A Perfect World

Love

My coworker said something to me today that inspired this post. “You really want to live in this perfect world. That is never going to happen.” Well, why couldn’t it ever happen? I believe it could, but it starts with how we treat each other and raise the children.

I want to live in a world where doctors treat the patient, not the symptom.

The world where dentists do not use mercury to fill teeth, and hand out samples of toxic toothpastes, rather using ozone and nutrition to heal the body, and give out samples of natural toothpastes like Earthpaste or Auromere.

Where drug companies don’t own the government and the AMA, and every other commercial isn’t a drug advertisement for a pill that will cause you more harm than good.

A world where war no longer exists because people love and respect each other enough to leave one another alone when they disagree on their beliefs.

A world where people aren’t out to make each other miserable by gossip or betrayal.

A world where people do not poison their food and pollute the land, air, and water that nourishes them.

A world where people love to read and learn, not spend their lives mindlessly watching football or the Kardashians. (A little television is ok, but the average American spends 15 YEARS of their life watching TV.)

A world where everyone enjoys exercise and the beauty of nature.

A world where there is no hate, no bullying, no greed, no abuse, no homelessness, no one starving.

A world I would like for our children to live in. This world begins with each of us, it starts with controlling our own egos. When we work on ourselves, we create ripples of change that affect everyone around us. Small acts of kindness create great things in our world!

Am I the only one who feels this way? Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments!  🙂

Advertisements

Orbit Baby Travel System G2 Review

IMG_6170

Original post written 4/20/14

I did a ton of research when picking out what type of baby car seat to buy for Rafe. I knew he’d be spending lots of time in it from birth, and I am very motivated to keep his life as chemical free as possible. The only one that I kept coming back to was Orbit Baby. It’s the greenest travel system I could find. Orbit Baby’s seats use materials certified free of BFR (Brominated Flame Retardants). These certified fabrics make Orbit Baby the world’s first convertible car seat system certified healthy and clean by Oeko-Tex. Perfect! It is exactly what I was looking for in a travel system.
We have been super happy with the Orbit system so far. The infant car seat with the dock is so quick, easy, and convenient to install and use. The car seat doubles as a stroller seat by snapping right into the stroller frame, and it has a UV sunshade with Paparazzi Shield™ extension that I love! It kept snooping strangers away from my newborn when we had him out and about. Now that he is getting bigger we decided to upgrade him to the G2 stroller seat. It has the same awesome materials as the infant seat, with the addition of a one-hand lengthening footrest and a ventilation system in the back. The UV sunshade is nice and large on the stroller seat, I just use a light blanket to shield his legs from the sun. It also has a convenient snack tray that snaps on when he is big enough to eat solids, but in the meantime I just keep the padded cover on the bar with some colorful toys for him to play with.
Now I am looking at toddler car seats since we will have to purchase one before we know it the way Rafe is growing. He has almost doubled his birth weight and he is only approaching his three month birthday next week. I think we will end up going back to Orbit Baby again for the Toddler Seat G2, which will also dock on the car seat base and stroller frame.
Overall, the Orbit Baby system is very well made and eco-friendly, which makes me a happy mommy. It is well worth the money invested to know that my baby is safe and comfortable. Also, prepare to field lots of questions and receive tons of compliments while you are out with this stroller. Almost everywhere we go someone asks us about it. I’ve literally had a woman run across the street to ask us, “Where did you get that stroller?!” The design sells itself.

Update 12/10/15:

We have been using our Orbit system for four years now, including the Toddler Seat G2. The stroller seat had a little snafu about a year ago, the clip would not work to disengage the seat from the base. I immediately contacted Orbit and they asked me to send documentation of the problem. I emailed it to them and they sent me the new G3 seat right away! We experienced great customer service from this company, which I think is super important. I really wish they would make a booster seat next! *hint hint *

Detox, Simplify, Organize

Since becoming a mother has stripped me of all that precious free time that I used to have, I decided that my life needs another overhaul. I had the pre-baby overhaul: switching to more organic food, becoming a devout yogi and pescetarian, exercising regularly, reading the baby books, watching less television, playing less video games, etc. Now my schedule needs further trimming to allow me lead a sane, happy life.

I started by going through my wardrobe and donating a lot of my clothes that I really no longer need. I have accumulated so many things over the years it was starting to suffocate me physically and mentally. I looked to the advice of William Morris who said, “If you want a golden rule that will fit everybody, this is it: Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” I took this as love it or leave it. If I don’t absolutely love the item in question, then I should part with it. I got rid of about 50% of my wardrobe via this method. It actually felt pretty good to purge everything out of my closet, and the things I parted with found their way to new homes.

