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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Who Says This Can't Be Done?

This is a picture of my 10-month-old and her potty.  As of last month, we decided to start practicing early potty training with Addie.  So far, I must say I am enjoying it.  It is a lot of work, but just knowing we are working towards something is just so fulfilling.  It really makes me feel like I have a grasp on this whole parenting thing. 

Finally! Something within my control!

So, I guess you are wondering how you are supposed to train a 10-month-old to use a potty?  That's why I am here, writing this blog.  I thought I would shed some light on the subject of early potty training.

First, I would like to point out the difference between what I am doing, and something called elimination communication.  They are not the same thing.  Addie is still in diapers 100% of the time, and I fully expect her to be until after her first birthday.  After that, we have yet to set a goal, although I plan to have her blowing out two candles in big-girl panties.

Potty training a child this young takes patience.  Quite a bit of patience. Following this plan (outlined in the book Diaper-Free Before 3 by Jill M. Lekovic, M.D.) we learned that it is best to start sitting Addie on the potty as early as 6 months of age.  Seeing as how I had never considered the idea of potty training at 6 months old, I did not stumble across this method until closer to 9 months. 

We started very irregularly, only just this past week becoming very regular with this method.  Every morning, when Addie wakes up, we sit on the potty.  We do this before a bottle, before breakfast, and before getting dressed.  After all, what is the first thing you do after a full night's sleep (assuming you are not like me & use your child as an alarm clock, ahem)?  We sit for about 5 minutes-or until she "tells" me she is done by either standing up or using the potty-and we read books or play with bath toys (which I hope explains the appearance of a certain rubber duckie in the above picture).  Once our potty time is up, we get diapered and dressed in the bathroom, then continue about our day.  We follow this same routine after every wake up throughout the day. 

At this age, according to Dr. Lekovic, the point is not that Addie does her business in the potty, but that she is familiar with the potty, and it is part of their every-day routine.  We will gradually increase the frequency of these potty breaks until we are bringing her in there every 2-3 hours and any time she asks to go.  We do not pressure her to use the potty, or try and make her sit there until she does.  We are not disappointed when she has a dirty diaper.  We do not say "she had an accident."  In fact, we do not even mention it.  In my personal opinion, it is a bit early to expect anything more.

Our future plans for this method involve diaper-free times beginning at about 12 months.  I think the majority of parents that have potty trained any child-even a three year old-will agree that children learn about their bodily functions faster when it is running down their leg.  Excuse the graphic-ness of that last statement!

This process will, obviously, take longer than if I were to wait until Addie was 3 years old.  I expect more accidents than a parent of a 3 year old.  I also expect fewer diapers.  It is a sacrifice I am willing to make to have a diaper-free, independent toddler.  With any luck, we will actually manage to follow through with this method, and have our daughter out of diapers and into panties full-time before her second birthday.


Saturday, September 26, 2009

Little Miss Independant...

"The mother-child relationship is paradoxical and, in a sense, tragic.  It requires the most intense love on the mother's side, yet this very love must help the child grow away from the mother, and become fully independent."-Erich Fromme, German-American Philosopher.


My baby girl is growing up.  It seems that by giving her room to crawl an inch, I gave her room to crawl a mile.

We walk into a hectic room-a party-and she clings to me, but only for a moment.  She wants down.  Why am I carrying her? She asks.  So I put her down.  She crawls away...just a few short feet, and turns to make sure I'm still there.  She plays ball with me as she eases into the rhythm of the party.  She looks around.

Then, reassured, she takes off.  She is my social butterfly-where did this come from?

She crawls up to other adults with her flirty smile and hands them a ball.  She needs someone to toss it to her.  After a moment or so, she moves on to the next adult.  She makes her way around the room, talking, playing, watching.

She never looks back.  She goes into the other room where the big kids are playing, and she dives right in She plays with trucks, and blocks, and a rocking horse.  She follows the other kids around.  She reads a few books. She has a great time.

Who needs mom? These toys are cool!

