Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tender Moment Tuesday- Too Many to List.

So I had several moments this past week that I wanted to freeze in time and remember forever.  Moments that made my heart sing and turn to mush all at the same time.  I had a hard time picking which was my favorite and in the end I decided there was no rule set that I couldn't share more moments if the occurred.  So these are my Tender Moments for the last week.

Feel Better Daddy:

Ted and I were sick this week (ironically none of the kids seemed to really get sick though, just a few runny noses). Ted was so sick in fact that he stayed home from work (something he NEVER does!).  While he was in bed resting Teddy came to me with paper and crayons and asked me to help him make daddy a "get better card" as he called it.  He wanted me to help him write "Feel Better Daddy" on it.  So I took 1 piece of paper and wrote "Feel Batter Daddy"and he used that to copy the letters onto his own "card"

This was the finished product:


he forgot the e in his name (something he does a lot lately)
so he tried to add it in after he was finished haha.

And Kimmy took the piece of paper I wrote on to make her own card for daddy:







Dancey Dance Time

Kimmy had her first Tiny Tots Dance class this past week.  This made the list only because it means she is growing up and I want to make time slow down.  She will be 3 next week!

Reading to go:



Sariah was convinced she was part of the class too:





Chillaxin' and Soaking up Vit D

This morning, after we dropped Teddy of for his very last day of summer school, the girls and I decided to take advantage of the cool and sunny morning and play on our new (to us) trampoline.  First I sat and then I laid down on it as they "jumped" around me (Kimmy is the only one who really jumps haha)

This was my view:



More of my view:



Then Tubs decided since I was laying down I must be offering her some boob time:



So she took full advantage of some boobie snack time right there on the trampoline:



 It's mornings like these that I really count my Blessings 



What were your tender moments this week?  I would love to hear them!


Love,
this mushy hearted mama,
Christy

Monday, June 27, 2011

Healthy Eating, Healthy Living: 16 Reasons to Avoid HFCS

I am sure I must annoy many of my friends and family with all of my talk about avoiding HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup).  I constantly talk about reading labels and not feeding that stuff to my kids.  Once in awhile I am somewhat bamboozled by a brand that I trust that slipped it in with out me knowing either because I didn't read the label or because they used a different name.  The corn industry is sneaky like that, you have to learn to watch for many different names.  They know we catch on and start avoiding 1 particular ingredient (like HFCS) and they just change the name.

Names to watch out for:
High Fructose Corn Syrup
Crystalline Fructose- “is produced by allowing the fructose to crystallize from a fructose-enriched corn syrup.”  Sounds like HFCS to me!   
Corn Syrup- HFCS is made from Corn Syrup.  Corn Syrup is made from corn starch.  It is not the same as HFCS but the starting blocks of it.  Its not necessarily as bad for you but really not that good either so I suggest avoiding it.
Corn Syrup Solids- Same as corn syrup, not as bad for you has HFCS but it's still made by turning corn starch into glucose so probably best to avoid. 
Corn syrup solids are nothing more than a dried/dehydrated version of corn syrup, often used in powdered coffee creamers and similar products
High Maltose Corn Syrup- This link says it all, "Meet High Fructose Corn Syrup's Sneaky Cousin: High Maltose Corn Syrup".  I only discovered this new sneak tactic in the last week when I was reading the label of a trusted "all natural" brand.  I had band trust and brand loyalty and didn't think to check the label before buying this new product of theirs.  It was only after we had eaten half the box that I made the discovery.
Glucose Syrup- another name for corn syrup
Corn Sugar- I only added a link to this to show the corn industry's attempt to pass of HFCS as "corn sugar" and "natural".  I most assuredly do NOT agree with ANYTHING on that website!!

"IF YOU CAN’T CONVINCE THEM, CONFUSE THEM."
-Harry Truman

That's exactly what they are trying to do.  They are trying to convince and confuse us into believing that HFCS is natural and just like real sugar.  Corn Sugar, is the Corn industry's newest idea to slip HFCS in under the radar and make it sound "natural" after their failed Sweet Surprise/Get the Facts advertisement campaign of  claiming "HFCS is just like sugar and fine in moderation"

"High-fructose corn syrup and sugar are nutritionally and metabolically equivalent," the Corn Refiners Association said. "The name 'corn sugar' more accurately describes this sweetener ..."
- Michigan's sugar beet growers in fight against 'corn sugar'

The problem with that is, it is not even close to real sugar and there is no moderation with that stuff.  Almost every processed food in the grocery store from bread to snack cakes, chips to soda and even a few surprising ones such as lunch meat and pancake syrup, ice cream and even canned fruits/veggies often contain HFCS in them.  It is actually quite a challenge to avoid the stuff.  You really have to become a label reader and read every single label on every single item you buy.  Its the only real way to ensure nothing you are buying contains HFCS in it.

HFCS is unnatural and sweeter than sugar.  It actually makes your body crave MORE sweet things to eat.  It is also cheaper than sugar and has a longer shelf life which is why so many companies chose to use it instead.  It is an artificial way to keep food costs down.

I plan to write another post about avoiding all artificial sweeteners (as that is EXACTLY what HFCS is no matter what the anyone in the back pocket of the corn industry claims) but for now I will stick to the reasons why you want to avoid this stuff like the plague.

