Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Hello, Everyone! It's me, Ramona!

Yesterday we were looking for hats at my parents' house for the kids to play dress up with. I found a huge, wide brimmed one in my mom's closet. Ramona immediately put it on and started looking for a mirror. What does she do when she finds one? She strikes a pose and says, "Hello, everyone! Welcome to the show! It's me, Ramona!"

Honestly, my first thought was, Oh CRAP! Someone is going to want to put her on TV! You know, one of those awful Disney shows where the kids start out all funny and wholesome and end up half naked pop stars by the time they turn 18.

I didn't even think to take a picture of her in the adorable hat. I was too terrified. This is my NIGHTMARE! I have always sworn I would never put my child in "the biz" and become one of those mom/managers, who will corrupt their children for a price.

Please God, let this premonition NOT come true. Amen. P.S. Thanks for the adorable, hilarious, little girl!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

We got rid of our microwave...I'm serious.

I just recently read a blog post about how horrible microwaves are for you and your food. (See it here) I have heard whispers in the past that microwaves are bad, blah blah blah. But, I didn't want to hear it. I loved my microwave and EVERYBODY has a microwave. It's 2012, people! So for years I just shut my ears off and refused to hear the bad stuff. And then the other night I slipped up and read that blog. Dang it. Now I know. Microwaves change our food. It turns healthy food into unhealthy food. Not to mention all the "safe" small doses of radiation that a microwave uses. Well, what's the dang point?!? I looked over at Chris and said, "I think we have to get rid of our microwave". And he agreed! What an amazing man.

My favorite parts of this whole thing are how I feel after purging something bad and realizing that I can live without it and the conversation that I had with Ramona as I was packing up the microwave into the junk closet.

Ramona: What are you doing?
Me: I'm getting rid of our microwave because I found out that it is bad for our bodies.
Ramona: Oh, what are you going to do with it?
Me: I don't know. We could give it away.
Ramona: But, if it's bad for our bodies won't it be bad for somebody else's body too?
Me: Well...yes. Maybe we can take it to Goodwill and if somebody wants it then they can buy it.
Ramona: But it will be bad for their body too!
Me: Yep...hmmm. I don't know. Should we throw it away?
Ramona: I think so.
Me: Ok, I'll talk to your dad.

Like I said, it's in our junk closet. I don't know what to do with it. Possibly the recycling center? I don't want to pollute the earth either!

So, who thinks we're crazy!?! :)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Natural Medicine Research

Hello blogging friends! Yes, the Chalman clan is still here I've just had no motivation to blog in the past, um, 5 months. Between traveling with the band, gardening, kids, and just life we have been pretty busy. We have also managed to go to the doctor a THOUSAND times. We have discovered this year that Max probably has asthma. Every time he gets a cold (which is every other month) he starts wheezing, which leads to antibiotics and a breathing treatment 3 times a day. And of course the first antibiotic never works, so we get another one. This all adds up to Max being on 3 kinds of medication for weeks every other month. So the doctors are talking about putting him on a daily preventative medication...um...he's ONE! Don't get me wrong, I'm not against medication, it's great! But I do have a problem with my one year old taking a crap ton of medication all the time. But, I'm not a doctor. What do I do about this? How do I stop it? This is the desperation I that led to my discovery of Natural Medicine. If I'm being honest with you, before this point my opinion of Natural Medicine was that it didn't work. It was a poor substitute for hippies and all those crunchy granola people in Austin. And I'M not a hippie, my family goes to doctors for everything...all the time. Wait a minute. I kind of am a hippie now. Over the past year God has opened my eyes to all the ways my family was abusing the earth (aka. His gift to us), dumping chemicals and fake food into our bodies (the bodies He made) and taking advantage of the people in other countries (aka. KILLING them with our purchases). That has led to the Chalman family buying organic, eating whole foods, gardening, shopping second hand, sponsoring a child in Africa (more on that later), making our own cleaning and beauty products (hello, homemade deodorant!) and now stocking a Natural Medicine cabinet. For the past month I have devoured blogs and library books researching everything I can about the world of Natural Medicine. And here is what I've found...are you ready for this? It's long, like 9 pages. Let me preemptively say that I am NOT a doctor. I am researching this information and trying it out on me and my family as safely as possible. So, please, use this information as a jumping off point for your own research. I haven't tried many of these remedies yet. But so far I have been extremely please with the ones I have used. There is also so much more out there than just what I have found. I tailored this list to my family. For example, I'm not pregnant so I didn't bother with the pregnancy warnings or morning sickness remedies. If you are pregnant or nursing, do your research! Don't use any of these remedies with out finding out if it's safe for you. And with out further ado, here is my research:

