I'm on a journey to find health and happiness through a more holistic and green lifestyle.

I find the world to be abrasive. =) That is to say, I feel the need to armor myself, physically and emotionally, in order to face life. Don't we all? Maybe. For whatever reason, it has become a priority in my life to rid my immediate environment of irritating things. And I'm sensitive! So there is much work to be done. But. I have thought for a long time that the things I come in contact with every day, and the stuff used to clean and maintain these things, need to be gentle and non-toxic. I have had eczema my entire life. For a long time I just dealt with it, and accepted that sometimes it's bad, and sometimes it's not, and that it will fluctuate a lot. Gradually over time I have come to find that certain things, fabrics, cleansers, materials, are more irritating to my skin than others. Stress can exacerbate it. In more recent times, I have realized that every aspect of my life improves when I improve conditions for my skin. Hah! What a concept! Thus my (long time) interest in going green, and my more recent desire to live a more holistic lifestyle. (I think I've felt a desire for a long time to live in a harmonious way with myself, my surroundings, and nature, but didn't have a name for it.) Anyhow, this blog is a journal of my trials and errors, and basic crooked path to find a balanced and peaceful existence for myself and my family. Thanks for your interest! I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Essential Oils - Peppermint for Constipation and Gas - Trial

I have a friend who is presenting with constipation, pressure in the lower abdomen, and gas. You know me, any opportunity to try out my new batch of essential oils.... I asked and was given the ok to try peppermint essential oil on this person. Peppermint oil is supposed to aid in digestion, and can be taken in tea, or 1-2 drops can be placed on or beneath the tongue. This person opted for the drops on the tongue. Two drops.

Tick tick tick.....

Not even 15 minutes had passed when I got the report that the person was no longer constipated. Hm. That's awfully quick. As always, I'm not quick to believe in something right off the bat, but would like to test it a few more times.... I will also ask this person as the day goes on if any symptoms remain.

I'll report back. In the meantime, here's a link to some information on essential oils, specifically peppermint, and how they/it aids digestion. This link came from a google search on "How to take peppermint essential oil for digestion" and it was the first link in the list. Link

This if from http://www.YLessentialoils.com:

Single Oils : Ginger, Peppermint, Fennel, Tarragon, Anise seed
Blends : Di-Gize
Solutions for Constipation:

Constipation is usually a consequence of inadequate fluid and fiber intake. Start taking one Life 5 before going to sleep at night. Life5 builds and restores core intestinal health by providing five clinically proven probiotic strains including three advanced super strains to enhance intestinal health, sustain energy and improve immunity
You can ingest the oil or blend of your choice by mixing 1-2 drops with at least 4 ounces of rice milk 2-4 times daily.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Pajamas For Baby Boy - Sewing

I made these following the t-shirt and pants patterns in the Kwiksew book Sewing For Toddlers. I love this knit. It's not too thin (I really don't like sewing with jersey and super thin knits, they drive me nuts!) and I really like the main color. He wore the shirt a few days ago, which I had finished first, and it turns out that David wears the same pjs in the book Oops! by David Shannon. Fun! Double click to enlarge if you want to see the pattern close-up. Firetrucks and dalmations. =)


Sometimes the only way to change a behavior is to expose it...that is to say, if you knew others we watching you, would you behave the same way all the time? Probably not. I realize this sounds as if I'm going to expose this major secret life, but I'm not. Sorry to disappoint! It's just about food.

At the moment I am heating up canned stew for my son and me. Here are the details:

Fat: 10g (per 1 cup)
Sat Fat: 4g (20% RDA)
Cholesterol: 30mg
Sodium: 970mg

There are some good things, but I won't list them.

My son chose this out of the cabinet, and I cooked it. While fixing it, he asked for fruit salad - in this case it was also in a can. Double dammit! I opened it and he ate with gusto.

Sugar: per 1/2 cup 11g

After a while I told him he'd had enough of that and...would he like his stew? Yuck! he said! I went through the panty naming items both good and not so good. DS chose to have plain kidney beans. I need to follow this boy's example!!!

Total fat: 0g
Sat Fat: 0g
Trans Fat: 0g
Cholesterol: 0g
Sodium: 250mg
Dietary Fiber: 6g (24% RDA)
Protein: 7g

Smart kid. My punishment for even suggesting and actually serving such crap is to make myself look up healthy recipes for my next two dinner nights (tonight and Sunday.) I have mentioned how I feel about the entire meal process (I'm not a fan) so this really is a punishment of sorts. But I gotta do something. Sheesh.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Intervene? Part 2 - More

If you've read my post called Intervention? Part 2, you are aware that my husband and daughter have a somewhat tumultuous relationship. They love each other, but have an interesting way of communicating with each other.

Lately I have been thinking about the summer, and the fall, and have started to look into options for summer camp, and so forth. We are new members of the YMCA, so I spent some time the other day looking into their programs for kids. Finding programs my daughter will participate in is somewhat challenging, as she consistently says she won't go unless I go with her. Programs designed for kids her age are mostly without a parent. (She's 5) So I was very excited to find a program at the Y for kids ages 5-9 WITH a parent or significant adult. It is called Adventure Guides. It's held once a week for an hour in the late afternoon, and it states "...you will have the opportunity to develop a stronger relationship with your child..." The focus is on "...family, nature, community, fun..." which couldn't be more suited for our nature girl. I immediately thought it would be a great class to sign her up for. My second thought was that it would be a great opportunity for my hubby and daughter to bond and have some fun together.

When my hubby called from work that day, I told him about the class. He was all over it.

I told my daughter about it after school-she flat out refused to go with hubby.

Shoot!! I think it's a great opportunity. But I'm stuck between making her go with him and sending her the message that she has no say in the matter and no control, but also gives her a much needed opportunity to spend quality time with her papa and have some fun together...and either dropping it altogether, or, as she prefers, just going with her myself. Part of me wants to push her to go with him, and hubby feels that way, too. She'd get her head around it and would adjust. But I am also aware that it could backfire, and just cause more issues between the two of them.

An interesting note to add is that when I went online to register, I couldn't find that particular class. I sent an email to the contact person and haven't heard back. Perhaps it's a sign...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Purge Issues!

As many of you already know, I have a plan for this year, to greatly reduce the amount of stuff in my home. It got to the point where I was constantly moving stuff from one surface to another, and it was a constant source of frustration for everyone. Anyhow, I'm in month 2 - kitchen stuff.

For some reason, this month has been much more challenging purge-wise. I think about it every day, and I'm motivated, but it's been much harder to put it into action. Here's one reason why....

This spoon, which came with a rice cooker we no longer own, was chosen to be passed on to some other loving rice spoon type. It has been living happily in our silverware drawer for time uncountable. This morning I took it out. Instantly, little people found it, and reincorporated it into our lives. This has happened with every item I have pulled out and put in the purge-line. Ergh! My son was in tears yesterday because I wouldn't let him drink from a cup we've had in our cabinet since before he was born! Suddenly it became interesting. So not only do I need to remotivate myself every day to climb up into the cabinets, but I need to stash the purge items out of sight of my children. Geez! Challenges come from places we could never predict! =)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Blog Comment Notification

If anyone reading this blog is interested in being notified by email when a new comment is left after a post, please let me know. You can, ummmmmmm, hm. Just leave a comment that you're interested, and give me your email address. If you're not comfortable doing that, just let me know you're interested, and I'll figure out how to contact you. I need to plug email addresses into my blog settings. If we're connected through Facebook, send me a private message. Thanks.


