Saturday, January 30, 2010

Juice what?


So in my research and talking with friends and family I've come across Juice Plus. I am still researching and learning, but I have been impressed with what I've learned..esp the extensive research done on this product by reputable sources. I have been a fan of Dr. Sears since becoming a mom, so when I found out he is a big advocate of Juice Plus, I wanted to learn more. I found the above videos insightful. Most of all, the video on their site was really interesting. Take a look here. It's def worth checking out and educating yourself on!

At the end of the day I know I have to take life with a balanced approach for myself and my child, but I def want to be more proactive in my approach to nutrition and fitness.

So what do you think? Have you heard of this or tried it out?!

In celebration of Samuel!!!

Happy 4th Birthday in Heaven Samuel! We sure do miss you here, but know that you are perfectly whole with Jesus. Today, I am wondering what your birthday will be like in heaven tomorrow......my mind can't fathom the party God would put on!!! We want you to know that we sure haven't forgotten about you here on earth. This year in celebration of YOU, we have picked out a Compassion child to sponsor. His name is Kevin (just like your Daddy) and he has your birthday!!! He lives in Bolivia with just his mom and sibling. Although, Kevin will never take the place of you, we feel this was a way God was leading us to celebrate your short, but meaningful life. We love you so much little man and will need lots of face time when we are all together again. Happy 4th Birthday (tomorrow)!!

Love,

Uncle Ryan, Aunt Jess, and Titus


Meet Kevin!!!


Kevin Velasquez

Birthday: January 31, 2000
Age: 9
Gender: Male
Region: South America
Country: Bolivia
Program: Iglesia Universitaria Student Center

Personal and Family Information:
Kevin lives with his mother. His duties at home include cleaning. There are 2 children in the family. His mother is sometimes employed.

For fun, Kevin enjoys playing with cars, singing and playing with marbles. He attends church activities regularly and is in primary school where his performance is average.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Pink Gloves


Since becoming a mom a few things have happened...


1. I think about my little man more than I think about myself...but that's probably a given for every mom.


2. My social life outside my house ends at my baby's bed time....usually...


3. I'm tired more (this child is active and keep me hopping...esp today when I was hoping to be asleep by 8:30 PM but alas dishes and laundry needed to be done)


4. I've become really interested in the medical field. It excites me and I want to learn and learn about nutrition, surgeries, diseases (but then I think I have everything), Labor and Delivery etc. Isn't that strange. Not sure what happened from my major change from nursing to now. Although it's not the season to pursue it, perhaps one day!


Along those medical field lines.. my friend showed me this video and I've watch it too many times to count. I love it...and it was made in Pland! Yay! It just happens to be one of fav songs too! Titus and I rock out to it!


Random question...but every O.R I've ever been observing in or actually in plays rock music... what is up with that?? It was a little nerve racking when my OB turned it up during my c-section! ha...


Who's your fav dancer on the video? Hands down mine is the bald older man cleaning who is still dancing at the end! He's got it!


***I am guessing a certain friend of mine is LOVING this video. Pink is her signature color and she is a big breast cancer advocate! love you hp (I was jmoore in college and she was hp...i guess a nickname can stick even if your real name changes Mrs. Buzhardt :)


A better version is here




Monday, January 25, 2010

Stop!

I think birth order is very interesting. Especially when...let's just say... two people get married that are the youngest in the fams... but the youngest by more than 4 years so they come out rather interesting. Ryan and I are alike in many ways. One being-- we're both the youngest so we have a certain level of care free, social, spoiled mixed with stubborn, rise to the top of a first born. It stinks being us huh?! Only kidding! We like to say it makes life interesting!

Naturally, I have been shocked to have such a happy-go-lucky first born baby. I know number 2 will probably be very different, but I really expected him to scream and cry all day long. Well, recently I've seen the first born thing come out. The boy is determined and a go-getter. He can wiggle and maneuver into a army crawl to get a cheerio before I can tell him stop.

