The power of oils… Plus, No sugar Paleo Chocolate chip cookies recipe

When I was younger, I got a gross wart on the top of my dominant hand thumb. It was embarrassing and I wanted it gone ASAP! My mom took me to a dermatologist and had it “frozen off.” Well it didn’t work the greatest because it came back. Again, back to the dermatologist. This time, the area blistered up the width of my thumb and at the time, I played volleyball and it ended up getting in the way and oozed and it was just a nasty happening. Finally, I heard about using non-coated aspirin to clear away warts. I wet down the aspirin, placed it on the wart and covered it with a band-aide at night and after a couple nights of doing that the pestery wart was out of my life.

I never really thought about it again until a few days ago. I have a history of eczema ever since the birth of my daughter in the winters so when I started noticing bumps on my dominant middle finger, I thought maybe it was just that. I was wrong… shortly after their appearance they started getting more obvious and I realized that I have a cluster of warts on my finger! Yuck! I have been putting Thieves and oregano essential oils on them to kill them and it seems to be working slowly. I will continue to do this through out the day for a week, which seemed to be the normal time for natural remedies to completely work. After I recognized these bumps to be warts, I decided to research them and didn’t realize that warts are actually a virus, similar to HPV. Double yuck!

Along with learning this, I found some other natural remedies to try, which I will if the essential oils don’t work. These include topical vitamin C, vinegar compress at night using a band-aide, and castor oil. I’m going to still use my Thieves oil in the mornings since it’s antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral. Important to note: If you have warts on your body- DO NOT PICK them, it will allow this virus to be spread to other people. Virus’s aren’t something we want to share with others… leave the sharing for delicious food, great company, and love!

Have you ever suffered from warts? How did you treat them?

No sugar Paleo Chocolate chip cookie recipe

Another new sitter? Ehhh… (Plus, sugar-free maple fudge recipe)

I can’t believe we are facing this again… the dreaded search for a sitter! Throughout my daughters short 3 years, she has been in the care of 8 different babysitters starting at 3 months of age. The first few were people who moved away, others were friends who helped out when needed, a few were unable to continue care due to finances and there was one questionable experience in which my daughter never returned as soon as I had a bad feeling.

This is something that parents shouldn’t have to worry about… trusting that their vulnerable children will be taken well cared for when we need to work to provide for our family. It’s a shame that in 30 or so years, our country went from one working parent in the house to a now standard two working parents in the home too soon after a baby is born. In various countries around the world, not only are mothers granted paid maternity leave along with job protected leave, but the father is allowed paternity leave as well. Could you imagine how strong the child(ren)/parent bond would be if we were allowed this same necessary time with our children? There’s an article that states some specific family leave information, click here, and at the bottom, the USA is one of few countries which have no mandated paid maternity leave. Instead, we are forced to either sacrifice our time with our babies, which leads to the daycare/nanny search or struggle financially.

I decided that money would be something I sacrificed more of, although I do work, I decided to cut my hours back from 32-40 down to 24-28 hours a week. My wage could definitely help us more if I worked full-time, but I knew that being with my children more is too important. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to stay home full-time, but I am not regretting any time that I am away from my job. Your babies don’t stay little for very long and that is not time that I am willing to sacrifice. Thankfully, with my mom moving in, we are being more supported but we still need to find care for 6 hours a week, when she can’t be there. So here we look again…

…while I wait to find our next caregiver for my little one, I am going to try a recipe for sugar free fudge, which was inspired by my husband. I’m going to experiment with the flavor from maple to oranges and cream, which is one of his favorite flavors, to gift him for father’s day.

 

Doing the best I can to be a great mom, Part III

I grew up in a small town, so going to movies and watching TV was about one of the only things to do and a big part of my life starting at a very young age. With current research, though, and my experience with the television sucking time away from my life, I decided it was time we needed a change. My husband is also a movie/TV watcher, and had gotten into the habit of watching TV late into the night after my daughter and I went to bed. He is an amazing and talented artist, so I always was sad to see his time spent wasted on the tele. For a while now, I have wanted to go TV free for at least one month straight. Then, after my brothers high school graduation a couple of weeks ago, I listened to one of my favorite parenting experts, Janet Lansbury, podcast about TV usage in young children and it sparked our motivation to change things up at home. Shortly after I listened to the podcast, I listened to it again, except this time, my husband tuned in with me as well. I’m so glad that he did because a few days later, we moved our TV out of our living room and it’s now downstairs creating less temptation for everyone in the household, especially my little one.