I found this in an article on one of my favorite websites, Mind Body Green, it is a list of ways to simplify your life:

Popular culture: Watch, play, and listen less; don’t buy stuff you don’t need; don’t believe anything it tells you; don’t care too much about it

Technology: Opt out, delete, uninstall, don’t update, don’t click, don’t save, don’t friend, follow, or like, disconnect, unplug

Your world: Throw out, empty, clear, sell, donate, give away, reuse, recycle, reduce

Time: Un-schedule, don’t plan, don’t over-commit, say no, do nothing, slow down, take off your watch, be spontaneous

Your social life: Be selective, choose quality over quantity, spend time alone

Your mind: Clarify, prioritize, simplify, tune in, zone out, read, meditate

Your body: Eat nutritiously and in small portions, exercise frequently, go outside, relax often, nap regularly, go to sleep early

I am far from perfect with this list of course, but I work at it a little at a time. The technology part will be hardest I think, it’s a weak spot for me. I need more peace in my life, I think we could all use that. Here’s to my new calm, organized, simplified life!

15 Years Later, a Survivor 

Happy Birthday to me! October is a special month for me, as it is my second birthday, the anniversary of my autologous stem cell transplant. Something many people do not like to talk about is their medical history. I used to feel the same way, it’s almost terrifying to think that you are different, that there was something wrong with you. In my younger years, I used to pretend that nothing had ever happened to me, that I was as normal as every one of my peers. But, your past has a way of following you around, and it reared it’s ugly head again right in the beginning of my 21st year. I had cancer. It was to me, the worst diagnosis one could ever receive. It meant being ill again, losing my hair again, not being able to have a normal life yet again. The first time, I was 16, and I did not yet have a job or any real responsibility. It was much easier for me to just be out of school and have some homeschooling while I went through my treatment. This time was going to be different. I had a car payment, I had bills, I was in college, I had a job, and a relationship. This time, I had to walk away from everything I had started to build as my whole life came crumbling down around me. I had hoped that I could retain some semblance of a normal 20 year old life, but that didn’t happen. I spent my 21st birthday vomiting, but it wasn’t from a night of drinking like the average 21 year old birthday celebration. I ended up spiraling downward faster than I could blink after I finished my final chemotherapy treatments and my stem cell transplant that October. I would go on to be on a ventilator, in a coma, and hospitalized for 3 months straight.

When I was awakened from my coma, I was surprised by my complete paralysis from muscle atrophy. I cannot even begin to explain how it felt. I had to be fed, changed, and sponge bathed. It was painful to try to move, and I had become so sickly thin from muscle atrophy and weight loss. My parents carried me home, literally, right before Christmas. It would take 3 months of therapy for me to learn how to walk again, and I don’t know how long it took for me to feel normal again. Years I think. It was 4 years before I was able to start working at my job again.

But here I sit, 11 years later, to tell my tale. My message to everyone out there who is battling cancer right now. Don’t give up. Ever. It was the hardest battle I’d ever fought in my life, but the one most worth the fight. I know more people now than ever before who are battling this condition, and I feel for them, because I was once there too, and I know the horrors of the treatments that they are given with the promise of a big ‘maybe you will survive this.’ I am grateful to myself for never giving up, for my family and friends for always being there for me, and to my doctors and nurses, who saved my life.

This year, I have graduated college at the top of my class, given birth to my adorable son, and I have an amazing fiancé. I finally feel like my life is starting to go in the direction it was intended to. Happy Birthday to me, indeed.

Monday 4/16/12 11:30am​

Today I had a fetal non-stress test at the OB’s office. The baby is perfectly normal and healthy of course, as confirmed again by the test, but they are still pushing for an induction on Friday night. I am only 2 cm dilated still and the doctor does not think I will progress on my own by Friday. I don’t really like the whole idea of chemically inducing the baby to come. I want a natural birth, which includes the baby coming on his own. We decided to go see my acupuncturist at 5:15p and see if he could help move things along in a more natural way.

4/16/12 5:15pm

acupunctureWe arrived at the acupuncture office and I asked Dr. Neff if he could assist me in inducing labor so that I could avoid a medical induction. He started by inserting some needles in my lumbar spine and I felt the baby move immediately. After a few minutes he put some more needles in my legs/feet and hands and I sat there for about 30 minutes. Fluids started to flow into my feet and they became swollen, which he reassured me is quite normal because the focus is on moving things down and opening up. He also showed us the acupressure points to use and advised me to use visualization of a rose bud opening up to get my cervix to open more. I scheduled another session for Thursday just in case and headed home to finish my last final exam.