Natural Medicine

Internal Dosages:
For all preparations used internally, adjust the dosage by weight of the individual.  Half to 3/4 strength for weak or low weight adult sized individuals; 1/2 for older children; 1/4 strength for small children; 1/8 for toddlers.

Essential Oil Dilution Table:
Application    Essential Oil Drops    Amount of Carrier
Massage                       6                        1 oz. oil
Compress                    24                       4 oz. water
Body Mist                   24                       4 oz. water
Room Spray               48                        4 oz. water
Room Diffusion           12                       1-2 oz. water
Always refer to essential oil label guidelines and warnings before use. Do not use undiluted essential oils on your skin. Always dilute in a carrier such as olive oil, coconut oil, sunflower seed oil, grape seed oil, water, etc… Make sure to use Organic, cold pressed, unrefined oils.

Tips and General Recipes:
Oral Medication
Adding oral medications to tea or other beverages can help to disguise the vodka or bitter taste of some herbs. Hot tea will remove the alcohol. That's something important to remember when using the remedy with children. Glycerin can also be used instead of alcohol when preparing the medication.

Herbal Honey (for kids and husbands instead of teas)
Add about 1/4 cup of dried herbs to 1 cup of slightly warmed honey (you can do this by warming in the oven, on a sunny windowsill, or on the stovetop). Stir to combine.  Let sit in a warm area for 2 weeks.  You can strain out the herbs, or leave them - whichever you'd prefer.

Herbal Vinegar
¾ jar finely chopped fresh herbs or ¼ jar crushed dried herbs
Apple Cider Vinegar
1 glass jar or bottle with plastic or cork lid. Metal will erode.
Pour vinegar over ingredients, filling the jar to the top. Make sure the vinegar covers ingredients at least by a couple of inches. If using a metal lid, cover the opening with 2 sheets of wax paper. Store vinegar in a cool, dark place for one month. Shake occasionally and check to see if more vinegar is needed. Herbs will need to be strained with muslin out after 1 month into a clean sanitized jar. Don’t squeeze out the muslin bag into the new jar. It will get cloudy and have a shorter shelf life. Store in a dark, cool place. Good for 1 year. If vinegar turns black, has floating chunks, or develops mold or a funny smell, throw it away.

Starter Recipes
See www.woodwifesjournal.com for instructions on how to make teas, compresses, poultices, salves, ointments, balms, tinctures, glycerites, extracts and infused

Additional Research
See Alternative Medicine: The Christian Handbook, by Donal O’Mathuna, Ph.D. & Walt Larimore, M.D., before trying new herbs or supplements. This book has a ton of information about which herbs and supplements are safe for kids and adults.

Salt Baths (handful of Epsom Salt and 2 T of Sea Salt to bath), Basil, Parsley Tea

Hay Fever Allergy Relief
1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Tbsp Honey
8 oz water
Take 2 times per day. Once in the morning and once in the evening.

Nettle Tea
Nettles is also a great herb for allergy relief. If you suffer from pollen related allergies, treat yourself to a cup of Nettle tea a few times a day during allergy season. For added benefit, use local honey to sweeten the tea.

Lemon Balm Tea (herb)

Ginger Poultice (on chest), Ginger Root (in food), Salt Baths (handful of Epsom Salt and 2 T of Sea Salt to bath), Basil (in food), drink a glass of juice or flavored drink (during asthma attack, helps to calm anxiety and concentrate on breathing), Lemon and hot water (drink)

Change air filters and wash bedding and throw rugs in hot water regularly to remove dust.

