Friday, October 2, 2009

Please forgive my absence

But this little man has needed me more the last few weeks.
I guess it's just some developmental milestones, but he has been a nonstop snuggler. I love when he comes and takes my hand and leads me to some new discovery.
He wants me there.
And while I do love to write and talk about motherhood.
I actually like to be a mother more.
So when he's back to running off without looking back and playing in the yard with the dirt and worms, I'll finish my posts on homeschooling: )

Monday, September 14, 2009

We have a Winner! (it's a Mama Monday)

Well Mamas. We've got our winner.
As soon as did its thing, I clicked on over to Rachelle's blog. Lo and behold, she just had a baby!
No mamas, I swear I didn't plan it.
But congratulations are in order to Rachelle for her beautiful, natural birth~
Little Forest is such a handsome little man!
Rachelle, email me with your shipping address and I'll get your goodies in the mail: )

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


I apologize that my alternative, home and un-schooling posts are pushed back until next week. I'm still gathering research!!!
If any of you are homeschooling/unschooling, I'd love to hear your feedback as I am still putting these posts together: )
In the meantime, make sure to enter my giveaway below and read THIS about Craniosacral Therapy in the Midwifery Model of Care at Midwifery Today.
emily ruth

Monday, September 7, 2009

Thinking Mama Monday--Beth Allen

Friends, I have spent a lot of time talking about natural cleaning and home remedies. This really isn't the root of what I meant for this blog to be. I will be spending more time on natural parenting philosophies and practices.
One of my dear friends is a beautiful example of what Intuitive Parenting truly means to me. Mamas, meet Beth.
I was young when I first became a mother. 22 to be exact. And then 23 when my 2nd child was born. I am now 28 and expecting my fourth child. There must be something to this motherhood thing- because putting myself through morning sickness (aka 24 hour sickness) 4 times in 6 years is not exactly my idea of fun. It truly is an amazing thing, though, being a mother. Nothing else I have done has brought me more contentment or fulfillment, and I can't imagine that anything else ever could. Sometimes I look back and think I was dreadfully unprepared to be a parent. I sometimes wish I would have informed myself better on certain things. But being a mother, or a father, is as much of a learning and growing process as being a child. I am actually glad that I didn't read a plethora of parenting books, (I think I read one.) I honestly believe that a mother's intuition is the best manual that one could have. I would imagine you can go crazy trying to fit your child and parenting skills into the mold of some well-meaning doctor(s) or author(s). YOU are the one who best knows your child. And trusting our own instincts is something that we need to let happen more as parents.

Here are some goals that I have had since having my first child, although this is the first time I have officially written them down.

Raise children who are respectful of the earth they live in and generations that came before and will come after. I want to teach my children that everything they do has a consequence. From using cloth diapers to recycling and using water wisely, everything that we do effects the Earth that we live in. This can be applied to life in general, as well. My children know that they are responsible for the consequences of their actions. When they understand this, it makes it much easier for them to make good choices. I think that not accepting or being responsible for one's actions is one of the big problems in our society today. I also want to teach my children to respect and love their elders. There is much that can be learned from generations past, (no matter how different we may think their lives were) and I feel that it is irresponsible to think that their experiences and advice don't apply to us. Besides, it is just magic hearing the stories that my Grandpa tells about growing up or reading my grandmother’s journal. It makes me realize just how similar their daily struggles are to ours.

Teach children to find joy and love in relationships and simple pleasures rather than material things.We have a rule in our house that we don't buy our children new toys unless it is their birthday or Christmas. And even then we try not to go overboard. They love their toys, they can occupy themselves for hours with them. They don't have to have something new to be entertained. We also try to buy toys that require a little imagination on their part. Battery toys are not my favorite. Plastic toys I am very particular about- although I do love the Duplos blocks. (and so do my children.) If we want to reward them, we reward them with time- a special outing or a movie at the theatres or staying up late. One of my girls favorite things is "girls day out" where they get one on one time with me. We never do anything fancy- and we don't need to. It is just a time for us to bond and talk and be silly together. A time I hope will create an open and honest dialogue between us in preparation for the teenage years. I hope that they are learning that loving relationships are more rewarding than any material thing.

Make an environment that is peaceful and allows for imagination games and play. Allow for do-nothing time. (aka learn to be creative time)I like my home to be filled with my children's laughter and play. There is no happier sound to me. (well, it comes close between that and the quiet of when they are sleeping safe in their beds.) I (very) strongly feel that our world today is over-stimulated. Children must be playing video games or watching movies all day to be entertained and happy. To me this is very unhealthy. It is not only not "real" but it is just too much. It is a no-brainer to me why so many children have attention problems these days. They have never been allowed to just be. When children are let to be "bored" for a while they quickly learn that they can create their own magic. I love seeing what my children come up with on their own. Sometimes it is something as simple as coloring at their art table. Other times it is more elaborate, like building a "boat" and gathering up beloved stuffed animals to go to Disneyland or get on Noah's ark. One thing that I learned from my own sweet mother is that the messes that are the results of creativity are (for the most part) happy messes and well worth the effort. How much will it matter in a few years (or even a few days) that a mess was made? But the memory of playing with home-made play-dough or cutting up a bazillion little shapes out of paper (and pretending they are snow) will last forever.

Teach children to respect others and to be conscious and sensitive of varying opinions and beliefs while still standing up for their own."See it from their point of view" or "try walking in their shoes" are some of the most important things that we can do as human beings. I want my children to be able to hear a differing opinion or belief and, while they might not agree with it, show respect towards the person. Everyone has had different life experiences and situations that have shaped them into they are. It is not fair or right to judge, especially when considering that we may feel the same way as they if we were in their situation (or "shoes"). At the same time, I want my children to be able to stand up for what they believe in when called for. There is a difference between being tolerant and allowing yourself to be stepped on. This can and should be done in a respectful manner, however.

