Sunday, February 28, 2010

My Husband

Thursday my hubby asked if I had blogged about him.  I replied not yet...   So Dear Hubs, this post is dedicated to YOU!

Let's see, where do I start?

4 years, 2 months, and 20 days ago-I married the love of my life! What a joyous occasion!

How we met: We attended the same church and I knew him-the black sheep of the congregation with his baggy, punk rocker styled clothes, tattoo's, and piercings.  My sister actually hung around him more than I did in the early days.  He was chaperoning her best friend's older sister and her fiance. So I knew who he was.  And he knew who I was.  He thought I was snobby and stuck up.  HAHA...  I guess I was a little (okay, a lot) goodie two shoes when I was younger, but man, a snob? Stuck up?  Sheesh.
Then he moved to Colorado for work.  My boss at the time, (the friend whom he had formerly chaperoned her relationship who was now married) talked about him all the time.  She and her husband were very close to my husband.  I was in a bad relationship at the time he was gone.  Thank God I finally got out of it, all the while my boss talked my husband up to me.  Hehe.  Excellent match making skills in the works.  I knew a lot about my future husband because of all the stories I heard.  At one point he came to visit to attend a wedding and go to a Metallica concert.  I was appointed manager at the consignment boutique I was working at the time.  When my bosses finally came back, I had to run something up to the store for them on my day off and it was early.  I decided to wear my pj bottoms...big mistake.  Hubs was there, and all I could think about was how embarrassed I was that I had worn them, and how self conscience I was in them.  He made me very nervous to say the least.  He was also present at our annual "It's Labor Day, so we shall labor by deep cleaning the whole shop" day.  I was so very nervous that whole day, too!!  At one point, I thought he had left, and so I relaxed a little...only to find out that he was sitting in our "man" chair in the shop reading magazines.  My nerves shot back up and I never lost track of him again.  We didn't speak, or if we did, it was very choppy and awkward.
Back to CO he went...
He was there for 3 years total.  By the time he came back, I was fresh out of a rotten relationship and very vulnerable.  My boss, who was also my best friend at the time, invited me to hang out with them a lot.  Of course since my hubs was their best friend, he was always there, too.  We hung out a lot, but barely speaking.  I was so nervous around him.  And he was really nervous around me too.
I remember one night we were all talking about the ocean and hubs was saying how much he didn't like the ocean and how it scared him because of the sharks.  The next day at work I told my boss how surprised I was that he was afraid of the ocean since I thought he was a big, tough guy.  (Hubs had his labret and ears pierced, and has a dozen tattoo's and is a very tough looking, guy!)  My Boss laughed and told me that he was really just a big teddy bear.  I couldn't imagine that, but found it quite funny that HE was afraid of the ocean.
I also remember the night that he introduced me to the band HIM.  He brought one of their dvd's over and we watched and listened to several of their songs.  I was instantly in love with their music and loved the way their music video's looked.  The next day I went out and bought their CD, Razorblade Romance.  I was in college at the time and sat listening to the cd during one of my breaks.  That was a Wednesday, because that night at church some of us were standing in the foyer and as we stood there, hubs had his nose stuck in the Bible.  Then, it was just us two standing there.  I was trying to get up the courage to tell him I had gotten the cd and how excited I was about it.  I finally took the step and told him about me buying the cd.  Nose still stuck in his Bible he said that was nice, glad I liked it.  What?!  No excitement like the night before when he was showing them off, no smiles, no nothing.  