There are ways of being beautiful that have nothing to do with what you wear, how you style your hair or anything that the eye can see when you walk into a room. It's a way a person presents him or herself. A manner of communicating. Of using your ears to hear and your eyes to see what kind of space another person is in, and communicate accordingly. Tact.

We are all human and we all say stupid or unkind things from time to time-but hopefully we catch ourselves and make it right.

But for some reason it's much easier to remember the hurtful things that are said to us than the kind things. That is very true for me. I'm sensitive. If someone says 10 kind things to me and one very hurtful or confusing thing, for years the hurtful comment will live in my head and when I think of that person, the unkindness pops up with the image of the person like a giant out of style hat.

It does no good, other than the decompression that can come with venting, to complain about the person, and it's a waste of time to expect the blunderer to mend his evil ways, so the only helpful thing to do is to take the experience as a lesson in how not to behave myself.

And it gets complicated. I try to treat my children with the respect that I would hope they give to and expect from others. So what do you do when someone is disrespectful to them, or to you in front of them? Let's face it. We're not always going to be a walking example of exemplary behavior. When someone is a jerk, my desire is to let them know they've been a jerk. Helpful or not!! But I try to explain to my kids that it is natural to get angry or hurt. It's what you do with those feelings that matters. And wow. When someone is unkind and I'm able to maintain my dignity and continue to be respectful (while asserting myself, too) well, that's a gift.

My parents used to compliment us kids when we were tactful. It stayed with me. I'd like to do the same for my kids. Because after all, beautiful is as beautiful does, right?

(Though damn it does feel good to rip someone to shreds even if I am alone in my car at the time!!!) =)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Essential Oils - Pan Away For Upset Stomach - Trial

My hubby has sensitive guts. That is to say, sometimes, when he eats something that is a little more exotic than what he usually eats, he pays for it later. Last night we went to an Indian restaurant, and by the late evening, he was very uncomfortable. I grabbed the pamphlet that came with my essential oils and got to reading. The pamphlet claims that PanAway, a blend of three essential oils, is good for cramps and bloating. As instructed, I took a hot towel (I assume that means drench it in hot water, which is what I did, then squeezed it out) and put three drops of PanAway on the towel. I placed this on his midsection for about five minutes, until the towel cooled. I took it off. He went downstairs. Within the hour he returned to tell me that his stomach felt better. This morning he has some "residual" mild discomfort, but he was basically feeling better. So..... Once again I leave it to your judgement. Was it the oils? Or was it just time and lying down? Who knows. But I'd be willing to try it again. And an added bonus: I really like the smell! It's wintergreen and clove and one other oil that I can't remember at the moment. (Look it up, silly self...) Ok, it's 4 oils. Wintergreen, clove, peppermint and helichrysum. If it's not healing, and I'm teetering toward believing it is, it at least calms a person with its pleasant aroma. =)

Sunday, February 21, 2010


I have a double earache. Not too bad, but there, and irritating.

I have always had very sensitive ears. My ears hurt in the wind, unless the wind is very warm. If I get a sinus infection or any kind of bug in my head, my ears are effected. Much of the time I can just tell that there is fluid in my ears. I'm kind deaf, and my ears pop a lot. Once in a while, it hurts a little. Like now. So what better opportunity to play around with all-natural treatments? ;)

Trial 1: 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of warmed olive oil with one drop of lavender essential oil and one drop of tea tree essential oil. A small piece of knit fabric (in place of cotton balls, which I don't have) soaked in this blend, and placed in the ear. I did each side of 15 minutes.

Results: Hm. About 3 hours later I noticed my ears feeling irritated again, so I guess I can say this didn't really work. Or if it did, it was pretty short-term. Hours later my ears were still leaking oil - bleh.

Trial 2: I read about this online. I made some garlic-infused olive oil. The drops are placed in the ear, and according to this website, it works great for relieving the pressure that causes earaches. I postponed using it a day because we had some friends over. Although I was dying to try it, I thought it might be socially unacceptable to walk around with garlic-smelling oil oozing out of my ears. (grin) As soon as my ears start to irritate me again today, I'll put the oil in. They don't ache this morning, but they are fluidy and popping still, so I figure the additional discomfort will come. I'd like to make it a fair trial by waiting until I have something to compare, ya know? If I don't get aching at some point today, I'll go ahead with the trial and see if it makes a difference with pressure.

Well, I guess I'm grateful that my ache has not come back today. I put infused oil in one ear with a fabric plug for about 20 minutes. I can't say I've noticed a big difference either way. So really, I can't say whether this trial has been helpful or not. I don't know whether the treatments have been helpful or not. My ears are not back to normal, but they could be a lot worse, so................ we'll see how it goes. If they get worse again, I'll try the treatments again.

I did end up putting more oil in both ears. This time I used more. I could feel it. I don't know what difference it made, but my ears feel pretty good tonight.

Next morning: No pain, no pressure. Icky, itchy and generally blik, but no pain. I'll take it. =)

Friday, February 19, 2010


Once in  while I enjoy a little booze at the end of the day. I go through phases. For ages I won't touch the stuff. Then I will have one maybe every other night for a few weeks. I notice, with no surprise, that on the mornings after I've had some alcohol, even though it is just one drink, I am more tired. More sluggish. It's harder to wake up when the kids inform me, much in the style of an alarm clock, that it's time to get up. And my mood is not as good. Add to that my long-standing ritual of sending caffeine through my veins before any food is introduced, and I'm starting the day all over the place. Depressants followed by stimulants, in a body that is very sensitive to any and all of that kind of thing. Wheee! So I thought it might be interesting to find out just what's going on there.

Well, this is not exactly the information I was looking for, but it's really interesting. Check out this link.

I want to know why I feel so sluggish and tired the next morning even after one drink. Hm....

From the Office of Alcohol and Drug Education at the University of Notre Dame:Alcohol interferes with your sleep cycle by disrupting the sequence and duration of normal sleep, thus reducing your brain’s ability to retain information. The REM stage of sleep is compromised after a night of drinking, which is vital to memory. Therefore, even though someone who has been drinking might look as if they are crashed out, they will not be getting the deep sleep that is needed to recharge their batteries. The sleep deprivation suppresses normal hormonal levels decreasing oxygen availability and consumption, thus decreasing endurance.

People are still likely to feel tired after sleeping following a night of drinking as they will have missed out on quality sleep.
Alcohol relaxes the pharyngeal muscles, in the back of the mouth, increasing the likelihood of snoring.
      But after only one drink? Can I be that sensitive? Or maybe it's the combination of drinking a drink and staying up later that I normally would. Which ultimately is an effect of alcohol as well, as likely as not. Hm. And of course then it's a domino effect from there. Alcohol makes me tired. Being tired makes me feel lazy. When I'm lazy I cut corners with meals, exercise, getting outside, managing my kids' needs most effectively. And so forth. So is the answer in the question? Hm. 
    Just a thought: is the reason alcohol is sometimes found in cough suppressants and other cold/flu medicines there for that reason? Is is supposed to force the taker to feel tired and in that way encourage (almost force) rest? Hm!

    How Do You Know?

