I wrote this back on November 4th, when I was 4 weeks pregnant. (About 3-4 days after I found out.) I decided I'm going to be doing weekly updates, and I wanted to start early, but I knew we wouldn't tell right away. So here it is for you to read, now.

So, today I am 4 weeks... pregnant. I have waited so long to be able to say that I'm pregnant! I can hardly believe it.

Here's the back story:

In early September, Jon and I agreed that it was time for me to go see an OB/GYN. We had been unable to get pregnant for a long while. I got a reference from a couple of friends of my sisters' to see Dr. Erica Barrette through Sacred Heart. I made an appointment with her, and she is GREAT. Very nice, very friendly, and took me seriously (which, I must be honest, I did not expect. I thought she'd tell me to go home and lose weight or try for another year, since we're young, or try harder, etc. She said none of those things). So we ran several tests on both Jon and me, and decided that an IUI was our best option.

An IUI is Intra-Uterine Insemination. Meaning that they take ejaculated semen, "wash" it (not with soap and water, but a machine that concentrates the sperm) and then insert it via a catheter through the cervix (not unlike a pelvic exam. *Small "ew" noises acceptable.* Chances of getting pregnant through this method are approximately 25%-30%.

So in October they took a blood test to make sure my progesterone was high (it was), meaning that I ovulated (I knew I had), and on Tuesday, November 19th we went in for the procedure. I will spare you the gory details. You may ask if you wish.

I had decided that I was going to take a pregnancy test on Thanksgiving (9 days after the procedure), hoping it would be positive, but knowing that it would still be early so I wouldn't be too depressed if it was negative. I couldn't wait until Thursday. So Wednesday morning, I took a test and it was negative. Wednesday evening I had a tiny bit of spotting, but nothing major, and thought I'd still test Thursday morning. Well, Thanksgiving rolled around. My test was negative again, and I was still bleeding, although admittedly it was just a tiny amount. The spotting finally stopped Friday afternoon, but I figured I was getting my "monthly subscription" so I hadn't tested that morning. But when the spotting stopped, I figured I should test again.

Saturday morning I woke up and took a test. I *thought* I saw a second line, so I called Jonny in and asked if he saw anything. He told me he did see 2 lines, but that one was "really faint." I looked at him and said, "That means I'm pregnant."All calm and not freaked out at all. Oh, by the way, this was at 5:45. AM. Yeah. I didn't cry, which surprised me, but I was on an adrenaline high for about an hour and a half. I've taken two more tests, Sunday (12/1, 12 days after IUI) and Monday (12/2, 13 days after IUI) with progressively darker lines on the tests.

Somehow I managed to wait until our Family Night on Sunday to tell everyone in the family. Well, except Julie... I told her at church Sunday morning... I just couldn't hold it in!

So yes. I am four weeks, Wednesday, December 4, 2013. Baby's due date is the middle of August.

I want to do a quick symptom rundown, to keep track of all this. So far, nothing much, although I have noticed a bit of... tenderness, not even soreness, in ma boobies. I have had exactly 2 very mild bouts of nausea, that last only a few minutes and then are gone. My. Back. Aches. I don't know if this is pregnancy related, as it has been bothering me for a while now. Couple weeks at least. Oh, also, on Saturday I was eating breakfast and it tasted off to me. Now that was the day I found out I was pregnant. So it could have been mental, or the food could really have been off (although Jon said it tasted fine). It seems too early for that kind of thing, but maybe, just maybe, it was actually because of My Little Parasite. Oh, and cramps. Lots of cramps. Ever since the night we did the IUI. They have been mild, but I've been crampy nonetheless.

I'm hoping now this blog will turn more into pregnancy updates, at least weekly.

Anyway, thanks for all of you out there who were praying for me, and please continue to pray for a healthy and happy pregnancy for me and the bitty! He/she is the size of a poppy seed right now... how awesome is that?! So tiny, yet huge compared to the cells they start out as...

