Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Trimming the Herd

I got a little delete happy on my Facebook last night. I gave some good long thinking before "trimming my herd" as to what I wanted my Facebook page to be.

I use it for my blog page and Barrett's Blankets and to share my crochet items. Mostly, I use my personal page to connect with friends and family that do not live near me and even my friends that do live just a few minutes a way. Yes, I really use it for that. So many people are like "You don't need Facebook, you could call them!". Yes, I could. But I personally want to be able to keep up with photos of my friends kids and other things without them having to text me every single one and blow up my phone. I feel quite sure that the feelings are mutual. I also use it to connect with other moms with similar interests and in similar walks of life and have met some amazing people through it. So, I will not be deleting my Facebook.

With that being said, my page mostly revolves around my kids. And I got to scrolling through and looking at some of the people on my friends list and I thought..."When is the last time I even spoke to this person?"...and even further "Why do they need to know what is going on in mine and my kids' lives?". And the answers were "Too long to count" and "They don't". 

I love Facebook. I won't deny that--ha! BUT I have to admit that sometimes when I am in the grocery store and someone I haven't seen or spoken to says "I love seeing pictures of the girls!" it kind of creeps me out. (Not EVERYONE that does this...I'm talking people that I didn't even remember being "friends" with on Facebook).
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So I started deleting those people. Then more and more and more. Over 400 gone. That number is shocking to me. FOUR HUNDRED people that could get on my page that I don't even talk to anymore. I dwindled my Facebook down to my actual "friends" instead of acquaintances.

I've posted before, and I will say it again, that Facebook has some awesome potential for great things. But it bothers me to hear "Did you see what so and so posted on Facebook??? OMG!". If we are friends with someone on Facebook just to keep up with the latest gossip or drama, that's not a friend. That's an acquaintance and there is a HUGE difference. On the other end of that, be cautious in who you add on Facebook. If that is something you hear out of their mouth often, do you want them on your page? Again, I'll be honest...it's something I've been on both sides of and want no part of anymore.

This post is more rambling than anything, but I guess my point was to encourage you to look at your "friends" on Facebook and decide if they are a real friend that you want to know the details you post. 400 was a huge eye opener for me.
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Hair Diary: Week 2

It's been two weeks since I ditched my shampoo (hopefully for good!). As with my other posts, I want this to be a completely honest journey.

So, in saying that, day 8 SUCKED. My hair was crazy oily. Even my ponytail looked awful. But I committed to at least thirty days and I pushed through that awful hair day.

Day 8--this picture does no justice for how bad it was.
When Day 9 came around, it was MUCH better. There was a huge improvement and I actually wore my hair down.

Day 9
Day 10 was another ponytail, but the oiliness was just average. It wasn't very noticeable.

On day 11, I was able to wear my hair down again. (woo-hoo!). It was slightly oily but nothing super noticeable.

When day 12 came around, I was back to a ponytail, but again, the oiliness wasn't bad.

Day 13 also saw my hair down.

Day 13
Day 14 was a decent ponytail.

Are you noticing a pattern? On the days I wash it with baking soda and apple cider vinegar, I can wear it down just fine. On the days i wash it with just water, it has to go in a ponytail. Again, the oiliness is not near what I was expecting so far. Honestly, I was anticipating a lot of days like "day 8". So far, so good and I am going strong!



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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

No Shampoo: Week 1

Well, as of today I have successfully completed week one of "no shampoo".
 
Here is my hair diary, thus far:
 
Day 1: On day one, I washed my hair with baking soda and then conditioned with apple cider vinegar (both very diluted with water). My hair was AMAZINGLY soft and easy to manage. The best part was ZERO tangles in my hair after the shower. I could brush right through it with ease which also meant less breakage. My hair was not oily today.
 
Day 2: On day two I washed my hair with only water. I have heard that the baking soda CAN dry your scalp so I decided to only use it every other day during this transition period. My hair was slightly oily on day two but not NEAR what I was expecting.
 
