Friday, December 18, 2009

Reasons why we would never supplement with formula

The number one reason for me is that formula has literally killed millions of babies around the world - especially in those places that give "free" samples.
- Milk, Money, and Madness: The Culture and Politics of Breastfeeding by Naomi Baumslag M.D. M.P.H. and Dia L. Michels (Paperback - Sept. 29, 2008)

Reasons why we would never supplement:

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Placenta Encapsulation

for thousands of years, women have eaten their placenta. I didn't particularly want to eat mine (though power to those who can!) but I have no problems with taking it in a capsule. It basically regulates all your crazy postpartum hormones. My friend who is certified as an encapsulation specialist just had her baby as well, so I had to postpone the process, and so my placenta has been in my freezer. I really do wish I had those capsules from week 2 to week 4 during those nutty weepy hours of the night - for me it was midnight to 3 am every night for about 2 weeks. it was highly annoying.
here is my friend's website on placenta information. You can actually find a lot of information by typing in placenta encapsulation in google search.

I was interviewed last month by Karen Angstadt, on her Love to Labor radio show. Karen is a terrific host, and I think I was able to share some good information on the placenta. I appreciate the op...
link:Full Article...
Being certified through Placenta Benefits seems to be a growing trend! Every day we have new members apply to join PBi asPlacenta EncapsulationSpecialists. In order to become Certified, a Specialist ...

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Aidan Birth Stats

Well, here's all the details:

Aidan Lee Neece
Monday, October 12, 11:09 pm
8 lbs 5 oz 20 inches long

57 hours of drug free labor
i am warrior woman. ;)
details of the birth story coming soon

Thursday, July 2, 2009

unsolicited advice about birth and birthing options

A friend of mine is so frustrated because people at her work found out she was considering a birthing center or a home birth option for her pregnancy, and started giving her unsolicited advice right away about how "dangerous" those options are, etc. Sigh. Western conventional women who don't do their research really don't have a clue, do they?
Personally, I equate this with bullying. Here is a first time pregnant mom, and they are trying to fill her with fear, the very definition of a bully.
Well, what I usually do with bullies is either ignore them, or confront them on their bullying.
Here are some tips and some things to say if people are rude and tactless enough to insert themselves into your business.

1st) I have read dozens of books and articles about birthing center births and home births. Recently, I read the brand new book "Your Best Birth" by Ricki Lake. Amazon link. This book is brilliant, and is an extremely good recommendation for those who have never considered a birthing center or home birth and who are antagonistic about the whole idea. So one option is to create business cards that include the title and author of this book, and maybe a couple of facts to go along with it. Then you hand them the card and say:
"I don't believe you have done your homework. If you want to know why my family has chosen this option, you can read this book."
If they continue to be antagonistic, you can get a bit snippy, and say
"I'm not going to discuss this with you further until you know what you are talking about."
"If you want to have an educated discussion on this topic, research first, and then I'll be happy to discuss it with you."

2) Ground them in reality with some hard-core facts. Say:
"United States has the second-worst newborn death rate in the developed world and one of the highest maternal mortality rates in industrialized countries, mainly because we have been deceived into delivering at the hospital with a male doctor. Denmark is #1 in the world in safe births, and most of their women have their births at home with a well-educated midwife. So if you are trying to tell me that home births or birthing center births are dangerous, you obviously don't know what you are talking about."

3) Or you can go the extremely tactful route (which is no fun, in my opinion) and just say:
"My family and I have thoroughly discussed and researched this. This is the decision we have made after careful consideration and deliberation. I appreciate that you had a good birth experience at the hospital of your choice and believe you have every right to have made that decision. We have decided to exercise our right to make a different decision. We will just have to agree to disagree on this topic. Thank you."

4) I will admit that some of the statements above are bit confrontational. They are written in mind with the view that you have already tried gentler methods of persuasion and answers, but the people who are offering the unsolicited advice won't back off. In that case, he or she is being a bully, and the above more confrontational statements might help your cause to get them to leave you alone.

5) Of course, most women who decide on a birthing center or home birth simply do not tell or discuss it with anyone. Which is why a lot of women are still ignoramuses about alternative birthing because nobody discusses it.

6) If you are more of a radical educator like myself, you might try having a video watching party with your women friends where you can show and discuss the film "The Business of Being Born". Amazon link. Youtube link. Netflix link. This might also be a good idea for your family (moms and dads) if they are having qualms about an alternative birth. Also, if more women advocate the book "Your Best Birth" for their book club selection, then the ideas behind the book would be more likely to be discussed across the country and become more mainstream thinking than radical. There are several great books and films that are along similar philosophical lines, but the Ricki Lake media in particular plays well to a mainstream audience who knows nothing about home birth. I hope and pray that churches and women clubs across the country will show the film "The Business of Being Born" and advocate reading the book "Your Best Birth", so that moms choosing an alternative birth won't feel so much pressure and bullying from those who don't know any better.

7) Other videos that promote the true facts about birthing are Orgasmic Birth (website link), Birth Without Violence (Amazon link and Trailer link) What Babies Want (website link, trailer link), Home Delivery (Amazon link), With Woman (Amazon link) and Pregnant in America (website link, trailer link). The other day, I went to a screening on Orgasmic Birth. Its actually more about home birth and the safety of it and how great it is, etc. Its definitely worthwhile seeing with your hubby. You can Netflix Orgasmic Birth (link), Business of Being Born (link) (this one is also available thru Netflix streaming video so you can watch it on the computer), Birth without Violence link, Pregnant in America link, and there is a lot of prenatal yoga videos if you type in pregnancy, and several breastfeeding videos if you type in breastfeeding. :)

8) Also, I fully understand why moms choose a hospital birth with an epidural or c-section. It is her right to do so. I believe that you should give birth wherever you honestly feel that it is safest. I understand that many women truly believe hospitals are safe and wonderful places to give birth. My personal opinion on the matter is that hospitals are very dangerous places to give birth, and I would only want to be driven there if something was wrong.
So my only advice on the subject is that I would greatly encourage all women to thoroughly research and explore all their options and then make an educated decision.

9) To me, this entire subject enflames my sense of justice. I have a very strong sense of justice and an absolute disgust for injustice. Home birth is legal in every state and every civilized country, and has long been considered by most of the western world as the safest place to give birth with a competent midwife to assist. It completely baffles me that the women of the United States would allow the money-grubbing Male doctors and insurance companies to be so completely in charge of the birthing process. They keep insisting that birth centers and home births are dangerous, even though every statistic, every piece of research completely refutes their claim. Because of money, they endanger the lives of millions of women and babies. Women of the United States need to unite and insist that it is a woman's decision on where to give birth, and that all options can be good and safe choices.

Juice Plus vitamins Super Sale!

Hey, I managed to procure some bottles of Juice Plus vitamins and now am selling them to raise some money for a pregnant lady.

