Friday, March 27, 2009

the latest at Harvest & other ramblings

In April of last year Greg started a series of sermons on the book of Acts. Hubby & I got really into this series--we were reading ahead of time in the book of Acts so we could understand the sermons more. I was still working every other Sunday back then (I FINALLY stopped working Sundays completely as of last August) so I would have hubby get me the DVD of the sermon so I didn't miss out on the days I had to work.

Unfortunately this series took longer to complete than anticipated because of the death of Greg's oldest son Christopher last July. This series was finally completed on March 1st of this year.

Greg has now started a new series. Not on a particular book of the Bible, but on what he calls the "Essentials of Christianity". He says there are too many people, both young & old, claiming to be Christians that aren't educated on really basic truths of Christianity. I have to admit I agree with this. I see it more in the youth, but I would imagine it's probably all the way across the board age-wise. So yes, I am again thoroughly enjoying this series as well & I'm praying it reaches the people who need it most.

One of the issues I see with the youth today is a major dislike for reading. I don't understand it at all........I could certainly see not being passionate about books & reading, but this extremely strong hatred I see for reading in so many youth today is really, really sad to me. Yes, I'm a bookworm, so it probably makes me more sad than it would someone else who's not as into reading as I am. Reading is a very basic thing in life--it's almost something you cannot survive without being able to do. I try to wrap my brain around WHY there is such hatred for reading in SO MANY youth I see, but I can't figure it out.

So if the youth dislike reading they certainly aren't reading their Bibles. And I see A LOT of youth (as well as adults I have to admit) who claim to be Christians yet never open their Bibles & don't know A LOT of things that are in the Bible, even really basic stuff. Knowing the scriptures & the promises contained therein is so important for our well-being & our relationship with the Lord. It's like trying to have a relationship with someone (friend, spouse, etc) while never even speaking to the have a relationship with our God we need to KNOW our God & the best way to do this is to read His Word.

Even worse, most of this youth I see actually misquoting the Bible & saying vague stuff like "it's full of contradictions" & it's this & that & the other.....yet if you ask them to SHOW you where there's a contradiction or anything else they're claiming they simply cannot do it. They are obviously just hearing this stuff 'somewhere', though I don't know where & they can't even open their Bibles & find out for themselves what's true & what isn''s really, really heart-breaking to me when I see stuff like this.

Now I have to admit that I didn't grow up going to church, so I missed out on all that wonderful Sunday school education that some people I know have. I also hated school as I was growing up & my knowledge of history in general is horrendous, BUT I do feel like I know more about the Bible than most people despite this & I think that's really a shame.

I certainly plan to teach my little one how to read at a young age (much like my mother did for me) & I plan to make bedtime stories a ritual (I can remember how much I loved it when I was a kid & my dad or brother would read me a bedtime story). I know you can't force a child to like certain things, but you can certainly encourage it & I know I'll also be setting a good example as well cuz I'm always working on several books at any given time. So hopefully this child will also love to read & will know it's Bible well.

37 week update

So tomorrow I will be in my 37th week of pregnancy. WOW is really all I can say........only 3 more weeks to go...........doesn't seem long at all to me.

There's really nothing to report...........everything is still basically the same--still swelling, tired, getting heartburn some nights, peeing all night, etc. The baby is still extremely active & is still breech most days. I guess the headaches & nausea have subsided, I'm sure that was just because I was eating out so much (because I was homeless due to painters). We eat so healthy at home that when we eat out too much we never feel good. The food they serve out there is just not healthy.

So our house is still a mess--hubby is having his buddy come sometime soon & clean up the painter's mess & finish off the job properly. We still have to replace some broken things around the house. We also need to sit down with our contractor (whenever he's back in the country) & finish off our deal with him. We still need some sort of mold test done--he got the insurance to pay for that but it still hasn't been done & we want it done after all that water damage. We need to discuss the whole paint situation & all the damages & things we are deducting for off of that price. We already had our house measured for carpet & laminate. I think tomorrow we're going to go choose the exact ones we want--we had chosen some but that company was just way too much money. My brother in law called up the company that had carpeted his house not too long ago & told him both of us now need carpet & if he gives us a good price he will have these 2 houses & possibly more fire houses in the area. He brought some samples yesterday when he came to measure, BUT we decided we would rather just go to his showroom & see more, we weren't thrilled with what he brought. He seemed to like really dark colors & we are sticking with light colors (mostly because our house is small & if you go dark it will just look even smaller).

Our rocking chair is ready to be picked up, hopefully we can go get it this weekend. And hopefully we can get the house floored this coming week. I am really, really hoping a week from tomorrow hubby will be assembling baby furniture!

As for my garden--the parsley & cilantro are really taking off, but not much else is at this point. I am unable to really work on it much at this point (can't be down on my hands & knees in my condition, LOL!!), so I just have to do the best I can right now & pray for a good harvest.

Like I said--not a lot to report.........

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Casa Buendia updates

As a side note I will mention that I am still feeling REALLY lousy. Headache, dizzy, still swelling, nausea, etc. I am again homeless due to painters, at a corner bakery using wifi.

So we've had painters in our house since last Tuesday. We were told they would be there Tues-Sat. We even had to stay in a hotel on Tues & Wed night. People keep telling us to just stay in a hotel like that will solve everything. I don't know, maybe it's just us, but staying in a hotel is no fun. It's uncomfortable, noisy, you are living out of luggage, just not our idea of a good or relaxing time at all.

We are now wishing we had just rented a house for a month & moved out. It would still be somewhat like being in a hotel, but a little bit better (less noise & more privacy for sure).

The painters we have are HORRIBLE. I can actually see them coming in & trying to get away with doing a crappy job, BUT once we start complaining you would think they would know better than to continue to do a crappy job. Every day we come to horrendous paint work (I swear I could paint better right handed--& I am left handed) as well as stuff in our house damaged. Every day there is more & more stuff damaged. It just keeps getting worse & worse.