Day 3: My hair was slightly oily again today but not so much that I couldn't wear it down. The only reason I wore a ponytail this day was because I realized that I missed a spot when straightening my hair and it was driving me crazy so I pulled it back.
 
Days 4-7 I will summarize since they were relatively the same. My hair was worn in a ponytail. It was too oily for me to comfortably wear down, but again, not near what I have been expecting it to be.
 
The oily hair is expected since my hair has to balance itself out after decades of shampoo stripping it and causing it to over produce oils. So, to report after week one, my hair is doing as expected, although the oiliness is horrible right now. The BEST thing I am loving so far is the fact that I don't ever have tangles in my hair anymore. Amazing. That makes life easier plus it means I have less breakage.
 
I'll report back again next week!
 
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Friday, July 11, 2014

Bereavement Doula

I'm hitting the books again.
 
Only this time, it's for something very near and dear to my heart. I am studying to become a Stillbirthday Doula.
 
What is a Doula? You can read about that {here}.
 
Stillbirthday provides a unique training that prepares their doulas to provide support for birth with any outcome, in any trimester.
 
I encourage you to check out {Stillbirthday} and everything that this organization does for the baby loss community.
 
Already, though I am just in the beginning stages of training, I have found healing for myself that I didn't even realize I needed. I am so thankful for this opportunity. I am thankful to all of you who encourage me daily. You are such a blessing.
 
 
 
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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Why I Advocate Breastfeeding in Public (A Christian's Point of View)

Oy with the Poodles already.
 
First off, high five if you understood that first reference. We just became best friends.
 
If you're friends with me on Facebook, and haven't block me from your newsfeed (ha!), then you probably know that I advocate for breastfeeding in public. It's natural and it's normal. It never fails that I am going to get at least one "friendly" message telling me how wrong it as a Christian. And since I get relatively tired of typing the same novel over and over, I am putting it here so I can just send them a handy dandy link. You'll see that I am a sucker for convenience.
 
First, I live in a small town in a rural county in conservative Alabama in the heart of the Bible Belt (no complaints, just setting you up for this post) and I am well aware that my opinion is not the popular one. Weird, hippie, I really don't care what you call me, although I do prefer Staci.
 
I 100% support breastfeeding in public. I am a Christian.
 
Let me give you some background. I grew up thinking that breastfeeding in public was awful. WHO DOES THAT??? Save that for your home. You know why I thought that? Because that is the attitude I was taught everywhere I went in a small town in a rural county in conservative Alabama in the heart of the Bible Belt. Then one day, I grew up and learned that I could think for myself, and I began to question why breastfeeding in public was so bad.
 
Then came the day that I had children and I breastfed them. I breastfed Audrey privately in my own home for eight weeks. I excused myself if we were somewhere else. I can remember thinking, why do I have to hide? Why do I have to sit all alone and bored? Is breastfeeding shameful? And the answer is no. I quit breastfeeding after 8 weeks only because I felt like I couldn't do it in public and it was too much of a hassle.
 
Then, I had another child and I am still breastfeeding her (10 months strong--woohoo!). Having two children is a whole new ballgame. I cannot simply excuse myself when I have another child to take care of. Breastfeeding an active baby is also a whole new ballgame. She wants to see EVERYTHING. Which is normal. She is learning about the world around her.
 
So let me address the popular excuses or the lovely alternatives that are offered by the "BUTS". (I support breastfeeding, BUT).
 
1). Can't you cover up? Puh-lease. When you can get a blanket over my active, curious ten month old, I'll cover up. Good luck by the way as she flails and screams (which draws much more attention to my breast than a quietly nursing babe). Did I mention I live in Alabama? IT'S HOT. Please put a blanket over your head either inside or outside for 10-20 minutes and let me know what you think. Don't forget how heavy your chest will get as you are deprived of fresh air.
 
2). Can't you go the car? Again it's hot. Oh, I can crank my car? Have you seen how much gas costs? It's also not fair to my older daughter to have to completely abandon our activity to drag her back to the car.
 
