Sleep…Who Needs It?!

As I sit here creating today’s post, i’m the usual messy hair, hoodie, no make-up and yoga pants. Frankly, I don’t have time for anything extending beyond that right now…and if I’m being honest, I’m too damn tired to care. I know I’m not the only mother out there whose little one has a wishy-washy sleep pattern… if you want to even venture to call it a pattern. From the moment we brought our bundle of joy home, she’s evaded sleep as much as she can…she laid the ground rules from day one on how she will sleep, when, where, and how long. I, being the new again mother at 31 let her makes the rules. Now I’m kicking my own ass for it.

I can’t begin to explain how i savor every hug, kiss, cuddle, smell, and move she makes. She is a blessing beyond words. BUT….if only she slept better. The first 6 months we tried the pack n play, carseat, crib, bassinet, nap nanny, co-sleeping, the list goes on. I nursed Jaycee for the first year, so co-sleeping often won out due to the convenience it created for nursing. At around 8 months old, I transitioned her to her crib and despite waking 2-3 times a night still she got the hang of it. I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. (hold your breath!) The nights started to get easier and the 2 a.m. crib parties slowly decreased.

Then we regress. Damn It i was almost successful… or so you think right?!

Right around her 1st Birthday, we went from a pleasant night of maybe 1 or at tops 2 very short wake up calls to up every couple hours. Not just up, but up, crying, didn’t want to be rocked, cuddled, held, nothing. So…we (as in I), gave up (yes i said i gave up, don’t judge) and once that first wake up call hit around midnight I just took her to bed with me and things calmed down. Back to waking up 2x a night now that we are in Mommy’s bed! Clearly not the best choice, but for the sake of my sanity and needing to look just a tad less zombie like… i made the choice!

So here we are… i have a fun loving, sweet, funny, and full of personality 16 month old. She goes to bed every night between 7 and 7:30. My attempts to keep her up later did not pan out well and she was miserable. So we keep the bedtime the same. Every night like clock-work around 6 or so, she will crawl up on my lap with her blanket and we will cuddle and watch Dora the Explorer and read books until around 7. During this time she usually drinks her cup of almond milk and her tummy is nice and full at bedtime. Come 7, we go to her room and rock and cuddle. Normally, she’s out within 15 minutes. I put her in her crib and she is peaceful as can be. Not to mention sweet looking as ever! Then you can set your watch… around midnight I hear her on the monitor saying “HI”…”Mommy”…”HI”, “HI”….”Mommy”…with an occasional “Peek-a-boo” in there. I usually don’t go in her room unless she starts crying…which within about ten minutes of starting her “HI” fun…the crying usually comes. I’m a sucker for crying! I can’t stand knowing she is in there crying and just laying in bed myself doing nothing about it. I feel like…Why would i NOT go in there and hold her or comfort her?? What would be my reason?? I don’t have one. It just makes me feel terrible. So even those nights when i say “OK..tonight I’m just going to let her cry a bit and see what happens”… I STILL find myself after about 1 minute going in and picking her up. I can’t stop myself. Now let me add, I’m not judging those that sleep train. Frankly, I’ve not ruled it out for myself at this point. I just struggle with making that decision.

I used to be able to go in there, pick her up and rock her for a few minutes and she’d go back to sleep. I’d put her in her crib and then she’d usually wake next around 5. Now…i go in and try that and as soon as i lay her down she’s a mess and crying and upset. So again, we end up going to my bed. Now i realize, I AM MY BIGGEST PROBLEM! I GET THAT! I have a very hard time letting her cry at night. However, I’ve read articles and other mom’s stories where they have sleep trained and it’s been a huge success. To counteract that, I’ve also read those same articles that rebut the effectiveness of sleep training that venture to discuss the “effects” it has on babies. So I’m torn! I’ve read a couple books, listened to parenting advice, and still I’m at a crossroad. I can survive on less sleep than i ever thought I could. I know that now. However, I’d love to sleep more if i was able. I’d love to sleep more if my sweet baby slept more too.

I realize this doesn’t last forever. That’s what i keep telling myself to get thru these long days and nights. I love my sweet baby more than words could express…. I know this is just “one of those things”.  I don’t get mad at her or yell or feel anger about it. She’s just a baby! But i do miss sleep. I just wonder if there’s any reasonable solution to help my baby sleep better. I am certain she’d be even happier if she slept better at night. We’d both be happier :)

So mama’s out there… what’s your experience and what method did you choose or not choose and why?? I would LOVE to hear your feedback on this topic!! Advice welcome too!!!