My little baby is not a little baby anymore.  She is a kid.  And to kids, toys win.


I am proud of her, but my feelings are conflicted with nostalgia.  I went into that party expecting her to cling to me until the end.  Expecting her to want no one but me.  Expecting her to want comfort.  Instead, she didn't need me.  She needed her independence.  She needed to explore.  She needed to know she didn't need me.

It seems I have raised her well.  She is thriving and ready to branch out.  I just can't help but wonder, how much longer will she be my baby??


Thursday, September 24, 2009

More Than Just a Mom..

I am a wife.

I am a daughter.

I am a sister.

I am a friend.

I am a good listener.

I am a blogger.

I am a reader.

I am a neice.

I am a cousin.

I am an aunt.

I am a wanna-be photographer.

I am a chef.

I am a housekeeper.

I am a social butterfly.

I am a musician.

I am a college graduate.

I am a mom, but I am so much more.

It is a big part of me, but it is not the only part.  I am me, it's an all or nothing kind of deal.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

But I'm Not Ready!!!

I can remember quite vividly the day that Addie decided to come into this world.  It was one day after my estimated due date, and I had been trying to time Braxton Hicks contractions for weeks, waking up in the middle of the night and watching the clock for an hour. I had finally given up.   I had given up sitting on pins and needles waiting for the sign.  The sign that it was time.  And of course, as with anything else, that's when my water broke.

It was a crisp fall day, I had been out and about shopping with my mother-in-law all day. We had visited the grocery store, shopped at Babies R Us for some last minute buys, and had just run into Target when I realized what was happening.  My water had been leaking for a few hours without me even noticing.  I quickly gathered what I needed from the store and paid, telling my mother-in-law what was going on.  We went home and I called Willie and the doctor, who sent me to Triage.

25 hours later, Addie was born.   She weighed 6 lbs 12.5 oz, and was 22 inches long.  I couldn't believe I had finally done it.  She was finally here.  I could finally experience having a baby...

I do have a reason for telling you all this.  I'm getting there.

Now, on to my point.  Ahem.

As time went on, Addie started interacting with us and trying to move around.  Then, one day, she crawled.  It took her so long to start crawling.  I think she scooted around on her belly, barrel rolled, and rocked back and forth on her knees for almost two months before she finally started crawling-no exaggerations!  But after she started crawling, she never looked back...

About a week or two after she started crawling, she started pulling up on her crib.  She couldn't stand there for very long, but she could pull up.  Pulling up led to cruising within a week, and cruising led to standing unsupported within two.

This past week while we were camping, Addie learned how to stand up completely on her own.  She has been practicing this new trick for about a week now, crawling away from furniture then standing in the middle of the floor.  I knew it was only a matter of time...

Apparently she has gotten pretty bored with standing in the middle of the floor then sitting back down.  Tonight, my baby-my little 6 lbs 12 oz baby with her bald little head and chubby little cheeks- stood up in the middle of the kitchen, looked at me, then took two steps in my direction before stumbling into my leg.

She walked!! 

Okay, so I know she's not quite walking yet, but she's so darn close it's getting scary!  Where did my baby go? I'm not ready for a toddler!!


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Dear Addie, Love Mommy

Dear Addie,

Today, I watched you cross the living room for the first time using your push walker. When you realized what you had done, you turned to look at me with the silliest grin on your face while you fell down and clapped with me.  It was, by far, the cutest thing I have ever seen.  You couldn't believe what you had accomplished, and looked to me for recognition and applause.  I grasp at every moment like this, because I know this won't last long.
One day, you will look to your friends for praise instead of me.  One day, you'll be embarrassed when I cheer you on.  One day, it will take a lot more to elicit a silly little grin.  One day, you will grow up.

Maybe I am just catching a glimpse of my own mortality tonight, I'm not sure.  I just can't bear, at this moment, to think of the day that your world stops revolving around me and Daddy.  What happens? When do babies grow up into children, and then teenagers, and then adults?  How have other parents survived this feeling of knowing that this little being that once needed them so much is now growing more and more independent?