To make matters worse our contractor is out of the country on business. He left his top guy in charge. And of course he dropped the ball on the flooring. He never told his top guy about the carpet & laminate flooring & he says he won't do it without authorization from our contractor. We called our contractor complaining (too bad if he's on a trip, he knows our urgency with the baby coming) & he finally got back to us & told us to just floor our house & he just won't get paid for that part of the work. That's what we were already going to do, but we are glad he is not going to fight us on that.

So last night we called the top guy & asked him to come by this morning so we could walk through room by room & show him our issues. He agreed 100% with us, he was yelling at the painters telling them how bad of a job they are doing. The list went on & on & on & we didn't even get to every detail. We have taken photos of much of the stuff, especially damage. Not to mention the fact that our contractor provided them with a shop vac & they never use it--apparently they think hubby & I are their maids. I told hubby I'm gonna charge them for maid service. We are also mad cuz they keep using our toilets (so we have to clean them every single day so we can use them) & our contractor provided them with a port-a-potty. They even had the nerve to deny it to our faces--but I keep booby-trapping the toilets & can tell when they've been used.

So in the end they are supposed to be finishing off our closet today (fixing the horrible job they did in there) so we can at least sleep in our bed again (all of our closet is on our bed, so we have to sleep on the couches). And I think they are gonna do some work painting the exterior & then supposedly they are leaving & it's up to us to find our own painters, have them fix all their crap, & bill our contractor for it all.

So our issue now is finding a painter--a GOOD painter--that can do the job quickly. And then we still need flooring. And of course we can't set up the baby stuff until all of that is done.....................and all of this is from damages that occurred way back in November. This is by far one of the most ridiculous & unbelievable situations I've ever lived through.


The painters were supposed to come back today to finish off the job & do some work outside, BUT yesterday hubby fired them & asked them to not come back. Hubby also was able to get ahold of the guy who originally painted our house when hubby first moved in & he did a fabulous job & did it for really cheap cuz he's known him for so long. We also begged him (cuz he's sooo busy) to make time to paint my brother in law's house when the time comes for that so Victor doesn't have to go through what we are going through--he said he would definitely do that.

So today I am working on making a list of all the damages & broken items the painters caused. And later today we have the carpet installers coming to measure the house for carpet, yay!!!!

Monday, March 23, 2009


As a side note I must say that I am not feeling well at all the past few days--headache, dizzy, & the swelling in my feet/hands is getting REALLY bad. But I do have a doc appointment later today. I am currently homeless due to painters in the house, I am in a panera near my home using the wifi to post this & trying to do some research on carpet/laminate flooring. Soon I will go back to my car to take a nap.

So one of the many things I've been doing research on lately is cookware. Hubby has always used the teflon pans--he likes that it's nonstick & he can cook easily without using oil. But of course the more research I do the more bad stuff I find on teflon. This has been a tough one to convince hubby on. I keep comparing it to using artificial sweeteners--they KNOW they cause cancer yet people keep on using it--now hubby will admit that that's not smart & he would never do that, yet that's exactly what he's doing by continuing to use teflon cookware.

So based on my research stainless steel & cast iron looked the best to me. There are still some people complaining about those as well, but in comparison to the teflon I find them a much better option.

So several months ago I bought a stainless steel skillet. I was hoping to win hubby over with it. It was ok, but eggs (well, scrambled eggs) were still sticking badly in the pan, no matter what we did. So that wasn't really selling hubby at all.

I did some more research & ended up deciding to try a cast iron skillet. Not too long ago I bought one & so far we LOVE it!! Scrambled eggs don't stick! So between the two--stainless steel & cast iron--I feel we are well covered for our needs.

But of course we still had our saucepans & a grill pan that were teflon. So I just recently brought home 2 stainless steel saucepans. I also found a big grill/griddle (grill on one side & griddle on the other side) that fits over 2 burners that is made of cast iron--this one is totally awesome!! And we also had a stock pot that is teflon, but we have 2 other large pots that are stainless steel.

So with all this work going on in our house we are getting rid of a lot of stuff. We've packed it all up for salvation army. So we went ahead & packed up the teflon cookware for the salvation army as well.

We do still have a wok that is teflon coated. But we rarely use it & I haven't seen a replacement for it as of yet. Once again I feel you can never eliminate EVERYTHING, all you can do is minimize exposure as much as possible, so I feel ok about that.

I am praying that the saucepans & grill/griddle end up being winners for us!!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

36 week update

So today I am 36 weeks--entering the 9th month. I have posted what I hope to be my final pregnancy photo--the 9 month photo. There will only be another photo taken at 40 weeks if this baby insists on staying in Hotel Uterus for that long, but I'm certainly hoping it doesn't. Even though I feel like I've been pregnant FOREVER at this point I also find it hard to believe that the baby should be here in 4 weeks (or possibly less!).

This past week has been a bit erratic for me. We had painters here all week. I have spent my week at my mom's house camped out on her couch so I can be out of the painter's way & avoid the paint fumes. We also ended up staying in a hotel for 2 nights this week because of the fumes & all the plastic in the house--it felt like I was inside a cocoon when I entered the house, very creepy!

The baby still moves around A LOT. Yesterday it was in a head down position, but this morning it was back in breech position (that happened last Friday also). Right now it is totally longways across my abdomen--the head is on the left & feet are all the way over on the right. If the baby holds out til 40 weeks I am guessing that it will be around 8-9 lbs.

So once the painters have finished painting (they claim Monday will be their last day, but I really think they'll need at least one more day after that) then we can get the carpet put in (& laminate in the dining room). After that we get to put in the crib & dresser & I can get all the stuff washed & put into the drawers. That will be such a great feeling I must say! I cannot wait for that to be done.

All of the baby stuff has now arrived, with the exception of the rocking chair. It is supposed to be here sometime this next week, but it's not being delivered to our house, we have to pick that one up at the store. It really doesn't look like much stuff, but at the same time I feel we have covered everything--I don't really think we "need" anymore stuff at this point.