Never sacrifice organic, nourishing and whole foods, even if it they are more expensive. They are as close as you can get to perfect health insurance. I have my husband to thank for being so stalwart on this front. He has taught me that the cost is worth the quality, there are things that can be done without before we we sacrifice healthy, nourishing food. Processed foods are the main culprit of ill health and we try to avoid them whenever possible. We choose to follow a vegetarian diet, but I whole-heartedly believe that you can have a healthy, well-balanced diet eating meat as well. The most important thing is to be aware of where and how your food comes to you. There is such a disconnect from our meals, (and our snacks, and our drinks). It is easy to ignore the label and enjoy the convenience. We wouldn't let our children sit in a puddle of toxic waste, we shouldn't let them eat things that sound like they are made out of toxic waste ingredients, either. It doesn't have to be fancy. Just whole.

Play with my children everyday.This is something I take very seriously. Whether it is a game of hide-and-seek, musical chairs, or simply reading a big pile of books on the couch together, I always make time for play. It doesn't have to be hours long, I am always surprised at how well 20 minutes can satisfy my children's need for attention. I like to try and find ways to add a little fun to our mostly uneventful days. Most of the time it is as simple as making a "secret lunch" or having a marching band, but they just love it. I try to remember that this is the time they are here with me, that they want to be here with me. I need to take advantage of that as much as possible. Plus, how can I resist when my 22 month old grabs me by the hand and says, "c'mon, mama! play blocks!" There is just no arguing with that.

I really admire Emily and her devotion to natural parenting. I have a lot to learn from her. There is something to be said for using nature as a lead when raising your children. I remember always hearing how dangerous co-sleeping is, or how your children will never learn to sleep if you nurse them at night. But snuggling up with my warm, intoxicating little babes close to my chest is something that came so natural. Those are some of my sweetest memories, I would not trade them for the world. And I now have 3 very soundly sleeping little children that feel safe and content and watched over. To me, the core of natural parenting is listening to your instincts. Don't follow the parenting trends, they are too often found to be faulty. Follow what you know is best for your child, and the best is always first and foremost your time and your love. Hold your children as often as possible, read to them everyday, teach them to find joy in the simple things in life. Give yourself a little more credit, we are all learning this parenting thing for the first time.
Thank you Beth for sharing your insights with us.
(Find her personal blog, HERE.)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Bionorica & Dr. Sears Book Giveaway

Scroll down for the winner of the Babies in Bloom Giveaway

Mamas~ before we know it, Flu Season will be upon us. You all know I'm not running to a doctor to get the flu vaccine. I constantly wonder why American health care is so different than the integrated approach in much of Europe and Asia.

"Europeans and much of the rest of the world recognize that integrative solutions allow for a much more comprehensive approach to health challenges" explains Dr. Narinder Duggal, Clinical Associate Professor, School of Pharmacy at the University of Washington in Seattle.

I want to tell you about a product out of Germany that I have fallen in love with. The company is called Bionorica and they sent me samples a few months ago. I told them I wouldn't promote their product unless I really believed in it and if it worked for my family.
Well, here I am singing their praises.
Check out their website HERE.
Sinupret is a plant based herbal supplement that promotes healthy drainage in the upper respiratory tract, improves airflow in the nose and supports healthy mucous flow in the nose and sinuses. In addition to supporting sinus and respiratory functions, it also supports the immune system. It has been tested in clinical studies and used for over 35 years (in Germany) and has proven safe for children and adults. Sinupret does not contain stimulants, caffeine, ephedra, pseudoephedrine, codeine, steroids, gluten or narcotics. Sinupret has no harmful side effects.

Bionorica is giving away a bottle of Sinupret for kids, Dr. Sears Book The Healthiest Kid in the Neighborhood, a small bag (would be great to hold a purse first aid kit), kid binoculars, and a mini teddy bear (it's super soft). While I disagree with Dr. Sears on a few points (he suggests spaced vaccines -- I don't vax at all) but this is a great book packed with fabulous information. Thank you Bionorica for sponsoring this giveaway!

To enter, comment here before next Friday (the 11th) at noon. Link to this giveaway on your blog and come back for a second entry.
Please join us next week for our alternative schooling series.
Have a great weekend!

Winner!~Babies in Bloom Diaper Giveaway

Thank you to everyone who entered. If it was your first time visiting YNBAM, welcome! I hope all of you come back soon, as I've got more giveaways coming up. Also, if you would like to join our YNBAM Online Community, please clickity click on over.
Our Winner for the Babies in Bloom Boutique sponsored diaper giveaway is...

Congrats Sarah! Contact me at for more details! You are going to go crazy over all the choices you have. You just might have to spoil baby girl : )

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Enjoy Mothering Magazine...FREE!

We celebrate Mothering Magazine around here. So many fabulous articles. And the pictures are always lovely. I enjoy pretty pictures.

Click HERE today to receive a digital copy (bimonthly) of Mothering Magazine FREE! Use coupon code CMDCD.

Thank you Mothering Mag!
Don't forget to enter the cloth diaper giveaway below; )

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Babies in Bloom Diaper Fashion Giveaway

My dearest Reachel over at Cardigan Empire is talking about baby fashion--and of course cloth diapers are the center of that discussion. (You really should drop by the Empire sometime. It's delightful).
Ladies, by now you all know how I feel about cloth diapers.
The only laundry I enjoyed doing is, (and I really do mean this), diapers. There is nothing so perfect as cloth diapers on the clothes line, or fresh out of the dryer. I loved folding them with care to put in drawers, knowing soft cloth--not itchy paper--would adorn my little man's bum.
Perfection, those cloth diapers. Perfection.

Alas, Mo is now in undies so I must refrain from buying. Heavens, this is difficult. But by golly, no one can stop me from looking! And one of my favorite stores to look (wink, wink) is Babies in Bloom. And lucky for everyone who lives outside of San Diego, BIB has an online boutique. Babies in Bloom carries everything from diapers and organic layette, to nursing supplies, natural toys, books and highchair accessories. Basically, if you need it for your baby, they carry it.

Rochelle, Babies in Bloom owner, a real force and supporter of natural parenting choices has graciously offered to sponsor this Giveaway to one lucky reader.

