Monday, August 29, 2011

5 Billion Uses

I love coconut oil and I use it A LOT. Maybe not quite for 5 billion things, but I swear it can be used in so many different, healthy ways! You can find a variety of uses and health benefits in this blog. I can't confirm it works for all of these things, but I found this list quite interesting!

Currently, I use coconut oil mostly for cooking (super healthy - Thanks Kristine for introducing me to its foody greatness!) as well as for daily moisturizing. Yes, I most certainly lather straight up coconut oil all over my body! Now before you think "EWWW!" don't knock it 'til you try it! Contrary to what many might think, coconut oil goes on the skin quick and easy and you only need a small amount. The best part is that it leaves your skin feeling SILKY rather than oily -- I promise!! An added bonus is that your skin smells tropical (I prefer to pretent i'm on a private island drinking a margarita while being fanned by my own cabana boy). But seriously, I love this stuff. I also use it as my facial moisturizer. No breakouts. I keep a jar on the counter in my bathroom. Whole Foods sells it in a mason-style jar, so I just peeled the label off and now it looks like part of my bathroom decor! I paid only $6.99 for 14 oz. This jar will last you a loooong time. I love that I can dip into the same jar for a number of different reasons and that it's all natural. I can hardly believe all the crap that's in lotions and cosmetic nowadays. Yuck! Give coconut oil a try!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Ooh, we better wash that.

No caption needed, really. May I add that those are Aaron's favorite shorts? He wears them over and over again until I sneak them off the floor and wash them. Oh, I love boys.

And since we're on the topic of diapers, we're getting ready to test out some cloth ones. We've decided on the Ecobums. I hope we like them! We're still not sure if cloth diapering is for us, but how do you know unless you try? I'm already tired of spending so much moolah on disposables! Now that Case is almost 3 months and not pooping 10 times a day, it seems like the right time to enter the cloth world. I'll also be using bamboo wipes. Fingers crossed!

Sunday, August 14, 2011


We had such a scary event with Casey the other morning. We woke up early on Friday around 5:45 to him thrashing around in his bassinet. I quickly jumped to my feet and leaned over him to discover that he couldn't take a breath. I could hardly believe what I was seeing, but my adrenaline kicked in and I quickly picked him up (still in his swaddle blanket) and threw him face down on the bed. I had to pat his back for the longest approximate 10 seconds of my entire life until he finally took a big breath of air. Aaron and I were both absolutely stunned. I will never forget the look of terror on Casey's face. His eyes were almost popping out of his head and he had spit coming out of his mouth and mucous coming from both sides of his nose. To be honest, we both looked at each other afterwards and said, "Could he have just had a seizure?!" We just didn't know what to think. I felt like I had just ran a marathon, the way my heart was pounding!With tears still all over his face, Casey calmed down, looked at me and flashed the most adorable smile. It melted me and made me cry all at the same time. This mama was so scared! But it was almost like he was saying, "I'm OK, Mama!" I fed him and he fell back asleep for a bit and then I called the pediatricians office as soon as they opened. Looking back, I wish I would have just called the on-call doctor. They told me to go to the ER for some tests just to rule out anything serious. So we made the drive to the ER in Fairfax where they have a pediatric emergency room. I was pretty amazed. Everything was so pint-sized! I snapped a few pictures on my phone but I'm not sure I can upload them to the computer. The blood pressure cuff was so tiny and they even had me put an infant hospital gown on him. It was so precious and pitiful all at the same time. Casey was such a champ...all the doctors and nurses loved him and kept saying how cute and sweet he was. I couldn't agree more!! He only cried when they gave him an IV to draw blood. He was so, so good! Praise God all the tests came back normal. There were absolutely no signs pointing towards a seizure (no lethargy, muscle weakness, etc.) The final diagnosis is that he has an acid reflux problem, so he's now on an antibiotic. They say he most likely aspirated stomach acid into his lungs and had trouble clearing it. They also said he most likely would have eventually cleared it on his own. We're trying not to play the "what if" game. We can only hope and pray that it never happens again. It was absolutely terrifying.

