Friday, January 30, 2009

detox day #3

For those of waiting on the edge of your seats to get a "detox update," I apologize that I didn't post one yesterday. I was actually battling one of the worst tension headaches of my life, one that started the night before and didn't ease up until yesterday afternoon. From my research on doing body cleanses, tension headaches can actually be one of the side affects, but it honestly could've been from a number things: lack of sleep, lack of caffeine in diet or very likely the nasty side affect from eating a half of pan of brownies. Too much chocolate is never a good thing, I guess!

Aside from having a headache yesterday, there aren't any gruesome details to report. Sorry, people! I do feel like it's doing "the job," but it's doing it in a very natural way. Some bloating, only a little cramping, but fortunately no emergency situations! I do feel "cleaner," if that's even possible yet. I also had a few friendly pimples make their appearances, which I've read it also a normal side effect, but aside from that, my skin actually feels softer! Maybe it's all in my mind, but it does seem to be working!

If I'm being brutally honest, I have cheated on my diet during the detox, not only eating healthy foods like they recommend. I enjoyed some Dots at a movie last night, 1/2 donut at MOPS this morning and I still drink my morning coffee w/creamer (oops!). Otherwise, I've been eating well for the most part.

I wanted to address a few questions that were asked of me by an Anonymous reader on my last detox post:

What are my goals/plans for doing the detox? I'm truly doing this to rid my body of waste and toxins. In all the research I've done on body cleansing, I've read that it's beneficial to do this at least once or twice a year, not only for your body and skin, but for your health. Am I doing this to lose weight?! Sure, why not? My body tends to carry a few extra pounds of fat while nursing, so I'd be thrilled if doing the detox gave my body the jumpstart it needed to lose that extra weight. So far, I'm down 1 pound, but I tend to fluctuate 2 pounds depending on the day, so who knows? My primary goal is not to lose weight, but it is one of the benefits to doing this. My girlfriend lost 12 pounds her first time doing this, but I don't think that's a typical result.

The reader also asked about San Diego and why I'm going...My husband is going for work, so I'm going with for fun! I long for the warm weather and hope to bask in the rays the entire time I'm there!

Stay tuned for more detox results!

a pleasant surprise

One of the highlights of my life is going to MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) every other Friday. Just this year, I took a leap of faith and started a MOPS ministry at my church, not knowing the incredible impact it would have on my life. God gave me an AMAZING group of women who serve on the leadership team with me, and without them, there is no way I could do this. Every person attending MOPS is incredible, but I've been extremely blessed by the women who sit at my table. Three of them are sisters, all equally beautiful inside and out. I've told them that I get such a kick out of watching them interact as it reminds me SO much of the relationship I share with my own sister. I feel like I fit right in with them!

Today, when I sat down at my table, I saw the cutest little box with my name on it (I WISH I would've taken a picture of it, it was so stinkin' adorable!). I was caught off guard, assuming they must've had the wrong Amanda, but when I looked around at the 3 sister's, they all smiled and said, "We just wanted to thank you for all you're doing for us and the MOPS program."

I opened the box to find this inside:
It's a "pea-in-the-pod" necklace. There are three peas inside the pod, each representing one my daughters.
On the back of the pod, my girl's names are engraved. I know you can't see it very well in this picture, but it clearly reads: Ella, Britten, Chloe.

I had goosebumps. It was truly the most thoughtful, beautiful gift I had ever received from a friend. Ironically, I had just mentioned to my husband that I really wanted a necklace that signified my being a mom, and I couldn't have picked out something more perfect.

I love this necklace.

Thank you SO much, Jess, Tiff & Becky! You are all such wonderful friends and I couldn't have asked for a better group of women at my table!

Oh, and in case YOU'RE interested in buying a pea in the pod necklace for yourself, a friend, or your favorite MOPS leader (j/k!), the company that makes them is called Falling Forward and here's a link to their site.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

my new little venture

With nursing behind me (I officially went 24 hours without nursing, not going to Chloe in the middle of the night last night, and it went...well...ok. We made it, and that's all that matters!), I am starting a new little venture for myself. I am doing a body DETOX!

I've never done a detox or body cleanse before, particularly because you can't do them while pregnant or nursing, and since I've been doing one or the other for the last 6 years, I haven't had a choice in the matter. But I've been really wanting to do this for a long time, knowing there are definite health benefits to "detoxifying" your body.