Letter to Madyson on Her 14th Birthday

collageTo my sweet Madyson,

As i begin to type this, i don’t comprehend how it can be 14 years since i held you for the first time. Today, 14 years ago, you made me a mother for the first time. As you have become older, you and I have shared many talks about how we had a bit of a rough start. But you also know despite any rough start we had as a duo, you have been such an inspiration and blessing from the moment you took your first breath. I remember holding you for the first time and hoping that I would not let you down, praying that I would make you proud as your mother. I looked forward to the life I had ahead as your mother… my heart swelled with an immense amount of love, a little bit of fear and an immeasurable amount of hope.

I remember bringing you home and fumbling my way through learning how to be a mother. Most of it comes naturally, but don’t let anyone fool you sweetheart, there was still a lot for this young mother to learn.

From day one you have been strong willed. Whether it’s been crying until I would come get you and cuddle you up in bed with me, using your sweet personality to talk me into going somewhere or buying something, or now as a 14 year old just turning on that charm you have to make this mother go weak in the knees. Did you know you could do that? Turn your mother to mush by just smiling or giving me a squeeze? Well you do!

I wish i could bottle up your light…yes your light! You have always been such a loving, kindhearted, compassionate and helpful kiddo. From the minute these characteristics were noticeable you have never been afraid to hide this side of you. I love that about you. I love that you always stay true to who you are. You aren’t afraid to cry in front of others or stand up for what you want. You are a gem my sweet girl…an absolute gem! The tears fall as i write these words knowing that these 14 years have flown by with such speed… when they say “don’t blink” while raising children, they really mean it! In 2 short years you will be driving and in 4 short  years you will heading off to college.

As you turn 14, if i could give you any bit of advice I would tell you this:

You will make mistakes. Don’t let those mistakes define you. Learn the lesson that was intended, brush yourself off and move forward.

Laugh often..laugh as often as you can. Life is full of hardships and things that may bring you down. Never pass up the opportunity for a laugh. Have fun and laugh hard!

You are entering high school this fall…remember that mean girls are just that. They are mean. Never, ever let that deter you. You are strong, willful, and kind. When someone is mean to you, don’t return that with more hate. Show your strong, willful and kind self…Lead by example!

Be yourself. God made you who you are sweetheart. Don’t ever aim to be like someone else. Embrace who you are …because that is beautiful! Be confident and always carry yourself with a smile.

Most importantly, please know that I will always be by your side. A mother’s love never waivers. Mine never will. It’s impossible to put into words the love i have for you. It can’t be measured or described. I will always love you, support you and be there to pick you up when you fall. You have my promise!

I am certain in the years ahead, we may not always see eye to eye. Despite any disagreements, my love will always remain. I’m sure at some point voices will be raised, doors will be slammed and tears will fall. It’s all part of the journey for both you and I. Regardless, i wouldn’t change it for anything…because at the end of the day I have you as my daughter. You really are the beat of my heart big girl. So lucky to have been chosen as your mother.

I love you with every part of who I am. Happy 14th Birthday my sweet girl… to many years ahead!

Love you to the moon and back…

Your mama!

This entry was posted in Big Kid.

Yes…I’m THAT Mom

It was just over a year ago, that we sat down with my then newly 13 year old daughter and discussed the rules of her creating her own Facebook page. Our rule had always been that she must wait until she was 13 and at that time we would allow her to have one…pending certain rules be followed. As we discussed the rules, I handed Mady a card from my rolodex. Looking at me with a puzzled face, we are asked “what’s this for?” That my dear, is for your username and password. This allowed us to set rules and boundaries and also make sure they were being followed by periodically logging in to check what’s going on. I was pleased that despite the puzzled look, Madyson created her page and provided us with the information without any hesitations. Yes…we are those parents. The ones that monitor every thing we can. Not everyone agrees with these steps. Some people think we are taking it too far…or invading their privacy. However, we feel it’s the best way to not only keep her safe, but also set expectations and ensure she is making wise choices. I realize we can’t control every little thing…but we can take these small steps to do what we can as parents. And let’s be honest…she’s a teenager living at home….privacy only goes so far.

