Thursday, October 28, 2010


I find it amusing at times that people still honestly don't know what organic food is. 

I recall as a teenager seeing a handful of produce (a cucumber & a onion & a bunch of carrots maybe) in the produce department of the grocery store.  I remember not knowing what "organic" meant, but I did see that they were more expensive.

In the '90s the legal definition was declared for organic foods.  To this day there is still no legal definition for "organic" in regards to health & beauty products, which most people are not aware of.  A bottle of shampoo or makeup can put "organic" on the label & it honestly doesn't mean a thing.  I am sure that will change at some point, but it hasn't yet.

A couple of years ago I was grocery shopping & overheard a woman going on about organic food.  It was clear that she wasn't a regular shopper of such things & wasn't very educated either.  She was excitedly telling someone that she had a friend who had suffered a heart attack & was desperately missing cheese in his diet.  And she was excitedly going on about the fact that he COULD have cheese, if it was organic that is.  I was honestly considering approaching this woman to clear up the confusion & educate her on these matters.  But I forget what happened, I was distracted somehow & didn't do it.  Organic dairy products are free of hormones & antibiotics & the cows are fed organic food, but that's all the difference there is.  (oh well I guess there's new legislation on organic milk that a cow must be pastured for a certain amount of time, 4 months out of the year or something like that--of course plenty of companies aren't exactly complying, but that's a whole other issue & a whole other blog).  No dairy products due to heart problems is due to the FAT content in the dairy, not hormones, not antibiotics, & not that the cow ate non-organic food.............

About a month ago I was grocery shopping & overheard someone in another aisle telling someone "and it's organic, so you don't even have to wash it!"  My mouth seriously fell open.  Now I know when I have my own organic garden going at home that I don't use any chemical pesticide or fertilizer (a lot of people who have organic home gardens still use chemical fertilizers without even realizing that it's no longer considered organic if you do that, but that's another issue altogether as well).  But outside, in the big ugly evil money-hungry world, they do things differently.  It's all about the "legal definition" of "organic" & believe me, those companies look for ever possible loop-hole on all those legal definitions, organic included.  So while you are probably thinking that organic food has NO chemicals on it, it's just not true.  It won't have any of the REALLY BAD chemicals on it, but it will still have some & some of those are pretty bad too.  So to be eating food without washing it, even if it's organic, is not a smart thing to do.

Just last week I was looking at recipes online.  I can't remember what the recipe was for, but I do remember looking at it & it specifically said for some item in the recipe "if you chose non-organic be sure to wash it, if you chose organic there is no need to wash it".  Apparently this is some sort of common idea out not need to wash organic foods.......OK, even if organic foods had NO chemicals on them at all, you still have no idea where they've been & what sort of conditions they've been subjected to.  And I can honestly tell you that most organic produce we buy is FILTHY with just plain dirt when we wash it.  And the organic lettuce always has live bugs in it when you wash it. 

That's all I have to say on that.........for now..........

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook

Please feel free to join in by getting details from Peggy:
FOR TODAY, Wednesday, October 27, 2010.
Outside my window… it’s BEAUTIFUL! upper 70's, clear with a crispness in the air that can only mean fall; and there's a wind picking up, which I love
I am thinking… about Lil J's nutrition, wanting to make sure all bases are covered; I have now added molasses to his kefir to up his iron intake, still trying to think of some new food ideas that he'd actually be willing to accept.
I am thankful for… being able to stay home & raise my son, I pray every day that I continue to do so & also be able to homeschool him when the time comes
From the learning rooms… I've borrowed my stepdaughter's keyboard to show to Lil J & see if he's interested & has any potential; so far I think he's doing pretty good.  My mother always insisted that we learn a musical instrument & I think that's a brilliant idea & plan to do that with Lil J--as he gets older I will allow him to choose his instrument (or I suppose there's nothing wrong with wanting to learn more than one over time) & I will put him in music lessons with his instrument.
From the kitchen… made home-made jamaica, horchata, & a loaf of bread today
I am wearing… a light grey top with a dark grey cami underneath & jeans
I am creating… can't think of anything, guess I need to work on that.........
I am going… to continue buying vitamins & toiletries online from, as I did last month, they sell all the products we buy in stores, but at much cheaper prices & shipping is always a flat rate of $4.99
I am reading…  the book of the month at my church "The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (& the crusades)"  It's looks very interesting, so far it's not very interesting I must admit, but I've only just started it, I'll give it a chance still.
I am hoping… to figure out what to get the kids for Christmas soon!  I don't like waiting til last minute & have no clues so far.......
I am hearing… the wind roaring outside, LOVE it
Around the house… need to do some dusting this week for sure
Some of my favorite things… spending quality time with Lil J
A few plans for the rest of the week: no formals plans of any sort as of yet........
I am praying… for our "teen" struggles we are facing with my stepson right now

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

18 month updates on Lil J

So Lil J is now 18 months old.  A year & a half already.  He seems like such a big boy these days, with the exception of communication skills.