My next appointment with my OB is on Monday. I am told she will check my cervix for dilation & do the GBS test. And I believe I will start seeing her on a weekly basis from here on out.

I think that's all the updates I have for now............I'm still praying for a vaginal delivery & not a C-section!! Please keep that in your prayers as well!

EDITED TO ADD: our contractor has left the country on a business trip. he's left his top guy (Gustavo) in charge....hubby asked Gustavo about carpet & Gustavo says he knows nothing about it, he wasn't authorized to handle that........I asked hubby when our contractor will be back & hubby says it'll be over a week........I am sooooo upset..........
EDITED AGAIN TO ADD: hubby says he's not gonna sit here & wait on the contractor--he texted him & left a message for him & if he doesn't call back by tomorrow morning hubby is going to call & arrange for the flooring store to handle our flooring order & we will pay for it ourselves out of the insurance money & deduct that out of what our contractor is getting. Thank God is all I can say!!! So we are again expecting to have the house floored by Friday of this week.

Monday, March 16, 2009

baby stuff arriving at Casa Buendia

So I placed my orders for the baby stuff on the 12th.

On the 13th I received emails that all of it had shipped. The crib & changing table/dresser were the last ones to ship, I got that email really late in the day.

On the afternoon of the 14th a delivery woman was at our door saying she had baby furniture, but she couldn't get it out of the truck--she was hoping there was a man home. And there was, hubby helped her get it out. She said that some men had loaded it up for her, but she had no clue how she was going to get it out, LOL!! It was the crib & changing table/dresser. I cannot believe how fast it got here!!!!

And then this morning the stroller/carseat arrived, as well as the playpen & mattress.

The only package I have opened so far is the stroller/carseat. I installed the carseat already in my Hummer (it's a pretty tight fit I must say........don't know how people with small vehicles do this..........the handle on it is what's in the way). And I assembled the stroller & stuck it in the back of the Hummer. So those are taken care of & out of the way actually. I am very tempted to open the playpen, but haven't as of yet............the day is still young though..........

I checked online for the rest of the stuff--it's all small items & will be arriving in 2 separate packages, but are both expected to arrive on Thursday. That's still pretty quick in my opinion. I am anxious for the rest of it to get here, but even more anxious for the paint & carpet to be done & for hubby to set up the furniture. Hubby seems anxious to do this himself too. We're both getting really excited as the arrival of the baby is getting closer & closer by the day.

The glider/rocking chair is expected to be here sometime next week, but we have to go pick that up at the store, it's not being delivered to the house.

That's all I have to report for now...........

Saturday, March 14, 2009

choosing your fat

Choosing your fat..........

I recently did some reading on this & learned some new info that I found very interesting, just wanted to pass it along in case anyone is interested.

Omega-3 & Omega-6 essential fatty acids: there’s a lot of talk about these fats & how good they are for you, but the main issue in keeping them healthy is the ratio between the two.

Cholesterol: there is a huge campaign that has everyone convinced it’s soooo bad for you. In excess it sometimes ‘can’ be bad, but it also has some really valuable functions & is necessary to cellular functions. Not quite as bad as most people tend to believe. In the cell membrane it provides structure, stiffness, & stability to the cell. It also acts as a precursor to vital corticosteroids, hormones that help us deal with stress & protect the body against heart disease & cancer, & to the sex hormones like androgen, testeosterone, estrogen, & progresterone. It's also a precursor to vitamin D, a vital fat-soluble vitamin needed for healthy bones & nervous system, as well as proper growth, mineral metablolism, muscle tone, insulin production, reproduction, & immune system function. It's also needed for proper function of serotonin receptors in the brain. This is the body's natural "feel-good" chemical. Low cholesterol levels have been linked to aggressive & violent behavior, depression & suicdal tendencies. Mother's milk is very high in cholesterol and it contains a special enzyme that helps the baby utilize this nutrient. Babies & children need cholesterol-rich foods throughout their growing years to ensure proper development of the brain & nervous system.

One argument you will hear for avoiding animal fats is that fat-soluble poisons, such as DDT, accumulate in the fat. But there are also water-soluble poisons, such as antibiotics & growth hormones, that accumulate in the water fraction of milk & meats. Vegetables & grains also accumulate some poisons as well.

Chicken fat: pretty high in omega-6, but the omega-3 levels can be raised by feeding the chickens flax or fish meal, or by allowing the chickens to range free & eat insects, which is rare these days, unless you hunt down pastured chickens & eggs from pastured hens (they are out there if you look).

Duck & goose fat: the preferred cooking fat of Jewish cooking. The ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 depends greatly on what the birds have been fed. This was highly prized in Europe for frying potatoes.

Lard (pork fat): again the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 will vary greatly depending on the feed. It is stable, a good fat for frying. It’s an excellent source of vitamin D. HOWEVER, there is research that supports that pork products should be avoided because they may be cancer-causing. Although it is unclear if it is only the pig MEAT that is cancer-causing or if the fat is also.

Beef & mutton tallows: very stable fats, good for frying, also a good source of antimicrobial palmitoleic acid.

Olive oil: about 10% omega-6 & 2% omega-3, it’s ideal for salads & for cooking at moderate temperatures. It should be cloudy, indicating that it has not been filtered & have a golden yellow color, indicating that it is made from fully ripened olives. It is the safest vegetable oil you can use, but don’t overdo it. The longer-chain fatty acids are more likely to contribute to the buildup of body fat than the short & medium chain fatty acids found in butter & coconut oil.

Peanut oil: relatively stable, appropriate for the occasional stir-fry, BUT it has a high percentage of omega-6 & therefore it’s use should be limited.

Sesame oil: very much the same as peanut oil. Occasional use for stir-frys is fine, but limit the use due to the high percentage of omega-6.

