One of the biggest issues I hear when it comes to living this toxin-free lifestyle are the upfront costs.
We’ve already nailed down how much each of our toxic products cost (minus doctor visits for what it does to our bodies), and we’ve added that into our budget, so how do we make the switch without breaking the bank?
What’s even harder to figure out is how we’re going to front this cost while still buying the toxic products as we wait to gather the non-toxic.
I’ve created this list of what is used the very most in common recipes and some average pricing that comes along with it, so you can budget out how to get started on this cleaner, healthier life.
I get the big tub because this is such a necessity for so many recipes. I also use it for cooking or popping popcorn, so it makes sense. Also, every time I pull it out, I only need a couple tablespoons, so it lasts a good, long while.
You may see an opportunity to save some money by getting the beeswax bars. Save yourself! Don’t do it!
My friend, Laurie and I got a good laugh out of our frustration from trying to slowly chip away at and shave a block of beeswax once, and while it was surely funny, in the end it was something that wouldn’t have been quite so hilarious if I was in my own kitchen trying to make it just another part of my day. Trust me. Get the pellets.
I also find this to be such a great money saver because again, I can get so many uses out of this beeswax bag, and the recipes make so much that I save a ton in comparison to buying any in-store organic or toxin-free options! For example, 3 tbs. of beeswax will make 30 tubes of chapstick. Talk about savings!
I do this for both convenience as well as current needs.
For example, having all the ingredients I need for sun lotion (screen) is super important to me with two little boys and skin myself that burns easily. I hate running out and getting to the store just to find the toxin-free options are sold out or way over priced.
Finally, I choose to buy something like shampoo because I’ve yet to find one that fits my crazy hair like this one. However I do make sure I use my ewg.org app. each time I pick up a new bottle just to make sure it hasn’t undergone any changes in formula that will make it toxic.
These are simply the staples. The ingredients that we use time and again.
Of course there will be others that come up often like washing soda for cleaning or vitamin E for skincare, but my advice no matter what is this: go at your own pace.
I wish I was the kind of girl who would jump in and happily hand wash a dish when it was huge and wouldn’t fit in with the dishwasher load, but I’m just not.
Nope. Not about that life.
Should be. But. Just. Can’t.
So, since most everything goes in the dishwasher, I let this be one of the last switches I’ve made for our family, and now that I see how easy it is and how terrible the “good” options are that I bought, I’m (per usual) annoyed at my learn-the-hard-way lifestyle.
The snow day Monday, Steve stayed home from work and couldn’t play with the kids at all or come near me because he was feeling so bad. This was a bummer, but boy oh boy did we have quite a week in store for us. This was truly the calm before the storm.
Tuesday was another snow day, and I did have such a great morning with Cohen, but then it was off to the hospital with Hudson for an I.V. and an injection.
This radioactive substance attached to the Neuroblastoma in his body and let us know, head-to-toe, where everything was for sure.
We finally made it home and Steve was feeling sick still. He went on a run to get some medicine, but never made it there because there was a pipe burst in our rental property.
A pipe burst near the water heater causing it to dump its entire contents and everything it was trying to refill onto the ceiling causing it to cave in.
All flooring on the first floor, the entire ceiling on the first floor, counters and cabinets in the kitchen must be replaced.
While I was on the phone with the insurance, I had Hudson screaming wanting to nurse, Cohen grabbing my hand to play, and Hattie dropping a ball on my lap to throw. All in all quite a stressful evening, I must say.
Oh yes, and earlier that day I realized Hudson is losing his hair.
Chemo will do that, and we totally expected it. So, I took some pictures before it started falling out to celebrate and remember the hair he was born with.
We also did a little at-home hair cut the day I found the first of it in his bed and some that came out in my hands.
After crying for quite a while, I called my sister, who had these simple yet all too true words of wisdom, “He may be losing his hair, but if you didn’t have this treatment you’d lose Hudson.”
Talk about perspective.
So, I gathered myself up after mourning the beautiful hair I was so (foolishly) proud of and decided to celebrate it instead.
Though I feel good about everything, I will admit I even shed tears writing this and looking at the pictures, still. I don’t know why this one little thing is so hard for me.
Most babies don’t have this much hair anyway, and it will grow back, but for some reason it strikes such a spot in my heart and makes me ache every time I think about it or more hair is left behind on his sheets, carseat, or my shirt.
That was the hair he came into this world with. It was such a wonderful day, and his hair was quite the topic of conversation as I was delivering him. I just remember how beautiful my baby was upon entering this world almost four short months ago, and I guess I’m selfishly not quite ready to give that up. Stupid, I know, but it’s the (ugly) truth.
Hudson came out of the scan and nursed like a champ. That night at home, however he was not able to get milk from me.
This was so upsetting. My mom went to make a bottle of my frozen milk for him, and I had to leave the room because he will refuse a bottle if he can see, hear, or smell me at all.
I went into my room, laid on my bed, and sobbed. I was just so drained emotionally from the day, from what was to come Thursday with chemo, and I just fell down on the bed and let it all out.
I think I needed to. Doing all of this by myself at the hospital, I have to hold everything together, and I’m glad in a way that I finally had something that made me release those emotions.
Then, I got to thinking about what I had eaten that day with all the stress and being at the hospital had brought. About 500 calories.For the entire day.
