Thursday, December 31, 2009

Giveaways 12/31

Leslie Loves Veggies:
Pepto-Bismol Giveaway
Win Pepto-Bismol with Insta-Cool & a U.S. Commemorative Olympic Pin - 3 Winners Giveaway at Leslie Loves Veggies Ends 1/13/10

Chelsea Said So:
Flirty Aprons 24-hr. Giveaway
Win a Flirty Aprons apron - 24 hr. GiveawayGiveaway at Chelsea Said So Ends 9 AM CST  1/1/10

Simply Stacie:
Admiral Road Scarves Giveaway
Win a collection of scarves from Admiral Road Giveaway at Simply Stacie Ends 1/5/10

Aunt Sadie's Candles Giveaway
Win an assortment of 6 candles from Aunt Sadie's Giveaway at Simply Stacie Ends 1/5/10 

Taylor Joelle Designs Giveaway
Win a pair of  Sassy Tights in your choice of 0-6 months or 6-12 months Giveaway at Simply Stacie  Ends 1/6/10

Flattenme Personalized Children's Book Pack Giveaway
Win a Personalized Children's Book Pack from Flattenme.  Winner has choice of Fairy Gift Pack, Pirate Gift Pack or Baby Gift Pack (ARV $49.95).  Giveaway at Simply Stacie Ends 1/6/10

Seduced by a Rogue Book Giveaway
Win the book Seduced by a Rogue by Amanda Scott - 5 Winners Giveaway at Simply Stacie Ends 1/7/10


Storehouse Foods Giveaway
Win a $25 gift certificate from Storehouse Foods Giveaway at Simply Stacie Ends 1/10/10 

We Love Colors Tights Giveaway
Win MicroFiber tights in the winner's choice of style, size and color Giveaway at Simply Stacie  Ends 1/11/10

Nursing Mommy Necklaces Giveaway
Win an Earth Dangling Donut Necklace from Mommy Necklaces Giveaway at Simply Stacie Ends 1/11/10

Bailout! The Game Giveaway
Win Bailout! The Board Game & Card Game - 3 Winners Giveaway at Simply Stacie Ends 1/13/10


WEN Giveaway
Win the WEN Healthy Hair Care System - includes 12 oz WEN Cleansing Conditioner, 2 oz. WEN Styling Creme, 2oz. WEN Re Moist Intensive Hair Repair Mask, 10g WEN Texture Balm and WEN Wide Tooth Shower Comb {ARV $29.95}Giveaway at Simply Stacie Ends 1/13/10

Moby Wrap Giveaway
Win a Moby Wrap Giveaway at Simply Stacie  Ends 1/14/10 

Flying Home Tomorrow!

We're leaving CA tomorrow for Houston and home.  I'm sad to leave my inlaws this time around, mainly because Tessa is so attached to her Tee Tee (grandma).  But it will be good to get home too and I hope the airport isn't too horrible with extra security.  Since 9/11, flying is so stressful to me with all the extra security restrictions and checks.  I just can't wait to be done with the traveling.  It's no fun to fly with a toddler either.  Flying out here with Tessa was harder than I'd thought it would be.  Thank goodness I was still breastfeeding, because finally, I nursed her on the plane and she fell asleep nursing, and both DH and I got a break.

Anyway, I hope 2010 is a much better year than 2009 for us.  Last year was rough.  I was diagnosed with vitamin B-6 toxicity in June (caused by my multi-vitamin, who the heck knew there could be a problem having TOO much B6 in your system).  I have been dealing with those symptoms (tingling in extremities, numbness, fluid retention off & on since 2005.  It's good to have a diagnosis, but the only treatment is to cease taking B6 and hope eventually the symptoms lessen and go away. There is some controversy whether the nerves ever fully recover from the damage though unquestionably, I definitely am less fatigued since stopping my multi-vitamin.  Around Halloween, my husband was laid off, and he hasn't had anything but rejections since then and not one interested interview.  Hopefully, it's just the holiidays and things pick up after Christmas.

As far as New Year's Resolutions, I hope to get more into weight lifting again at the gym (I was doing well with it until DH lost his job).  Without the weight lifting, I eat less and keep lose a little weight.  I still do have to admit I'm not 100% recovered from exercisee compulsion, though it IS much better.  I do still have to exercise 5-6 days a week and have a hard time when I skip the gym for whatever reason.  Even while visiting the inlaws, I have a temporary pass to the local YMCA so I can work out.  At least I do less intense exercise now, but it is still hard on me to skip it completely.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Giveaways at Sweeps4Bloggers

 I, Alex Cross Audiobook Giveaway
Win the I, Alex Cross Audiobook by James Patterson - 3 Winners Giveaway at Sweeps4Bloggers Ends 12/30