He now weighs 28.2 lbs (75-90%), he is still 32" tall (25-50%), & his head circumference is still 20" (>95%).

He can say "hi", "dog", "ball", "daddy", & "Jesus" quite well.  There are lots of other words he says & I hear the same sound over & over, but I don't know what he's trying to say.  What's interesting is that even though we can't make out the words he does have the inflection & tone down quite well.

His latest obsession is putting things into a container & taking them out & putting them back in & taking them out & on & on it goes for hours on end.  He often brings the container to me & shoves it into me wanting me to play with it too.  He does the same with his balls, when he wants me to throw them & bounce them really high.

He recently broke his jumperoo.  It had a weight limit of 25 lbs, which he's been over for a while now.  But it's been my babysitter while I workout & shower in the morning for a long time now.  I had worried that this day was coming & wasn't sure what I was going to do.  I had always put him in the jumperoo & put on DVDs.  So now I put him in the crib & put DVDs on.  He doesn't quite seem to know what to do--he sits, stands, jumps, lies down, etc while watching the TV.  For some reason he is more easily bored in the crib than in the jumperoo.  He no longer wants to watch his Veggie Tales DVDs.  He had always struggled to stay interested in them--they are clearly for an older child.  But he still loves his "Your Baby Can Read" DVDs & Cherub Wings.  So he mostly watches those while I workout & shower now.  He had always hated his playpen, from the first time I ever put him in it, so I have always kept it for time outs & didn't want to put him in there for this occasion.  I'm a little concerned about putting him in his crib like this, as it's always been kept ONLY for sleeping (& he's so great at going to sleep without fighting or fussing & I assume it's because I've kept it that way), but I don't know what else to do with him.  I was tempted to just let him stay on our bed, playing & watching TV, but wasn't sure I could trust him to stay there.  I tried it out this morning & he stayed for a while, but then came looking for me, crying & afraid he had been abandoned it seemed.  So that's definitely not an option, at least not yet, maybe when he gets a little older.

We still do daily Bible study & Bible reading.  I also read to him in Spanish, though not always every day.  And I sometimes to read to him out of a book (right now we are doing Black Beauty), though we don't get to this every single day either.

Feeding him has always been a struggle & lately it's gotten even harder.  I am honestly perplexed.  I feel disappointment because I feel like I must be doing something wrong.  And then I feel worried because I want to make sure he is getting good nutrition.  When I see the growth percentile falling height-wise I worry that it might be related to lack of nutrition.  But anytime I ask a doctor they tell me as long as he continues to gain weight not to worry.  He has always been a picky eater, but lately it's even worse.  I try to come up with new ideas on what to feed him, but he's so picky that he seems to reject EVERYTHING.  And now he also refuses to eat anything off of a spoon or fork.  He has to be able to pick it up & put it in his mouth himself.  He has been hating the highchair lately too.  For a while I was still doing breakfast in the highchair & not using it the rest of the day.  But even breakfast has become a nightmare now & this morning I didn't even bother--I just gave him a a bath (used to do the bath AFTER breakfast) & put him in the crib with DVDs on.  So when he does eat I have to make sure it's something not messy since he's not in his chair--he lives on pretzels, dried fruits, quesadillas, toast, grilled cheese sandwiches, fruit roll ups, & some dry cereals.  He still drinks kefir & goat milk throughout the day too & some water.  Each evening he gets a cup of diluted juice, which he usually really enjoys.

I had taken the tray off the highchair & put him at the table in his chair to eat, hoping he would be ok with that, but he was still fighting it.  I am hoping this is a temporary phase.  I know some people would say I am giving in & letting him have his way, but he isn't doing it in a stubborn way like that's what he's trying to accomplish.  I am a big believer in choosing my battles & this seems pretty insignificant in the grand scheme of things & me fighting it seems like it could even be harmful to him.  (Sure, I can force him to sit in his chair to eat, but he's going to eat very little & possibly not get enough nutrition that he needs or I can give him little snacks while he's out of his chair & get much more nutrition into him)

I don't know, but it's exasperating, it truly is.  I don't understand why feeding has to be such a difficult issue for us.  And anytime I mention this to someone (usually other mothers, hoping for some helpful feedback) they insist that he certainly looks like he's eating well & I shouldn't worry.