If you have always wanted to try Juice Plus, but never could afford to, here's your chance!

These are the only bottles that I have, so once they are gone, they are gone!
In other words, I am not a distributor.

Here's the deal:

I managed to procure some bottles of Juice Plus vitamins and now am selling them to raise some money for a pregnant friend.

If you have always wanted to try Juice Plus, but never could afford to, here's your chance!

These are the only bottles that I have, so once they are gone, they are gone!
In other words, I am not a distributor.

Here is what I have.

Minimum purchase is 2 bottles.

I have 14 bottles of 5/09 for $10 a bottle

I have 6 bottles of 1/09 for $6 a bottle

I have it on good authority that these vitamins are fine for up to a year after expiration date.

Limited time: If you want it all, before anyone else gets it:

The Total of all the above: $176
If you get everything, it'll be $150.

Minimum purchase is 2 bottles. Please inquire to reaffirm the bottles that you want are still available.

You can pick it up or I can ship it. Shipping is $4.
I work in Dallas and live in Fort Worth, so let me know what location works best for you.

Just click on the Contact Me button in the top left hand column.
Payment by Paypal or Google Checkout.

God Bless!

Info on Juice Plus vitamins:

official page

Great for pregnancy and breastfeeding:
pregnancy study

Great for Health and Nutrition:

Dr. Sears highly recommends them:

Safe for kids to take!:

Home Birth Videos

Videos that promote the true facts about birthing are Orgasmic Birth (website link), Birth Without Violence (Amazon link and Trailer link) What Babies Want (website link, trailer link), Home Delivery (Amazon link), With Woman (Amazon link), and Pregnant in America (website link, trailer link). The other day, I went to a screening on Orgasmic Birth. Its actually more about home birth and the safety of it and how great it is, etc. Its definitely worthwhile seeing with your hubby. You can Netflix Orgasmic Birth (link), Business of Being Born (link) (this one is also available thru Netflix streaming video so you can watch it on the computer), Birth without Violence link, Pregnant in America link, and there is a lot of prenatal yoga videos if you type in pregnancy, and several breastfeeding videos if you type in breastfeeding. :)

Friday, May 29, 2009

Garage Sale Tips and Help

This is for you Marisa. :)

Holding a Garage Sale:
If you don't have tables: Build a box table - stack cardboard or plastic boxes 3 deep and 2 or 3 wide, then put flat boxes on top -tape these together - then put one of those $1 tablecloths over the whole thing - voila - a table. Don't have stuff (especially clothes) on the ground, people don't look through that stuff. Don't have it in boxes either, as if people will spend time looking through boxes.
Show baby stuff prominently - people often drive by craning their necks to see what you have, and kid and baby stuff usually gets them to stop.
You could probably tie a clothesline from the tree to the garage.
Get some garment racks for clothes (borrow them, or target has a great cheap one for $10).
Put the times you are open on the signs you put up around the neighborhood. Take the signs down when the sale is over. There's nothing I hate worse than going through a neighborhood looking for a garage sale that is already closed. Waste of gas and time. Makes me want to come back and paper their yard. lol.

Good timeline:
7-11 - Full price
11-2 - half price or "deals"
2-4 - Stuff a grocery bag for a $1.
4-5 - Give it away for free. The people coming by are usually just as needy as the people who shop Goodwill. :)

Don't overprice. Most people who shop garage sales have a budget. They have a certain amount of money set aside, and if the item is too pricey, that means less money for a "find" at another sale. It doesn't matter that you spent a hundred bucks on it, you can't charge 50. 15 or 20 to start out with might be reasonable, but don't be surprised to still see it there at the end of the day if you don't keep marking down the price. Baby stuff you can start off with at a good price, especially cribs, high chairs and other necessities. If you can't get the price you want, you might want to try selling it on Craig's List for such big ticket items.

Shopping Garage Sales:

Spring is the THE season for garage sales. Spring cleaning and all that. After you paid off Christmas, start saving money for garage sale season. I know people who have special savings accounts specifically for garage sales.
The best garage sales are held by communities and subdivisions. Church and Apartment garage sales aren't bad either, but you will have more luck hitting the jackpot at a community garage sale. Look especially for those that state in their ads *more than 50 homes*, etc. If you are a regular garage sale shopper, you know that often you might not find anything at a garage sale, which makes going from house to house in a community so much easier than going to individual garage sales that you find in the paper.
Established richer neighborhoods rarely have baby stuff, more older children and antiques.
Bring a list of things that you particularly are looking for.
Bring a list of people that you usually buy presents for on birthdays and holidays. Keep thinking of those people as you look over tables.

Carrying money - I've tried coin purses, ziploc bags, fanny packs, wallets, etc, and yet I still find the easiest way to keep money together without losing any is to go to the bank on Friday, and go through the teller window, and on the withdrawal slip, ask for $5 bills for however much you are withdrawing (serious garage salers usually draw 80 to 100 bucks each weekend, you can always put a deposit on something and go find a bank if you discover an expensive item, and of course, you can always put money back in the bank at the end of the day, or keep it until the next weekend) and the envelope that they give you really is the best money holder.
Make sure you wear shorts with pockets in order to keep the money envelope on your person. Or if you want to forego sunscreen on your legs, wear capris or kulots.

Keep your purse in your trunk. You won't need it.

Bring sunscreen. Apply often. Especially on your face, neck and arms. Legs too if you are wearing shorts (especially back of knees).

Bring an umbrella. It can easily start to rain or sprinkle mid-morning, especially in Texas.

Bring at least 3 water bottles. Stop off at 7-11 before you start, and buy your drink of choice - gatorade or slurpees. ;)

If you are taking kids with you, make certain that you have plenty of water and snacks, as well as items that will keep their interest. Serious garage salers usually find a babysitter, or leave the kids with the husband. Kids will definitely slow you down. Only take kids with you if you have absolute control over them. There's nothing worse than some kid running around a sale with a negligent mom looking over the merchandise.

If you are pregnant, you are getting in and out of your car often, so make sure you practice the safe ways of getting in and out of the car, otherwise you can get really sore. Best way to get out of a car is to bring both legs together, push with your arm against the steering wheel and put both legs together on the ground. Best way to get into a car is to sit first and bring both legs together onto the car floor.

Leave Early. Serious garage salers leave the house before 7.

Most garage sales (especially community ones) are pretty much over by noon. Individual ones tend to stay open later, maybe even till five. The closer it gets to June, the earlier they close up, because its gets really hot. If you are having an individual garage sale, if you do stay open till at least 3pm, you can get a lot more traffic - you are not in direct competition with other garage sales.

Plan out your attack before you go. You might be able to hit 3 community sales (over 100 garage sales) in a day if you are diligent. Look through the newspaper, the newspaper online, and craigs list. Then map the areas you want to go. Mapsco are great, but if you don't have one, just look everything up online, and either write out or print out directions.