Speaking of stop. "Stop" is Titus' new favorite word. Oh yes. I was driving home from work last week and I hear my dearest 10 month old say something that sounds like "dop" over and over. I looked back and saw a little hand waving back and forth. I thought to myself, "Surely he didn't pick that up from work THIS young." We tell the kids to stop or no thank you when they are "making bad choices" at work. Often the teachers sign "stop" and say it at the same time. that may be where the hand thing is coming from. My suspicions were confirmed the next day...and next and next by more than one person. It's his new fav word. He's got his lips perched and hand going. Heaven help me.

We've created a monster. If he didn't look absolutely adorable doing it I might be getting annoyed. I'd say he prob doesn't know what it means, but my guess is that he fully understands and is trying to set the world straight in his size 3 diaper.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Day 2

Each day I'm hoping to do a little more research and talk to another source about healthy living. I am so ignorant on this whole thing, but it's time I learn. This evening Titus and I ventured out to my fav store, Trader Joe's. Seriously, if you don't have a TJ's in your town, you must beg for one! I think a TJ's would do awesome in Charleston especially. You might be wondering why I love it so much.... it's cheap and healthy...... and their stuff tastes good. You can't beat it. Oh yea, the people that work there are very nice! Yay!

So, I started talking to one of the grocers and asked him a bunch of questions. I didn't want to overwhelm him, but he seemed to be excited to answer and passionate about health so he explained the whole milk and eggs thing to me. TJ's has it's own milk and it is hormone free, but what is in question is what the cows were fed. The organic TJ's brand is hormone free and what the cows were fed was all good stuff (Was how he explained). It gets technical so I have more research to do on that.

Also, I wanted to learn more about eggs... brown organic, free range, or omega 3s leaves my head spinning. He explained the organic would be best at $3.69 a dozen, but there is some question as to the whole free range thing and what it entails for each farm. The omega 3s involves what the chickens were fed, therefore the eggs contain more fatty acids (I think thats how he explained it).

I guess the biggest thing I learned about was something called the Dirty Dozen.

"Whether you are on a budget and need to prioritize your organic purchases, or you would simply like to know which type of produce has the highest pesticide residues—and which do not—the following guide from theEnvironmental Working Group will help."


12 Most Contaminated (basically what to buy organic in the fruits and veggies realm)
  • Peaches
  • Apples
  • Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Celery
  • Nectarines
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Pears
  • Grapes (Imported)
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Potatoes
12 Least Contaminated
  • Onions
  • Avocado
  • Sweet Corn (Frozen)
  • Pineapples
  • Mango
  • Asparagus
  • Sweet Peas (Frozen)
  • Kiwi Fruit
  • Bananas
  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Papaya

Other organic foods worth considering (from here)

  • Milk
  • Beef
  • Poultry

Reduce the risk of exposure to the agent believed to cause mad cowdisease and minimize exposure to other potential toxins in non-organic feed. These foods contain no hormones, and antibiotics — which have been linked to increased antibacterial resistance in humans — have not been added to the food. They often cost 100 percent more than conventional products.


How to save money buying organic food: (from the Today Show)

  • Comparison shop in local grocery stores.
  • Take advantage of local farmers' markets: Many farmers do not charge a premium.
  • Order by mail: Products such as organic beef can be shipped nationally.

How to protect yourself from “non-organic” pesticides:
Produce

  • Buy fresh vegetables and fruits in season. When long storage and long-distance shipping are not required, fewer pesticides are used.
  • Trim tops and the very outer portions of celery, lettuce, cabbages, and other leafy vegetables that may contain the bulk of pesticide residues.
  • Peel and cook when appropriate, even though some nutrients and fiber are lost in the process.
  • Eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. This would limit exposure to any one type of pesticide residue.
  • Purchase only fruits and vegetables that are subject to USDA regulations. Produce imported from other countries is not grown under the same regulations as enforced by the USDA. Examples are strawberries and cantaloupes from Mexico.
  • Wait until just before preparation to wash or immerse your produce in clean water. When appropriate, scrub with a brush. Experts at the University of California-Berkeley report that this removes nearly all insects and dirt, as well as bacteria and somepesticide residues.
  • Special soaps or washes are not needed and could be harmful to you, depending on their ingredients. Read the label! Cold water is perfectly fine.

Meats/poultry/fish:

  • Trim the fat from meat, and fat and skin from poultry and fish. Residues of some pesticides concentrate in animal fat.

