A little apology and a little surprise!

First let my just say sorry for not posting in months! We have been so busy with moving and my computer cord crapped out on me. And we are about to move again! Hopefully I can keep up with the blog a little better throughout all of that. I want to start posting regularly again because….

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We’re expecting our second baby!

I’m really excited to do another round of pregnancy posts for our own memories and to share with everyone.

Stay tuned!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This Is A Post About Faith…

This is a post about faith. This is a post about having faith in your choices.

Sometimes I get bored and I “stalk” people on Facebook. When I say “stalk” I just mean look through every single one of their pictures and wish I had their life. Is that really considered stalking? The Green Eyed Monster rares its ugly head and I find myself losing faith in the choices I’ve made for myself. I find myself wishing that my life were different or that I just had more. I see their trips to Jamaica and their date nights. I see their parties and their infinite amount of time to put on makeup. I see their perfectly clean homes and their “ease” of life. I start wishing I was them.

As a mom, sometimes it’s hard to come to terms with that fact that I will be doing this for many,many more years. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my daughter more than the air I breathe, but life gets tricky when someone relies on you 24/7. I wake up in the morning because someone is crying for me down the hall. I make breakfast because a little one is tugging at my pajama pants. I get off the couch because someone pooped their diaper. I vacuum the floor because someone got crumbs from her muffins stuck in the carpet. I run the laundry because someone smooshed  bananas into every pair of jeans I own  that fit me. There are days that I wake up and I’m not ready for it. I’m not ready to invest myself in someone else completely. There are days where I don’t know if I can do it again. I wake up wishing for the trips and the date nights. I go to bed wishing my day had been easier. But there is one thing I know, and that is…my life is blessed.

I’ve never been to Jamaica and my husband and I haven’t been on a date alone since last year, but the Lord has blessed me in other ways. He has brought me a true form of joy that I could have never known before. He has blessed me with a life better than any Facebook profile or Instagram feed. He has given me the true joy of being a mom.

Psalm 127:3-5

“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.”

Yes, there are some days that I wake up and I don’t know if I can do it again, but I always do. Because I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! Philippians 4:13. So, even though my life isn’t perfect and I don’t have everything in the world I can truly say that:

I wake up in the morning because there is a beautiful little girl waiting to greet me with smiles and laughter at the end of the hall.

I make breakfast so we can sit together and enjoy each other.

I get off the couch because my daughter wants nothing more than to be with me.

I sit in a dark room with the weight of a sleeping baby pressing against my chest, because nothing calms her more than the sound of my heart beating. For she grew inside of me. The Lord Knitted her together inside my womb.

I cry because I have never loved anyone as much as her.

I pray because the Lord has given me more than I ever could have asked for and he deserves all the glory.

I sleep well because I am blessed.

In triumphs and in trials, I know that I am following God and he will not steer me wrong.

So I take a look through my picture and I realize that God has given me my dream life and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

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How I Replaced My Medicine Cabinet With Essential Oils

***Disclaimer: I am not paid to write reviews. I do not only support one single essential oils company. I purchase my oils based on reviews, quality, and price.*** oilspost1

One of the many things I wanted to change about our lifestyle was what we were taking to feel better. The side effects of most medications didn’t seem worth taking them, unless absolutely necessary, so I wanted to find something natural that would work just as well.

A couple of years ago I had taken a class with Doterra oils, but I was very confused by that little metal hand sensor they hook up to a computer to tell you what’s wrong with you. It reminded me too much of Scientology so I was a little turned off. I started looking into them more and realized that they really were beneficial and proven to help with many common ailments. I decided to push aside the weird hand thingy and try a couple. The first two oils I got were Doterra’s Zendocrine and Thyme:

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I personally use this oil in homemade face wash and feminine wash.

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Thyme oil has been really helpful for when I cut myself shaving, If I have a stomach ache, or to make an oil blend for winter coughs.

So I stuck with these two for while They covered a lot of what we needed,but didn’t replace my whole medicine cabinet. I continued to do research on different companies. I wanted to purchase a kit with multiple oils and get a diffuser. After a lot of research,I went with the Young Living Everyday Oils kit. It came with 10 oils, a diffuser and a bunch of samples for a great price. I thought that even if the oils didn’t work as well as Doterra, it would be worth it for the diffuser. Those things are expensive!