    How do you know what is causing your mood?

    I am getting seriously grumpy. It started yesterday. I was able to curb my mood by getting us out of the house. Today once again we've been in the whole day so far. I am getting moody again.

    Is is diet? I had coffee this a.m. as usual. I made pasta for breakfast. Ravioli for one child, Pasta "Mama" for the other (olive oil, seasoning and black olives.) Too many carbs and no protein? Seems like an obvious thing, right?

    Could it be that I got kinda ticked at someone this am?

    Could it be that while on winter break we have spent that vast majority of our time at home? I am a people person. Is it that I basically haven't seen anyone all week? Not even for a kids' play date?

    Or is it all of those things?

    I guess I'll have to systematically go through each thing and do something it about. So why then did I make English muffins with cream cheese? Will that help? Only as a quick hunger fix. Ah, the spiral! That's how it goes, isn't it? I slip with feeding myself properly in the morning, and the spiral begins. I get grumpy, then start cutting corners with everything else. Oh it is hard to be on top of things! SO! RESET!

    First, I'll find some protein......peanuts.....high in fat....shoot......then, I'll make a decision about the situation that irritated me this morning....done....now....I will get us out to a play date....done. Ah, let's see if all of this helps.

    Hm. Well, getting out was nice. But I realized while in the car that I am tired. I stayed up later than usual last night just because I wanted more me time. I got greedy with it, and the result was predictable. Today I'm grumpy, tired, and less able to manage stuff. The answer would be to go to bed earlier tonight, but chances are I won't. And thus the sleep spiral begins. I'll keep this up until I can't fight the need anymore, than I'll fall asleep with the kids before 8:30 p.m. one night. Perhaps I could try reasoning with myself....

    Thursday, February 18, 2010

    Safety in Personal Care Products

    A friend sent me a link to this neat website. It lists the ingredients and relative safety of loads of personal care products. She specifically sent me a link to information on Desitin, as I have been trying to replace it with safer alternatives for diaper rash. (see Essential Oils - Lavender For Diaper Rash - Trial) I could spend all day plugging in various products and worrying about it all. (sighs) I checked out "lavender essential oil" and it came up with the study linking the oil to prepubertal breast development in boys, for example. I'll have to check other oils....... Anyhow, it looks like a great resource. Check it out.

    Wednesday, February 17, 2010

    Fleece Hat - Green Plaid w/Pom-Pom (sewing)

    I bought two fleece blankets for $5. I've already got my $'s worth by making hubby a hat. Here's one for the shop. =)


    Remember when I wrote about balance? That if one aspect of your life is off, it effects everything else? Well, today I'm thinking it works in a different way, too. If you put too much focus on getting something right, (rather than neglecting something) then something else goes awry. Or at least it does for me. Today, we had been in the house for long enough, and I insisted we get out. We jumped in the car. But I had left the house hungry. So while I was meeting my need to get out and get moving, I had neglected that. And what is all around us for those who are hungry but can't be inconvenienced by cooking or going to a store? Well, McDonald's, for one. And Burger King. And Taco Bell. And Dunkin' Donuts. And KFC. Dear god! How is a person supposed to exist in a splendidly healthy world when all about us is crap? Temptation! How do I resist?! I succumbed. (Head down, shaking sadly) Dammit! So I go us out, fed us crap, drove around polluting the environment with my SUV as my children slept, and came home to feel both good and bad about it all. I thought about taking us to a park to get outside and get some exercise, but my DD was in sparkle shoes, not snow shoes! And my DS needed to sleep. Really needed to sleep. But I had to make like we were doing something fun to get DD to agree to get in the car. So dang it, I did the best I could given my circumstances. No I didn't. But shoot. It's hard!

    Tuesday, February 16, 2010

    Essential Oils - Lavender For Diaper Rash - Trial

    My son has diaper rash. It is an unusual event in this house, but it does happen from time to time. In the past, I have used Desitin, with great success. In my attempt to remove chemicals from our personal and medical care products, I am attempting to use other diaper rash treatments this time. For a couple of days I have been putting Burt's Bees Diaper Ointment on the area. There wasn't much change until this afternoon - the rash appears to be spreading, it is much redder, and he is more uncomfortable. Yuk. Poor goober! So this time I turned to essential oils. It's an opportunity to try another one out. If it doesn't work, and pretty quickly, I'll once again turn to Desitin, but I'm giving it a shot. I have read and been told by dear Suzanne (see Hats Off to Suzanne!) that Lavender essential oil can be used for diaper rash, so that is what I am trying. I wasn't sure if it should got on "neat" or diluted, so I mixed a few drops with Sweet Almond oil, and put it on all over the behind area (note: EOs shouldn't be put on the genital areas, according to one book I have.) It didn't hurt or sting, so that's good. I'll report back at the next diaper change, and throughout today and tomorrow. Fingers crossed.

    UPDATE: Ok. So last evening I changed DS's diaper, and his skin was still very irritated and red looking. Hubby put him in the bath, allowed him to run around without a diaper for a while, reapplied the oil blend, and put him in a disposable diaper. This morning he needed a #2 diaper change first thing. (That poor butt!!) Despite the "soil" his skin looked almost perfect!! He had two very small red areas - a great improvement from last night. Whether it's due to the oil blend, the bath, the air-dry time, or a combination, I don't know, but I was so happy to see his diaper area looking happier again. =) Once again, I gave him some air-dry time, and I've kept him in cloth diapers except overnight or when we're going to be out for a while. Today I increased the amount of lavender in the oil blend as per some information I got from Suzanne (see Hats Off To Suzanne!) I put it on after the first diaper change but haven't since. A friend forwarded an article focusing on a link between tea tree and lavender oil and hormonal disruption in boys, and though I'm not really concerned about it, I only intend to use the blend when really necessary. I think it's always better to let the body heal itself when possible anyhow. But .... it's possible the blend really helped, so I intend to use it again should the need arise.


    Why do we crave things that aren't good for us? Why do we know we need exercise, but sit on the couch instead? Why do we stay in when getting out in the sun makes us feel so much better? Why??

    Animals eat what they need. (Fat cats and dogs notwithstanding) As I write this, I am eating, and feeding my poor children, easy cheese on crappy crackers. Ugh. Yesterday I had a hummus sandwich on whole grain bread with artichokes, onion, and other totally healthy things. I have a theory that often times very healthy foods simply don't give the full feeling that crap does. For example, after eating my (tasty) healthy sandwich, I could not stop eating my daughter's seasoned french fries. I had eaten plenty, but I compulsively put one fry after the other in my mouth. Eeks! What's up with that?? And at night, almost every night, I eat junk food while sitting on the couch. Now these days hubby and I have been doing Wii workouts before sitting on the couch eating crap, but that doesn't change the fact that the crap junk food is involved in my typical evening routine. So why doesn't the fact that I KNOW it is making me feel like crap, and doing bad things to my body change my behavior? Why are people in general so bad to themselves in that way? And why is it typical of people, and not, say, squirrels? Doesn't the fact that we can think about how to take good care of ourselves help us? Or would we be better off with instinct only?

    We sometimes think that convenience is more important than health. But in the long run poor health becomes very inconvenient indeed. But we have to be forced to do the right thing so much of the time.

