Trying to be better

I have to say that I’ve come a long way in the past two years as far as eating more health-consciously is concerned. Before Ava was born, I never gave pesticides, antibiotics, growth hormones, genetically modified foods or organic vs. conventional foods a second thought. Now I read more labels and look to buy organic foods whenever I think the health benefits justify it. Speaking of which, here’s a great article by Consumer Reports on the subject – When buying organic pays (and doesn’t).

(I need to clarify – I didn’t take this pic. It’s some stock photo off the ‘net.)

Today I went shopping at both Safeway and Vitamin Cottage (the only health food store we have close by). I picked up things at Safeway, such as refried beans, whole grain tortillas, peanuts, vinegar (for washing diapers) and some baking supplies that I just don’t care if they are organic or not and I’d rather save the money. Then we went to Vitamin Cottage, where I bought some organic produce (apples and grapes), Mighty Bites cereal (for Ava), raw almonds, organic cheese (which was on sale – yay!), Agave nectar (my first time to splurge on that), organic tofu, natural turkey bacon (without nitrates), and free-range chicken (also on sale – bonus!). The bill from the two stores was about the same ($50) although I got 4 bags of loosely packed groceries at Safeway and 1 very full bag of groceries at Vitamin Cottage.

Then we came home to find our Door to Door Organics produce delivery on the front porch (which cost another $30) and gave us mixed baby greens, spinach, avocados, bananas, onions, carrots, melon, cucumbers, zucchini and tomatoes.

I guess my point is this… while I try to buy organic foods when it comes to produce, dairy products and meat (when we eat it), I still buy things like chocolate chips (not Nestle brand, mind you), ice cream (once in a while), the occasional frozen meal, and pizza dough mix in a package, among other non-healthy foods. I guess it’s another case of everything in moderation. I try my best to prepare healthy meals and be conscious of what is in the foods we ingest, but I also sometimes just need a quick and easy meal and will let the whole health factor slide as I put a frozen pizza into the oven. *gulp*

I am working on getting out of a “I don’t feel like cooking” rut here lately and am doing better at it. In the past week, I made G-Z burgers (garbanzo beans and zucchini) from a recipe over at Isil’s – (I just jumped over there to get the link and found the news that she’s expecting her first baby! Congrats to you, Isil!) and Red Chard Quiche (for dinner last night). I’ve got a few ideas on things to make this week too so hopefully my rut is coming to an end.

A friend once told me that organic produce tasted better to her than conventional produce. I was VERY skeptical and just kind of nodded, like “ok, sure.” However, after eating both and really comparing the two, I honestly think organic produce *does* have more flavor and just tastes better. I know this is something that’s up for debate, but that’s my experience with it, and it makes sense to me. The more chemicals you put on something, I think the more it would dull the flavor. The more natural the food is, the more the flavors exist. Perhaps others who’ve eaten both organic and conventional foods could chime in on your thoughts on this?

By the way, I’m happy to report that the sun came out again today after we got rain all weekend. The rain was very much needed, but it was amazing to me how much the dreary weather affected my mood. I honestly don’t know how I survived without antidepressants while living in MI all those years. When I first moved away, I thought we’d return there someday, but I know there’s no way that I could. The abundant sunlight here in CO really does affect me and I’m so thankful to have it. 🙂

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to prepare a healthy dinner with some of the yummy foods I bought today. 🙂

Rained out :(

I know we desperately need the moisture, but why’d it have to rain again *this* weekend? :oP

We headed out this afternoon so I could take Ava’s pictures (that I’ve been trying to take since last weekend – when it rained) and we got rained out again. The rain also put a damper on our hiking plans and music festival plans. 🙁

More of the same is expected tomorrow.

In light of this setback, I think the thank you notes are going to get mailed without the pics and I will have to send the pics out whenever I am able to get them done. Arg.

The plus side of getting rained out today is that we stopped at Ross (hoping the rain would pass through while we hung out) and I got a couple maternity shirts and another pair of shorts (woohoo – I’m up to two pairs of shorts now!) all for only $25. 🙂 Yay, bargains! And the other good thing about the rain is, of course, that it reduces Colorado’s fire danger. Not as glamorous as new clothes, but still a good thing nonetheless. 😉

Ava’s 2-yr check-up and other updates

I took Ava to the doctor for her two-year check-up yesterday. Other than having to wait a long time, it all went well. She’s healthy as can be and impressed Dr. S with her vocabulary, sentences and organization. She’s up to 34 1/2 inches tall (75th percentile) and 32 1/2 lbs. (95th percentile). I really thought she might drop on the weight charts a bit now that she’s getting taller and isn’t nearly as chunky as she was as a babe, but nope.

She got another DTaP shot yesterday which she won’t need again until she’s 4 years old, and didn’t even bat an eye. She’s such a trooper. So she’s now current on both her DTaP and Polio vaxes even though we didn’t start them until she was 12 months (and then went back for regular nurse visits to get her shots). I’m pretty happy with how that all worked out and I imagine we’ll do the same thing for baby boy.