I signed up as a distributer when I got the kit just so that I could take advantage of the future discounts if I wanted to. There is no obligation to sell anything. So the Everyday Oils Kit came with Lavender, Frankincense, Peace & Calming, Thieves, Lemon, Valor, Purification, PanAway, Peppermint, and Stress Relief. It also came with a diffuser, a bunch of sample of the oils, some business tools, and 2 samples of the NingXia Red energy tea. It was a really great deal!

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The diffuser is standard,but looks great! It reminds me of a rose because the top is decorated like petals. It has a line to fill the water up to, add some oils, and push the on button. That’s it. When there is no more water it will automatically shut off.

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These have been my most used oils so far with the sickies going around. They have really helped us through colds, coughs and runny noses. I also use the lavender with coconut oil as lotion for Ev and put a few drops in her bath. It really helps her sleep. One evening I was having an anxiety attack (common for me) and the Lavender was my life saver!

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So far my Lemon oil has mostly been used for cleaning and freshening the air, but it is good for so much more!

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PanAway is seriously just like muscle rub. Great for after a workout or just to relieve the everyday aches and pains of growing older haha.

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This was one of the bonus oils in my kit and came with a ball roller. I use it as a perfume and it helps keep me calm during the day.

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So far my oils have:

*Cleared up an ear infect for Everleigh.

*Helped Everleigh get a great night of sleep nearly every night.

*Healed diaper rashes when used with coconut oil.

*Helped us stop our cold symptoms faster.

*Brought down a fever for me.

*Helped us clean our home without any harsh chemicals.

*Cleared up countless headaches.

* Stopped a yeast infection without using any store bought drugs.

*Given our food and drinks flavor.

*Helped stomach problems.

*Reduced Nausea.

*Healed burns and rashes.

*Helped anxiety symptoms.

*Reduced stress.

*Reduced PMS and period cramps.

*Helped sore muscles and back problems.

*Freshened out home.

*Boosted our overall well-being.

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You can see the many benefits that Essential oils have given, just in my little family. They can do so much more that what we have used them for. I encourage you to do your own research and discover how essential oils can change your life. They are fun, interesting and seriously helpful! They’re also saving us money in the long run, and that’s always a plus.

Here’s a chart that I found on Pinterest (click image for source) to help you see how essential oils can replace every item in your medicine cabinet:

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Hopefully this has given enough information to get you interested in oils. If you are interested in purchasing oils from either Doterra or Young living you can contact me at thepattysblog@gmail.com. My sister is a distributor for Doterra and I am signed up as a distributor under Young Living (I am not looking to sell anything, just help people). Or you can visit Doterra or Young Living and find your own distributor or sign up for the great benefits and discounts yourself!

Posted in Health & Fitness, Our Family, Products | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

How I Became A Crunchy Mom: Learning From and Accepting My Mistakes

When I found out I was pregnant with Everleigh I had never even thought about organic vegetables, coconut oil, or natural labor. It wasn’t until I started doing a little research on pregnancy and labor that I really got into the whole natural labor thing. There were exactly three things that I knew. I wanted a natural labor, I wanted to breastfeed and I wanted to raise her to be a good kid.

At my 20 week ultrasound something happened that no parent wants to experience. Everything wasn’t right with my little girl’s growing body. They suspected that she had a multicystic dysplastic kidney. At the time, I had no idea what that meant, but with a little Google searching, I was hysterical. All the information I found was very scary. At my next ultrasound (a 3D one), I found out that her other kidney appeared to be perfectly fine and that she could live with just one. It was a huge relief, but the fact that she only had one still seemed a bit scary. I continued with 3D ultrasounds every 2 weeks for the rest of my pregnancy.

A month after she was born we took her to get an ultrasound at Children’s Healthcare. The urologist told us that her good kidney seemed just fine and that the other kidney would most likely shrink up and disappear. Good news.

I spent the first few months of her life desperately trying to get breastfeeding down, but I was living with my mom at the time and from the day Everleigh was born there was major construction going on in the house. It was really hard to get used to being a new mom and get comfortable with breastfeeding when there were so many random men coming and going. I had issues with thrush and supply and eventually I gave in to supplementing with formula.