I just wanted to take this time tonight and write you this letter to let you know how much I am enjoying having you in my life.  I wanted you to know how much you fulfill my life.  I couldn't imagine my life without you, and while I dread the day that you grow up and realize you don't need me, I also can't wait until that day comes and I can say I have watched you grow into the person you will be.

You will always be my sweet little girl-my sunshine-no matter how big you grow.

Love, Mommy


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Camping with bobblers* 101

As many of you know, my family and I just got back from a four day camping trip.  Yes, this trip included Addie and one other 10 month old-the daughter of our friends, and Addie's birthday buddy**  Traveling with bobblers-much less camping with them-is quite a different ball game than traveling alone.  There is a whole new check list that comes with being away from home with babies and young children.  I am here today to share the lessons I learned about camping with bobblers, because I feel that everyone can benefit from getting away for a week with as few stressors as possible. 

Lesson #1: Pack more than you think you need.  Seriously.  This seems to be a no-brainer, but you would be surprised.  In fact, pack more than you think you need to pack.  Usually, when camping, there isn't the time or the resources to stop and do laundry.  I packed three outfits for every day that we were camping.  I used two each day, and the third came in handy as extra layers at night.  Addie wore everything I packed for her, with the exception of two nicer onsies I was holding off as "just in case" clothes-no need to ruin the nicer clothes in the dirt!  Other than clothes, can you believe we ran out of formula?!  We had to run to the nearest town-thirty miles away-to buy a new can.  Pack more than you think you need.  I cannot stress this enough!

Lesson #2: Set up a play area with all the toys you think can withstand the dirt and possible moisture.  This will be a lifesaver!!  There is nothing worse than bored bobblers for four days straight!  This really helped wear them out after a day of hiking and being carried around.  Bobblers need to expell their energy, too!  What better way to do this than in a safe area with a few familiar toys?  They do enjoy looking at new things, too, but sometimes it's great to feel a few comforts of home.

Lesson #3: Bring shoes-even for non-walkers.  It's amazing what grass, dirt, rocks, and trees can do in the way of encouraging a 10 month old into being on their feet all day!  Not to mention the added bonuses of making it harder to pull socks off, and adding an extra layer of warmth on chilly days or evenings.

Lesson #4: Bring lots of snacks and easy-to-pack foods for children. Sandwiches, canned fruits, graham crackers, cheese cubes...all great stuff!  It's a big pain when you have a full day planned out away from a campsite with a hungry child and nothing but sit-down foods to offer.

Lesson #5:  My final tip.  RELAX!!!  Enjoy the trip.  Don't worry about everything.  I learned this week that you can't control every aspect of a child's life.  I cannot stop her from trying to eat rocks, or rolling around in the dirt, or hitting her head on the pavement.  I can try- I can try really hard- but I cannot stop everything, and after a few days, I realized I didn't really want to.  Relaxing and letting go just a little bit helped Addie to open up and thoroughly enjoy her first camping trip.
I hope this short list of tips I've compiled can help another set of nervous parents enjoy a trip outdoors.  It is truly a great feeling to know that the major parts of my life have not changed by having a child, and that-for the most part-I can still enjoy all the same things I did pre-baby.  What's even better is that now I can share them with someone new!


*Bobblers-not quite baby, not quite toddler
**Birthday Buddy-Good friends that share a birthdate

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Camping, Frogs, and so much more..

Whew.  I am taking a break for a few.  I would much rather blog, anyway.  You may be wondering what I am taking a break from, right?  Well, I'll tell you.  I'm not very good at keeping secrets.  My family-along with another family-is going away for four whole days to the Washington coast to go camping!

I must admit, I am pretty excited about this little mini-vacation of ours.  We haven't done too many exciting things this summer what with Willie going to school, then being unemployed, then starting a new job and all.  He starts school again right after this trip, too, so we are making it right in time!