Safflower, Corn, Sunflower, Soybean, & Cottonseed oils: they all contain over 50% omega-6 &, except for soybean oil, only minimal amounts of omega-3. Safflower oil contains almost 80% omega-6. Use of these oils should be greatly limited & they should never be consumed after having been heated, as in cooking, frying, or baking.

Canola oil: 23% omega-6 & 10-15% omega-3. This is the newest oil on the market. It was developed from the rape seed, a member of the mustard family, which is considered unsuited to human consumption because it contains a long chain fatty acid called erucic acid, which under some circumstances is associated with fibrotic heart lesions. Canola oil was bred to contain little if any erucic acid & has drawn the attention of nutritionists because of it’s high oleic-acid content. But there are some indications that canola oil presents dangers of it’s own. It has a high sulphur content & goes rancid easily. Baked goods made with canola oil develop mold very quickly. During the deodorizing process, the omega-3 fatty acids of processed canola oil are transformed into “trans” fatty acids, similar to those in margarine. One study indicates that it can actually create a deficiency of vitamin E, which is required for a healthy cardiovascular system. Other studies indicate that even low-erucic-acid canola oil causes heart lesions, particularly when the diet is also low in saturated fat. And additionally there are no more versions of canola plants that are GMO free. All canola plants have now ended up cross-pollinating with GMO canola plants. (Corn is a close second to this, it might already be there by now)

Flax seed oil: 16% omega-6 & 57% omega-3. Because the ratio is reversed here (higher omega-3 than omega-6, which is rare) this provides a remedy for the omega-6/omega-3 imbalance that is so prevalent in America today. New extraction & bottling methods have minimized rancidity problems. It should always be kept refrigerated, never heated, & consumed in ‘small’ amounts in salad dressings & spreads.

Tropical oils: these are more saturated than other vegetable oils. Lauric acid is found in large quantities in both coconut oil as well as mother’s milk, and it has strong antifungal & antimicrobial properties.

In my house we mostly use butter & olive oil (most of the time I make my own butter, LOVE the fresh flavor of it!), but we are starting to try out coconut oil (LOVE the smell of it!!). My home-made baby formula recipe calls for extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, cold pressed sunflower oil, & cod liver oil. So those are all in the house for the making of that. :) We used to cook with sunflower oil quite a bit, but since I did this research hubby & I have decided to not do that anymore & it will only be used cold (as in the baby formula).

Friday, March 13, 2009

35 weeks tomorrow & other updates....

So tomorrow I will be 35 weeks. 5 more weeks to go! Wow, that seems soooo soon. Next week I will post what will most likely be my final pregnancy pic.

I have to admit I am feeling the most normal I have so far during this whole pregnancy (& boy does it feel like I’ve been pregnant a LOOOOOONG time by now, LOL). I’m still tired & have a lot of phlegm & get short of breath & have some swelling, but mentally, emotionally, hormonally-speaking I really feel back to normal right now, which is wonderful I must admit! I am praying I don’t have a bunch of hormonal mood swings after delivery---I’ve read that that can happen.

The baby is still EXTREMELY active & still breech. I am told that it will stop moving as much prior to it’s arrival, so I guess it’s not coming soon based on that.........

Yesterday I got my first disability check for maternity leave. It was for 3 weeks. It's not as much as I was expecting, but it could be worse. (I was told it was based on my pay a year ago this time & a year ago this time I was working full time & am now working part time--and it's just slightly less than I make working part time.) Hubby & I were planning to order the rocking chair & the rest of our registry items when he next got paid on the 20th, but I went ahead & ordered yesterday since I got my check. Now I am impatiently waiting for items to arrive.............and once the paint & carpet is in our bedroom I know I’m gonna be all over hubby to get the crib & dresser/changing table assembled & set up. At that point I will wash all the clothes, bedding, etc & stock the drawers in the dresser & set everything up. And at that point I know I will feel like I am finally ready—then let the baby come anytime it wants. :) And once the crib & dresser are assembled I know I’ll be all over hubby bugging about the rocking chair assembly, LOL!!

So we ordered the glider/rocking chair, crib, mattress, changing table/dresser, playpen, diaper bag, stroller/carseat set, audio monitor, car mirror, the rainforest floor gym, & a couple of extra bottles. I also ordered some waterproof pants to go over cloth diapers, cuz I am interested in doing cloth, but we will certainly use the disposable ones we got at the shower too & compare the two & see what we decide from there. I know there are things on that list that we could do without (I sort of got attacked in some online forums for wanting too much, especially the crib of all things, very odd that so many people are so anti-crib—I will add that the crib is going right next to my side of the bed, so it’s not like I’m isolating the baby by itself in a crib far away from the rest of the family, that seemed to be one of the issues that made people anti-crib, but mostly there was just a lot of people who felt very strongly that the baby should be in the parents’ bed & nowhere else until it’s able to sleep in a regular adult bed by itself). And the crib we chose can convert into a toddler bed as well as a regular (I can’t remember if it was twin or double) bed later on, which we both really liked.

But hubby & I discussed & both agreed that these were things we want & we felt will be useful for us. Everyone certainly has different wants/needs—there’s no right or wrong really, but this is what we feel will work for us. I was really pleased to see that hubby & I were totally on the same page with the plans for this stuff—and we really hadn’t even discussed it yet. As I was going over the list of stuff I told him that I felt the playpen & floor gym & audio monitor we could do without if we had to & if he wanted to not get them I was ok with that. He immediately said EXACTLY what I had been thinking—the floor gym would go perfectly in the playpen & could be either in the dining room in my view if I’m in the kitchen (mostly to protect the baby from our little dog, which we aren’t sure of how it’s going to react to the baby) or in the garage if I’m working out & the audio monitor he felt was necessary if baby is napping & I want to go outside or take a shower, which is also EXACTLY what I was thinking. It’s scary how we think so much alike, LOL!! This was a big purchase, but I think we’re gonna be pretty well set—from here on out it should be mostly small stuff that we need, for a while at least. The next ‘big’ items will be high chair or booster seat & walker, but those won’t be nearly as much as this purchase. And once we have a room for the baby we plan to get some sort of toy chest & a bookshelf for the room as well, but again I doubt that will equal the cost of this purchase. Thank goodness hubby has done this all before, twice actually, so I feel confident that we are making realistic plans. :)

