Beautycounter

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Leftover Baby Food

Our son decided a while ago that he was done with baby food.  He will no longer suck from the packets or eat it from the spoon.  This is a problem because I have a stockpile of organic baby food!!!  I was just thinking today that I might end up having today donate it, but then I thought of trying a "smoothie" in his sippy cup.  I emptied a packet into one of his 4 oz Lifefactory bottles that convert to sippy cups and added a little water and handed it to him.  He drank half of it after his meal!  Success!!  Just wanted to share.  It's so simple, but saved me from being unable to use all the baby food I have hoarded in the basement.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Removing Toxins

I've been really health conscious when it comes to everything for the baby.  I bought all organic baby food and posted about it here when we were going through that stage of first food and our son was and still is on organic formula.  I chose organic or natural lotions, medicine, skin care etc.  It took a lot of research to pick the items we use, but it was well worth it in my mind.

I decided to finally do the same for myself.  We eat mainly organic at home and it feels good to put that food in front of Farmie and our son knowing that it's the best we can do without owning a farm!  We had chickens once and Farmie was so distraught about one getting killed by a neighbor's dog that I vowed that we could never own chickens again.  The grocery store or local market is the closest we'll get to source of our food and I'm good with that.

After IVF I felt so pumped full of all sorts of chemicals and hormones.  I learned early on not to google side effects or read too much about what I was actually having to put in my body.  I started juicing to detox.  I took pills to detox.  I did colonics...until I no longer had to make them stop because I was going to vomit.  The technician told me that they only saw that with people that had been on heavy medications for pain or illness.  Yeah, wonderful...  But I can say that I feel almost completely back to normal.

So the next step for me was what I use on my skin and hair.  I was searching non-toxic makeup online and found Beautycounter.  The banner is at the top of my blog ^^^  I signed up because I fell in love with their mission and what they're doing with the cosmetic industry.  There are some crazy facts I learned, one being that the UK has banned about 1300 ingredients in cosmetics and the US has only restricted the use of 11...  I learned that a lot of lipstick contains LEAD.  Yep, LEAD, as in the chemical on the periodical table, that stuff that the government has gone out of their way to remove from paint for homes.  And if you use lipgloss or lipstick you know your practically eating it.

I wanted to share this with everyone because honestly when I first found this company part of me was excited to try everything, but then another part of me was really annoyed that I hadn't heard about it before.  I was also frustrated with all of the ingredients that are in the cosmetic brands that I had been using for years.  You just assume that someone is in charge and someone is regulating what companies can create for consumers.  I guess in reality there are some regulations even though no new ones have been passed since 1938!!

I believe with all of the cancer rates and diseases and allergies that we are seeing increasing with every generation there are small things that we can all do to hopefully protect ourselves and our family.

Off my soap box!  Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!


Monday, November 17, 2014

A year tomorrow!

It's so hard to believe that our little man will be a year old tomorrow.  It's hard to put into words how our world has changed, but a few things I know for sure:

My marriage isn't just between me and Farmie anymore.  We owe it to this little guy to be the best couple we can be and it's been pretty awesome.  We need to put more effort into date nights...we've only had like two, but we're both kind of homebodies.  Regardless, though we need time out just the two of us.

My gratitude for our birth mom has only expanded and become stronger.  There really isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about her.  I still talk to her at least once a week.  She called me this week saying that she's ready to start talking about baby #2.  It overwhelms me with emotion because she's so selfless.  She is willing to get pregnant, go through a pregnancy and give us another baby because she wants this little guy to have a sibling.  She told me that she knows that either way we will adopt another baby so that he's not an only child and she would rather have it be her.  She amazes me and our son is so lucky to have her as his birth mom.  Anything can happen, we've learned that through the IVF process, but I do hope that our son can have a biological sibling.  I think if there are any challenges for him or worries from being adopted that would help in some way.

Our son is my priority.  Work is nice, money is nice, but he's number one.  I've continued to work this past year, but as he gets older and especially adopting a second baby, I know I will need to reduce my work load even more.  It's a hard thing for me to let go of because I was raised that your value is in what you produce and contribute.  Plus, it's a tough thing for me to become more dependent financially on Farmie.  It's hard for me to let go on that.  I was raised to never depend on a man or anyone else for that matter,  but I know this is what's best for us as a family and I'll make changes when I know I need to.