Just nose in the Bible...  I was hurt.  Didn't understand that at all.  Now I know that he was completely intimidated by me.  Yeah, ME.  Or rather, my beauty, as he once sweetly told me.  Awwwww.  He really knows how to make me blush!  Another time, all the adults I hung out with were wanting alcoholic drinks, (my boss and her hubby were 6 years older, and my hubs is 9 years older) so we all loaded up in the car and went to the liquor store.  Me, being the young age of 19, I couldn't obviously drink.  Right before my husband purchased drinks, my boss and I left so that he could pay without a minor (ME) present.  After he came to the car, he mentioned that the guy who checked him out said something about not giving alcohol any minors in our group.  He innocently told him that is why he had purchased the OJ.  I said "Thanks a lot...Joe" (That's the nickname some people call him.  That was the first and last time I ever called him Joe.)  He smiled sweetly at me.  I was furious inside.  So what if I was underage, did he have to point it out?  Oh well, I got over it. =0)
Another time, we went to see Constantine the movie.  I really wanted to sit by him, and he really wanted to sit by me, but we were both too shy to say so and it didn't end up happening, we sat at complete opposite ends of the theater...
At one point in our non-relationship-but-so-intensly-attracted-to-one-another-and-so-nervous-that-we-couldn't-speak-to-one-another I had injured my back and I needed to get some heavy things from my bosses apartment to my car.  He offered to help me out and then before he walked away he said "drive home safely." I started giggling on the inside.  What did you just say to me?  Really? Thanks, DAD!  I thought that was such a fatherly thing to say...
And then there was the going out to eat.  He took me, and my bosses out to eat often.  He was a single guy-had a good job, so he always paid.  There was one night that was very strange.  My boss called to tell me that mu husband wanted to take us all out to eat and wanted to make sure I'd be there.  We had just been out the night before...  She was acting weird.  Hubs was acting weird and even more nervous than ever.  We ate mostly in was a very weird, awkward night...I did not enjoy it.  Little did I know he was trying to work up the courage to ask me to court/date him.  He failed that time.  After dinner we went back to the bosses apartment and the girls ended up watching a girly movie because the guys went out to smoke their cigars and talk-where I was the main topic, of course.  As I was leaving, I stepped out the door and was instantly met with silence...but I couldn't focus on that because I had forgotten my leftovers in the fridge.  So back in I went.  Back out I came-into the silence again.  It's the kind of silence where you know you were being talked about... So I smiled and walked past my husband and my boss' husband and said "thank you for buying my dinner" and he responded "You're welcome, anytime..."
So the next night we were going to go out to dinner AGAIN.  I was thinking, DANG, this guy's made of money!!  He's always taking us out to dinner.  It was my bosses my husband and me.  We went to Tony Roma's (which is now closed).  It was a very quiet dinner, no one really said a lot, it was very awkward.  After we got finished eating, we were all just sitting around, quietly, awkwardly, drumming our fingers on the table...(not literally).  Then my bosses husband was like "We're not leaving until Joseph talks to you, Whitney..." And my head shot up and I was like, "Me!?" So then my husband turns to me and tells me that he's interested in me, and is wondering if I would court him! I said yes, and also that he'd have to get my Dad's (and Ma's) permission to court me as well.  (We're old fashioned like that.) So we waked out of Tony Roma's officially (pending my parents approval of course) courting.  We even sat next to each other on the way home in the car.  And because we wanted to, not because we had to.