Make sure that you have your own garage sale either at the end of March or middle of June to make space for all the new stuff you bought. This is a great time because it doesn't interfere with community sales - most of which are in April, May and beginning of June.

Have a plastic bucket in a closet to put all presents in. If you are really organized, you will wrap up the presents when you get home and tape an index card describing the present and who it is for.

The biggest tip is to know your merchandise. I often can find 2 or 3 items in a season for really cheap (like $10) and then turn around and sell them on Craig's list or Ebay for a $100 or more. This will help pay for the entire garage sale season, and if you are really lucky, you won't be out any money at all!

If you are pregnant, I probably don't have to tell you that garage sales are the absolute best place to find baby supplies. Often, I will find an item that a regular person doesn't know what it is or what it does, and so it is still there, even at the end of the day. Examples of recent finds: Brest Friend brand new in package, a Bumbo, a baby sun canopy, Infantino slings, etc.
After your baby shower, go out to garage sales, and buy all the things that you didn't receive. :)

Baby clothes are usually priced at 50 cents an outfit. When you get home, wash and sort the clothes into age groups, and place in large ziploc bags until needed. If you find a stain that you hadn't noticed, Rinse the outfit in lemon water (1 part lemon juice to 5 parts water usually, or squirt the lemon directly on the stain if its small), and place on your outside clothes line (or outside on some bushes or a garment rack). The stain will usually be out in 2 or 3 days of sunshine.
If you find vintage baby clothes (i love these) that are yellowed with age, soak them in lemon water for a few minutes, and then put them outside for a couple of days.

If you are getting big items like couches or furniture, and you don't have a truck, find some movers on craig's list or the yellow pages ahead of time, and tell them you'll be calling them with an address on Saturday for a moving job. You could also hire a couple of teenagers if you know any and tell them you'll pick them up at around 3 pm in the Uhaul truck and then go to all the homes where your new furniture sits with a big Sold sign on it.

That's all I can think of for now. If you want to go Garage sale shopping with me, let me know by the Friday before.

And yes, I have helped people in the past find specific items for a fee.
I would need:
1) List of things to purchase with a price in mind for each item. ie. Toaster Oven $15 max.
2) Feed money to purchase, plus basic fee, in advance.
3) You will receive your items, a detailed receipt, and your change.
4) You pay for the cost of the item, Plus the Basic Fee: $10 for the service, plus $1 per item found. If it is a group of items ie. baby clothes or shirts etc., then that fee is usually $5 per garage sale. ie. I find 10 baby outfits at one garage sale, you would only pay $5 service fee for the group, not a $1 per item ($10).
5) If it is something large, like a piece of furniture or a bike, I will take a picture with my cell phone, text it to you, and if you reply in the affirmative, I will purchase the item and have them hold it for you with a sold sign. Then you would make your own arrangements to pick it up.
5) If you are interested, click on the Contact Me button.

Monday, May 4, 2009

The importance of Jaw development in reducing Ear infections

If your child suffers from ear infections, here's one practitioner you normally wouldn't think of that could really help: your dentist!

Breastfeeding, Bottles and Pacifiers: The Importance of Jaw Development on Reducing Ear Infections
by Brenda Barnetson, C.M.T.

In my eleven years of teaching 3-6 year old children in a Waldorf Kindergarten, ear “infections” were by far the most common cause of illness, antibiotic medication, and absence. “…acute otitis media is the most common disease for which pediatricians prescribe antibiotics.” (Journal of Microbiology, Immunology and Infection, 2001) This inflammation of the inner ear is commonly thought to result from bacterial or viral infections, but studies show that this is usually not so! In a report published in the April 1996 issue of Clinical Otolaryngology, “Global studies show that up to 75% of ears that seem infected are not. As few as 25% of seemingly infected ears actually have disease-causing bacteria or viruses in them.”

How have we gotten to such a high rate of ear inflammations in our infants and children? Multiple causes may include diet, vaccinations, suppressing every fever, etc., but two current practices in child-rearing stand out: Bottle Feeding and Pacifiers! Numerous reports in scientific journals point to the benefits of breastfeeding in helping the jaw and airway to develop properly. The Handbook of Facial Orthopedics, 1982, states: “During breast suckling, the undulating rhythmic elevation and lowering of the jaw stimulates lower jaw growth, during the most rapid period of jaw growth.”

And what do bottle-feeding and pacifier use do? The opposite. Both put exactly the wrong backward forces on the jaws during this main formative period of jaw development! A 1991 article in The Journal of the Canadian Dental Association describes the strong association between exclusive bottle-feeding and malocclusion. The strong sucking forces on a bottle or pacifier constrict the palatal bone that holds the teeth. The restricted, small upper jaw then prevents the lower jaw from growing and moving forward.

Pediatricians could take note of what veterinarians have long known: anatomy plays a huge role in rates of ear infection. Different breeds of dogs have differing rates of ear infections. We humans vary greatly in jaw and ear anatomy—though we’re not as visibly different as a basset hound and a boxer!

Jaws form the gateway to the airway, and jaws and airways are getting smaller. Most people have jaws averaging 1/4 inch too small to fit the wisdom teeth. It’s thought that diet, infant feeding practices and common orthodontic extraction techniques are to blame. And there is a direct relationship between small upper airway size and asthma, respiratory disorders, obstructive sleep disorders, hypertension and heart disease. Breast-feeding, or suckling, helps both upper and lower jaws to develop and grow in the way nature intended.

Functional Jaw Orthopedics (FJO), a new and progressive form of orthodontics, involves, according to David C. Page, DDS in Your Jaws, Your Life, “…changing the relationships of teeth, bone, muscles and tissues of the upper and lower jaws, jaw joints and skull…. The FJO approach treats teeth and jaws starting at birth—to manage growth, development and deformation.”

Dr. Bruce Johnson, DDS, leads an interdisciplinary Dental Cranial Orthopedic Study Group in the Los Angeles area (of which the author of this article is a member). He states, “Dentists that practice Functional Jaw Orthopedics have long known about the relationship between jaw function and ear problems. Otitis media, the problem seen most frequently in young children, is much like a juvenile TMJ (temporomandibular joint) problem. Relieving children of this problem is one of the simplest tasks we do. Despite the simplicity of treatment, and the rapid response to treatment (usually overnight), the medical community continues to be unaware of, or refuses to acknowledge, the dentist’s role in treating it.”

A great deal of research shows the broad potential health applications of FJO. In the Spring 1998 Journal of Clinical Pediatric Dentistry, a case report was published titled Minimizing otitis media by manipulating the primary dental occlusion. Papers have been published showing FJO maxillary expansion’s effect on chronic bedwetting, and research shows that palatal expansion helps approximately 80 percent of mouth breathers to breathe through their nose. Research published in pulmonary medical journals shows that FJO oral devices can treat sleep apnea and reduce the need for throat surgeries and positive airway pressure devices.