It’s been over one week now that she has had zero TV, which I’m pretty proud of! Unfortunately, she is going to a sitter today and it seems TV watching has taken place during her past times there. I voiced my objection and I’m hoping that they will respect and support us in this decision. I have written a post about this previously, but in the past 6 months, TV has increased in our home to unacceptable levels- according to my standards. And with the research apposing young children watching TV, I plan on not having my daughter watch anything until she is old enough to distinguish between reality and fantasy, which is around age 8.  At least, that is my hope. If we slip up and end up watching something, it will be pro-social (which is easier for young children to understand) or at least non-confrontational and we will watch it together so if something comes up like a confrontational scene that a young child can’t understand we can discuss it.

So far, this experiment is working really well and I am very happy to have changed up our living room. Instead of spending our time watching movies we have already seen multiple times or watching TV shows that have been engineered to get us glued to the screen, we are now listening to music, which leads to fun and comedic dancing opportunities with my daughter and movement, we have been playing more games together, and we are all reading more.

Before, our couch directly faced the TV making it very tempting to turn it on and become swept away for a few hours. It makes sense for this to happen when you are making your TV the main focus of the room. Now, we are enjoying each other more and creating more bonding and lasting memories together. Our living room is now a place to either relax or reconnect with each other. Plus, it’s summer time and I don’t want to waste away these beautiful days on TV… that can happen a little during the winter.

 

Doing the best I can to be a great mom, Part II w/ginger lime fruit salad recipe

Last week, when I went to my mom’s for my brother’s graduation, I walked into her house and was disappointed to see the work I had ahead of me for the next few days. We spent most of the time packing up odds and ends things. Things that could have been packed prior to my arrival, but my mom stretched herself too thin with work, increased responsibilities, and lack of sleep, so I don’t blame her. Unfortunately, my little one was left to her own devices, while we worked on packing. There were times she was irritated and frustrated and just wanted some interaction with us. I felt bad, but I told her that grandma and I needed to get this stuff done. Of course, I didn’t ignore her, I helped her when needed and had a little bit of down time with her, but it wasn’t enough. Rewind a few months and my mom decided that she would take my little one for a few days after graduation and before she moved down to give my husband and I some time together. I asked her multiple times throughout the months if she was still okay with taking her, as I’d need to let my sitter know and I wanted to make sure she had enough time to get done with what she needed and give my daughter the attention she needs at the same time.

After the graduation, my tot was really sad that I wasn’t taking her home with me. It broke my heart because usually she’s ecstatic to stay with grandma, but with what she had experienced the last few days, I don’t think she was eager to stay. I could have texted my sitter at that moment to see if she would take my little one for a day this week, but I decided that wasn’t the best option. I knew my mom had gotten a lot done and would be able to devote enough time to her and I knew I needed the time to myself and some with my husband before my mom moved in. There’s been tears shed from all of us missing each other, but it’s okay to miss each other. It’s okay to be away from my kiddo for a few days. It allows me to regroup and take care of myself really well.

Self-care is something that I’m constantly struggling with. In the few years my daughter has been Earth side with us, it has gotten better, but it still is a work in progress and really, that’s the most important thing as parents or caregivers that we can do for our children. We need to show them that we are important and we run at the optimal level when we are taken care of first. It’s similar to the saying, “you need to love yourself first, before someone else can love you.” It’s not easy, it requires help and continual reminders from myself and my husband and friends. Yet, it is SO important! Critical, actually! I miss my daughter to the moon and back, but tomorrow is my day off and I am so looking forward to just doing what I want and re-charging, while also getting some things accomplished, as well. In my time that I have had to myself, I also have been bettering myself as a mother by listening to podcasts from my mentor, Janet Lansbury. If you are a caregiver, I would highly recommend checking these out! We have been struggling lately with our spirited child in the last few months and her recommendations are priceless, yet these are completely free! My husband and I listened to one last night and it not only teaches us each how to be a better support for her, but it improves our bond to each other as well.

For a healthier, no added sugar snack, Try out this delicious Ginger Lime Fruit salad or if you’re looking for something creamy, there’s a Dairy-free Fruit Salad– just don’t add in the sugar!

The time is finally here!!!

Shortly before I turned 14, I had the amazing opportunity to become a big sister again to my baby brother, Christian. As soon as he was born, we were buds. I remember shortly after he came home from the hospital I was in my bedroom during the late evening and he was screaming. My mom and stepdad were trying to calm him and I could tell they were getting frustrated. I tried to help, but they pushed me off. Later, we found out that he had a tongue tie and with a small procedure it was fixed and was finally able to get a good amount of nutrition from breast milk.