3). Go the bathroom. My husband can tell you that I will avoid public restrooms for their designated purpose and will scope out all of my options when it is necessary. No way am I going in one for something completely unnecessary. You, however, are welcome to enjoy your dinner in there. I won't stop you.
 
4). That should be done at home. My bad. I'll never leave my house since my baby only drinks breastmilk. I'll let you break my five year old's heart when you tell her she can't go anywhere with Mommy until her sister is weaned.
 
5). Can't you pump? Actually, I am blessed and I can pump. But a lot of women physically cannot pump. While I can pump, if I will be gone more than 3-4 hours then it's useless. Because then I would have to pump in public which would draw a LOT more attention than nursing ;). And I'll be honest. I hate pumping and I do it as little as possible.
 
Now, I am pretty conservative. I prefer to nurse Cate in the corner or in a wrap. I use the two shirt method and often receive compliments on my sweet sleeping babe (Hint: she's nursing, not sleeping).
 
But here comes my argument less the snark. I often hear that people don't want their husband or kids to see breastfeeding. I don't care if you breastfeed in front of my husband. That's is not the same thing as a woman just throwing her shirt off in front of my husband. Intentions mean a lot. And I trust my husband and know him well enough to know that he views breastfeeding as feeding a child and not in a sexual way.
 
Let me jump over the edge here. I WANT my kids to see breastfeeding. Not just because they are girls. I would feel the same if they were boys (maybe even more so actually). I want them to be exposed to it. I'll use Audrey for an example. Recently she saw a mother on a bench breastfeeding a baby. Now, the way I was raised, I would have been in shock that I could see the top of this woman's breast. Audrey, however, turned to me and said "Look Mommy! She is feeding her baby. Isn't that baby so cute?". I was so proud I seriously could have cried.
 
Breastfeeding is not nudity. If you think that, we will have to disagree. Walking down the street without your shirt on just because you feel like it is nudity. Breastfeeding a child is feeding a child. Again, intentions.
 
I also find it ironic, that while breastfeeding is taboo, cleavage is acceptable. Oh, you're a conservative who doesn't think cleavage is acceptable? Do you wear a bathing suit? Strapless dresses? I don't know about yours, but my conservative one piece swim suit shows more than I show when breastfeeding.
 
What kind of message do we send women and our children if they see that society accepts flaunting your skin with ill intentions but shames a quick flash of skin for providing nourishment for a baby? Exactly what role do we want our girls to think they have?
 
I want my girls to have Christian values. I want them to know that dressing immodestly attracts the wrong kind of attention. THAT's what I want them to see me taking a stand against. Not an innocent mother feeding her baby.
 
When my girls see a mother feeding her baby, I want them to be the ones that smile and say "Good Job Momma!", and give her some encouragement. Not give her a disgusted look while not batting an eye at the hundreds of people they pass in mini skirts and cleavage (I'm not advocating disgusting looks to anyone, just point out the discrepancies).
 
I don't want to compare breastfeeding to sex because it's not anywhere near the same. BUT I do want to point out our apathy towards one and our firm stand against another. What gives?
 
And it seems to be only Americans that have this problem. I have found countless images and mission trip blogs that feature women comfortably breastfeeding in the church with no one batting an eye. (image search "breastfeeding in church").
 
"and you shall nurse, you shall be carried upon her hip,
and bounced upon her knees.
As one whom his mother comforts,
so I will comfort you;
you shall be comforted in Jerusalem." Isaiah 66:12
 
There are several instances in the Bible where breastfeeding is used as a beautiful metaphor. They portray breastfeeding as a joyous and celebrated thing, not a shameful one. I found 24 instances where the Bible references breasts for breastfeeding or nursing. I only found 7 (4 in Song of Solomon) where breasts were referenced as sexual. The Bible uses the breastfeeding relationship as a metaphor of how He cares for us. I can't find one verse where it says it should be shameful or hidden. I find it to be celebrated.
 