So that's the start to our relationship.  That was in March of 2005.
But that's not the end of the story, no way! There's much more to come!
Our relationship has been a truly sanctifying experience for both of us.  We've had our ups, and we've had our downs; but we've managed by God's grace alone to come through the fire, to be a very happily married couple!
I love my husband. A lot.
This is for you, Babe. =0)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Why I Chose to Cloth Diaper

When I first started reading about cloth diapering, I wasn't too sure what I thought about it.  It sounded gross to me, and I really couldn't find any evidence to support it saving us money. (Obviously, I wasn't looking hard enough).  I had been around Mamma's at LLL that were cloth diapering, and I had friends that were planning on doing it, but I wasn't.  One of my good friends kept telling me about it, and encouraging me towards it. (Check out her blog here ). Slowly but surely, the more I found out about them, the more research I did, and the more Mamma's I was around that cloth diapered, my mind changed.  My Bradley instructor was also a big factor in my decision to cloth diaper, too.  By the time Goober Pie arrived, we had decided to cloth diaper.  Boy, was I excited!  We decided not to do prefolds and covers, but to start out when he was a bit older.  We were blessed to be able to invest in a good stash of Bum Genius 3.0 One Size cloth diapers through my Ma, Mother-in-law, and my husband's Grandma.  I was so excited to get them and eager to try them out!!  I decided to use Purex free & clear to wash the diapers with, that was what was recommended to me.
So around 8 weeks of life, my little man became a fluffy bummed guy.  Or as my Dad like to call it "prehistoric diaper butt" or "ghetto butt". Lol!  We were still using disposable wipes, too.  I didn't know if I'd try cloth wipes yet or not.  I didn't think the disposable wipes were hurting, and they weren't too big of an expense.
Cloth Diapering was going great, until I foolishly decided to bleach my diapers.  The instructions said to bleach the diapers.  And I thought I was doing an injustice to the diapers by not bleaching them since that's what the washing instructions said to do and I was following them religiously! Before I bleached, whatever stains I had always came out with sunning-no big stain issues-perfectly white diapers! BOY do I regret bleaching my diapers.  Stupid me! I should have done research on bleaching cloth diapers.  I know now it's not recommended in very many circles and for very many diapers...It can cause a rash on your baby's behind-hello! it's bleach, and it's harsh...It can also be extremely hard to get out of the diapers.  So I bleached, and had severe staining issues like I'd never experienced before...and they didn't want to come out.  Wouldn't come out washing, sunning, tried bleaching again...I was severely upset and saddened.  I called the diaper maker and they didn't have very helpful advice.  The customer service lady said she had never ever heard of this even happening.  She suggested I try switching detergents because the stains might be because I had hard water...but obviously not in my mind because the stains were not there before I bleached.  I decided just to live with the diapers, and warn all my friends who cloth diapered to NEVER bleach their diapers.  My diapers have never been the same since that day...  But life moves on and so did my career as a cloth diapering Mamma.  Goober Pie's little bum didn't handle the bleach very well, and he started having a consistent and recurring diaper rash for months...I could not figure out why.  I tried everything I knew to clear it up.  But it always came back.  It wasn't bad.  It didn't bother him.  It bothered me! 
My next step was switching to cloth wipes.  I had heard great things about cloth wipes and I found a great organic wipe recipe .  I bought the cheapest baby washcloths I could find and they've worked out perfectly.  I absolutely love using cloth wipes-they are super easy-just wipe and throw in the wetbag with the diapers and then they all get washed together! No more messing with disposables and two different bags-1 for diapers and 1 for wipes.  And, no matter how dirty your little one's bum is, it usually only takes 1 cloth wipe as opposed to 4-5 disposable ones.  And I'm more at peace because it's better for Goober Pie's bum-no wipe with synthetic fibers and chemicals semi-cleansing my child's precious baby bum.  I also saw an improvement in his recurring diaper rash.  
I decided to take the lady from the cloth diaper company seriously and switch detergents since Purex Free & Clear was not the best choice for diapers.  I had heard Charlie's Soap was great for washing cloth diapers-so my MIL got me some.  I was excited to start using it since I had heard so many great things.  It didn't end up working for us...My diapers never got very clean looking or smelling.  And it didn't help Goober Pie's diaper rash clear up at all either. Bummer...what was I to do?
The same friend who turned me on to cloth diapers mentioned she was going to try Rockin' Green Laundry Soap .  She said that it was supposed to be some of the best stuff out on the market for washing cloth diapers.  I asked her to let me know about it once she tried it out. She got back to me and had rave reviews about it-her diapers were whiter and cleaner, plus it was scented and it came it two formula's! And you can buy samples off the website to try before committing to a whole bag.  So I decided to try it.  Best. Decision. Ever.  I did what they call a "Rock the Soak" where you do a super hot soak with your diapers in the Rockin' Green-and my diapers came out WHITE!  I'm talking, brand new, fresh out of the package white!  Even the velcro was white (it had discolored an icky off white color after bleaching)!  I had to have me some of this! So, I ordered some! And I've been using it ever since!  It has completely cleared up our recurring diaper rash, not to mention it keeps the diapers whiter between washes.

