Monday, October 3, 2011

31 Days of Love

For the month of October Time Warp Wife is hosting the 31 Days of Love. Twenty-seven different women will be offering us encouragement and a biblical perspective on marriage. Each daily challenge is designed to encourage us to love the way that God intended according to His wisdom as outlined in scripture.
Day 2~ Welcome Home Daddy

Today's Challenge:

1. Memorize:
Psalm 19:14 May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.
Psalm 139:23-24 Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. 

2. Find one thing in today's post Welcome Home Daddy that you are not doing and do it this week to honor Christ, your First Love, so you can joyfully serve your Second.


This Past year things have gone topsy turvy in our little household.  For starters we decided that I should stay at home and not work. For the most part I miss my classroom am really enjoying being a SAHM. but the other big change is the Google (my DH) is now working for the most part at home. I try to leave him alone while he is work and respect his office space, but being home alone with a 6 month old can be a bit quiet. I often find myself asking him dumb questions just to talk to someone.  While I would love to talk to him about his day and so on, I already know it is pretty uneventful. and rubbing his feet, well, that's kinda creepy and he sits on his bum all day. Maybe I should rub his bum??
I think for us the biggest thing I can do for him is bring him his lunch everyday ( so times I really blow him off) and I think I need to stop bugging him if he is working.  UGH! I hope this baby starts talking soon so I can ask HER where the hammer is!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

31 Days of Love

For the month of October Time Warp Wife is hosting the 31 Days of Love. Twenty-seven different women will be offering us encouragement and a biblical perspective on marriage. Each daily challenge is designed to encourage us to love the way that God intended according to His wisdom as outlined in scripture.

Day 1- Bringing a Gift of Love

Two Years ago my marriage was hanging by a string. I was in Hawaii and my husband was in Thailand not wanting to be married to me anymore. I had given up and was ready to wash my hands of everything, when I had an epiphany. There I was in the tub, praying, crying the "ugly cry" (you know the one) pleading to God, "why can't I just find the perfect man???" Suddenly in the mixt of all the crying I was filled with a complete calm. The Lord spoke to me as I sobbed in my suds. He told me, "I gave you the perfect man, he's right there. He may not be perfect, but he's perfect for you."

I realized then and there that I had been blaming everything on my husband and it was time for me to start taking responsibility for MY actions. I finally understood that I needed to figure out what was wrong and I needed to do my darndest to fix it.  

Believe me it was not an easy road to where we are today. My husband was not the easiest to get on board. After years of feeling disrespected he just didn't have the heart to try again. I didn't give up though. Instead of trying to change him, I learned that I needed to change ME. 

I still have a lot of learning to do, but I can wholeheartedly say that It is no longer a burden but a joy to work on being a Proverbs 31 wife and mother. So, along that note, I have joined
Time Warp Wife and the many others who will take the 31 day love Challenge. I hope that through out the next 31 days, the words of my sisters will continue to help me on my path.

 Here is Today's Challenge:

Read 1 Corinthians 13 (the love chapter) and jot down some of the thoughts that come to mind such as:
  • What is God's definition of love?
  • What are the characteristics of love?
  • In what areas of "loving" do I stumble the most?
  • What are a few of the steps I can take toward changing?


If you are joining me in this journey, please leave a comment and let me know how you are facing this challenge!

31 Days of Love

For the month of October Time Warp Wife is hosting the 31 Days of Love. Twenty-seven different women will be offering us encouragement and a biblical perspective on marriage. Each daily challenge is designed to encourage us to love the way that God intended according to His wisdom as outlined in scripture.

Day 1- Bringing a Gift of Love

Two Years ago my marriage was hanging by a string. I was in Hawaii and my husband was in Thailand not wanting to be married to me anymore. I had given up and was ready to wash my hands of everything, when I had an epiphany. There I was in the tub, praying, crying the "ugly cry" (you know the one) pleading to God, "why can't I just find the perfect man???" Suddenly in the mixt of all the crying I was filled with a complete calm. The Lord spoke to me as I sobbed in my suds. He told me, "I gave you the perfect man, he's right there. He may not be perfect, but he's perfect for you."

I realized then and there that I had been blaming everything on my husband and it was time for me to start taking responsibility for MY actions. I finally understood that I needed to figure out what was wrong and I needed to do my darndest to fix it.  

Believe me it was not an easy road to where we are today. My husband was not the easiest to get on board. After years of feeling disrespected he just didn't have the heart to try again. I didn't give up though. Instead of trying to change him, I learned that I needed to change ME. 

I still have a lot of learning to do, but I can wholeheartedly say that It is no longer a burden but a joy to work on being a Proverbs 31 wife and mother. So, along that note, I have joined
Time Warp Wife and the many others who will take the 31 day love Challenge. I hope that through out the next 31 days, the words of my sisters will continue to help me on my path.

 Here is Today's Challenge:

Read 1 Corinthians 13 (the love chapter) and jot down some of the thoughts that come to mind such as:
  • What is God's definition of love?
  • What are the characteristics of love?
  • In what areas of "loving" do I stumble the most?
  • What are a few of the steps I can take toward changing?


If you are joining me in this journey, please leave a comment and let me know how you are facing this challenge!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Time for a Tune Up!

"The rabbit-hole went straight on like a tunnel for some way, and then dipped suddenly down, so suddenly that Alice had not a moment to think about stopping herself before she found herself falling down a very deep well" Lewis Carroll 

 Do you ever feel like Alice in Wonderland tumbling down the rabbit hole?? Some days I feel like everything is just wooshing(yes that's a word) by me as I grasp for a moment of sanity, while others days I feel like I've done nothing of use to myself or anyone eles.  Learning to balance time and energy sure is a job all in it's self!

I am slowly getting use to this SAHM thing, but I find that I am starting to get a bit depressed by it. Maybe it's that idea that school starts in a few weeks and for the first time in 25 years, I am not setting up a classroom. I am beginning to realize that I have identified my existence as 'Teacher". I never thought I would be lost without 20 small humans to care for each day!  I am now really trying to  focus on being wife and mom, but with my stupid sucky illness (MS) I know that I also need to take the time to care for myself and not get lost in the shuffle.

