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Sunday, December 1, 2013

Charlotte's Milestones

I keep forgetting to write down Charlotte's milestones, and if I don't do it soon, she and I will both be kicking me later when I have no recollection of them.

She started crawling one day after her 7 month birthday.
At just about her 5 month birthday, she was completely mobile though with a fierce army crawl.
At 8 months, she is holding onto furniture and standing and taking a few timid steps.

Her first teeth, the bottom two came at 7 months.  
We celebrated with buttered acorn squash.
There was no food before teeth. :)

She said "Mama" and meant it at 7 months, too.
We are working on "Dada".

At her only 2 well child checks, she has been in the 97th and then 90th percentiles for length.
She was in the 30th percentile for weight.  

Her first monumental giggle came at 6 months.  
We are still hard pressed to get one out of her but usually it happens when we tickle her ribs.
Sigh.  We love her.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Going Against the Grain

You might know two things if you stop by HbC very often.

-My posts have been less than regular lately.
-I am totally obsessed with food.  It is such a love-hate-love relationship for us right now.

The cause behind both of those effects is this:

Its my BOOK!

Well, cook book and nutrition guide.

Yahoo! and Yippee!  It's a simple PDF that you can download straight to your computer for $9.97, unless you use the friends and family code FF40 (thank you so much for stopping by HbC!).

It has our family's favorite recipes (they are of course, our reason for making the change), including snacks, birthday cake (grain free!), simple recipes (Frittata), delectable recipes (Boeuf Bourguignon!), affordable, tummy satisfying recipes (Chalupa!) with both time and money saving tips.  See?  Cook book and nutrition guide!!

I wrote it because it is hard to make changes to your diet.  But the effects are amazing and I don't want anyone to have to go through it alone.  Check it out here.  Don't forget, you can use the friends and family code to get a discount!!  Let me know what you think.  :)

Oh, and you can win a copy today!  Just leave a comment below and tell me what is important to you.  I'll give away the copy on Monday.  Don't forget to leave a way of connecting with you!  Make the healthy choice today...sign up to win a life changing experience!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Of Wreckage and Miracles

Recently, I have learned that "Do not be afraid" is on of the most commonly used sentences in the Bible.  And that reminded me of a picture I took a long time ago.  Bear with me, this is a little bit of a story, but when you see the picture, you might think it is worth it.

Jeremiah and I were in AmeriCorps in 2003 and 2004 and as part of our training, we were certified in disaster relief with the American Red Cross.  We were both deployed several times and had a lot of experience, so in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina hit, I took a 3 week leave of absence from my job and headed south with the St. Paul chapter of the Red Cross.  Part of the three weeks that I was there was spent on an Emergency Response Vehicle delivering hot food and water to people who couldn't get out of their houses or neighborhoods for a variety of reasons.  No one wanted me to go out on the ERV because of my age-they all thought I would be to young and under prepared for the disaster and devastation and stench.

Being who I am, I went anyway.  It was a life changing experience and I will never forget what I saw on those excursions in Ocean Springs, MS.  One man, Dale, wandered through the back woods looking for the wife that was separated from him during the storm, for weeks.  The fire department found her body in a tree and was able to stop his search.  He only had the flip flops he was wearing, cut off shorts and a ragged t-shirt.  As awful as it was to finally know his wife had passed from him, it was an act of mercy be able to stop his search.  We met an 80 year old woman who survived the storm by floating through the turbulent waters on a wooden door until she bumped into a tree.  She stayed there until she was finally rescued.  The day we brought food to her and her son, she was going to the wreckage that was her house to find one thing that was desperately important to her...the sewing machine her mom handed down to her 60 years ago.

Then we got to the place we had heard stories about.  The house next door would eventually be featured on Extreme Home Makeover and I would watch it on ABC and recognize all of the features of the landscape and the wreckage.  But at the address that we had heard about, there was barely anything left.  We stopped to take a break and found the tree in this picture.  It had played a huge part saving the wealthy stubborn family that survived the storm.

I don't remember their last names, but they had two kids.  They saw the news of the coming storm and knew the predictions but they wouldn't leave their house.  They just didn't want to.  So they prepared and boarded up windows and got food and hunkered down.  When the storm finally hit the way it was predicted, it was to late for the family to leave.  When they panicked and decided to leave, it was too late.  The floorboards of their car were under water.  The first floor of their house quickly flooded and they rushed to the second floor and then had to climb onto the roof to avoid the rising, angry water.