With my San Diego trip a week away, I decided not to waste any time. I called my friend, Steph, who sells Arbonne, and ordered my Sea Source 7-day detox. It arrived today in the mail (I heart getting packages!) and I ripped into it immediately. I'm currently choking down enjoying my Day 1 Detox drink as I type this post. I'll compare the taste to a very rancid, old glass of wine.

The detox is very simple: There are 7 cute little blue bottles, each one containing a wonderful concoction that's supposedly going to cleanse my body and skin and leave me feeling like a new woman after one week. Each day, I add one bottle to 32-ounces of water, guzzle it as quick as humanly possible drink it at my leisure throughout the day, drink an extra 32-ounces of water (to equal a total of 64-ounces), eat relatively healthy foods, exercise 30 minutes on a daily basis, and try to cut out caffeine (yikes - what about my coffee?). And voila! I'm a new woman!

I have to admit that I'm a little nervous as to what this might do to my stomach. I'm not referring to the 6-pack I'll have when I'm done (yeah right!!), but to the gut-wrenching cramps and nasty stomach aches I might get because of it. I've been told that this Arbonne cleanse is very mild compared to other detoxes, but I think it really depends on the person. I'd be curious to hear if anyone else has ever done this clease before? And if so, what was your personal experience/opinion? Were you happy with the results?

I'll definitely keep you posted on my 7-day detox because I'm sure you really want to know about it. I'll spare the gruesome details if that will keep you reading my blog! :) Oh, and I'll also let you know if eating almost a half of pan of brownies before starting the detox is a bad idea...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

weaning the Chloe-bean

I've officially begun the weaning process with Chloe. At almost 15 months old, some of you might be thinking "it's about time"...while others are thinking, "why not go a few more years?" My thoughts are...well...Ugh. This is where the guilt comes crashing in.

I'm a huge breastfeeding advocate, and though I totally understand that it's not always the right or best decision for every person, I firmly believe that under normal circumstances, it is the healthiest option for both the mom and her baby. God made women this way for a purpose, and created breastfeeding as a source of nourishment, but also as a natural and beautiful way to bond with the baby. I love breastfeeding. Not because I enjoy it or the hassles that go along with it, but because I know I'm doing what I feel is best for my baby.

I've nursed all three of my girls and have had, for the most part, success with all of them. Ella and Britten were "text book" scenarios, both nursing every 2-3 hours for the first couple months of life, gradually introducing rice cereal at 5-6 months, and eventually by 9 months, when eating mostly solid foods, they naturally weaned themselves. This was a little early for me as I had hoped to nurse them until they turned 1, but apparently I had no say in the matter. They would wiggle and squirm, scream and grunt and fight me for all they were worth if I tried to nurse them. I finally gave up the fight and realized they were done. I still had to force myself not to feel guilty, knowing in reality they were going to be fine either way.

I never had to deal with the weaning process before Chloe, and quite honestly I've been dreading it. I've been secretly hoping that Chloe would just wake up one morning and think, "I'm a big girl now. I don't need anymore "nummies" (that's what she calls "them") from Mommy. I'm done, cold turkey." If that could actually happen with Britten and her Nuk,* then surely it could happen with Chloe and her addictive nursing habits...

Or not.

I knew Chloe was a Mommy's girl who had a penchant for nursing from her very first day. The nurses at the hospital attempted to take our quiet, docile, recently nursed baby girl to the nursery so I could catch some much needed sleep, only to bring her back 55 minutes later screaming at the top her lungs. Apparently, moments after entering the nursery, Chloe began to scream (I was told by the nurse holding her that Chloe had the loudest cry they had heard in a long time...wonderful). The qualified team of nurses did all they could to comfort her, swaddling her tight, giving her a pacificer, rocking her back and forth. But nothing worked. Almost an hour later, and after Chloe made all the other babies in the nursery agitated, the nurses decided there was nothing they could do and brought her back to me. I picked up my swaddled, screaming baby out of the cold, plastic bassinet, gave her a quick peck on her soft, black hair, and then did what any nursing mom would do - I "hooked" her up. Within seconds, she was quiet and sleeping peacefully. That was all she wanted and nothing else would do... she was only 1 day old. Nothing has changed since.