During my down times, I would hang out with him and cuddle or play with him. At this time, I’m remembering these precious memories we had together and can’t believe he’s graduating high school! I’m not going to lie, I’m both excited and nervous for him. I feel like he has a lot to learn about life and responsibilities and it may be a rough transition for him once he leaves the roost. He’s smart though, and he’ll figure it out. I just hope it’s not too rough.

This brings me to my most exciting part… my mom will be moving in with us in less than a week!! Today, my daughter and I are heading up to help my mom with some last minute graduation things (like her famous potato salad! yummmmm!! Here’s a similar recipe to hers) and with helping her move. Most of her things are already taken care of so she has decided to give me and my husband some time to ourselves. She will have our daughter with her for 3 days and then she is moving in with us!

Now, I’m sure most of you couldn’t imagine living with your mom/dad or parents again, but we are thrilled! Our daughter is very spirited and we could use some more help. Plus, with our little one anticipated to arrive this fall, we are very blessed and grateful for the help. Plus, it will be beneficial for her as well. Rent is crazy expensive here and I know that it takes a while to meet people, so it’s a great way to acclimate her to the hills. We are such a segregated society… I mean I live in the same city as my dad, one of my sisters, and almost all of my husbands family and we hardly ever see them! This will allow my children to grow up really knowing her grandma, all of her wisdom, and have more support and love.

We understand it will be a transition for all of us, and we know that the main thing to keep things running smooth is communication. We are planning on doing family meetings every two to four weeks just to make sure we keep our relationships strong. SO wish us luck on what will be an awesome experience.

I wish you all a beautiful holiday weekend and thanks to all military personnel and their families for all they do or have done. God bless!

 

damn sugar! what a love/hate relationship… No Sugar Ice Cream recipe

Last year, I decided to cut added sugars (for the most part) out of my diet. Every once in a while, I would splurge on a treat and then I’d be good for a while. I read books from authors like Sarah Wilson and David Gillespie and stuck with brown rice syrup, but mostly stevia to sweeten homemade treats I made. My husband didn’t really appreciate these treats, but it worked for me and my kiddo.

Then, December rolled around and my mom came to visit for the holiday and I kind of went berserk on sugar. I got pregnant shortly after, and ever since it has been a downward spiral into my sugar addiction. (This kid is definitely his fathers’) I won’t compromise my diet in terms of eating anything that isn’t organic/non-GMO, especially since I’m pregnant. I also, won’t and haven’t eaten any dairy (okay, I ate organic dairy a couple of times on some pizza in my first trimester) or wheat. However, the sugar that I have been ingesting is getting out of hand. My energy is plummeting, my skin is starting to show signs of too much, my heartburn is annoying, and worse of all, my daughter is eating more sugar and my unborn baby is developing its’ taste buds, so I’m beginning to influence his taste for sugar…

The first step to changing a habit, is admitting the problem. Well I’m admitting it! And I’m here to say that I’m going to change it! I’m not going to quit cold turkey, because that never is a good plan for me. Instead, I’m going to slowly cut out sugar from my diet and pick a day to implement my no added sugar/fructose diet, which means I’ll still eat fruit. May 29 will be the official day I will stop eating anything with added sugar. From now until then, I will not buy any more sugary treats to bring into the home, I will not make any more desserts to have in the house, I will consume small amounts of what we have left in the house and will buy fruit to replace any cravings I will have and I will increase healthy fats into my diet to fend of cravings, as well (coconut oil/butter, avocado, nuts/seeds, and clean animal fats). And boy, I know that I’ll have cravings!

Thankfully, I have been here before, and I know how to get back to a good place. It’s just taking the steps and implementation. Plus, support, which I’m going to have from my husband and mom. Improved energy, better skin and healthier me and my family… here I come!!

How’s your relationship with sugar? Do you notice a difference when you cut sugar out of your diet? Start the journey with me, if you haven’t already, and let me know how it’s going. What are you tricks?

Healthy Ice Cream:

1 can full fat coconut milk (chilled in refrigerator overnight)
1 cup frozen berries of choice
dash of salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Green powdered stevia to taste

Blend all ingredients until smooth

Here’s an article with 11 reasons why to quit sugar.

Getting out of the house… yay! Plus, Peach Lemonade Smoothie Recipe

Last week, I wrote about getting my daughter out of the house and socializing more. I did it and it’s been working great! Saturday, there was a class for 3-4 year olds at a local outdoor campus. There were 5 other kids there learning how to fish. My family summers were spent fishing off an on throughout my childhood. I learned to bait my line, reel in a catch and clean the fish. I loved all of it. Then I became a teenager and it was much to boring for me. I’ve really been wanting to get back into it and was gifted a new pole from my husband and daughter this last Christmas. When I looked up weekend events, I was so excited to take my LO to this class.