That's all the updates I can think of at this time............

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook

Please feel free to join in by getting details from Peggy:
FOR TODAY, Tuesday, October 19, 2010.
Outside my window… it’s cool (upper 60s-low 70s) & raining off & on, it was really pouring earlier, I LOVE it, I have the doors open so I can breathe the fresh air & hear the rain clearly
I am thinking… about wanting to support missionaries for Gospel for Asia; about me & hubby looking into helping hoarders find healing & get their lives in order
I am thankful for… my almighty God who is always taking care of me & my family no matter what
From the learning rooms… no changes here.....still daily Bible study & reading, your baby can read DVDs, & Cherub Wings.  Lil J isn't too interested in Veggie Tales, but he sure does love his Cherub Wings.  Still working on Spanish here & there too.
From the kitchen… did some baking yesterday, might do another loaf of bread today too
I am wearing… a yellow sweater & jeans, I had socks but took them off with the last hot flash that hit
I am creating… Lil J has several sticker books full of stickers & I decided to put some on the inside of his crib for him to look at.  He took one off (a strawberry) but has left the others & seems to enjoy looking at them.
I am going… can't think of anywhere aside from grocery shopping on Thursday
I am reading… still working on the Mission book, but should be done in a day or two; then I'll be starting the book of the month at my church "The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (& the crusades)"  It's looks very interesting.
I am hoping… to get past the struggles of feeding Lil J SOOOOON, I don't know why feeding has to be so incredibly difficult with him.
I am hearing… silence, & loving it, Lil J is taking his nap :)
Around the house… my laundry marathon is going today & I cleaned the bathrooms & floors this morning.  I still need to dust & scrub the sinks.
Some of my favorite things… reading, going for walks, interesting conversation
A few plans for the rest of the week: grocery shopping Thursday, housecleaning tomorrow, a fun day on Friday....I need to think of something fun to do with Lil J
I am praying… for our finances, for hubby's possible hernia, for lots of friends & family

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Less than a year ago I didn't even know that kefir existed.

Well, Ok, I guess that's a bit of an exaggeration.  I had heard the word kefir, I had seen it in grocery stores near the milk. I think I had a vague idea (I think from reading about it in Weston Price stuff during my pregnancy) that is tasted like yogurt.  I honestly thought it was just one of those fad foods that may have originally been a healthy thing, but I was quite sure if I stopped to read the ingredients on these bottles of kefir I would find they were loaded with unhealthy stuff.  That was about the only notion I had of kefir just less than a year ago.  (And I have stopped to read the labels on the cow kefir since then & have learned that most of it is loaded with sugar & other things that I don't consider healthy, so I was, in a sense, correct)

And now kefir is a huge deal in my life. 

Back when Lil J was 10 months old or so I decided to start transitioning him over to whole cow milk from his formula.  I know that everyone does this differently, but I (completely on my own, I didn't read this anywhere--though after doing this I saw other people online saying they did this & I also saw other mother's saying it was the stupidest thing they had ever heard of) decided to make it gradual.  So at first I did 6 oz of formula mixed with 2 oz of cow milk.  I remember thinking he had a cold, his little nose was all stuffed up & he kept sneezing & had TONS of mucous all day long.  I had thought the cold would pass.  After 2 weeks (& the cold had not lessened at all) I moved him to 4 oz of formula & 4 oz of cow milk.  It was then that the mucous situation worsened TREMENDOUSLY & I realized it wasn't a cold at all, it was a reaction to the cow milk. 

I went to a health food store to buy goat milk, to give it a try.  I was looking for the powdered form, since it was like the formula, I thought that would be easiest.  I couldn't find it, so I asked someone who worked there.  She said they had it & went to look for it, but couldn't find it.  She showed me the evaporated form in a can & the fresh version in the dairy case.  She went to ask why she couldn't find the powder & came back to tell me they didn't carry it anymore. 

While I was waiting for her to come back a guy who worked there (who had overheard us talking) told me they also had goat yogurt in the dairy case, just in case I was interested.  I told him thank you.  Once she came back & I learned they didn't have powdered goat milk I wandered around & thought it over & decided to take some of the fresh stuff home, just to see if it would agree with Lil J.  While I was thinking it over it occurred to me that Lil J LOOOOVED yogurt, I had given it to him many times, but he always threw it up afterward.  I wondered to myself if that was maybe because it was COW yogurt. I wondered if I gave him GOAT yogurt if he wouldn't throw it up.