We talked a bit about the MMR shot and whether or not the dr’s office can get it divided into three separate shots – the Measles, the Mumps, and the Rubella all separated – (which is how I prefer they be administered to her), to which Dr. S replied “no” and she doesn’t even know if they exist like that. Well, I’m pretty sure they do because other people’s doctors have said they could special order them that way. Anyway, for now we will just hold off until I can find more information.

The fourth of July was fun. We had our friends over for dinner and drinks. Well, they brought the booze. I mixed up pina coladas for them and Jody, and had a virgin one myself. We tried to catch the fireworks by walking a couple blocks from our house, but didn’t get out there ’til they were ending. Bummer. 🙁 We did watch the neighbors set some off in the street though and that was semi-entertaining until Ava decided it was “too noisy” and wanted to go in.

It was nice having Jody off for four days in a row, with no big plans. I could get used to that.

Today Ava and I did our long walk to the park, where we hung out for a while – having lunch and playing. We saw a big crane (bird) in the lake there and Ava found one of it’s feathers which she used as a broom to sweep the rocks. We also looked at dog and human footprints hardened in the mud by the water. That was kind of cool actually. You’d think with all of that excitement, she’d go down easily for a nap today. But nooooooooo. She decided she wasn’t napping. This happens every now and then and just about kills me every time (especially on days like today where Jody doesn’t get home til after 11 p.m. because he is playing D&D after work). I finally switched from trying-to-get-her-to-nap-mode to trying-to-keep-her-awake-mode. So we made oatmeal/chocolate chip cookies, had dinner, played with her toys, called Grandma to wish her a “happy birthday” and sing to her, watched a little TV (Big Brother All-Stars), had a bath and read books. She’s out cold now and I will be joining her shortly. 😉

Tomorrow the little girlie and I are going to a friend’s baby welcoming party, hence making the cookies today to take with us. It will be nice to hang out with them and for Ava to play with her friends.

Jody suggested going on a hike this weekend so we may do that or go to a music festival in town, as well as FINALLY take Ava’s two-year pictures. I can’t wait to take them and hope that she cooperates. 🙂 I’ll post my favorites I’m sure.

Hope you all have a nice weekend. 🙂


First a little note to say thank you for all the wonderful comments on my photography and suggestions on what to do about pricing. You all are soooo sweet and thoughtful! 🙂

And now, getting back to business *ahem*:
Our little boy “bug” is half-baked! I was officially at 20 weeks on Thursday! 🙂 My oh my – how quickly this pregnancy is going!

Here I am at 20 weeks. Click here to see earlier belly pics if you want to compare. I don’t think I look a whole lot bigger compared to last month, but I feel a bit bigger.

I’m continuing to feel great. I haven’t had any food aversions, I’m going for walks a few times a week and I just feel good and energized. The only minor things I have to complain about (and I’m not even complaining) are that I’ve had a little heartburn here and there, and a little acid reflux last night, but that was my own fault after eating too much sugary foods. (Doh!) I have read that raw almonds help w/ the heartburn so I’ve been giving that a try. And it doesn’t hurt that they have all kinds of other health benefits. Another thing I may try if I need to is fresh papaya or papaya extract. It’s interesting to me that there are natural ways to treat heartburn out there, but with my last pregnancy, I went to the doctor, complained about it and she said to take Zantac and that was that. I didn’t do any research on it, I just took the drugs. This time around, I’d like to avoid the drugs if I can find natural solutions that work just as well. Why not, eh? 🙂

Baby boy is a kicky lil guy, just like his big sis was.

We’ve been talking a lot about names and think we have settled on a first name, but are still working on his middle name. Of course, they will remain a secret until he is born. 😉

I apologize for not writing much lately, but Jody has a 4-day weekend and I’ve been spending some time working on revamping my photography biz stuff. Plus I also had plans to take Ava’s two-year pics this weekend, but it looks like it’s going to have to wait until next weekend now. We did buy her a cute little leotard and tutu today though that she will wear for the pics and we scouted out some cool locations to use for the shoot, so I’m excited to do it. 🙂 Plus I want to get the pics taken so I can order a bunch and send out Ava’s thank you notes. I got them all written earlier in the week, but want to wait on sending them until I have pictures to include.

Tomorrow we are having friends over for dinner. Their son Creed (who is 7 months older than Ava) and Ava have a blast playing together and I’m sure they will enjoy Ava’s sand and water table that she got for her b’day. I’m looking forward to seeing their new lil guy Trajan too, who’s a month old now, and just hanging out and chit-chatting. Should be a good time. 🙂 I think we’re going to go to fireworks tomorrow night too, but we still haven’t figured out where we will watch them from. I wish they were closer to our house so we could just walk and not have to deal with all the crazy traffic.

Hope everyone (my American readers, that is) is enjoying the long weekend or at least the 4th off tomorrow! 🙂 And I hope the rest of you enjoy your day as well. 🙂