16 Reasons to Avoid HFCS:

1. HFCS has been associated with accelerating the aging process.  Gotta appeal to people vain sides, a diet that includes HFCS = aging much faster!
2. Obesity- and while we are on the subject of vanity HFCS is a KNOWN contributor to the obesity epidemic in the US.  50-100 years ago there was no obesity problem and you know what else, there was no HFCS, processed foods or fast food!!  Butter (and I mean REAL butter, made from a cow not fake plastic wanna be crap) is not our problem, other natural fats are not our problem,  Processed unnatural food like substances are the problem.  Our bodies do not know what to do with these unnatural wanna be foods.
"When rats are drinking high-fructose corn syrup at levels well below those in soda pop, they're becoming obese -- every single one, across the board. Even when rats are fed a high-fat diet, you don't see this; they don't all gain extra weight."
-Bart Hoebel, Psychology Professor at Princeton who conducted a study that showed that "all sweeteners are not equal when it comes to weight gain: Rats with access to high-fructose corn syrup gained significantly more weight than those with access to table sugar, even when their overall caloric intake was the same." 
the article also goes on to say that:
"In the 40 years since the introduction of high-fructose corn syrup as a cost-effective sweetener in the American diet, rates of obesity in the U.S. have skyrocketed, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 1970, around 15 percent of the U.S. population met the definition for obesity; today, roughly one-third of the American adults are considered obese, the CDC reported. High-fructose corn syrup is found in a wide range of foods and beverages, including fruit juice, soda, cereal, bread, yogurt, ketchup and mayonnaise. On average, Americans consume 60 pounds of the sweetener per person every year."
3. Its not REAL food- like too much "food" in America these days, HFCS is not REAL food.  It is a man made chemical that mimics sugar to our taste buds and our brain.  The problem is our bodies do not know what to do with it.  Store it as fat?  Attack and expel it out as a foreign toxin?  Our bodies just don't know.  Most food in America (and definitely anything that contains HFCS) can only be called a "food like substance" at best.  Fillers that are made cheaply with the intention of tricking your body into thinking you have eaten and are full.
4. Fructose is metabolized in the liver, diets high in HFCS may cause the liver to over work creating many liver problems up to and including liver failure.  Sugar is a perfect 50/50 balance of glucose and fructose.  HFCS can have anywhere from 55-80% fuctose causing the liver to over work.  Since it is created it is not an "exact" match for sugar and the acceptability range on the fructose balance fluctuates.
5. The liver can also develop cirrhosis when HFCS is consumed, a disease that is normally seen in alcoholics.  So if your diet includes HFCS you could avoid alcohol and never have a single drink your entire life yet end up with a liver that looks exactly like that of an alcoholic. (see #4 above)
6. HFCS has been linked to cellular inflammation and oxidative damage to the body.
7. Infertility- cellular inflammation and oxidative damage in the body can negatively impact fertility.  Add to that the fact that obesity can negatively impact fertility and anything that causes the body to be out of whack in any way can also cause fertility issues.  It's no wonder so many people in America suffer fertility issues.  So if you are trying to have a baby, put down that soda can!
8. When HFCS is consumed the body builds extra, very dangerous and unnecessary fat deposits around the heart, liver and digestive organs.
9. Consuming HFCS may cause and has been linked to Diabetes
10.  Consuming HFCS may cause and has been linked to Heart Disease- see #8, fatty deposits around the heart can lead to heart disease.
11. Consuming HFCS may cause and has been  linked to Kidney Damage/Kidney Disease-
"Researchers from Loyola University’s Stritch School of Medicine in Chicago took a look at the link between kidney disease and high-fructose corn syrup. Using data from nearly 9,400 adults in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 1999 to 2004, they tracked consumption of sugary soft drinks, a major source of high-fructose corn syrup in the United States, and protein in the urine, a sensitive marker for kidney disease. They found that overall, people who drank two or more sugary sodas a day were at 40 percent higher risk for kidney damage, while the risk for women soda drinkers nearly doubled."
-The New York Times: Still Spooked by High Fructose Corn Syrup
This TERRIFIES me because I already have plenty of kidney issues including chronic kidney stones and kidney infections.  I often jokingly ask my hubby if he will give me a kidney when mine fail but its really not that funny anymore!  I used to have an almost constant pain in my right lower back/side area (the right kidney is always the one that produces the stones) that began in my early 20's and became progressively worse as I got older.  It really flares up when I am pregnant. When I stopped consuming HFCS it went away.  When I started allowing myself to indulge in Dr. Pepper again (when the Dr. Pepper Throwback, made with real sugar, was no longer available to buy, it started out as 1 every 2-3 days and quickly jumped back up to 1 with lunch and 1 with dinner. ) the pain returned as well.  This was just last month and when I switched to a local Lemonade made with inverted cane juice and Natural Sierra Mist (made with real sugar) the pain is once again gone.  That's enough "proof" for me that the HFCS was doing something to my kidneys!  I also had and passed a kidney stone in the few months I was once again consuming the HFCS laden Dr. Pepper.  They appear to have kept the Pepsi and Mt. Dew throwback sodas but the Dr. Pepper is no longer available in any of the stores near me.
12. HFCS has been linked to many forms of cancer including the almost always deadly pancreatic cancer.  The pancreas is part of the digestive system.  It aids in insulin production and the breaking down of sugar into energy for the body.  The pancreas is just as confused with HFCS as the rest of the body.  HFCS causes the pancreas to have to work overtime.
13. HFCS causes you to over eat.  Since it is broken down differently in your body it does not trigger the correct release of hormones to tell your body you are full.  It creates a vicious cycle of confused "hunger" (your body thinks you are hungry when you are not) followed by over eating. 
14. Diets high in HFCS have been associated with Metabolic Syndrome which "is a cluster of conditions — increased blood pressure, elevated insulin levels, excess body fat around the waist or abnormal cholesterol levels — that occur together, increasing your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes."
15. A 2008 study found that High Fructose Corn Syrup Contains Mercury.
"Almost half of tested samples of commercial high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) contained mercury, which was also found in nearly a third of 55 popular brand-name food and beverage products where HFCS is the first- or second-highest labeled ingredient, according to two new U.S. studies."
-The Washington Post
We all know Mercury is a huge toxin!!  I shudder at the thought of the amount of Dr. Pepper I have drank in my lifetime as I am pretty much 100% sure that is one of the "55 popular brand-name food and beverage products" they are talking about!
16. There is now evidence that links Colony Collapse Disorder (aka the disappearance of the Honey Bees) to HFCS.  Apparently some irresponsible bee keepers decided it would be cheaper and easier to feed their bees HFCS ("BRILLIANT" I know!), especially in the winter months when the bee's natural foods are not readily available.  The problem arises with, Hydroxymethylfurfural (try to say that 3 times fast! I don't even know how to pronounce it 1 time fast.) which is a byproduct of the heating process of HFCS and apparently a toxin to bee's.
So not only is HFCS potentially making us sick, reducing our life expectancy and eventually killing us off but its now linked to the disappearance of the honey bee's.  At first this may seem insignificant, unless like me you love honey, BUT bee's do a lot more than just make honey.  It is the process in which they make the honey, collecting nectar and at the same time pollinating plants, that is their most important contribution.  With out honey bees (and other pollinating insects/birds) our plants cannot reproduce and die off.  No plants = no food for us.  It is not a good scenario at all!

I have always been a believer in the "Everything in moderation is fine" mantra.  This is 1 area where I am going to have to become really strict and throw that out the window. As far as I am concerned, there is no room for moderation with any sort of "food like substance" 

I already try to make sure that no products containing HFCS (or any other form listed above) ever enters our home or my children's mouths.  Sometimes I am hoodwinked, as in the case of the High Maltose Corn Syrup.  Then there are a few areas, like Ted's soda, where this is over looked but as I mentioned in my first Healthy Living Post even he is now on board with these ideals and ready to give up the Mt. Dew habit (or at least switch to the Mt. Dew throwback which is a step in the right direction).  Now we have to work on getting the kids on board with the "no more Happy Meals" rule.  We never consumed them a lot, literally once every 4 weeks  (as it was usually the second pay day of the month because the first was always rent and had very little left over).  They are not going to be happy with this as they really look forward to Happy Meal night.

In the words of the documentary Food Inc. "Every time you go to the grocery store you are casting a vote."  People often become overwhelmed at the fact that HFCS is in everything and they think there is nothing we can do about it.  That we are stuck consuming this food like substance in our foods.  In this case, however, change can be simple, you just have to be willing to make it.  You have to be willing to put in the effort to read labels and avoid buying anything that contains HFCS.  Imagine the change we could make if even 1/4 of us began to avoid this stuff.  Cast your vote today!  Do you vote for HFCS, Obesity, Diabetes, over all poor health and possibly even death or do you vote for REAL FOODS?!


I know this blog post is heavily laden with links but I encourage you to read them and educate yourself.  Ultimately it is your body and your choice.  I for one choose real foods!

Love,
Christy

Saturday, June 25, 2011

I am her REAL Mama!

Originally I planned on taking a day off from blogging, my house could really use it that's for sure.  Then this morning I toyed with the idea of maybe writing a "X Number of Reason's to Avoid HFCS like the poison that It is" post to go  in my Healthy Living, Healthy Eating series (and I promise to write that soon).

That got put on hold after reading something that was posted on the wall of the Instinctual Mamas Facebook page.  It was something I first read yesterday and it really upset and offended me.  I made the mistake of looking at it again today and just could not hold back.  I left a brief comment on the wall addressing it but there was so much more I wanted to say.  I share IM with 3 other mamas though and didn't want to risk bringing drama to the page.  I decided to post here instead that way if drama followed it was only directed at me and not to all the other mamas on IM.

So, I am sure you are wondering, what did I let get me all hot and bothered?  What has my panties in a twist?  It was an article posted about adoptions.  As most of you know, Karma is adopted (and if you didn't know, now you do).  I have been meaning to write out her adoption story and contemplated for a brief second using this blog post as a means to do that.  I decided not to because her adoption story is a beautiful story filled with love and I did not want to taint it with negativity.  I promise I will write it all out soon, for the purpose of this post I will just share a few important details.