We got there and before we were given a pole, we were taught the parts of the fishing pole, safety and techniques on how to catch a fish. After the small talk, we were given a pole and were shown how to put a worm on the hook. My daughter did not like that! She was grossed out and refused to put them on during the class. Hopefully, that disgust for insects and other squiggly critters goes away soon… Then, I helped her through the steps of casting our line. She did AMAZING!! The first two she did were perfect! We even had a very smart fish nab the worm off the hook within the first few minutes. Again, I tried to get her to put another worm on the hook and she wouldn’t. I did it quick and we went back to casting. Unfortunately, she reeled up the line too much so it kept getting caught on the end and it made her confidence plummet and soon after she was ready to be done fishing.

The next day, we went for a 3.5 hour hike last weekend with my husband and her dad a long for the journey. The whole time, whenever we crossed paths with fellow hikers she had to tell them her name. Then, yesterday, we went to the park and there were a lot of other kids there. I thought maybe the large crowd would overwhelm her, but she left with two new friends who were probable 2 or 3 years older than her. Maybe I’m just reading into it, but I think it has really helped her mood and energy with being out of the house more and around more people. It also helps that the weather on these days has been so beautiful and warm! Gotta love that vitamin D!

Wanna learn a delicious recipe? My tot and I made Peach lemonades at drank them on our deck during the hot Saturday afternoon. I found a really easy recipe online and tweaked it a bit. Take one medium sized peach and half a lemon (peeled and de-seeded) and 2 cups of ice. Throw in some fresh mint and a pinch of stevia and salt! Wahhhlahhh! It was a bit tart with a whole lemon, but half is much better! Enjoy on a beautiful hot and sunny day with a loved one!

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Doing the best I can to be a great mom

Recently, I have been researching energy profiling and raising a spirited child from a woman named Carol Tuttle and Mary Sheedy Kurcinka. With this research I have found that my daughter needs more socialization to allow her spirit to thrive, being that she is more of an extrovert than I am. She receives her energy by being around other people, while I am easily drained by her high spirited energy. Being an introvert, I recharge my battery by having some alone time and then I’m good to go again. It’s important to know your kiddos energy profile and intensity and so forth, so that you can relate to them if they differ from yours. The two authors I mentioned above, along with Janet Lansbury, are some extremely helpful and influential authors to help parents be amazing parents to our children so that they grow up healthy in mind, body, and spirit.

My little one is 3 1/2 and has always been in small care centers because I thought this would be best for her by allowing her more one-on-one attention. I’m more of an introvert so we don’t get out much and when we do, not many of my friends have kids so she’s usually the only kiddo around. With this newfound information, I have been trying to branch out more to seek out more socialization for her. I’m finding it pretty difficult. Whenever we go to the park or the like, all the other kids are either gone or have a few friends they’re playing with already. Since she’s not used to big group interactions with children, I thought maybe I should get her into a pre-school just to meet some other kids and to experience working with more than one or two kids. I’m coming up short in this area as well. A lot of the preschools in my area are 5 days a week, which I’d rather start slow and do 2 or 3 days a week.

I’m starting to go through my Facebook groups to see if there are any parents who would like to meet up, but being an introvert makes me a bit nervous. I’ve tried this before and it never seemed to pan out. Plus, the way I parent and our diet is typically different than the norm, which makes me nervous about also. I want a village to live in, which we are working on, but it couldn’t seem to come fast enough. Until then, I will just join more groups around the area to help support her needs, and really my needs too. It’s important for me to meet more people who are parents, and then recharge when I get home.

Have you discovered your kids energy, intensity, social needs? Have you been supportive of it? Was it difficult or did you implement the needed changes and see a change?