I knew, that whenever I decided to wean Chloe, it would be a battle of wills. I never put a time frame on it, knowing that I would only do it if it happened naturally or if I felt it was the right time to do it. Well, that time came a little sooner than expected when I made the impromto decision to go to San Diego with my husband the first week of February. My husband and I agreed that the trip would only be fun and beneficial to our relationship if we could do it without the baby in tow. We needed this trip as an opportunity to escape reality for a few days and spend some much needed quality time together.

Then came the tough decision for me. I was/am still nursing Chloe. Chloe never has/never will take a bottle, so I've never wanted to torture anyone by leaving Chloe overnight with them. She's never been much of sleeper, and even up until a few weeks ago, Chloe was consistently waking up several times a night to nurse. Because her screams (the loudest ever heard, as the nurse pointed out) would wake Britten and Ella, I'd always give in. It was, by far, the easiest option for us but I knew it would come back to bite me (no pun intended).

The decision was made: I would wean the Chloe-bean. And I had three weeks to do it.

I leave for San Diego in one week from tomorrow and so far, I've weaned Chloe from both day feedings (before nap and bedtime) and two of her night time feedings. THAT was tough and took lots of crying...from both mommy and baby. :) She still wakes up at her scheduled times (11pm and 3am) but only fusses and then falls back to sleep. It's her 5am feeding that I'm still working on, but I think that tonight (or tomorrow) I'm just going to let it be, no matter how long or hard she cries...I'll let you know how it goes. :)

It's been a tough couple of weeks, particularly because she's also getting ALL 4 incisors and ALL she wants is ME and her "nummies." Every time I try to put her in her crib, she screams, arches, throws herself around, hits and scratches me all over my face and chest and cries herself silly before she falls asleep (I have to point out that if her Daddy puts her down, she gazes at him lovingly and says in her sweetest voice, "Ni - Ni" and proceeds to quietly drift off to sleep - what's that all about?!?!?!).

It's been torture and the guilt is eating me away, but I know this is ultimately the right decision...particularly for me and my husband. We need this trip like never before and we're really looking forward to it. And if I can be brutally honest (don't tell Chloe), I'm really, really looking forward to being done with nursing and claiming the rights back to her "nummies." :)

*We fought and fought and fought Britten with her Nuk for an entire year, from age 2 to 3 (no judging please!). All of a sudden, after her 3rd birthday, Britten walks up to me, hands me her Nuk and says, "Mommy, I'm 3 and I'm a big girl now. I don't need my Nukky anymore." And that was it. She never asked for it again.

Friday, January 23, 2009

mother's everywhere will love this

I'm running errands one morning with the baby in tow and all of a sudden my phone dings, indicating that I have a new text. The message is from my husband and it reads:

"Check your email. You're going to love this!"

Having the ability to check my email on my phone, I quickly opened up my account and saw a new message from him. Upon checking the message, this picture appeared:
No, you're not imagining it. This picture is what it appears to be, and believe me, I was as stunned as you when I first saw it.

My husband is a brilliantly, creative man and he loves coming up with new, fun things for the girls to do. When being gone for a short time, I'm always prepared to walk in the door to either find the house torn apart our living room turned into a a massive fort, the girls bedroom turned into a giant jungle gym, or some amazing craft project sitting on the dining room table that the girls and their dad had designed by using pipe cleaners, construction paper and googly eyes. For as much as I tend to stress about having a messy house, I absolutely LOVE that my husband wants to spend quality, fun time with his daughter, and I really try not to freak out when I walk in the door try to encourage this interaction.

But, with that said, when I got his email that morning with this picture in my inbox...
...I think my heart skipped a beat.

In case you're interested in knowing how to do this at home for your own children, the checklist goes a little something like this:

How to Make an Indoor Slide

1) You need two twin mattresses, both dragged across the house from your child's room, and then placed side-by-side down the stairwell. Amazingly, they fit perfectly - length and width-wise.
2) 2 pillows that you literally NAIL to the doorframe at the bottom of steps, to know...any head injuries.
3) 5-6 comforters, taken from every bed in the home, to pile at the bottom of the steps for a soft landing.
4) And last but not least, and this one is a MUST, the plastic lid from their toybox, used of course, as a means of transportation down the slide. PLEASE NOTE: It is helpful for a parent to assist the child with getting the "sled" back up the slide. This could prevent the "sled" from coming loose from the child's grip and hitting them very hard in the mouth, causing their teeth to almost get knocked out.

Enjoy and good luck!