As the water rose, the family made it into the tree, holding each other and branches.  The dad was bracing the branches with his hands and feet-his bare feet on the rough bark of the tree, so his family could have a better chance of surviving.  As a huge, tsunami sized wave rushed towards them, a tree larger then the one they were holding onto fell in front of them and split the wave around them.  When the debris that broke windows and walls, wrapped fabric and plastic around and around and around anything in its path, this sheet of plastic was miraculously wrapped protectively around the family's tree, shielding them the debris that was so deadly.

They stayed in the tree for the entire hurricane.  

And when the hurricane finally stopped, they opened their eyes and looked around and saw each other, all four of them, protected in their tree.

When the water started to recede and the shock finally wore away, they wondered how they would get out of that big tall tree.

Then a completely whole unbroken ladder floated by and they used it to climb down to the ground and wait for help.  With their feet safely on the ground.

I don't know if they were believers, but they must have been after that.

Here is the photo I took of the tree.

Sorry for the long story.  But sometimes it's nice to remember the Miracles and how God provides.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Freshening up our bedroom-thank you Pinterest

I found a new recipe on Pinterest (does anyone else need a 12 step program for Pinterest?).  It is how to freshen, deodorize and remove all the ickiness that inhabit such places as mattresses.  Since I needed to wash the sheets today and wanted to try another "Pinspiration"--my new word, yes you are welcome, I went for it (after all, I do everything I pin, of course! ha!).

I drug the mattress out to the living room, carefully avoiding a small child, a toddler and a giant dog and got ready to sprinkle on the magic defunking powder.  Here is the recipe:

1 cup of baking soda (we keep a 10 pound bag around the house)
10 drops of essential oil (I use Texas Cedar Wood....dreamy and perfect for a bed)
-Whisk the two together and sprinkle all over the bed.  By the time your sheets are done washing and drying, you are supposed to be able to vacuumm the baking soda up off the bed and miracles will have happened.

This sounded great to me, because when we have any kind of bed wetting accident in our house, I just drop a cup of baking soda onto the wet spot, wait for the powder to soak up the odor and dampness and vacuum it up.  Viola!  No muss, no fuss.

What I didn't count on as I upholstered our box spring (my other Pinsperation-that word is totally going to catch on, remember, you read it here first!) was how gross the box spring would be.

Seriously, I started to sweat just looking at it.  I drug out the hand held vacuum to best avoid waking any sleeping children, dust cloths for the bed frame and got to work.  Let's just say I haven't gotten back to the vacuuming of the mattress yet.  But it sure is going to be sparkly, upholstered and dust free by the time I am done.

Be prepared people.  If you have never "freshened" your mattress before (we flip and rotate ours every couple of months, but apparently we missed a few things), you are in for a big surprise.  A gross one.  Good luck!

p.s.  Let's never speak of this again.  My cheeks are beet red-but I thought you might want the ideas for your own house.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Resolve to Meet Your Goals this Year

Recently I caught the Thanksgiving wrap up episode of the Biggest Loser that was being replayed on NBC.  Apparently, tennis great Anna Kournikova was one of the new trainers.  My guess is that if she was half the personal trainer as she was a tennis player, her clients were sweating like never before.  What she mentioned on the wrap up show that day though, stopped me in my tracks.  It is the same thing that I tell everyone that I work with.  She said that she wasn’t responsible for the success of the people that she was training.  She said that it didn’t matter what trainer the contestants had and when they switched trainers it mattered even less.  What mattered was what the contestants did, what they gave and were willing to do.  Their success, and therefore their failure, was their own, not the trainers.

Own your success.  If you own your success, then you must also own your failure.  Know why you succeed, know why you failed and don’t be afraid of either.  We hear or say “Oh, you didn’t fail!” or something equally pacifying, enough times that we start to believe it and think “Well, I don’t need to reach that goal.  This is good enough.  I am satisfied this way”.    But is that satisfying?  Is that meaningful?  My guess is no.  Own your failures too.  By doing that, you will not only know that you tried, are trying, and are going to succeed, but success will come to you so much faster because you know what doesn’t work.  You can’t get to the top of a mountain of any kind if you are okay with slipping, sliding back down to the starting point and camping there. 

Another recent quote made me laugh out loud and cheer while I sat at my computer.  It was from Gwyneth Paltrow on Pintrest.  Please excuse the language here, but you get the idea... "The reason that I can be 38 and have two kids and wear a bikini is because I work my (expletive) ass off.  It’s not an accident.  It’s not luck, it’s not fairy dust, it’s not good genes.  It’s killing myself for an hour and half five days a week, but what I get out of it is relative to what I put inot it.  That’s what I try to do in all areas of my life.”

Happy New Year!  Choose the healthy choices this year and get what you want.  Don’t let them slip by.  It’s hard, I know.  But you can do it.  I am here for you along the way.  Let me know what questions you have and I will try to get them answered here for you.