So I went back to the dairy case & grabbed a carton of goat milk & a container of goat yogurt.  When I got home I was looking at the yogurt & on the label was advertising for their goat kefir.  I think it was then that I googled kefir & learned a little more about it. 

Not only did Lil J do well with the transition to goat milk, he LOOOOOVED the goat milk.  And I have to say that he really didn't like the taste of the cow milk when I was trying to do that transition.  He also loved the goat yogurt & does not throw it up.  And, of course, he LOVES kefir.

Up until very recently I bought him the kefir from the store.  There is only one maker of goat yogurt & kefir to my knowledge.  I really love the company, they have such great products  & great ingredients.  They do not add sugar, only sweetening with fruit & honey & maple syrup.  In the beginning I would vary the kefir.  They had 2 flavors & a plain one.  Later on it occurred to me that I could give Lil J even more variety by buying the plain one & flavoring it myself.  Even better I thought, because they flavored their's with juice & I could do it with whole fruits & veggies in the blender rather than just juice.  And so that's what I did for a long time.

Now goat milk is already close to double the price of cow milk (organic cow milk, that is).  Depending on where you shop it might even be more than double the price of cow milk.  And when I first started buying the kefir it was the same price as the goat milk.  So I would give him milk with breakfast & kefir with lunch & dinner.  A few months later the price of the kefir went up, so I started only serving kefir with lunch to cut back on costs.  And then just a couple of months ago the price of the kefir went up again, quite a bit.  I did ask the company who makes it & they said that their costs had not increased at all, but that they could not control the price that stores sell it for.

I mentioned it to hubby, saying I was sad because I liked giving it to Lil J, it's so healthy for him, plus he's getting his fruits & veggies in it too.  I told hubby my only thought was to cut it back to every other day with lunch.  Hubby suggested I look into what it takes to make my own.  And so I did (I already had an idea, I knew it involved grains) & I ordered myself kefir grains, plastic strainers, & mason jars.  And off I went on my kefir journey.

In the beginning I was making both cow & goat kefir.  Cow for me & goat for Lil J.  I do like the taste of kefir & I do like the health benefits.  But I gave up making the cow kefir, at least for now, it's just not something I can drink everyday.  I'm the same way with yogurt.  I get tired of it FAST. 

It took me a couple of weeks to really narrow it down to clockwork, but I am there now.  It's really quite easy.  Most of it is just based on your personal taste preferences & you tweak it accordingly.  I've got it down to knowing how much milk to how much grains I need to brew for 24 hours (you can vary the time of brew, but 24 hours is easiest for me to keep track & remember when it's due).  And then I learned it tastes even better if you let it sit in the fridge for 24 hours before you drink it, at least by my taste buds, that is.

So every morning I strain out the one that's on the counter brewing & put it in the fridge to sit for 24 hours.  I then put the grains I strained out with new milk & set that out to brew until the following morning.  And then I pull out yesterday's from the fridge & put it in the blender with fruits & veggies for today for Lil J.  I seem to have a good idea of how much I need for each batch, but if I get ahead of myself all I have to do is stick it in the fridge (grains & all) & it slows down the brewing.

The grains grow & reproduce as well--they are living organisms, you have to take care of them & feed them, it's a little like having a pet to care for.  So as the grains grow I remove the excess (or else the kefir comes out too strong for my taste) & store those in milk in the fridge.  I give them new milk once a week to keep them alive.  I'm still learning about uses for them & eventually will offer some to give away if anyone is interested.  And I want to make a back-up in the freezer just in case something ever happens to the grains I'm using on a daily basis.

For some reason, when I was first making the kefir & was making both cow & goat, I noticed that the cow kefir was much thicker than the goat kefir.  I emailed & asked the woman I bought the grains from.  She said that goat kefir will ALWAYS be thinner than cow.  I still wonder WHY, she didn't specify.  I know that the fat cells are very different between cow & goat milk & it's because of this that makes the goat milk more easily digested.  I suppose it has something to do with that.  And the only store-bought kefir I have bought is goat & while the consistency of it did vary from bottle to bottle somewhat, it was thicker than what I am producing.  I can only assume that they added more cream to it.  I have no source for goat cream, so that's not an option for me.

And so I am now a kefir maker & am very happy about it.  I am hopeful that Lil J will continue to love kefir throughout his whole life.  And I am hopeful that he will have a very strong & healthy digestive system (which is the first step to a strong & healthy immune system as well) due to consuming all this kefir & yogurt so early on in life.  


Here's a link to a blog that I felt was excellent & wanted to share.