What's so wrong with an article about adoption?  It was the manor and tone in which the article was written that upset me so much.  You can read the full post here.  Go ahead, click on the link, read it.  I will wait for you to come back................










are you still reading it??












is it making you angry yet??






Karma's Adoption Day, one of the happiest days ever!
Sariah was cooking in my belly so even she was "there".



Perhaps I was offended by this because I am a mother who has adopted.  The title should have tipped me off to the fact that this was something I should ignore and not read..... Adoption Advertising- Destroying Real Families.  Hmmm, there's that pesky word.... REAL.  What makes a REAL family, is it all about DNA or is it L-O-V-E?  If you read the article then you know that obviously some people feel  it's all about DNA and nothing else.

Does the fact that Karma's birth mother (oh yeah, I went there, I call her the birth mother!) is also Ted's sister make her adoption not "as bad" of a crime as in we did not "make an orphan" out of her because she at least shares DNA with Ted and our other 3 children?

What does that make me though, she shares no DNA with me.  Am I just some outsider, some "sadistic woman" who "stole" a baby to fulfill my own needs?

We are not the "typical" adoptive family in that we can have our own biological children (obviously we have NO problems with this as we have "so many"! We are giving the Duggars a run for there money is what I often joke with others.).  We are the same as every other adoptive family out there in the fact that we heard the need of a tiny helpless baby girl and we stepped up.  We took her in and we love her just as much as the other 3 children.  If anything I tend to favor her and let her get away with more because I am paranoid that she will grow up with a "I am adopted my parents love me less than their biological kids" syndrome.  Articles like the one above do not help this paranoia.

Perhaps, in the eyes of the author of this article and those who share her view points I am not as bad as other "adoptive moms" because Karma's birth mother abused drugs during her pregnancy and therefore Karma was removed from her and put into foster care at birth.  Maybe those of us adoptive parents who adopt through foster care are not as bad as those who do private adoptions.  Do I agree with this, NO!  I think all adoptions are beautiful.  I am just speculating on what may be deemed as an "acceptable" form of adoption to people who share this viewpoint.  Perhaps there is no acceptable form of adoption to them, perhaps in their eyes its better for kids to languish away in state care so that the rights of their "real families" are protected.  Again pure speculation.

The contents of the aritcle itself is not what upset me so much as the tables containing the "Honest Language" and comparing it with "Biased Positive Adoption Language" or the "Language Promoting Artificial Families".  That last statement should give you a taste of these tables but in case you didn't read the whole article I will give you a few examples that they list.  Remember, these are the views of the author and not me, I am simply listing what they wrote.  I am listing the ones that upset me the most, they all upset me though:

Honest, Unbiased Language- mother, natural mother, actual mother
Language Promoting Artificial Families-"birthmother" (incubator) , "bmom", "BM", "unwed" or "unmarried" mother

Honest, Unbiased Language- person looking for a baby to adopt/buy
Language Promoting Artificial Families- loving couple, parents, adoptive parents, real parents

Honest, Unbiased Language- is adopted (is legally related to adopters as in "is married")
Language Promoting Artificial Families- was adopted, joined the family through adoption (pretending the relatedness is natural, not legal. The naturally-related family members are dehumanized as "birth objects".)

Honest, Unbiased Language- person who has adopted, adopter
Language Promoting Artificial Families- mother, father, parent or "real mother", "real father", "real parents"

Honest, Unbiased Language- adoptive situation, adoptive family
Language Promoting Artificial Families- family, "real family"

I think anyone who has adopted, as well as adult children who were adopted, would be offended by these terms.  Or at least I hope I am not alone in this.  Calling a family Artificial because there is adoption involved is down right abusive and a form of bullying in my opinion.  There is NOTHING artificial about my family!

Karma is my REAL child, I am her REAL Mama!  End of story! 

I am her MOTHER!  I breastfeed her back to health (she was sick, withdrawing, diagnosed "failure to thrive" on a prescription formal and potentially set to have a feeding pump if she did not start to improve-you can read my full breastfeeding journey with her on my guest post on NPN here).  I am the one who woke up with her and stayed up with her for hours at night when she was a tiny baby.  I am the one who continued to have to get up with her every 2 hours until she was well over 1 because her brain thought she still needed to eat like a tiny baby due to the effects of the drugs.  I am the one who comforts her when she is hurt, I am the one who takes care of her when she is sick.  I am the one who teaches her, sings to her, plays with her, explores the wonders and mysteries of the world with her.  I am the one who shares the love of Jesus and Heavenly Father with her. I am the one who looks into her beautiful brown eyes and wonders if I am doing enough, am I doing it right, who will she be when she grows up, will she understand.  I love her, she is MY BABY!  I am her MAMA!

DNA means nothing to me.  It is just a complex scientific means to identify us, it does not define a family.  Humans share more than 99% of identical DNA, its less than 1% that makes us individuals.  So if your argument is that DNA is what matters one could argue we are all related, we are all 1 big family.  Science does not make a family, LOVE makes a family!

I AM HER REAL MAMA!  Ted is her REAL Daddy (her birth father is unknown).  Teddy is her REAL brother.  Kimmy and Saraih are her REAL sisters!  Any other kids we may have in the future, whether by giving birth or through adoption (as we have not ruled out more adoption in the future) will be her REAL siblings too.  It's just as simple as that!

WE ARE HER FAMILY.  There is nothing artificial about us!


Love,
Karma's REAL mama,
Christy

Friday, June 24, 2011

Healthy Living: 40 (because I could not come up with more) Uses for Honey


I am so excited, I have been wanting to start a series of posts called Healthy Eating and Healthy Living but I couldn't figure out how to keep them all together.  I even contemplated starting a new blog just for these posts but really wanted to keep everything here.  Then I FINALLY figured out the whole Labels thing on blogger and now I will be able to group them together for easy access (and all this time I thought the "tags" feature was to type in keywords to link your blog when people google things, I am quite computer challenged what can I say!).

I have been inspired to do these posts for awhile now to document our family's journey to a healthier lifestyle.  The motivation has increased recently due to my discovery of a blog called 100 Days of Real Food and from watching the documentary Food Matters.

Up until this point it has just been me alone on a quest to try and improve the overall health of my family with my hubby dragging his feet along the way.  Ok, so he was more like a kid not wanting to go take a bath who clings, claws and straddles the door so you cannot place them inside.  He refused to give up his fast food, white pasta's, white breads, white sugar, white everything as well as his beloved Mt. Dew.

He watched the majority of Food Matters with me and when it was over he told me I need to help him do better.  So he basically gave me full reign to take this family in the healthy direction I have been wanting to go for awhile now.

I must admit it wasn't all him dragging his feet though.  I still kept my crutches (hello Dr. Pepper, my frenemy!) and I used his refusal to switch as an excuse to indulge myself but now more.  I am going to hold myself accountable and make the changes we so desperately need.

I jumped on Ted's offer too the last time I went to the store.  I had been buying both white and wheat bread but this time it was only wheat.  I don't think he cares so much because I converted him to wrap sandwiches anyways.  They are so yummy that he doesn't care that they are also far better for you.

By far my favorite healthy discovery to date is Honey!  Local Honey to be exact but we will get to that in a minute (as there is a difference).  Honey has long been used not only for it's sweet taste but also for it's immune boosting and healing properties.  In the documentary Food Matters Honey is listed as one of the top Superfoods.  The use of honey both as food and as medicine dates back to the Eqyptians.
In researching all to post about the almost magical effects of honey I decided there was way too much information to compact down into 1 post so for now I am going to list some great uses for honey, as many as I can think of/find.  In the future I plan to write more on all the wonders that makes up this amber liquid gold.