I'm sure someone will argue, but MODESTY. Yes, modesty. Dress modestly. I 100% support dressing modestly. I dress modestly and I nurse in public. They can go hand in hand.
 
I did find a lot of verses about sexual immorality that I am sure many people try to use in this argument. But ladies and gents. There is nothing sexual about my breasts when Cate is eating. Ew. That's like thinking of a vagina as sexual during childbirth. HUH? I know, right? There is nothing sexual about it when a child is involved. So, sorry, you won't change my mind with that argument.
As a Christian, I am determined to love and support breastfeeding mothers. As a Christian, I want to be one leading the way for our society to QUIT SEXUALIZING BREASTFEEDING. I think Audrey's view on it is the perfect example. Sexualizing breastfeeding is a thought process that is taught. Normalizing breastfeeding is a process that is taught (but can be learned as I am living proof of). It's up to you to decide.
 
{Christianity Today article on Breastfeeding in Public}
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Monday, July 7, 2014

We're Over, Shampoo!

Well, I've decided to do it. At least for 30 days. I'm committing the next 30 days to the "no poo" "movement". (Is it a movement? I don't know.)

There are a LOT of reasons I have decided to give this a shot. You can read about many of them {here} or  {here}(or just do a search for "no poo").

"You're not going to shampoo your hair?!?" Gross, right??? Wrong.

First, shampooing every day or every other day actually causes your hair to secrete LOTS of oils. That's the reasons most Americans (we seem to be the only culture who thinks it's gross to go more than 48 hours without shampoo) can't go long without washing our hair before it looks like a hot mess and we have to shampoo again. The shampoo has our hair conditioned to over secrete oils to make up for what the shampoo strips out (This is also why you need conditioner. Basically to repair what the shampoo does). Ditching shampoo, for most people, will allow you to lose the oily look.

After your hair makes it through the transition phase and balances itself out, you will have much healthier hair as a result. Most people report results of less frizzy and easier to style hair.

It's cheaper. All you need is a $0.50 box of baking soda and a bottle of apple cider vinegar. CHEAP.

So, you save money, and if you're into "going green", you produce a lot less waste. CH-CHING!

Quitting shampoo can also help keep your complexion looking much better. Score!

So I am taking the plunge and volunteering to be a guinea pig. Here is one of the last pictures I have of my hair after being washed with shampoo. I'll let you know how it goes.

Have you gone "no poo"? Tell me about it in the comments!

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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Give the Gift of Time

Have you heard of the CuddleCot? 

It's an incredible product, and through this product, families are able to receive an irreplaceable gift.

When Barrett was born sleeping, we were only able to have him in the room with us for short increments of time, because with a stillborn baby, the room temperature can be damaging to their bodies. This is time with our babies that is lost and time that we can never get back.


The CuddleCot seeks to provide some comfort during an unimaginable time in grieving family's lives. The unique cooling system of the CuddleCot allows these babies to remain in the room with the parents so that the parents are able to have additional time with their babies; time that they wouldn't otherwise have. 

Time. It is a precious gift when it comes to your children. And when you are already having to say goodbye, every minute and every second counts. The CuddleCot provides this gift to bereaved families. 

This allows families to have time they wouldn't otherwise have to bond with their baby, and just take them in; change their clothes if they want, take photographs, or whatever else their heart desires. There is no rush, just time.

When Barrett was born, our hospital staff was incredible. They did everything in their power to ease our pain. We would love to provide this hospital with this resource to further assist bereaved families.

You can read more about the CuddleCot here: http://flexmort.com/cuddle-cots/

To make this possible, we need your help. The CuddleCot is an amazing, but costly product. Every single dollar helps. You can donate here: http://www.gofundme.com/aumgh0

You can also donate by purchasing a T-Shirt here: https://www.booster.com/rushcuddlecot

Thank you for taking the time to read this and thank you for any support you are able to provide. If you can't donate, please consider sharing this post.
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