It didn’t take long after her Facebook page went live for the friend count to pile up and the posts to begin. Not long after Facebook, she then was diving into the Instagram world as well. I’ve seen those “selfies” of girls my daughters age in the barely there clothing, bellies showing, bare skin visible and attitude prevalent. Believe it or not I was once a teenage girl myself. Yes, many, many years ago but still. I know how easy it is to fall into “what everyone else is doing”. If I have any influence on my kids, it will be to be who they are as individuals and pay no mind to what others are doing.

Now I will say that I’ve seen a few “duck face” selfies of Mady on her page….but they aren’t laced with an attitude that can be detected miles away or poor choice in attire. I don’t always understand photos of girls wearing clothes that are inappropriate (in my opinion) for the age. At 13 years old, aren’t the parents the ones shopping with or for the kids?? How does that happen??!!  Back to the “duck face”…Not necessarily a fan of the “duck face” but if that’s the extent of it for Mady then I think we have done pretty good so far!

Madyson has had her Facebook now for a full year. I’ve not had to dole out any punishments related to her use of Facebook or Instagram. So far, so good. She enters high school this fall, so I know things can change. We have some tough years of raising a daughter ahead of us. Don’t get me wrong…she’s a straight A student that’s involved in sports, dance, and cheerleading. But come on…kids will be kids. And whether they are 7, 13 or 18 they are still just kids.

Last night we had our first experience with seeing some “drama” or “hate” come across her Facebook page. Madyson had posted a photo the day of her birthday party saying she was “Ready to Party”. Someone then made rude comments to Mady’s post, then proceeded to post on her own page about Madyson. I will say this….When that Mama Bear instinct kicks in, it’s so hard not to want to act irrational. However, we simply blocked the other girl from Mady’s page and moved on from it. She will not…we will not…return hate with more hate.

I remember the pediatrician saying to me a year ago that teenagers brains take years to develop the part that gives them forethought. That’s why they sometimes don’t make the greatest choices. I’m going to assume that this was what led to the comments being made. It’s all I have to go on really. Even at 33 years old, i will never understand why kids think it is OK to treat each other so badly.

And now..on top of the typical “bad behavior” they also have social media outlets at their fingertips to extend that behavior. Even we as adults know how easy it can sometimes be, or tempting, to post something since it’s just via a keyboard. No face to face contact required, so no repercussions right? WRONG!!! Now if only all the kids and teens and yes some adults could realize that. Words hurt! Whether they are face to face or being read on a screen. Once said, you cant take them back. It’s a done deal. The impression has done been left and isn’t forgotten easily in most cases.

If we can teach our kids one thing about social media it should be to THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK! If you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, then you shouldn’t type it either. Being mean doesn’t make you better…it just makes you mean! I know there are a lot of good kids out there that make great choices….i personally know many of them that do. It can be done! It is possible to be wise in your decision making and avoid hurting others.

Now with all this being said, I’m not completely oblivious or looking through rose colored glasses. I know that my daughter too will learn hard lessons along the way. However, i’m hoping that by our rules and our teachings within our home she will be less susceptible to fall into those bad decisions. I must say, having my husband work in the school district adds another element to things as well. Madyson knows that no matter where she is at school, everyone knows her dad. She may not like this so much as she hits high school this fall, but it sure adds some relief to this mama!

Moms and Dad’s out there….being a parent is hard! It’s a 24 hour a day, 365 day a year job. You don’t get downtime. You are always a parent no matter where you are! You have to always be on your toes and ready. It may be hard on us and them now….but they will thank us later for always being there when it mattered! And it ALWAYS MATTERS!

Someone Please Tell Me It’s Normal…..

Today, I read a post from a friend about getting together this Friday night for a ladies night dinner at a local restaurant. Without much thought i replied saying i’d love to join them. Not much sooner after I hit enter, i find myself instantly plagued with a guilt of being away from my kids. Thinking I can’t go…there’s no way I can go because I don’t want to leave the kids long enough to go.

You see it’s like this. I work full time. My kids are either at school during the day or at the babysitter. When my work day is over, i literally can not wait to squeeze my kiddos. I can not wait to go pick up Jaycee and look up and see her toddling as quickly as she can towards me with a big smile and arms spread open. I count down the minutes during the day as i work to hear the school bus pulling in to drop Madyson off each day. This tells me its only a matter of minutes before she strolls in my office and says “Hi Mom!”. I long for these moments every single day. When i’m not with them I miss them. I wonder if they are being good, having fun, learning, and enjoying the day. When they are gone, I am not a whole person. They are the beat of my heart.