CranioSacral Therapy, a light-touch manual therapy developed by osteopathic physician Dr. John Upledger, is also successfully used in treating otitis media. It helps remove restrictions and tension in the membranes and fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord. The CranioSacral Therapy practitioner uses gentle manipulation of the bones of the skull, including jaws and teeth, to relieve pressure, correct alignment, and improve eustachian tube function. This treatment often helps the tubes to assume a position from which they can drain on their own.

CranioSacral Therapy practitioners, working together with FJO dentists, orthodontists, chiropractors, osteopathic and medical doctors, can, we believe, evaluate and correct airway and jaw development problems before they become lifetime burdens.

Brenda Barnetson, C.M.T., is a CranioSacral Therapy practitioner in the Los Angeles, CA area. She can be contacted at Bruce Johnson, DDS, can be contacted at To obtain a copy of “Your Jaws, Your Life,” visit Dr. Page’s website at

Holistic Family Websites

Here are some websites that I think are interesting that deal with the holistic way of looking at things. - groups of parents with similar thinking - healthcare resource - World patient association for Natural Health - Family Wellness - Pathways magazine - groups and articles on families - holistic moms network - living green - Holistic pediatric association

Saturday, May 2, 2009

My take on the Fall 2008 TV season *updated*

Mentalist to me just seems to be a rehashed Profiler. But as I was a big fan of Profiler/Pretender, this works for me. But they need to hurry up and introduce the scary serial killer taunting Jane thing.
Also, what's the deal lately with every show having a strip joint scene? Especially shows like Bones and Numbers which high school teachers are suppose to recommend to their students. It just seems awkward to recommend shows that then has gratuitous sexual connotations.
Update 2009 - boy, I'm not kidding - so many strip joint scenes in so many different shows! Its absolutely ridiculous! Its like they are trying to advertise that strip joints are perfectly acceptable places to go, and everybody should want to go to one. Ugh.

I really liked both Pushing Daisies and Eli Stone. I'm sad that these great shows are being cancelled. But I just didn't know where the romantic storyline was headed...would there ever be a "cure" for Chuck? Maybe they'll address this in the comic books.

Smallville has gotten so much better. I think this is the best season since the first season. I love all the Superman references, and am relieved that they are finally following the legend storylines. Does anyone else notice that when Tom Welling plays a deliberate superman reference, he always gives a Tom Welling grin at the end, not his Clark Kent one? I think that's funny.

Shows I love/can't miss this year: Chuck, Terminator, Prison Break, Fringe (but it needs a bit more romantic innuendo), Eli Stone, Pushing Daisies, Life on Mars (favorite new show for both hubby and me - also if he falls in love with Annie, will he not want to ever wake up? 2009 - loved the ending! watch this on netflix dvd!), Smallville (loads better than sorry last season), The Office (Go Jim and Pam!), Life, Top Chef.

Shows I'm disappointed in this season and hope will get better soon: Ugly Betty (where's the love angle? and Mark cheating was just pitiful), Criminal Minds*, Bones (breaking up Hodgins and Angela sucked), Ghost Whisperer (jim dying then coming back as other actor -seriously? can someone say General Hospital here?)

*Ok, I will admit that I'm beginning to really like the Ghost Whisperer set-up - it allows for some very romantic angst-ridden episodes - and those are my favorite type of episodes. So go writers! Keep creating all that romantic mushiness! *1/29 I think these last few episodes are the best ever - Who knew it could be so delicious putting a ghost inside someone else? May 2009 - what's the deal though with the 8 weeks pregnant - Jim only died 6 weeks ago? A lot of stuff happened in just 6 weeks! I think that's a bit unbelievable. And if they get married in two weeks, people in town are suppose to believe that Melinda marries this stranger eight weeks after Jim dies? Who does that? Talk about town gossip! It would be way more believable if she was 12 weeks pregnant.

*Hey, I actually know the episode names of my favorite Criminal Minds episodes - they are rerunning two of them this week, which reminded me of it. Lucky, Penelope, Lo-Fi and Mayhem. Great stuff! See, this is a team-oriented show like Bones - this is what Eleventh Hour needs. Speaking of Bones, what's the deal moving it all over the place? Its like they are trying to kill it deliberately - no! this is a good show! I really like how they are amping up Bones and Boothe's relationship - finally, about time! We don't want a forever Who's the Boss situation here.

Show I'm cautiously optimistic about: Crusoe - love the set, and the flashbacks. Am wondering what they are going to do though for a few seasons stuck on that island. I want to see what is happening with his wife and children while he is on the island. I wish they would run a concurrent storyline or something. That would be more interesting/satisfying. * I've heard they have canceled this show. Its a shame, because really, this was a clean show. Its the type of show that you could safely allow your pre-teens to watch - it was just a really fun ride. I still think if they had done a concurrent storyline of the wife/kids it would have been more successful.

*1/29 I'm so glad that they continued Crusoe on Saturday nights, and that they are now running a concurrent storyline with the wife. I know that this show is canceled which is a shame because its one of those true 80's style adventure shows that you can safely watch with your family.

Shows that need a great deal of improvement: Eleventh Hour - a show about science as Numbers is about numbers - but where's the cast? This show needs way more people. *1/29 I'm finding this show more and more boring. I feel like I make myself watch it. I can't believe this show is in the top 20 - it needs more characters. I'm tired of just Hood and Rachel. Boring!

I actually wrote part of the above on my favorite TV watcher site - Maureen Ryan, who writes for the Chicago Tribune. And she published one of my comments on her blog. :)

Check it out: Maureen Ryan's Blog

Conversations I've had lately about TV:

I love Chuck! Its such a great new-fashioned 80s kind of show. It reminds me of Scarecrow and Mrs. King quite a lot. And I loved/love that show so I think this one is great!
I think I watched 3 seasons of 7th heaven and then got really tired of all the gossip and tattle-tailing. Don't they know that gossip is a sin? ;) I would be busting those little behinds so much on the sarcasm and tattle-tailing alone! ;)
I've got 2 House episodes on my Dvr too right now! People everywhere are complaining of how its become a 13 show, more than a House show. I think these last 2 episodes are suppose to be even more 13ish.
I watched all 6 seasons of 24 two summers ago. I don't know how I'm going to watch it where you have to wait week by week. I don't know if I can do it!
Ah, the angst that is Jack. I think they should just call some syndrome Jack angst. We all know what they would be talking about. I just want to take that man and put him in a rocking chair up in a cabin in the mountains with hummingbird feeders, a glass of lemonade, and the book of Psalms in his cozy blanket-covered lap. He so needs a mental retreat.
I watched the first season of Heroes, but then got bogged down on episode 3 last year. I think I'll just wait till they have all the seasons, and then watch them all in a short time frame on dvd.
Smallville is so much better this season. The creators finally left, so they have more lee-way to do more superman stuff. This is the season that die-hard fans who actually watched/got through the last 2 seasons have been waiting for! Lang is out - Lane is in - Kansas is out - Metropolis is in - farm boy clark is out - newspaper superman is in! so so so much better! *Argh! Not Lana again! She is too dark-natured for Clark - she has too many secrets - and she doesn't always do the right thing. How they portary Lois on this series is that she is true-blue - always has your back, always loyal, always caring, always wanting to find out the truth and help others. That is a good companion for Clark - two peas in a pod are they philosophically. Which is why I've always liked the Lois and Clark dynamic in all the series. Lana is poison, go away.