I came upon this great blog  from Roxanne at Haven of Home awhile back and I think it hits the nail right on the head.  Here's how she sums it up....

I realized something the other day. I take better care of my car than I do of myself.

Case in point:

If the Car gets new tires when they begin to be too weather-worn,
Then I should keep my finger and toenails up-to-date.

If the Car gets to go to the car wash regularly to keep in shiny,
Then my daily shower takes on a newer purpose.

If the Car gets its oil changed,
Then I should moisturize, moisturize, moisturize.

If the Car has an outward appearance that is sleek and smooth,
Then my legs, underarms, and eyebrow area deserve the same.

If the Car's color begins to fade or (gasp) peel, showing the sheet metal beneath warranting a new paint job,
Then I should make sure my gray stays covered on a regular basis.
(Note: Others embrace their gray. Mine will be held at bay for many years to come.)

If the Car gets its fluids topped off routinely,
Then those 8 glasses of water each day are critical for me.

If the Car gets decluttered and neatened on the inside,
Then I should declutter the fat.

If the Car gets to have high-priced gas,
Then I should buy organic when possible.

If the Car gets its upholstery and rugs vacuumed,
Then I should keep my clothes in great condition.

If I want my chassis to last a lifetime, I need to pay it better attention.



Pretty good huh?  I am totally  guilty of this. I actually have a service that comes to my house every week to wash my car, but half the time I don't even brush my rat's nest hair!  Looking back on those awesome 50's wives, they may have been totally devoted to their Dear Husbands, but they always took the time to care for themselves.  My MaMaw died at 78 years old with a full set of make up on. she would NEVER have dreamed of stepping out of the house without being done up!

So to keep my engine running smooth here is what I am commiting too:
  • Dry brushing before every bath/shower to remove the rust

  • Moisturizing everyday to keep the "Dents" out.

  • toping up my fluids by drinking water everyday (I really hate water)

  • getting a monthly wax (the all over kind not just the brows!)

  • mani/pedi twice a month

  • weekly massage (don't hate me cuz your jealous!)

  • Facial every two weeks

  • Weekly shampoo/set at the salon

  • Dye my hair ever 4-6 weeks (if my hair wasn't naturally this lovely auburn of course)

  • start my engine everyday and by that I mean get my lazy butt outside for a walk every morning!

  • use premium fuel instead of filling p with the fast food low grade crap

  • get better tires (stop wearing $2 flip flops and get something better on my feet!)

  • take her out for a spin (go out and have fun more often!)

Sounds like a lot of pampering tome.... HHMMMM maybe I am starting to like this SAHM stuff!

PS.  If it seems a bit over endulgent to you please remember I am in Thailand where I can get a massage, mani/ped, facial and shampoo for about $20.00 (for all)  Ahhh I love Thailand, even without Taco Bell!

Time for a Tune Up!

"The rabbit-hole went straight on like a tunnel for some way, and then dipped suddenly down, so suddenly that Alice had not a moment to think about stopping herself before she found herself falling down a very deep well" Lewis Carroll 

 Do you ever feel like Alice in Wonderland tumbling down the rabbit hole?? Some days I feel like everything is just wooshing(yes that's a word) by me as I grasp for a moment of sanity, while others days I feel like I've done nothing of use to myself or anyone eles.  Learning to balance time and energy sure is a job all in it's self!

I am slowly getting use to this SAHM thing, but I find that I am starting to get a bit depressed by it. Maybe it's that idea that school starts in a few weeks and for the first time in 25 years, I am not setting up a classroom. I am beginning to realize that I have identified my existence as 'Teacher". I never thought I would be lost without 20 small humans to care for each day!  I am now really trying to  focus on being wife and mom, but with my stupid sucky illness (MS) I know that I also need to take the time to care for myself and not get lost in the shuffle.

I came upon this great blog  from Roxanne at Haven of Home awhile back and I think it hits the nail right on the head.  Here's how she sums it up....

I realized something the other day. I take better care of my car than I do of myself.

Case in point:

If the Car gets new tires when they begin to be too weather-worn,
Then I should keep my finger and toenails up-to-date.

If the Car gets to go to the car wash regularly to keep in shiny,
Then my daily shower takes on a newer purpose.

If the Car gets its oil changed,
Then I should moisturize, moisturize, moisturize.

If the Car has an outward appearance that is sleek and smooth,
Then my legs, underarms, and eyebrow area deserve the same.

If the Car's color begins to fade or (gasp) peel, showing the sheet metal beneath warranting a new paint job,
Then I should make sure my gray stays covered on a regular basis.
(Note: Others embrace their gray. Mine will be held at bay for many years to come.)

If the Car gets its fluids topped off routinely,
Then those 8 glasses of water each day are critical for me.

If the Car gets decluttered and neatened on the inside,
Then I should declutter the fat.

If the Car gets to have high-priced gas,
Then I should buy organic when possible.

If the Car gets its upholstery and rugs vacuumed,
Then I should keep my clothes in great condition.

If I want my chassis to last a lifetime, I need to pay it better attention.



Pretty good huh?  I am totally  guilty of this. I actually have a service that comes to my house every week to wash my car, but half the time I don't even brush my rat's nest hair!  Looking back on those awesome 50's wives, they may have been totally devoted to their Dear Husbands, but they always took the time to care for themselves.  My MaMaw died at 78 years old with a full set of make up on. she would NEVER have dreamed of stepping out of the house without being done up!

So to keep my engine running smooth here is what I am commiting too:
  • Dry brushing before every bath/shower to remove the rust
  • Moisturizing everyday to keep the "Dents" out.
  • toping up my fluids by drinking water everyday (I really hate water)
  • getting a monthly wax (the all over kind not just the brows!)
  • mani/pedi twice a month
  • weekly massage (don't hate me cuz your jealous!)
  • Facial every two weeks
  • Weekly shampoo/set at the salon
  • Dye my hair ever 4-6 weeks (if my hair wasn't naturally this lovely auburn of course)
  • start my engine everyday and by that I mean get my lazy butt outside for a walk every morning!
  • use premium fuel instead of filling p with the fast food low grade crap
  • get better tires (stop wearing $2 flip flops and get something better on my feet!)
  • take her out for a spin (go out and have fun more often!)
Sounds like a lot of pampering tome.... HHMMMM maybe I am starting to like this SAHM stuff!