Here is my wash cycle for those of you interested: (In a breastfed baby, their poop is water soluble.  So no need to dunk, or spray it off.  As they get older/start eating solids, you'll need a good quality diaper sprayer to spray the poop off into the toilet.)
-Cold wash with no detergent
-Hot wash with 2-3 tbsp of Rockin' Green
-Extra Hot rinse
-Extra Cold rinse
I then dry the inserts and cloth wipes in the dryer.  As long as it's not raining/snowing, I hang my diaper up on my clothes line I made for them.  If it's rainy/snowing, I lay them out to dry inside.  I dry my covers about once every 5 wash cycles.  I also strip my diapers once per month to rid of any build up and help with the absorbency.  After I've finished my regular Hot wash cycle, I do another hot wash cycle and add 1 tbsp of blue dawn and then rinse until there are no more bubbles.

Cloth diapers and cloth wipes have saved us so much money.  It's also made our carbon footprint much smaller.  And we know that what is on our son's bum does not contain chemicals, and won't sit rotting in a landfill for the rest of our lifetime plus some.  I love being able to introduce someone else to the easy and fulfilling world of cloth diapers.  It's a new generation-it's not the world of prefolds, plastic pants, diaper pins, wet pails, and swishing in the toilet anymore, people!  It's very modern, becoming very vogue (even celebrities are doing it!) and very easy.

Here are some of my favorite sites for Cloth Diapers and info: (If you order from Vilate, tell her I sent ya!!)

That, in a nutshell, is why we decided to cloth diaper.
Cloth diapering has been one of the best decisions I have ever made for my son! I'm so thankful to those who didn't give up on me, and kept encouraging me to check it out for myself.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Winter Wonderland

It snowed in Texas.


A record falling up to 14 inches in some places. ( I promise the pictures are coming, just have to figure out my computer first.)  The most snow Texas has seen in 32 years!
I love the snow. It's so peaceful and bright. It has an awe inspiring beauty to it that's hard for me to express with words.  I can't help but smiling at it.  It blankets everything-grass, roads, cars, trees, rooftops, fences...The world truly seems at peace when it snows.  And I seem more at peace, too!

We've had fun in the snow so far! I love taking our dogs out in the snow.  Our big dog, Monty, loves it.  Our little mini Chihuahua, Odo, does not like it.  But at two lbs. who can blame him?  I love to feel the snow crunching under my feet.  I love anticipating my steps and seeing how far I sink in the snow.  I just love the way the world looks.  It takes my breath away.

I HATE ruining the snow by stepping in it.  I just want to preserve it.  I want to look at the perfection of it.  I want it untainted.  But it never stays that way, does it?

Yesterday, Goober Pie and I got all bundled up (we're talking lots of layers, here folks!) and walked over to my parents to visit my Ma in the snow.  It was peaceful, blissful.  A fun adventure.  Goober Pie likes the snow.  He hates the getting bundled up part, but loved it outside!  That was a trip down memory lane for me.  Ma used to take my sister and I out walking in the snow.  We'd usually take Hunter, our old dog with, too.

Later in the day when my hubby was home we went out in it again to get some pictures.  Got some of each of us with the babe, and ones of him standing in the snow.  (I promise I'll add pictures!!)  Alot of our neighbors were out building snowmen, so we got pictures with one of them that was really pretty!  Another set of neighbors was making a giant snowman.  Like 7-8 feet tall!

This has been such a fun first winter for Goober Pie, and more snow than I've ever seen in my life!  I'm thankful for the fun white wet stuff that has taken over, and for the tie we've had to spend together as a family!

All I can say is: Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!!      