Comment on this post before Friday Sept.4th at noon, and you have the chance to win your choice of either a Bum Genius One Size Pocket Diaper or a Bummis cover (Super Whisper wrap /Super Brite) with 3 prefold diapers. Post about this giveaway on your own blog and come back for a second entry: ) will pick our winner and announce the lucky bum after noon on Friday.
Good Luck, Mamas!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Giveaway~ Cardigan Empire

One of my dearest friends in the world and Fairy Godmother to Mo is doing a giveaway for this adorable Elephant Sweater. Please visit her blog at Cardigan Empire for details on how to win!
Even though I have no girlies, I'm entering anyway.
It's that sweet.

Thinking Mama Monday-Sharon Bodon

I wanted to get to know better the Mamas that inspire me everyday. Some are readers that I've met via blogging. Some are friends I've met after our recent move to San Diego and some I've known for years. All are women that are in the trenches of motherhood, striving to find balance in their lives. When talking with today's mama, I was struck with her philosophy that the little things add up. There are small things we can do everyday to maintain our overall body/mind fitness, helping us keep up with the kiddos. She really walks the talk, so I've asked her to share a few of those tips with us.
Ladies, I present Sharon!

A typical day for me, pre-children: Wake up rested after 8.5 hours of uninterrupted, deep-REM-cycle sleep; a leisurely breakfast of slow cooked oatmeal; off to whichever job I have at the time, which always involves either teaching exercise classes (yoga, pilates, water aerobics, kickboxing) or running a wellness program for a corporation, putting on health fairs, etc; Leave the jobsite after 8 hours, feeling satisfied, thinking I really made a difference for those I taught or educated; Happy hour with friends (pre marriage) OR nice peaceful meal in candlelight (post marriage); watch a good movie; Blissful sleep again....
A typical day for me, post-children: Wake up after about 7 hours of interrupted sleep; leftover pizza for breakfast; stay in my robe for half the day, getting the kids dressed, fed, played with, nursed, diapered, (repeat cycle 3 or 4 times); get stir-crazy at home and venture out to a park or store; return wiped out, wondering why I can't just be happy staying at home all day; attempt a home-cooked healthy family meal which no one really eats much of; order pizza so they won't starve; wonder if the kids/husband really will ever appreciate anything I do; finally get the kids to sleep after many failed attempts; 10 loads of laundry; quick kiss for husband in the hallway as I head off to bed....
I am sure many moms can relate to my pre and post-kid scenarios. I can definitely say that I really never thought parenthood would be so all-consuming! Of course those little angels are worth every bit of effort I make and even without accolades I will do it every day until they are grown. One thing I am not, though, is a martyr. I do find ways throughout my day to retain some semblance of the independent, fitness-oriented woman I want to remain and refuse to blame motherhood for insanity or weight-gain.
Acquaintances with kids have asked me how I stay fit and seem to be pretty sane. I'd like to share some of those fitness and health tips with other moms who feel that they just don't have the time or energy to focus on themselves.
So to add a few details in the post-children scenario:
That less than perfect night of sleep could have been much worse (I think all moms just have to accept that they will not sleep like they did pre-kid for a LONG time). Hubby and I take shifts: Me: 8pm to 2am, Him: 2am to 8am. This works out pretty well for allowing each of us SOME uninterrupted sleep-time.
That leftover pizza is thin-crust, light-on-the-cheese, heavy on the veggies pizza. In regards to all food intake while stay-at-home-mommying: grazing on leftover kid food all day is a bad idea. Make yourself a real plate of food at least twice a day so you can really focus on the quantity and quality.
Playtime with kids: usually involves doing something really physically active: dancing, sports, gymnastics, actually getting in the play structures at the park and climbing gym WITH them. People really won't think you're nuts, just young at heart.
Also, it is possible to do Pilates and Yoga to maintain muscle tone and flexibility even without heading off to a class. The key is to learn several yoga poses and Pilates movements and perform them ALL THROUGHOUT the day. For example, before I even get out of bed in the morning, I do 3 Pilates exercises, then as I play with the kids on the floor I'll hold a yoga pose, like bridge or downward dog for example, and tell the kids to make a game of going underneath me. Then I "teach" a fitness class to the kids, and while of course they are not following along well, they are having a blast just trying. I'll hold a yoga balance pose and tell the kids to throw soft pillows at me to try to knock me over which fun for them, good for challenging my balance. I use the crib rail as a ballet barre: while comforting the baby as she's trying to go to sleep, I do plies and barre work.
I know that this daily routine of mine is not keeping me at triathlete levels of fitness. It is a basic maintenance plan, which is so important as we get older especially. It's also really good for the kids to see you being so active, as it sets them up for a lifetime of physical fitness themselves. If mom and dad do it, they probably will too. Even that evening laundry session might seem tedious, but I have convinced myself that this is my opportunity to zone out, or "zen out" and do a sort of meditation. I repeat a mantra and practice deep breathing exercises as I fold those mounds of clothes. I hope at least one idea will inspire another mom to take a little control back of her health!
Sharon Bodon

Thank you Sharon! I am off to downward dog into a bridge for Mo~

Thursday, August 27, 2009


This scene makes me want to breathe deeply

Today's natural remedy is oxygen. Yes. You read correctly.
Have you ever been lost in thought and suddenly found yourself out of breath from lack of...breathing? I think we all experience this in times of stress, and I want to send a friendly reminder.


Lack of oxygen causes all kinds of health issues: Stroke, heart attack, muscle tension, it has even been linked to cancer. Read HERE for more info on the importance of oxygen to our bodies and our minds.
Take a moment right now...
"Try an experiment suggested by Swami Vishnudevananda. Focus attention upon the ticks of a clock placed at a distance of about twelve feet. If you get distracted, try concentrating harder until you experience the ticking with undivided attention. If you fail at first, you should try again and again until you succeed in keeping the ticking clearly in mind for at least a few seconds. What happened? The majority of persons who took part in this experiment reported that they have completely suspended the breath. The others, who had less concentration, reported that they experienced very slow breathing. This experiment shows clearly that where there is concentration of the mind, the breathing becomes very slow or even get suspended temporarily."