PS.  If it seems a bit over endulgent to you please remember I am in Thailand where I can get a massage, mani/ped, facial and shampoo for about $20.00 (for all)  Ahhh I love Thailand, even without Taco Bell!

Old School Baby

Before Pickles was born I made a pledge to use only cloth diapers. since they don't have any of the fancy AIO here in Thailand, I spent a ton of time sewing diapers.  OM goodness they are soooo cute!  Unfortunately the whole thing has been a bust. We tried many different patterns and Google even designed his own before we could get a good fit, but we still have major problems. Basically we can't get the right fabric here to make the diapers waterproof and so wearing cloth means changing bedding or pads continuously!  Good Lordy the laundry that makes. Well,our motto around here is "Try, Try, Again" so, we instead of giving up on the whole cloth diaper bit we are going to give up the prefolds, and go old school.

So here is the new plan....

Back in May Dirty Diaper Laundry placed a flat diaper challenge.

Here are the rules:

  • You MUST use Flats.Ok, no problem you can get them here.
  • You MUST handwash them.  How is up to you.  (bathtub, sink, large wash tub, portable non electronic washing machine, or camp style washer (bucket and plunger- think churning butter) Again, no problem, we hand wash the majority of our clothes.
  • You MUST air dry them.  (indoors or outdoors, makes no difference) Is there any other way??? (I haven't had a dryer in 10 years)
  • You MUST limit your number of covers in rotation to 5 or less. Yikes, now I need to makecovers!
  • You can use any detergent you want.  (Keep in mind that you still want cloth safe detergents)
  • You can still use your nighttime diapers but I ask that you try to make flats work.  Maybe try a prefold wrapped in a flat.
  • You can use disposable liners. Yeah helps for poop!
  • You CAN’T use a diaper sprayer.  I thought long and hard about this one, but at an average cost of 40.00 this is one diaper accessory that is out of range for many families.  Dunk, swish, flush, or scrape! Sorry Not giving up my sprayer It's Thai culture
  • You MUST start the morning of May 23 and end the evening of May 30. OPPS I'm a day late and a dollar short!
  • You MUST fill out a completion survey about your experience.  Results will be published here and can be republished on your own blog. 
Can you believe that 400 moms took this challenge?? Holy Guacamole!

So, I am to late to do the formal challenge, but I figure it's never too late. Google and I have been contemplating this for months.  Prefolds are cool, but what ever happened to good 'ol diapers and rubber pants?? I used them for the Grown Ups and never had a problem, so why not use them now?  So in traditional 50's housewife style I am going to start my own little vintage baby challenge. Starting September 1st our little jungle home is going retro and using flat cloth diapers from now on.

Sorry if I don't blog for a while, I might be busy washing diapers!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY
Outside my window... is a super cute little orange and white scooter that I am longing to ride!

I am thinking... that I am not sure how much longer I can take being immobilized.
I am thankful... that I have help in caring for my little Pickles

From the learning rooms... My lesson plans book is dusty

In the kitchen... Chicken cookin in the crockpot! Yum yum
I am wearing... a skirt and 
I am creating... a sign language book for the baby

I am going... to get on that scooter when no one is lookin!

I am wondering... what religion are the Duggars?? and with 20 acres of land, why aren't they farming and teaching their 19 kids to be producers instead of consumers?

I am reading... an awesome book called "The Book of Negros"
I am hoping... That by next week my MS relapse will be done and I can get on with my life
I am looking forward to... spending the next month learning to be a good wife
I am hearing...the water in my front fountain trickling

Around the house... lazy dogs are lying everywhere!

I am pondering... how I can get my hubby to go buy me paint for the living room...(I've changed the color twice in three months)
One of my favorite things...

A few plans for the rest of the week:

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

(add your picture here)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

February Baby Carbon Steps

When I found out we where getting a baby the first thing we did was run off to the mall. 23 years ago when I started giving birth to “the Grown Ups” I was young and dirt poor. I had to work two jobs just to buy diapers. This time, I’m all grown up can basically afford to buy anything and everything little Pickles could need. My first thoughts where all the stuff cool new stuff they have out for babies and how we needed them ALL!

Then I got to thinking, “Why?” Why is it so important that Pickles has everything brand new? She’s not going to care if someone else already wore her onsie, so why should I?  Is it more important for the baby to have a $500 stroller from America or for us to send the money on a plane ticket for Beans to come see her baby sister?

February’s goal for us is to refrain from buying new baby stuff. We are working to beg, borrow or buy, used baby clothes and any baby items we might need.

We have some awesome friends who dug through their storage and found some great things like this Cherry wood Basset Crib from the states, tons of clothes, and a cool Graco stroller/ car seat.

The stroller and car seat where a little faded, but other wise in great shape,  so my DH Google, dug down to his Indian roots and pulled out his alter ego “the little seamstress” and totally remodeled both stroller and car seat in a great cherry fabric. It turned out so awesome and only cost us about $30 instead of the $500 I had planned on spending. (and Beans gets to see her baby sis!)

So far we have got everything second hand  or made it ourselves. The only thing that I am going to buy is some new glass baby bottles, and  maybe a binky or two.  That cutie, over priced baby dress will just have to stay on the rack.  

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Don't Wake the Baby!!!

Three months! I have been a new mommy for three months, and I haven't had a spare moment in THREE MONTHS!  Our bouncing baby girl came into this world unexpectedly April 6th. We had Taken Baby Momma to the hospital for her monthly check up thinking we had three more weeks to go. To our surprise she was in labor and dilated to 5cm. The girl never said a word. It completely baffles me. I have birth three babies and believe me I KNEW when I was in labor. three hours later we had our beautiful little girl Rosalin Olivia.

How had I forgotten how tiring babies are?? Maybe it's just because I'm no spring chicken any more. How did I ever take care of three little ones at one time, when this 8 pound ball on chubby single-handedly runs me into the ground every day?????  Oye vay!!!!