Lindsay Phillips Ballet Flats Giveaway
Win Lindsay Phillips Ballet Flats - Winner Chooses Color of Shoes & Snaps {ARV $76}Giveaway at Sweeps4Bloggers Ends 12/30

Funky Monkey Fruit Snacks Giveaway
Win Funky Monkey Fruit Snacks {ARV $18} Giveaway at Sweeps4Bloggers Ends 12/31  

Win Exit Music by Ian Rankin
Win the book Exit Music by Ian Rankin {ARV $7.99}- 5 Winners Giveaway at Sweeps4Bloggers Ends 12/31  

Pamela's Products Giveaway
Win a Pamela's Products Prize Package including Brownie Mix, Cake Mix and Chocolate Chip Cookies {ARV $15Giveaway at Sweeps4Bloggers Ends 12/31

Seventh Generation Healthy Home Kit Giveaway
Win a Seventh Generation Healthy Home Kit {ARV $38.99}Giveaway at Sweeps4Bloggers  Ends 1/1/10

Yu-Be Japanese Skin Care Giveaway
Win a Yu-Be Japanes Skin Care Premium Gift Set {ARV $95}Giveaway at Sweeps4Bloggers Ends 1/1/10

Cleaving by Julie Powell Audio Book Giveaway
Win the Audio Book Cleaving by Julie Powell {ARV $29.98}-3 Winners Giveaway at Sweeps4Bloggers  Ends 1/1/10  

Tropical Traditions Soap Giveaway
Win a Tropical Traditions Coconut Soap Set {ARV $16}Giveaway at Sweeps4Bloggers Ends 1/2/10  

Tillen Farms Pickled Veggies Giveaway
Win Pickled Asparagus & Hot & Spicy Beans from Tillen Farms {ARV $14}- 3 Winners Giveaway at Sweeps4Bloggers  Ends 1/2/10  

Beatrice & Blossom Book Giveaway
Win the book Beatrice and Blossom by Amanda Lorenzo {ARV $12.95}Giveaway at Sweeps4Bloggers Ends 1/2/10

Charitable Creations Jewelry $25 Gift Certificate Giveaway
Win a $25 gift certificate from Charitable Creations Jewelry Giveaway at Sweeps4Bloggers Ends 1/3/10

ONE Natural Beverages Giveaway
Win a ONE Natural Beverages Prize Pack containing 3 Cases of ONE Natural Drinks, a shirt and a hat {ARV $100}- 2 Winners Giveaway at Sweeps4Bloggers Ends 1/3/10

Grounds for Change Coffee Giveaway
Win a Grounds for Change 3 Pack Coffee Gift Set {ARV $19.95}Giveaway at Sweeps4Bloggers  Ends 1/3/10

Michael Season's Snack Package Giveaway
Win a Michael Season’s Lunch Tote with 100 Calorie Baked Snacks – Potato Crisps, Cheese Puffs, Cheese Curls & Multigrain chips {ARV $15} - 2 Winners Giveaway at Sweeps4Bloggers  Ends 1/4/10

The Best of Bob the Builder DVD Giveaway
Win The Best of Bob the Builder DVD {ARV $14.98} - 2 Winners Giveaway at Sweeps4Bloggers Ends 1/8/10 

Teddy Delivery Giveaway
Win a teddy bear, chocolate & sterling necklace from Teddy Bear Delivery {ARV $61.98}Giveaway at Sweeps4Bloggers  Ends 1/9/10

The Paris Vendetta by Steve Berry Giveaway 
Win the book The Paris Vendetta by Steve Berry {ARV $26}Giveaway at Sweeps4Bloggers Ends 1/9/10

Watchlist Serial Thrillers Book Giveaway
Win the book Watchlist: Two Serial Thrillers in One Book based on an idea by Jeffrey Deaver Giveaway at Sweeps4Bloggers Ends 1/9/10

Why does it always rain when I get my hair done?

We will soon be flying back home to Texas, but today, I went to the salon and got my hair done as part of my Christmas gift from MIL.  I was really self-conscious about it as the roots had grown out so much.  I got highlights and a cut and it turned out pretty good.  Later, I will try to upload some before & after pictures.  Unfortunately, today is one of the few days when it actually rains in So. Cal.  Of course, it would rain when I get my hair done!

Today, I NIP'ed (nursed in public) with Tessa for the first time in a long time (not counting our plane ride out to CA, where I nursed her too).  She just doesn't ask for "boobies" that much when we're out and about and interesting things are happening.  But she was overtired today, and we were eating a late lunch and she asked to nurse at the restaurant, so I did (we were in a booth anyway, so it was pretty discreet).  I never have been one to use a covering when NIP, mostly because Tessa won't tolerate it.  I haven't gotten any comments yet, but I've gotten looks several times.  Probably I would get more comments if people realized Tessa was already 2, but since she still doesn't have much hair, she is often mistaken for being younger than she really is.