    Why? Why are we reluctant to realize that our moods probably have as much to do with what we eat as with anything else that's going on in our lives? Why are we so clueless about ourselves, but about most other things we think we know it all? Why is it so hard to take care of ourselves the "right" way? Why don't we want to get out and run when we are feeling run down and imbalanced? Why don't we crave spinach when we're iron or vitamin poor instead of milkshakes? Why?

    Why? Why when we know these things or have gained an awareness of what we need to do to feel good do we still choose poor options? Why? Why can't it be natural to do the right thing? Why is there ever another option in our minds?


    Gentle Nudge

    Today is the first day of DD's winter vacation. Ok, it's not really. Yesterday was. But hubby was home, so it felt like a weekend day. It wasn't until last night that I started to feel the dread that comes with the knowledge that I will be the sole child care provider from early in the morning until late in the afternoon. Why that makes me feel so burdened, I don't know. It's been my truth for over five years. Day after day after day. I guess just having another adult around means that I get five seconds of breathing room every now and then. On my own, I face a day of doing it all: taking care of their needs and entertaining, while trying to fit in my needs, and frankly, trying desperately to find ways to entertain myself.

    There are things I really enjoy about the unstructured days that we have. The kids can be so creative. This morning, my daughter was playing computer games, and found a paper lantern that she could design online, then print out and shape into a lantern. This lead to her wanting to make blank paper lanterns that people could design on their own. She made one, and spent the better part of an hour drawing and pasting stuff on to it. I love to watch her doing this stuff. Darling son got into the act, and enjoyed playing with the craft items and glue.

    The downside of these types of independent projects is that stuff gets everywhere. I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, it's fun to play with stuff, and it's fun to get it everywhere. On the other hand, my daughter has inherited my lack of neatness, and doesn't think twice about leaving stuff all over the place and moving on to something else. Ugh. So of course that means that most likely I will be picking it up, and I don't enjoy the task any more than she does. And it becomes my job to try to teach her how to be more organized and to clean up after herself, NOT my forte!! So ugh. Blek. Yuck.

    So....while I feel great about her craftiness, I get really bummed out by her messiness, and so.

    Basically it brings me right back to my plan for this year, which is to PURGE about half, if not more, of our STUFF. By doing so I am making much needed space in our house, and I feel it will be much easier for the kids to see what they need to do to pick up after themselves. (And me, too) And there will actually be places to put things away, rather than moving things from one surface to another. (Which is really discouraging.) And it's a huge thing for me, as I don't throw away anything. I'm not good at it! I attach sentimental feelings to anything. ANYTHING. So this is huge for me. But I'm working on it. I feel that I cannot expect DD to be neat and organized while living in a house that is anything but. And I have simply run out of places to put things. As I write this, my computer teeters on the pile of booklets and papers that it sits on. Pathetic. So every time I get angry or discouraged at the mess around the kids, I ultimately get upset with myself, and restart my efforts to get rid of stuff. And so.

    Once again I am moving my way around the kitchen, trying to find things to get out of the house. (It's kitchen items month in my year of purge) I run into snags all the time, because many of the things I want to get rid of have plenty of life left in them, so I don't feel right throwing them away. But I don't know where to take them. For kitchen purge month I have contacted DD's school, and they will take some stuff, and a community center, which will take small items that I can drop off once a week at certain hours. (It's work...will I do it? I hope so.)

    So....it's a gentle nudge, a reminder, a restart. It keeps a person on task who is as scattered and as distractable as they come. I, like my DD, spin in circles and never know where to start or how to stay on task. But for her sake, and for my own sake, I will keep trying.

    Monday, February 15, 2010


    You can't make a day longer than it is. You just can't. You must fit into 24 hours all that you want to get done. No wiggle room, no arguments!

    And there never seem to be enough hours in the day. So you do what comes to the top of the priority list, and the rest has to wait. Maybe it will rise to the top of the priority list the next day. Maybe not. Maybe you'll stay up late to fit stuff in. In that case you are dumping sleep to the bottom of the priority list. Which ultimately catches up with you and throws things off balance. Which makes the other things on the priority list harder to accomplish.

    Some things are easier to push down on the list than others. For example, it's hard to ignore hunger for very long. You can, of course, for a while. But eventually if you don't act on it, you will feel tired, lazy, irritable, whatever. And that, of course, effects everything else. Other things can be ignored for a longer period of time, or even forever. You can go without doing laundry for a while. You can put off paying that bill for a week or more. You can put off making some phone calls for weeks. And there are loads of things on the "get to at some point" list.

    This morning, my husband commented that he misses doing things together with me. He has said this in the past. Without question, our relationship has changed a lot since we decided to have kids. It has changed in more ways that I could ever list here. Obvious changes are things like, he goes to work every day, I am home with the children. He lives a dual life, like every working person. My work is my home life, they are one. His work day starts and ends. Mine is continuous. He stays up late, I go to bed early. He often falls asleep on the couch downstairs, I sleep with the kids. Our lives have become parallel, joining in the evenings for our dual-parenting hours before the kids go to bed. We overlap for an hour or so in the evening, during which we exercise, then spend a few minutes watching a movie. Then I'm off to bed, and it starts all over again. On the weekends, hubby and I have implemented morning breaks for ourselves, which was our answer to some very uncomfortable Saturdays (See Peaceful Saturdays? Not so much.) The tension has been brought down, and our Saturday mornings run smoothly. But hubby and I spend more time apart.

    Part of this division was perpetuated by me. I fully take responsibility for it. Until recently, I was simply unwilling to be away from my children. I didn't want someone else to watch them while I did something else. Anything else. I am an attachment mom, and if I feel my kids need me, I am there. Now don't get me wrong, I need time away from them. I am aware of that. Before DD started preschool I was so in need of time away from being a parent that I was able to help push her through the discomfort of starting school. That need was so great that I had no choice but to put my needs first, although I didn't want to. But I was still reluctant to leave them for any other reason. And of course DS was only a baby. It wasn't until fairly recently that I started to feel comfortable leaving them to do other things.

    So now I can leave them. Briefly. So I am coming out of the 5 1/2 year period of stubborn attachment. I'm finally allowing myself some much needed freedom. Not much! But some. The biggest need, the most pushy item on the priority list under "alone time" is ME. Simply doing stuff for myself, by myself. And much of that has been finding my happy place, which is what this blog is all about. Taking much better care of me. I have neglected myself terribly. By following what I thought was the right path, I've ended up so depleted I just hated myself. So now I'm working hard to change that. And it's taking most of my focus, outside of my "work."

    But now the priorities must shift again. I have pushed hubby, and his needs for a relationship with his life partner, aside for long enough. It is one of those things that can be put off, but really should not be. It's important. For me, for him, for them. And it needs to be more than the once a month or month and a half that we get out to dinner. And we have to fit it in to the 24 hour a day that we are given. If we can find an hour for each of us to have a break from our responsibilities each weekend morning, we can find one hour to spend together, too. Or instead.

    I'm off to email our babysitters.

    Sunday, February 14, 2010


    I am having blogger's block. I haven't had a good blog inspiration in a while. Random thoughts have been about diet and mood/health, my stupid aching neck, nature, essential oils....but no fully formed thought. So I guess I'll comment on my random semi-thoughts today, and see where my mind goes tonight and tomorrow (if anywhere.)