Athletes Foot:
Tea Tree Essential Oil (dilute, apply to feet), Juniper Berry Vinegar (apply to feet), Lavender Bath (soak feet), Oregano Vinegar (apply to feet)

Herbal Foot Soak
4 quarts water, 1 cup fresh or dried herbs, bring to a boil and turn off heat. Let infuse for 1 hour. Reheat tea and pour into a foot basin. Soak feet for at least 10 minutes. When finished pour the water into the garden.

Juniper Berries (with food), Parsley Tea

Bug Bites:
Raw Garlic (cut in half put directly on bite, helps with infection), Lavender Essential Oil (dilute, apply to bite), Tea Tree Essential Oil (dilute, apply to bite}, Peppermint Essential Oil (diluted, apply to bite), Aloe (apply to bite, 3-5 times daily), Witch Hazel (apply to bite)

Chickweed Salve
Combine as much fresh chickweed as I could stuff in a quart sized jar with a cup of olive oil and placed it in a pot of water to simmer double boiler style on the stove. Simmer for about an hour and a half. Use a strainer lined with cheesecloth to extract the herbal oil, now a lovely bright green. Pour the herbal oil back into the jar, returned it to the hot water bath, and add 1/4 cup of beeswax pellets. Add 45 drops of tea tree oil (known to be healing to the skin), and 35 drops of lavender oil (considered good for insect bites, stings, and burns), swirling to mix. Once the beeswax is fully melted and combined, carefully pour the salve into tins and let it cool and set. (http://www.wikihow.com/Identify-Chickweed)

Chickweed Salve (see recipe above), Calendula Salve (see recipe under Dry Skin), Lavender Essential Oil (dilute, apply to burn), Eucalyptus Essential Oil (dilute, apply to burn), Aloe (apply to burn, 3-5 times daily), Witch Hazel (compress), Baking Soda (make paste and apply to burn), Rose Petal Vinegar (applied to burn)

Add pinch of Cayenne pepper to tea.

Cold and Flu:
Raw Garlic (antibiotic, eat every 2-3 hours), Garlic Poultice (on feet), Ginger (added to tea), Rosemary Tea, Elderberry Syrup or Tea, Raw Apple Cider Vinegar (in tea), Coconut Oil (add a spoonful to food instead of butter), Cod Liver Oil (can add to food), Vitamin C (acerola powder), Probiotics, Eucalyptus Oil (added to bath), Emergen-C powdered drink (ok for kids 1 year or older), Gypsy Cold Tea, Breathe Easy Tea, Throat Coat Tea (These 3 store bought teas are ok for kids), Allspice (sprinkled on food), Basil (in food), Chives (in food), Cinnamon-ginger Tea (quicken healing process), Clove (in tea), Juniper Berries (in food), Lavender Tea, Oregano Foot Soak (sweat out cold – see foot soak directions above), Peppermint Tea (1:1 tea and water – for kids), Thyme Tea

No dairy, no sugar, lots of liquids!

Disinfect the House
Boil Lavender in a large pot with the lid off. As the oils fill the air, it will disinfect the environment.

Sage blossom bouquet will kill airborne bacteria.

Cinnamon Honey Toast
1 t. Raw Honey and ¼ t. Cinnamon spread on toast twice a day for three days.

Garlic Soup
8 cups chicken broth
25 cloves of garlic (peeled)
1 TBSP ginger
1 TBSP paprika
pinch of red pepper
1/2 cup lemon juice
Place in pot and cook until garlic is soft and then eat it all.

Ginger Root (in food, tea, or alone), Lavender Essential Oil (dilute, apply to chest), Eucalyptus Essential Oil (dilute, apply to chest), Peppermint Essential Oil (dilute, apply to chest), Echinacea Supplement (don’t take longer than 1 week, best if taken with a QBC Plex from health food store), Onions (chop fresh and place in bowl beside bed for stuffy nose relief), Thyme Tea (with lemon and honey), Thyme Tincture (follow directions on bottle), Basil (in food or tea), Bay Leaf (in food or tea), Black Pepper Tea (gets rid of wet cough), Cardamom (in food or tea), Cayenne (in food), Mustard Seed (add to food, soak before using)

Homemade Saline Drops (nose congestion)
Take 1 level tsp. salt to 1 cup boiling water. Boil for 10 minutes, then cool off. 2 drops in each nostril.