for the comment on Channel 13: Sorry Dawn. I've already seen all the British comedies they still air years ago, and I'm not one for Masterpiece Theater. I wouldn't mind seeing the British version of Life on Mars though.... and I am a big (new) Dr. Who fan though I'm too nervous still to watch the last five episodes of last season. I'm working up to it. And I was a big BBC Robin Hood fan until the end of the second season - they really jumped the shark/made it completely ridiculous on that one. I don't see how that series is suppose to go on, its like Prison Break without Sarah, completely dismal.

Now, if you are talking about Kids shows on Channel 13 - I'm all for that! I like most of the ones that have phonics built in, like Word Girl and Between the Lions. I also like Curious George. I don't like Caillou or Arthur because I think those kids teach bad habits and are too smart-alecky. I like how they reran Wishbone for awhile. Here's a link where you can buy Wishbone. I like ioffer - I find all kinds of great kids shows on that website. I wish PBS would rerun Bill Nye - I would show that show to the fifth graders in my library, and their science test scores would go up. Out of all the science shows out there (see links for purchase) - Crash Bang Splat, Beakman's World, Magic School Bus - Bill Nye is the best. But Disney owns it now, so their version on DVD is $3000 and who on earth can afford that? So of course, PBS doesn't air Bill Nye anymore. Which is a real shame considering how much they all say they want America to be more science education oriented.......

My comment on Prison Break:

August 16th, 2008: I just watched for the first time all 3 seasons on Dvd these past two weeks. I just knew Sara couldn't be dead. Season 3 really suffered without her in it because it was more of a guy's show - more gruesome, more violent, more gritty and despairing, less heart. I am so glad she'll be back - I think she'll really improve the show and the ratings. Sorry to all you commenters that are guys out there who don't care about personal relationships as long as something gets blown up, but us girls like our happy endings and a good developed relationship. This show was beginning to look like 24, and I really didn't want Michael turning into the tortured angst that is Jack. Give him at least some relief - and I think that can be accomplished with Sara's return. Thank you producers for bringing her back, I look forward to being a new primetime viewer fan for this fall, and will continue to be so as long as nothing happens to Michael and Sara.

My comment on Dollhouse:

May 5, 2009 - Joss is always great with Scooby Gang camaraderie, but I get tired of him always making relationships fall apart - which is what he always does - either violently or gradually eroding - which is always disappointing to me. To me that is what is always a bit off in all his series - there is no real love between any of his characters, and you definitely see that in the Dollhouse. The Dollhouse is his ultimate fantasy where no one truly cares about anybody else. He's said several times in interviews that he doesn't believe in true love or lasting monogamous relationships, and boy does it ever show in his series. I really think that this philosophy of his really hurts his shows and why they can only find a cult following that tends to like to watch love angst. Most of us get wrung out by watching all these relationships eventually blowing up. The only episode where he allows love to truly shine is when Zander saves Willow from blowing up the world. But he deliberately made that love impossible several seasons earlier - he just likes blowing up any type of love connection, and it just gets a bit draining/frustrating.*
Terminator is also a great show, but it also needs a non-blowing up love connection. Which it could accomplish in its new future twist. Joss Whedon should stick with movies, and Fox should bring back the Terminator instead.

*my 3 favorite Buffy episodes are ones with more of a love angle - the snow falling on Angel and Buffy, Zander saving Willow, and the Musical one.

My comment on Glee:

Several problems:
One, too much happened in the pilot - it was on a helium fast plot with not enough characterization - it would have been better if this first episode had been more drawn out in two hours so that the characters weren't so two dimensional.
Second, I thought this was going to be a summer show. If I had known it wasn't going to air until the fall, I would have waited to watch the pilot in the fall. I think this is a dumb move on Fox's part - to give the pimp spot after American Idol to a show that isn't going to air again for 3 months. People have notoriously short attention spans, and only those who truly love high school based shows, and/or musicals will tune in next fall. However, if they would continue to air it this summer and into the fall, they might have truly had a good chance at a summer sensational hit. I hope that waiting till the fall won't kill the show. I personally love musicals, and hope this one won't disappoint.
Three, the satirical and preachy part of it was actually really annoying. I wish they would play it more real and less Office/Scrubs- like. Not quite as saccharin as High School Musical, but at least more upbeat and likable. Its like they tried to put together the entire moral lesson of High School Musical in the last 15 minutes of the show. That made it superficial and stereotypical. I hope the show will improve when they finally do decide to air it again.

Comment about American Idol Finale Performance:

What I absolutely hated was how Idol set them up to fail with that last song - completely the wrong song for both of them - they both had major trouble with it - it was in the wrong key and way too fast - they couldn't even catch their breath. What should have happened was that they both should have been allowed to make their own arrangement of the song to fit their voices - which the judges have been praising them for all season. But because Kara wrote it, they weren't allowed to rearrange it. I wouldn't be surprised if Kara doesn't become a laughingstock because of those lame lyrics and even lamer arrangement. The whole thing was just really sad, and definitely wasn't a blow-out, ear-popping wow performance that the last song should have been. Sigh. I think the only decent "last" song that Idol ever made was Kelly's Moment like This - and even that song is only special because of the way Kelly sang it. Next time, the performers should write their own songs and perform them - then we'd really see what kind of artist they really are.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

What to look for in a house

I love house-hunting. Whenever a friend tells me they are looking for a house, I tend to flood them with information and house listings. I'm a bit of a nut that way. I love going with my friends to look at houses. When I was looking for my house, we looked for a year and a half, and saw over 200 houses. Since then, I've probably seen around 400.

The most important thing is to fall in love with the neighborhood, and then find a house that you love in that neighborhood.

Mainly you want to look for a neighborhood that has a lot of garages in the back, that way there won't be any cars on the street where kids can dash in-between and get run over.