I wiped my tears away, ran downstairs and started grabbing the best foods I could to replenish my supply. I pumped that night around 10 so my body knew I still needed to produce milk, and by morning we were back in business.
Thank goodness this happened with my second baby, so I knew how to process what was happening, and I didn’t think I was just drying up! Thank you, Lord!
Thursday morning we were back in the clinic for a full day of chemotherapy. This was Hudson’s second round, and this day made everything else we had been through (and would go through in the next couple days) totally worth it.
Dr. Dole told us the following news: Hudson’s tumor has gotten considerably smaller, his genetic testing all came back favorable and low-risk, and Hudson will have a normal life expectancy! Tears of joy! Thank you, thank you thank you, LORD!!!
Such a beautiful Thursday, but we would quickly realize, tough times were not quite finished in the Marshall house.
Friday, Steve took both he and Cohen to the doctor. The night before, while in the middle of hourly diaper changes, Steve told me he was just so cold. His temperature read 101.7. I grabbed Tylenol and a half hour later it read 103!
Got the Motrin, but fifteen minutes later it read 105.1! I was so scared. He was shaking and shaking, Hudson needed me, and Cohen was coughing so hard in the next room, I just knew he had something, too.
With help from a sweet friend, who is a nurse, we chugged some Rehydrate and brought his temperature down to where he could finally sleep. The doctor says it’s an infection possibly sinus or bronchitis.
Our babysitter has a sinus infection, and Cohen tested positive for the flu after waking with his own 102 temperature.
Hudson and I took to the nursery with the air purifier and camped out in there for a few days. The hardest part is seeing Cohen (with a mask on and changing my shirt every time I come in contact with him, which isn’t that often) and not being able to help my baby at all.
And all of it…no matter how stressful, how tough, how emotional; all of it I’d do all over again for moments like this.
Thank you, Lord that we will raise these brothers together as it should be. We praise You for this beautiful gift!!
-Wonderful genetic testing!!!
-Loss of more nodules!!
-Growing and gaining weight!
-Family and friends who leave food on our doorstep and in our infusion room, call with concern, text with love, and rejoice along with us!
-Wonderful jobs for Steve and myself that are so good helping us still through this
-Amazing doctors who go above and beyond. Dr. Kim Kohsla and Dr. Dole are a Godsend.
-Sweet Anna, who we prayed for last week, is home safe and recovering…thank you, LORD!!
-Chemo. last Thursday will knock the tumor down even more!
-Wonderful bloodwork this Thursday
-Steve, Cohen, and Ruthanne (our babysitter) get healthy enough to be around Hudson by the doctor’s Wednesday estimate
-Me going back to work (still nervous a little!) Tuesday
-Hudson and I do NOT catch any of this sickness!
I think what I’m most surprised about is how normal our life is right now.
Other than Hudson sleeping more than usual, we are just the same as we were before December 10.
It’s not like our life has come crashing down on us. It’s not even like I think about it all the time. It’s just a part of our new lifestyle.
We check his Broviac when we change his diaper to make sure the dressing is still properly attached. I flush his Broviac once a day with Heparin, and I wipe him down with Chlorhexidine before putting him into his jammies each night.
This may seem like it’s not normal at all, but after just two short weeks, it’s just our new normal. No biggie.
We still play, laugh, talk with friends, watch movies, celebrate little things here and there that the boys do each day, and go to work. We still do everything we used to, it’s just got a few more steps to it than normal.
Hudson is so happy, and is getting close to rolling over back to belly. He loves looking at his big brother and staring at the fireplace. He loves when we talk to him, and especially when we read to him. He’s loving being a thumb sucker, and I secretly love it, too.
When I look at the big picture, we’re going to be okay, and we are okay.
We have to keep positive to make life fun and healthy and loving for our boys. If anything, we’re growing closer as a family each time something new comes up with Hudson. Best of all, we are growing in our faith in the LORD though our walk with Him has taken this unexpected turn.
~Hudson has lost many of his nodules, but he still has four major ones that are yet to go away.
~That Hudson and Cohen will do just fine when I go back to work on the 6th.
~That a little girl named Anna, whose momma has posted about her heart surgery coming up on Friday will be laid on the hearts of everyone reading this blog, too. Lord, please heal her sweet little heart!
~That the body scan will show Hudson’s tumor has shrunk considerably.
~Good chemo session on the 9th
~That my students aren’t affected by my need to leave and be with Hudson when I need to be with him. That they will still learn a lot from me and take important lessons with them that will help them in high school and beyond. That I can be a good teacher for them even though my heart and mind are here with my boys.
~Friendships that the Lord has given us. I cannot believe how many people are so compelled to pray for Hudson and our family, write us sweet messages, and just stick by us through the tough and celebrate the good with us. What a blessing every single day!
~Another nodule that was on the back of Hudson’s head, and a source of constant concern is GONE…GONE GONE GONE!
~That I found a homemade recipe for wipes that I love and will feel so much more comfortable combating “chemo rash” with after our next treatment on the 9th.
~That Mommy and Daddy shared our 10th Happy New Years smooch on the couch after both nearly falling asleep before midnight.
Songs. Books. Tummy Time. Comb-overs.
All in a day’s work.
Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.