Month: May 2014

Vacuums

From the desk of: Erin

It turns out that my brain must need a specific quantity of goop to mull over. Now that my super huge work project is done and I have have outsourced a percentage of my childcare, I have a continuous stream of thoughts about experiments and projects that immediately filled the void and took residence in my brain.

Here’s what I’m looking forward to writing about or exploring the rest of the year:

1. Essential oils- beneficial or bogus?
2. 30-day “ab challenge” – Will I keep up with it? Will I see results? Are 30-day challenges really a good idea?
3. How possible would it be to truly cut out processed foods? Explorations in cheese, bread, and pasta making…
4. I started working on my 7 “art” projects requested by others. This is also turning out to be a way of reading/ re-reading classic books.
5. Poetry – reading various genres/ authors, responding, contemplating…
6. Anything else that excites me along the way.

What new or old projects are you excited about? If you ever feel like sharing, join us in writing or just comment below!

Hello Again and the The Great Illness Battle

by Erin

Hi. It’s been a while. The baby is finally in day care and after a year of complaining that I haven’t had any time to do work, here I am not doing work. But considering my last post was in January, I think that’s okay.

It is the end of May. It is feeling like summer around here after a pretty extended winter chill, BigKid had his last day of preschool, and Babe turned one-year old. What do all these things have to do with each other? Illness (or the lack of) has been on my mind. Back in January, I mentioned that I was on a rampage against viruses. I am happy to report that we survived the winter and school year with Babe and BigKid remaining infection-free. Husband also managed to escape illness. I, however, was not so lucky in the wellness department. Given the way I was treating myself  while (unsuccessfully) balancing full-time baby care, part-time preschooler care, and part-time small business owner, it is not surprising.

We are no strangers to viruses in this house. BigKid and Husband both constantly suffer from sinus/allergy issues. When BigKid was a baby there was a period of three months when he was on antibiotics before eventually getting tubes in his ears – we did not want to repeat this with Babe. So, my whole goal this year was to prevent illness instead of just treat symptoms. This list is a little prevention/ a little treatment. While I can’t say exactly which of the list below worked (very unscientific, I know), I know that (a combination of) SOMETHING worked.

1. SLEEP – This one was my big failure in regard to my health, but I have always been protective about my kids’ sleep. Here are recommendations about children and sleeping via the National Sleep Foundation.

2. ELDERBERRY SYRUP – Next to sleep, I think the addition of this into our daily routine had the greatest effect. BigKid took it every day. We gave him extra doses when we started to hear sniffling. We took it when we felt run down or felt like something was coming on. It is best known as an immunity booster.

3. MIRACLE THROAT CONCOCTION – This one was for the adults of the family. The moment we got a tickle in our throat, I whipped up a batch of this. It was nasty, nasty, nasty, but it burned so good. Every single time we put it to use it seemed to work. At most, I think one of us used up to four doses – two days of one spoonful in the morning and one at night. (Side note: for kiddos, raw honey plus any ingredient in this concoction that they will tolerate can help with sore throats.)

4. RUNNY NOSE ROUTINE – We are learning that Babe has a hellish time with teething. He suffers from all of the symptoms websites list for teething. So, there was a lot of snot coming out of his nose this winter. Snot has the potential to lead to congestion, then infection. Snot was not allowed in my house. My plan of attack included raising his mattress on an incline and giving him Hyland’s cold tablets. The mattress would usually stay inclined for about two weeks. Then it would go down for three days. Then it would have to go back up. This lasted for about three months. The cold tablets were usually used for half a day before the faucet-like dripping would stop. Given that this is homeopathic remedy, it may not work the same for all kids. (Their teething tablets, for instance, do not work on my kids).

5. HUMIDIFIERS – This is pretty standard in our house all winter long. Every bedroom has one. They are especially good for preventing sore throats and runny noses. They are work intensive because of all the cleaning, but they are well worth it.

6. LAVENDER- So, I do have to admit, BigKid wasn’t entirely infection-free. On his LAST DAY of school, he came down with strep throat…something that had been going around his class for two weeks. He didn’t eat anything, he had a fever of 102, and his throat hurt. He was miserable and I didn’t help much because I didn’t treat the fever until late in the day. I wanted to make sure a) the fever was doing its job burning out the infection, and b) he had fever at the doctor’s office so there was no doubt he was sick. About an hour before leaving for the doctor, I rubbed lavender oil on his feet.

I have been doing a lot of reading about essential oils lately, and I finally decided to take the plunge and experiment. The day the oils arrived in the mail was the day BigKid was sick. So I quickly looked up fever treatment and went to rubbing. Whether it was the oil or the nap he took, about three hours later (prior to taking the first dose of antibiotic), the fever was gone, BigKid was eating, and happily playing (vs. sitting like a giant, hot, miserable lump on the couch).

 

Overall, I feel pretty good about our health so far. Not counting myself, we have only had one non-checkup visit to the doctor. Hopefully, with both kids in daycare now, I can finish the year strong as I build my immunity back up.

What about you? How do you prevent illness? What is your go-to “nip it in the bid” treatment?

MAY: Meditate!

Well, I declare! It’s already MAY! This year, like so many of its predecessors, is passing by much more quickly than it seems it should be. I’m managing to keep up … barely. I hope you’re faring well in the maelstrom, too.

So, April’s resolution was to do something creative every week. I was to make artist dates with myself ala The Artist’s Way, and have some kind of finished project to show for my efforts at the end of this (and every subsequent) month. How’d I do? Well … I did okay.

I am sad to report that I did not do so well at making my artist dates. I am happy to report, however, that I did do some creating this month, and I do have a finished product to show for my efforts. Unfortunately, I am unable to show that project here in this blog entry. I made a present for my mom, and I don’t want her to see it before she opens it on Mothers’ Day. I feel pleased with the end product, though, and I hope she will, too.

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Aside from my mum’s present, I have also been creating a new website for my [professional] self. I’m almost done with the preliminary version. I am only awaiting photos to make it live. That will, hopefully, be May’s project: my photo shoot. I’m in the process of setting it up with my friend who happens to be a brilliant photographer. (I actually have several friends who are brilliant photographers. How lucky am I?) So, I will be getting creative putting together a number of general poses, scenarios, ‘looks’ and such and then my friend will work her magic and … voila! … I will have photos for my new site. Hooray!

 

May’s resolution is to cultivate a meditation practice. I was already working with this one earlier in the year, but my motivation petered out as the year got busier. This really is the perfect goal for me to be working with right now. And, of course, since it’s something I am in desperate need of in my life, I am already feeling absolutely resistant to it. Argh! Why do we so often resist the things that are most beneficial for us? (I know I’m not the only one who does that!) I’m going to give it my best effort and hopefully I will be able to make some good progress. It’s all about getting on the mat (or the zafu, or the floor, …), the rest is easy. I can do this!

If any of you want to join me for a month of meditation, you are most welcome! You can make a public declaration in the comments section below, or make a private commitment to yourself. Either way, I’ll be sending you support, and hope you’ll do the same for me.

 

How are your resolutions progressing? How are they changing? How are YOU changing because of them? I’d love to hear your stories! Share your progress below, if you’re so inclined.

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(Some bonus photos for you.)

 

I’m sending you all love and light and solidarity!

Namaste,

melanie