Earlier this week I went shopping & got a baby book (the hospital I am delivering at told us to be sure to bring one with us & they will put the footprint in there for us). My whole theme at my baby shower was a baby in a peapod (in green, a neutral color) called sweet pea & I was able to find a baby book that goes along with the sweet pea theme. I was so excited to find that!! And then I also went shopping with my mom a few days ago & she wanted to buy us bedding for the crib. So she bought us the bumper pad & some sheets—we got TONS of blankets at the shower, so I do think we are now set as far as the bedding goes. :) We did it mostly in green, with some yellow accents. I didn’t want to get any more clothes or diapers yet as I don’t want to end up with too many in a size that the baby will outgrow quickly (we got clothes & diapers at the shower, along with lots of other stuff that not in our big final purchase). I would rather do a load of laundry every day (in addition to my weekly all day washing for the whole family) than invest in a week’s worth of baby clothes (especially considering how many times they change clothes each day!) that the baby will grow out of in the blink of an eye............

I also think it's funny how my perspective is changing. Hubby & I were at the mall recently (had to get a new toaster oven, our's died) & we saw this really young couple with a baby in one of those strollers the mall provides. Now I know in the past I've seen people with their babies in those strollers & I've thought it was really cute & always thought to myself that if I had a baby I would want to use one of those cute strollers. And now I look at that & wonder if anyone ever cleans those strollers & vow that I will never put my child in one of those, LOL!!

Not a whole lot else to report...........hubby called me yesterday & asked when we want the painters to come, that our contractor said they could start as soon as Monday or Tuesday. Yay!!! I told him to get them here ASAP & to tell them to finish the job ASAP, LOL!! And then we need the carpeters.................

I’m happy to report that our insurance called & authorized another $14K or so—so now I believe that’s a total of close to $30-something thousand dollars, that should be plenty to get everything done—thank you Jesus!!!! We were sort of giving up on the insurance & just trying to decide on what absolutely had to get done & what we were going to not have done.

My garden is good, just waiting for the seedlings to sprout & appear.

I can’t think of anything else to report for now................

buying organics.........

I can remember as a teenager (I started getting into eating healthy when I was 15--I was actually a vegetarian for 10 years, until the age of 25) in the produce section of the grocery stores they would have a tiny little section donated to organic produce. I don't even think I understood what that was back then, I just knew that they cost more money.

On a side note: the raw milk industry believes that they are much like the organic industry. That they are just now getting started & 20 years from now or so they will be booming, just like organics are today. Or at least I assume that everyone is now aware that organics are abundantly available out there. I know that 'some' mainstream grocery stores carry them, but I really don't shop in mainstream grocery stores, so I don't know how many of them do & don't.

Anyways, for many years my focus was on just eating healthfully, ie not eating junk food, processed food, etc. I really didn't know much about organics. I did shop at Trader Joes for as much as I could there, but then filled in the rest of my grocery needs at mainstream stores. I wasn't aware of the healthy stores back then, at least there weren't very many in my neighborhood.

Then when I met my hubby I learned about the healthy stores--mainly whole foods & mothers market. We've found a lot more of them in the past few years. I started shopping at those too & soon replaced all my mainstream grocery shopping with these stores. Another side note: a year or two ago I learned about GMOs (genetically modified organisms). I had known that they existed, but didn't really know details about them or how to identify them or avoid them. One day I picked up a book about them on the book rack at Whole Foods & was amazed at the things I learned. I recommend the book very highly: "seeds of deception"

When I met hubby he was really into buying organic produce, but nothing else really. He bought alta-dena milk & "natural" chicken, etc. (don't get me started on all those terms that really don't mean anything--like 'cage free' & 'natural' & even 'organic' in the cosmetic industry) Once I started getting into organics I felt that it was more important for meat, dairy, & eggs to be organic than produce. Over time hubby has come to agree with me on that (based on information I've learned & shared with him). But we were still buying a lot of produce organic as well. Last summer we started working on our grocery budget & trying to find ways to lower the amount we spend. One decision we made was to prioritize what produce NEEDED to be purchased organic & what didn't necessarily need to be organic. So again I did research & found the dirty dozen & clean dozen list.

The dirty dozen, the 12 produce items that contain the most pesticide residue (& therefore SHOULD be purchased organic): peaches, apples, bell peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, lettuce, grapes, pears, spinach, & potatoes.

The clean dozen, the 12 produce items that contain the least amount of pesticide residue (& therefore don't necessarily need to be organic): asparagus, avocados, bananas, broccoli, cabbage, corn, eggplant, kiwi, mangos, onions, pineapple, & peas.

However, I personally insist on corn being organic as much as possible because it is a HUGE GMO crop (& the only way to avoid GMO is to make sure it's organic). I also insist on onions being organic because non-organic ones are sprayed with a sprout inhibitor that is really unhealthy (potatoes are also sprayed with this, but they also contain a lot of pesticide so I already make sure to buy those organic). Not on either of these lists but another one I insist on organic is tomato, because they have tried (& to my knowledge so far failed, but of course they're gonna keep on trying) to make lots of GMO tomatoes & I want to avoid those.