Saturday, July 27, 2013


The mistress?--but I don't like the connotations associated with that word, so I'll go with master--of homemade goods.

It's true. I am not very good at a lot of things, but one thing I AM good at is all things DIY. Not artsy DIY, but homey DIY, like dish soap and lotion. And laundry detergent. And dryer balls. And sunscreen, deodorant, clothes degreaser and dishwasher detergent. Yessiree, I've made them all. And what's more, I'm happy with them!

Well, all except my first laundry detergent recipe. If you all remember way back when I first blogged about it and tried it out, I was rather a fan of it. However, after a few weeks, I started smelling soap everywhere. Towels, bed sheets, clothes... it was making me sick. Also, my towels weren't as absorbent as they were before. Obviously I had some build-up. I don't have an extra rinse on my machine and I was already putting such a small amount of detergent in the washer, I didn't want to use less. So I found this recipe somehow and decided to give it a shot. Instead of being only washing soda and Dr. Bronner's soap, it also has baking soda, citric acid, and salt in addition to the other ingredients. Since I assumed the washing soda and baking soda do basically the same thing, but the washing soda is more effective, I skipped the baking soda. I have done several loads of laundry, and my towels are absorbent again, and I don't smell soap everywhere. So, I'm pretty happy with this new recipe. I guess time will tell if I will continue to like it.

There are still several things I want to try, like these reusable food wraps, this homemade bleach, homemade make-up, and of course some sewing projects, not to mention homemade shampoo (I found a recipe somewhere that was basically honey and water... I'll have to try to find that again) and conditioner.

I did make my own tooth soap to use instead of toothpaste, and both Jon and I HATE it. I gag every time I brush my teeth. So I'm on the lookout for a new recipe. The tooth whitening recipe on that page is fine, but I don't like using it every day because the baking soda can cause tooth sensitivity and my teeth are already really sensitive.

Also, I'm a great cook, as my banana bread, ham, potatoes, and roasted veggies will attest... and I'm becoming quite the gardener. I have 3 tomato plants, 3 sunflower plants, an avocado pit, and garlic all going and all thriving at my apartment, AND I'm helping with the garden at my parent's house that we just started this year. So far, we've gotten some radishes, peas, and zucchini harvested. Very exciting.

So anyway. There's a list of my current accomplishments, haha. Hopefully I've inspired you to try some DIY projects, or, if you're not willing to make them yourself, to employ me to make it for you! Ha!

May your banana bread and potatoes always be smothered in butter!

Friday, May 31, 2013

[Add title here]

Oh, me. Oh, my. What a neglectful host I am. Oh well, you'll get over it.

I didn't tell many people this, because I wanted to try it out first, but this last month Jon and I have been almost completely grain/starch free. And by "almost completely" I mean that our day-to-day meals are grain-free (and free of foods that turn quickly into sugar in the body, i.e. potatoes, rice, flour, wheat, most fruit, etc.). We have had a few "cheat" days. Once we had to go to St. Cloud for a funeral, and one Sunday Night dinner we had bagels and corned beef from Max and Benny's. But over all, it's been grain-free. INCLUDING ME SAYING NO TO CAKE AT A BIRTHDAY PARTY FOR THE KIDS I NANNY. You need to read that again? That's okay, I can wait.

Done? Let that sink in. I have NEVER in my life before said no to cake. But yeah. I'm proud of myself. I also have been craving gyros for approximately 6 weeks and have yet to get them.

I will admit that I did cheat a couple times. I tried Cheetos once. I used to love Cheetos. These Cheetos tasted like sawdust. They were so gross! Sugar gives me a stomach ache. It just doesn't taste as good.