This will be our first family vacation (well, if you don't count going to visit family.  I guess this is the first vacation of our own) and we've been spending days preparing already.  We dusted off the tent, picked up some hot dogs and marshmallows and graham crackers.  The luggage is out, the clothes are washing, and the cat-sitter has been called.

With this being said, you should know that we will be completely off the radar for a few days.  Seriously.  No cell phones, no lap top, no technology what-so-ever.  In fact, I can't even get a weather report for the area! This shall be an interesting trip.

Before I left for this trip, though, I wanted to drop a quick line to you all about my friends at TheBlogFrog.  I don't know if you have noticed the widget on the left-hand side of my page, but this widget allows you to be part of my community on TheBlogFrog.  By becoming part of my community, you can chat with other readers, and if you join, your profile will show up on my blog.  I would really love to create a fun community on there, with forums to chat with my readers, and all of us linking our blogs together to form a nice network.  I just need you to help me with this!  It's super easy to join-just click one of the links above, or click on my widget. Once you join, you can search me out by my blog name-Surviving Motherhood- and join in, maybe create a few conversations.

C'mon.  You know you wanna!


Friday, September 11, 2009

Quarter-Life Crisis, Second Edition

Here we are. I am officially 25 years old. One Quarter of a Century. Strangely, it doesn't feel that different on this side of that line.  I mean, there are little differences, I swear, there are!

Maybe it's just a mental thing, but I feel more in control. More adult. I really do. Then again, maybe I am just settling into my roll as mother now.  After 10 months of mothering, it should all feel pretty old hat by this point, but the idea of caring for someone so small is still such a strange concept.  I guess eventually it had to become second nature.  It seems that turning 25 was that point!

You may remember this post from a few weeks ago. I blogged about a few goals I had in mind to ease me into "becoming an adult".

I'm here today to update you on these goals. I feel I have been doing pretty well, if I do say so myself.

I have kept a food journal for the last few weeks. Okay, I can't really lie. I have kept a food journal most days for the last few weeks. I will admit there are some days that aren't quite filled out. But for the most part, really, I have kept it up, despite only seeing small changes. I just keep reminding myself that "slow and steady wins the race". I want to take this weight off and keep it off, that means I can't drop it all in a month.

Who is this person with my family, you ask? Why, it's me!!  Complete with a new hair cut, new wardrobe, and actually looking acceptable to be out in public.  Yes.  I have been trying harder, that's for sure!

I wake up every morning and wash and blow dry my hair at least.  Most days I even straighten it.  I know.  Me?! Straightening my hair?!

It gets better.  I promise.

After I fix my hair-which is a completely foreign idea for me, I even put on makeup.  Yeah.

And then....and then!

I go into my closet and pick out something to wear!  Yeah! I don't wear sweats every day!

Who is this person?!  Really?! It's me??  Wow.  I would never recognize myself. 

I feel better about myself.  I feel happier.  I feel more confident.  I feel like people are willing to talk to me and be friendly with me out in public.  Yes.  Complete strangers actually smile and talk to me now.  They didn't before.   

Change is good.


Well...good change is good.  Bad change is just...bad.

I mean...I would not want to be encouraging someone to put on hooker heals and fishnet stockings, tease their hair 80's style, and then go out on the street.  That kind of change would be bad.  That is not the change I am looking for.

What goals have you set recently?  Have you stuck with them? Please share!


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Long Time Coming...

Well, here it is. The post I had to write eventually. It has been a long time coming. It's the breastfeeding post. More specifically, it's the "Why I Quit Breastfeeding" post...if you are into specifics and all. I was prompted into writing this post after watching a recent Momversation about knowing when to wean. Here is my answer. I guess it was pretty easy for me to know.

To make it easier for everyone else to follow, I will start at the beginning of my breastfeeding career...November, 2008. I loved breastfeeding. I told everyone that would listen how great it is, how they just have to try it! I think, actually, that I probably crossed some lines. I didn't care.