Sicky Soup (nose congestion)
A Cup of Homemade Chicken Stock; heat and then stir in a raw clove of minced garlic and a dash of cayenne powder. For extra nutrition, you can whisk in a scrambled egg into the stock while cooking. A tablespoon of Coconut Oil stirred in is also helpful, as it contains many anti-viral/antimicrobial properties.

Thyme Tincture
Used to clear respiratory congestion and sore throats. Pour apple cider vinegar over the thyme and leave in a dark place for two weeks. Use 10-20 drops in a glass of water, up to 3 times a day, especially before bed.

Black Pepper Tea
¼ t powdered black pepper
1 t honey
1 cup hot water

Stuffy Nose Rub
2 oz. Jojoba Oil
15 drops of essential peppermint oil
Rub it on the bottoms of your feet, pop on a pair of socks and your good to go.

Chest congestion rub
Mix 3-4 drops of Eucalyptus oil with 1 Tablespoon olive or sesame oil. Rub on back, chest and neck a few times each day.

HYDRO THERAPY (for chest congestion)
Place child in tub of warm water, 2-3 inches. Leave water running so it’s almost hot. Saturate 4-6 wash clothes or cloth diapers in hot water. Places clothes in layers on back and chest. Keep cloth hot by re-rinsing layers and reapplying to back and front. The goal is to keep as much moist heat on child without burning the skin. Do this for 10 minutes or as long as child can tolerate. Take the cloth and rinse them in cold water. Apply to back and chest in the same manner. Keep re-rinsing and applying for as long as child can tolerate, at least 3-5 minutes. Do this 3-4 times daily until congestion is gone.

Steam Room Bathroom
Sit in the bathroom (not the tub) while the shower is running on hot. Plug the tub and add 3-5 drops of Eucalyptus Oil to water (depending on age of person).

Ginger Root (in food, tea or alone)

Coughs and Sore Throat:
Mullein Leaf Steam (Mullein leaf in a bowl of hot water, towel over head, breath in steam), Garlic cough syrup (cover pressed garlic with honey- sit overnight), Blackberry leaf tea, Raw Honey, Raw Apple Cider Vinegar (in tea), Throat Coat Tea, Sage Herb Tea, Basil Tea, Black Pepper Tea (get rid of wet cough), Cumin (in food, eases coughs), Juniper Berries (eat), Mustard Seed (add to food-soak before using, helps get rid of wet cough), Rose Petal Tea (gargle for sore throat), Sage Vinegar (gargle for sore throat), Lemon and Ginger Tea, Lemon and hot water (1:1, gargle)

Warm Lemon Tea with Ginger
Add either a dash of ginger power, or a grating of fresh ginger. Ginger has warming, healing properties (but this may be a bit “spicy” for little ones, and better for adults).  You can use a natural lemon tea bag, or warm up a cup of homemade lemonade.  Stir in some raw honey for extra benefits.

Black Pepper Tea
¼ t powdered black pepper
1 t honey
1 cup hot water

Simple Homemade Cough Syrup
1 cup freshly chopped onion
About 1/2 cup raw honey
Plus any of the following (optional):
1 tsp. Cloves (pain relief)
1 Tbsp. fresh chopped Ginger root OR 1 tsp. Ginger powder (increases warmth, circulation (important for healing) and the overall effectiveness of the syrup
Put chopped onions and any herbs of choice into a small stainless steel or glass pot (not aluminum). Add enough honey to just cover the onions. Turn the pot on low heat and slowly simmer. The honey will soften and become liquidy, and you want to keep the temperature very low while allowing the herbs to steep in the honey. It's best to keep a lid on to help keep all of the medicinal properties of the herbs in the syrup, and just take the lid off to give it a quick stir every few minutes to ensure it doesn't burn at all (though the temp. should be low enough to prevent this). 20 minutes of simmering, then remove it from the heat. Strain the onions and herbs out and store the remaining honey (which might have flecks of herb in it and this is fine) in a small glass jar with a lid and keep it in the fridge. (The syrup can be used as often as needed, up to every half hour. Dosages: 1 tsp. for a younger child, 1 Tbsp. for anyone 10 years and older).