When I took my speech class in college I had to do one public presentation at the end of the semester. The teacher started by making us choose a topic. The topic I chose was "why you should eat organic" My teacher didn't like it, she encouraged me to change it, she felt it wouldn't pan out well. I refused to change it (& I have to admit I learned A LOT of really interesting stuff while doing research to prepare the speech, stuff that supported my decision to continue eating organic as much as possible) & my teacher in the end apologized & stated that she was wrong after hearing my speech. She said she had always thought organic was a whole lifestyle, an all or nothing approach, & that I had shown her otherwise. Needless to say I got a great grade on my speech & I am pretty sure my teacher was going to make some changes to her diet & I do hope I encouraged some others in my class to make changes also, although the majority of the class was really, really young, so I doubt at that age they would be very interested. I know I was interested at a young age, but most at that age aren't.

As for my quest on eating healthy & learning new stuff & moving forward: I feel like I have a really good knowledge base on organics & GMOs & I am currenlty looking into the dairy industry. I am just starting to learn about raw milk & what I am finding fascinates me. I am currently reading a book titled "the untold story of milk" (the brand new updated edition, there's an older version out there also). I'm sure as my research unfolds I'll be posting more blogs along this topic as well. :)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

My latest OB appointment & other updates....

Ok, so I wrote this whole blog earlier & somehow when I went to submit it I lost it all. I was so frustrated & irritated that I just left the computer at the time. I shall try this again now..........

So yesterday was my latest OB appointment. I had to wait longer than usual to be called back & then once called back I was waiting quite a while, which is not the norm, BUT last time I do recall I had to wait longer than usual. Finally one of the gals in the office poked her head in & told me she had just found out that my doc had rushed off to an emergency delivery. She asked me if I wanted to reschedule or just see the other doc in the office. I agreed to see the other doc--he may very well end up delivering my baby (it all depends on who is on call at the time the baby decides to arrive). I saw him once several years ago & didn't care for him then, that's why I went with the other OB in this office.

I have to say that my OB is soooo scattered & unprofessional. She always comes in with a piece of paper (where's my chart?) & she never can remember who I am or what's going on. She always asks me the same questions over & over. And I gave up asking her anything now, she just stares at her little piece of paper all confused & doesn't seem to know what's going on. It certainly doesn't instill much confidence, BUT this is almost over with, thank God. So this other doc in the same office comes in with his laptop (which is how my primary doc does it) & in there he has my whole chart. He doesn't know me at all & within a minute or so he has quickly reviewed my chart in the laptop & knows more than I think my OB has ever known when she sees me, LOL! So he tells me I'm 34 weeks & asks if I'm having any issues. I tell him I've started having some slight swelling in my ankles/feet, but that I assume that's normal at this stage of pregnancy. He said yes it is, especially since my blood pressure is so low (115/60, not too far off from my usual 80-90/50), he says it's nothing to worry about. He tells me my blood pressure is great, my weight is right on target (MY OB keeps telling me I've gained too much?). He then measures my tummy & says it's right on target with my due date. He then feels my tummy & points to a specific spot & says "the heart is right there" & puts the doppler there & voila we hear the heartbeat. MY OB has to move the doppler all over the place frantically searching for the heartbeat each time I go. I complimented him on his good aim.

I am still going every 2 weeks for now (have been for a while now), but he said soon I will be going every week. He said next visit she would check my cervix for dilation (it feels like it is to me, but it has felt this way for over a month now, I have no idea if that's normal or not at this stage........) & do the GBS test.

Other updates: last night hubby & I finally made time to sit down & discuss what we need & want for the baby. We have our 10% off coupon for completing our registry now, so we are ready to make our big final purchase. Originally we were going to start with a bassinet (cuz we don't have a room for the baby, it's going in our bedroom for now), BUT I know it's gonna outgrow the bassinet & it seems pointless to me to spend money on two separate beds in the end. So I measured & found that the crib would fit in our room, so we nixed the bassinet idea. We had also planned to buy an organizer thing to put in our closet to store the baby's stuff, but I knew I wanted to order the matching changing table/dresser with the crib (so it wouldn't be obsolete later on when we're ready for it) & so I measured in our room & found that we could even fit the changing table/dresser, SO we nixed the idea of the closet organizer also, since the dresser has 3 drawers to store baby items.

So our big order includes: stroller/carseat combo, crib, changing table/dresser, mattress, bedding (a couple of sheets & a bumper). We also both wanted a playpen, audio monitor, & the rainforest floor mat gym--not necessities by any means, but things that we really like/want & feel will be useful to us.

As for strictly wants: I had wanted a jogging stroller & a rocking chair. I had found a glider-rocking chair for $99 & we have a gift card that will cover over half that. I asked hubby what he thought & he started looking at it & then at others on that website & found a nicer looking chair (color-wise it matches our house better) that has a matching ottoman for $129. I told him I was trying to keep the price as low as possible, but he felt the extra $30 was worth it to get a nicer looking chair & an ottoman. As for the jogging stroller, we just have to put it on hold at this time or maybe not get one at all. I am so grateful to get a rocker that I'm not gonna stress over not getting a jogging stroller.

One thing I absolutely LOVE about shopping online or at least picking stuff out online is that (at least at some websites--where we have our registry & where we're getting the rocking chair) they have it where people who have bought that item can post reviews on it. I love to be able to look at those & see how many people thought it was junk & how many loved it, etc. It really helps me to decide on which to buy & which to avoid.

We'll be placing both of those orders (registry & rocking chair) very soon. I can't wait!!!

We agreed that we can wait until later on to worry about high chair or booster seat & walker & shopping cart nest (also wants, but not needed for at least a few more months).

I think that's all the updates I have for now................I can't wait for the stuff to start arriving!! And once our bedroom is painted & carpeted (not too far away now) we can start setting up the baby stuff!! I can't wait!!!!!!

As for Casa Buendia updates: we are working on selecting carpet & paint that we want. And a plumber came yesterday to work on some of the stuff from when they repiped the plumbing through the attic. We had some really rattly pipes & he was working on making them quieter.

Very soon we will get the paint & carpet going. We stopped last Sunday at a carpet store & chose about 3 that we liked. We asked if they had samples we could take home, but he said we would have to order them & wait for them to come in. Since we don't really have time for that he offered to let us take the big pages of carpet home from the display. We simply left a small deposit & walked out with them. We also chose a laminate flooring for the dining room.