4/16/12 10:30pm

Shortly after I finished my test and started to settle down for the night, I started getting crampy feelings, like bad menstrual cramps. They progressively worsened and I attempted to lie down with my fiance and get some sleep at 11:30p, but the pain became much more intense and we started timing the contractions with an iPhone app we had downloaded. I was shocked that they were already 5 mins apart and they lasted for about a minute. I hopped in the shower since I couldn’t sleep with the pain and my fiance started loading the car up with our bags. It was finally time to meet our little boy!

Tuesday 4/17/12 1:11am

I finished my shower (The quickest shower I’ve taken in my whole life) and called the OB to let him know I was in labor while my fiance finished his shower. I told him that the contractions were strong and close together now, and that I noticed some bleeding while I was in the shower. I was instructed to head to the ER of the hospital we were going to deliver at. We left the house at 1:30am. The pain was pretty intense, but I was still able to breathe through it at that point. We sort of sped a little on the way since I was so nervous about making sure we made it there in time.

4/17/12 2:00am

I was admitted to labor and delivery from the ER. They handed me consent forms to Pretty Pushersfill out while I was in the middle of having contractions. Then I was wheeled to the delivery room, we put down our bags, and I hurried to change into my pretty pushers gown. I laid down in the bed; the nurse took our information and hooked me up to a fetal monitor. The baby’s heart rate was a little fast on the monitor so I was given the choice to drink a lot of water or have an IV. I chose the water. I made sure to drink the Bodyarmor that we had grabbed from the fridge on our way out the door(I knew I’d need the electrolytes). My fiancé was trying to make sure that I drank plenty of water in-between contractions because I was so exhausted from being up since 9am that morning I was dozing off in-between contractions.

4/17/12 2:40am

The baby’s heart rate was back to normal after rehydrating myself. The nurse checked my dilation and I was still at 2 cm. She said that I’d probably be in labor for a while, which didn’t make me happy because I was so tired and had hoped that with such strong contractions I’d be dilated further.

4/17/12 3:00am

I was so exhausted that the nurse suggested a morphine shot to quell the pains so I could rest a little bit. I was willing to try it if it meant I could get a little bit of sleep(As much as I didn’t want any medication in my birth plan, I hadn’t planned on being up all night either). I had no idea how long I would be in labor for and I hadn’t progressed any further than I had that morning at the OB’s office. After the nurse gave me the injection though, I didn’t really feel any relief. I still felt the contractions as strongly as ever and they seemed to be getting worse.

4/17/12 3:30am

Suddenly my water broke, it gushed out with each powerful contraction. It was so painful, I was gripping my fiance’s forearm and begging him to massage my lower back. After my water broke I started to feel a strong urge to push; I asked my fiance to go get the nurse and hurry! The nurse came back in and checked my dilation, it was now at 9 cm. She was very shocked that I dilated so quickly because she said, ‘If I hadn’t checked it myself, I wouldn’t have believed it.’ She hurried to call the OB in to deliver the baby, and told me to try not to bear down. (Easy for her to say!) I couldn’t really help the pushing urge, the contractions were so strong I just tried my best to hold the baby off.

4/17/12 5:00am

The doctor arrived and by this point I was so tired I just wanted to push the baby out already. I asked for a squatting bar; I tried to squat and push but it was hard to hold myself up. I was willing to try it anyway since I had read how well it works. The OB persuaded me to lie down in the traditional lithotomy position. I gave in and went with it. My fiance held one leg and the nurse had the other. I gave a few good pushes and the baby’s head crowned. The doctor asked me if I wanted to feel his head. I replied sure, and reached down to caress his little head full of gooey hair. It was pretty amazing to experience.

4/17/12 5:32am

A few more pushes and he was out, crying and healthy. My little Rafe, all 7 pounds 4 Loveounces of squishy love. The doctor said I had a small tear and he proceeded to stitch me up. They had Narcan ready just in case the morphine had crossed the placenta, but it wasn’t needed, he was very alert and crying. The nurse handed Rafe to me, all covered in fluids and vernix, and I hugged him tightly to me. It didn’t even faze me that he left a smear of bloody fluid on my upper arm, I was so enraptured by this little boy I had carried inside of me for 40 weeks. We finally get to meet, my little love. ❤

My Birth Story