As I said before, my plan is to let Tessa self-wean, but sometimes it feels  like this child will never wean!  I know when it does happen it will be bittersweet for me since breastfeeding has been a wonderful  & special part of my relationship with Tessa.

Some fun contests

The Shawl Shop Giveaway
Win a Charlotte Scarf (winner's choice of color) from The Shawl Shop Giveaway at Leslie Loves Veggies Ends 12/31

Sonic Alert Alarm Clock Giveaway
Win a Sonic Alert  Alarm Clock with AM/FM radio & Super Shaker Giveaway at Leslie Loves Veggies Ends 1/2

The Happy Company Relaxation Neck Wrap Giveaway
Win a  Relaxation Neck Wrap {$20 value} from The Happy Company Giveaway at Leslie Loves Veggies Ends 1/2

Zebra Pen Giveaway
Win a Zebra Pen Eco Prize Pack Giveaway at Leslie Loves Veggies - 3 Winners, Ends 1/3 includes:
  • Jimnie Retractable Ball Point Pen
  • Mechanical Pencil
  • Sarasa Clip Retractable Gel PenZebrite
  • Double-Ended Highlighter
  • Clip-On Retractable 3-Color Pen
Giveaway at Leslie Loves Veggies - 3 Winners, Ends 1/3
Yu-Be Moisturizing Skin Cream Giveaway
Win a Yu-Be Original Gift Set {$35 value}Giveaway at Leslie Loves Veggies  Ends 1/3

Honey Wafer Baking Company Giveaway
Win a mixed case of 24 Honey Wafer Thins from the Honey Wafer Baking Company {$39.99 value}Giveaway at Leslie Loves Veggies Ends 1/4

SeaPak Shrimp - Free Product Giveaway
Win a coupon for a FREE SeaPak Shrimp product Giveaway at Leslie Loves Veggies Ends 1/5 

Zola Immunity Prize Package Giveaway
Win a Prize Package that will include a 32 Bottle of Daily Wellness Shot, an Immunity smoothie along with a Project Zola bracelet. {$38 Value}Giveaway at Leslie Loves Veggies  Ends 1/5

Show Your Soul Tee Shirt Giveaway
Win a Show Your Soul Tee Shirt {winner's choice}, approx. value $33.95 Giveaway at Leslie Loves Veggies  Ends 1/8

Farm Rich Snacks & Appetizers Giveaway
Win a coupon for a free Farm Rich Snacks & Appetizer product Giveaway at Leslie Loves Veggies Ends 1/12

Good Belly Probiotic Drink Giveaway
Win 2 FREE product coupons for Good Belly Probiotics Drinks - 3 Winners Giveaway at Leslie Loves Veggies Ends 1/12

OOBA Sparkling Hibiscus Drink Giveaway
Win an OOBA Sparkling Hibiscus Prize Package that includes 3 mixed bottles of OOBA and a T-shirt Giveaway at Leslie Loves Veggies Ends 1/13  

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

When Husbands Don't Understand - Anxiety & Social Anxiety

Right now, we are with my inlaws in Southern California on an extended holiday trip (we bought the plane tickets before my husband was laid off from work).  Luckily, I do get along with my inlaws, but nevertheless, it is stressful, not being in my own house (and goodness knows, if DH doesn't find a job soon, this could become a semi-permanent arrangement for us).

DH still has plenty of old friends here from when he was in high school & college.  I did not grow up anywhere near here.  I'm from the Houston, TX area, and the only people I really know here are my inlaws and my sister-in-law and her husband.  I was flabbergasted today when, instead of going to get my hair done (MIL promised it as part of my Christmas gift), as I had thought, DH told me he had told his friends we'd all go to a get together at one of their houses this afternoon.

I have bad issues with anxiety and social anxiety.  I've never been good in social situations.  I remember feeling different at not at ease with others even back when I was as young as in first grade.  To give him credit, my husband tries to understand but he just doesn't realizee that for me it's physical too--headaches, upset stomach, etc.  I just don't think he grasps the magnitude of this situation for me and that it takes me a giant effort many times to even get together with people I know, much less people I don't know and have nothing in common with other than my husband and the fact that some of us are moms (but their kids are older than Tessa, 5 or 6 years old.  The wives all know each other well as they all socialize.  Every time we come out here, I feel just completely out of the loop.  I have nothing to talk about--I'm a SAHM, I don't have a career, I don't know the places or the people they talk about.

Well, it finally ended up that DH guilted me into going because I didn't want to embarrass him being the only wife not in attendance.  It turned out OK, I guess, but I was glad to leave.  Mostly I stuck with Tessa, especially since the daughter of the people who owned the home had a zillion itty bitty toys spread all over the house.  I thought Tessa was spoiled, but this child had so many toys and all of them scattered everywhere! Mostly Tessa is good about not putting small things in her mouth, but she can't always be trusted.