"Honey is composed of sugars like glucose and fructose and minerals like magnesium, potassium, calcium, sodium chlorine, sulphur, iron and phosphate. It contains vitamins B1, B2, C, B6, B5 and B3 all of which change according to the qualities of the nectar and pollen. Besides the above, copper, iodine, and zinc exist in it in small quantities."
-source: Health Benefits Of Honey

40 (because I could not come up with more) Uses for Honey:

1. Take approximately 1 tblsp of honey and in the palm of your hand mix with approximately 1 tsp of brown sugar.  Massage on face and remove with warm water or a warm rag-you will never use chemical facial cleansers again.
2. Next time you are working out or playing sports forget the sports drinks or even the water, instead opt for honey water.  Simply mix in 1 teasp per every 8 oz of water.  Honey is a natural energy booster, the glucose in honey is absorbed by the body quickly giving you the immediate energy you need and the  fructose is absorbed more slowly helping you to sustain the energy boost.
3. Place a dab of honey on a bee sting-the honey will draw the stinger right out. My grandma did this all the time when we were kids.
4. Eat 2 Tblsp of  LOCAL honey each day- this not only boosts your overall immune system BUT if you suffer from seasonal allergies local honey can help with the symptoms or even cure the allergies.
5. Next time you are baking some bread replace the required sugar with honey, not only will this make the over all bread healthier but it actually makes it taste yummier too.  I have started baking all of our bread goods (bread, rolls, pizza crust, bread sticks, hoagie buns, hamburger buns, etc) with honey instead of sugar.
6. Honey possesses natural antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.
7. Use it as a salve on minor burns- because of its natural antibacterial properties as well as natural anti-inflammatory properties making it perfect to treat minor burns.
8. Spread honey on a cut or scrap- Honey is a natural antiseptic and just like with the minor burns the antibacterial properties make honey a great natural healing agent.  It also helps reduce swelling and pain and is even believed to help reduce scaring.
9. Help soothe a sore throat- I can personally attest to this one as we have all been sick in our household this week (pesky summer colds!).  I had never heard of or used honey for a sore throat before but just continued my daily 2Tbls's in the morning and noticed instant relief!  Honey is also antimicrobial so it not only soothes the sore throat but also kills the infection causing it.  Which would explain why I am getting better faster than Ted even though I got sick after him.
10. Speaking of being sick, you can also use honey to help aid with other general cold symptoms.  Again, with my normal habit of 2Tblsp each day I noticed relief not only of my sore throat but also of my sinus symptoms and over all fatigue.  This seems to last a few hours, about the same amount as over the counter medication, and when it wears off I just take 2 more.  So the next time you have a cold instead of reaching for the medicine cabinet, reach for the honey instead.
11. Trouble Sleeping?  Honey is a great sleep aid.  The whole "warm glass of milk and honey" trick your grandma used on you really does work it seems.  If milk is not your "thang" try it in a glass of tea, chamomile would be a great option as it is relaxing and also helps with sleep.
12. Honey is great for mild acne problems (see #1 for a simple but wonderful facial scrub)
13. Combine 1/2 cup of honey with 2 tblsp of Olive Oil and apply to your hair as a hair mask.  Allow to sit on hair 30 minutes, rinse with cool water (you may want to shampoo to ensure all of the honey is rinsed out).  This is a great deep conditioning treatment for hair.
14. Take a "Hot Honey Bath"  Add in 1/4-1/2 cup of honey to hot (not burning, but as hot as you can stand it) water and soak.  This is not only relaxing but it will also leave your skin silky soft.  It is rumored that Cleopatra herself took hot Milk & Honey bathes to keep her skin soft and youthful.
15.  Make your kids (and yourself) a nutritious healthy packed lunch simply by making Peanut Butter, Banana and Honey Sandwiches or as we call them in our house Monkey-Bee Sandwiches (we called just peanut butter and banana "Monkey" sandwiches, we added the Bee when we started adding the honey). My kids think I am letting them indulge in a treat as a meal but in reality this is 1 of the most nutritious things I could feed them.  We use 100% whole wheat/whole grain bread (I make sure its free of HFCS and other unnatural ingredients), Organic Peanut Butter and local Honey.  Sometimes we leave the bananas off and just have "Bee-Butter" sandwiches.
16. For a quick and healthy breakfast toast some 100% whole wheat/grain bread, add a smidge of REAL butter and a drizzle of honey and enjoy.  Honey is great for providing a boost of energy.
17. Honey helps prevent cancer- honey contains antioxidants, or bioflavonoids, which gives it carcinogen-preventing and anti-tumour properties.  This is not to say that it will cure cancer but it can definitely help prevent it from ever forming in your body.
18. It is believed that taking honey regularly can improve overall blood flow because the glucose provides energy in the bloodstream, which is then distributed throughout the body.  Glucose is believed to prevent capillary damage due to its ability to improve your blood flow.
19. Further, it is also believed that regular intake of honey can actually stabilize blood sugar levels.
20. Take the juice from 1 lemon and mix it with 2 Tblsp of honey- not only will this help with a sore throat but it will also help aid digestive problems (sour tummy anyone?).
21. Honey can prevent colon damage- if taken daily the antioxidants found in honey can strengthen the colon.
22. Honey is a natural Anxiety reliever.  If you are feeling anxious just take some honey straight or mixed in your favorite beverage/food.  Honey creates a natural mood stabilizing effect.
23. Honey can prevents Heart Disease (see #18)  Honey can preserve the quality of the produced blood, which can help to prevent heart disease in the process.
24. Honey can even SAVE limbs from antibiotic resistant infections such as MRSA and  group A streptococcus better known the Flesh Eating bacteria. (source: Honey Remedy Could Save Limbs by Brandon Keim)
25. Honey is great for eczema.  Karma suffers from eczema and a dab of honey on the little dry patches (usually on her back and legs) clears things right up.  If you don't want sticky clothes I would suggest some nakey time after you apply the honey.
26. Honey is a great treatment for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (see #'s 2, 4 and 11 for starters)
27. This goes along with #22 as not only can Honey reduce your overall anxiety but in doing so it actually cane IMPROVE memory.  Less overall anxiety means better overall brain function including memory.
28. Honey can help improve and cure a Bladder Infection-this is great news to me as I have a lot of kidney/bladder problems including infections and stones.  To treat a bladder infection, mix one tsp. honey with two tsp. apple cider vinegar in a glass of water. Stir well and drink once a day until the infection is cleared.
29. To go along with #28 to help pass a kidney stone combine 1 tsp. of basil with 1 tsp. of honey swallow. Kidney stones will be minimized and expelled easier using this concoction should.  Take once or twice a day.
30. Suffer from seasonal allergies?  Find LOCAL honey and consume daily (see #4).  The bee's collect pollen local to your area and turn it into the honey.  Giving yourself a low dose of this each day helps your body build up immunity to it so that you are no longer affected when you breath in the same pollen.  While there have been no formal studies done to prove this there was a study on allergies and honey conducted by students at Xavier University in New Orleans that produced positive results.
31. Even if the theory above is inaccurate honey is great for helping many sinus problems including to chronic sinusitis sufferers.  It is believed that the antibacterial and antimicrobial properties of honey are the reasons for this and as I said in #10 it has helped all of my symptoms with this pesky cold, including the stuffy/runny nose and sinus pain.
32. If you drink tea or coffee (which I don't!) replace the sugar you would normally add with honey.
33. To relieve the achy sting of a sunburn, gently apply a thin layer of honey to the affected area.
34. Honey is lower in calories than sugar, containing 40% less calories than an equal amount of sugar.  This makes it very dieter friendly.
35. Honey can treat yeast infections- apply honey to the affected areas, allow to sit 5-10 minutes and wash off with a gentle unscented soap or pure water.  Repeat several times a day as needed.
36. Honey can treat athletes foot- rub honey on the infected area before bedtime. Cover the feet with old socks, and leave on overnight. Wash and thoroughly dry the feet in the morning.
36 Honey increases the beneficial Lactobacillus bacteria in the gut when included regularly in the diet.
37. Honey can help heal a diaper rash- with my cold that I currently have I cannot smell anything.  This is a blessing and a curse when it comes to stinky diapers.  Blessing that I don't have to smell them as I changed them and curse because I am not aware they exist until regular changing times.  Because of this Sariah got a bad diaper rash and after learning about the healing properties of honey I decided to try it.  For a regular diaper rash just apply a small amount of honey directly to the rash.  For a yeast diaper rash mix honey with tea tree oil and apply.  This really did help clear the rash up and it had no ill effects on my cloth diapers so I would say it is a cloth diaper friendly option.
38. For a cool summer treat mix up some honey water (see #2 ) and pout into an ice cube tray.  Freeze for a few hours and enjoy in your favorite beverage (I like them in cucumber water, you may enjoy them in tea if you drink tea).  You could also use popsicles sticks to give the kids a healthy treat. 
39. Enjoy honey in place of sugar for all of your recipes, this may need to be tweaked so play around with it.  Start out using equal amounts of honey for sugar and then use more or less as needed until you perfect it.
40. Add honey to your morning oatmal or cereal to give a great pick me up for the day.  Honey is also great on top of pancakes and waffles in place of syrup.