Best Parenting books I recommend (so far):

  1. Raising Your Spirited Child, Third Edition: A Guide for Parents Whose Child Is More Intense, Sensitive, Perceptive, Persistent, and Energetic 
  2. It’s OK Not to Share and Other Renegade Rules for Raising Competent and Compassionate Kids
  3. Kids, Parents, and Power Struggles: Winning for a Lifetime
  4. The Conscious Parent: Transforming Ourselves, Empowering Our Children
  5. No Bad Kids: Toddler Discipline Without Shame
  6. The Child Whisperer, The Ultimate Handbook for Raising Happy, Successful, and Cooperative Children

Some of these authors, also have free podcasts! If you don’t have the time for reading and want to listen to great advice while in the car or making dinner, this is another great option!

my genetic pain it the butt…

A few weeks ago, I found out that I had a genetic disorder, called Factor V Leiden. It’s a pretty common disorder and typically has a low incidence of problems. This was something that I was born with but never knew until my midwife tested me since my sister has this disorder as well. I didn’t think it would come back positive, because I have never had any symptoms or problems with any kinds of blood clots. I had no idea that I had this, and most people don’t know they have it. There are two types, heterozygous and homozygous. I got the least risky from, heterozygous, which means I got it from just one of my parents.

According to my state law, since I’m pregnant and having a midwife deliver, I had to have a consult with an OB/GYN to get a plan of action. Today, I went to my appointment with a specialist and was recommended to take a baby aspirin during my pregnancy and then after delivery to be on lovenox shots for 6 weeks. With increased hormones during pregnancy and shortly after it can increase risk of blood clots, pulmonary embolisms, placental abruptions, pre-eclampsia, miscarriages, and low birth weight.

The incidents that led to my sisters blood clots were different than mine and I am really not worried about developing a blood clot. However, I do not want to endanger my baby or myself. Rather than take any chemical medications, I will follow a more natural regimen, unless I start having symptoms. This will include things I have already been doing such as garlic, ginger, turmeric, cod liver oil, exercise, and more. Here is a list of other diet recommendations.

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So far all of the baby or low dose, aspirin have ingredients like this:

active Ingredients: Aspirin (NSAID [Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug]) – 81 mg

inactive Ingredients: Colloidal Silicon Dioxide, Corn Starch, FD&C Red #40, FD&C Yellow #6, Hypromellose, Methacrylic Acid, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Polydextrose, Polyethylene Glycol, Shellac Wax, Simethicone, Sodium Bicarbonate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Talc, Titanium Dioxide, Triacetin, Triethyl Citrate
…and come with some side effects or warnings, which include a part that states not recommended during the last 3 months of pregnancy. You can click here for more information.

“There are reports that some foods and drinks can help thin the blood. They include:

  • vegetables, like lettuce, tomatoes, broccoli, and onions
  • fruits, like berries, grapes, grapefruits, pineapple, and pomegranates
  • tree nuts like walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, cashews, pistachios, and brazil nuts
  • fish like mackerel, trout, herring, albacore tuna, and salmon,
  • drinks like green tea, grape juice, cranberry juice, and pineapple juice
  • dark chocolate
  • garlic”

I’m also going to implement a blend of essential oils topically, which include lavender, cistus, and helichrysum. image

 

If you have this disorder, please do your own research and okay your treatment with a qualified and trusted doctor. This treatment is a personal choice.

The only essential oils I recommend and trust are Young Living. I do not condone using any other oils internally or topically. Use caution and research prior to usage.

Resources:

http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/107/15/e94

https://www.drweil.com/health-wellness/body-mind-spirit/heart/is-there-a-natural-alternative-to-coumadin/

http://www.healthline.com/health/high-blood-pressure/best-natural-blood-thinners#other-foods7

What does community mean to you?

For me, a healthy community is the ability to feel safe and comfortable enough to ask any member of your group for help for any need and then to be there for those in need as well. Unfortunately, we have veered so far from this kind of living and I feel it’s getting worse and worse.

In movies, when someone moves into the neighborhood, the newbies get gifts of welcome, warm smiles and introductions, but not anywhere I have ever moved to. The separation and dog-eat-dog world I feel like I live in is depressing and lonely. In the small development I live it, I barely know my next door neighbors names. Yes, I’m part to blame for this… I remember growing up in a small community of 800 or so people and knowing almost everyone in town, or at least knowing of them.

Not only are we so disconnected from our fellow neighbors, but also to those in our own homes and our environment and food. At least these should be balanced with knowing these areas in our lives are safe and thriving. With increased screen time our relationships are suffering, with convenience foods we are destroying our environment and our health.

So, how do we change this? How do we enrich our lives with more time, less stress, and better relationships? We stop buying into this separation. Turn off the electronics for a while and connect with people in the community. Do something nice for someone in need. Get outside and dig in the dirt and create your own food. Teach someone how to live this way. Learn the names of those who live around you. Come learn how you can become part of something bigger next Monday, May 24 at 7pm at The People’s CommUnity meeting. If you’re from afar, we are doing a Facebook live or come in person at 3117 W Rapid St #5.

With unity and love, we will make amazing and beautiful changes. Let start NOW!