When i became a mother for the first time 14 years ago, I was a single mom. I will be the first to admit that I missed far too many things. I worked 3 jobs for a period of nearly 3 years. I literally am overcome with grief when i think about it. I can’t get that time back and it breaks my heart. Here I am now with a family, a home, stability, and support. It enables me to do so many things with and for my kids. Looking back on all of the things i missed years ago, makes me all that more committed to not missing out on anything now in their lives. I mean nothing. That’s where the mother’s guilt comes in at for me a lot.

I will attend every meeting, game, trip, conference and gathering i possibly can for my kids. It’s not optional. I want my kids to look back in 10 or 20 years and remember my presence in their lives.

As much as i adore my children, i do get frazzled. I’m a patient person when it comes to children and i find myself at times at the end of my rope. As i sit here and type this, my hair is a mess, i have no make-up on, haven’t showered since yesterday morning (hell who has time for that!?), and my socks don’t even match! I am my own Hot Mess! My poor husband gets to see me looking “nice” maybe once every week. And don’t read too far into the term “nice”…i simply mean I have on a bra, I’ve showered and my make-up is done. Take it or leave it! My good friend asked me once while i was still pregnant “You aren’t going to be one of those mom’s that never does herself up anymore after having a baby are you?” I of course was like “Oh gosh! No way!” Clearly…I lied! But when i say i don’t have time…i seriously mean i don’t have time! On my list of priorities, mommy is rock bottom. I’m not complaining…don’t get me wrong. I’m just saying I think this is fairly typical….. isn’t it??

When my kids come home at the end of my work day, the last thing i wanna do is be away from them to do “me” stuff. THAT is my struggle. How do you balance filling your heart to it’s capacity with your kids happiness (because that makes me happy too) and still find time for just you…..time to preserve your sanity and clear your mind? I’m serious mamas! I want to know! How do you do it and overcome the guilt from leaving your kids for an  hour or so?? The guilt is what typically convinces me “oh heck, i’ll just stay home”. I’m sure I’m not alone in this am I??

I know this struggle is personal, but I’d like to think….I guess I hope….that there are other mothers out there who feel the same pains that I do as a mother. I love my kids…it is absolutely immeasurable the love i have for them. Sometimes though, I think maybe if i did carve out more time to clear my head that I could be a better mother too them. The stress may not be as prevalent and perhaps I would be more relaxed as well.

I want to hear from all of you amazing mothers! Have you or Do you struggle with this too?? How do you cope with that guilt or overcome it??

Let’s remember…we are all in this together! I’m not an expert, i’m just learning as I go and doing my very best and leading with my heart! I look forward to your thoughts and feedback!

The Adventures (some Mis) of Raising a Teenage Daughter :)

I knew this day would come. The day that the phrase “the teenage years” really started to make sense to me. Now I will start by saying that we do have a pretty awesome and well-behaved 14 year old daughter. She’s a good kid! She participates in numerous school activities and maintains honor roll. However, the day’s of the teenage ‘tude have arrived. The days of door slamming, tears, teenage PMS, ridiculous arguments followed by more hugs and more tears have made their delightful way here.

For us, the year of being 13 has been pretty smooth. The changes were expected. I felt i was somewhat prepared even. Once she hit 13 her love of music became very prevalent. When we are in the car now she controls the radio, and most often the songs played are pop and hip hop. Mady will sit in the seat and sing every single word right along with them. Even the ones i can’t understand. I can sit upstairs in the living room and here her downstairs in her bedroom belting out the tunes to all the latest ballads. She loves music! I can handle a little music for the years ahead…hell i even like most of what she listens to.

However, music is just a blip on the teenage radar. There are bigger fish to fry especially for teenage girls. Has anyone ever confided in you how much fun teenage PMS is?? That’s because they’d be lying. I’ve learned that PMS is real folks, it exists. And it’s far worse in teenage girls than it is in 30-something women like myself. (My husband may disagree, but what does he know about PMS! Pssh!) I mean i knew the day would come…but seriously!