Cough Drop Lollipops
½ cup to 1 cup honey (honestly any amount would do probably)
Candy thermometer (optional)
Lollipop sticks
Lollipop mold (although if you do not have a mold you could make free form lollipops by pouring the honey over the stick on a non-stick surface)
1. Cook: Pour honey into small saucepan and cook over low heat. Stir constantly and bring honey to a boil. If using candy thermometer, insert in and continue to stir the honey until it has reached a temperature of 300 degrees. Remove from heat and move to test phase. If not using the candy thermometer then continue cooking and occasionally test. Just don’t wait too late to test; testing too early is better then testing too late.
2. Test: To make sure your honey has reached the right consistency, place a drop or two of honey into a cup of ice water. If the honey turns and stays hard (like a hard candy) then you are good to go. If it is still soft then you need to keep cooking a bit longer.
3. Making the Lollipops: With Molds- Grease lollipop molds and insert sticks so that they are ready in the mold. Pour honey into mold and let cool at room temperature. (No cheating and putting them into the fridge. It won’t work). Without Molds- Lay lollipop sticks on a greased non-stick surface such as a silicone mat or parchment/wax paper. Carefully pour honey over each stick, creating a free form lollipop.
4. Making Cough Drops sans sticks: Instead of making lollipops, you can of course make regular cough drops. You can purchase cough drop molds or any small mold will work. Same instructions apply; pour honey into mold or onto a greased non-stick surface and let cool.
5. Add Ins: Cinnamon, Ginger.  Or use Herbal Infused Honey. Think chamomile, thyme, or mint.
Note: Babies under the age of 1 year should not be given honey.

Ginger Tea or Ginger Bath, Lavender Essential Oil (diluted, apply to stomach), Allspice (sprinkled on food), Cinnamon Tea, Parsley Tea, Chamomile Tea

Tea Tree Essential Oil (dilute, apply to scalp), Juniper Berry Vinegar (pour on scalp), Rosemary Vinegar (pour on head, also makes hair shiny)

Rosemary Vinegar
¾ c chopped fresh rosemary or ¼ c crushed dried rosemary
1 c apple cider vinegar
Pour a few cups into your hair and let sit a few minutes then rinse.

Dry Skin:
Calendula Salve
2 Cups Calendula Petals (not the entire flower “heads”)
1 Cup Hemp or Olive Oil (longer shelf life)
1/4 Cup Beeswax Pastilles/Pellets
10 Drops Lavender Essential Oil
Pour calendula petals into a stainless steel pot, and add oil. Turn on low heat, and stir to combine. Watch for tiny bubbles in the oil to gauge the temperature- it should not get any warmer than the “tiny bubbles stage!” Continue stirring occasionally over the next 2 hours, keeping the oil gently warm. Meanwhile, begin gently melting the beeswax in the top of a double boiler (don’t let this get too hot; you’ll want it to be a similar temperature as the oil, when you combine the two). After 2 hours, strain the petals from the oil. (You can use a fine-meshed strainer, tea filters, or cheesecloth.) Squeeze/press out as much of the oil as you can into a bowl. Then slowly pour the oil into the melted beeswax in the double boiler, stirring to combine. Then stir in the drops of lavender essential oil. (The oil acts as a “preservative,” as well as being a healing and calming ingredient.) Pour the warm oil into small jars/containers, and allow to cool. Avoid using clear glass, if possible. Choose containers (such as white plastic cosmetic containers or amber/cobalt-colored glass jars) that will help protect the salve from sunlight.