Make sure the honey you are buying is a good quality 100% pure honey.  Watch the big store brands, read the labels, many bigger brands have sugar, water and even High Fructose Corn Syrup in them.  They are not pure honey.  Try to find a local honey farm to purchase from.  I am lucky, one of the "perks" of living in the sticks is that our small country store carries a lot of locally made/grown/harvested foods.  I purchase my honey from them, its made less than 20 miles away.

There is no definition for how close honey has to be from to be considered "local".  A general consensus seems to be within a 20-30 mile radius or about as far as a bee can travel from the hive.

There are a few types of honey that seem to be held in high reguard for their healing properties, including Manuka Honey.  These honey's are, of course, far pricier and I think that while thay may be useful in extreme situations such as #24 when you are trying to save a limb, for the most part as long as you find a good local honey the rest of the benefits can be achieved.

I think I am going to glaze our fish tonight in Honey with some lemon and herbs, can that be #41?

Love,
this healthy livin' (hopefully!) mama,
Christy

Thursday, June 23, 2011

More Exotic Melons

I was so excited this morning, our store finally had some more Lemondrop Melons in.  I had been waiting on that for awhile now.

The first time they had the Lemondrop melons it was just 3 melons.  This time the had a large section full of various melons. The sign above them just said "Exotic Melons- $3.99 ea".  They had 7 different varieties and they were all names I had never heard of before. 

Some may be familiar with these already but they are definitely all exotic to me.  I wanted to buy 1 of each but at $3.99 per melon I could not afford that.  I opted to go for another Lemondrop Melon because I knew they were good and had been craving one.  I also wanted to come home and look up the others to see if I would like them.

I took pictures of the melons as there was no way I would ever remember all of the names.  I am sure the lady working only a few feet away in the produce section thought I was nuts!


Casaba and Galia Melons
 Casaba Melon-
Casaba Melons are a variety of Muskmelon, which are smooth skinned melons including the honeydew.  They have no aroma and are not as flavorful as other melons but can be stored longer.  The flavor has been described as *"mildly sweet with a cucumber-like flavor "  Casaba Melons should be stored at room temperature and are fully ripe when the skin has turned bright yellow (so I am assuming the one pictured above is not ripe yet).  They are grown in California and Arizona from June-October.
Casaba are a good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin K, Potassium, Copper, Vitamin C and Vitamin B6.


Galia Melon-
According to Wikipedia *"The Galia is a type of hybrid melon originating from a cantaloupe-honeydew cross"   It is believed that this melon was originally developed by growers in Israel. Galia Melons are described as *"sweet and aromatic, with a flavor more like a cantaloupe than a honeydew although with a complexity of their own."  These melons should be stored at room temperature.
The Galia's peek growth season is May-August.
These melons are a good source of Potassium, Vitamin A and Folate (for you pregger mamas out there)


Santa Claus, Lemondrop and Orange Flesh Melons


Santa Claus-
Also called the Christmas Melon or Piel de Sapo.  These melons are oblong in shape and look like mini watermelons to me but the flavor is described as *"similar to that of a honeydew but much sweeter"  The Santa Claus melon is also grown in California and Arizonia with the growing season spanning June-October.  It is also a variety of Muskmelon.  These melons tend to be fairly large and are ripe and ready to eat when they are firm with a small amount of softness at the stem end.
The melon was named the Santa Claus melon for it's ability to keep for a long time, often until Christmas.  It can be kept, at room temperature, up to 6 weeks longer than most melon varieties.
The Santa Claus melon is a good source of Dietary Finger and Vitamin C.

Lemondrop Melon-
Or is it Lemon Drop Melon, I still don't know.  Sadly, we already know there is little info out there on this melon. I would describe it as a tangy cross between a honeydew and cantaloupe.  It reminds me of the way my grandmother served both of those melons, with a sprinkle of salt on them for tang.
I am unsure of where it is grown, what seasons, or what nutritional value it holds.  Since most melons are great sources of Dietary Fiber and Vitamin C I will assume it is as well.

While once again searching for Lemondrop melons I came across a blog where the woman referenced how these melons reminded her of Israel.  I do not know if this means they grow or originate in Israel or that they just resemble other melons that do.  I found this tiny tidbit intriguing though as these melons are still a mystery to me overall.  She also had a yummy recipe to make a refreshing Lemondrop Melon Limonana Sorbet that I would just LOVE to try but not with the melon I bought today, the kids and I already have our hearts set on enjoying it with our lunch here in a bit.

I also came across another blog, For the Love of Peaches  that described the flavor of these melons as "sweet honeydew flavor, followed by WOW.......  lemon flavor" .  I am beginning to really wonder if it is indeed a new melon hybrid made with the cross of a honeydew melon and a lemon.

Orange Flesh Melon-
When I googled "Orange Flesh Melon" the results all called it an "Orange Flesh Honeydew Melon".
Orange Flesh Honeydew Melons can be stored at room temperature for about 4 days and should then be moved to the fridge.  They are ripe and ready to eat when they are firm with a small amount of softness at the stem.  It has even been reported that *"Sometimes, the seeds of an especially juicy melon will rattle if the melon is shaken. ".  The taste is described as a honeydew melon, only sweeter.
They are also of the Muskmelon variety and are good sources of Vitamin B6, Folate Potassium, and Vitamin C.
Orange Flesh Melons are available May through October and grow in California, Arizona and Texas.



Canary Melon



Canary Melon-
I have found flavor descriptions comparing the Canary Melon to both a Cantaloupe and Honeydew melon (and ironically both on Wikipedia in almost the same sentence) *"distinctively sweet flavor that is slightly tangier than a honeydew melon" and then *" The flesh looks like that of a pear but is softer and tastes a little like a cantaloupe."  It is a European variety also known as Spanish melon, Juan Canary, Jaune des Canaries and San Juan Canary.  The Canary Melon is ripe and ready to eat when the rind turns bright yellow and develops a corrugated look and a slightly waxy feel.
This melon is best stored at room temperature and is known for having a long "shelf life"
Canary Melons are available in California and Arizona and are grown from March to October.  They are a great source of Dietary Fiber and Vitamin C.