So for the past 9 weeks Pickles has been sleeping through the night from 8pm-6am. Yeah right? Well, it would be a yeah if she slept at least a little during the day.  Our little princess never sleeps longer than 20 mins during the day, and to top is off, if someone isn't holding her... she screams.  We are talking BLOODY MURDER SCREAM!  It is so hard to understand how such a smiley happy little thing can turn into Linda Blair in the matter of seconds.  Honestly it began to scare me.  Is there something wrong with my poor baby?  I even began to question Baby Momma's actions. What if she had been using drugs or drinking and we never knew????  I couldn't even imagine!  after 6 weeks of having to be held 15 hours a day, I am seriously thinking that Attachment Parenting folks are a bit crazy!  I mean, I love my baby, but my arms hurt, my back aches and I am going slowly insaine.

So.... I broke down.  First, I got cable TV installed. Now I can actually sit and watch something while holding Pickles and not feel like I am going to lose my mind.   And, as much as I hate to admit it, I hired a live in nanny/housekeeper. So now, I don't have to feel so quilty that my house is a mess and I haven't got ANT THING accomplished all day.  In my defence, my husband has been away in Africa for the past month and I was all alone trying to deal with screaming Mimi.

Now, at three months she is finally starting to give me a bit more time. Yesterday I actually finished painting my living room after three weeks! Pickles is finally calming down as we try to settle into a rhythm here in our jungle home and all the monkeys are happy...for now

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Dating ABC's

After years of marriage you tend to start getting cobwebs in your dancing shoes. Google and I always have "date night" once a week, but it has really turned a bit routine (dinner/movie) and wasn't exciting the way it was meant to be. If you know us, you know that we had a very rocky year in 2009 and were separated for 7 months with me in Hawaii and him in Thailand. Thank you Love Dare for helping us fireproof our marriage! Being apart and the fear of losing our marriage really helped us to realize that the time we have together is a gift and should not be wasted.


So we started talking and came up with a new plan. First, we decided that instead off celebrating our anniversary just one time a year we were going to celebrate it every month with little mini monthaversary. To help us with ideas on things to do I came up with the idea of working through the alphabet (I'm such a teacher!) so each month we will do one or two things starting with the letter we are currently on.

Google thought this was a great idea and started going through the alphabet of restaurants we could eat at! NOT the idea! The things we do needed to be stuff that we wouldn't normally do. For example, we started all over for 2011 so this month we are on "C" and are taking a cooking class together and going camping.  Google doesn't know it yet, but next month I am dragging him to dance lessons to try to erase some of his white boy rhythm. For "E" maybe the elephant reserve, (of course he is going to say "eat"). The idea is to #1 spend time together doing things that we don't normally do and #2 get out and see more of Chiang Mai. We have so many awesome things here in this little town that tourist come to see, but as locals we never take the time for.  I can't wait to find out all the crazy adventures we might get into this year, and I look forward to spending time with my love! Any ideas for us???

B is for Boat....Scorpion Tailed boats!  http://www.scorpiontailed.com/

Mud huts shaped like boats and a river cruise. LOVED it! And the best part was that my DH planned it all himself!
Can't wait for this one!
Elephant Mahout!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

March Monthly Baby Steps/ Save the Trees!



This month our focus has been on reducing the paper waste in our house. If you take a look around, I am sure that you will find many paper products that could very easily be replaced with reusable items or eliminated all together.  I love paper towels. And even though we compost them, I know that the idea isn’t really to recycle, but to try to reduce what we use so that it doesn’t have to be recycled in the first place. So, paper towels must go. In there place I bought a bundle or micro terry rags and put them in a basket on the counter for quick pick ups.

Next item on the list is sanitary napkins. Seems really gross at first, but if you install a handy dandy butt squirter like we have here in Thailand, it’s not too bad.  My DH Google actually designed the pads and I sewed them out of left-over pvc material, flannel and old towels.  I even have a little travel wet bag for when I am away from home. Takes a bit to get use to, but not too bad in the end. I am also making nursing pads right now because I tend to need them A LOT.

Oh the baby front, I have spent the month sewing cloth diapers for Pickles. Twenty of each size (nb, s,m.l) and about 20 liners. I also will be using handmade diaper wipes once again using  some really cheap baby washcloths and a lovely Jungle Baby Bottom Spray I made.

To add to potty time fun, say goodbye to the TP! I figure if we can use reusable wipes for the baby (EWWWW) why not for our little ( or not so little) bottoms?  We have the butt squirter, (so the yuck gets washed off) and here in Thailand we don’t flush the TP anyway, so why the heck not??? I got some lovely, soft, super cheap baby washcloths, cut them in half and put them in a nice little basket on the back of the potty. Add a nice covered can by the Boy is Baby Beans gonna love this when she gets here from the states in a few days!
If you have a baby and are already doing cloth diapers, this isn’t really any worse.

Check out Bonzi Aphrodite's Mission Last year to change to cloth TP too.


 Some other things I am working on are home made cloth dinner napkins and placemats, reusable sandwich bags, Bento box lunches,  and switching to small containers for condiments(instead of things like sugar packets.)

It took a little work, but what an easy change it was to make and I figure it will save us about 1200 baht ($40) a month. Yipee Ki Yah!!!!

Baby Carbon Steps

Sometimes I feel like I am fighting an up hill battle trying to be green in this plastic jungle.  There are so many things in our home here in Thailand that I want to change to improve our carbon foot print. Every year we try, but just get so frustrated and over whelmed that we give up on many things.  This year we agreed to try something new.After reading this article I decided that we needed a family mission statement.  I am a total 7 Habits person, and I feel that it is important to begin with the end in mind. So, family meeting time! It's not easy to sum up your life in a paragraph, but I recommended to keep it simple and don't try to over think it. Simply look at what you think is most important and what your family hopes to represent. In other words, when poeple look at you, what do you want them to see?

In order to really live this mission statement,we have decided to concentrate on changing one thing a month that we feel needs changing in our lives. It may be something to move towards lowering our carbon foot print, to a health change or maybe even a spiritual change. Heaven knows we got issues and 12 months ain't gonna change them all, but by taking them one baby step at a time, maybe we will really make important changes..  