I set up mini-goals for myself, "so I wouldn't get disappointed if I didn't meet my ultimate goals." In the beginning, these were small. "One week down! Yeah!" Then it was, "Three weeks down! Go me!!" I got to 6 weeks, and things started getting easier. I started getting confident. "I can do this!" 3 months came and went. I got cocky. "If I can make it to 3 months, I can make it as long as I want." This is when my goal changed from breastfeeding until 12 months, to baby-led-weaning.

At 4 months old, Addie became a different baby. She stopped sleeping through the night, stopped napping, had the shortest fuse I had ever seen in my life. I cried. A lot. So did she. A lot. I had no idea what was wrong. I had read about sleep regressions and how they are temporary. I had read about growth spurts, and teething symptoms. It seemed, to me, that my baby must be experiencing symptoms of all of these at once. Because, of course, nothing can seriously be wrong with her. I constantly had an answer as to why were were going through a rough time. All the while, people kept telling me I probably had supply issues. I refused to believe them. No way. Breastfeeding was just too easy for me. I loved it too much to have problems.

Me and my big-headedness...I am working on my ego...

As we approached the 6 month breastfeeding milestone, I started getting worried. For the most part, it was just a feeling I had. Everyone commented on how little she was, and it would twist my stomach into knots. I confided in a few people about my worries. I got a lot of confidence-building feedback from them about how all breastfeeding mothers worry about their child's growth at some point, since we can't monitor how much they are eating. I just couldn't shake the feeling. We went in for a weigh-in for WIC the week of her 6 month "birthday" and when I sat her on the scale, the nurse told me she weighed 13 lbs 12 oz, which couldn't be right, because that's what she weighed 2 months ago.

This couldn't be happening. I could not have supply issues. No way was I going to quit breastfeeding. I had four days to increase my supply and see if we saw a change in her weight by then. I talked to the nutritionist I had seen that day, and she gave me instructions for my best odds at "fixing" this. I nursed her every hour for four days. I pumped twice at night. I took the supplements, drank a ton of water, and kept a food journal to make sure I was eating enough of the right stuff.

I drank 3 cups of coffee the morning of her doctor's appointment. I couldn't even unbutton her shirt my hands were shaking so bad. I put her on the scale, hoping against hope that it was a problem that had resolved itself. No such luck. Not even an ounce!

I had a long talk with her pediatrician, who believed that the best course of action was to introduce formula supplements. Her iron count was low, which is what made him want immediate action. I was with him at this point.

I went home, nursed Addie, then fixed her first bottle. I was nervous and sad at the same time. She had never had a bottle. Always refused to take them. When she grabbed it out of my hands and guzzled the entire 2 oz like she had been starving, I cried (notice a pattern here? Yeah...I did that a lot for awhile). I realized I had been starving my child, slowly but surely. I was about to put her down for a nap when I fed her, but within minutes of finishing her bottle, she was a new baby. She was happy, energetic, and wide awake. In fact, she stayed up for at least another hour. I cried some more. This was clearly the right decision, even with as much as it hurt me, I knew I had done the right thing. It helped that the constipation issues we had had for over a month corrected themselves that day as well.

As time went on, I realized that by adding supplements, my supply was decreasing even more. I started pumping again, even more vigilantly. I watched my supply ebb up just a little. Some days were great. I couldn't believe what an easy baby Addie was now. But then other days, I worried constantly. "Why is she fussing? Is she hungry?? I gave her her bottles, and she's nursed a lot. But how do I know my supply isn't decreasing again??" It was the question that plagued me daily. How do I know she is getting enough.

As the weeks went by, I started resenting my nursing relationship with Addie. The only time I enjoyed it anymore was first thing in the morning...our special time in bed before either of us were fully awake. I hated nursing in public-which is something I never thought twice about before. I hated the struggle we went through before I finally just gave her a bottle. We both knew at this point that it was easier! At this point, despite my strong feelings on breastfeeding just weeks earlier, I just wanted my body back.