    Diet and mood/health: I started reading The Food Revolution by John Robbins today. Oh boy. Within a couple of pages I was lamenting my terrible diet. Yeah. It's one of those books. Though he says one should not feel guilty for their diet, nor their illness resulting from years of eating poorly. But yikes. He compares a number of studies that ultimately state that one is much more likely to be, and remain, healthy if one eats a vegetarian or vegan (vegetarian plus no diary or eggs) diet.

    My neck: Well, the discomfort is back today, but it's weird. It feels like a heavy, tired head, then it's sinus discomfort, then it's my neck, then back to one of the others. Weird. I put PanAway essential oil on my neck and shoulder area this a.m. (thanks, hubby =) ) and whether it helped or not I'm not sure. But this discomfort is becoming chronic, and that is a concern.

    Essential oils: Still learning and playing around. Nothing ground-breaking today.

    So that's it. I finished a pj shirt I created for myself out of knits that I had in my stash. That was fun. The arms are too long, oh well.

    We've had a nice Valentine's Day. My 5-year-old was bubbling with enthusiasm, and I believe she expected it to be more than it was. I never get to shop by myself, so I didn't have anything for anybody. But I like the idea of steering away from holidays and such being all about buying and gifts and more about love and togetherness anyhow. DD and I went to a craft class yesterday, and I made cards for everyone there. DD got some stuff while at the store with Papa. I created a simple bow out of some pretty pink ribbon, and pinned it to her shirt. I told her it was filled with love. She plans to wear it every day. =) I took a bath earlier to try to relax my neck muscles, and a short while later both kids were in the tub with me. Hubby came into the room, and we all enjoyed some relaxing time together. We have lots of love. It's warm, and nice.

    I wish love and happiness to everyone everywhere, today and every day.

    Saturday, February 13, 2010


    Alone time is a great and terrible thing. When you have none of it, it is the greatest gift there can be! When you have nothing but alone time, it can be the most awful thing there is. It's all about balance.

    I have found as a stay-at-home mom that my balance definitely tilts when it comes to alone time. I have very little of it!! It so happens that I'm a person who does not require a lot of alone time. To be honest, I become easily depressed and unhappy when given more than a small amount of alone time. But I need some. I think it's evident to most people that if you are lacking something in your life (or someone?) the need becomes evident and strong. It's like when your body is lacking in some kind of vitamin, or in protein, or anything. It craves what it needs. I think our minds do the same thing. We just have to be aware of it, and be open to the signs. And ask for what we need! It's easy to ignore our own needs and become imbalanced, which results in resentment, anger, depression, ... general unhappiness. It's just presented differently. If you eat too much of something your body doesn't need, it shows. It may take time, but it shows. The body gets too heavy, or too thin, or sick. Or the organs malfunction. Etc. If the mind doesn't get the proper balance, it may also take time, but it shows, too. But we take our time responding to these needs. Many of us do. And why? I guess we're so caught up in our lives that we fail to see the signs. Or we ignore them. Or who knows. 

    I guess my point is that in order to reach a happy place, a sense of balance, (which is the point of this blog) it is important to look for, and respond to, these needs. Turn off the noise, get rid of the distractions for a minute. Stop running. And listen. Feel. What do you need? What do you really need? 

    Sometimes I don't realize what I need until I have it. Like this morning. I am LOVING the hour of time alone I have had! LOVINGLOVING it! So ... I needed that. 


    My Daily Checklist: (to be updated throughout the day)

    Drink water - yes
    Name a "happy" moment - Giggling with my son this morning =)
    Exercise - 25 min. walking outside =) Wii 15 minute core body workout - ouch!
    Enjoy peace - During my walk
    Time alone - Yes! I woke up on my own (rare) and got up before the rest of the familys!! (also rare!!) I am enjoying a few minutes by myself reading and having my coffee. =) Turned out to be almost an hour - yeah! 45 min. evening break
    Good sleep/rest - 8.25 hours of good sleep
    Eat well - coffee, Smart Start cereal with milk, chicken salad w/celery, onion and little mayo. Not such a good eating day for me. It involved Dunkin Donuts. Enough said. =) It started well....
    Do something for purge plan - Nope. I'm really failing this month in this area. Tomorrow's another day!!
    Leisure activity - I started a night shirt for myself tonight
    Get outside - 25 min. walk

    Friday, February 12, 2010

    Essential Oils - Pan Away

    The first oil I am going to learn about and test is Pan Away. I have chosen it as I have a way to test it right away.

    From the pamphlet that accompanied the Every Day oils from Young Living: "PanAway is a soothing essential oil bend containing eugenol, a constituent used historically to numb gums. Also containing wintergreen and clove - two oils traditionally used for pain relief - PanAway aids the body's natural response to irritation and injury."

    This statement had an asterisk, which led to another statement that reads, "This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease."

    The oils in this blend are: Wintergree, Clove, Peppermint and Helichrysum.

    From the pamphlet: Topical Use: Apply to affected area to help relieve discomfort, stressed muscles, or cramping.

    TRIAL: I am going to put some on my neck/shoulder area. It's really bugging me again, so this is a good place to start with oils.

    Ok, it's 2:22 p.m., and I have just blended 2 drops of PanAway with what I guessed to be 8 drops of Sweet Almond oil. (Directions said to do 1:4 but I got 2 drops so I went with it - also the almond oil squirts instead of drops....it's a bit of a guessing game.) I mixed it around with a q-tip, and applied it to the back of my neck and should area where I have been so sore and uncomfortable. I shall report as time passes. tick tick tick.....well, about an hour later my neck felt better, though whether the oils had anything to do with it I don't know. I am going to apply more in a few minutes. Ok, so I've had it on now for about 45 minutes. I asked hubby to rub it on this time, to make sure it really covered the area that hurts. I'm not in pain at the moment. Stiff, but no pain. I dunno. Some people swear by this stuff. It will take me a while to become less of a skeptic. But I do smell good. =)

    It's now the next morning. I have had no pain or discomfort so far today. Usually it takes a little while for the discomfort to kick in again, but I have been up for almost 4 hours. My neck is a little stiff. But no "knot" (as I call it, as the problem area is typically around the area of my neck where my vertebrae stick out, and it feels like a knot) so far. Unfortunately, my carpal tunnel issue is presenting itself. What can I do for that? Hm...


    My Daily Checklist: (to be updated throughout the day)

    Drink water -  Yes.
    Name a "happy" moment - ?
    Exercise - Swimming with the kids, which really isn't exercise for me
    Enjoy peace - 
    Time alone - 
    Good sleep/rest - 8 hours of semi-good sleep.
    Eat well - hm. Pasta, coffee, more pasta...not so good so far.
    Do something for purge plan - Yes! DD's school will take some items as a donation. I will bring the first items this afternoon. Yay!
    Leisure activity - Blogging, reading a little about EOs
    Get outside - Just to car and back
    Mood - Morning: Good =)

    Essential Oils - Dogs with Fleas

    I am posting this in response to a conversation I had with a friend yesterday. I am unable to test these as I don't have dogs. But here's the info. I found.

    From The Fragrant Pharmacy by Valerie Ann Worwood, p. 460-463

    I will put the photos of the pages here for information on managing fleas with essential oils. If it's too difficult to make out, let me know and I'll type the info in. At the moment I am NAK and have only one hand to type with... Double click to enlarge.