Yesterday on my way home from my OB's office I stopped at the Dunn Edwards store to get a whole bunch of color cards so we can all decide on paint. As I walked in a young girl working there excitedly asked me if I was painting the baby's room. I skipped the fact that we don't actually have a room for the baby, but did tell her that we are actually painting our whole house. So I started gathering up color cards & she offered for me to sit down with this big fan-type thing, she said it has every color they make in it. I told her I needed to take them home & decide with the kids & hubby. She hesitated for a moment & then insisted I just take the fan thing (like in the old movies, the little hand fan the ladies carried) home. I felt bad for some reason & insisted it was ok. She did not want me on my feet gathering the color chart cards. She insisted I take the thing home--she said they normally charge for it & ask for it to be returned, but that she would just give it to me. I finally gave in & just took it & left. Hubby could not believe they gave me this thing--it has thousands of colors in there!! I'm sure we can loan it to my brother in law once he gets to the point of choosing paint colors for his house, LOL!! Hubby likes Dunn Edwards paint (that's what our house already has from the last time he painted) & our contractor says that's all he uses.

I think that's all the updates I have for now...........

Friday, March 6, 2009

34 weeks tomorrow & other updates.....

So tomorrow I will be 34 weeks--6 more weeks to go. So this is when my sister was born, she was a premie, 6 weeks early. Once again I must say I do feel relief to know that with each passing week the baby has an even better chance of being complication-free if it were to arrive at that time. My sister did have to stay in the hospital longer than my mother, until she weighed 4 lbs I believe, but aside from that I've never been aware of any complications with her at brother & I were not premies, although since I was a scheduled C-section they do plan it 'slightly' early so that the mom doesn't go into labor. I did have jaundice as a baby & I do wonder if it isn't because they took me a little early...........I was also tongue-tied, but those are the only two issues I know of with myself at birth.

I am still tired, still very short of breath. I have A LOT of phlegm (sorry if that's TMI)--I know it's partly just a normal course of pregnancy, due to the effect of the hormones on the mucous membranes, but I know it's also cuz I'm craving & eating so much dairy foods. But everyone thinks I am sick even though I'm really not. I did have some swelling in my hands & moreso in my feet this past week. It was funny cuz I was reading the 33 week email last Sunday morning prior to going to church. It mentioned about the swelling & that your hands might appear wrinkly. As I read it I looked at my hands & thought "nope, not yet anyways". Then while we're driving to church hubby shows me his hands--they were puffy & wrinkly, almost like if you stay in the bath too long. It was soooo weird cuz I had just finished reading that email........I told him maybe he was getting 'sympathy swelling' for me, LOL!! Neither of us ever understood why he had that, it went away later in the day. And then later I noticed I was starting to get some swelling, my wedding ring was a little tight & I had puffy feet with a line where my slippers goes across. I also had EXTREMELY painful feet for a while there--mostly around the edges of my heels. It was really, really bad & I couldn't understand it & nowhere in my reading did it mention this as an issue during pregnancy. But I did have to admit that my slippers were pretty worn out (I was planning to switch to new ones once we get our floors done--never expected that to take THIS LONG--and was going to take this current pair to the hospital when I have the baby & then toss them--don't want to bring hospital floor germs home with me, ewww!!) I finally broke down & bought a new pair of cheapie slippers at WalMart & my feet are feeling much better for it. So then I guess this new pair I bought I will take to the hospital & then toss...........kinda a waste of money, but ho hum.........this whole house mess/insurance thing is soooo irritating..........

I can't really think of much else pregnancy related............we got our coupon to complete our registry for 10% off. I need to sit down with hubby & decide what we buy right now for 10% off & what we can wait on for later. We have most of the small items, it's mostly the big stuff that we still need & most of that is pretty crucial (crib, stroller, carseat). Once that stuff is purchased it will be a big load off for me. And once we get paint & carpet & start setting stuff up for the baby that will be an even bigger relief. I really want to be able to come home from the hospital & have everything organized & ready to go. We've discusssed how to set up our room & closet & we came up with some really good ideas I think--I just hope they work out as well as we're planning.

As for Jardin Buendia--still just waiting for seeds to sprout. This weekend I plan to have hubby remove the old herb pots & then I can plant a few more seeds in the garden (where the pots were taking up space) & set up the new window boxes for the herbs in the garden area. I am really excited about the garden, can't wait for things to start sprouting!!

As for Casa Buendia--we got one of the two remaining checks & gave it to our contractor. The other one is still in the hands of our mortgage company, they want to come out, inspect the house, & then release the money to us. This is the first money we have given him, he has been waiting a long time for this--I am sure he is frustrated just as we are, although he isn't living in the middle of it all, ALTHOUGH he does live in Yorba Linda where the fires also hit after our community (just off of Gypsum Canyon Rd) & he did get a lot of smoke damage as well & they are actually living much like we are these days (we've been to his house a couple of times), so I'm sure he does feel our pain. Hopefully very soon we can get going on the remaining work & I am praying it's done by the end of this month at the absolute latest.

And tomorrow I am trying to pull off a surprise late bday party for hubby, that's why I'm posting this blog a day early. I have never tried to do this before--it seems like every year there's some reason why I can't do it & I feel really bad about that, especially cuz he's done it for my bday several times now. This year I wasn't going to because our house is a disaster & I'm pregnant (it's a lot of work to cook for so many people) & the weekend of his bday (last weekend) we were sooooo busy. But I felt so bad about it that I decided to try to pull off a late party, I hope all turns out well. I have people brining side dishes & I ordered rotisserie chickens to keep the amount of kitchen work down & I can always sit on a stool to do the work that's left. My biggest challenge will be tomorrow morning--I have to go pick up the 5 first of all I have to explain that I'm leaving to go somewhere (it's extremely rare that hubby & I go anywhere without each other if we're both home) & then I have to come home with 5 chickens & either try to hide them or explain them...........we shall see how this goes.........there is a slight possibility that he may go to work for a couple of hours in the morning & if that's the case then I am sure I can totally pull it off, but if he doesn't, then I don't know............please say a prayer for me that I am somehow able to pull it off!!! I have managed to hide the rest of the food I bought for the party, or at least I think I have..........if he noticed he didn't say anything............