I challenge you to join us in the baby steps to change our lives. Each moth choose one thing that you would like to change in your home or life style.  It might be using only reusable grocery bags, changing to chemical free cleaners, changing to cloth diapers or giving up meat.  You make the choices on what you feel are the most important  things that you what to change. Through out the month work on your goal and then blog about it, and send me a link to you blog. Or add your comments here.  I look forward to hearing what you would like to change and how you do it.

Although it is almost April, I am adding my journals for the past few months so you can see how we have faired.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Baking Soda Betty


I love baking soda. Next to Windex (don't get me started on the Windex) and coconut oil, baking soda is one of my all time favorite household secrets. The ladies in my family are Queens of Clean and have taught me well.  We don't need no fancy cleaning products. Oh no! We just need a few simple normal house hold items and we can make your house sparkle.  Infact, my Mamo, she invinted oxy clean (not that Billy Mays guy) but back in her day, they called it dundundah..... baking soda!

So here's Mamo's Cleaner before there was the Oxy:
1.Take a box of baking soda
2. pour it in a pan
3.  bake it at 400 F or 204 C
4. keep it in an air tight container (keep it tight or air will get back in)
5. Use the same way you would the oxy stuff, as a stain soak (over night) or as a laundry booster. OR>>> for stubborn stains pour a little baking soda on the stain, add some soda water and rub.

Whaaalaaaa! There you have it. the secrete to keeping your jungle brights, bright and your whites, white!
Tell them you heard it from Baking Soda Betty =)

Queen of the Diaper Pail!

My baby's not even here yet and I can't believe how many diapers I have washed. Thank goodness DH,Google, bought me a beautiful new washing machine! For the past two years I washed clothes buy hand or with a laundry service.  Now I have a lovely washer and can do it on my own. (Can you feel the excitement?)
I thought I would share some Jungle Baby washing that you can do in your own home (even in the big city)

Washing diperliners:
 No more toilet swirling for me!  Her is my #1 Tip from Thailand. YOU NEED THIS!
Let me introduce you to what we lovingly call the "Butt Squirt"
So this little guy can be found in almost every bathroom in Thailand. We don't have a very good sewer system here, so you aren't suppose to flush TP. So the creative Thais installed these lovely things to there toilets. Think poor man's Bidet!   My dear friend told me when her Thai husband first went to Canada he asked why they had a but squirter in the kitchen sink!  ROTFLMAO!!!! I wonder if he envisioned us crazy white people with our bottoms over the sink????!!!!!
These are the greatest thing with diapers (or mommy's  monthly). It's so easy to install, even I can do it!  Her is a great easy tutorial for you folks over therefrom 3Strands

To clean your diapers, you just hold the poopy diaper or liner over the potty and give it a good squirt. for my diaper liners and cloth wipes, I keep a big bowl next to the toilet that I have added one small scoop of homemade oxi-like cleaner, you just toss the liner in there and let them soak over night. The diaper covers I Velcro closed and toss in the laundry basket if they aren't soiled, or simply add them to the soak bucket. 

The next morning while I am still in the shower, I dump the bucket in the shower and rinse them all out, (scrubbing if needed). Another thing we do is dump them in the bathtub water after I've taken a bath and use the water (earth friendly). After a nice rinse the liners hang out in the glorious Thai sun to  naturally bleach them and leave them smelling April fresh! Not that's not so hard!

How it all Started

So this whole Jungle Baby thing started with a simple diaper.  Or maybe lack of diapers. I knew right away that I didn't want to use disposables. Landfills, chemicals, not to mention the cost!  When "the Grown Ups" where babies Seattle (where they were born) was on this "No Disposables" kick. Which was OK, but not easy. My Dear Auntie Vi, taught me to fold the diapers, pin them one, swirl them in the toilet, then send them off to diper service. Not fun!

Fast forward to 2011.  Now we have these fancy newfangled all-in-one cloth diapers that take away all that hassle. Woopie! this is going to be so cool! Google and I set out to buy little pickles her own cutie poototie AIO just like on the internet.  That where the problem started. guess what? the don't sell AIO here. I did manage to find on brand in Rimping, but they were so crappy and cost 300 baht. (about 10$). AND Amazon won't ship to Thailand! (Are you feeling my pain now?)

so our cloth diaper making journey has began. After about 20 tries and five different  patterns, Goggle made our own lovely pattern, (he's quite the seamstress) and we have decided that we should open a little store and sell them so that others don't have to run around Thailand looking for a good diaper the way we did.

Jungle Baby Natural

Going "baby natural" was something I knew we had to do the moment I learned we were getting a baby. You see, we live in a jungle. Yes it's tropical and there are trees and monkeys and elephants, but it's not just a green jungle, it's a PLASTIC jungle. Everything here is made-from or wrapped in plastic. Sometimes three or four layers of plastic. Not only is it a jungle, but It's a chemical jungle. Everything is loaded down with what ever companies feel like putting in their products.

To make things worse, I don't speak the language. Everything is written is swirly-whirlly Thai and I have no idea what ingredients is in anything! Even familiar things may have an English name, like "Frosted Flakes". but unless it is imported, the ingredients and Thai.  We are able to get alot of imported stuff, like Seventh Generation, but it's three times what I'd pay back home. Just not in the budget, but there is no way I'm putting anything on Pickles that I don't know what it is.

Am I being crazy? Too Granola? Ober concerned?  I don't think so.  Last time I did this baby thing with "the Grown Ups" I used all the quick and easy stuff. Johnson's& Johnson's  was my pal. But I had babies with chronic ear infections, exema, asthma, colic, diaper rash, and a number of other illnesses. I'm not twenty years old now and I know, that even though I love the small of a J&J baby, I am not putting that stuff on Pickles tiny hiney!