Having said that, Katie and I made this AMAZING chocolate cake. Only we used coconut oil instead of the butter, since Kate can't have dairy, and substituted 1/2 avocado per egg, since I'm intolerant (we're not high maintenance at all, I promise,) and we used coconut crystals instead of white sugar (coconut crystals are low-glycemic, so they don't spike your blood sugar). Guys, this was THE BEST chocolate cake I've ever had. Now, I'm not sure if that's because neither of us had had any good cake in so long, or we were craving the sweets, or what, but we ate like half of it all at once, with strawberries and coconut cream. Then, when we had others try it, they're all like, "yeah, it's good, but not great." We were aghast. Please, make this cake. Don't be discouraged by the disgusting batter; it's much more better when it's baked. (Also, I will admit the cake itself tastes better warm and fresh from the oven or reheated.)

For the first few weeks, I had NO energy whatsoever, since I wasn't pumping my body full of it's preferred source of energy: sugar. But the whole purpose of the no-starch/grains/sugar diet was to teach my body to burn fat for energy, not sugar. So it took a while, but now I crave more healthy fats (5 gallons of coconut oil, anyone? Yes, I did buy that much...) Avocados, full fat dairy products, nuts, seeds, and oils. Lots of meat and veggies. Creativity. This month has been a challenge, but it's been rewarding.

So you may be confused as to what we can and can't eat. We can have nuts and seeds, meats, most veggies, dairy, berries, Granny Smith apples, and the like. We can NOT have oats, grains, wheat, starch, and most fruit, not to mention any processed foods. It's been a busy month of cooking and cleaning in my tiny little kitchen that always seems to be dirty.

Will we continue on this diet long term? I don't know. I find when I do eat a ton of grains or sugar, I feel sluggish, my stomach hurts, and I just don't feel great in general. Do I get sick of meat and veggies, and want my potatoes back? Almost daily. Not to mention the price tag of healthy fats! Oh my. But even if we do start incorporating more grains/starches soon, it will definitely be slowly, and hopefully we'll never get to where we were before, where the majority of the foods we ate turned to sugar in our bodies.

At this point I think it will be more determined by our budget than anything else; healthy eating IS NOT CHEAP. But we'll see.

Anyway, how about that weather, lately? My goodness.

Monday, April 8, 2013



Hope is a powerful thing. It has the power to keep you going through the toughest of situations, but it also has the power to crush you.

Let me explain.

I have hoped for a long time that I will someday get pregnant. However, it is a very abstract hope. It is the hope that some day, in a very indistinct future, that I will have a baby. Or 2. Or 5. It's enough hope to keep me afloat. Enough to help me make it through day to day.

But that hope is changing... and I'm terrified.

It all started quite a while ago now. My sister's husband, Damon, hurt his back somehow. (I don't remember how.) He was in the hospital and everything. Shortly afterwards, he discovered this chiropractor, Dr. Aaron Afrostrom, who believed in "Maximized Living." Maximized Living is a system of chiropractic, I believe. They don't treat the symptoms. They find the cause and fix it. To do so, they take x-rays and look at the spine. The spine is supposed to be shaped a certain way, and any misshapenness (new word) can cause problems with certain parts of the body, based on where the spine is misshapen. For example, the very first few vertebrae are connected to immunity and immune organs (spleen, liver, gall bladder, etc.), among other things. So someone who has a too-straight neck might suffer from lowered immunity. Slightly farther down on the spine affects your heart, so that person might experience high or low blood pressure, irregular pulse, palpitations, or even heart disease, heart attacks, or strokes. The thing is, you only feel about 6% of your nerves... the rest are internal and you don't feel them. So by the time you experience any pain, it's because the area affected has gotten large enough to affect the surface nerves, which you can feel.  Anyway, Damon had HUGE success with this chiropractor, and he and Julie have been going there for quite some time now. Even Liam gets adjusted every so often.

Back to my story. Julie and Damon recommended that Jon and I go in and get x-rayed and see how awful our spines are. We did. My main complaint was headaches, with tension/anxiety being a close second, and intestinal issues rounding out  the top three (constipation alternating with diarrhea). Jon, though, has extreme joint and muscle pain, migraines, stiffness, soreness, and just general pain almost constantly. The result was very surprising. I have way fewer physical issues than Jon, but my x-rays were worse.