I think that's all the updates I have for now.....................

ramblings on nutrition, a new book, etc

I have been interested in eating well & nutrition for a very long time now. I had a lot of health issues growing up. By the age of 15 I was determined to start eating better & make a change. Yes, I've learned more things along the way & have backslidden & all sorts of things along the way over the past 21 years (man do I feel old saying that!!), but overall I still try to do my best & when I compare myself to the "average American" diet-wise I can see that I am doing well.

Everytime I learn something new I always wish I could go back in time & start all over knowing that bit of info, but alas it will never work that way. All we can do is move forward knowing what we now know & doing the best we can. (I often feel the same way in my spiritual "walk" with the Lord--but of course scriputre is clear that we are only held accountable for what we have knowledge of).

Yes, I'm interested in eating healthfully, but that has a different meaning for different people. When someone talks about "healthy food" I honestly have no idea what they are referring to--it's a VERY broad term. For me it's mostly about being organic & non-GMO. There are certain key things I try to keep out of the house--hydrogenated fats, high fructose corn syrup, possible GMO additives, preservatives, I'm sure there's more but I can't think of it right now. I don't always succeed, I must admit, the kids do like a lot of junk that their mom has allowed & sometimes the fight just isn't worth it--they're gonna just eat it elsewhere anyways, so sometimes hubby & I decide to just give in, especially cuz they're older now, it's not like they're little ones & we are forming their likes/dislikes food-wise anymore at this point.

I have recently obtained & read a book called "Nourishing Traditions." I feel like I've been lead down an interesting path on my way to finding this book. Shortly after the whole fire situation my brother in law stayed with us for a while. We would sit & chat about nutrition, etc in the evenings. He is just as interested as I am about this stuff & he is also a bookworm just like I am. I love discussing this sort of stuff with him. Because I was pregnant he brought up the issue of baby formula being contaminated with melamine & suggested I be sure to do my research on this topic before the arrival of the baby. I was not aware of this, had heard nothing of it. He suggested I go online & look it up for myself. He said he read about it on, but he was sure there was info on it elsewhere. So I went online & read many articles about this. I also went to & while there I ended up subscribing to their email newsletters (which I absolutely LOVE). But it was there that I found the most interesting articles on the baby formula. And I also found an article that contained an alternative, a recipe for making your own baby formula--my initial thought was that that would be a lot of work, but would certainly be good for the baby. The more I thought about it the more I realized that it certainly wouldn't be as hard as preparing actual meals for a child which is what's coming in the future. Little by little I became convinced that I would make my own baby formula & I loved the fact that this recipe was designed to mimic the nutritional value of human breast milk.

What I also found in the article was a link to a yahoo group, they recommended this group for discussing the home made baby formula, etc. I went to that link, but found it referred me to a new link. I did join that group & have learned a wealth of info since being there.

Initially I couldn't wait to get ahold of this "Nourishing Traditions" book (the book that the baby formula recipe comes from). But I must admit that as time went on, based on what I was reading in this yahoo group I wasn't too sure I agreed with their thoughts on nutrition & I became less interested in the book. I was still thrilled with the baby formula recipe, but that was about all. I saw it as a place to take what I wanted from it & leave the rest & that's what I did for a few months there.

Then I was shopping at Whole Foods recently & as I perused the book rack (as I always do) I saw 2 copies of the "Nourishing Traditions" book there. It has never been there before & I know the books there sell out pretty quick & they don't usually restock the same books on a regular basis. So if I want something I know I have to grab it while they have it. I debated for a few minutes & then decided to get it.

I came home & started reading & from the get-go I could see that the ideas I saw presented in the yahoo group were a combination of people have different priorities (other than those stated in the book as well as from my own) & some of it I misunderstood & some just probably wasn't stated clearly. I am thrilled to say that a lot of what's in this book I was already practicing without really having a sound explanation for why--no pork, no soy, no GMOs, buy organic when possible, no scavenger fish, etc. And of course there was a lot of new info that I totally agree with & will put into practice (a lot of info on choosing which oils to cook with). What I like most is the technicality of the explanations in the book. I am a science major & I appreciate very much the detailed scientific explanations when they are provided.

But all in all I really like this book. I plan to gradually start working in the new info & see how it goes. There was also a lot of info on soaking grains prior to eating & on fermented veggies, etc. This was all new to me, I had never heard of this stuff, nor had I heard of it being good for you. I am excited to try it out. One thing they talked about was bone broths--how healthy these are. And I am proud to say that I have already made my first batch of bone broth & am already using it in my cooking. And I must admit it truly tastes amazing!

One thing I encourage people to do for better health is to stop buying processed & prepared foods. Cook basic things from scratch as much as possible--that is step number one to better health in my opinion. Even in the health food stores it's shocking how much processed & prepared foods there are. Sure they aren't made with hydrogenated fats & high fructose corn syrup, but they still aren't as healthy as what you can make yourself. I can't say that I NEVER buy prepared stuff (healthy versions of it anyways), but we do try our best to limit this & not buy very much of it. Hubby & I often feel like we can never get out of the kitchen, some days we are so tired of it, but I do have to admit that I am most happy when I am in the kitchen. On my days when I am here alone that is where I most often find myself--making stuff for my family & I'm there because I "want" to be, not because I "have" to be at those times. And yeah, I have a super picky hubby & step-kids, but when they do eat & enjoy something I've made it makes it so worthwhile to me. I love feeling like I am helping to provide them all with better health.