Monday, August 24, 2009

This Thinking Mama

Our family November'08

I've asked mothers who I feel embody natural parenting practices to guest blog for our Thinking Mama Monday posts. Of course they have graciously accepted. I decided it was only fair before asking them to share their very personal stories, that I ask the same of myself. And since I have not spoken much of what attracted me to Attachment/Natural Parenting, I thought now was a good time to do so.

It started for me over 10 years ago, in high school.

I was researching cultures around the world and found that Asia, South America, Africa and Australia had one thing in common: A majority of the people in these places did not use diapers until American diaper companies introduced them in the 1980's. They instead listened to their infant's cues when he needed to eliminate---just like when a baby cries because he is hungry, tired, hot or cold. This one practice, (called Elimination Communication or EC) opened my eyes to a whole other way of parenting I didn't know existed,

Attachment Parenting- also known as AP.

It did then, and still does make so much sense to listen to our children. I became addicted to researching parenting philosophies. While I view myself as relaxed in some AP practices and more "to the letter" in others, I do it because it helps me feel fulfilled as a mother. I strongly believe that everyone should get all the information they can and make the decisions that work best for them in their families. Period. Every situation is different, and judgement should never be made of other's choices.

My faith in AP was strengthened when I became a mother...3 times over.

In August '07 my husband Roger and I enjoyed a beautiful birth at home with our son Morris. His arrival was one of the pinnacle events for me as a woman. I was born a mother that day.

Last summer we learned we were expecting twins. I had an extremely healthy, uncomplicated, pregnancy. Every test was perfectly textbook, but due to Arizona laws (which I deem unconstitutional) regarding homebirth of twins, my real plan was to birth out of state--(In a hotel with an out of state midwife trained in twin birth). In the meantime I met with a doctor and (unofficially) consulted with a homebirth midwife (who knew nothing of my plan) concerning diet, etc. Despite having the best of both worlds, our boys Sheldon and Thomas were suddenly born premature and lived only a short while before graduating this life. Tests reveal no medical reason or explanation for the early labor and as a spiritual person, I know they were meant for a different mission than this life had to offer. Yet even with this knowledge, I was born a baby-lost mother on that day last October.

The message I want and need other women to know regarding my situation is that were it not for my beautiful, empowering, life changing homebirth with Morris, I wouldn't have had the strength to be emotionally present at the exquisitely heartbreaking birth of my twins. I experienced both the joy and sadness that birthing two angels brings a mother. Being emotionally present has made all the difference in my grieving process. The bond I have with Morris has helped me continue to heal and I know that is strengthened by breastfeeding, co-sleeping and other AP practices.

Unfortunately, most hospitals are not equipped to support mothers spiritually and emotionally after these kinds of experiences as my AP community did. For these, and many other reasons, I strongly believe in the midwifery model for uncomplicated pregnancies and plan to birth at home when given the opportunity.

I started this blog in the hopes of passing on a gift I was given: The knowledge of choices in birth and parenting.

We have the freedom to choose for ourselves what is best for our families in where we birth and how we parent. Exercise those freedoms and learn all you can.

Friday, August 21, 2009


Become a Member today!

Intuitive parenting without judgment of ourselves or others.
Looking for connection to moms practicing attachment parenting? Join others with a desire to parent in harmony with their child's nature and spirit. We are mothers who believe that our children are innately good. We believe in parenting joyfully, nonviolently, and unconditionally. Attachment parenting goes beyond babies and toddlers. The principles of unconditional love and support stay with us and our children as they grow and continue to experiment with the world. We ask that group members always be respectful of the way others parent.

If you're a little bit "granola", we'd love to have you~ This group is for crunchy mamas interested in any (not necessarily all) elements of Attachment/Natural/Conscious/Intuitive Parenting such as... Breastfeeding, cloth diapering, child led weaning, drug-free birth, elimination communication, baby wearing, co-sleeping, natural remedies/holistic healing, eating whole foods, homeschooling, alternative schooling; and/or unschooling (child-led learning), sustainable living, no vaccines and positive/gentle discipline.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Whooping Cough -Natural Remedy Thursday

As a teenager, I was vaccinated for Pertussis (Whooping Cough). I contracted it 4 years later. I was misdiagnosed at first because of my vaccination record. If I had a proper diagnosis earlier, I could have treated and possibly eliminated the worst part of the virus.*** The only upside in having the virus was that I will never get it again because I now have the natural antibodies against it.
I will not talk more about vaccines today. I've already done that HERE. But I do want to reiterate a few things that every parent should know, regardless of if you choose to vaccinate or not, regardless of if you believe they are effective or not. If you vaccinate your child for a disease, contracting that disease is still possible. Please be aware that in outbreaks, up to 90% of the affected persons have been vaccinated. Many times, a disease will be wrongly ruled out by the doctors because a person has been vaccinated (as in my case). Everyone needs to have a plan and know of options if you or your child contract a disease.

A week or two after exposure, the catarrhal stage begins. The eyes may be red, and the child seems to have a cold in the head. There is sneezing and watering of the eyes. Then a persistent cough develops, especially bad at night. This coughing continues a week, and keeps getting worse—and is the most significant indication that the problem may be whooping cough. If the cough is not treated, in about 2 weeks, the typical whoop begins. At first, only 1-2 times a day, it degrades to every time there is coughing. It is a deep breath at the end of a series of deep coughs. The child's face may be reddish or bluish from the effort and lack of air. Vomiting may also occur. This whooping stage lasts 3-6 weeks, and the cough may not entirely disappear for several months.

Whooping cough is a contagious bacterial disease, which usually attacks children between 6 months and 5 years of age. But newborns and adults can also be affected. The disease is not highly contagious after the first few weeks. The most contagious phase is before a definite diagnosis is possible. Whooping cough occurs more frequently, and seriously, in overcrowded and unhygienic quarters and cold weather. Vaccine?--You should weigh the fact that pertussis vaccine is one of the most dangerous of the shots in its occasional side effects.

