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I know I’m way behind, but a few weeks ago I finally got around to watching the documentary Food, Inc. and my world was turned upside down. I guess a part of me always knew that I should really think about where the meat I buy was coming from, but when all was said and done, I was usually basing my purchases around what was on sale that week.

I’m a fan of buying organic food, but so many things are labeled “organic” without really being certified organic, so essentially, you end up buying peace of mind without really knowing the facts. And one fact I wasn’t aware of was how much of the meat in grocery stores are coming from places that bulk up their animals with corn, antibiotics and growth hormones (ever notice how much larger a brand-name chicken breast is in comparison to an organic one?).

Take beef, for example. Cows are created to be grass-fed. It’s what they’re biologically made to eat. But these corporations are bulking them up on corn because it makes them bigger faster and it’s just plain cheaper. However, by eating the corn, they’re more susceptible to bacteria such as E. Coli…which in turn, makes US more susceptible to it. How many meat recalls have you heard about over the years where peopled died? It’s SCARY.

What’s more, it turns out that if these cows were switched to a grass-fed diet, within days the E. Coli would be gone. Can you believe it?

I sat through this movie with my mouth on the floor. I felt so naive and foolish. Why hadn’t I been paying attention? Heck, why hadn’t I even questioned where my food came from?

That changed the very next day. I began reading the labels on the meat…seeing where it came from, how the animals were fed, looking for the official Certified Organic seal. Yes, it’s more expensive, but to me, it’s worth it. We don’t eat a lot of beef, but we sure eat a lot of chicken. And after seeing how Big Name Company chickens are raised…omigod. One day when we’re in a bigger home, I’d love to have an extra freezer where I can store locally harvested meat.

I had already made the change to organic in my produce after those scary spinach recalls, made a change in even our apple juice after the news broke that most of the “good” juice brands were importing apples from China and contained traces of lead. Now more than ever, being a mother has made me want to put the most pure food into our bodies as I can.

What else can we do? Buy local. Take advantage of farmer’s markets. Budget to be able to afford to highest quality in meats, dairy and produce. Sure, it might mean skipping some “extras” like the $4 cookies or something, but for me, it’s worth it.

If you haven’t seen Food, Inc., I recommend it whole heartedly. It changed my world, it might change yours too.

Might be the end of the day, but still posting :)

Happy weekend, all!

Love, Chunky Legs

I’d like to start off this post by making an announcement.

Today, not only did I shower, but I washed AND dried my hair. With product, even! Progress, people, progress.

It’s been a good day balance-wise so far. The O-man, who had been blessing us with 7-8.5 hour stretches of sleep the last week, decided to throw a curve ball at us and wake up at 11, then 3, then 4:30. Blaaah. At 3, I fed him, changed him and put him back in the crib. Since his sleep has been improving, he usually babbles to himself for a bit before falling back asleep.

Not this time. This time, he screamed bloody murder like I had just told him NO BOOBIES FOR YOU EVER and wriggled around like a fish. I did my best to soothe him, but when he refused to settle, I implemented the basics of our sleep training by saying goodnight, leaving the room and shutting the door. He continued on for five minutes, at which time Michael went in. He had better luck, as he has no boobs and therefore no milk, plus he hadn’t arrived home from work yet when O went to sleep, so he was both surprised and thrilled to see Daddy.

It didn’t settle him completely, but when Michael left the room (under the pretense that O would now be allowed to cry for about 10 minutes), he fussed for a bit before falling back asleep. Success! So you see, it’s not really a full-blown cry-it-out, it’s more, fuss for a bit and see if you can settle yourself, kiddo.

Sure, he was up about an hour later, at which point I brought him in bed with us because I didn’t think it would be fair to have him go through it again so soon after the last round, but then we all slept together till the blessed hour of 7 a.m. (I never, ever thought I would think 7 was sleeping in.)

Tougher night, but later sleep. Balance.

And.

AND.

As I type this, he’s napping. Without me lying next time him! We even had a coffee date this morning with a friend and her kids and there was no screaming in public. There was spitting up on Mama in public, but that’s ok.

(I might need to change my shirt, though. Spit up smells remarkably like old parmesan. Ick.)

I am so excited for this day. Know why? Because the first day of December means I can officially start Christmas-izing our house. While I admire those who get their tree up the day after Thanksgiving, that would never fly in my house because, here’s the truth: I married a Scrooge.

Ok, ok. He’s not a Scrooge in the sense that he steals canes from the elderly just to knock them down and bah humbugs at children caroling. But he is the type that starts to twitch when radio stations switch to Christmas music in November and the first holiday commercials start appearing on television. And if he had his way, we wouldn’t have a tree till much later in the month.

I, however, am the complete opposite. I have friends who text me the minute the hear the first notes of Christmas music on the radio because they know I love it. We have XM Radio in our cars and they have not one, but TWO all Christmas, all the time stations (“Holiday Traditions” for the old school Bing Crosby-type songs, and “Holly” for the modern covers and newer classics a la Mariah’s All I Want for Christmas is You and *N Sync’s Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays. [Stop laughing at me.]) Needless to say, Owen has been getting quite the holiday music education in the car.

I’m having company this weekend so the tree will have to wait until next week, but I am practically giddy about our baby’s first Christmas. Even if the only thing he appreciates this year is how delicious the wrapping paper tastes as he shoves it in his face.

The only thing that bums me out is that our house is so NOT holiday decoration friendly. We don’t have a porch or a fireplace, so my decorations are usually limited to candles in the windows and a wreath on the door. Classic, yes, but oh how I long for a mantle filled with evergreen boughs and classy, yet sparkly accents. Think Martha Stewart meets Real Simple. I’m actually thisclose to hanging a shelf over the television just to create a faux version of my vision. I wonder what my Scrooge would think of that…

Do you decorate for the holidays? Any ideas on how to make my vision come to life?

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