    Thursday, February 11, 2010

    Essential Oils - Basic Information (from Young Living)

    Just some basic information on essential oils that came with the Young Living kit.

    Double click to enlarge.

    Essential Oils - They're Here!!!

    Earlier this month I made the decision to purchase some essential oils. I have never used essential oils before, at least not on purpose. I have just run into them again and again as I research ways of living a more holistic, healthier lifestyle. So I got curious. And my old friend, S, uses them and feels they have been beneficial to her and her family. So out of pure curiosity, I splurged (a good word, they were not cheap) on a starter kit of oils and a "every day" oils package.

    The company I ordered from, recommended by S for their purity, is called Young Living. It is a pyramid-type company, meaning you can become an independent seller of Young Living products, and when you sell some to others, you receive benefits, such as a reduced cost of supplies for yourself. In any event, I ordered using S's seller #, thus giving her benefits of some kind.

    In addition to the oils, I ordered a couple of books about oils, a bottle of "carrier" oil (a base oil to mix essential oils in to produce a diluted oil or oils) and three empty dropper bottles to keep my mixtures in. Basic supplies.

    And now to open the box (dun-dun-DUN.....)....

    Two boxes, very tidy. So what's inside?

    Ooo. Ok, so the box on the right is the "Start Living" kit, which comes with a membership of any kind in the Young Living company. You then choose the oils package that you feel you'd like to begin with. I chose the "Everyday Oils" package. (The box on the left)

    The "Start Living" box contents. There is also a thick packet of paperwork in the same folder. My homework! If you can't read the bottles, there are 3 NingXia singles. The oils are Peppermint and Lavender.

    The contents of the Everyday Oils package. Along with a small booklet describing the use of each oil were the following oils: PanAway, Purification, Peace & Calming, Peppermint, Thieves, Lemon, Lavender, Frankincense and Valor.

    I bought these separately after reading a little in one of the books I bought. Sweet almond oil is supposed to be a good carrier oil, especially for children. That is, it is used to dilute the essential oils for various uses. The bottles are for putting my own mixes in.

    My plan is to systematically learn what each of these oils is used for, and when possible, to test them out. I will blog about it all. I figure in the very least, I can get my money's worth by sharing the information with all of you! And it will be fun for me. I'm excited to get started. But the books, what little I have read in them so far, make it clear that it is important to know what you are doing with essential oils. Like anything, they can be used improperly to ill effect. So I will diligently do my reading, and will be safe and cautious with the oils. To the books!

    Healing With Whole Foods by Paul Pitchford

    I have a feeling I will be blogging a lot about food in the future. I bought myself this book with the hopes of gaining a better understanding of how food effects our moods and our health. The book is huge, and when I first saw I figured I probably wouldn't end up spending a lot of time with it. Two nights ago, during my evening "break" I picked it up and started reading. I spent 45 minutes at it. Wow. Interesting stuff! For example:

    Magnesium: "...(An) attribute of foods concentrated in magnesium is their ability to strengthen the structural aspects of the body to counteract conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome, arthritis, and osteoporosis. ...Excellent research suggests that absolutely no calcium enters the bones without adequate magnesium..." Magnesium rich foods include beans, soy products, peas and lentils.

    Milk: "...Dairy with its fat removed may not support the absorption and utilization of the fat-soluble vitamins D and A, which are necessary for maintaining and laying down new bone mass. Thus, calcium may go primarily into the soft tissues rather than into the bones in those who persist with reduced-fat dairy products."

    Wow. Food for thought-lol!


    Language is such a funny thing! This has been floating around Facebook lately: Punctuate this: Woman without her man is nothing. Did you come up with this: Woman, without her man, is nothing. Or this? Woman. Without her, man is nothing. My daughter is always asking me what words and expressions mean. We use some funny expressions! One that was new to me when I moved to this area was "Geezum crow" Some other sayings "What the Sam Hill?" "Holy Toledo" "Raining cats and dogs" "Like a bat out of hell" "(Wizz) like a race horse" Of course now that I'm here writing this, I can't think of any good ones, but there are so many odd English expressions that I didn't think too much about until having kids. "Making a mountain out of a molehill" "Cute as a button" "Just a hop and a skip" What expressions do you use or just like?

    Here are a bunch more . 

    My Daily Checklist: (to be updated throughout the day)

    Drink water -  Yes, but not a ton
    Name a "happy" moment - I'm loving the sun today
    Exercise - Wii - 15 minutes of upper body workout
    Enjoy peace - Watching dark-eyed junco out the window. =)
    Time alone - 45 minutes break in the evening.
    Good sleep/rest - 7.75 hours of sleep next to a restless little boy
    Eat well - carrot, apple, English muffin with cream cheese (yikes), coffee, pesto pasta, pretzels, cereal
    Do something for purge plan - email to DD's school to see if they'll accept any item donations
    Leisure activity - Visited local store and got stuff for my oils - yay! My oils arrived in the mail today!! Whoo-hoo!
    Get outside - Just to and from the car....

    Wednesday, February 10, 2010


    No blog inspiration today. Was hoping my oils would arrive as predicted, but they didn't. I look very forward to blogging about them!

    My Daily Checklist: (to be updated throughout the day)

    Drink water - Yes. 
    Name a "happy" moment - Walked in the 'hood with DS in the stroller - in the snow =)
    Exercise - Walk around the 'hood this a.m. with DS in the stroller - in the snow! Wii cardio work out - 15 min.
    Enjoy peace - Same as last two
    Time alone - 45 min. evening break. 
    Good sleep/rest - 8.5 hours of good sleep, but wasn't ready to get up this a.m.
    Eat well - eggs, seasoned rice, coffee, beef for dinner, with zucchini and pasta. Junk food in the evening.
    Do something for purge plan - Nope, I have been bad this month about this!! Don't know why. Though I did contact, by email, a local community center and inquired about donating items. No reply so far. 
    Leisure activity - Played with DS outside and in the play room for hours. =) Read some of the Whole Foods book. 

    Tuesday, February 9, 2010

    Food and Mood

    I decided a while back that one key to feeling better, both for myself and for my kids and hubby, is to eat better. Well, duh, right? But isn't it one of the hardest habits to start and maintain? I think so. But I want to....I want to..... So I restart and restart and restart. I joined the local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture-organic farm-fresh produce each week during the growing season) again this year. And I am buying lots of fruits when I get to the store. Which is infrequently, so we go through it very quickly and are then out for a while. And when I make something healthy to eat, the kids love it. SOOOO. What is the problem? I don't like cooking! I don't like shopping! I don't like the process. However, the process is here and isn't going anywhere, so I have no excuse but to make our meals healthier. Maybe these will help:

    I'll share what I learn...for now, I just need to get cracking with a meal list and a shopping list for the rest of the week. Gotta get some good stuff in this house. We're still working on two birthday cakes....I think I'll save reading about the evils of sugar until next week! ;)

    Ah geez. All I did was pick up the book on the right and randomly flip to some pages in the middle. Geez. =(

    Here's a random weird food thing. When I eat cold foods, I get cold. It's almost instant. I just ate some cold pasta. Not that much. And I'm freezing. Yeeks.