The 5 Scariest Things You Can Do This Halloween

And here's a good video I saw from YouTube

Should Christians Celebrate Halloween?

I know Halloween is a touchy subject for many Christians.  I am not judging anyone that feels it's ok to partake in or to partake partially in in some way.  I personally feel that we should have NO part in it whatsoever.  It is pure evil in my opinion.

I was discussing it with hubby recently & he agrees with my viewpoint, but he also says it's REALLY hard to get a child to agree.  He says he tried that with his two kids (of course with the mother not agreeing with him, makes it even harder) & all they could see is that were being denied something really fun, they only saw that they were being punished because they were Christians.  I know that EVERYTHING is a million times harder in a divorce situation (& trust me, those who aren't living in the middle of it have no idea, cuz I knew it was hard as an outsider watching my hubby prior to us marrying, but I didn't FULLY realize just how tough it is until we were actually married & I was really living in the middle of it all), but I wasn't present in my stepkids early upbringing, so I have no idea how it was handled & of course, obviously, with a mother that's not a Christian I do think it's gonna be near impossible to handle because the mom is gonna insist that the kids have a right to go trick or treating. 

But I digress, as for me & Lil J, I honestly don't know.  I plan to teach him from an early age what Halloween is really all about & I will pray that he understands & that he doesn't want to partake because of that.  Hubby feels that that is too much to expect from a child.  Only time will tell.

The Simple Woman's Daybook

Please feel free to join in by getting details from Peggy:
FOR TODAY, Tuesday, October 12, 2010.
Outside my window… it’s high 70's to low 80's, very comfortable with a slight fall crispness in the air :)
I am thinking… about finances & living on a smaller income,  I wish I could see other people's budgets--not in a nosey way,  just to get ideas & see how other folks do it;  about how I wish I could be one of those people you hear about who donates away more money than they actually live on
I am thankful for… my son, my miracle child, he has changed my life in so many ways, but all for the better
From the learning rooms… still doing daily Bible study with Lil J from "Leading Little Ones to God", still reading daily out of Proverbs as well.  I started reading it out of Lil J's own Bible, rather than my own.  It is the same translation, but the study notes, etc are different, geared for little ones.  I am wondering how you handle it when he's older & asking questions?  What happens when I'm reading in Proverbs about the immoral woman & sex, etc & he asks about that stuff??
From the kitchen… I am so excited that my homemade kefir is going so well.  :D  I have learned how much kefir grains I like to get the taste I like.   I have learned that the kefir tastes so much better (to me anyways, a lot of it just depends on each person's own taste preference) if it sits in the fridge for 24 hours before using it.  So I brew it out on the counter for 24 hours, then strain out the grains & bottle it & sit it in the fridge for 24 hours, then I blend it with fruits & veggies & serve it to Lil J.  So each morning I strain out the one on the counter, set up a new one on the counter & blend yesterday's with the fruit & veggies.  It all takes less than 15 minutes & I love doing it & it's saving us $$   :D
I am wearing… a black tank top & denim shorts
I am creating… working on Lil J's baby book again, he's cutting his first eye tooth so I need to record that & update some other stuff.
I am going… to a concert this Saturday!!  Woo hoo!!!  So excited.  Third Day, Toby Mac, & Michael W. Smith will be performing.  This was hubby's anniversary gift to me.  My brother & sister in law are gonna babysit Lil J for the evening.
I am reading… still working on the Mission book
I am hoping… to get out of this financial slump we are in............
I am hearing… Lil J chatting with his toys, so cute
Around the house… need to get some house cleaning done this week, was too busy last week to do much
Some of my favorite things… driving around, looking at houses, just dreamin'.  Hubby likes  it too & we had fun this last weekend doing it for a little while, we were driving through all these mansions & found a couple of repos & so we got out & looked through the windows & in the back yards, etc.  We found one that was VERY odd, in the middle of mansions.  It was like a Mexican Hacienda, but it was trashed.  Looked like it had been nice at one time, but it wasn't HUGE at all like the other mansions.  And then people had added on to it in just about every direction & each addition had a totally different roof & look to it, very tacky.  But I will never forget the kitchen.  It was massive & this house sat up on top of the hills in Anaheim Hills & the view from this massive kitchen was to die for!!  I wish I had taken a photo.....but I know I will never forget it in my mind.
A few plans for the rest of the week: my laundry marathon is on for today, house cleaning tomorrow & the next day probably & off to the farmer's market on Friday probably
I am praying… for our finances, for hubby's possible hernia, for lots of friends & family