Thursday, September 16, 2010

Michigan-made AND natural!

Hey readers!

I'll be offline for an undetermined amount of time due to MOVING! Yes, the time has finally arrived! We are scheduled to close tomorrow morning and then, let the insanity, well, continue! :)

I'm going to leave you with a video from WOOD in Grand Rapids. It's ecoSTORE USA Vice President Lyne Downing. I am a huge fan of all-natural ecoSTORE USA products. Especially the baby soap bar and the automatic dish powder. Well, and the lemongrass soap and the toilet cleaner and the citrus cleaner. I think those are all the products I've tried and I love them all.

ecoSTORE USA has given me a new reason to support their products, too: It's now exclusively made in Michigan and that gets a huge thumbs-up from me. The fact that 17 of their items can be found at Meijer, where I get the majority of my groceries, makes it even better. I just love this.

Check out the video to learn more about ecoSTORE USA:

If you believe in buying all-natural, plant-based, eco-friendly Michigan-made products, I strongly urge you to check out ecoSTORE USA products available at Meijer. I know I will continue to do so for my family. As a matter of fact, tomorrow afternoon, you'll likely find me in my new house with my tote of ecoSTORE USA cleaning products, getting it nice and clean for us to live there.

See ya when I see ya! Hopefully it's sooner rather than later, but I have no idea when the internet will be hooked up in the new house!


Oh, yeah, I didn't receive any compensation for this post. They said they'd send me a new product they're selling at Meijer if I shared the video here, which is great and I look forward to receiving it, but I really do buy this stuff anyway, so I'd have been happy to share the video for free.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Mostly wordless Wednesday: Moving hell

No, these are not stills from an episode of Hoarders. It's my kitchen right now. Well, except Hubby did the dishes (again, because he's awesome).

Please send help. Tell them to bring shovels. Or maybe fork lifts.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

How we pulled the plug: Going pacifier-free

I've said it before. I never wanted my kid to have a pacifier. I always, always hated the way they looked. I received a couple as baby shower gifts when I had Logan and I never even opened them. I swore no child of mine would have one.

Then Jordan came along.

I still hated pacifiers, but in the middle of the night on the second night he was home, I found myself after a multiple-hour nursing session, in tears, with a screaming baby in my arms, in the basement, digging through old storage tubs looking for a pacifier I knew I had there, leftover from when Logan was a baby.

Jordan was a baby who needed to suck for comfort. I was a mom who needed to sleep.

So, I found that old pacifier, washed it up really quick, popped it in Jordan's mouth and we both slept.

And thus I became the mom of a pacifier baby.

I told myself I would take it away before the habit got out of hand. I'd get rid of it before he was walking around, because I couldn't stand to see kids walking around with pacifiers hanging out of their mouths.

I didn't.

Eventually, it became an ingrained habit, both for him and for us. It was actually comforting to know I had shoved a paci in my pocket when we went out somewhere because I knew if Jordan got fussy, he'd happily suck on it.

Yep, I "plugged" my kid. Another thing I swore I'd never do.

He really loved his pacifiers. He called them "sss." He would pilfer them out of his crib during the day, even though they were supposed to be for sleeping only.

I'm serious about my paci, Mom.

Finally, one day this summer I decided to try to wean him from them, so I cut just the tips off them. He was really mad about that but got over it.

We always had two pacis, because the ones he liked came in packs of two: blue with boats and green with dragonflies. One day, though, he had one at a farm market and then on the way home I realized he didn't have it anymore. Bye-bye blue paci! I wasn't about to go back to get it.

Then, in the car one day, he had the green one and then all of a sudden we couldn't find it. I figured it had fallen out of the car during our errands. Sorry, kiddo.

I thought that was it, but then Jordan found a different one in his toy bin. It was a different shape one I had tried at one point, but he didn't like it, so I had bought some more of the ones he did like. I forgot about the different shape one until he found it.

So, I let him have it in his crib. And he started sleeping OK with it.

And then I found the old green one in my flower bed next to the driveway. I brought it inside and hid it away. I never gave it back to him, but I did decide to keep it for his memory box. I'd actually kind of like to get it bronzed, but that's really expensive!

Then we went on vacation for a week, and we took the paci (the different one, the one he didn't like at first, but had become used to) along, just for sleeping. That worked out fine, except when we went to South Manitou Island backpacking. He got fussy while riding in the backpack as we were out exploring some old abandoned farms one day, so I gave him his pacifier.

We were enjoying ripe, juicy blackberries and apples that still grew on the farms.

I took this photo of Hubby picking apples. Note, Jordan has the paci in his mouth.

This photo was taken just a couple minutes later, near another apple tree. Note, Jordan has traded his paci for an apple.

We stopped for a rest (and to pick and eat a whole bunch of blackberries!). Here's Jordan with an apple in each hand.

Then we started hiking again. The sky was getting dark and the wind was picking up, and we had to go a couple more miles to get back to our campsite, so we kind of hustled out of there. About 3/4 of a mile went by before I stopped short in the road and moaned "Oh no... the paci is gone!"

But, with what appeared to be a storm bearing down on us and Logan tiring out from the hike, we weren't about to go back to the farm and hunt among the apple trees for the paci.