My neck was too straight (I'm sick all the time!) and, most of all, my lower back, which should have a 45 degree curve toward my stomach, was completely straight. As in flat. No curve. None. Huh. So what does that mean? I asked.

The lower part of your spine affects your digestion and intestinal tract and fertility organs. Guys, I have AWFUL menstrual cramps. I typically have 12+ hours of severe cramping when I ovulate. I have been trying to get pregnant for almost 2 1/2 years. Your lower spine affects fertility???  What if by fixing this I get pregnant?!

And that's where the crazy new hope comes in. Doc Aaron anticipates significant recovery in just a few short months. I could have a baby by this time next year! Aah, my dream feels so close!!

...but what if fixing it doesn't help me get pregnant? Then my hope will be crushed. And not just gently buried in the ground with love. I mean dashed upon the rocks, stampeded on by a herd of buffalo, then tortured into submission. It will not die. I will always have hope. It just may end up as this mangled, crushed shadow of what could have been.

I'm looking forward to this new venture toward getting healthier, and hopefully toward pregnancy. What will happen if this doesn't work... I don't know. I guess we'll see.

The other night I had the song that starts "My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness." I just need to remember that. Jesus may use the chiropractor as a means to get me pregnant... but he may not. He may say to me, "No, I want you to keep waiting, to keep learning to trust, to keep Me first." He doesn't ask any more of me than he is willing to give--and he gave his life for me, to save me from eternal damnation. What is a few more years of waiting for a child? What is never having a child, compared to that?

Huh. I didn't expect my thoughts to take that turn, for this post to be so... hopeful. Funny how that works! 

May your hope always rest in the greatest Hope of all!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

My [new and improved] laundry and shampoo routines

Dr. Bronner's Organic Fair Trade Personal Care
(Image from Dr. Bronner's website)
I think I've mentioned before that I am slowly switching from commercial products in favor of the more natural homemade stuff. If I haven't, well, now you know. Well, one of those projects turned out to be laundry detergent. I have to buy all the "free and clear" stuff, since my skin is super sensitive to the fragrances and dyes found in most detergents. Despite the fact that there are fewer additives in these products, they still smell and they charge a premium for the "hypoallergenic" stuff. Which I find super annoying. So I said, "Enough" and did some research online. And by research, I mean Mommypotamus posted a DIY laundry detergent recipe like 3 loads before I ran out of  my commercial stuff. Oh Mommypotamus, how I love you!! I looked at the recipe and thought, "Hey, that looks easy... and natural... and... oooh, balls of yarn!" (She has a link to making your own dryer balls... check it out!)  Also, I am not ADD.

So I went on my merry way expecting to have cute, colorful balls of yarn for cheap! Yeah! (You CAN buy cute, colorful dryer balls online, but they are PRICEY! Like, $20 for 3 pricey! I said no thanks.) I drove on over to JoAnn Fabrics and looked at their yarn. To make the dryer balls, the yarn has to be 100% wool and able to felt, not "machine washable." They had exactly four (4) options for me. Light tan, brown, dark brown, and a speckled brown one. Ohh, fun...not! And one thing (skein?) of yarn was 11 bucks! Still cheaper than online, so I got a tan one. It was enough for 3 balls. Which was fine. But they're all a boring tan color. Oh well, these are for functionality, right? I keep trying to tell myself that. Ha. (Also, making dryer balls was FUN. I was surprised. I wanted more yarn just to make more, not because I needed them, but because I just wanted to make more.) (I have since found yarn several dollars cheaper at Wal-Mart, but it's the same colors... poop.)

The best part of the dryer balls? I can dry my towels in the dryer, without having tons of static! Before, if I used a fabric softener sheet in the dryer, I had to hang my towels on our [huge] drying rack in our [tiny] apartment OR not use a fabric softener sheet... but then they got super staticky! So I love my dryer balls.