Crenshaw Melon-
A Crenshaw melon is a hybrid melon (a cross between a Casaba and Persian Melon) with a very sweet, juicy orange flesh.   They are considered to be the sweetest melon variety available. These melons can be stored at room temperature until ripe and then must be stored in the refrigerator, consume within 5 days of melon ripening.
A ripe Crenshaw Melon will be fairly large and firm with a small amount of softness at the stem end.  These melons can weigh up to 10 pounds.
They are grown in California and Arizona from June-October.
Crenshaw Melons are an excellent source of Vitamin C

All of the melons (except for the Lemondrop of course) had stickers with the logo from Desert Owl so I decided to google that as well, just to see where the melons came from: The Desert Owl logo is trademarked by Robinson Farms in Blythe, CA.   So it looks as if all of these melons grew in California.  I try to stick to local produce if at all possible but at least produce grown in the USA so this made me happy to learn.

Growing up my mom rarely bought fruits and vegetables, fresh anyways, so I was unaware that so many varieties of melons existed.  I knew there were honeydew, cantaloupe and watermelon.  I thought I had made an "exotic" find last summer when I bought some Yellow Flesh Watermelon (which I now love more than regular watermelon, it has a honey taste to it).  All of these melons are intriguing me and I cannot wait to try each and every one.  I sure hope my store keeps them in stock as I can only afford about 1-2 per week.  I will let you all know what I think of each one.

Off to make lunch and enjoy our Lemondrop melon.

Love,
this exotic fruit lovin mama,
Christy



*All qoutes came from either Wikipedia.com or Produceoasis.com  which were both excellent sources on all of the above melons except of course for the Lemondrop, alas no one seems to know anything about these melons.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Habiba and Alma, Together Again

Such Joyous news to share today!!  Habiba has been reunited with her daughter Alma after a traumatic and unnecessary 3 week separation.  If you are not familiar with this story please read the blog I am Habiba, You are Habiba, We are ALL Habiba.

So far,. most of the press releases are in Spanish so I do not have a lot of information.  The little I have found in English comes from Examiner.com

"In a translated statement from the Instituto MadrileƱo del Menor y la Familia, IMMF or the Madrid Institute for Children and Families, Habiba "has been assessed that in the last three weeks, the mother's attitude has evolved favorably."
It is reported that she has a job and a residence per the request of the IMMF. Habiba has also agreed to participate in psychological therapy."
- Reunited! Mother and child separated over attachment parenting together again.
  Jennifer Antonil
  Milford New Moms Examiner
  June 22, 2011 12:32 pm

Just to know that Alma is in the arms of her mama again, where she belongs, brings tears to my eyes.

From the Worldwide Mothers support Habiba! IMMF Give her baby back:
TOGETHER, EMBRACED AND FREE. little Alma is recovering leaning her head against her mom's breast without separating from her for an instant, as if everything had been a bad dream. Habiba shines with joy, as we have never seen her before. We reassure you everything you have done has been worth it. Alma, Habiba and us we will be eternally grateful for all your support.-FundaciĆ³n Raices

I pray  that Habiba was able to keep up her supply during the separation, nothing will heal the wounds better than the close bond that nursing provides.  I also pray that the separation was short enough and Alma is young enough that there will be no lasting damage to her.  Hopefully it will fade away and she will grow up only remembering the love and security that her mama provided her with.

I was so elated I just wanted to share the news!!

We may have won this battler, but as the Worldwide Mothers Support Habiba  FB page also reports:
"Lynne Gomez: Just because Habiba and Alma are reunited does NOT mean this fight is over! Who will be the next Habiba? Who will be the next baby Alma? IMMF *NEEDS* to understand that this was unacceptable behavior and that it will not be ok for it to happen again.... We need to keep ON this so that no other mother and child have to go through this ordeal!!!"

For now, let's just shine in the glory of this victory.  Habiba and Alma, together again, together forever!

The Worldwide Mothers Support Habiba FB Page uploaded the most beautiful photo of mama and baby in each others arms again but blogger is being a pain in the tush and will NOT let me upload it right now.  I will try to come back later and add it, for now check out their page to see the picture.

FINALLY able to share the picture now:



Love,
this joyous mama,
Christy

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

CLOSED: Scentsy: It's a Review, Giveaway and Party!


I was so excited to get an opportunity to review some Scentsy goodies.  I must have been living under a rock because I honestly had not heard of Scentsy until a few months ago when we had several scentsy consultants giving away goodies on Instinctual Mamas for our Happy X Amount Fan Giveaways (we had a few!).  I was intrigued at the idea of a safe smell goodie for my house but with money tight (as always) I could not buy any for myself.

Enter my good friend Angie, who began selling scentsy to occupy her time and give back to 2 of her favorite charities-she makes no profits, she donates everything.  She asked me if I would like to do a review for her and I jumped at the chance. 

I stopped using candles in my house long ago.  I stopped for several reasons, including the safety concerns with small kids.  With Karma's superior climbing abilities there were very few safe places to put candles (except maybe hanging the from the ceiling, although I am sure she could still figure out a way to get to them if she tried hard enough!).

I also stopped using them after I learned that burning candles can "emit pollutants like benzene, styrene, toluene, acetone and particulate matter." - Natural Life Magazine. and that "Some candles on the market today are made with wicks that have either lead or lead cores that emit potentially dangerous levels of lead into the air." -ScienceDaily (Oct. 7, 1999).  As we all know, lead is very dangerous, especially for young kids.  When you burn a candle that has a wire containing wick not only does it emit lead into the air that you and your family then breath in but it also spreads it all over your house.  The lead, in the form of soot, can settle on everything inside of your home.   When I learned of these things the candles went bye bye.

Air Fresheners are just as bad (if not worse) when it comes to adding pollutants into your home's air, often just coating your nasal passages with chemicals to make you think the air smells better than it does. So those were not an option either.

Therefore I was stuck for over a year with no smell goods and plenty of smell bads (smelly/dirty/wet dogs, dirty diapers, smelly trash, etc etc) in my home

Enter Scentsy. 

Scentsy offers bars of yummilicious smelling wax that are melted in a warmer that features a low energy 25 or 15 watt bulb. The "candles" are wickless, smokeless, and flameless.  The heated wax does not release any harmful chemicals or pollutants into the air and many say it is safe even for those who have allergies or asthma to use (no one in our house has either of those so I cannot say for sure if this is true or not).

Because it is flameless Scentsy is safe to use around children.  The wax is safe to the touch, it does not get hot and will not burn anyone if it is accidentally spilled.  The warmer itself stays relatively cool as well.  I still would not let my kids touch it out of fear that they may drop and break it, but it is safe to the touch.  When Angie first told me this I was slightly skeptical so one of the first things I did was test this out for myself.  I was able to stick my fingers directly into the wax no problem.


first I touch the warmer itself, barely warm-
it had been plugged in over 2 hrs at this point.

then I put my fingers in the wax, again barely warm

once I removed my fingers the wax rehardened quickly

Scentsy offers over 80 scents and a wide variety of warmers (full size, mid size and plug in) sure to fit anyone's style.  I found over 20 that I would LOVE to have, just can't justify to my hubby that we need that many warmers!