So, since we were there, on an island in the middle of Lake Michigan with no immediate plans (or opportunities!) to return to the mainland, we were thrust into a cold-turkey pacifier weaning situation.

We packed our four bodies into our tiny three-person backpacking tent for the night, and while it took Jordan some time to calm down, he did go to sleep that night without the paci. Of course, he was sharing my sleeping bag.

We made it through the trip by keeping the baby pack full of a supply of apples. Whenever we found a tree when we were hiking, we picked a couple extra and Jordan almost always had an apple in his hand. He has cultivated a great love for apples. Apples are the new pacifier, you know!

And, after we got to the mainland when the hiking trip was over, what was the point of getting more pacis, if we'd already gone a couple nights without them?

It took four nights before Jordan actually slept WELL without the pacifier. He would cry at bedtime, and cry when he woke up in the night and couldn't find it.

But I'm happy to say we are officially pacifier-free. I don't have to worry about him throwing it anymore, and I love that he doesn't have that plastic plug messing up his cute looks.

Also, he still eats a ton of apples, which is great.

Our pediatrician laughed and said it was the most extreme cold-turkey paci weaning he'd ever heard of. I think it's a great memory for our family and I'm kind of glad we were forced into it. I have no doubt Jordan would still have a pacifier now if that hadn't happened.

Anyway, that's how we did it!

Monday, September 13, 2010

The weekend

This weekend I:

-Found out my mom has cancer (Well, hopefully HAD cancer. We're hoping that her hysterectomy got it all out) and will be starting chemo soon.

-Spent a great deal of time processing this information.

-Did a heavy upper body weights workout that left me pleasantly sore.

-Played some rousing games of “freeze catch” with my five-year-old son.

-Stayed up all night holding my 19-month-old son and inhaling the sweet scent of his hair because he couldn’t sleep.

-Packed a bunch of boxes because we’re moving to the new house this coming weekend.

(Life looks a lot like this right now. It's hard to think straight.)

I also:

-Enjoyed steak, wine and bread dipped in olive oil.

-Watched Couples Retreat, which was pretty awful.

-Dug up my canna bulbs to take to the new house with me.

-Got new running shoes.

-Bought some bridge mix and hid it in my car so I wouldn’t have to share.

-Did not get mad when my baby broke one of my favorite plates with what seemed to be malicious intent (He swiped it out of the cupboard and then threw it to the floor as hard as he could). I also did not get mad when Hubby broke one of our wine glasses because HELLO... He was doing the dishes!

-Read a book (well, not a whole book) in the bathtub and got good and pruny. Even had to add more hot water several times.

-Inventoried the freezer contents, planned meals and got groceries to feed us for the last week in this house.

and much, much more.

Packed a lot of life into two short days!

Friday, September 10, 2010

A quick update

If anyone even bothers to check this site anymore, here's a quickie update on the last month or two:

We nixed the idea of selling our house right now. We'd have to almost literally give it away.

We still love the house we found. Have had it inspected and appraised. Are scheduled to close on it very soon and therefore I'm in the process of packing up this house.

Decided to rent out this house for now. Found a great renter (we hope).

Took a nice vacation to Traverse City and the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. I want to write some updates from that vacation. It wasn't exactly relaxing, but it was beautiful.

My mom is going through some horrid, serious health issues which has me a total mess. I feel so bad for her.

Jordan is now pacifier-free.

Logan started kindergarten. Seven-hour days, four days a week. Wow. Just wow.

I got a new camera after I broke the old one by dropping it in the sand along Lake Superior.

So, as you can see, I have TONS and TONS to write about and, as always, plenty of photos to share. I just plain don't have the time these days, especially since Logan has to be at school at 8 a.m. so I don't have my morning blogging time anymore. All my other time is taken up with packing and trying to keep my children alive and happy!

Hopefully it all smoothes out very soon. My buzz word for the new house is going to be SERENITY. I want it to be a calm, relaxing, organized place after the massive chaos of this summer. I am so excited to get to that place (serenity).

Don't forget about me. I swear, I'll be back as soon as I can!

Deja Vu

A few years ago, at Christmas time, we were out at the Seul Choix lighthouse in the Upper Peninsula. It's not far from my mom and dad's house and we like to go out there sometimes because it's a pretty place.

It's also haunted.

Anyway, I was walking down the driveway, away from the lighthouse, to see something else when my dad called out "Hey Krys, turn around and take a look at this!"

I did, and saw that the setting sun had illuminated the lighthouse tower in an eerie red light. I snapped a photo from where I was standing, and when I had the film (yes, film) developed, I liked it, so I had it made into a set of blank greeting cards on Shutterfly. I still have a couple of the cards left, stashed in my stationery box.

Yesterday, I picked up the autumn copy of Michigan Home and Lifestyle magazine, and I was flipping through it when I saw a story about haunted lighthouses in Michigan. I stopped on the page about Seul Choix. The photo looked really familiar.

No, they didn't steal my photo, but it's crazy how similar they are. The one in the magazine was taken during a different season, obviously, and the trees aren't visible in the photo, but oh my goodness, it seems like the person who took this photo was standing in almost the exact same spot I was! Crazy.

Look how similar the photos are (My greeting card on the left, the magazine on the right)

Neat, huh?

I thought so anyway.

As you can see, I'm easily impressed these days.