Just a couple days ago we were all up and getting ready for the day. The usual rush around the house get everyone clothed, fed, and out the door routine. My daughter strolls  upstairs in her yoga pants and t-shirt. I say “Is that what you plan to wear to school?’ I get (with a sigh) “Yes, mom! It’s ISAT (state testing) week at school and i want to be comfortable.” All my eyes are focused on is the fact that i can see her blue undies through her pink yoga pants, panty lines and all. The yoga pants are tight on her booty and I’m not a fan. So, i tell her to go downstairs and change her panties to some that may not be so noticeable. She is pissed obviously that she has to do this (the hair flip and eye roll gave it away), BUT she does it and comes back upstairs.

I’m standing in the kitchen eating my breakfast and she strolls past me. Again, my eyes target in on her booty. I see her underwear line still and the yoga pants are JUST TOO TIGHT! So i tell Mady that I’m sorry but she can’t wear them to school and she needs to change. Yes folks, that’s all i said. The dramatic sigh, “UGH, and “What, MOM! I don’t have any others to wear!” may have said otherwise. But that’s truly all i said. Following her clearly aggravated statement, i said “What about the black ones with the sequined waste your wore last night?’” I get “Seriously mom, I just wore those last night? They are DIRTY!” Now this is where i can’t help but to laugh out loud! Oh but touche’ my sweet teenage daughter! Dirt didn’t stop you from getting out the Magcon T-shirt out of the DIRTY CLOTHES PILE and wearing to school last week. Oh no…didn’t deter her one bit! But, how dare i suggest she wear the same yoga pants she wore around the house for a few hours the night before. How dare I do such a thing?! What kind of mom am i? I mean really??

Let me just tell you this folks, the days of my daughter thinking i was funny are over! What used to be funny is now just completely embarrassing. No more acting silly together. She’s too cool for that. She is a social butterfly and loves to hang out with her “BFF”. The last 3 shopping days (mom and daughter days), she declined to hang with her BFF. I am now chopped liver status.

Heck, it wasn’t THAT awful long ago she’d still crawl in my bed and watch TV with me. Not anymore. I can’t say i blame her though. She has some pretty awesome friends and she makes good decisions. If only we can overcome the teenage ‘tude we’d be doing great!

Now, i joke about the teen ‘tude we are experiencing these days, but i consider myself lucky. We do have a great girl. Despite these adolescent “hiccups”, we have a very well-rounded and loving daughter. The attitude, impatience and such just go along with the territory right now. I will continue to remind myself of the phrase “This too shall pass”. One day it will have passed and she will be an adult and on her own and I will be wishing for a slice of this time back. So i press forward and take it in stride. The moments that cause us grief and anxiety now are the ones we tend to look back on with lessons learned and fond memories of much later.

To all the other parents of teenagers out there….I wish you all the best of luck! Hang in there, never give up, and always remind your teen (even at their most un-lovable moment), how much you love them. Things will be forgotten years down the road, because they are just things. The love you gave your kids will not be!

This entry was posted in Big Kid.

Review: Graze.Com – Snacking Reinvented

As a frequent browser of my Instagram feed, I notice a lot of new and fun home-delivery “boxes” making their way to the mailboxes of my friends and followers. The boxes range from those catered to our babies and toddlers, make-up, mommy stuff and even snacks and food. I decided to have a little fun with these boxes as well and am going to try a few of them out and then review those for you. Based on my reviews you may or may not decide to try them out as well!

Today, I am going to start with the Graze box. I selected the Graze box or several reasons. Being as my first box was free, that was as good of a reason as any. However, in addition to a free starter box, they also offer these boxes at a very affordable rate of $6 per box shipped. The most appealing part of the Graze box for me was that it is a healthy option snack box. Don’t get me wrong, i would love nothing more than a snack box full of chips and chocolate…however, that would defeat my fitness and health goals! So…i stuck with healthy. Not only are the graze boxes healthy, but the packaging and inserts are all 100% recyclable. So healthy and earth friendly… bonus!

With the Graze delivery snack boxes you have two options. You can choose: Option A.) The Nibble Box – All healthy, low calorie snacks with a wider variety of options. OR  Option B.) The Calorie Counter Box – All still healthy options but with the least amount of calories ranging from 50-150 calories. Regardless of your choice, you only pay $6 per box shipped. You can opt to have the boxes delivered weekly, bi-weekly or more often if you prefer.