I was sent samples of 5 fragrances to test out.  I was told that the wax lasts forever and she was not kidding!  I have had the warmer about a month now and have only gone through 2 scents and honestly the first scent was not used up I just dumped it into a small container so I could try out a new scent. 

The scents I have actually tried thus far are Camu Camu and Love Story.  Camu Camu is by far my favorite.  I am so thankful that Angie sent me this scent, it has a pretty funny name so I am sure I would have never chosen it on my own.  It smells so yummy though.  Love Story is heavenly as well.  I still have some Peach 'a la Mode, Groovy Grapefruit and Coconut Lemongrass. 

I plan to try the Coconut Lemongrass next and in fact, I may dump the love story into another small container today so  I can try it.  Sniffing the unmelted wax it reminds me of the smell of a Tanning Salon (yes, I was bad and used to tan as a teenager!  I plan to write a blog about that soon too, in fact its already started).  It's a strangely comforting smell because of this.


Elephant Scentsy Buddy- Ted's mom LOVES Elephants,
gonna have to get her one of these!

Smell is a totally personal thing though, I can sit here and tell you all about the smells I love and you may hate them.  I encourage you to check out Angie's website and browse through the scent descriptions for yourself.

If you have not tried scentsy yet all I can say is WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR!!  I am forever hooked now!  I can't wait to try out some more scents, just gotta make myself use the ones I have first.

As a part of this review Angie, being the kind person and friend that she is, has decided she would like to offer up a plug in warmer and full size bar in winners choice of scent for 2, yes TWO winners.




CONTEST RULES:

In order to be qualified you must complete at least the 1 mandatory entry.  You can do as many or as few of the extra entries as you want.  I would prefer that you leave everything you do in 1 comment but its not biggie if you leave multiple comments too.  I have figured out a great (for me) way of choosing a winner that involves me copying and pasting all of the comments and then numbering each entry.
All entries must contain a valid email address so that you can be contacted if you are oneof the winners.
Please do not unlike anything you have liked once the contest is over, this is just poor etiquette.


Mandatory Entry:
Join the Angie's funtastic scentsational games and promo's Group on FB (click the link, then click on "join" and Angie will confirm you).  Once you have been confirmed a member of the group please leave a comment sayinf "Adventures in Mommyhood sent me"
This entry must be completed to qualify for the gifts.

Additional Entries:
Follow this blog on GFC
Follow Adventures in Mommyhood: Mommy Outnumbered on FB
Follow Instinctual Mamas on FB
Go to Angies Scentsy Website and look around, leave a comment telling me what scent you would choose if you won.
*If you already do any of these then just leave a comment saying that you already follow/like .....

If you would like a chance at 5 extra bonus entries:
Check out my online party, if you place an order come back here and leave a comment with your confirmation code and what you ordered.  This will earn you 5 additional entries, just leave 1 comment I will make sure you are given 5 additional chances to win.

Giveaway will run Tuesday June 21 through midnight on Friday July 8.  Winners will be chosen and announced within 2 business days.

GOOD LUCK!


Love,
this smell goodie mama,
Christy


So I thought I had a great system going of cutting and pasting all comments into a word doc and assigning them numbers 1-how ever many entered.  It worked great until today when my 3 year old unplugged the computer when  I was literally on the 2nd to last person's entries.  I had to do it ALL over again because I didn't think ahead to save my progress.  ARGH!  Whoever coined the phrase "terrible two's" must have mistakenly thought a 3 yr old was in fact a 2 yr old because my 2 yr olds are little angels, their horns don't appear until age 3!!!

AND THE WINNERS ARE........

Jackie Nicole Wertish jaxw1208@gmail.com
Mintee Mama ( Larissa Willfong) lwillfong@hotmail.com

CONGRATS to both ladies, I will be passing your info on to Angie and she will contact you shortly.

Tender Moment Tuesdays- Picnic

Saturday morning we awoke to no power in the house.  Heavy storms had moved through overnight and knocked power out widely in our area.  Thankfully it was cool(ish) outside so we played out there.  At lunch time there was still  no power so we decided to have a little picnic outside.

Not a huge significant event I know but it made the cut for Tender Moment Tuesdays because of how much my kids enjoyed it.  They were all so excited, they giggled and laughed as they ate.  Teddy exclaimed multiple times things such as "this is awesome!" and "this is the best day EVER!" a few of those times Kimmy parroted him agreeing that it was indeed  the "best day EVER!"


In this picture Teddy was exclaiming that it was indeed
the "best day EVER!"







Love,
this sentimental mama,
Christy

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Sisterhood of the Crying Mommies?

This post was born out of yet another long winded comment I was leaving on the blog Crying Babies Will Be Charged Extra.

The blog post has sort of taken on a life of its own and I would be lying if I didn't admit that it makes me sad that the first blog I have ever really received so much feedback on is this blog and the feedback is at least 75% negative.  They say you are not a "real" blogger until you tick someone off and apparently I have struck a nerve with this post.  I convinced myself that the comments were not bothering me but I think by telling myself that I really let them start to bother me.  Go figure!

The main thing that is bothering me is that so many people, having never read a single blog post from me before, are stumbling upon this post and are deciding based solely on the contents of it that I am a horrible, selfish and ignorant parent.  The message they seem to have taken away from it is that I walk around in public with my kids in a perpetual state of meltdown screaming and crying and disrupting everyone else's day and that I somehow feel entitled to do so.

While I still stand behind my own personal feeling that is is wrong for a restaurant to charge parents extra because their babies are crying (it has been pointed out that this extra charge may have been a $3 surcharge for sharing an entree as apparently this is common practice in that area.  With out seeing the receipt to know for sure I can only go off what the owner herself said, which is the extra charge was applied to the desserts for the crying babies).  With that said this incident was more a jumping off point for the blog.  The whole purpose of the blog was my own mini vent session on the fact that anytime I am out in public somewhere and 1 of my kids "dares" have a meltdown strangers feel they are entitled to judge me and say rude/hurtful things out loud to me.

No one seems to be walking away with this impression after reading the blog though.  They seem to be walking away with the impression that my parenting skills are questionable and my kids are out of control heathens. Maybe I should reevaluate this whole blogging thing if I am being so misunderstood.

I posted 1 comment that said in part that I was surprised to hear from so many other moms that they felt the behavior of the restaurant owner was perfectly acceptable and to read how harshly they judged the mom's.  In that comment I said that I was surprised that there were so many "perfect" mom's out there as the general consensus from the mom's leaving comments seems to be that they never let their kids cry anywhere in public. 

A comment was left that questioned me on this asking me if I was surprised that there were so many "perfect parents " out there or that maybe I was just surprised  " by the number of people who don't believe the general public should have to endure your child at their worst."