    My dear daughter has become a very picky eater. Every day, starting with breakfast, we have the same conversation: Me: "What would you like to eat?" DD: "I don't know. What do we have?" Me: "You know what we have." DD: "No I don't." Me: "We have A" DD: "No" Me: "We have B, C and D." DD: "I don't want B, C or D." Me: "You need to choose something." DD: (standing in front of the open fridge as my blood pressure rises) "Hmmm. Cake?" And on and on. Then, when she chooses something and I make it, she eats a tiny amount. DD: "Can I have something else?" And then both kids have gotten into this very frustrating habit of claiming to be hungry right after we've finished eating dinner. ARGH! Add to this that she is currently not eating while at school and needs food when she gets home, and I have become a day-long short-order cook. Have I told you how I feel about cooking and meal-prep? And dishes? Grumble grumble...............


    My Daily Checklist: (to be updated throughout the day)

    Drink water - Yes. Didn't start til afternoon.
    Name a "happy" moment - Nursing DS while lying in the sun beams in the playroom. Neighbors came over to hang out and chat.
    Exercise - 
    Enjoy peace - DS napped at home, have time to myself before picking up DD. Loving the sunny day. Played outside with DS for 25 minutes, really soaked in the sun. Listened to the birds.
    Time alone - 
    Good sleep/rest - 8 hours of good sleep
    Eat well - Smart Start cereal with milk for breakfast, coffee. Canned stew for lunch....blah.
    Do something for purge plan - 
    Leisure activity - 2 packages from Amazon today - whoo-hoo!

    Monday, February 8, 2010

    Montessori School - Update

    This morning I visited our local Montessori school. Here are my impressions.

    The first thing I have to comment on is that the environment in both classrooms that I visited was very, very calm. The students and the teachers were both quietly going about their business. It was quiet, and calm.

    I arrived and went to the door of the "Children's House," (ages 3 and 4) and found the door to be locked. I rang the bell. Through the door I could see kids sitting in a circle, just inside. I wondered if I had gone to the wrong entrance. Right away a woman came to the door, and introduced herself. I was in the right place. She would be my tour guide. We walked into the room, right into the middle of the classroom. Around us were children engaged in all sorts of activities. I was told that the younger kids can choose whatever activity they want to work on. Everything is laid out on shelves so that everything can be seen from any point in the room.

    The set-up in the Early Elementary room (this year, grades K-2, next year grades 1-3) is the same. In this room, the kids are also allowed to work on whatever they choose, though there is more attention paid to the kids visiting different academic areas; math, science, language arts... If I understood this right, the older group has a daily "plan" that he/she is involved in. The teacher and student come up with areas that the child plans to visit on a given day. Each child progresses at his/her own pace. I observed the kids sitting around the room working on various academic pursuits. Some had workbooks and worked on writing. One had a math workbook. One had his "clipboard" with his plan for the day. And so forth. But all were busy working on something. Occasionally, a child or two would get up, go to a specific table, and have something to eat. The children are allowed to do so when they want to. They are expected to take out what they need, and clean up when they are through. And they do.

    I asked if they felt the students keep up academically with each subject. They replied that not only do they keep up, but are sometimes quite advanced at the finish of their Montessori education, compared with kids in the public schools. And the students have been encouraged to be self-guided and independent all along, and thus should be able to adjust to any educational environment. There is no homework at any point in the Montessori school system. The kids, apparently, are so engaged in their hands-on studies during the day that no homework is necessary. And, I was told, the type of work they do at school would be difficult to bring home. Children, of course, can further their studies at home if they wish.

    Both groups go out for recess each day. The play area is small. Compared to DD's current school, it is tiny. I am told the kids go out most days, skipping recess only if it is very, very cold outside. Apparently the children go out in the rain if it's not too heavy, as they can walk under covered areas. Otherwise, the kids are in one largish room for the day. Oh, and the children change their shoes each morning, from outside shoes to inside shoes. Not slippers. Just different shoes.

    There are parent/teacher conferences in the fall and in the spring. There are no tests. At the start of the year, only some materials are in the classroom, and as the year goes on, more are brought out. The idea is that some of the materials need instruction, and the children will receive this instruction as time goes on. Each month there is a theme. (Currently in the Children's House: Rocks and minerals. In the Early Elementary school: Amphibians.) Each academic subject will revolve around the monthly theme.

    It was difficult, in some ways, for me to wrap my head around what I was seeing and being told. I was raised, after the age of 5, in the conventional school system, and know how that works. (I attended a Montessori school from age 2 1/2-5) Science class teaches science concepts. In math, you do math. How the teachers can oversee the progress of all of these students in an environment where each does, mostly, what he or she wants at any given moment, is hard to comprehend. They do have some "classes," such as music, Spanish and art. But the rest is incorporated. Hm.

    I love the calm. I love that the kids are given so much self-guidance, which is great for confidence and self-reliance. I like that the day is done when the day is done, no expectation that the child will spend his/her evening doing more work. It just almost seems too good to be true. How do the kids learn about history? Geography? How can a teacher spend time with one who wants to learn about that, when there are many others who need help elsewhere? I don't get it. But people say the kids come out advanced. They learn in the area they are interested in and are ready to learn in, so they learn it better. And faster?

    I told hubby that comparing this school with DD's current school is sort of like comparing apples with oranges. They are so different. Perhaps the calm environment of Montessori is what will help DD grow through some of her anxieties and gain more confidence. Should that be the primary goal? Won't that help her to learn and grow more successfully?

    Information sent to me from our local Montessori school. Double click the photos to enlarge.


    My Daily Checklist: (to be updated throughout the day)

    Drink water - yes! Lots. 
    Name a "happy" moment - My daughter was in a pleasant mood after school today. Her happy/calm mood made me feel good.  
    Exercise - Wii yoga 15 minutes
    Enjoy peace - I noticed the sun when it broke through the clouds today. 
    Time alone - Evening break, 45 min. Drive to and from Montessori visit.
    Good sleep/rest - 8.5 hours of good sleep
    Eat well - So-so. Lots of pasta, and pizza for dinner. Also salad, rice, cereal. 
    Do something for purge plan - I finally started...nothing out of the house yet, but several items slated to go. Hubby helping to select items to go.
    Leisure activity - Blogging

    Sunday, February 7, 2010

    My Daily Check List

    I blogged in the recent past about my concept of balance, and the "wheel" that makes up the aspects of life that create balance. (Blog title: Tilt) I did literally make myself a wheel. I'm goofy like that. But if you've read any of my blog before this post, you've discovered that already! But at my age (41!!) I no longer feel too bad about my eccentricities. I am going with my own flow! So here is a photo of my balance wheel. I believe if you double click on it, you will see an enlarged picture, and might be able to read what I've written on it. These are my personal balance items, and apply to my life at this time. Subject to change without notice! I still have some blank spaces, which I'll fill as I think of things. I did add one after taking this photo: Reduce caffeine/ultimately eliminate. (yipes, a goal for me if there ever was one!) From this, I hope to create a daily check list for myself. I'm one of those that likes to see my task list in writing, and loves to check things off. It makes me feel good about myself. It will be here, on the blog, so I'm not adding to the clutter that is all around me. (yay me)

    First Draft

    Drink water - yes
    Name a "happy" moment - DS came over to lie in sunbeams with me =)
    Exercise - 20 min. walk in the hood and 15 minute Wii cardio workout!
    Enjoy peace (nature, music, scents...) - lying in the sun beams with DS, generally enjoying the sunny day
    Time alone - walk this a.m.
    Good sleep/rest - slept almost 11 hours last night!!
    Eat well - not so much until dinner, which was pretty healthy if I do say so myself, and both kids loved it!! Hubby too. =)
    Do something for purge plan - Nothing the entire month yet!!
    Leisure activity - played with new exercise game - set up profile

    Exercise Incentive - Update

    For my birthday, I asked for, and received, these Wii "games."

