Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Stork Is Coming!


We are extremely excited to announce that February 27 (give or take a few days) Gary and I will be welcoming our second son into this world. In addition, we also finally settled on a name for our new bundle of joy. I am simply in love with the name and after months of feeling like we couldn't settle on the right and perfect one (as we did very early on with Wade's name) I can now think of my growing baby as his name and not baby boy.

I have hesitated to talk about the pregnancy on the blog before this because I know that there are readers out there struggling with infertility and longing for a baby. I feel for you. I know of deep heart pains and hurts that don't go away and just can't be explained. The reasons why this is what you have to suffer through I can't explain. I was very surprised to have gotten pregnant so soon after we began trying for the second baby. I was worried that they would be father apart then I had hoped for. It took us over a year to conceive Wade and it wasn't without help. I spent several hundred dollars seeing a doctor that specialized in human replacement hormones that my insurance didn't cover.

My health problems and the fact that I had taken birth control since I was sixteen for cramp control (without knowing the side effects of birth control) truly affected my ability to get pregnant the first time. Without seeing that doctor it could have taken years more to get pregnant.  Within a month of starting the replacement hormones my blood work showed I needed I was pregnant with Wade. It wasn't an easy pregnancy though. It was horrible actually. Severe "morning sickness", followed by the worst heart burn constantly of my life, I was extremely emotional, couldn't sleep and would sit upright in bed or a chair to combat the heart burn. Then the swelling started with high blood pressure. By the time Wade came three weeks early I was exhausted.

Labor was long and disheartening. Thirty-two hours of labor, exhausted and hungry, I couldn't have the birth experience I had so wanted and researched. The doctors put me on Pitocin after I had refused for as many hours as possible. The contractions were major with no progress. I had to get rest and I knew it. Crying, shaking, and scared I agreed to the epidural. If I didn't rest my body I wouldn't be able to push. Above all else I HAD to avoid the C-section I knew the doctors would jump at if I said I wanted it. I also knew the epidural would really mess me up and it did. They gave me hours and hours of medication into my spine. It took eight weeks to leave the fog behind. Trying to nurse my epidural drugged baby was more than a challenge. It ended up not working for us and I was heart broken. My body was still sick and didn't produce the milk Wade needed.

This time around though will be different. I have made very determined strides to heal myself. Of course I know I have a long way to heal but via diet, limiting stress, and getting proper rest things are already different this time. The pregnancy, not without it's minor inconveniences, has been a breeze so far. As I said, getting pregnant was easy this time. I haven't had any swelling. My blood pressure is normal. I feel great honestly. Tired of course but great. People comment about how healthy my hair looks, how I barely have put on weight, how I look healthier with the second baby. No one said that with my first. I wasn't any of those things.

I have a lot more to say about how I am feeling better and about how this time my pregnancy is different and better. I have been doing even more reading and research. I attribute the finding of traditional foods (real food) as having had a lot to do with it. I have focused on eating proper protein and fat and getting significant rest. I am convinced that diet plays a huge roll in the making and having of babies. While I am no expert I will share what I know and have learned before the arrival of baby boy number two. Who knows. Maybe it is something that someday will help you as well.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving!


"Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations." 
-Psalm 100:4-5

I can remember times in my life where daily I cried buckets of tears for months on end. Tremendous challenges, deep heart break and disappointments, failures, mistakes, financial difficulties, major struggles with my health, and horrifically stressful work environments. At times it seemed like all of that would never end. I would cry out to God wondering why and what was happening. I remember asking for God to restore to me the years the locust have eaten.

"And I will restore or replace for you the years that the locust has eaten--the hopping locust, the stripping locust, and the crawling locust, My great army which I sent among you." - Joel 2:25 (AMP)

Why you ask do I mention these past struggles? Because God has been so faithful. Have all my problems been stripped away? No. I still deal with challenges that at times other people laugh that I am cursed and only I (and now my family) could have to go through. Is every financial struggle removed? No. Life is still hard at times and we do live in a broken world.

But today I want to let you know that if you are struggling. If you are at the point of despair there is HOPE! There is a future for you! Things won't always be this way.

I am truly blessed today. I have a loving and faithful husband. I have a home that is my own and being restored to beauty. I have food in my refrigerator and freezers. I have an amazingly wonderful baby boy, a growing teenage step-son, and a new baby boy soon to join us this winter. Honestly, I have never felt so blessed.



Happy Thanksgiving to you & yours! With love, Two Blue Houses.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Home Made Sippy Cup


This idea isn't original. You can find tutorials all over the internet of how to make your own. Although, really the idea is pretty simple. Take a pint jar (or whatever size works for you), take a lid, drill a hole in the lid, and insert straw. 

I am fed up with the store bought sippy cups. In the last, ten months months we have bought five sippies. Within no time they become gross. Chewed on, moldy, slimy and worn. Honestly, I don't feel they live up to their price for the use you get out of them. I try soaking, keeping the store bought cups refrigerated to keep down the mold, I scrub and scrub them, and just end up worn out by them. Store bought sippies are a waste of my money. 

Now I can have a clean lid and jar in no time. The mason jars are durable and my mother gave me 200 straws (I am not totally in love with the disposable nature of the straws if you have ideas let me know!). Gary was able to drill a hole that the straws tightly fit into helping to cut down on leaking. Actually this cup hasn't leaked once in the last two days of testing it, where his "leak proof" sippy from the store leaks anytime it isn't upright. Wade feels like a big boy and I am over trying to clean stupid plastic cups. Best of all this cost me nothing! Everyone is happy! 

Not like that silly. Don't mind the bed head...

Mom how does this work? Look! No leaking!

Big boy!

 P.S. We only put watered down juice in his cup. Never full strength because of how sugary it is. Plus, I only buy preservative, high fructose corn syrup free juice. He gets juice twice a day and water and milk (how I WISH it was raw milk) the rest of the day.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sheep Lawn Mowers, and Other Go-Getters


OBERLIN, Ohio

In this verdant lawn-filled college town, most people keep their lawn mowers tuned up by oiling the motor and sharpening the blades. Eddie Miller keeps his in shape with salt licks and shearing scissors.
Mr. Miller, 23, is the founder of Heritage Lawn Mowing, a company that rents out sheep — yes, sheep — as a landscaping aid. For a small fee, Mr. Miller, whose official job title is “shepherd,” brings his ovine squad to the yards of area homeowners, where the sheep spend anywhere from three hours to several days grazing on grass, weeds and dandelions.
The results, he said, are a win-win: the sheep eat free, saving him hundreds of dollars a month in food costs, and his clients get a freshly cut lawn, with none of the carbon emissions of a conventional gas-powered mower. (There are, of course, other emissions, which Mr. Miller said make for “all-natural fertilizer.”...

Check out the rest of the article at NYTIMES.COM

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Oberlin is right in my backyard practically. Just 20 minutes away and with some dear friends living in that city if feels as if this little piece of news is taking place right here on the streets of Berea. And why shouldn't it!?! But don't stop with the summary above. There are some awesome people out there creating a living for themselves in unusual and practical ways. I am inspired. Plus, I want to open up a StockBox Grocers down the street in our personal food desert.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Global Village Construction Set

He had me at "farmer"... completely worth watching. The concept of open-sourced blueprints for civilization is just awesome. No doubt Gary will want to be building a tractor in our backyard once he sees this. Although as far as farming goes give me a pony and a plow and I will be happy...





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I love learning something new everyday. Honestly, the majority of my reading is non-fiction. I find so many interesting and informative pieces of information that I would LOVE to share but I have to hold myself back. I apologize now if you are in information overload. I really do try to contain myself. 
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