May the Fourth Trimester be With You…

What? You’ve never heard of the “Fourth Trimester“? Well, it’s a relatively new term I suppose, so I’ll let that slide for now.  Since you’re reading this post, I would like to give you a little insight on what it is, so you will be informed and understand.

The Fourth Trimester is basically the first 3 months after birth.  I will not be getting too technical here, because I’m no expert, but I do think it is important to know some basics.

First, babies don’t magically get used to their new environment when they’re born.  It just doesn’t happen folks.  So your baby is going from a warm, dark place where she was automatically fed nutrients she needed and had minimal changes from day to day, to… I mean, look around you!

Next, babies are developing at an amazingly fast rate in the womb, and that only continues on the outside!  Have you heard of the Wonder Weeks?  I recently purchased their app, but they do have a book as well.  Babies go through neurological developments, or “leaps” that can change their behavior from the norm.  The first couple of leaps are the most significant, and also happen within the first few months of life.  Pretty interesting stuff, if you ask me.

And lastly, the new mom.  There are so many changes that go on when a mama is pregnant, and they continue to change after the baby is born!  Body parts that were moved are trying to find their home again, hormones are changing from growing a baby to sustaining a baby with breast milk, and us moms are trying to adjust daily life that must now revolve around a new baby for a while.  It. Is. Tough.

Lack of sleep, food, bathroom breaks, and understanding are all things that the majority of moms have to deal with. We’re exhausted, and trying to figure out how to adjust just as much, if not more, as our babies!  Let us not forget us moms who have other family members as well.  Sure, they will also do some adjusting, but let’s face it, the moms do the most.  Even more, if baby blues or postpartum depression and/or anxiety arise, things can really get challenging!

So, what is one to do?  If you know of a new mom, or live with one, offer as much support as possible!  She will probably resist, because in this society it can be difficult to ask or help.  I know for me, I have a hard time accepting help!  But when I do, I never regret it.  So if you meet some resistance, maybe be more specific with your offer.  Even telling the new mom how you’re going to help would work wonders because I can almost guarantee that inside the mama is screaming for help!

If you are a mom, ask for help.  Let me say that again; ASK FOR HELP! You need it, and people are willing to give it, so just let it happen!  If you have the means, hire a postpartum doula.  This is something I wish I would have known about when my toddler was born because once my mom left and husband deployed, I had very little support.  Thank goodness for my oldest daughter, without her I don’t think I would have made it!

Another avenue to getting help is seeking out a therapist!  Even if your not feeling super depressed, it is really helpful to talk with someone who’s job is to listen!  I find that when I’m struggling with something, just talking about it with someone who is really listening can help me sort through it.

Okay, there you have it!  Some Fourth Trimester stuff to think about!

What other things can you think about that might make it on the Fourth Trimester timeline?

Thanks for reading!

Jenn

ps- checkout my Facebook Page here!

pps- stay tuned for some reviews of some products I’ve been trying out!!!

 

Shake Your Love; I Just Can’t Shake Your Love…

Well, wouldn’t you know that things are a changing again in my household?  My oldest have moved out, my husband has been working back at shore duty, and my youngest and I have developed somewhat of a routine in our day.  So I feel I have a bit more peace, and am also heading on a road to better health.

Speaking of health, and lets bring wellness into it, I have discovered a training course for something that I had not given much thought to before; becoming a Wellness Coach!  If you have been a reader of my blog since the beginning, you might remember that I had been studying to become a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner for a while.  It is still something I am interested in, however the program I wanted to do ended up doubling its tuition by the time I had the time to do it.  No matter at the time though, I had enough on my plate anyway, and was starting to enjoy being a stay at home mom, which has been a lifelong dream of mine!  I decided I would just focus on being a mom and wife for a while, and bask in the glory and chaos of it all.

In the meantime, I had come across another training program several days ago that caught my interest.  It was for becoming a Wellness Coach.  What the heck is a Wellness Coach?  Is it like a Health Coach?  I was curious, so I started to check it out by doing what I love to do, research!  Turns out, it is something I have been dreaming about doing for a while, and I didn’t even realize it.  It combines what I love to do, which is to help people, with what I love to study, which is nutrition, health, and overall wellness!  So it goes beyond just nutrition, but involves lifestyle and even spiritual health as well!  Oh my goodness, I am so excited!

It turns out the tuition for this program is less than the former program I was looking at, and involves so much more!  I feel really confident since I have already studied a lot of the material for the Nutritional Therapy Program, and I know I will continue to learn more in that area, so it makes so much sense to get all the additional training to really help people change their lives for the better.  I have even started my business plan!

So what about being a stay at home mama?  Well, the great thing about being a wellness coach is that with a good foundation, I will be able to work from home on my terms.  I am aware that it will take time to build a business, and will be getting training on that as well, but it is okay! You remember my posts on money?  My husband and I are in a pretty good place financially, and have a good financial plan in practice, so we are able to maintain a great lifestyle whether or not I am making an extra income.  It may take a while anyway to save up the tuition, but I am hopeful that we will be able to so in a timely manner.

So there you have it folks, the next step in my journey has begun.  I am so excited to see what God has in store for me in this season of my life!

Thanks for reading!

Jenn

Love Stinks, Yeah Yeah…

I mean, it can. Especially during those awkward puppy love preteen years when you sweat profusely just thinking about your crush whom you would someday have the guts to actually say hi to… On the last day of school, in eighth grade.  Or how about right after you’ve had a baby and you experience the extreme pit of despair that you hope and pray doesn’t cause your baby to not want to nurse. Or even worse, it becomes the smell your baby associates with her mommy! The horror!  In the ladder situation, I found myself searching again for something to help take care of the putridness that had taken up residence pitside.  I needed something without nasty chemicals, such as aluminum, that could save the noses in my home, but at the same time be ready made because mama didn’t have time to whip up a batch of the homemade stuff… Or maybe she just kept on forgetting.

