Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Thank you

I woke up to what I thought was the usual banter of djs on my clock radio, but I hit snooze before I could hear what they were actually saying.  Fast forward nine minutes, and this time when the alarm went off, I caught the words Airplane, and World Trade Center, and Unknown.

Strange, I thought.

I pulled out of sleep enough to really hear what was being said.

Then I launched out of bed and grabbed the TV remote, and turned it on just in time to see plane 2 hit.

Now I was hearing the words Attack, and Terrorism.

And War.

The phone rang, and I knew right away that it would be Todd (that's Mr. T, in case you hadn't heard).  You see, he had left the day before for Asia, on one of his many work trips.  He was in Japan, with no English news, and the wife of his friend translating newscasts and giving him updates in her very limited english.  He was hearing about unknown numbers of planes still in the air, of rumors of planes heading for the West Coast.  And did I mention that we lived two cities over from a nuclear power plant?  To say he was not happy is an understatement.  He was terrified.

As I told him what I knew, a plane hit the pentagon.  I was sick.

My brother-in-law called in a panic.  The last time he had talked to Todd was a week before.  Todd had been changing subway trains.  In the subway station below the World Trade Center.  His brother had no idea if he was home, or still in NYC, or on a plane.

My family was so lucky.  We lost no one personally that day.  But our country lost so much, and we all feel it.

I can't speak for everyone.  I can only say that we in my household will never, ever forget.  And we will never stop thanking every firefighter, paramedic, police officer, and military member that we see.  We do, you know.  Thank them when we see them.  And we teach our kids that freedom isn't free, and that it is thanks to amazing people that are willing to do what so many other people are not that we enjoy that freedom.

We teach our kids that we owe them our thanks.  Forever.

Au Naturale

I don't always get it right away, but I always get it.

Story of my life.

And story of my last couple weeks.

I am not a natural kind of gal.  That isn't to say that I am artificial, it's just that I don't feel the need to jump on the organic, anti corn syrup, make my own everything from scratch bandwagon.  I wear makeup (sometimes).  I eat Doritos.  And Cheetos.  And pretty much anything with brilliant orange artificially colored cheese-like powder on it.  I clean my house with chemicals.  Powerful ones, preferably.  Or at least I have for as long as I can remember.

But I noticed something a couple weeks ago.  Noodle was playing, and ran past me to grab some very important play involved item, and I noticed a funny sort of smell lingering after her.  I casually leaned in to tell her something, and was completely flabbergasted.

My sweet, beautiful, funny, adorable six year old daughter smelled like a trucker.  Or maybe a farm hand, or any other person that works really hard in the boiling sun.

This is disturbing, to say the least.  Six year old girls are not supposed to smell like 16 year old boys who went camping immediately following a varsity football game.  A week ago.  With no shower.  For the whole week.  But she did.

Since that day, I have been doing some research, and what I have found has completely changed my way of thinking.  It turns out that many six year old girls (and probably boys too, but I was pretty specific in my search) are having this problem, and it is being attributed to the hormones that they pump into cows all the live long day and that then come out in the milk.  The theory is that it's causing girls to hit puberty quite a bit earlier, or at the very least, display puberty like symptoms at a very early age.  Age six, it appears.

Oh, and let's be clear real quick.  I'm not coming to this brilliant conclusion through years of scientific research.  I'm coming to it through a Google search.  If you have any actual science to contribute to this theory, feel free.  Probably means I should include Noodle's doctor in this query, yes?  But until then, it sounds pretty reasonable to me.  

But, come on, could that really be what is causing this?  Noodle doesn't even drink much in the way of milk.  She's a water girl, all the way.  But she eats yogurt and cheese like a fiend.  And we are pretty carnivorous around this joint, so there is no shortage of hormone laden beef and chicken making it's way to our dinner table.  Here is just a small selection of our dairy usage:

Oh dear.  Could it really be that all that "natural" stuff that I have been poo-pooing all these year was right.  Which means, coincidentally that my mom was right too, but what's new there?

So, I started asking around, and began to see just how harmful the junk in my home really is.  Or at least might be.  Not just the hormoney milk, but the orange macaroni I feed my kids.  And the one-step-away-from-plastic yummy vanilla creamer I put in my coffee. Ick.

And then there were the chemicals.

My dish sponge was starting to stink, but I didn't want to throw it away just yet, so I poured a little bleach in some water to soak it.  Well, I meant it to be a very little bit, but I must have put a bit more than I thought, because when I came back to rinse it a few minutes later it had disintegrated.  Not entirely, mind you, but enough to know that it wasn't supposed to look that way.  After rinsing it and pulling off all of the bits that were suddenly hanging off of it on all sides, it looked like this.

 Oops.  You see the problem there, right?  And to think that I use some form of that to clean most surfaces in my home, not to mention my laundry.  I repeat: Ick.

So, I am on a mission now.  The pantry is getting cleaned out.  The milk is going organic.  The meat is going free range.  Anything that I can make myself from whole foods with little or no preservatives will be made by me.  And somehow I have to fit all of that in the budget!

And the cleaners?  I'm not sure what I am going to do there.  Make my own?  I don't know, but I'll get back to you on that one.

Because I can't stand the thought of my sweet little girl being taunted by kids because I have caused her to hit puberty early with my ignorance.  And hopefully we can reverse this problem, and become a healthier family in the process.

See.  I get it.