Ear Infection:
Garlic Oil, Mullein Oil (few drops in each ear)

Garlic Oil Drops
This is a good recipe to use as a preventative as well! Press 2-3 garlic cloves in 2 Tablespoons olive oil. Let warm on stove for 15-20 minutes. Strain garlic from oil. Lay child on side and drop 2-3 drops of garlic oil in ear and massage lower outer ear for a few minutes. Wait for half hour or so before doing the other side so oil won’t drain out. 3-4 times daily.

Salt Baths (handful of Epsom Salt and 2 T of Sea Salt to bath), Chickweed Salve (see recipe above), Calendula Salve (see recipe above), Lavender Essential Oil (diluted, apply to skin), Lavender (added to bath), Shea Butter

Lemon Verbena Tea (elevates mood), Peppermint Tea or water (clears the head), Rosemary Tea

Ginger Powder (2-6 T in a bath), Peppermint Essential Oil (diluted, rub on bottom of feet), Peppermint Tea, Lemon Tea

Ginger Bath (soak feet in a strong bath ½ c.), Rosemary Essential Oil (dilute, rub on temples), Lavender Essential Oil (dilute, rub on temples), Peppermint Essential Oil (dilute with carrier oil, rub on temples), Cayenne (in food), Cilantro (garnish), Lavender and Rosemary Bath

Ginger Root (in food, tea or alone), Peppermint Tea

High Cholesterol:
Garlic (in food)

Immune System:
Vitamin C Supplements (with Zinc and Echinacea), Cod Liver Oil Supplements (flavored, 1/4 teaspoon for kids, can mix into food), Oil of Oregano (see bottle directions), Astragalus Supplements (before traveling), Raw Apple Cider Vinegar (in tea), Raw Garlic, Echinacea Supplement (no more than 1 week), Orange Peels (add to food and tea, break up and dry to store in jars for later use), Turmeric (in tea)

Elderberry Syrup
    1 cup fresh or 1/2 cup dried elderberries
    3 cups water
    1 Tablespoon fresh grated ginger (optional)
    5 cloves or 1 ¼ teaspoon ground cloves (optional)
    1 cinnamon stick (optional)
    1 cup raw local honey
    glass jar with lid
1. heat the berries, ginger, cloves and cinnamon stick in the water and bring to a boil. reduce the heat and let simmer for 30-45 minutes.
2. using the back of a fork, mash up the berries, strain them and add the honey. stir up until it is well mixed.
3. pour into a glass jar with lid and keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Adults: 1 Tablespoon a day (preventative), up to 3 Tablespoons a day (while sick)
Children: See medicine chart at beginning of document.

Elderberry Tea
Place one tablespoon of dried, black elderberries into a reusable tea bag.
Once the water is boiling, pour over the tea bag.
Place a saucer over the top of the cup so the steam stays put.
Mix in a spoonful of honey (which contains its own healing properties).

How to Eat Raw Garlic
1. Make garlic toast. Toast a piece of bread, butter it, then crush 1-3 cloves of garlic (depending how brave you are!) and spread it over the toast. A piece of cheese on top will help for those who find it difficult to eat.
2. Garlic and honey. For my children, I crush a clove onto a teaspoon, then I drizzle raw honey quite generously over the garlic. They just take it like that, followed by a swig of water. It tastes primarily like sweet honey, with a bit of a kick. It can’t be that bad, because they ask for it when they’re not really sick.
3. Swallow cloves whole (or cut in chunks). If you just can’t handle the taste, you could get it over with quickly.
4. Hide it in delicious food. Guacamole and hummus are both excellent places to disguise lots of raw garlic!