Finally, after weeks and weeks of debating with myself, and hating myself for wanting to quit, I came to terms with the fact that I was doing the best I could, and that's all that mattered. Ending my breastfeeding career before 12 months did not make me less of a mother. It was time to come to terms with the fact that I was done. It was a hard decision, but I decided that we would be done breastfeeding by 8 months. We only lasted until 7 1/2.

Addie and I have been much happier, and much more relaxed since making the full time switch to bottles. I still feel a twinge of guilt every now and then, but I know this was in both of our best interests. I am able to keep an eye on how much Addie eats in a day. I am able to stay confident in the fact that if we are having a bad day, it is not because she is still hungry. It has definitely taken some of the guesswork out of my days. It has now been two and a half months since we stopped breastfeeding. While I miss it terribly, I am happy in my decision, and Addie is now thriving more than ever before.

I feel I should clarify, however, that I am in no way saying that breastfeeding isn't worth it. I was asked recently if I would still want to breastfeed my next child. My response? "I can't wait." I will have the upper hand, next time. I will know what to look for before it gets this far. I can only hope I can live up to my expectations.


Monday, September 7, 2009

Who is This Man and Why is he Sitting in my Living Room?

When we brought Addie home from the hospital, Willie and I were a "we". A team. We shared the responsibilities of diapering and bathing and changing. We both woke up in the middle of the night. Of course, I was solely responsible for feedings, since Willie has yet begun to lactate. I thought "Am I really this lucky? Do I really have a husband that is involved?!" How did I accomplish this?

As astounding as it is, this pattern continued for months. Willie played with Addie and changed her diapers and helped feed her once she was on solids. They had an incredible bond. Unfortunately, he recently started a new job. Because of his hours, it seems to have really affected our home life-sometimes in a negative way. He is home less often and has become less and less involved. I have found myself discovering what other moms feel like. You know, the ones that complain that they get no help.

I have been run ragged.

I'm frustrated.

I'm not getting enough sleep.

I'm emotional.

I can't keep up much longer.

Who is this man and why is he sitting in my living room? This is not the man I have seen become a father for the past months.

I have been picking fights left and right, asking Willie to do things, telling him to do them, yelling at him when he doesn't do them. I know he is stretched thin with working nights and trying to get into his new routine. Unfortunately, the irrational side of my mind has taken over. I have been resenting him for working, leaving me alone with a 9 month old every day. All day.

I intended to have a long talk with him. I was going to talk to him about what he was doing wrong. About how he needed to improve. About how he was leaving me feeling alone in this parenting journey.

Of course, we don't always follow through with our intentions, do we? There is a point in your planning where you choose a path. Do it, or don't do it? Talk about it, or don't talk about it? For me, the decision point was while reading a Parenting magazine about "Gatekeeper Moms". I thought "This is ridiculous..." but alas, I was bored, so I took the quiz. I would not normally put much faith into a magazine quiz, but as I started reading the article that went with the quiz, it seemed very familiar. He does always ask me when/how/where to do things. I do always give a list of details with each instruction. I always find something negative about a task he expected praise for.

So, I had a chance to talk briefly with Willie the next morning.

Me: "So, I think I know what our (or my) problem has been lately."

Him: "Oh yeah? What's that?"

Me: "Well, you know how I've been having issues with the help I'm getting, and I know I've been picking a lot of fights over this lately, "

Him: "Yeah..."

Me: "I read an article in a magazine last night that really spoke to me. I think the problem is me, not you."

Him: "Wait...what?!"

Me: "Well, after reading the article, and letting it sink in, I realize that despite my best efforts not to be that mom that hovers and tells her husband how to take care of the baby, well...I kind of have become her. I wanted to apologize and tell you I'm going to work on it."

Him: "So...this isn't the conversation I expected."

Me: "I know. I didn't expect it either, but I see now that I have been hovering. I am really going to work on it so you can be confident in how to take care of Addie. She loves you, and you deserve quality time with her. You're a good dad, I don't know why I didn't let you do things your way from the beginning. I was warned this might happen a million times and said 'that won't be me' and it turns out, it is. I need to work on my control issues."