When Ev was 6 months old we finally got to move into the basement of my moms house. I was so excited to finally have some privacy. I bought a brand new fancy pump, a bunch of supplements and some domperidone. I was determined to get back to exclusively breastfeeding. Little did I know how hard it would be.

I would say I had a hard time with motherhood from month 6-10. I was desperate for some independence and my own place, Everleigh was waking up 5-6 times a night and all I wanted to do was get back to breastfeeding her full time. I was still struggling with my supply and couldn’t always find the time to pump and still get the house clean,keep Everleigh happy, and have dinner on the table at a decent time. At this point, I wasn’t even worried about eating healthy.

For four months I desperately tried to breastfeed Everleigh. There were lots of calls to my mom for advice, lots of crying on my husband’s shoulder, and lots of asking God, “Why me?”. It was a trying time for me. My husband got laid off for two weeks in October and we had to take a road trip to Virginia to make some money. The stress of traveling, being in a car all day for work, and staying in the crappiest hotel ever…finally ended my breastfeeding relationship with Everleigh. She refused to latch anymore no matter how hard I tried. I was devastated.

The last half of October brought good things for my family. My husband went back to work, we got our own apartment, and my daughter started sleeping through the night. My sanity was finally back and I was thinking less and less about not being able to breastfeed. I was in a really good place emotionally. My husband and I decided that we didn’t really want an only child (a hasty decision we had made in the throws of an all-nighter with heavy bags under our eyes and a crying baby in our arms). We wanted at least one more. We have decided to space it so that they are at least 2 years apart. I knew I was in a much healthier mindset because I had decided having children was a true blessing and not a burden. It was truly a moment of revelation.

Once I was in a better place, I started to get back into the things I love, blogging being one of them. As I started browsing the community of moms I came across a whole lifestyle that I had already been a part of without knowing it. Crunchy moms. I was intrigued and did all the research I could. I had already done some of the things crunchy moms do like baby wear, (attempt) breastfeeding, a (failed) attempt at cloth diapering and mostly healthy eating, but I really wanted to get more into it. I felt like I had failed at too many things that I really wanted to do and I really believe that those failures came from not being in the best position mentally, emotionally, and physically. I was always stressed about not being where I wanted in life.

So I slowly started changing our lifestyle. Eating better, buying natural products, making my own cleaners, and all around living a healthier lifestyle. Since January I have lost about 15 lbs, learned how to eat healthy on a small budget, gotten my daughter on real whole foods, organic milk, and little to no sugar and I’ve cleaned out our medicine cabinet and traded it for essential oils.

You might be wondering what my motivation was for all of this. Well, besides just being genuinely interested in this lifestyle, I really want to do what’s best for my children. My daughter has one kidney. One chance to keep it healthy. I am determined to raise her to know how to do that and to bring her up with the best body possible. After all the research I’ve done I’ve learned a few things:

-The medicines I was giving her for teething (Tylenol and Ibuprofen) can be harmful to kidneys. This might not alarm most people because it’s rare for it to happen, but I can’t take chances. I’ve traded out all medicines for essential oils and they are working great for us.

-Processed drinks (yes, even formula) can harm her kidney in the long run. She drinks organic milk, water and some organic juice.

-There are certain dietary requirements for optimal kidney function and I have been slowly adding those things into her diet. Sometimes it’s hard to get her to eat veggies so we make lots of smoothies with fruit and vegetables.

-Raw honey aids in patients with kidney failure. Everleigh has a serving of raw honey daily. I put it on sandwiches, yogurt, oatmeal and in smoothies.

-Fluoride is terrible for kidneys! I have made sure to get toothpaste free of it and we give Everleigh purified water.

-Vaccines have been shown to cause adverse reactions to kidneys. We stopped Everleigh’s vaccines after her 9 month checkup.

-Diabetes can cause kidney failure. I feed Everleigh a diet low in sugar and high in good fats and oils. We also try to stay active during the day and limit her TV time. I hope that the combination of those will prevent her from developing Type 2 Diabetes.