So let’s get started! I present to you my very first Graze box …

graze11

graze31As you can see, I have a lovely box full of snack options! From top left, clockwise we have: Cherry Fudge Sundae, Cracking Black Pepper Cashews, Summer Berry FlapJack and Herby Bread Basket. The fun part with these snacks, is that once you’ve sampled them, you can then go online to your account and rate them. If you don’t like it then you rate it “Trash” and you never have to worry about seeing that snack again. However, if it makes your taste buds dance, then rate it “Love” and it will be added to your list of favorites.

Cherry Fudge Sundae (brownie fudge bits, cherries, cherry raisins and almonds) 200 calories for the entire snack- Although i thought i would like this one…it ended up getting a “Trash” rating from me. I did not like the brownie bits at all! They were really just little bits of flavorless food. The cherries were too over-powering for my liking as well. I lasted one bite and it truly went to the trash! This one was a no-go for me! I promise you though…it gets better from here!

Cracking Black Pepper Cashews (black pepper cashews, roasted cashews and red skin peanuts) 200 calories for the entire snack – This was a WIN! I am a lover of nuts. Be it a cashew, almond, hazelnut, peanut, or otherwise. The Black Pepper Cashews have just the right amount of “bite” to them with the pepper..not too much, not too little! The other cashews and peanuts are fresh, crunchy and delish! LOVE this one!

Summer Berry Flapjack (Rustic Rolled Oat Flapjack with Berry Infused Cranberries) 230 calories for the entire snack — This was probably my favorite item in the box. I love oats and anything with the “granola bar” make to it. This was a home run! Chewy, not too sweet, full of flavor and just absolutely yummy! I rated this one as “LOVE” and hope to see these whole oats options in future boxes!

Herby Bread Basket (basil baguettes, garlic crostini & oregano rice crackers) 90 calories for the entire serving — I must admit this was a close running for my favorite. I love bread and croutons so i knew i would love this option…and i did! The Garlic Crostinis and Oregano Rice Crackers are to die for delish! If i would have gotten a box with 4 of these I would have been totally happy with that! This was a “LOVE” rating from me as well!

As you can see, overall, this box was GREAT! Had i paid the $6 for this box, i would have been more than happy with that purchase. I am looking forward for my next box to arrive in 2 weeks!!

Now…Wouldn’t you LOVE to try a Graze box too?! And…FOR FREE! Well, with the following code, you can get both your first box AND your 5th box for free! In addition to your getting the free boxes, for each person that signs up with the following code, Graze.com will donate $1 to charity. What’s not to love?!

So, go now and get your first box!! Please visit http://www.graze.com and get yours today! Use code: DAWNP3RZB

I hope you enjoy your healthy snack boxes as much as I am!!!

Until next time,

Dawn P.

How A House Water Filter Can Protect Your Family’s Health

1Consider the water you drink every day. Did you know it contains contaminants such as synthetic organic chemicals, biological parasites, by-products from the chlorination process, toxic heavy metals and an array of other harmful elements? The E.P.A. reports that there are over 2300 harmful cancer-causing agents in our drinking water, as reported by the Ralph Nader Research Group. This obviously raises the question of the necessity of a house water filter as a purification method for tap water.

Navigating the Bottled Water Minefield

Yet in our modern society, health and staying healthy is big business. Health is our national obsession and our attention has been turned to bottle water as a way of staying healthy. However, in itself the trend to use bottled water is not doing our health any real benefit. You see, research commissioned by a Swiss-based conservation group indicates that most bottled water is really only plain tap water quality.

And, to shed even further light on the case of bottled water and tap water, one has to keep in mind that as a developed society we use more than 80,000 toxic chemicals a day, with thousands more being developed each year. These chemicals ultimately stay in the water and are often not extractable in water treatment facilities. This is rather unfortunate as our water treatment technologies have basically remained the same for the past number of decades, depending on sand beds for partial purification and chlorine for removal of harmful bacteria.

Finding the Solution in a House Water Filter

The solution to this is of course a house water filter. Where, after water treatment, a vast range of toxic elements has remained in the water, a house water filter removes even these, leaving only the essential trace minerals behind. Statistics reveal that 75 years ago, when the environment was devoid of present-day chemicals, only 2 % of the American population got cancer. In today’s society that number has gone up to almost 1 out of every 3 individuals with 2 out of every 100 males and 1 out of every 8 women developing breast cancer. Of course not all cancers are directly linked to the water we drink but there is still a very strong relation.