Then, a few days later I officially ran out of commercial laundry detergent. Huzzah, time to make my own! I had purchased a couple bars of Dr. Bronner's peppermint bar soap from my local grocery. I only made 1/3 of a batch as written by Mommypotamus, because I wanted to try it out. I have used it a couple times and I love my new routine!

The clothes feel soft, clean, and have no scent or residue on them. I thought they might smell pepperminty or lemony (she suggests adding a bit of lemon extract as a degreaser), but there is no smell whatsoever. With which I am fine. I am going to keep track of how many loads I get out of my 1/3 of a batch and also how well it cleans, and if it continues to work I will make a full batch later. Check out Mommypotamus' website for the full tutorial.

As for shampoo, I am using Dr. Bronner's Liquid Soaps for that. They also have a conditioning hair rinse available that I use and love, but it is a bit pricey, especially if that's the only thing you're having shipped. (The bottle is 8 oz and costs $10 before shipping. I have used just over half of it since the end of February/beginning of March...when money is tight, that's just too expensive.) So instead, when this is gone, I will go ahead and use apple cider vinegar--it works just as well. (The purpose of both is a pH balancer, as the shampoo pH is different than my hair, so it makes the follicle stand out, making it feel sticky. Using the rinse makes it lie flat and feel soft again.)

So those are my new homemade products. I am looking for a good dishwasher detergent, but they all use Borax, and I've heard that that is poisonous... so I don't really want to put it on my dishes that I put my food on/in! So if you have a good dishwasher detergent that is homemade, please let me know. Other homemade DIY projects are for toothsoap, deodorant, body scrub, and cleaning supplies. I already make lotion, sunscreen, citrus infused vinegar (for cleaning), and most of our food. I love it! Can't wait to be "all natural!"

p.s. guys, I give up on trying to take pictures for my blog. They're always awful. Like, blurry, bad lighting,  and most of the time you can't even tell what it is... so... yeah. You'll have to use your imagination, unless someone wants to be my photographer... for free.

May you never be as crazy as me!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Babies, Babies, Everywhere

(Photo found on a Google image search for "baby." Picture not mine.)
Babies are everywhere, again.

Usually I do just fine with the whole "not pregnant" thing, but every few months it seems as though it gets difficult again. I feel like everyone is pregnant. And if that's you, than truly, from the bottom of my heart, congratulations. God has chosen to bless you through your little one, and I am so happy for you! But won't it ever be my turn?

Sometimes I feel like the answer to that is "No." I get so discouraged. I've wanted this for such a long time. Everywhere I turn, people get pregnant within MONTHS of trying... or not trying! And here I am, married for almost 2 1/2 years, and still no luck. It's hard. It sucks. I hate it. But I'm learning through it. Isn't that God's purpose? To teach us? To be like him? To wait, to be patient, to trust? Can't he find a different area in my life to teach me these things?!

Of course he COULD. But would I learn the lesson as well as I will? He must have a reason for giving me THIS PARTICULAR TRIAL. And I have grown through all this. Instead of wallowing in self pity, I've been using this opportunity to lose weight and get healthier (and wallow maybe a little). I have learned to trust him. Particularly his sovereignty. For some reason, God has been forcing me to  consider his sovereignty in everything, not just this one particular thing. For instance, the other day, Jon and I read through Jonah, and I was stuck by how even in the "casting of the lots" and the worm that eats the bush that shaded Jonah, God is in control. He is cognizant of and contributing to all of the minute things that occur. Thank goodness for these things!

Sometimes I think the answer is "Some day." I can think of many good reasons as to why I'm not pregnant yet. Reasons that show me that it's a good thing we don't have an infant or one on the way. But I still can't get this desire out of my mind and heart. I believe it's a godly desire. I honestly do, and that as such, God wants to give me this desire. I just don't know when he will see fit to do that. I hope that I learn the lessons he's teaching me soon, so that I may experience this wonderful joy of being a mother. (Is that selfish?)