Happy Tuesday Friends! I guess it makes the simple farm like a little more appealing, but let's be honest...I'm just not that type! :)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Food for thought

I'm headed on a journey and you're more than welcome to come along. I'm not sure what all I will learn or how this will effect my daily life, but I'm committed to asking lots of questions, reading material and educating myself. In the past couple months, I've come to a place where I really want to take the best care of myself and family that I can. It's apparent that our bodies are wasting away, but while I'm here, I want to be the best mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend and most importantly, follow of Christ I can be. So here we go. I'll chronicle my findings here and go into more detail about what this actually means later. This is my first step...

watching the movie below...here's the trailer for it.... it's called Food Inc.

Although the lack of sun here gave me a vitamin d issues... and the wetness and mold gives me allergies...there are some amazing resources here (Trader Joe's being my fav) that are going to help me. Here's to the journey...





Sunday, January 17, 2010

10 months




I can't believe how fast each month comes and goes. This past month has been a busy one! It goes without saying that our trip home to SC was really nice. The winters here are really challenging for me here. I am encouraged by my sweet baby boy who is usually happy regardless of not seeing the sun for days on end!! I guess people with SAD probably don't fair the best in these parts. (yup, diagnosis and all)!

So Titus... what are you up to???!?!?!?!?

you ...

- are into everything. toilet paper, trash cans (heaven help me), and every grain on the floor.
- a champion crawler and can go at lightening speed.
- love to eat.. chicken nuggets (whole grain, no preservs are a personal fav), green beans, mac and cheese, avocados, and fruit). you helped yourself to you Aunt Joy's plate during Christmas dinner!
- got your first real fever (above 100.4) this past month and it scared me to death....along with a double ear infection.
-love other kids and are so entertained by them.
- are babbling like crazy. Mama, Dada, pappapapapa, Bye, izz dat (so i'm guessing) are things I hear a lot. I am not sure how much you are comprehending, but these are the things it sounds like!
- pull up on everything and let go a couple times the other day only to fall right down. I'm not in a rush for a walker, but it's fun to see you trying new things.
-know your Daddy's voice and light up when you hear him on the phone. We miss him and are looking forward to his visits.
- got your first bump on your head this month and it again nearly sent me into tears. You were fine though. I'm not sure my nerves are ready for this busy of a boy!
- cry when the other kids in your class cry lately. Are you empathetic or just want attention too?!
- have another tooth coming in. You kind of look funny with one on the top and two on the bottom!
-like to try to feed me when you are feeding yourself. Funny, cute, and quite messy. You are also getting the whole sippy cup concept down more and more.
-love to dance whenever the music starts. it gives me great joy to see your cute little body rock!
-like to cuddle in the morning in my bed while you drink your bottle. I think it's the only time when you're still except when you're sleeping.
- usually sleep 12 hours each night, and when you don't I miss it very much! Let's keep that up!
- are happy and I pray each day God will take your little heart at a young age and you will run hard after him all the days of your life. Nothing would bring your Mom and Dad a greater joy than to know you walk with Jesus. I rest in knowing I can never be the perfect parent, but he can...

I love you wild man!

Mommy :)



Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Found Boy

So the angels... that's where we were.

Yes, Emmanuel told me that numerous times angels would appear to him in his dreams and tell him how to survive. He mentioned that one time an angel appeared to him and told him exactly what to do when rebels came. They rebels the next day and he was not kidnapped. He said that throughout his journey, angelic type dreams happened to many of the boys and they would share them with one another. Emmanuel spoke of how merciful God was to him during that time.

Wow.

When he arrived in Ethiopia the government and UN began helping the boys. Missionaries were also there and told them about Jesus. He got saved in 1989. Emmanuel's parents worshiped idols. Each year they would sacrifice something they greatly needed for survival so that one of their children would not be killed. Today, Emmanuel sees that it was demonic and a fear based religion.

I asked him how he knew the missionaries were sharing truth with him....

He spoke of their kindness, love, and felt that he was able to see God in them. He said he could just tell in their eyes.

What a reminder to not only speak truth (which can def be offensive to many), but to do it in love.