Before I get to my solution, let me first explain why I don’t use conventional deodorant/antiperspirants.  The antiperspirants is an easy explanation; our bodies are meant to sweat.  (See, I did learn something in my 12 plus years of school!)  It’s our body’s way of cooling down, and who doesn’t wannabe more cool?

What about deodorants?  One word folks; chemicals.  Not just any chemicals, but icky ones.  For example, one of the more popular brands contains cyclopentasiloxane, which has been shown in studies to correlate with endocrine disruption, neurotoxicity, and even cancer (source). I looked it up on the FDA’s website, and couldn’t find any thing in the cosmetics search engine containing the word “cyclopentasiloxane”.  Well that gives me piece of mind… NOT.

How about added fragrances? Most or the brands I’ve looked up don’t list what makes up their “fragrance”.  How will I know if it will irritate my skin?  Could I be allergic?  Could someone in my family be allergic?

Speaking of family, I will have a toddler before too long.  Believe it or not, some toddlers find themselves getting into things they shouldn’t, despite all efforts by their parents to toddler-proof their home. Now, suppose my future toddler outsmarts a preventative mechanism and gets a hold of one of my anti-stink products?  Wouldn’t it be nice to not have to worry about my smartypants ingesting icky chemicals in the first place by not bringing them in my home?

So, since I no longer have much free time, I decided to try a few more pre-made options. Since I’m so picky about what I put on my body, my options of all natural/organic/affordable/crap free skincare are limited (see my post about making a change in skincare products here).  I had come across the Moody Sisters Natural Skincare line and decided to try out some of their products out.  I fell in love with their Sweet Pear Whipped Body Lotion, wanting to gnaw on my arms after applying it for the first time, and I decided to try out their deodorant line. The hope wasn’t that I would want to also gnaw off my armpits, though it would be funny to watch, but I needed something that would eliminate the stink.  It just so happens that what I found with the Moody Sister’s line were affordable options!  I currently use 3 different deodorant products.

Why spend the extra money for three different products?  First of all, the products work like they say they are going to.  I mean, that’s pretty important.  Second, the products are made with high quality skin loving ingredients that you can pronounce, and won’t need an internet search engine to figure out what they are.  Third, I can customize them to make them work how I need them. I have sensitive skin and I can’t use the baking soda formula every day, so I can use the baking soda free formula for most days.  If I am going to do something s little strenuous like vacuum, housework or work out, I can apply the powder deodorant on top for an extra layer of protection.  If I’m going to have a busy day full of running errands and such, I can use the regular cream formula.  The final reason, they just smell wonderful!!  I love the Dreamy Orange, and the baking soda free has a lovely light vanilla scent.  So as you can see, I’m not using all three products every day, so it is a sound investment.

Over all I have been pit stink free for several months now, and I am so happy to have found a solution to my smelly problem!

Thank you for reading my post today, folks!  I hope you have learned a little more about why it matters to pay attention to what we put on our bodies, and why it is just as important as what we put in our bodies.

Jenn

jennsjourneythroughlife.com

Mary Mary, Quite Contrary…

Well folks, we’ve finally done it: we’ve started a garden! It’s been a couple of months, so I thought I would share a few things we’ve learned so far.

We started this garden to save money for the most part. We like to eat pesticide/crappy additive free which can be expensive, and with our recent reduction of income, we continue to find ways to be most efficient with our money.

The garden started with my husband building a planter box in our backyard. It’s about 7 feet by 2ish feet, and about a foot deep. Then we lined the bottom to prevent burrowing animals from popping up in it and filled it with organic potting soil, organic compost, and organic vegetable plant food. Next it was time to choose what to plant.

I knew we should grow tomatoes for sure, but I didn’t know anything about what other veggies would grow well in our climate and in full sun. So I asked around to some local gardeners, and we decided to attempt cucumbers, peppers, and a couple of herbs.

Right away our tomatoes and cucumbers sprang up! In just a few weeks, we had some tiny little cukes starting to grow, and little green tomatoes. In just a few more weeks, our cucumber and tomato plants pretty much took over the planter box. Now a lady at one of the shops I bought some of the supplies at suggested square foot gardening, which is where you devide the box into square feet and put one plant per square. The would be great for plants that don’t try to take over the world. This being our first time, we had no idea. So the green peppers we tried to grow aren’t doing so well. We did plant some banana peppers, and those seem ok. Our chives are ok too, but our parsley is being chomped away by caterpillars. So we will be looking up natural ways to repel those guys tonight.

One of the things that surprised me was how many stinkin cucumbers we would have. Our first harvest we picked 12! And they were gigantic! We were able to harvest several more a few days later, and we get about 3 or 4 now about every 3 days. We ended up having to give some away because I’m not the biggest fan and my husband and youngest daughter can only eat so many each day.

Another not so pleasant surprise for me was that the tomatoes were grape tomatoes. Not a huge fan, but my husband and daughter can stay on top of those because we only get about 1 ripe a day. Not counting the ones animals eat. 🙂

We’ve used some of the parsley a few times and will hopefully use some again. I plan on using some chives very soon. My husband cannot wait for the banana peppers to be ready. All in all we are pleased with how everything has been turning out. We’re already starting to plan next year’s garden and my husband is planning on building a few more planter boxes, maybe even a greenhouse! So exciting.

So what kinds of things do you grow in your garden?

Thanks for reading today folks!

Jenn