But still, the whole situation today took a big emotional toll on me and left me exhausted.  Especially when you start out the day thinking you're getting a haircut & badly needed highlights and end up having to attend a social function, which is always one of your least favorite things to do and you weren't prepared for that at all.  I really wish I weren't this way and I've tried and tried to change it, but I still just have issues with the whole social making friends bit, and I hate it.

Some fun stuff...

South of France Prize Giveaway

Go to Leslie Loves Veggies to enter - Prize package from South of France® will include a bar soap, liquid soap and a lotion or body wash.

Dot's Brittle Kitchen Giveaway

Dot's Brittle Kitchen 1 Half Pound Bags of Brittle, Winners Choice Giveaway at Leslie Loves Veggies Ends 12/30

Serene Bath & Body Giveaway
Win a Serene Bath & Body 6 Month Soap of the Month Prize {$48 dollar value} - 3 Winners Giveaway at Leslie Loves Veggies  Ends 1/7

101 Things to Do with Meatballs Book Giveaway
Win the Cookbook 101 Things to Do with Meatballs {$9.99 value}Giveaway at Leslie Loves Veggies Ends 1/8

YogaVive Yogachips Giveaway
Win 5 boxes of YogaVive Yogachips ~ Organic Flavored Dried Apple Chips {$21 value} ~ 3 Winners Giveaway at Leslie Loves Veggies  Ends 1/9

Book Giveaway: The Complete Idiot's Guide to Dairy-Free Eating
Win The Complete Idiot's Guide to Dairy-Free Eating {$16.95 value}Giveaway at Leslie Loves Veggies Ends 1/9

Sophia's Gourmet Dressings Giveaway
Win a full-sized bottle of each of Sophia's Gourmet Dressings {$27.99 value}Giveaway at Leslie Loves Veggies  Ends 1/10

Book Giveaway: Add More -ing to Your Life
Win Add More -ing to Your Life: A Hip Guide to Happiness, 3 winners Giveaway at Leslie Loves Veggies 
Ends 1/11

Handbag Heaven Giveaway
Win a handbag from Handbag Heaven {up to $75 value}, Winner's Choice Giveaway at Leslie Loves Veggies Ends 1/11

An intro

My name is Cheryl Bradley.  I'm 32 years old and live in Texas.  I have a beautiful 2 year old daughter, Tessa, and have been married for 5 years to my husband.  Since she was born in Dec. 2007, I have been breastfeeding Tessa, and she is still nursing today at 2.  While extended breastfeeding is not common in the U.S., the WHO actually recommends that moms breastfeed for a minimum of 2 years.  My plan now is to let Tessa self-wean when she is ready.  I had no major issues with breastfeeding my daughter such as problems with sore nipples or latch issues, but even so, in the beginning, I thought there was no way I'd make it 2 months, much less 2 years.  I am SO proud of us for making it to our 2 year breastfeeding anniversary.  But I do hate that the majority of the people in the U.S. seem to view extended breastfeeding as "weird".

If you know me from other sites, you'd know I also have dealt with postpartum depression (PPD) and anxiety & panic disorder and years ago now, an eating disorder (anorexia and compulsive exercise) while I was in college.  At my worst, I did weigh around 80 lb.  I am 5'4" tall so that was very underweight.  The ED is more or less under control now and my weight has been stable for years, ranging from around 105-115 lb. (when I wasn't pregnant).  I don't know that I'll ever be 100% free of the ED thoughts, but I do much better with them, and behavior-wise, I'd consider myself recovered from the ED for around 8 years now.  The anxiety and panic issue as well as the PPD is another matter, though.  Currently, I take Cymbalta and Xanax as needed for panic attacks & the depression and Trazodone for sleep.

Shortly before Halloween, my husband was laid off from his job (financial problems at his company).  He is a Ph.D. physical chemist, and despite the fact that he earned his Ph.D. at Rice University in Houston under a Nobel Prize winning professor (Dr. Rick Smalley, now deceased), he has a hard time finding work.  He contracted for Johnson Space Center (JSC) for awhile, but cutbacks at NASA forced a lay off there as well.  I don't know what we're going to do this time, with a toddler.  We may have to move in with my inlaws in Southern California if he doesn't find a job soon.  I have a master's degree in microbiology from the University of Houston but have been out of the work force some years and am currently a SAHM, so the only income we have right now is his unemployment and money we can beg off his folks.  I really hate this limbo state of affairs, and it's not doing my anxiety disorder any good, that's for sure!

I'm not sure exactly what this blog is going to be like--a little about parenting, about breastfeeding, mental health issues, current happenings in my life, whatever strikes my fancy.