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Why I chose to Breastfeed

I always knew I'd be a Mother growing up.  It was my lifelong "career" aspiration.  I wanted to be a wife and a Mother.  I always thought of breastfeeding as the natural way to feed your baby.  The only way.  My Mom breastfed my sister and I as long as she could.  I grew up surrounded by Mother's who breastfeed, and seeing a baby breastfeed was just normal to me.
My perspectives on breastfeeding have changed alot as I have become a Mother myself.  It used to gross me out and I thought it was crazy, and I'll admit, ridiculous, when I saw a Mother breastfeed her 2 year old daughter.  Now I hope my son and I can make it to two years! I plan on practicing baby led weaning, and letting my son wean himself when he's ready.
When I was pregnant with our first baby, (who is now in Heaven), one of my good friends reached out to me and invited me to a La Leche League meeting.  She called it a 'breastfeeding support and information group'.  I thought it sounded really strange but figured I'd probably go just to check it out.  I didn't end up going until I was pregnant again.  I asked my Mom what she thought about me going, what she knew about the LLL.  She told me it was a group of women who were extremists, of breastfeeders who were pretty crazy-or that's how they had been in her day (or so she thought).  She encouraged me to go-so I did.  I learned so much about breastfeeding!  The amazing amount of information I learned has greatly helped me in my breastfeeding relationship with my son.  Before I even started, I had a wealth of knowledge about breastfeeding, and couldn't have felt more prepared!  I'm so thankful my friend invited me to the LLL meeting.

A few things I know about breastfeeding:

-It's how I believe God made our bodies to feed our babies naturally
-It's the perfect food for babies-it has every nutrient, antibody, vitamin, etc in it needed by our growing babes
-It's cheap
-It's always available
-It is the perfect temperature
-It's Liquid Gold-is there anything breastmilk can't fix/help?
-It can be easy (my experience has been so, anyways) as long as you have the information, instruction, support, and perserverance to continue
-It's beautiful
-It creates such a wonderful bond between Mother and child
-It can be done anywhere, anytime, any place-and should be!
-It's very easily digested by babies
-It never goes bad
-It changes as our babies do
-It's been going on since the beginning of time

Just like I knew I'd always be a Mother, I knew I'd always breastfeed!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Completely UNbalanced...

Last week was a very difficult week for me...I barely got any sleep all week because my son was teething,  had an earache and would not sleep at night.  Needless to say I was extremely sleep deprived...and I don't do well on no sleep.  Does anyone really?
Hubby, Goober Pie, and I took a road trip yesterday and I tried to sleep on the way-no luck.  I don't like trying to nap and not being able to.  Tried to nap again later in the afternoon to NO AVAIL.  I was really frustrated I could not nap...and more exhausted than ever.  It was like my body was so tired that I could not relax enough to fall alseep. 
So it comes to be Goober Pie's bedtime and he has his bath, nurses to sleep, everything is great (except for my extreme exhaustion) and then, he wakes up.  And he does not want to go back to sleep for 3 hours!!!  Goober Pie is exhausted, tired and getting a cold, but he fought sleep like nobody's business. 
I was already exhausted.  I got more tired, and more frustrated by every minute that ticked by.  Then, I hit an all time low as a parent.  I still feel guilty about it.  My heart aches, I cry.  I had to go put Goober Pie in his exersaucer and walk away.  I was afraid I wasn't going to be able to control my frustration towards him any longer, and I didn't want to do something I'd regret as a parent. As his Mother.( I'm being brutally honest here.) So I came back to bed and cried.  I lay there crying until he got fussy, then I went and got him.  It was a horrible moment for me as a Mom.  I pray it never happens again-but I'm a sinful creature, so I'm sure it will...  I did ask Goober Pie to forgive me, I always do whenever I get frustrated towards him.   Even though he's only 7.5 months it's important to me to ask for his forgiveness.  Thankfully he's always generous and he forgives me.  =0) 
I usually am able to control my frustration better.  But when you've been going on a week with only 4-5 hours of sleep and not restful sleep, the kind of sleep that you wake up every 45 minutes with a fussy baby and it takes you upwards of 30 minutes to get said babe back to sleep, everything runs, not walks, straight out the window.  It was truly horrible.  He was not feeling good, I should have been more understanding and patient with him. 
Goober Pie finally decided that'd he nurse again, so we nursed and he fell asleep.  When he finally lay his sweet little head down to sleep for good, I breathed a sigh of relief and drifted off myself...And thankfully we had a better night's sleep so I woke up feeling better this morning and was able to go about my day in a more balanced way!
So there's my story about how very UNbalanced I was last night!