I rarely, if ever, feel as though the answer is a for sure "Yes." There are always nagging doubts in my mind that I will ever be able to be a  mother. I've always felt like I CAN'T get pregnant, that something's wrong. Or maybe God knows I would never be a good mother. Or who knows. I have no idea. Maybe this is a lack of faith?

I don't know. These are all ramblings and thoughts as they come into my mind; I just wanted to get them down. Thanks for reading, if you're still here. I get lonely sometimes, because outside of family, I don't really have people to talk to. And sometimes you need someone else. So, thanks for reading. Prayers would be much appreciated.

May you always learn from your trials.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Berkey Water Filter Giveaway by Mommypotamus

Giveaway! Royal Berkey With PF-2 Fluoride Filters ($300 Value)
Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE Heather over at

This month, she is giving away a Royal Berkey Water Filtration System. 

"A what?"

A Royal Berkey Water Filtration System.

"No, really, what is that...that... that THING?"

That, my friend, is pure awesomeness. It filters out basically everything.  Well, everything BAD. The GOOD things it leaves in. As Heather says, "Berkey purifiers also remove 99.99999% of pathogenic bacteria, cysts and parasites while extracting chemicals including herbicides, pesticides, organic solvents, VOCs, detergents, cloudiness, silt and sediment. Cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, aluminum, mercury and other dangerous heavy metals are also removed (95%), as well as nitrates and nitrites, without removing beneficial minerals!" 

So. Um, what are you waiting for? If you DON'T want this awesome filter yet, just research what one or two of those things does to you. If you're STILL not convinced, or you have a morbid sense of curiosity, look them all up. Add fluoride to the list. You'll be clammering to get your own, trust me.


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

You Don't Hate Me, Do You? I Still Love You!

I must first apologize for my lack of blogger-ly-ness.

I have no excuses. But here is a picture of a Bernese Mountain puppy.

There. That makes up for it, doesn't it? I mean, look at those adorable puppy ears AND DID YOU NOTICE HOW FUZZY HIS HEAD IS? I mean, really. You MUST forgive me now. So ha.

Okay, people. Come back from Puppyland: Adorableness Incarnated now. I'm talking. And I refuse to allow myself to get interrupted on the Internet more than I do in real life. 'Kay, are we back now? Excellent. Let us proceed.

So, I have done a miserly (that's such a fun word!) job of keeping you all updated on my weight loss and goals. I have, thanks to 2 weeks of illness, dropped another 7 pounds these last couple weeks, making my total weight loss since October a whopping 17 pounds. But I'll take it. My goal is to lose 10 more pounds by the second week in March, when we are going on a family vacation to FLORIDA to see my GRANDDADDY. And the ocean. But also my Granddaddy. And partly to get Bubble Bread. But mostly to see my Granddaddy.

I have also, just this week, started doing Pilates again. I need to find some cardio I can do, too, though. I am fairly limited, so it's been a challenge. Walking has been the biggest thing I do (typically parking far away in the parking lot and going to the mall to walk with my sister and my ADORABLE nephew Liam. If you quit interrupting me, I'll show you a picture of just HOW ADORABLE he is later. LATER. JUST WAIT.) You scrolled down, didn't you? Just to check. I would have.

ANYWAY, SHUT UP. I'M TALKING HERE. GET YOUR OWN BLOG IF YOU'VE GOT SO MUCH TO SAY. (DISCLAIMER: I am not really mad. How could you possibly be interrupting me if you're simply READING this? We all know I'm being silly. Right? RIGHT?!)

Onto a new topic. I have been really motivated lately to not only eat healthy, but to be aware of chemicals and toxins that I put ON my body as well. I was watching an interview between and Dr. David Kennedy, who is a leader on flouride (the interview was done by the HealThy Mouth Summit and was free when I watched it and , but now you have to pay quite a bit to see it). After showing some key points to Jon and talking through it will him, we have decided to try the OraWellness Brushing Blend. Here's a brief video that talks about the Bass Method for brushing teeth, what it is, and why it's effective.