• Treat the cough! When a cough first develops, treat the cough. If you do so, the whooping cough phase can be entirely prevented.
• Wild cherry bark tea is excellent. Here are other herbs useful for coughs; select from those you have on hand or can most easily obtain. They can be mixed: black cohosh, flaxseed, rosemary, comfrey, horehound, hyssop, myrrh, white pine, bloodroot, red sage, blue violet, ginseng, coltsfoot. Prepare a tea and give a teaspoonful every hour until the cough is better.
• Be sure and include other worthwhile practices, such as partial or complete fasting on fruit and vegetable juices until the cough is past.
• When the cough is severe, as in whooping cough, drinking warm water, one cup after another, followed by induced vomiting can expectorate sputum (mucus or phlegm).
• A light diet is essential. Overfeeding during the whooping cough prolongs the disease and leads to complications. In case it is a breast-fed infant, do not overfeed either. The child is thirsty, not hungry.
• As soon as it is perceived that the problem is whooping cough, place him on a full fruit juice fast. First, give citrus juices. This can be followed by other fruit juices; then carrot and other vegetable juices, and clear vegetable broth soup. Later still, fruit can be added.
• Give vitamins A and C in large doses.
• It is good to soak the feet in hot water, with a little mustard and salt added to it.
• Steam inhalations are often very helpful. They can be given every 2-4 hours, according to the severity of the case.
• Thick slippery elm tea is very good in whooping cough; mix in a little lemon juice and drink it freely.
• Keep him isolated from other children.
• If the weather is warm, sunny, and not too damp or dusty, keep him out of doors most of the day. But he should not exert himself in play.
• Air and sun his bedding every day, if there is sunshine.
• Sodium Ascorbat Powder (pure, filler free). You can get it in your health food store. 375 mg / per kg body weight or until they have one lose stool. Then cut it back but just a little bit. Put into some diluted juice and let the child sip it all day long.

***"The disease [Pertussis] is difficult to diagnose. Currently,to be completely sure of the diagnosis of pertussis, you have to take a culture, which is a catch-22 because the cultures are only positive at the very beginning of the illness in the first week or two. At this time, the cough is very mild and neither the patient nor the doctor is thinking about the diagnosis. By the time they do think of pertussis because the cough has become more severe or lasted for a couple of weeks, the culture—which is taken from the nose—is often negative."
-Dr. Pichichero at

~I'm done with summer break~

Alright. I'm ready to be back. I've been visiting family and friends, loving every minute of it. But I'm ready to write!

Tomorrow will be Natural Remedies Thursday, and Thinking Mama Mondays are reappearing too. Coming up, a back to school post on alternative education (It's never too early to plan for next year). And another little announcement to come on Friday... I'm kind of excited about it~

Lastly, here's a little something from my Mo who turned 2 Monday. Don't mind him...he always wears his birthday suit.
Hmm...maybe an EC post or two coming up? ; )

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Essential Oils Part 2 guest post with Kara Bagley

For all those waiting on the edge of your seats for this week's EO post~ I had miscommunicated with Mrs. Bagley and told her to be ready with this post next Monday. Ooops! She obliged and got it done for me early.
Thanks again Kara for a fabulous, informative post!

Before I get to the Q& A from my last post on essential oils (EO's), I wanted to touch on my experience with blends. EO blends differ from company to company, but many of them are comparable to one another. There are three reasons I love to use blends.