I'm thankful every single day for the blessing of this little man in our lives.  He is such a happy baby and is so curious about everything.  He's stubborn and he's funny.  He loves music and dancing.  He loves his Grandpa and they somehow have the same smile.  He loves wrestling with his dad in the evenings.  He's the most amazing gift.

He took his first steps this Saturday and I'm pretty sure his first word is officially "Dude...".  I don't know what I did to deserve him, but all I can do is be the best mom I can possibly be.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Baby Clothes on the Cheap

Our little man is going through clothes at lightening speed.  He's wearing 18-24 months clothes right now and I'm grateful for creating a stock pile when I had the time to browse.  I try to stick to an under $5 rule.  I'm already looking forward to Black Friday deals so I can stock up.  I know...so sad...but I can't help it :)

Thought I would share the websites and stores where I find the best deals:

MyHabit.com is a new website that is owned by Amazon.  It functions a lot like Zulily, which is another one I watch for free shipping items.  They have new items every day and they are always discounted.

Ebates is awesome.  It gives you cash back on pretty much anything you buy online.

Other stores that I watch for deals are:

Ross
BabiesRUs
TJMaxx
Marshalls
Walmart
Macy's
H&M
Gap
Target
and local consignment/resale shops

Any that I'm missing?? Please share!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Birth mom visit & road trip

The munchkin is 9 months old this week!!  He has 6 teeth and weights 24.5 lbs.  He's pulling himself up to stand like a little pro and is moving from one piece of furniture to the next.

We took a little road trip this week with a friend of mine that I've known since high school.  It was nice just to have a little change in scenery if only for a couple days.  The baby did great in the car and he took a little dip in the river and loved it.  My friend commented on how parenting is just non stop and he said that I've always been very organized and just kind of on top of things, but now with a kid he kind of pointed out how it's impossible.  With everything you have to cart around and remember it is kind of chaos from his perspective, but he did enjoy playing with him and hanging out.  Vacations are no longer the vacations I've had in the past, but I wouldn't change it.  And I wouldn't leave him at home at this age either.  He's never been away overnight and I'm not sure when I'll be ready for that step.  Not anytime soon!

I met with his birth mom last week and took him with me.  We went shopping for some interview clothes for her.  She's trying very hard to get a job and I wanted to help.  She wasn't emotional when she saw the baby or when she held him or even when I dropped her off after shopping.  She was holding him in the store and she told me that if she passed him on the street she would have no idea he was her baby.  She told me that he looks like me, which is strangely what a lot of people have said even though they know he's adopted.  She asked the baby if he was ready for a little sister.  This makes the 4th time she's brought up a sibling.  I don't think she's currently pregnant, but I do think she wants to give him a sibling.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

It's been a while!

I've been quiet lately, I know.  Life has gotten in the way of frequent updates.

Levothyroxine/Thyroid update: after just over a month of taking the medication I took myself off of it.  I loathe taking medication and I feel like it was another daily reminder of our infertility struggles. I don't know if that means I've given up or given in or just want to enjoy my life right now just the way it is.  Whatever it means, I'm good with it.  When I stopped the meds my skin broke out like crazy and it just solidified the reason why I don't like taking anything.  I felt like meds were coming out of my pores and that it was just toxic.

Baby update: he is almost 8 months!  Holy moly why does it seem to go by so fast?!  He's mimicking now and starting to practice talking.  He's crawling like crazy and got his first little cold recently.  I used homeopathic treatments and it went away in just a couple days.  Was very proud of myself for that one even though everyone was telling me to take him to the doctor for antibiotics.  Turns out he didn't need them and he's almost completely back to his normal self.

Work has been insanely busy for me.  I'm not going to lie, it's been stressful keeping up with everything, but I'm managing.  Luckily we have a very reliable caregiver that can come to our home when I have appointments which are sometimes very last minute.