Today Emmanuel lives with his brother's in Atlanta, GA. He was on a plane to work for 3 months as an Alaskan fisherman. Jokingly, I said, "Emmanuel, you've made it through SO much, don't endanger you life now as a fisherman!" He laughed. He is studying to become a mechanical engineer, but must pay for his own schooling. He said, "I'm from Sudan and just became a US citizen.. I don't have any credit for loans!" I informed him that he should write to Oprah and maybe she could hook him up (even though she is not a personal fav). He liked that idea! I also told him about the military as a way to earn a living and pay for school. I'm pretty sure he can handle anything at this point. He got my e-mail address if he had any further questions.

Oh yea, last year Emmanuel was able to contact his father through a church in Sudan. His father has since become a believer. His mother did not make it and quite a few of his siblings died as well. He was able to visit him and see his homeland.

Most of all during his story I saw in his eyes and thought about a young boy running for his life in search of hope. Hope for something more than hunger, war, disease, idols.

He did find that hope. In Jesus.



I have come that you may have life.
John 10:10a

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Lost Boy 2

"If only I had Google with me I would not sound so ignorant," I thought to myself. Of course I've heard of "the lost boys," but I was pretty sure he was talking about being a refugee and not Peter Pan.

"Wow." Yup, that's what came out of my mouth when he told me who he was and where he was from. I proceeded to own up to my stupidity and asked him if he would share more with me about his life and what it meant to be a lost boy. For the next 3 hours we talked. Well, I mainly just listened and asked questions and he recounted story after story. I didn't have time to cry, I was like a sponge soaking up his life. Here's what I heard from him....

"When I was 8 a war broke out and families had to disperse to hide from the rebels. In order to have a greater chance of survival the boys in the families ran together... we are called the Lost Boys. We ran without any shoes of clothing. No food, no water, no blankets. No knives or any form of protection. My father had taught me what to eat in the bush and we all worked together to live. Many of my brothers, cousins, friends were killed by rebels, kidnapped, eaten by animals and died of starvation. We would dig graves and bury 2 boys at a time.

gasp.. (from me)

We would hide in the bush during the day and run at night. We were headed to Ethiopia. Nomads would point us in the right direction, and some good army men would shoot animals for us to eat. We would use our teeth to cut the meat and make small fires to cook on. One time a rebel almost caught me, but he was talking so he didn't see me right below him hiding under a bush. Some days I would cry and cry, but I would look over and see a 5 year old smiling and keep going. It was a really hard time, but we were a brotherhood. The hardest part was not being able to do anything when someone was dying. Being helpless. If a Lion grabbed a brother, we had to let him go or else the lion would take many in anger.

But God was with me. My name is Emmanuel.

"Emmanuel, you must know what that means?" I remarked.

Yes, I do. God with us.

"While running we would all randomly have these dreams...

....angels appeared and they would tell us what to do. In one of my dreams an angel appeared and told me.."

(duty calls...more later)

The Lost Boy

As I boarded Flight 17 with service to Seattle, I had one thing on my mind. My sick baby and how he would be able to handle a 4 hour plane ride. Would he scream the whole way and be in terrible pain or would he fall asleep in my arms? I hoped for the latter. I was leaving a day later due to yet another free tickets offer. It was perfect timing to get stuck in Milwaukee because Titus needed some meds and I needed some sleep. It worked out and my little side business of trying to get free flights prevailed.

So I boarded the plane and found my seat. Juggling a diaper bag, book bag, purse, blanket, bottle and baby I am sure I looked like a mess waiting to happen. If that didn't make matters worse I couldn't make it down to my seat without bumping into every person on the end. Just call me Grace! 2 men would be on the isle with me. I immediately got a wiff of the smell of one and said a selfish prayer, "Lord, please let the worst thing about this flight be this guy's BO."

As I took my seat and started listening to the language he was rattling on his cell phone I got a little curious. He made a call said something, then another, and another. Interjection of my honest thoughts.... is he a terroist making plans?? I then determined I would strike up a conversation. After all, it was time I shut down my own judgments. Now I know he was calling his "brothers."

"So where are you from." I asked. His response left me in my tracts while trying to bounce Titus to sleep.

"I am a lost boy from Sudan."

...stay tuned....