First, it allows me to obtain and oil that would otherwise be too expensive. Whether blended with a less expensive EO (like citronella) or a carrier oil (like coconut), a blend can keep you from breaking the bank. I use Native American Nutritionals (NAN's) Serenity for calming anxiety, it contains chamomile which is around $100 a bottle! So I can get the benefits of chamomile for far less because it is blended with inexpensive EO's like patchouli and orange.
Secondly, with these oils being so potent, you will want to dilute most of them for skin contact. Some oils are blended for ease of use. I love NAN's Tummy Rub blend for traveling with carsickness and indigestion from eating poor foods. This blend can be used straight form the bottle and rubbed right on my tummy.
Third, a common practice when using EO's is if one doesn't work; try a different oil. Not all body's or ailments will react the same to every oil every time, and there are usually a handful that have been known to be effective. A blend made up of a variety of EO's that work together will give you a better chance of finding relief from your problem. My favorite bottle in my possession is NAN's Spice Traders blend. I mix it in a spray bottle 10 drops to an ounce of water and give my mouth a few sprays a day to boost my immune system, especially if I have been around somebody who is sick. When I feel like I am coming down with something, like a little soreness in my throat, a headache or low energy, I take 3 drops in a vegetable capsule filled with cod liver oil at least 3 times a day, every day until I feel better.
Once you grow experienced with essential oils you can mix up your own blends, but for a beginner this is a fool proof way to use EO's.
Now, on the the Q&A:
Q. Would you talk more about what therapeutic grade essential oils are?
A. Therapeutic grade EO's are extracted from plants in the most delicate way to preserve the fragile compounds that are essential for medicinal healing. Beware only 2 percent of EO companies in the U.S. sell true therapeutic grade and sadly trusted companies have been known to start stretching their oils to make ends meet.
Q. How many drops come in a bottle of essential oils? Shelf life?
A. 15 ml is about 300 drops depending on viscosity. If the oil is neat (unadulterated or undiluted and not extended) it will last indefinitely in the right conditions except for lemon peel which can be stored for up to 3 years. Oils that are blended have a shorter life span due to rancidity of the carrier oil.
Q. What does adulterated essential oils mean?
A. An adulterated EO is altered in some way, usually to stretch the smell or taste of an oil. Companies do this by adding alcohol, adding terpenes from another oil, adding a cheaper oil to an expensive oil, adding a colorless and odorless synthetic product, or by substituting an oil for another cheaper oil. Some of these methods can actually be toxic and health deteriorating!
Q. How can you ensure that your oils are not adulterated?
A. This is the toughest about using EO's. I have taken some classes from very knowledgeable woman who have use the oils from various EO companies. There is a test that can be done to measure the quality of the EO, but requires specialized equipment. A trained nose can detect an adulterated oil. The reason I buy from Native American Nutritionals (NAN) is because there are a number of people I know personally that vouch for the company and their oils. NAN has the lowest price at this time. Two other companies I have had enough experience with to trust are Forever Young, Forever Green and Mountain Rose Herbs.
Q. What is the difference between organic versus non-organic?
A. Like fruits and vegetables, organic is a certification the herb farm can get for growing chemical free. That being said, just because they are not labeled doesn't mean they are grown with chemicals. The certification is quite a process that small farms do not tend to have the energy to deal with.
Q. What is the difference between essential oils and fragrance oils?
A. Fragrance oils may be marketed as essential oils, but are commonly adulterated oils that are intended for perfumes and soaps with little to no healing properties.
Q. How do you properly store and care for your essential oils?
A. Essential oils should be stored in blue glass bottles away from heat and direct sunlight. When traveling, it is best to carry small amounts and leave your large bottles at home. You can purchase bitty 5/8 dram (30 drop) bottles with your carrying case from Addicted to Oils. EO's are volatile, meaning they evaporate. Always keep the lid on when not in use.
Q. Can I use the same oils for therapy as I would for making scented soap?
A Yes, soap is a great way to incorporate EO's in your daily skin care regimen. In fact, I wanted to share some of my easy, effective and frugal recipes I have been using.
Moisturizer: Coconut oil is a super light moisturizer for all your skin, especially your face. I keep it in a ½ ounce cold cream container. You can add a few drops of geranium oil for balancing oil glands and cellular regeneration with lavender to stimulate circulation and diminish scars and wrinkles. NAN makes two nice blends; Skin Care and Baby Soft that are perfect for daily healing and moisturizing treatments.
Toner: Face washes are basic, to bring the skin back to balance a light acidic solution is perfect. I use a mixture of 1 ounce water and 1 teaspoon raw apple cider vinegar. Here, EO's are great for covering up the smell of the vinegar. Fennel seed is a great one that also tightens the skin and brightens complexion.
Deodorant: Combine equal portions of baking soda and arrowroot powder (¼ cup each). Combine 5 tablespoons coconut oil and 10 drops lemongrass, then work the two mixtures together with a spoon until it obtains the substance you desire. Place in a small container with lid or an old store bought deodorant stick.

Thank you Kara! With this education, I think we are well on our way to using EO's on a daily basis~

Monday, July 20, 2009

Essential Oils guest post with Kara Bagley

I am excited to start another series here called Thinking Mama Monday. I have "met" a few of you online and a few more in person. I feel each of you have something to contribute to this community. Mondays I will be spotlighting women who have inspired me to learn more and incorporate natural parenting philosophies into my life.

Many of you know my good friend Kara (author of cooking blog, Taste is Trump) has helped me in my healthy cooking endeavors. Something you may not know is that she is also well versed in another topic I have been quite interested in. I've asked Kara to start off her two part guest post by sharing a bit about what got her interested in essential oils and teaching us about them. Without further ado, I give you Kara Bagley.

Photo credit HERE

"Enjoying optimal health has always been important for me. I learned to control how I am feeling largely through my diet. A healthy diet puts your body in a position that is always gravitating to health and healing and away from sickness and infection. The diet consumed by the majority of our society has put them in a position teetering from one side to the other, never able to fully heal from ailments.
I disagree with the way many traditional doctors counsel their patients with little good information about consuming whole foods and natural remedies while overusing aggressive treatments and harmful drugs. I have heard of doctors prescribing antibiotics for babies who look like they might be getting and ear infection and mothers willingly administering the drugs because the doctor thinks it is harmless. The fact is that many children (especially healthy ones) can get over ear infections with out any treatment and there are many natural remedies that can give a helpful boost if needed. In my search for homeopathic treatment, I was lead to essential oils (EO’s).
I started out with tea tree oil because of its limitless uses, but my first real experience was alleviating a coughing household using lavender and eucalyptus on my family’s feet. The nerve endings in your feet carry impulses through your entire body and the pores on your feet are big and absorbent, so it is one of the best ways to administer EO’s. After committing myself to learn more, I have picked up on ways to clean my home, treat sunburn, bug bites, cuts, stop profuse bleeding, dispel an ear infection, keep squirrels out of my garden…I have been able to avoid colds and the flu by using EO’s to boost my immune system and rid myself of the carsickness that plagues me every time I drive in the mountains.
Another wonderful use for EO’s is liver cleansing. Our world is so toxic, cleaners, pollution, chemicals on clothing, hair products, in our water and especially food. The liver is on overload. A little boost with 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 drop of lemon oil and 1 drop of peppermint oil every morning and allergies clear up, reoccurring headaches go away, you have more energy and less sugar cravings, the list goes on. It is quick, painless and works!Essential oils are extracted from plants and contain a concentrated essence of the plant they are from. These oils have many medicinal applications ranging from emotional, spiritual and physical. God gave us these oils to treat ourselves and I believe this is the perfect time to learn how to use them as modern medicine becomes more and more corrupted by business, government and money.
I wanted to get some tangible, starter information out on using EO’s because I have had such great experiences with them. Feel free to ask questions for there is far too much to cover in one blog post. I am constantly learning more uses, please share your experience so we all can be more effective as we care for our families.
The first thing to know is that not all oils are as potent, even if the bottle says 100 %, up to 49 % could be extender (stinking FDA). This creates a big question mark when deciding how much to use and also drastically reduces the shelf life. Next, not all EO companies use the best process for extracting the oils from the plants. Some companies use a quicker, easier process which will diminish the quality of the oil, so you will want to find a good source to buy your EO’s. One last thing to note when using a full strength therapeutic grade EO’s on a baby; dilute 75% with a coconut or olive oil. Children under 3 dilute 50%. This applies for all these EO's except for lavender and tea tree, which are gentle enough to apply neat (undiluted.)
Here is an introduction of 5 staple EO’s with some of the most common uses:

  • Apply lavender oil neat to skin for all burns, skin irritations, acne, rashes, insect bites and abrasions for relief, healing and to minimize scarring.
  • Apply a drop to your fingers and rub on temples for relief from a tension headache.
  • Combine 10 drops of lavender and 4 ounces of water in a spray bottle and spritz skin and clothing for insect repellent.
  • Mix 3 drops of lavender and ¼ cup milk with warm water for a calming bath.
  • Place one drop on a tissue and inhale to relax and calm, slide tissue in pillowcase for better sleep.
  • Inhalation can also reduce mood swings, PMS, depression, anxiety.
  • Drop peppermint oil neat on a bee sting or bug bite for pain and itch relief.
  • Rub a drop of peppermint oil neat on temples, hairline on back of neck and on sinuses for headache relief.
  • Rub a drop mixed with 5 drops of coconut or olive oil on stomach for nausea, indigestion, bloating or cramps.
  • Open bottle and inhale for relief from fatigue, jet lag, motion sickness, nausea, vertigo, curb appetite, improve concentration, and to calm nerves. For children, put a drop on a cotton pad and let them sniff away for a long car ride or if they are nervous about something.
  • Drop 5 drops on a cotton ball and place by plants to keep animals away. Or to deter rats, mice, ants or cockroaches, place along path or point of entry.
  • 2 drops peppermint oil to 1 cup water in a spray bottle, spritz for sunburn relief.
    Tea Tree
  • Drop tea tree oil directly on an open wound to keep clear from infection and aid healing.
  • Combine 10 drops tea tree and 1 oz water in a small spray bottle and spritz face after washing to heal and discourage acne.
  • Apply 1 drop undiluted to individual blemishes with a q-tip.
  • To clear a wart or skin/nail fungus, apply one drop morning and night up to 2 weeks.
  • Works best if you keep it covered so the oil stays in contact with the infected skin as long as possible.
  • Drop 3 drops in with you laundry soap to kill germs and deodorize (great for cloth diapers and other really smelly laundry.)
  • Mix 1 drop per ounce of water to make a bacteria killing mouthwash.
  • Add 3 drops to your humidifier to inhibit the growth of mold and clean the air.
  • Add a drop of tea tree oil to 2 cup homemade baby wipe solution to extend shelf life.
  • Rub a drop on your hands to sanitize when washing is not possible. (In place of hand sanitizer.)
  • Drop lemon oil neat on athlete’s foot, a cold sore, wart, corn, bunion or callous day and night.
  • Apply one drop neat on location to stop bleeding (gums, shaving nicks, bloody noses).
  • 5 drops in 2 cups of water in a spray bottle. Shake well before each use. Spray on surfaces (great for bathroom and kitchen counters) and in air to disinfect.
  • Soak fruit in a mixture of 2 drops lemon oil and a quart of water to clean and increase shelf life. Dry fruit before storing. Can also use this mixture for soaking dirty dish rags or cloth diapers.
  • Use 1-2 drops neat to remove gum, grease/oil spots or crayon from surfaces.
  • 5 drops of Eucalyptus in 1 cup of baking powder can be used in place of Comet cleaner for sinks, toilets and bath tubs.
  • Rub a drop on each foot after showering each day to ward off colds.
  • 2 drops eucalyptus to 1 tablespoon coconut oil rub into scalp for dandruff treatment.
  • 8 drops in a cup of water in a spray bottle to disinfect, floors, counters, air, kids (great regimen for de-germing after school.)
  • F0r sinus problems, congestion and coughs; place a drop on a tissue, cover nose with tissue and breath.
  • Eucalyptus oil may be dabbed directly onto the skin to relieve pain and itching of insect bites and stings.
  • Mix 3 drops of eucalyptus with ¼ cup milk and add to a warm bath for relief from the fever and flu.
  • 2 drops with 1 tablespoon coconut oil to rub on achy joints (arthritis), achy muscles, or sprains.
    Once you are converted and committed to treating your family with EO's, the best way to get started is to buy what you can and have them accessible at all times. You’ll find there is a bit of a learning curve, but it does not take long to catch on. Basically the only thing you can do wrong with EO’s is to get them in your eye (ouch!) This is just the tip of the iceberg, there is so much more that EO’s can be used for; skin care, hair care, household cleaning, pain, emotional therapy, stress, even cancer. A blogger that I know and trust has a site with great info.
    After you have aquired some experience with EO’s, you will never want to leave home without them, I don’t. If you are looking for an easy way to keep your EO’s handy, “Addicted to Oils” makes perfect-for-your-purse EO cases. The cases hold small vials and dropper bottles, it also has a pocket for gel capsules and band aids. They are truly invaluable when it comes to anything away from home; playing at the park, going to the pool and especially traveling.
  • Email me at karabagley(at)gmail(dot)com and I will take your questions for a Q&A post to follow."

    Thank you Kara. We look forward to reading the Q&A next Monday!

    Monday, July 6, 2009

    The Science of Kangaroo Care

    Yet another great link brought to my attention by friend Shell (who happens to be a fabulous midwife if you are a lookin').
    HERE is a link to an article which looks at scientific evidence of skin to skin contact for baby and mama moments after birth. Truly fascinating. Check it out.

    Arizona Birth Network and interview with Pam England

    An amazing human being and Doula, Leigh Steele has posted something really beautiful on The Arizona Birth Network Blog.
    An interview with Pam England, Author of Birthing From Within .
    She addresses birthstory medicine and how women feel regarding their birthstories.
    I have listened to it twice and I am still thinking about it.

    Arizona Birth Network Blog

    Thursday, July 2, 2009

    Peeling Skin--Natural Remedy Thursday

    No sun protection? Didn't attend to your sunburn?
    Now you have peeling skin. Here are some helpful remedies to provide immediate relief or prevent skin from further peeling.