House Water Filter: Good for your Health and your Wallet

Of course, there is the question of the cost of installation of these water systems. On the one hand, one has to admit that it would probably cost more than, say, a bottle of water. On the other hand, however, the long term effect is that money will be saved by replacing bottled water with the water run through a house water filter. This will not only benefit the financial situation of a household, but also the health. A house water filter is an option that can no longer be ignored and is fast spreading throughout the world as the healthier alternative not only to tap water, but to bottled water as well.

This entry was posted in Health.

Are you uncertain where to begin in determining the best Home Water Filter?

Watts-500032-5-Stage-Reverse-OsmosisThere are many factors that you must consider when you are looking for the best water filter for your home, such as cost, volume, placement, uses, and taste, plus many others. We’ve included a brief post to get you thinking and establishing a place to begin your search.

  • Complication and Use  . . . the Beginning Factors to Consider
    • If you don’t like the water coming into your home, you have to find some type of water filter to use.
    • What type you want depends on your water situation, but most don’t need anything overly complicated.
    • If you don’t mind your water for bathing, washing, and watering plants, you don’t have to get an entire complicated system. All you might need is something that will help keep your tap water filtered and tasting good.
  • How much Water are You Going To Filter Factor
    • When you buy a water filter for your entire home, you have to find a system that will attach to your water near the source.
    • That means that every drop that comes into your home will be filtered and you won’t have to give it much thought.
      • This type of water filter is more expensive though, and is probably not something you can hook up on your own.
      • You may need someone to do it.
      • Unfortunately, if you have ‘bad’ water this is something you need the most to purchase.
      • If you are just concerned about taste . . . this is something you don’t need to purchase, but can help eliminate bad tasting water.
  • The Where are You Going to Place the Water Filter Factor
    • Most like to have a simple water filter that they can have on sinks in the home. Otherwise, the water is fine for its other uses.
      • These can go on the tap.
      • One problem . . . they might take up too much room if you have a small sink.
      • To get around this, you can buy a water filter that will go into your refrigerator. This is all that most need.
      • You simply buy a special water pitcher that has the filter included. You fill it with water, and then allow it to sit in the fridge. When someone needs a drink, they simply take the water from there. It’s very simple and very easy to use.
  • You Need To Consider the Cost Factor
    • In considering the simple water pitcher . . .
      • The water filter contained in such a water pitcher usually needs to be changed once a month, or less often, depending on how much water passes through it.
      • These are average under ten dollars, so it is not too big of an expense.
      • It is far cheaper than buying bottled water all of the time, and much better for the environment.
  • The Factor of Convenience Needs to be Addressed
    • The water filter contained in such a water pitcher usually needs to be changed once a month, or less often, depending on how much water passes through it. These are average under ten dollars, so it is not too big of an expense.
    • It is far cheaper than buying bottled water all of the time, and much better for the environment.
      • - The water filter should be easy to change.
      • They should be found in most stores in case of emergency.
      • They should be purchased , in discount, online as well. You could even buy your pitcher and a supply of filters online, sometimes for much less than you would pay in a retail store for the same thing.
This entry was posted in Health.

Does caffeine cause dehydration?

Thinking & research conflicts on whether caffeine causes dehydration.

We discuss the issue, make recommendations & present a chart detailing the amount of caffeine in selected products at bottom of page.

One experiment showed that consuming caffeine did not lead to losing more urine and therefore doesn’t suggest a caffeine dehydration connection.

However, studies like this are examples of research that is not complete enough to draw conclusions. It simply leads to many other questions.

Do dehydration effects take longer than 4 – 6 hours?

What are dehydration effects for habitual coffee drinkers?

Maybe urine output remains stable but losing just a little, unmeasurable amount of water from cells, over time, may lead to chronic cell dehydration that cannot be measured in a short-term study.

Caffeine dehydration is worsened by adding chemicals, sugars, creamers.What’s the connection between tea & dehydration?

What if caffeinated drinks are combined with sweeteners and creamers? Etc.

Other studies do show caffeine dehydration link. They too do not definitively answer the question.

However, what scientists know about the role of caffeine on biological processes strongly suggests that cola, teas & coffee dehydrate, at least mildly.

Moreover, the lack of enough fluids in the body may make caffeine effects stronger.

This is not good as the following list on the effects of caffeine on the body suggests.

The effects of caffeine on the body

Caffeine has several harmful effects on the body. Some of those effects lead to health problems including dehydration. (In particular #s 3, 6 & 7 below may be cause or lead to dehydration.)