Ok so I didn't plan on quoting the entire comment, simply paraphrasing and instructing you to go and view all comments for yourself if you wanted but it appears that it is now gone from my blog.  So this is going to make me look like a rambling idiot I am sure.  I still have the email notification in my email box though that contains what the comment said so I will post it here now in the hopes that I appear some what less crazy.  It may reappear as blogger has been doing some rather goofy things lately, in which case this portion of the blog will make me look a tad kooky but that's ok:

V---- has left a new comment on your post "Crying Babies Will Be Charged Extra":

My son is 2 years old and it's not often that my husband and i go out to eat. When we do, however, we are hyper aware of our boy's behaviour. Obviously, every parent knows that their child has a little timer and can only sit still for so long. It also goes without saying that if you know your child naps around 11:00, it's unfair to expect him or her to be perfectly behaved at 10:30. That being said, meltdowns and tantrums can strike out of the blue. We had gone out to eat once and our little man was fine until a few bites into our meals. out of nowhere he absolutely lost his mind. as soon as i realized he was working up to full meltdown mode i took him outside to cool down but it didn't help. there was nothing left to do but take our food to go and get him home. It was disappointing that we didn't get to enjoy our meal, but that's what happens when you have a child with you. The rest of the restaurant's patrons should not have to listen to my child scream because I want to eat my meal in the restaurant. I cannot help that my child is having a meltdown, that happens, but I can control what environment he has the meltdown in and who else has to hear it. Those patrons did not choose to eat their meals beside my screaming baby, but i did bring him into the restaurant knowing that was a risk and acted accordingly when he flipped. Just as a side note, the mothers in this post as well as several commenters were offended that the owner had written a post about it (keeping them anonymous) as oppose to asking them to leave in person. I frankly find it very hard to believe that they would not be equally or more insulted had a server or the owner of the restaurant asked them to leave.
In terms of letting my son loose in public, I don't let him walk around in restaurants, unless they are specifically child-oriented. I used to be a waitress and it was dangerous to have people's kids wandering around near the hot espresso machine, or darting between my legs while i was carrying trays of food or hot liquids. my son is a curious little boy and i wouldn't want him bothering other diners either. As for grocery stores and similar places, he can walk around as long as he holds my hand. i don't want him charging through the aisles of the supermarket. he often doesn't want to hold my hand and will cry and scream when i pick him up and either carry him or put him back in the cart. luckily these fits don't last long before he becomes distracted with something else and my little man has not tripped someone up or accidentally knocked over a display. when doing my shopping with or without my son, passing a screaming child in an aisle is preferable to having the child sprinting around, in his or her parents' view or not. I don't think we have become anti-child at all. I don't believe any reasonable person would take issue with having a non-screaming baby seated at the next table or having a child walk beside their parents' cart in the grocery store. I don't believe anyone is claiming to be a perfect parent, and maybe you are just surprised by the number of people who don't believe the general public should have to endure your child at their worst. Perhaps i just haven't experienced it yet but I have never found myself in a position where i couldn't leave whatever place i was in when my son threw a tantrum. I personally find the "i can't help it, kids will be kids, deal with it" attitude very off putting and selfish.


Posted by V----- to Adventures in Mommyhood: Mommy Outnumbered at June 14, 2011 11:38 AM

This is what I started to write back to her before it morphed into this blog:

No I am not surprised that so many people seem to feel this way, I am simply sad more than anything. I would like to think there is a special sisterhood with Moms.  A sort of  "I have been there and I understand" love and acceptance that flows through us all.  I always thought that at least other moms understood when I was out in public and one of my kids lost it over who knows what (lately it's been because I refuse to buy my 5 yr old candy at the check out line.  I never give in but he does it every single time so I am sure it appears to others that I must give in to him all the time.).

I always told myself that this Sisterhood existed, that all of us Mama's were bonded together by the love we have for our kids and the constant trials we are put through by them.  That no matter what our personal parenting choices were (bottle or breast, cosleep or crib, disposables or cloth, to spank or not to spank) that deep down inside we were all united together.

I understand many single people look down on me, turn up their noses and walk away thinking what a poor mom I must be and how I need to "get those kids under control" but to discover that so many moms are also feeling the same is upsetting to me. I guess this is just another layer to add to the Mommy Wars. Another way to 1 up each other.  As if to say "oh, you mean you don't immediately jump and run out when your baby starts to fuss. I sure know I do. I just must be a much better parent and all around more considerate person than you.".

Apparently moms who don't run for cover at the first signs of whimpers are selfish ignorant bad parents. 

Some of the places I can think of off the top of my head that I could not leave while one of my kids had a meltdown include:

The grocery store- we live in the sticks and gas is expensive. Our gas budget is pitifully small so when I go I HAVE to finish. I don't have the luxury of packing everyone up and going back again.  The store is a bit of a drive, I have to finish up and go.  Believe me there have been many times I have skipped a few things on my list just to get out of there a little quicker.  I have tried the "just take them to the car" trick but it doesn't work.  They may calm down only to start back up again once in the store and it just drags the entire process out that much more.

Doctor and Dentist offices- Since it's usually the kid who is being seen by the doctor that's having the meltdown I can't just leave.  When its feasible I try to find someone to watch the kids who do not have to be at the appointment to lesson the likelihood that a meltdown will occur but it is not always an option.  Often I can find someone for a few kids but not all of them.  Recently Kimmy had to have several of her teeth capped and due to her age was put under for this procedure.  My sister-in-law and mother-in-law watched Teddy and Karma but since Sariah was still nursing and it would be most of the day I had to take Sariah with me.  We were there for hours and she got fussy more than once in the waiting room.  I couldn't exactly pack up and walk away.

DMV- I had to do this twice, once to renew my license and once to get tags on my car. Both times I could not find someone to watch the kids so I went with 3 kids in tow.  The oldest was 3 at the time.  It's funny because once again while they were being good everyone admired how well behaved they were. When my oldest had a meltdown everyone began giving me dirty looks.
They were on #31 when his meltdown started and I was #33 so I was not about to step out and have to go through all of that again. I brought snacks, drinks and toys and went first thing in the am (after breakfast) so there was plenty of time before lunch or naps.  My son got upset because I would not let him run all over the place or "bother "others.  He kept trying to talk to a few people around us and while I know the DMV is not a happy place I must admit I was upset by how annoyed people seemed to be at a 3 yr old boy trying to cheerfully talk to them. 
That's what I mean when I say our society is becoming anti-child.  A 3 yr old trying to cheerfully talk to people and not only were they ignoring him they were blatantly rolling their eyes, harrumphing and turning their backs to him.  It is no wonder he got upset after a good 45 minutes of this treatment.  Of course once he started crying the eye rolling and loud annoyed sighs only intensified.

ALL of Karma's court appointments and other various Foster Car appointments-Oh the appointments I had to go to with her!!  It seemed like every week I had to take her somewhere or let someone else in my home.  I found someone to watch Teddy and Kimmy for all of the court appointments except the final adoption day one, which was a joyous day for us all to be together as a family.  I tried to find someone to watch them for the other various appointments too but it was impossible to cover them all.  Even when it was just her she was a tiny baby and I could not control WHEN these appointments were made.  She had a scream fest at almost every single court date we went to, with the only exception being Adoption Day. Once Again, I couldn't just walk away or out of the court room.

Babysitters are hard to come by.  We trust very few people with our kids and cannot ask them every other week to watch the kids so that I can run errands with no kids in tow and make everyone else's life easier.  Rants From Mommyland wrote a great post on why it's so hard to  Just get a babysitter".

I plan ahead, I make appointments at very specific times because I know (hope!) my kids will be happy, rested and full then.  I try to be courteous and to take others into consideration.  I try to comfort my kids, to console them and calm them down.  Sometimes it works, most often it does not (have you ever tried to talk sense into a screaming crying 18 month old who has no idea why they are even upset to begin with?)  When it doesn't work I just try to get through whatever it is that we are doing and get out of there as soon as possible.

I expect the judgment from single people who have no kids.  I chuckle in my head and want to just tell them 'you wait, you will see someday" but it's so sad and so hard to take when it comes from other Mamas.  So I will just end with this, I am not a Bully Mom and (I hope) neither are you.  When I see a mama in the store with a screaming baby I recognize that look of hidden embarrassment and slight frustration all over her face. I see the dark circles under her eyes and witness her futile attempts to comfort that child.  When I see this I try to smile, give a little wave or thumbs up to let her know I understand.  If I am close enough to her I actually tell her that I understand, that I have been there and I know how those days can be.

Love,
this WONDERFUL, EXCEPTIONAL, LOVING mama,
Christy
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