    Home Remedies to cure peeling skin
    -For all-over peeling, soak in a cool oatmeal bath.
    -Drink plenty of water about 10-12 glasses a day.
    -Use mild soaps instead of strong, harsh soaps. Take cool showers.
    -Grated cucumber applied over the affected areas for 15-20 minutes has been found to be effective especially for the skin on the face. Regular application prevents dryness of the skin.
    -Applying the juice of fresh mint every night on affected areas of the skin can help prevent dryness.
    -Honey, olive oil and a mixture of turmeric and sandalwood paste are very effective in rejuvenating dry, parched skin.

    Wednesday, July 1, 2009

    Huge step forward in Natural Birth

    Courtesy Luna Maya Birth Center

    The Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada recently revised their practice guidelines on breech birth. As of this week (June 2009), they no longer recommend routine cesarean for breech babies!
    This is a huge step forward as it was the Canadian society and research that pushed material deeming vaginal breech birth unsafe.

    The announcement from the SOGC is here:
    The guidelines:

    Breach birth is safe and straight forward with a care provider who is well educated for it. Many midwives and some doctors have this level of training.
    "One of the most important statements in my mind of the announcement and guidelines is the acknowledgement that there are very few providers (in hospitals) who know how to attend a safe breech vaginal birth. I would like to offer the skills of myself and other homebirth midwives who for centuries have been safely attending breech births at home."
    ~Cristina of Luna Maya

    Wednesday, June 24, 2009

    Sunscreen---choosing wisely

    I have had great suggestions on posts. Keep them coming ladies!
    Choosing a safe sunscreen for you and your family can get tricky. All claim to be safe, but which ones really are best? Can we buy without breaking our budgets?
    Skin Deep, otherwise know as the Environmental Working Group, is a third party cosmetics safety database giving great information to help you make a good decision.
    From the website:
    "When we began our sunscreen investigation at the Environmental Working Group, our researchers thought we would ultimately recommend against micronized and nano-sized zinc oxide and titanium dioxide sunscreens. ...But many months and nearly 400 peer-reviewed studies later, we find ourselves drawing a different conclusion, and recommending some sunscreens that may contain nano-sized ingredients.
    Our study shows that consumers who use sunscreens without zinc and titanium are likely exposed to more UV radiation and greater numbers of hazardous ingredients than consumers relying on zinc and titanium products for sun protection. We found that consumers using sunscreens without ZnO and TiO2 would be exposed to an average of 20% more UVA radiation — with increased risks for UVA-induced skin damage, premature aging, wrinkling, and UV-induced immune system damage — than consumers using zinc- and titanium-based products. Sunscreens without zinc or titanium contain an average of 4 times as many high hazard ingredients known or strongly suspected to cause cancer or birth defects, to disrupt human reproduction or damage the growing brain of a child. They also contain more toxins on average in every major category of health harm considered: cancer (10% more), birth defects and reproductive harm (40% more), neurotoxins (20% more), endocrine system disruptors (70% more), and chemicals that can damage the immune system (70% more) (EWG 2007)."
    Here are my top three picks based on their ingredient safety as well as sun protection.

    California Baby Sunblock Stick No Fragrance, SPF 30+ *

    $13.99 at Target

    Badger Sunscreen, SPF 30 *

    $13.95 Found at

    Be safe in the sun this summer!

    Monday, June 22, 2009

    A must read

    Very informative article about infant massage at Midwifery Today.

    Child Development and Creative Dance

    Photo Source
    I grew up in a dance studio.
    My mother ran the studio and taught classes while I toddled my way around the rooms. Every day was Mommy take daughter to work day. I can't help but believe this early exposure to movement deeply influenced the way I process information and create dance.
    In college my focus was ballet based modern choreography. It has all the benefits of ballet technique, but is easier on the joints. Plus, lets be honest. I love to roll around on the floor like a 4 year old and modern dance justifies that. It feels good to move.

    Now that Morris is old enough, I'm looking at a few classes here in town. I adore watching him explore the elements of movement: space, time and energy. Kids love to discover all the options that are available to them to find they have choices in how they move.
    I got back last week from the camp. I fell in love all over again with teaching the fundamentals of movement. I love a lack of inhibition. There are so many life lessons to be had from simply watching such free and open bodies doing anything that comes to mind without care or thought to what it looks like and who is watching. However, over the years of teaching, I am seeing this lack of inhibition and creativity far less frequently.
    Children are generally taught in a very linear system. They sit in desks arranged in grids. They walk in a row to the playground. They go through the lunch room in a straight line. These activities train the brain in very specific ways. While it is good to have structure, and it is good for a 2nd grade teacher to have order in the classroom, the brain needs to develop in circular patterns as well. This can mean several different things.

    First, dance/movement provides what is called a rich sensory environment which means giving the experience that can forge more pathways between cells in the brain. The more types of movement and movement patterns a child is exposed to, the more synapses are created. On the other side of it, if children are not given the opportunity to move in certain ways (circular patterns included) the brain will not develop in those areas. This can mean that child's brain will always look to solve problems using what I'll call the straight line synapses. The options become limited.

    "Clear evidence has emerged that suggests that activity, experience, attachment, and stimulation determine the structure of the brain.
    Early experiences directly affect how the brain is "wired."
    At birth, baby's brain is remarkably unfinished. Most of its 100 billion neurons are not yet connected in networks. Some neurons are programmed for specific functions-breathing and heartbeat, but most are not yet designated for tasks and are waiting for the experiences in the environment to determine their function. Connections are created by the sensory experiences that stimulate the growth of neural connections. Forming and reinforcing these connections are the key tasks of early brain development.
    A child's brain forms twice as many synapses (connections) as the child will eventually use. If these synapses are used repeatedly in a child's day-to-day life, they are reinforced. If they are not used repeatedly, they are eliminated. In this way, experience places a crucial role in the "wiring" of a child's brain. Activity levels drop naturally during adolescence when the brain "prunes" unused connections."

    I am a huge advocate of creative movement classes for all children--The body is our instrument. Let's Play!