    This morning, I set up my "profile." The exercise workouts are supposedly designed to meet my fitness level and desired plan. Or something. So it had me measuring my waist, arms, legs, chest and so forth. It had me measure my resting pulse and active pulse rate. (I had to do two minutes of jumping jacks, and dear god am I out of shape!) Ultimately it suggested a focus on upper body strength to help with balance and posture (makes sense for me with my neck pain and all that) and a recommended workout schedule for the week. My dear hubby has offered to do the workout with me, which is a great motivator. We will start today, hopefully. Usually by day's end I'm so tired I lose my motivation, but I look forward to starting, so we'll see.  I think I am going to set up a daily check list for myself. Just another motivating doohickey to help me along my path. Here's to better health! (clink)

    Friday, February 5, 2010


    Tomorrow is my birthday.

    My sweet daughter keeps mentioning it. She has started twice to make me a birthday card. She has mentioned several times that we should invite people over. When it got too close to send invitations, she suggested we call people. She wants to go buy party hats and supplies, and asked me where we buy them. She told me she needs to buy me secret presents. She doesn't understand why we aren't planning a party. For her, her brother and their father, we start planning weeks ahead. The thing is, I'm the party planner. It's just not hubby's thing. He mentions it a few weeks before my birthday most years, so he does think about it. And he suggested a dinner out with friends. But it doesn't happen. We have a nice family party, and that's nice. I admit that last year I was a little disappointed. I turned 40. And yeah, it was just another day, but to me it was kind of a punch in the gut. No one knew. It made me kind of sad. When did that happen? How? Why would having a party make a difference? Being connected with Facebook made me aware of many of my peers also turning 40, and the bashes that many of them had. Blah. I was a little envious. What is wrong with me, feeling sorry for myself like this? We make our own happiness, after all. So here I am, this year, in the same stupid boat. Feeling sorry for myself for getting older (dumb) feeling blah because it is February (fixable - get outside) and wishing, for myself and my DD, that we had something fun planned. And every year hubby tells me he feels bad because we haven't planned something fun.

    Well. It seems as if the answer is in the question. If I want a party, I have to plan it. There's nothing wrong with that! So I think I will. Yeah! I could get into this. =)

    So I just told my DD, who is working on my birthday card at this moment, that I am thinking about planning a party. She immediately got into, and suggested we make it a beach party, with a paper sun hung up. Fun! =) Wanna come?

    Thursday, February 4, 2010

    Exercise Incentive

    I always had this thing about exercise equipment. People spend a lot of money on it, or on clubs that have it. Or videos. Or programs. Or and or and or. I always figured if you're that motivated to exercise, why not walk out your door and go for a walk? Or walk up and down the stairs in your house rather than spend a fortune on a "step" do walk on in front of your tv?

    Now I guess I'm starting to get it. Perhaps it's the routine of a program. Or the novelty of buying some cute piece of equipment (or manly, whatever.) Or justifying the purchase by actually using it (at least for a while.)

    We joined the Y. I wanted to keep up my kids' momentum with swimming. So now that we have the membership, I'm trying to commit to a weekly yoga class. It's included with the membership, and it's good for me. And it's time just for me, and I get out of the house, and it's a little time away from the kids (I feel guilty listing that as a plus, but it helps me to recharge.) So I am trying to set things up so I can go. I've mentioned it to hubby a couple of times. I've looked up the days/times. I've even sent a message to the woman who babysits for us to see if she's ever available on those days/times. Now it's just following through. Hm. I wonder if there's anyone who'd want to do it with me? Not that I need that. I'll go myself, too. But committing with another person makes it harder to bail out. And blogging about it makes it a sort of a commitment, too.

    I also bought my husband a Wii for Christmas. And I have asked for Wii Fit for my birthday. I want to exercise, really I do! It's just a matter of finding the time. Does that sound like a lame excuse? Maybe it is. But I with my children for all but 45 minutes of most days. At least one of them. And that 45 minutes is used for sewing, computer stuff, phone conversations, sometimes showers...and it flies. Exercise with my children, you say? Yeah, sometimes that works. If they're both in the mood and agree on what to do. And really that more often means exercise for them, and not so much for me. (i.e swimming at the Y. They paddle around, while I walk slowly around supporting DS) Anyhow, excuses, excuses. In order for me to feel better, I need to shift exercise to the top of the priority list, which, of course, bumps something else. There's just not enough me time. =(

    Anyhow, I won't mope, but will find a way to fit some kind of exercise in every day. It's good for me, and it's good modeling for the babes.

    What have I done today........?..............shoot. Nothing.

    Treating Common Illnesses In Kids(?)

    Both of my kids are sick with a cold/flu-type thing. I've never been the type to run to the doc at the first sign of a cough. Or even the second or third. In fact, it doesn't occur to me to head to the doc's unless things start to make me nervous, like DD's one and only ear infection (knock on wood.) I treat the symptoms myself, with whatever I feel is needed at the time. Now, I grew up with a doc. I use traditional medicines. I have given my thanks to Infant and Children's and regular Tylenol again and again. I have used decongestant on my children a couple of times. Only when I could just cry from hearing one or both of them suffer so much with breathing that one or both couldn't sleep, and everyone was tired, sick, sore and miserable. I quickly agreed to antibiotics for the ear infection that the doc said would usually be left to run its course but in this case... I use Hyland's homeopathic flu tablets sometimes. And when they arrive, I will try using my new collection of essential oils. (A bunch of bologna? Who knows? Keep posted for my EO trials!)

    The question is, at what point do you decide to treat something? Are some symptoms treated and others not? I know that with congestion and runny noses in kids it is generally recommended by the docs and pharmacists to let it alone. The idea as I understand it is that it is generally better to let the nose run and get the junk out of the body rather than dry it up and risk a sinus infection. Fevers are there for a reason, but at which point do you decide that it's gotten high enough? Or that the kid/s are miserable enough to warrant intervention? At which point do the kids stay home from school? Does any symptom warrant a day of rest? Or does the kid have to be positively pathetic? If a kid is home from school, is a small period of time outside warranted? Or is the kid stuck inside all day?

    Being relatively new to the child in school phenomenon, I question the go to school/stay home thing frequently. There are days I keep DD home, then decide that she would have been just fine at school. There are days I send her, then feel awful when she comes home looking completely worn out.

    And one more thought. If a child is working her/his heart out to convince you that she/he is too sick for school, how do you decide if she/he is full of the dickens? Yesterday hubby and I thought that DD was hamming it up to get out of a field trip tomorrow that she has been very anxious about. Then last night she coughed so hard, a couple of times, that she made herself physically sick. She sure didn't fake that! She and DS have the same bug, and both are plenty sick and feel miserable, but they present in completely different ways. DD's energy, at least this time around, has remained high, and she is all over the house and asks to go outside. DS is content to sit and play quietly. He is needier than usual, asking to be held and asking to nurse more than usual. Very different.

    So what do you think? What do you (or would you) do?