We cuddle and squeeze and kiss our Case-Man all the time, but we hold him just a bit tighter after all that happened. We are so thankful for his health. He is our treasure! We are also thankful beyond words for all of the prayers from friends and family!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

How Do I Explain?

How do I explain just how much I love my boy? There are no words that do it justice. I don't get to style my hair or do my make-up much anymore. I rarely get a shower before noon and my body isn't nearly as "fit" as it used to be, but I'm happier than I've ever been. My entire heart and life are forever changed! I love you, Casey Lowell Meredith!

Friday, August 5, 2011


Each of us has one. My passion is quite possibly very different from your passion and that's ok. If you haven't already picked up on this over the years, my passion is for women who have had or are considering an abortion. Sometimes that means talking them through the decision before they make it and other times that means talking them through their decision afterwards. I prefer to call this my ministry because it's from the heart. For a while, I got paid to do this work. But it wasn't about the money. Honestly, I got paid very little.

When I first found myself in this ministry, I might have said it happened by "accident." To make a long story short, I found myself in a Planned Parenthood clinic in Washington DC. DC and Maryland have some of the most lax abortion regulations. The room was filled with young women of various minorities. Contrary to what a supporter of "choice" might think, I was not there to do research. Though it's important to note that poor communities are targeted by abortion clincs (and also leads to the question of: Do we seek to protect the poor or exploit the poor?) Rather, I was there for personal reasons. But for this particular post, that is neither here nor there. When I walked in, I was told it was a "termination only day." Initially this rolled off my back. But as I sat in the waiting room and watched these women be filed in and out for their abortions, I could hardly believe what I was seeing. I still ask myself, "Do I really live in a country that thinks it's just A-OK to kill babies?? This is a country that's supposed to protect women's rights. When you reach into her womb, you are violating her most sacred capability. And I'll be I watch this country in economic crisis, particularly with health care, I say with confidence that until we become a country that protects human life, those who are the most vulnerable - the poor, the hungry, the sick, etc. will never be protected by this government. Plain and simple. Let me make a comparison for just a moment....when we see images of starving children, do we just sit back and say, "Hey, we should just let them die. They'd be better off. At least their suffering would end." NO! We say, "What can I DO to help?!" But then why do we say when it comes to unplanned/undesired pregnancy, "Let's just end the life...this child shouldn't have to suffer." Well, I still say the same, "What can I do to help??"

After that morning in Planned Parenthood, that's exactly what I prayed and God answered in a mighty way. Just a few short months later, I entered into the pregnancy center ministry. Though I've taken a step back for a period of time to raise my son, I know without a doubt that my calling has not changed. If anything, the fire is feuled even more. Each time I look at my son...his perfectly he is completely unique and individual he is.....I know that life is a miracle.

There are many babies I know I will see one day in Heaven. One in particular, and a client I grew to love and have such a bond with, will forever stand out in my mind. This young woman's child at 10 weeks was the very first time I had ever witnessed life via an ultrasound. I was stunned. That sweet baby waved back and fourth at the screen. I could hardly believe my eyes. After many conversations and tears, this young woman made the decision to go ahead with an abortion at 14 weeks. I saw her afterwards and she was broken, yet she believed it was the only way. We had many conversations. I shared with her the greatest truth of forgiveness in Christ. A few weeks later, I got the most beautiful vision that I would one day see that little one in Heaven and know him or her by name. And there will come a day when I will be able to see that sweet face and say, "I saw you. I knew you. You are human." What a wonderful reunion that will be.

You see, it is not a choice to sit back and accept that 1 in 3 women has had an abortion and millions suffer from that decision with each passing day. It's a calling to do something about it.