The number one feature in a house is a good kitchen. It needs to be roomy with a lot of light. You will spend most of the time in the kitchen, and when guests come over, they always congregate in the kitchen. Having a lovely kitchen is a great reselling point, and it makes a woman happy about a house. I've known women to get severely depressed over the state of the kitchen - it is truly the most important room in the house. Even if you are not much of a cook! :) Another room that is a great bonus (especially with kids) is a utility room. Having an actual room and not a closet makes laundry so much easier (especially when you are doing a load every day/ two days because of wet clothes, sheets, etc.) A laundry room with a sink is a super plus.
A third nice bonus feature is a sunroom for kids - it allows kids to get sunlight on cold or rainy days. This is not necessary, but it is nice. Also really nice is a great master bathroom that can be a real retreat for a stressed out mother - think bubble baths in a jacuzzi or garden tub. :) Also, jacuzzis make for great birth control later on - if a guy soaks 30 minutes in a really hot bath once a week, it is very hard to get pregnant. :)
Having a garage in the back is extremely helpful - the driveway is long enough that a kid can easily ride a tricycle, nobody can look into your garage, and the street is empty of cars. This was the most important thing on my checklist. Our driveway is also gated, which I find to be very nice as people can't wander into our yard and kids can't wander out.
I would avoid houses with converter garages - garages that have become living rooms or bedrooms. They are very hard to resell. Most people want a garage they can park their expensive cars in, or store boxes of their stuff.
Also, subdivisions that only have 3 ways to get in and out are awesome. You never have to worry about thorough-traffic or trucks or anything like that. Only people that belong to the neighborhood and their visitors will be the only ones driving through. Except househunters of course! ;)
2 story houses with kids can be doable, but I would avoid them as I know most kids have fallen down the stairs at least once, if not once a year, which is super scary for a mom.
Also, I hate carrying a baby or toddler up stairs, its a bit nervewracking.
Having at least 2 baths is a must, and having a half bath for guests is extremely nice, especially as the other bathroom will be filled with kid stuff.
The more houses you look at, the more you will get a feel for a good quality house vs. a house that is a box. A good quality house will have far less problems than a quickly constructed low quality house.
If you can avoid a "starter home" I would. You never know how long you are going to be in the house, it could be 5 years, but it could also be 20 or the rest of your life. If I had to live in my house for the rest of my life, I would be perfectly ok with that. I really like my house and my neighborhood, and I do not believe that the neighborhood will deteriorate at all.
Schools of course are also important. I tell all my friends just don't even put kids into a public school. They learn terrible character habits, become smart-alecky, and they have to sit still all day practicing taking the TAKs test at age 8, which I believe is torture for kids. Currently, the best and one of the cheapest private schools is Temple Christian which is on Randol Mill and 820. school blog link

Basically, to start, get a list of houses together - I recommend because it has great search parameters (you can search by the name of the subdivision or by zip code, plus a lot more great features) - about 20 to 25, take a Saturday and drive to these houses. Most are usually empty so you can look through the windows and in the back yard. Then drive around the neighborhood and see if you like it or does it feel like gangs and drug people live there? Or college kids up all night playing loud music? Find a peaceful neighborhood that is kid-friendly, walking-friendly, and well-established, and you have found yourself a winner! Then pick out the five or six houses that you liked best and want to see more of, and call a real estate agent to set up an appointment and then you can see all of them at once. Five/six houses in the same area/neighborhood usually takes about 2 hours. Don't forget your digital camera or camcorder to help you remember all the fine details.

update: I've been thinking. If you live in the metroplex, and want some help with finding a house, email me the zip codes and your price range, and I will compile a list of houses that are good quality. This usually takes me about an hour. I will also send you my email on house information, with websites and househunting sites that are very helpful. The cost of this service will be $20, payable by paypal or google checkout. Click the "contact me" button on the top left of this page. I just love helping people find their dream home. :)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Fertility books on Amazon

I bought the following books for about $4 each (through the used book section) on Amazon. I've found most of them to be quite brilliant. I'll post a review of each when I can find the time. Meanwhile, check them out. They are all quite unique, and have some really great information! If you are one of my friends, let me know if you want to borrow any of them!

"Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year (Wise Woman Herbal Series, Book 1) (Wise Woman Herbal Series : No. 1)"
Susun S. Weed; Paperback; $0.74

Sold by: wmboothsbookssf

"Getting Pregnant Naturally: Healthy Choices To Boost Your Chances Of Conceiving Without Fertility Drugs"
Winifred Conkling; Paperback; $0.01

Sold by: atlanta-book-company
1 "Enhancing Fertility Naturally: Holistic Therapies for a Successful Pregnancy"
Nicky Wesson; Paperback; $0.01

Sold by: atlanta-book-company

"Yoga 4 Fertility"
Brenda Strong; DVD; $10.00

Sold by: PConnoisseurs

"Female Fertility and the Body Fat Connection"
Rose E. Frisch; Hardcover; $0.01

Sold by: betterworldbooks_
1 "Natural Fertility: How to Maximize Your Chances of Conception"
Nikki Bradford; Paperback; $0.37

Sold by: betterworldbooks_

1 "Getting Pregnant & Staying Pregnant: Overcoming Infertility and Managing Your High-Risk Pregnancy"
Diana Raab; Paperback; $0.01

Sold by: atlanta-book-company

Sunday, January 25, 2009

2009 Metroplex Tarrant County Valentine Ideas

So my 2008 Valentine page is one of my most frequented, followed by the Tarrant County Private school links page.
So here is the 2009 Valentine Ideas page for the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex.

Crossroads of Arlington church annual Valentine banquet:
Valentines Banquet – Sunday, February 15th @ 6:00pm.
3221 West Pioneer Parkway, Arlington TX 76013

HighRidge Church Annual Valentines Banquet
With Comedian Tim Hawkins
Sunday, February 15th @ 7:00pm
$20 a person

10100 Rolling Hills Drive in Fort Worth, TX.

Wedgewood Baptist Church
Looking for a fun date for Valentine's night? Then join us at the Wedgwood Valentine's Banquet, Saturday, February 14 at 6:30pm in the CLC. The cost is $20 per couple or $10 per individual which includes dinner, dessert, entertainment and childcare! Click here for more information.

South Park Baptist Church
7201 Crowley Road -- Fort Worth, TX 76134 - Map
Valentine Banquet, Bar-B-Q dinner and then some singing, Tickets are $7 for the dinner. Call the church office for tickets.
Saturday, February 14th, 7 pm.
817-293-2760 (Church)

Burleson Community Center
Mother/Son - Father/Daughter Dance
February 6th and 7th
6 - 9 pm
$15 advance $25 at door
Link for Direction/more info

North Richland Hills
Daddy Daughter Dance
5:30 - 7:30 - ages 3-7
7:30 - 9:30 - ages 8-16
$8 per person

Other Daddy Daughter Dances:
The Colony, Desoto, Frisco, Garland, Plano and Rockwall - all at the parks and recreation centers in those cities.

