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Sunday, June 30, 2013

My Lyn

Really... She is growing up so fast.

Sweet sleeping babies

Lyn picked Elaina up from a nap and they snuggled down. Ben was already asleep on the couch. A lazy Sunday afternoon before we head to the library.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Buy local....

 
Here are some of the fruits and vegetables we got at the farmer's market. We got more peaches than shown but the kids and I ate them at the playground afterwards. I could not wait to cook the tomatoes. The fried green tomatoes were awesome!!! I just battered them in a little flour and fried them in olive oil. To season I used salt, black pepper and this wonderful Masala spice mix straight from Kenya. A family I used to work with gave me some. they are from Kenya and they have family till there send them goodies all the time.

Today at the farmer's market

 
The Helena farmer's market is small but worth it. Not many peaches made it home.... Of course it is at one of my favorite places, Buck Creek Park in Helena. We visited the playground and the creek afterwards. We just had the little kids. No big kids wanted to go play at 8:30am on a Saturday. I wonder why? Sleepy heads.... Gotta get out early before it gets too hot.


 
 

 
 

Friday, June 21, 2013

Our Summer Solstice Wreath

Eliot helped me change out our flowers from last season. All collected from our yard today.

Happy Summer Solstice



I wish happiness to all. Not a good day for me personally but maybe I can turn it around or go hide under a rock....

Thursday, June 20, 2013

My day....

We hit the library, Whole Foods, and a lot of outside time...



You can't really tell but Elaina is getting a tutorial from Lyn. She is snuggled in Lyn's lap.

We don't have much shade in the front yard but we found a little and then Elaina decided to try to escape...

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

My homemade yeast teatment


You see them all over the side of the road and in fields here in the South. Milk Thistle.... I think they are a beautiful and dangerous plant. They can grow huge but approach them with caution. They bite back with their bristles. Well, they are but one ingredient in my homemade yeast diaper rash ointment. I start with coconut oil as my main base. It already has anti-microbial properties that includes ant-fungal properties.  I prefer to use organic virgin coconut oil. I seem to have better results with it. I add 10 drops of grapefruit seed oil to two table spoons of coconut oil. I then add 5 drops of tea tree essential oil. And my favorite ingredient comes next, 30 drops of milk thistle extract. You can find all of these ingredients at health food stores, some drug stores, and of course places like Whole Foods. You can buy similar ointments at Whole Foods but you can make it at a fraction of the cost. I make a fresh batch each day and use it liberally at every diaper change. I have yet to have it stain my cloth diapers and it washes out just fine. As an extra measure if I have yeast in the house I use a special spray for diaper changes. I use cloth wipes and to help with clean up I use a spray bottle with a mixture of water, coconut oil, lavender EO, and a mild Castile soap. It is mostly water but the oil in it makes the poop just slide off. Too much information oh well..  :) That is my regular spray. It is so much cheaper than buying wipes and if you are already washing diapers just toss the wipes in the load, no extra work. My special yeast spray has all of the above plus tea tree EO and milk thistle extract added. It has a stronger smell but helps in the remedy and prevention until we are sure the yeast is all cleared up.

I am a Family Herbalist and on a tight budget. I sell my concoctions or "potions" as my kids call them in my Etsy store. If you ever need anything not listed just ask... There is a link to my store on the side bar of this blog or you can go there from this link...

For a sick older baby...

 
When I say older I mean between one and two years old especially if they aren't breastfed. Usually breast milk is all that is needed to support a child as their own immune system fights off whatever is ailing them. Not all children have breast milk in their diets or just need a little extra help naturally. I made this tea for just that occasion. It is nutrition dense with dandelion leaves and alfalfa. I added cloves and dried apple for taste and Echinacea for an immune boost. Of course I steeped it in my cast iron tea pot for added nutrition. The iron carries over into the water in small amounts. So many children have a diet low in absorbable iron (not the fortified kind in grains and cereals) hat they are borderline anemic or plain ole anemic already and their parents don't even know it. Good nutrition is the basis for good health....

So sick baby gets healthful tea added to some tart cherry juice (such a super food) for sweeting and one her way to fighting her cold.

Friday, June 14, 2013

My spot this evening

 
A girl can dream...

Most people who know me well or who have heard me whine lately I really want to open my own business. I want to offer services mainly to women and their families especially young children. As a Family Herbalist, Post-partum Doula and a Certified Lactation Counselor I want to expand what I do. I have an online Etsy shop and provide herbal information and products to people worldwide and locally and I offer my CLC services free of charge in mother's homes but I want more. There are a few shops for rent near me but I am drawn to ones near the local creek in my town. This view is of the path leading to the water behind one of those shops. I sat there and watched the fireflies come out. There is a lot of level ground all along the water. I can just see a Red Tent set up there for small gatherings of women. I don't know how my dream will come true but in the end  maybe I will be able to offer all types of services. I am working on another degree. This one is in Community Health Education. I am also working on becoming a FAM (fertility awareness method) instructor to help families control their births naturally. After the new year I hope to begin Midwifery training. Midwives cannot attend homebirths legally in Alabama but hopefully that will change one day. I will still be able to use my knowledge to help women with their needs besides actual birth at home...