Birth mom:  She is back in town and has been hanging out with the bio dad.  I met with her and had lunch and just caught up.  She seems to be in a very good place and it was a good visit with her.  Last week she called wanting to have what is now our 3rd conversation about a sibling.  She just wanted to make sure again that if she's pregnant we would want to adopt the baby.  Then she asked me if I would go to a doctors appointment with her in the next couple of weeks.  She said that it's just a checkup, but it has me wondering.  She's not one to jump to go to the doctor considering she didn't have any prenatal care until she was 5+ months pregnant.  I'm wondering if she's pregnant and wants me there when it's confirmed????  She scheduled it for this Friday, but had to cancel because of my schedule.  I'm waiting to hear when the appointment will be.

In all of this, there is a repeat lesson it seems that there is no way to predict the future.  Any semblance of control is an illusion and life is full of surprises.  I try not to stress about the what ifs or hows, but it's a struggle some days.  It seems like building our family is completely out of our hands, but then I remind myself that really if you think about it it's like that for everyone, infertile or not.


Friday, May 30, 2014

Baby Food Stage

This next transition was hard for me.  I was not looking forward to the fact that Jones wouldn't just be bottle fed.  I waited until after his 6 month birthday to try any solid food.  We started with avocado, which he really liked.  Then we gave him a couple tastes of banana which he surprisingly didn't like.  This last weekend he tried sweet potatoes and loved it.  I went a couple days not giving him solids at dinner and he woke up both of those nights wanting a bottle.  So it's official, the little guy needs solid food.  I have to get over it.  It's funny because I never saw myself as someone that would have a hard time with these transitional stages, but I do!!

So far everything he's tried has been homemade, which I'm very grateful for.  But realistically I know that I won't always have that option and at this point it's necessary for him to have a little more than just a bottle each day at dinner.

So began the research of what baby foods I would be willing to use.  I decided to share this to spare others the time I spent on researching all of this and driving around to stores.  My requirements were that they had to be certified organic, in BPA free containers and sugar free.  I also used this Food Babe article to help me weed through the ingredients that seem harmless.  Even though it's a article about coffee this was sadly relevant to most baby food because of this section of the article:

"Look out for these hidden GMO ingredients: Amino Acids, Aspartame, Ascorbic Acid, Sodium Ascorbate, Vitamin C, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Flavorings (“natural” and “artificial”), High Fructose Corn Syrup, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Lactic Acid, Maltodextrins, Molasses, Monosodium Glutamate, Sucrose, Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP), Xanthan Gum, Vitamins, Yeast Products"

I started on Amazon since I buy pretty much everything on there.  They also usually have a picture for the nutritional and ingredient labels so that you can read it before purchasing.  The first brand I cam across was Plum Organics.  Everything looked great until I got to their Puffs and noticed that they added cane sugar.  So I crossed them off the list.  The next brand was Happy Baby and everything looked great until I saw that they added Ascorbic Acid.  So that was eliminated.  Then I went through all of the other brands one by one:


  • Amara (great brand, but you have to add water)
  • Earth's Best 
  • Ella's Kitchen (no label photos so I had to wait until I got to the store to check out ingredients)
  • Gerber
  • Peter Rabbit Organics
  • Sprout
















After going through all of these and double checking ingredients at the store, I narrowed it down to two brands:  Ella's Kitchen and Peter Rabbit Organics


Now that I had the brands narrowed down I was on the hunt for the lowest price.  Amazon has two options for Peter Rabbit that are "subscribe and save" options that are the best price I've found.  But since I would like a variety I will purchase the majority through (surprise!) Walmart.  It's really encouraging to see such a large chain carry quality organic healthy baby products.  I would love to have all of the baby food delivered to my door through Amazon, but we'll just stock up every once in a while through Walmart unless Amazon starts carrying more flavors that have the "subscribe and save" option.  Walmart also has some 10 pack options on line that come out as a better deal if you buy online, but you have to buy $50 for free shipping.  Same with Target, but Target isn't a convenient stop for me.


***sorry for the weird highlighting, when I copied pasted the portion of the article and list of baby foods it seemed to have highlighted things weird.  I'm not techi enough to know how to change it lol