Him: "Umm...wow. So, this conversation wasn't to tell me what I was doing wrong? I mean, you're not going to tell me to change? You're not going to tell me to do more around here?"

Me: "Well, yeah. I mean, I'd love for you to take more initiative with Addie and the house. I think that's important as well. But the difference is this time I'm going to let you."

Him: "Wow. Thanks babe. I'll try to do more around here."

A week or so has passed since this conversation took place. I am trying to be the bigger person. I am letting him make his mistakes. If he puts her in a pink onsie with red pants, it won't hurt her. I doubt half of the time people will even notice.

This will take work on both parts. I see subtle improvements. I watch him voluntarily change a dirty diaper again and think who is this man?

I am working on subtle improvements in my behavior as well. I find myself biting my tongue to keep from telling him what I think is wrong with her, or how he should play with her.

It will take time, but I think we will eventually have our partnership back.

I think eventually we will learn to value each others opinions again when it comes to our daughter.

I guess the moral of this post is nobody is perfect, and we shouldn't always put the blame on others. Sometimes, all that's needed is a small change on our own parts to affect the world around us.


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

It ain't easy being Green...

In case you didn't know, there is a huge movement these days called "going green" or "crunchy" or "new age hippie". I have been called all of these things, and I have only been what you would consider "green" since becoming pregnant and realizing I shouldn't clean with bleach. This was a rough adjustment for me in the very beginning. I did not believe that I could clean with vinegar, and that it would kill germs just as much as any harsh cleanser. I started out by buying cleansers that claimed to be green, or eco-friendly. Eventually, I gained confidence in this lifestyle, and embraced vinegar and all of it's many uses. I now use almost all eco-friendly products, because if I can help our environment, even just a l ittle, why shouldn't I?

Alas, I did say "almost all" products I use are eco-friendly. It's not always easy being green. Despite my best efforts otherwise, I have had to resort to using poison in my home, around my daughter and my pets in order to attempt the elimination of ants in my home. I did try various "green"-or poison free in this instance- attempts at getting rid of our pesky friends, but none of them worked. Ahh, the joys of apartment living in it's finest.

I sprayed ant poison all throughout our kitchen, under the baseboards, around the edges of the counter, under the appliances, the works. I sucked it up and did this thinking it was my last resort. It didn't work. I woke up to ants swarming the drain in my kitchen, where I had put some fruit down the garbage disposale yesterday. They were also feasting on the cat food, and the one grain of rice left on the counter last night. Is it me, or was the poison not worth it?

We are now getting ready to head out to the store, yet again, and get a different poison that everyone swears will work. Even better? I get to dip this poison onto toothpicks and pieces of cardboard and scatter them around the kitchen, making sure to keep my daughter and our cats out of that area until I can get rid of said toothpicks and pieces of cardboard. It isn't easy being green. Especially when getting rid of pesky insects.


What's Cookin'!? Wednesday!

Well, it's that time of week again! I promised last week that I would not forget to write this post this week! So...I have a little confession. It is 8 pm on Tuesday night while I write this. You didn't have to know that, though, because I'm post dating it! See how honest I am with you?

Anyway, I promised a vegetarian dish this week, and that dish is veggie tacos. This is another super simple and very versatile meal. The idea was given to me by a friend and I tweaked it to fit my tastes.

First, sautee some mushrooms, onions, and bell peppers in olive oil. While they are sauteeing, take some ranch dressing and cut it with low-fat milk to thin it out. Add some sea salt, pepper, garlic, and onion powder to the sauce and mix. Cut up some tomatoes, lettuce, and avocados.

Place a small amount of sauce onto a whole grain tortilla and spread evenly. Then, add a layer of sauteed veggies, then a small amount of cheese, then add some lettuce, tomato, and avocado and roll!

See? Easy Peasy! That's the way I like (most of) my meals! I hope you enjoy!


P.S. I will start remembering to take pictures of my dishes! So sorry...my family gets weirded out when I pull out the camera at dinner time.