You see three years ago I spent 16 days in the hospital here in beautiful Chiang Mai, with pestiside poisoning. My body got to the point where it just couldn't take any more of the crap that was being pumped in, slattered on, or inhaled. As beautiful as it it here, the fact of the matter is, there really are no "regulations". Just like the traffic lights, food regulations are a suggestion.  I am leary of everything now. If I can't read it, I'm not buying it.
So the need to create  my own Jungle Baby care has arisen. I am hoping here, through this blog to share, with others the lovely natural products that you can make yourself. Or, if you live in Thailand, direct you to things that have worked for me and that I trust. Hope you enjoy and use them.  Please let me know if you try my ideas and what you think!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Babe in the Woods / Evening Rituals


                                    “Peace begins on the changing table.” Ute Strub
I have always loved that quote by Ute Strub  Waldorf educator and child development expert.
As a natural parent the main thing I want for my baby is peace. But peace is not something you can teach a child, it is a feeling that it must get from it’s caretakers and from it’s environment. Every thing we do with a newborn can make or break that sense of peace and calmness.

In Waldorf-thinking, children come from the spirit world, where they have been cared for peacefully for by loving, gentle hands. They are tiny gifts from heaven and it is our job to continue that loving environment for them.

With this in mind, shouldn’t everything we do with our new baby be given the utmost thought? It can be very difficult in this fast paced, technology world to slow ourselves down and focus on one single task, giving it our 100% undivided attention, but our child is worth that attention.

Babies have four basic bodily senses; life, touch, movement and balance. We need to be aware of the senses as we prepare to care and nurture our baby. During feeding, bathing, and changing times speak calmly and quietly to your baby, using slow and considerate movement. Be aware of what you are doing and saying and give your baby the complete attention he needs to feel safe and secure.

So how do we begin this “changing table peace”? Establishing a rhythm to what you do each day creates security and peace for a baby. So lets begin with a bathing ritual.

Contrary to popular belief, babies don’t need daily bathing. They just don’t get that dirty and water and soap can be drying and irritating to baby’s skin. I start my bath ritual after the umbilical cord has fallen off and healed about every other day. Before that it is sponge baths on my lap, and Indian baby massage

For me personally I always end my day with a nice relaxing bath, so this is the time I feel is best for my babies. I think it is a wonderful relaxing way to end the day. It also helps to signal the brain to begin winding down and preparing for sleep. I can remember Zippy, who has severe ADHD, at 2 years floating in the warm tub totally relaxing, letting the cares of the world drain away. She actually couldn’t sleep without her night time bath. (my mother, Mimi and I are the same way!)

So, I have my bath ritual in the evening about an hour before the baby’s bedtime. It is important to begin preparing carefully for the experience before even touching the baby. Prepare yourself inwardly to give the baby your undivided attention. In an unhurried, loving and peaceful mindset, gather the things that you will need and preparing the bathing water,
Here is my ritual;
• First you need to select a bathing area. I like the kitchen sink personally, but in Thailand we do not have hot water in the kitchen, but we are fortunate to have a bathtub, so for Pickles it will be the tub. Where ever you choose, the room should be warm and draft-free and the lights should be low. Candles are nice if you like. I enjoy lavender candles in the bathroom, as it helps relax you.

• Turn off the phone so that you will not be tempted to leave baby unattended "just for a moment."

• Prepare “bath kit”. You will need:
  •  Two wash cloths
  • A mild soap( In Thailand I suggest Sabu Sabu Natural Body Care)
  • Cotton balls
  • A hooded towel
  •  Massage Oil ( I use virgin coconut oil)
  • Diapers
  • Clean clothes/ PJ’s
I like to keep these in a small basket beside the tub, all together and ready to go.
How I would LOVE to live in America so I could try these!

Wild Roots on Etsy!

 

When the bath is ready it is time to gather the baby. Announce yourself as you enter the room. Before you touch the baby speak in a tender, soft voice. As you gently lift the baby, tell her what you are doing, what is going to happen and what is going on around them.
I am not a baby tub fan. For myself I want to be in the tub with the baby. So for us, I believe what will work best is for mommy (or daddy) to be in the tub and for Daddy to gather the baby and gently pass her off to mommy.


Babies are often uncomfortable at the beginning of these rituals. They want their warm, secure feeling back. So, they often cry the first couple times. (The Grown-Ups never cried they all LOVED baths) If we handle them peacefully from the beginning they will begin to recognize the safety and joy and learn to rust us more and more. Soon, those cries should turn to happy gurgles.

After the bath, wrap the baby in a soft warm blanket and snuggle them close. (This will be our pass back to daddy) I like the idea of putting them in the sling for a few minutes to help them return to their safe “cocoon world” . Remember to continue talking to the baby quietly telling them what you are doing.

At the changing station, lovingly and thoughtfully apply oil to the baby’s skin, in a slow, gentle massage. I read somewhere an article comparing rubbing your baby with oil to the anointing with oil in the Biblical times. (still practiced in India and other parts of the world) This was a sacred ritual to show the love and gratitude of the practitioner to the recipient. (used all my big words in that one!)

Swaddle the baby or put them in their sleeping clothes and then take a few minutes to play quietly or sing to her. This will probably be our pass back to mommy time, so that baby can be nursed and lulled off to sleep.
Here is our Changing Station. No, it's not very Montessori (It should be on the floor) but, we have this beautiful cribs that friends brought from America that I wanted to use. And if you didn't know, I have MS so I don't trust myself standing up from the ground with the baby. I think this is a great solution. The crib isn't just sitting there empty and I don't have to worry about dropping Pickles on her little head!
These baskets hold the cute little cloth diapers I have made (20 small, 20 med , plus 4 NB and 3 larger ones) and the diaper liners. We have a bit of a problem with little tiny mice  (and bunnies)right now, I just keep making them!  The big pink pig is definitely NOT Montessori. That's Stick Pig, and he is the hero of the children s books I have been writing... so he gets to stay!


One final Thought....
Dr. Henning Kohler, A Steiner professional,teaches his patients that infants have a need for nourishing and warming acts of bodily care. He says : ”These acts must be done with a true inner participation.”
If we dedicate ourselves to these acts with an unhurried, patient foresight and a personal inner quiet, we are helping our baby become at home with their body and to fell trust and joy in the world and with the people around her.