Today I turned on the TV and the Dr. Phil show came on. I wouldn't normally watch this show...just not my thing. But today's show was different. It was about "secret regrets." One young woman came on the show to talk through her secret regret. The regret of abortion. I sat on the floor cuddling my Casey boy as I physically ached for her. Her pain was so real and raw. She was so honest and for that I have the utmost respect. She spoke on behalf of millions of silent women. She, like so many others, thought it was her only option. I was thankful for Dr. Phil's remarks to her. To be honest, I was a bit surprised. He provided her with long-term counseling and also suggested to her that "good could come out of it." He said, "perhaps one day you will work for a crisis hotline (maybe a little shout-out to pregnancy centers?!) and help another young woman in your same position. I think what I hate the most about the abortion issue is how its become so "political." Yuck. I hate that word. Once something becomes political, it's like rolling dice. Life is no longer an absolute, it's to be questioned...messed with. What the heck. I hate you, politics! The greatest tragedy of Roe v. Wade wasn't the legalization of abortion (though still terrible) it was the mind-set it created - Such that choosing to have an abortion is really no different than trying to decide what to eat for dinner. No. Big. Deal. I care enough about women's rights that I say it is a big deal. I care enough about women's "silent suffering" in the aftermath.

I am called.

I am so grateful that I am called to stand up for women, children and men (they suffer, too.) States don't require a married woman by law to inform her legal husband of an abortion. He never has a chance. So in an effort to give women more rights, we've stolen them from men. Selah.....Whenever there's a winner, there's always a loser.

I look forward to the many more women I will come to love through this calling. There is nothing greater than seeing a wounded person find healing. I thank God he has given me Casey as a reminder of the fire he's placed within me. I pray for this nation and the impact we have on the rest of the world. I pray we become a nation who values life. For from that comes true value for health, well-being and unconditional love.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Big Boy!

Our sweet Casey boy is two months today! I know I sound like every other new mom out there, but I truly can hardly believe how fast he's growing up. He's learning new things every day. Today we had his two-month check-up and he weighs 10 lbs. 11 oz! He's still only in the 15th percentile, but still growing steadily. He's also officially wearing 3 months clothing and can only wear a few outfits that are 0-3 months. He got a few vaccines today and it was a bit traumatizing...for ME that is! It just breaks my heart. He was super smiley and happy at the entire appointment and then - BAM - those darn shots! I may or may not have cried when I told Aaron about it after he got home from work. I'll give a run-down here of his likes and dislikes:


-His paci (Actually, this might belong in the "obsessed" category.) That'll be a fun habit to break!
-Being held
-Being sung to. His favorite is when I sing him a song that goes "Hey beautiful boy. Mommy loves you, she loves you. Most beautiful boy, in the whole wide world." It's supposed to be "girl" but of course I changed those lyrics. ;)
-Tummy sleeping. The pediatrician has warned me about this, but I only let him do it right now during naps. He's still a back sleeper at night until he can roll over sometime in the next two months.
-EATING! My goodness, this boy can eat. He nurses at least 7 times each day (and still at night...sigh....) and he scarfs it down in about 10 minutes. No messing around here.
-Standing - He's a very strong little guy!
-Being outside - He's not too fond of the stroller sometimes, but as soon as we get outside he's perfectly content.
-His Daddy! Case looooves Aaron. I know he loves me too, but right now I think it's because he knows I feed him! With Aaron, he just sits and stares at him, becomes calm as soon as Aaron holds him, and typically falls asleep too. However, he will not sleep for his mommy very often. Stinker.
-Skyping - I think he's fascinated by the colors and movement on the computer.
-Taking baths
-Swaddling arms out


-Sleeping on his back
-Having his diaper changed. I often say to him while he's screaming, "Really?? You don't want me to clean your poopy butt?!"
-Getting out of the bath. Hates. It.
-When I leave the room. He notices now!
-Swaddling arms in - This, I have to say, is the fault of the hospital. They said it was "better for his development" to have his arms out. Now I feel like calling them and inviting them over at 2 a.m. when my child has startled himself out of a deep sleep. GRRR.
-Napping (but only with his frustrated mama!)

He's now smiling a ton and starting to make noises when he smiles, too. I'm thinking we might get a laugh out of him very soon! He's definitely found his voice. He coos quite a bit and we, of course, think it's the darn cutest thing ever!

Aaron and I are having so much fun with this kid. Aaron always says, "I just love him!" whenever he's holding him. I couldn't agree more!