PF Chang's China Bistro
all locations
Four Course Menu - $40 per couple

Murder Mystery Valentines - different locations

The Sixth Annual Gala Concert of Sacred Music
Tuesday, February 10th, 8pm
Bass Music Hall

Reel Religion 6
A festival of film of religious significance
Dates:January 30-31, 2009
Meets:Friday 7 PM & Saturday 10 AM & 1:30 PM

Travis Avenue Baptist Church
Just for Women

Following God's Heart - Winter Ladies' Luncheon

$6.00 payable at door
Thursday, February 12–11:30 am–South Complex

Ladies, remember how your heart fluttered when you opened your first Valentine? We women (and men, too) think of romance and friendship when we think of Valentine's Day. Roses, candy, cards, and gifts between sweethearts or friends to let us know we are appreciated by someone is what is important to us.

You will want to attend our luncheon on Thursday, February 12 to hear speaker Marge Worten share her story of the most important relationship of all when one follows God’s Heart. For 9 years of their missionary career, she and her husband Von were part of an itinerant missionary team who shared God’s word in eight different countries, having to move weekly, one year sleeping in ninety-three different beds.

Music will be provided by four year-old Bryce Basham. Bryce is the great nephew of Marilu McClellen and Elaine Richards. Invite a friend and make your reservation by signing up in a Tuesday/Thursday Bible Study class or calling Jana Bader by Monday, Feb. 9.

Your heart will be blessed, and more importantly, your presence may well bless someone else.

Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

A teenager who works on his school's stage crew, is knocked out by a co-worker and finds himself transported back to the thrilling days of King Arthur, Queen Guenevere and the Knights and Ladies of the Round Table.

1100 West Randol Mill Road
Arlington, TX 76012
Driving directions

A Night at the Algonquin
The Fig theater company presents a musical revue featuring songs by Cole Porter and George Gershwin. Feb 13 at 7:30 and Feb 14 at 6:30 and Feb 15 at 2 pm.
Episcopal church of the Transfiguration 14115 Hillcrest Rd.

Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra
Romantic Pops Concert
Feb 13 and 14 at 8 pm, Feb 15 at 2 pm. Bass Hall.

Other Symphonies

Other theaters:

Create a Glass Valentine Flower:

River Legacy Living Science Center We Love Birds
Make Valentine's Themed Bird feeders
Birding workshops, storytelling, and guided bird walks
Feb 14 from 10 - 2 pm
We'll be there - see you there!

Romancing the Stars
Star Constellation show for Valentines
University of Texas at Arlington Planetarium
817-272-1183 Reservations required
Feb 13 - 7 pm $15 in advance, $19 after Tuesday per couple
Includes a Rose and a box of chocolates
Feb 14 - 8pm $30 in advance, $38 after Tuesday per couple
Includes Rose, chocolates, wine and appetizers.

Sweetheart Express
Grapevine Railroad

$160 per couple

The Grapevine Vintage Railroad’s Sweetheart Express is a romantic escape and a perfect way to celebrate Valentine's Day.

The train will depart at 6:00 pm from the historic Cotton Belt Depot, located at 705 S. Main St. in Grapevine. Violinists will set the mood for your trip, as they will be performing on the platform as you board the train. On board the train, enjoy a selection of hors d'oeuvres. Two cash bars will offer beer, wine and soft drinks. Violinists will stroll through the coaches as the train rolls to the Stockyards.

Upon arriving, at River Ranch you will enjoy dinner and romantic music. A cash bar will be available. Following dinner, there will be dancing, with music provided by a DJ. At 9:15 pm passengers will be instructed to board the train for the return trip. The train will depart River Ranch at 9:45 pm. On the return trip the two of you will receive special gifts of a rose and chocolate. The cash bars will resume and also offer complimentary coffee and water. Dress is casual.

Sweetheart Express Dates & Times:
Friday, February 13, 2009

6:00 pm Load passengers Depart Grapevine Depot
7:30 pm Arrive at River Ranch
7:30 pm Music starts and Buffet line opens
8:15 pm Dancing starts
9:15 pm Announce return boarding
9:15 pm Board Train
9:45 pm Depart River Ranch
11:15 pm Arrive Grapevine Depot

Saturday, February 14, 2009

6:00 pm Load passengers Depart Grapevine Depot
7:30 pm Arrive at River Ranch
7:30 pm Music starts and Buffet line opens
8:15 pm Dancing starts
9:15 pm Announce return boarding
9:15 pm Board Train
9:45 pm Depart River Ranch
11:15 pm Arrive Grapevine Depot

the best dehydrator / Vitamix

Well, I finally saved up enough (through ebay and babysitting) to take the plunge and buy the new 5200 blender from Vitamix. The container is made of a new plastic that does not leach BPA, so I decided to go ahead and get that one, instead of a cheaper 5000. I have a stainless steel 3600 that is probably over 20 years ago, and its just not powerful enough for what I want it to do.

So I've been researching dehydrators for about 3 hours now. Whew. There's a lot of pros and cons for each one. I've found a lot of great information on forums, this one in particular:

What I want in a dehydrator is a temperature control, plenty of trays so I can make more bulky items by removing a tray, and definitely a timer - I just know I'll forget all about it and so I know I need a timer.

So these are the top 4 dehydrators according to most sites:

Excalibur Dehydator 9 tray with timer

Good4U Dehydrator 10 tray with timer

Cabela's Stainless Steel dehydrator

SausageMaker's Stainless Steel dehydrator

Amazon Review that I particularly liked

How I organize my freezer

Here is the perfect set up for my garage freezer:

Bottom shelf/basket: bags of frozen vegetables

2nd to the bottom: Loaves of bread - I go to the bread store once a month, spend $12 and really stock up on bread. This usually lasts 4 to 6 weeks. I also buy Ezekiel sprouted bread at my local Herb Mart.

Next shelf: Meat - ground turkey patties, ground hamburger meat, roasts, and Costco's Rotisserie Chickens. Though I've gone mostly raw, my family has not, and loves meat.

Top Shelf: Bags of frozen bananas, other frozen fruit.

I've been trying to find out what else I can put frozen fruit in besides plastic bags. I'm trying to cut out as much toxic plastic as possible.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Aspiring Raw Foodist Raw Foods / Living Foods

So I've been an aspiring raw foodist for about 3 months now. Most days I'm about 80/20.
The side effects that I like best are clarity of mind and being non-depressive. Another one is that I'm rarely thirsty. I used to be thirsty all the time, and drink 90 ounces of water/tea a day. Now I drink more like 30 oz plus a fruit smoothie.