And that’s all I got to say about that! =)

Jungle Baby

I have decided to write a small serious of baby raising info mostly for my husband. This is the first time he will really ever be around a baby, and as smart as he is, he don’t know nothing ‘bout birthin’ no babies.

My husband is a brainiac. My students (middle schoolers now ) nicknamed him “Google”. They figure, if you can’t find out about something call Mr. Chevy and he will know the answer. He is a plethora of useless knowledge, well not all useless, but he has stored in his brain millions of little tid-bits of information.

I love my husband and his big ol’ brain but it can be quit annoying at times. Try playing Scrabble with a man who has memorized the dictionary!( Last time I threw the board in to the ocean so I would never have to play again!) So, anyway, as much as he knows he has never been around babies, so he really has no clue. I figure he spends ¾ of his day glued to the computer, so maybe the best way to help him understand my ideas on baby raising, I should put it out there on the world -wide internets. Maybe this was he can connect with it easier =)

So I am going to be writing a series of “articles’ of what I believe is the best for baby. I am not an expert, although I have been a teacher for 25 years, so I think that counts for something. But, while I am not an expert, my ideas do come from theologies that have been researched and proven, mainly the teachings of Maria Montessori and Rudolf Steiner and from my experiences working with children and raising my own. Again, these are MY ideas, (most shared by many). Not everyone will agree with them. If you don’t your CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM is welcome, but this is a loving, peaceful blog, so no hatefulness please.

Namaste

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Not so Wordless Wednesday

Some days you just gotta speak out and this is one of those days. Our goal is to raise this new baby naturally and as holistically as possible. I know that this is Thailand and the standards and values are not the same, but some things really just piss me off! (sorry)

This morning while waiting at Chiang Mai Ram to see the baby Dr. the nurse came and told us we had to wait because the doctor was upstairs with a patient. Me, being nosy, decided to go see what was going on. If you are not from Thailand, let me explain that you can basically just walk in anywhere in the hospital. So, I go up to the Labor and Delivery floor. I noticed a man standing in front of the the nursery window so I went to go check it out. Behind the class, in this florescent lit, noisy room, was a plastic bed with a tiny baby girl, wearing nothing but a diaper and those baby boxing gloves. I began talking to the man and found out that this precious life was his new baby daughter. She was 1 hour old and he was waiting to hold her for the first time.WHAT!!!!!!!! I have to say I did a very good job keeping clam for this poor man's benefit, but I was outraged!

I continued talking with the man and found out that he had NOT been allowed in the delivery room and had not seen his wife for hours. and neither he, nor his wife had held the baby yet because the nurses said he couldn't. You got to be kidding me! I have heard horror stories about Ram, but we have tried to keep positive while looking for another hospital. This was it though. there was this tiny little spirit laying in a plastic tub basically in a room so bright it would give you a migraine, no blanket, no swaddling,nothing! Seeing her tiny feet and boxing gloved hands flailing around, I could only think of Alice in Wonderland, falling down the rabbit hole. This poor baby looked as if she was desperately trying to grasp something to stop the word from spinning.
A nurse came out and New Daddy asked if he could hold the baby. Her reply was no we are busy right now. Busy??? My husband would have flipped out!


With tears in my eyes, I made my way back to Google and Baby Mama and relayed the story to them. My husband right away wanted to walk out of the hospital, but we went through with the appointment.An hour later,as we were leaving the hospital, we went back up to see the baby one last time . Poor New Daddy was still standing in the window waiting to hold poor little Alice.

There is NO WAY IN HELL that our baby is going to be born in that hospital! I may be a crunchy granola foreigner, but please can't people see that there is something wrong here?????

Monday, March 14, 2011

Dragon Invasion!

Dragon Invasion!

In America I always know it’s spring by the lovely little lambs and calfs frolicking in the pastures. Here in Thailand it’s the birth of the lovely little LIZARDS! Living in the jungle you come to expect all kinds of creepy crawly things. I love creepy crawly… at a distance.

This week we have had a bit of an invasion by these lovely little dragons. It seems that my fairy garden is being dominated by this guy:


Meet Firedrake. In Thai he is called “king kah hua daeng” which means red-head lizard (creative huh?) He actually has a blue or green headsometimes.

He is the guardian of our newly formed fairy garden, in our beautiful new front yard. I suppose we should have asked his permission before renting out his hollow tree stump to the Fairies, because he’s a bit angry with me right now. As I sit out on the patio writing everyday he gets closer and closer and I thought we were going to be fast friends, but his mood has changed and he has started making this weird croaking noise at me. Yesterday we discovered why, when his wife Saphira and little son, Zhou Long (Little Dragon) appeared with him.. Now they all spend the day giving me their little beady dragon stares as if to say “Get your dumb magic tree and picnic set off our front lawn!”

Sorry guys I know what it’s like to have your home invaded for sure, because not only are the Firedrake family on the front lawn, and about 40 little ginkgos (geckos) in the house, but this horrible beast has moved INTO THE HOUSE!

I know your thinking “cute little Gecko.’ Cute Gecko my ass! Let me explain that this thing is called a Tokay (which I think is Thai for “big-ass lizard) and is about 20 inches nose to tail, and it hisses, and it poops the size of a cat! And if having that ugly thing lookin at you ain’t enough, it’s got 3 babies!

Every morning now I’m cleaning big cat size poops off my floor, and this morning it was on my YOGA MAT! That’s the last straw of course. Giecko Gecko and her family gotta go. I called some friends and they are going to come lasso her tomorrow (which should lead to some pretty good photos!) And yes, Thai’s do eat these things, but for the most part they believe that they posses spirits of people and are good luck. So it’s kinda bad juju if you eat one! So no, my friends are not going to eat them! Hopefully.

Spring just isn’t the same in the Jungle!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Jungle Fever

This morning I realized that I have a bad case of 'jungle fever". No, I'm not in love with a black man, although if Denzel came a knockin......
You see, back home in the states, you all suffer from Spring Fever, here in Thailand, we get "Jungle Fever" You know, that feeling of "OMG, I gotta get outta here or I'm gonna go crazy!"?

