Tuesday, February 25, 2014

It's Been Awhile

So I've taken a bit of a hiatus from blogging, but I have a good excuse.

We are having another baby! We are due in June and are super excited! 

Anyway, I have been plagued pretty bad with "morning" sickness this time around so I found it hard to stay caught up with just about anything for awhile. Those who know me know that I have a huge fear of vomiting so this has been quite a challenge to say the least.  Thankfully it's mostly behind me now, so I thought I would re-enter the blogging world by sharing some of the best morning sickness remedies I found, and trust me I tried EVERYTHING.

Let's start with smells. This was one of the biggest challenges for me. I have a superhuman sense of smell to begin with so pregnancy took it to a whole new level. If anyone in the house was eating anything I pretty much locked myself in my room with the windows open and got out my essential oils.

Lemon and peppermint were my favorite oils to smell.  I would put some under my nose or diffuse them or sometimes I would carry around a washcloth with the oils on them to smell when needed.   I also would rub the peppermint on my stomach to ease nausea.  I highly recommend Young Living oils, they are the highest quality I have found.

Prenatal vitamins were tricky because I gagged everytime I tried to swallow a pill.  I found a great whole foods based vitamin that is in a capsule form so I could empty the capsule into a smoothie and consume them that way.  The brand I used was garden of life, I really found that if I missed too many days of my vitamin I would feel worse. 

I learned this time around that magnesium deficiency can greatly contribute to morning sickness.  Most Americans are deficient in magnesium to some extent. Because magnesium is poorly absorbed via the digestive tract, I supplemented with this oil spray:

I chose this brand because it is made so it is rapidly absorbed into your system and because it is guaranteed to be free of mercury, something you need to look out for with magnesium supplements.  There are other benefits to supplementing with magnesium including better sleep and prevention of restless leg syndrome.

Daily epsom salt baths helped me tremendously this pregnancy.  They help to detox your system from excess hormones and toxins and also help replenish magnesium.  They are also very relaxing! Four cups of the salts in a bath is the recommended amount, and you need to stay in for at least 12 minutes to reap the benefits.

Another thing that was really helpful that I wish I had discovered much earlier was bentonite clay.

It sounds weird and kind of gross, but consuming this first thing in the morning (1tsp dissolved in 8oz. of water) greatly reduced my nausea.  It combats a whole host of stomach ailments including reflux, nausea, and diarrhea.  It also helps support a healthy normal flora in your gut which is always a plus.  Seriously people, give it a try, you won't be disappointed.

I kind of went a little crazy with tea during the first trimester, but I found a few teas that were really helpful.  

Dandelion root tea isn't the best tasting tea but it helps promote liver health which is important in pregnancy as our liver is processing a lot of hormones.  I noticed that if I drank 2-3 cups a day it really helped nausea.   Raspberry leaf tea I drank by the gallon, it is awesome for helping to balance hormones pregnant or not.  Pregnancy tea was a good blend that I tried to incorporate daily and also helped ease my nausea.

Milk thistle was another supplement I took to support liver health. I noticed a big difference once I started taking this. I took this 3 times a day. It is a smaller pill so easy to swallow!

My probiotic was the most difficult to take daily because it is a bigger pill, but I really tried to take it as much as possible.  It really helps keep your gut healthy and prevent constipation.  Jarrow is my favorite brand.

Another thing that I always had on hand was fresh ginger root.  I found that just sucking on a piece of fresh ginger was so helpful in easing nausea. It's very strong but eating it fresh was much more helpful than the tea or capsules. It's good stuff.

I feel like I have to mention pickles because I have probably consumed 100 jars since getting pregnant.  I don't know what it is but something about pickles settled my stomach.  I got really carsick even when I was driving but eating pickles in the car really helped...No idea why.

And last but not least is my wonderful husband, Jon.

I seriously could not have gotten through this without him.  I can't tell you how many midnight trips to the grocery store he made, and he handled bath time and bedtime for little Kaitlyn every night for a long time.  And since there was no way I could even think about cooking, he survived on frozen pizzas for about 3 months without complaint.  Thanks Jonny, I love you!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Squish Squash

Welp, ALL of my squash plants are dead.  I really can't believe it and frankly I'm still recovering from the shock of losing all 10 of them! I worked so hard to nurture and care for them ever since they were just tiny little squash babies.  So much work, all for naught.

 Anyway, I learned of a new garden pest called the squash vine borer.  They are black and red moths (although I think they look more like a strange type of wasp) that bore holes at the base of your squash plants and lay eggs.  The larvae tunnel and eat the inside of the stalk until it dies.  They got every single one of mine this year.  One by one they started wilting and dying. Heartbreaking stuff.

Next year I will be ready for the attack, and prevention is the key. Although they go after all types of vines they tend to stick with squash and zucchini.  There are a few things you can do to prevent the borers from getting to your plants in the first place.  You can cover your plants in the spring with some very fine netting so the moth cant get to the plant.  You can also try placing a yellow bowl of soapy water next to the plant, the moths are attracted by the yellow and it can keep them from getting to the vine.  There are also some resistant varieties of squash you can grow which would probably be the best option.

If the borer has already laid its eggs in your vine, the only thing you can do is try to cut it out with a sharp knife.  They lay the eggs at the very base of the plant, so look there.  You can tell the larvae is present by looking at the base of the vine, it will produce "frass" that looks like this:

  After you remove the larvae make sure you pack the stem with dirt.  The plant won't always make it if it comes to this so it is best to try and prevent them from getting there in the first place.  Another option is to plant your squash super early so they are really strong when the vine borers are laying their eggs, this way they have a better shot of making it.

Luckily, the rest of our garden is thriving, we have gotten a ton of produce this year.  Also, I planted pumpkins in the place of the squash so hopefully I will get enough pumpkins to make up for all of the squash we lost!

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Fine Art of Exercising With a Toddler

It's always hard to find time to exercise.  I remember before I had Kaitlyn stressing about when I would have time to work out.  Ha.  Now, if I can even find the time to squeeze in a workout, I have a 15 month old crawling on my stomach while I'm doing sit-ups, hanging on my leg while I'm doing squats, and at the same time trying to completely destroy everything in sight.  Needless to say, I've had to get a little creative.

Sometimes it's just easier to include your toddler in your workout rather than try to entertain them while you workout.  Here are a few ideas I've come up with so far:

Sit-up baby toss (toss the baby as you sit up)

Baby Squats

And for cardio, a good old fashioned game of "chase"

There are plenty of ways to wear yourself out with a toddler, not sure why I ever go to the gym!