1)Caffeine reduces the hormone melatonin, needed for restful, deep sleep

2)Risk factor for low birth weight newborn

3)Decreases memory enzymes

4)Can damage DNA

5)May cause or worsen attention problems

6)May effect overall brain functioning

7)Caffeine stimulates central nervous system

8)Releases fatty acids that go into the blood system

9)Combined with artificial sweeteners, caffeinated drinks may combine bad effects of caffeine with bad effects of chemical sweeteners for a one – two wallop.

10)Constant, high caffeine intake may cause adrenal fatigue leading to chronic fatigue

Dr. Batmanghelidj suggested that cravings for caffeine signal a need for water. The cravings are learned behaviors where drinking is associated with drinking caffeinated drinks instead of water.

Try drinking primarily water with very few other beverages. You should soon notice that you start craving water like you used to crave coffee or cola. This is the craving that we should all feel but gets displaced onto other drinks. You might conclude that caffeine is bad, period. That’s not our conclusion.

Rather, respect the powerful effect that caffeine has on our bodies and use it strategically.

Examples, a few cups of coffee may break an asthma attack in a pinch. Caffeine may increase endurance if consumed in moderation an hour before exercise.

The problem is that if you are a heavy chronic user, are in poor shape & do not drink enough water, caffeine becomes an ever-present toxic rather than a useful supplement.

So drink a cup of Joe, or a few cups of tea high in antioxidants. Just make sure that your other lifestyle choices are healthy.


Caffeine Levels (in milligrams)

Coffee (10 oz.) brewed, drip, 230 mg

Coffee (10 oz.) instant, 130

Coffee (10 oz.) decaf, 5

Tea (10 oz, brewed), 80-120

Iced tea (12 oz), 70

Hot cocoa (8 oz), 5

Soft drink (12 oz) Coca Cola, 45

Pepsi Cola, 40

Dr. Pepper, 40

Diet Coca Cola/Pepsi Cola, 40-45

Mountain Dew, 55

This entry was posted in Health.

Alcohol & dehydration

Why they lead to serious illnesss

Prevent, treat symptoms of dehydration from alcohol

Add alcohol dehydration to the many symptoms of overuse of alcohol.

No need to list all of the effects of unhealthy consumption of alcohol. The physical & social tolls related to alcoholism is enormous.

We will outline the particular finding that alcohol causes dehydration and suggest easy ways to prevent, treat problem.

Alcoholics are dehydrated.

All of them.

Just a quick look and inventory of their health profile and symptoms suggest how alcoholism & dehydration are as connected as peanut butter & jelly.

Generally, alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it increases urination and flushes water from the body.

In part, alcohol dehydration results from increase in kidneys flushing water out of system.

Alcohol removes fluid from tissues it contacts.

Notice, for example, that cosmeticians use it to dry up pimples. It also dries up mucous membranes making respiration more difficult and leading to sore, raspy throat.

Alcohol also contains many toxins that require more water to help flush out

Alcohol also reduces our store of vitamins and minerals.

Dehydration caused by drinking drains potassium from the body, resulting in thirst, muscle cramps, dizziness and faintness.

Alcohol dehydration also leads to the body turning off its anti-dehydration processes in body.

This actually affects a basic, vital function of our bodies.

Finally, dehydration from alcohol, in particular dehydrates brains cells. This makes sense when we see how psychologically compromised alcoholics & drunks are.

Alcohol addiction

Alcohol addiction may come from dehydration of cells. This provokes more drinking of alcohol in a misguided attempt to hydrate.

But, of course hydrating with an alcoholic drink is impossible for 2 reasons: 1)It’s a diuretic & 2)You become drunk well before you can use even some of the water in the alcohol.

The felt need for alcohol resembles the hunger pangs of the failed dieter. They are both real needs for increased water that are misperceived.

Easy solution

Just drink more water.

Stay generally hydrated.

But especially, when having a few drinks, have a glass of water before starting & one glass of water per drink consumed.

At the end of a splurge, drink as much water as you can but be sure to add a multi-vitamin and multi-mineral to replace lost substances.

An electrolyte replacement drink may be helpful afterwards.

Finally, counter some of the toxins in alcohol by eliminating contaminants from your water. Purchase a good water filter locally or visit the Aquasana store through our link for a discount.

This entry was posted in Health.