It took me about a year and a half to make this decision. I think this is a personal decision, and not necessarily right for everyone. Feel free to ask me any questions about it, but know that I won't bring it up in conversation or try to push people into it. Its one of those things that if you are interested enough, you will start to research it yourself, which is how you probably happened upon this site. :)

There are a lot, and I mean a lot, of websites out there that are all about raw food.
Here is Raw Food simplified.

First, you've got to decide on some staples to help you transition into raw foods, as you research, read the books and surf the internet. There are also a lot of YouTube videos.

So, for me, my staples are:

Guacamole w/organic tortilla chips (70/30 raw food)
almond butter on Ezekiel sprouted bread
frozen blueberries
Fruit smoothie for breakfast
cucumbers with dressing
I also ate eggs, fish, and oatmeal - none of which are raw, but are good for transitioning.

After about 6 weeks, I started to crave salad, so now I eat at least one salad a day.
I still eat chocolate - right now, my chocolate of choice is Plumsweets (dried plums in dark chocolate).

I am still learning the vocabulary and overall knowledge and usage of raw foods.

I've read around 15 books on raw foods - these are the two that I highly recommend that you actually own.

12 Steps to Raw Foods

Rejuvenate your Life

Then check out as many raw food books and dvds as possible from your local library. Your local library can also help you get several through interlibrary loan.

If you want to become a raw foodist, you absolutely must start saving up for a VitaMix blender. You can use a regular blender for about 3 or 4 weeks, but you really need to get a VitaMix. Currently, I have a 3600 Vitamix that does ok, but I am saving up for a 5200 that I will buy on ebay.

The way to get through and stay on course as a Raw Foodist, is to go ahead and indulge what you are craving - I often will eat a bite of cooked food, and then think, no I really don't want that, or no, that really didn't taste like I thought it was going to taste. I know that as I grow accustomed to Raw foods, my taste buds are going to change and I won't want cooked food as much.

From what I understand, avocadoes really help satisfy cravings.
I also know that within a year of being a Raw Foodist, I will have to start drinking green smoothies. It is green smoothies (made with lettuce and fruit) that really allow you to get all the nutrition that you need. Without them, you will usually go back to cooked foods. I really can't tolerate green smoothies right now, but I do believe that will change as my taste buds change. I also believe that once I have a better blender like the 5200 that it will make the lettuce more palatable. Green for Life has quite a few great recipes on green smoothies. Some start their raw food life by trying green smoothies first. I also know that green smoothies are terrific for babies, and is a great "first food" at the usual age of 6 months. By the way, if you start babies on solid foods before 6 months, you are just asking for trouble, ie. ear infections, illness, etc. Green smoothies are also great for IBS sufferers.

Coconut smoothies are also really helpful for cravings. They are also yummy. The best way to open a young(baby) coconut (by the way, don't even bother buying the mature brown fuzzy coconuts - smooth skin baby coconuts are so much better) is to take an ice pick and hammer in two holes on top (I even know some who use a mini-drill just for this purpose) and drain the juice into the blender. Then wrap the coconut in a towel, take it out to the porch/sidewalk and swing the towel and hit the ground. The coconut will then be broken apart in the towel - just dig out the meat with the spoon and place it in the blender. The Rejuvenate for Life book has several wonderful coconut smoothie recipes.

Green superfood powder - I've been placing a teaspoon of green superfood powder (I recommend Garden of Life, but whatever you want) in my smoothies. It helps me get my vitamins, etc.

Here's my recipe for a fruit smoothie:

First, put enough liquid to cover the blades. I like to use Tropicana Raspberry Acai pure juice +whatever other juice or nectar I have on hand. About 2-4 ounces of each. Or you could use water.
Then put in a handful of raw pumpkin seeds. These are great for your daily intake of zinc.
Squeeze in some honey (I love Stroope's Wildflower Honey that is locally only available from the Signature Krogers on Mockingbird Lane in Dallas).
Then squeeze in Raw Agave Nectar. This will make the smoothie sweet without using sugar. Whole Foods brand is the cheapest I have found so far for agave nectar.
Then put in 2 pitted dates. Dates have the highest antioxidants of any fruit or tea. They also make anything sweet.
Then put in a teaspoon (or whatever amount you're comfortable with) of green superfoods powder.
I put all the above in first so that it will definitely get blended together.
Then put in some frozen banana or frozen blueberries.
Turn the blender on, and put more frozen fruit in.
I usually put in at least one frozen banana, then lots of frozen blueberries, frozen mangoes and frozen peaches. Feel free to put any other frozen fruit in. I personally don't like frozen blackberries because of the seeds.
Then pour in a glass, and drink up!

If you want to get free supersaver shipping from Amazon, I recommend buying these three products:
12 Steps to Raw Foods
Green for Life
Raw Gourmet Dishes Simplified DVD

Increasing Milk Supply
- this one is a great encourager!
- this one has lots of info!

Here are the herbs that can help:

The two most popular galactogogues are:

  • Fennel
  • Fenugreek seeds

These are usually sold in the form of tea. Since these two ingredients do have a milk-enhancing reputation, there may be some merit in their claims, and they seem to be harmless.

Other herbs that have been used as galactogogues are:

  • Milk thistle
  • Motherwort
  • Asparagus racemosus
  • Red raspberry
  • Chamomile

Here is the tea that is recommended to me by several friends:
amazon link

Mostly, to increase your milk, you just have to breastfeed more often like every hour to two hours for a few days.

Here's a quick link for sore nipples:

Award-winning sites

I personally think that appreciation is important. Which is why I decided to give an award button to those blog sites that I come across in my research that I believe are truly outstanding, especially in helping parents and people everywhere lead more natural and healthy lives. I will write a short review of the site, giving my personal opinion of why I think the site embodies this criteria.

#1 Real Mom Style
Marisa is a homeschooling mom of 4 and her reviews of products and her candid style of writing is quite refreshing. What really makes her site stand out though is that she is currently in the process of creating "how-to" videos for homeschooling moms, which I believe will be a great resource for those just starting out as homeschoolers. I've talked to several homeschooling moms lately, and their number one request is to find a mentor to help them through the myriad of homeschooling chaos. I only hope this video trend will take off, and more 'with-it' homeschooling mothers will find the time to create such videos to help make life easier for those who want to start homeschooling. Thank you Marisa for providing such a great resource!

#2 From Dates to Diapers
Christine is a mother of 6 and is considered a great reviewer of workable family-friendly products. I really enjoy reading her reviews because she will be quite frank in her assessments, and if it didn't work for her family, she will tell you so. I sincerely appreciate that honesty. I also emailed her the other day with a question, and she emailed me back with an answer which was extremely helpful to me. So thank you Christine!

#3 Educational Playtime
Melanie is a mother of two and is a long-time advocate of creative musical play for children. She's a former children's theater director and teacher and also taught Early Childhood music for many years. Her site encourages parents to be more creative in playtime and relates many ideas on how to make that happen. What a great idea site!