We also purchased this Couples Starter Kit which includes the flouride-free tooth cleaner. I did find a recipe to make this stuff at home, as well, which we will try, but I wanted something to compare it to. I don't think we will buy the brushing blend long term. It's just so expensive. (If you want a sermon from me on the dangers of flouride please LEAVE A COMMENT.)

Hmm, what other interesting news or random facts or tidbits of information do I have to share with you? I would like to make some kind of cover for my Kindle like this one:

But I would modify it somewhat. This is a soft case-just fabric. I would want it to be more sturdy. I saw an idea was to use the hard board from a binder and sew it in. I just so happen to have a bunch of old binders that are falling apart that I've been meaning to throw away and haven't, so I may have found a use for them. Another thing I'd change is that that button (which is super cute--no point in denying that) is purely cosmetic. She closes the case with Velcro. Which is loud. I would make the button be the actual closure. The last thing I'd change is the way she keeps the Kindle in the case. She uses 4 large and ungainly pieces of elastic sewed in, which you can't see in this picture. And that works, but is U-G-L-Y-YOU-AIN'T-GOT-NO-ALIBI if you know what I mean. I was thinking perhaps I could either use clear elastic, folds of fabric, or somehow remove the plastic pieces in my current boring black leather case that holds my Kindle inside, keeping it comfy cozy. (I'm not sure I want to do that, though, because then I may not be able to use the utilitarian cover then.) The last option is to cover my current Kindle case with fabric and just glue it on. Not sure how that would look though. Just another project for me to do... in addition to the Christmas tree skirt I want to make and sundry hemming and mending.

Okay, show of hands: who wants to see pictures of Liam? Wait. I can't see your hands. All right, fine, feast your eyes on this gorgeous child whom God gifted to my worthy sister and brother-in-law.
Had to get a picture of his dimple.


Big brown eyes!
 You're welcome. Have a good evening.

(All pictures of Liam belong to my sister. They may not be copied or used without her express permission.)

May your puppies and nephews always be adorable!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy Christmas To Me!!

I know, I know. I didn't do a Christmas OR a New Year's post. I'm sorry. But you were busy, and I was busy, and I figured you didn't really have time to read anything I might have to say, anyway, what with all the other blogs you read and people you interact with and things you just HAD to do.*

Anyway, I wanted to make a post on my favorite-est Christmas present of all this year. My incredible parents and darling husband pitched in and bought me a Smith and Wesson M&P 40 C!! For all you unlearned-in-the-realm-of-guns-and-gun-jargon that means a Military and Police 40 caliber compact! Or, in layman's terms, an awesome new pistol! I'm so psyched. I love it.

On Christmas day, my dad and I went outside and shot it. People, it was sweet!! The magazines hold 10 rounds, 1 in the chamber, so I can have 11 total in the gun. Dad had the store put an ambidextrous safety on it, and the magazine release can be switched to either side. The slide lock and release are on both sides of the gun as well. It came with two magazines, one with a pinky extension; three different grip sizes; a case, and, of course, the gun. Jon gave me that magazine loader, and we have since bought another pinky extender magazine. And ammo, of course.

Here's how everything fits in the case, or at least, how everything fit until Jon bought me another magazine.

This is my new pistol compared with Jon's Ruger SP101 Revolver. Jon's gun is cool, sure, but mine takes the cake, doesn't it? I just love it so much!!

Thanks, parents and Jon, for the awesome present!! (Other gifts included, in part, a used pressure cooker, chapstick, and some chocolate truffles. The truffles were a close second on the Awesome Christmas Presents: 2012 Edition list.)

May your gun powder always stay dry!

*This is a lie. I just didn't know what to post about.