Lavender Essential Oil (dilute, rub into scalp)

Motion Sickness:
Peppermint Essential Oil (open bottle and take deep breaths, inhaling the scent)

Mouth Sores:
Blackberry leaf tea, Rosemary Tea (gargle with it), Coconut Oil (apply directly to sores)

Muscle Aches:
Ginger Poultice, Peppermint Essential Oil (dilute, rub on muscles), Lavender Essential Oil (dilute, rub on muscles)

Ginger Root (in food, tea or alone), Allspice (sprinkled on food), Basil (in food, tea or alone), Lemon and hot water

Rose Petal Tea

Lavender Essential Oil (dilute, rub on painful area), Eucalyptus Essential Oil (dilute, rub on painful area), Rosemary Essential Oil (dilute, rub on painful area), Peppermint Essential Oil (dilute, rub on painful area)

Raw Garlic (rub small slice of garlic on pimple before bed.), Calendula Salve (see recipe above), Lavender Essential Oil (dilute with coconut oil, rub on pimple)

Ginger (in bath), Lavender (in bath), Rose Petal (in bath)

Tea Tree Oil (diluted, rub on affected area, twice daily)

Tea Tree Essential Oil (dilute, rub on scar)

Sluggish Digestion:
Peppermint Tea

Chickweed Salve (see recipe above)

Witch Hazel (compress)

Herbal Healing Salts Bath
Relive stress, muscle pain, or to heal any wounds, is to take a hot bath with a combination of herbal healing salts. Epsom salts is in this combination as well. But with the addition of lavender and other herbs it is very relaxing.

Swollen Glands:
Burdock Root (add to food)

Peppermint Essential Oil (dilute, rub on gums or teeth), Clove Essential Oil (dilute, rub on gums or teeth)

Catnip Tea
A combination of catnip and chamomile is a great aid in calming children when dealing with various stress, teething, pain, etc. Traditional Medicinals offers a catnip tea as well as Mountain Rose Herbs (the Quiet Child Tea) that we enjoy. You can freeze this tea in ice cube trays and allow a baby to suck on it for teething relief. Or dilute it a bit and offer it to a baby in a bottle if needed.

Tummy Troubles:
Probiotics, Chamomile Tea, Peppermint Tea (1:1 tea and water for kids), Activated Charcoal pills (not for kids), Wild Strawberry leaf tea, Black Tea (helps food poisoning)

Urinary Tract Infection:
Corn Silk Tea (boil corn silk in water, 2 cups a day for several weeks), Juniper Berries (eat)

Varicose Veins:
Calendula Salve (applied to skin, see recipe above), Rose Petal Vinegar (applied to skin, see herbal vinegar recipe above)

Garlic Water in the wound to wash it out. Garlic poultice before bandaid, Tea Tree Essential Oil (dilute, apply to wound), Coconut Oil (apply to wound), Aloe (apply to wound, 3-5 times daily), Epsom Salts (in bath), Hydrogen Peroxide (pour directly on wound and cover with band aid), Witch Hazel (apply to wound), Super glue and Butterfly Band aids (for deeper cuts, prevents scarring), Cayenne (stops bleeding, pain reliever, rinse with water and cake with cayenne), Ginger Tea (drink)

Ginger Tea (Accelerates the healing process)
Simply peel off the tough outer layer and slice off a few inches.  I typically use about an inch of the root and slice it into thin discs and then add then to a hot cup of water.  Allow it to seep for 10-15 minutes and enjoy with some raw honey for a wonderful, soothing and warming tea.

Rose Petal Vinegar (applied to skin, see herbal vinegar recipe above), Lemon water (drink)

Yeast Infection:
Raw Garlic Daily, Calendula Salve (see recipe above), Tea Tree Essential Oil (dilute, apply to affected area), Raw Apple Cider Vinegar (in tea)

Most of my research sources can be found on my Natural Medicine Pinterest Page. Please make this list your own and add to it. And by all means if you have any tips leave me a comment!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Eve Eve Breakfast

And the new traditions continue! Chris and I made the kids breakfast this morning for Advent. We had Christmas Tree Waffles with "ornaments" (M&Ms). This is SUPER special because I never let them have candy for breakfast (a constant request by Ramona) AND I let Chris put green food coloring in the batter. (Last time, Max had blue poop.) They loved it! Max kept banging his empty plate and begging for more. Ironically, Ramona decided she didn't like candy on her waffles. But wanted to know if she finished her waffles, could she have dessert? Um, this IS dessert! I am spending the rest of the day making Christmas presents...yes MAKING, Handmade Christmas, baby! Hopefully Chris can keep the kids entertained. Good luck!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Happy Birthday Jesus!