Anyway, for the past week or so I have been in a real funk. (Apologies to my poor hubby, IT) I have felt like a ticking time bomb ready to go off at any moment. And no one is safe from my wrath. I suppose this could be come from many places deep in my spirit, or maybe just below the surface, but where ever it's coming from, it sucks. Right now so many things are going on that my mind seems to be soaking it all in like a big sponge, a big sloppy soggy sponge, and seriously, if I don't wring it out soon, I just might flood the neighborhood!

As I gaze over my web friends lovely blogs, one after the other I see these beautiful photos of thawing snow, growing tulips, happy little birds and happy little clouds. so what's the problem you ask? I'll tell you what the problem is! It's hot! Dang hot! I'm sticky I'm sweaty, I'm too darn lazy to go out to the garden and I am really questioning whether giving up chemical deodorant was such a good idea. For the past month it has been gradually getting hotter and hotter. Here we are in March and it is in the 90's. You heard me the 90's!

I miss seasons. I miss Spring with is flowers and birds and baby lambs and chicks. You see hear in Thailand we have two seasons. Wet and Dry. From April to October it rains EVERY day. and then from November to March it's dry as a bone. But through the entire 12 months, it's hot! we range from 70-100 degrees the entire year. As much as I love the beautiful jungles of Thailand, I miss the Spring and Fall most of all. I'm Sick of the tropics! I have jungle fever!
So to cheer myself up, I have decided to share some photos of our beautiful jungle home with my friends.(If I can figure out how to ) And them I think I'll pursue though your photos of the winter storms just to remember that I am exactly where the Lord wants me to be.


Change is a Coming!

March 1, 2011    Chiang Mai, Thailand

Last week my BABY turned 18. I am now the mother or four fully grown human beings, with lives, and jobs, and college educations.  I could deal with the fact and except that I am heading toward "Grandma Ville" if it wasn't for the fact, that in a mere five weeks time, I am going to be the mother of a brand new baby girl.
Now don't get me wrong, I am OVER JOYED at being a mommy again, but holly crap, I'm going to be a mommy again!!!  For the past 7 years IT and I have been trying to adopt, first in China and now here in Thailand.  It has beena terrible journey fraught with tears and heart aches, one after the other.  We had finally given up and were planning our future (excepting the grandparent thing) when suddenly this new opportunity was laid upon us. We are so please and thankful that God has chosen us to be the parents of this precious life, but have I said ..holy crap, I'm going to be a mommy again???? I'm almost 43, going through "the change" and just became the director of not one, but two schools!
Funny, one week before finding out about the baby, I read the quote;
 Life belongs to the living, and he who lives must be prepared for changes.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe .
On a post-it sticky heart I wrote this quote, along with “change is coming”.  I promptly stuck these on my mirror and have been staring at them for the past 5 months. Boy! I had no idea! Change is coming. Big change. Once again I have been given the opportunity to mold a new life.

So many things I have learned since The Boy’s birth 23 years ago. Montessori, Waldorf, attachment parenting, spirituality ,homeschooling, whole foods, sustainability, gratitude…….. Can I really fit all these wonderful things into my world? Am I really going to be able to be a stay at home mom without missing my classroom?  Am I going to be able to keep up with a 2 year old? Will I survive ANOTHER teenage girl????

Sitting here in my little jungle, I can just exhale, make a wish and just remember the words of my oh-so-wise Baby Beans, “Just don’t screw this kid up Mom!”
 

Sunday, January 9, 2011

"The Good Wife" To Be or Not To Be????

Can I just say, I WANT to be a "Good Wife"?  I have read so many posts about this article originally ran in the 1955 Housekeeping Monthly. It goes like this......


* Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready, on time for his return. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospect of a good meal (especially his favorite dish) is part of the warm welcome needed.
* Prepare yourself. Take fifteen minutes to rest so you'll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people.
* Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it.
* Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives.
* Over the cooler months of the year you should prepare and light a fire for him to unwind by. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too. After all, catering to his personal comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.
* Be happy to see him.
* Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him.
* Listen to him. You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not one of them. Let him talk first - remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours.
* Make the evening his. Never complain if he comes home late or goes out to dinner or other places of entertainment without you. Instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure and his very real need to be at home and relax.
* Your goal: Try to make sure your home is a place of peace, order and tranquility where your husband can renew himself body and spirit.
* Don't complain if he's late home for dinner or even if he stays out all night. Count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through that day.
* Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or have him lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him.
* Don't ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment or integrity. Remember, he is the master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. You have no right to question him.
* A good wife always knows her place.


You HAVE to read all the controversy!  Good Golly Miss Molly, have we become an uptight , outspoken society or what???  Ladies PLEASE, is it really so bad that  they say a good wife knows her place? If you are a Christian girl, there is no arguing! God said it, we gotta do it.  Now, don't get me wrong there are things I am just not EVER going to do cut his nasty toe nails. But, my husband knows HIS place and would never ask me to do these things if he knows what's good for him..  But I do honestly want to be the wife that Housekeeping Monthly suggest we be.  And YO SHOULD TOO. At 43 35 years old I have been through a lot of relationships and have a lot of experience so I can tell you ladies, Christian or not, that the  key to a good marriage is learning to take a step back and try to acknowledge YOUR part in the relationship.  According to the book The Truth About Cheating:

"Ninety-two percent of men said it wasn't primarily about the sex. "The majority said it was an emotional disconnection, specifically a sense of feeling under appreciated. A lack of thoughtful gestures," Gary says. "Men are very emotional beings. They just don't look like that. Or they don't seem like that. Or they don't tell you that."


We have been raise as strong, independent bullheaded woman, which is good, but girls we need to understand that sometimes we imasculate our men.  Now Please, don't be a hater and yell at me because I am NOT saying to kiss your husbands a** or be a doormat. What I AM saying is that if you LOVE someone, you WANT to please them and to make them happy.  There is a balance, we just have to learn it.  Being a single mom for 12 years, I can be a bit of an over powering, know it all bitch. I am learn day by day to step down and let my husband take the lead as the head of the household. It's not always easy, not always fun. So sorry critics, by I am using The Good Wife as a reminder so I don't have to take the "Is your husband cheating" test.

For more fun Check out Roxanne and Haven of Home for her SUPER take on this too!