So, as you can see, my main motivation for living a more natural lifestyle is my daughter. I’m glad that she has motivated me to become a better mom, because one kidney or two, every child deserves to grow up eating real food and using natural products safe for their growing bodies. I have learned from the mistakes that I made in the first year of parenting and I intend to make the experience a much better one with my next baby. I realize now that it goes beyond just having a natural birth. It starts with eating right during pregnancy and natural birthing, but it doesn’t end there. When I have another baby I am determined to breastfeed for at least 14 months, start them out on whole foods and continue to teach all of my children how to make the best choices for them and their future families.

I continue to pray for Everleigh’s health every single day and know that God is watching over her. I truly believe the Lord had everything to do with my journey and that nothing was truly a mistake. Everything happens for a reason. He gave me those experiences to learn from and become a better mother along the way.

So, mamas…it’s not too late to be the mother you want to be. We all have our bad days, and that will never change,but we can choose joy! We can choose to see our children as a blessing in good and bad times. We can choose to be supermoms!

todayichoosejoy

Posted in Babies & Kids, Faith, Food & Nutrition, Health & Fitness, Our Family, Pregnancy | 4 Comments

How To Make Yummy Chia Seed Jam

I got this recipe from Going Home To Roost and it is seriously delicious! I use it almost every day for my daughter. She isn’t the biggest fan of meat and the chia seeds in this really  pack a lot of protein.

So Here’s the Ingredients:

1 c Strawberries

1 tbs Chia Seeds

1 tbs Warm Water

1 tbs Agave Syrup (I used raw honey because I think it’s healthier)

1 tsp Lemon Juice

Just throw all of the ingredients in a your food processor or nutribullet and blend to your desired consistency. Going Home To Roost says that blending it more will give it a jelly consistency so take that into account. I don’t blend mine too much cause I really like the jam consistency and I don’t mind the texture of chia seeds. It says to let it sit in the fridge for at least an hour, but I found that leaving it overnight left the best texture.

This recipe was so easy and is great on toast, almond butter sandwiches or even just a spoonful for some extra protein!

She has 2 more chia seeds jam recipes on her post that I can’t wait to try. Be sure to check them out.

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{31 Days To Organized} Day 4 & 5: Contact Paper and Pantries

Okay so Day 4 is all about How To Apply Contact Paper to drawers. Well, I wasn’t really ready to get to my kitchen drawers yet so I decided to do something a little different.

Which brings us to day 5…Fabulous Pantries.

I don’t actually have a pantry in my apartment. I have a shelf in my dining room that we made into our pantry. Here it is in all its glory:

Ugh. Just the sight of it used to make me cringe every day. I’m so thankful for this challenge because I would have never thought of some of the things that made my pantry what it is now. It’s certainly not perfect. I can’t afford all the fancy canisters and wooden baskets, but I did what was in my budget and I’m really proud of it.

Here it is now! I used a basket I already had to store baking supplies in the very top, I purchased baskets from the dollar store to store items in a more cohesive way, and the pretty contact paper gives it a pop of style.

You can see the design is really cute and it was only $1 per roll. I used less than three rolls for the entire thing!

I used these baskets to store Everleigh’s snacks (which take up and an entire shelf).

I got a plastic bin to keep pasta in and used a round basket for rice and grains. I still have my cereal in the boxes because canisters weren’t in the budget.

This basket is for sandwich items. I often make Ev almond/peanut butter and honey sandwiches and it will be nice to just pull down this basket to make them. I also got a little canister from the dollar store and my husband poked holes in it so I could store my garlic. I stole that idea from Imperfect Homemaking, too!

And just one more pretty picture of my vamped up pantry!

Stay tuned for day 5!

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{31 Days To Organized} Day 3: Didn’t Really Apply To Me

Okay so Day 3 in the challenge didn’t really apply to me, but could be really helpful to others!

Imperfect Homemaking suggest The Three Baskets Tip. She says to use 3 medium sized baskets along the top of your washer and dryer for items that need to be hand washed, mended, and donated.

There are a few reasons this didn’t really apply to me. For one, my laundry “room” is more like a closet so I don’t have much room for anything. I also don’t really own anything that requires hand washing and I have no idea how to sew at this point in my life (I wanna learn!) so I don’t mend my clothes. I just decided to skip this one and instead just hung some little hooks for things that can’t be dried in the dryer.

Hey, you gotta do what works for YOU.

Stay tuned for day 4!

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