For the past couple of weeks I have been entertaining the idea of never telling Ramona and Max that Santa is real. Last year, Ramona HATED Santa. See a proof here. As a result, I came to terms with never having "Santa" bring gifts to our house. And then this year, Ramona started asking who Santa was. After putting her off for awhile and talking to Chris, we decided that we would try to tell her that Santa is just a fun Christmas cartoon, like Dora. That seems to be working so far. Hopefully she won't shatter any other children's Christmas dreams in the years to come.

Anyway, on our Advent calendar the other day our activity was to "write a letter to Santa". No way! That would just confuse her. Instead, we made Jesus a birthday card. She immediately asked how we would give it to him? Uhhh.... I don't know. After talking to our sunday school class about their Christmas traditions, we settled on air mail. Tie a balloon to the letter and send it straight up to Jesus! Awesome, right? Ramona thought so. And HEB gives away free balloons to kids. BONUS! This activity was free, baby!

My favorite part of our trip to HEB to get the balloon was the elderly woman in front of us in line talking to Ramona.
Woman: Are you excited for Christmas?
Ramona: YES!
Woman: Have you seen Santa yet?
Ramona: (Confused look...)
Woman: Have you written him a letter?
Ramona: (Confused look again...)We made Jesus a birthday card.
Woman: Oh! (Awkwardly turns around and proceeds to check out her groceries.)

I promise this actually happened. Poor woman, probably thought we weren't celebrating Christmas at all. Oh well, I thought it was funny that she got all weird around a 3 year old who mentioned Jesus. Go Ramona, speak the truth! This is Jesus' holiday!

She let go of the balloon and we all screamed,
"Happy Birthday, Jesus!"

This will definitely be a new tradition. Happy Advent, Everybody!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Band Trip!

We hit the road with Price Hill again last Wednesday. Max as per usual got sick as soon as we left. He has high fevers, vomiting and a nasty cough. So, we were lovely house guests to the Salas family that hosted us for 2 nights. We pretty much took over that house. Max was afraid of the dogs, so they had to stay in their kennels. Max got sick and fearing that it was a stomach bug, I kicked Chris and Ramona out of our room the second night to sleep in the game room. But, our hosts were so nice, they gave us their another one of their bedrooms so that we would be more comfortable. Their poor son had to sleep on the couch. Best house guests EVER! Thankfully we spent the third night in a hotel and their family got their beds back. Aside from the sickness, we had fun! One of the best parts of Chris' band playing at churches is that there are playgrounds, instruments, nursery toys and sporting equipment to play with. Otherwise the children would revolt and this would never work.

Guess which one's gonna be the drummer.

Ramona introduced Max to slides!

He loves the danger.

We had to skip out on the second half of the trip this weekend. Hopefully Max will be better by tomorrow, if not it's off to the doctor!

It's Halloween Night!!!

For as long as I can remember, my Dad and his good friend Billy have called each other every Halloween night and screamed at the top of their lungs: IT'S HALLOWEEN NIGHT-A! No, that is not a typo. My Dad adds an "A" sound to the end of "Night" for effect. You know, like the count on Sesame Street. One-A-A-A, Two-A-A-A...well you get it. I don't know how this tradition started, but it always makes me smile. I'm pretty sure they call each other on St. Patrick's Day also and yell, "TOP OF THE MORNIN' TO YA!" Again, I don't know why. But who cares, they've been doing it for 30 years!

What does this have to do with my kids' Halloween night this year? Nothing! It's just a fun story.

Ramona designed the Jack-o-Lantern this year.
This is what she wanted us to carve.

This is what we actually carved.

Princess Ramona

Froggy Max and Fisherman Poppy

Step 1: Knock on Door
Step 2: Say, "Trick or Treat" and accept candy

Step 3: Sit down, make yourself at home
and befriend the whole neighborhood
while ransacking their bowl of candy.

Hope you had a wonderful Halloween! We are slowly eating all of our candy...the kids are, I mean. I am, of course, pounding back handfuls of fun sized candy bars all day long. Stupid chocolate.