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Cloth Diapering 101

 
Diapers and more diapers...

A friend of mine is expecting her 4th baby in the Fall. Her next youngest child is almost 13. She wants to try using cloth diapers this go around. Another friend of hers gave her A LOT of BumGenius diapers. I mean A LOT! Pictured here are just some of them. Since she was a bit out of the loop I showed her how to stuff the pocket diapers and we talked about washing and drying methods. I was actually a bit jealous that someone gave her so many really good expensive diapers. She let me have a handful. I don't really need anymore but I am grateful and have already put them to use....

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

My read for the day

Except for my school reading I try to squeeze at least 14 different books into my pleasure reading. Seriously, the pile next to my bed is ridiculous. I had to have this book. I have a paper to write on contraception, yes me, for a class. I never thought I would come across this page. I did not know this conversation ever took place. Very interesting... I will have to work it into my paper I do believe. I will have to say I am of Margaret Sanger's viewpoint. Physical love has a place within most relationships and honestly I do believe I feel a little sorry for Gandhi's wife. But, thay is just my opinion.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

A busy day...

We did a lot today...

We went to the Art Museum downtown and everyone who went had a blast. Their little kids section is awesome. I could have stayed there all day but the kids got hungry. We headed to one of my favorite Mexican restaurants. Cheap but good food. We then made a stop by the library and then home we went. I have a ton of pictures of the day. I may upload them one day......

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Fire with the kids

I used my firestarters before they got too old. The worked well amd smelled great.

MUUMs meeting today

My simple basket of tools I used to provide some ambiance to our meeting. A red Goddess, a bell, a large vial with rosemary water, fresh cut flowers, and a candle in a lotus flower holder. Hiding in there is a mother figure pendulum...

The meeting went well. As well as going over some readings we get to gossip and talk about the rewards and challenges of mothethood.

Afterwards we headed to Golden Temple... Every child that came got to pick out something including me.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Flowers from a smiling girl

My favorite flower is the gardenia. It was such a sweet treat to get some wonder smelling blossoms this morning. My living room smells so sweet.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

At the Helena beach

In Alabama any body of water turns into a swimming hole. Here we are swimming at Buck Creek park in Helena below the waterfall...

Cloth diapered baby soaking up some sun

Sometimes I think I gave birth to a changling. Elaina is such an olive brown skinned little girl. Next to my freckles we just don't match....

So, what are these toys really good for anyway?

We see them in waiting rooms and we are given them for gifts. We see them high on tops of shelves in nurseries and daycares. But do you ever see children actually exploring them and using them appropriately?

I worked with the kids with them yesterday with Evan's help. I have three different tracking toys. That is what they are. They help children work on their hand eye coordination. They work on beginning, middle, and end concepts. Once shown how to use them even infants right under and right over one year old can master them. They even foster prewriting skills.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Iron low? Pregnant? Want herbal choices? Here you go...

As an Herbalist I love making potions when I have time. A friend is struggling with low iron and pregnant. She wants to treat it naturally so I made her up a batch of tea. It is more of an infusion so she can add some iron rich juice like tart cherry juice for sweetener and to mellow the taste. It contains red raspberry leaf, yellow dock root, nettle leaf, dandelion leaf, alfalfa, and lemon balm. I also added some pomegranate and raspberry fruit tea for flavor. The lemon balm was added for flavor and its calming effects. That never hurts for expecting moms with littles underfoot. Since she is over half way through her pregnancy the red raspberry leaf is for uterine strengthening. The other herbs are strictly for nutritional support and to help her increase her iron levels.

Now to get her to eat more liver and drink some orange juice or I am breaking out the spirulina!!!


Eliot's first field trip

 
To the zoo she went....

Eliot is enjoying summer camp. My big girl went on her first field trip. She had fun and was exhausted at the end of the day.

Instead of vinegar in the cloth diaper rinse

 
Try some essential oils....

Every dozen or so washes or if we have a run on rashes like yeast, which is rare, even with sometimes 4 children in cloth diapers I substitute vinegar in the rinse cycle with some essential oils. If yeast is an issue I use tea tree oil. If I just want to freshen things up I usually just use lavender EO. The added freshness, anti-microbial effect, and plain good smell is nice. So far I have never had any ill effects on my diapers. Try it, you may like it.

Mama, my eyes are dry....

 
 
I can fix that! Nothing a little calendula and lavender won't help. Annika spent the day at the zoo and then swimming at a friend's house. Her eyes were dried out and she couldn't stop blinking. I made up a simple tea of lavender and calendula petals. We strained it and cooled it down. Of course I have old fashioned eye wash cups. Annika chose the marble one over the purple almost black amethyst one. I taught her how to hold it over her eye and repeatedly open her eye as the mixture covered her eye and to blink. I was so proud of her. She has difficulty with her delays handling procedures like tis but she took charge and did well. We followed up with a small amount of coconut oil added as a moisturizer rubbed on her closed eyes over her eye lashes. Her relief was immediate. This remedy works well for any eye irritation from pink eye to allergies...

Evan's new smile

 
 
Two teeth in one day! Evan's two top teeth have been loose for a while. With the help of an apple and an untoasted bagel they finally gave way... Now, that is one handsome little man.