Sunday, September 27, 2009

Salt

Problem: Table salt is a highly refined, potentially toxic product. It originates from evaporated sea water or mined rock salt. To "purify" the natural product, workers treat the raw salt with chemicals and process it in a high temperature, high pressure environment. This process removes beneficial trace minerals (including iodine) and magnesium salts. To prevent caking, workers add additional chemicals, including two types of aluminum. To prevent iodine deficiency, workers add toxic amounts of potassium iodide. Then to stabilize the potassium iodine, workers add dextrose (corn sugar). And because dextrose gives salt a purple color, workers bleach the final product before packaging it and sending it to grocery store shelves.

Solution: Unprocessed, unrefined salt has an odd grayish hue but tastes amazing, contains beneficial minerals, and does not contain unnatural chemicals. Right now I have a jar of Celtic Sea Salt brand sea salt in my cupboard. It's more expensive than regular table salt, but is well worth the extra money!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

One Thing I Miss About My Job

I never got traffic tickets.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Goodbye Summer!

The last day of summer it snowed here in Denver.
Here are some memories of our fun in the sun while it lasted:

home


the park - just a couple blocks away


my cousin's house - four fun kids to play with


camp for the Breast Cancer 3-Day - visiting a friend
in from Seattle for Denver's walk


exploring Denver's neighborhoods


at a friend's house - always lots of fun with mud and water


video

Pine Lake - with our hiking partners




St. Mary's Glacier - much slushier than I expected



The Continental Divide - more than 11,500 feet above sea level



Smoothie time!


Hands-down our favorite smoothie recipe this summer was from
Rejuvenate Your Life! Recipes for Energy by Serene Allison, published by Above Rubies:

Minty Zinc Shake
2 frozen bananas (cut into chunks before freezing)
1 large handful raw pumpkin seeds
1 cup water
1/2 T tahini
3 dates
1 heaping t spirulina
2 drops mint extract

Blend and enjoy!

(Note: I was pleased to learn that spirulina doesn't really have a flavor.)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Cloth Diapering 201: How-To

1. DECIDE HOW OFTEN YOU WANT TO WASH.
Babies go through about 12 diapers per day and 3-4 covers per day. (However, if using wool covers baby will only need 4 covers total.) When deciding how many diapers and covers to buy, take into account how often you want to wash and buy an extra half day's worth of diapers so you don't run out. (If you want to wash every day, buy 18 diapers; if you want to wash every other day, buy 30 diapers; if you want to wash every three days, buy 42 diapers.) Always wash at least every three days.

2. DECIDE WHAT TYPES OF DIAPERS AND COVERS YOU WANT TO BUY.
(See Cloth Diapering 101: Types of Diapers.) I use wool covers with my fitted diapers and polyester diapers with my contour and prefold diapers.

3. DECIDE WHAT TYPES OF ACCESSORIES YOU WANT TO BUY.
  • Diaper pail liners: Buy two diaper pail liners. I recommend Swaddlebees/Blueberry liners because they are sized larger than average, can be hung from a door knob, and wash well. I purchased my liners online at www.JilliansDrawers.com.
  • Wet bags: Buy one or two wet bags to put dirty diapers in while out and about. (Keep in your diaperbag.) I recommend LoveyBums wet bags for short trips out, and large Planet Wise bags for long trips out. I purchased my LoveyBums bag online at www.LoveyBums.com; I purchased my Planet Wise bag online at at www.NickisDiapers.com.
  • Cloth wipes: If you want to use cloth wipes, buy or make about 45 wipes and mix up a good wipe solution. I purchased flannel wipes at www.NickisDiapers.com. The best wipe solution recipe I have tried calls for combining 3 3/4 cup water, 8 drops grapefruit seed extract, 5 drops lavender essential oil, 3 drops tea tree essential oil, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and 1 tablespoon baby soap. Some mamas keep wipe solution in a bowl and dunk a wipe into the solution to use on baby. Other mamas keep wipe solution in a squeeze container and squeeze some solution onto a wipe to use on baby. I keep a large squeeze bottle at home, a medium squeeze bottle at the office, and a small squeeze bottle in my diaper bag.
3. BUY YOUR DIAPERS, COVERS, AND ACCESSORIES.

4. WASH PRIOR TO FIRST USE.
Your order will come with pre-use washing instructions. In summary:
  • Wash (in hot water) and dry unbleached prefold diapers 5-6 times.
  • Wash and dry bleached prefold diapers, contour diapers, and fitted diapers 3-4 times.
  • Wash and dry all-in-one diapers and pocket diapers 1-2 times.
  • Wash and dry polyester covers 1 time.
  • Wash and lanolize wool covers 1 time.
5. WASH AFTER USE.
Your order will come with washing instructions. In summary:
  • Place diaper pail liner in diaper pail or any indoor garbage can, or hang over doorknob.
  • Place soiled diaper in diaper pail liner. Do not soak in liquid. (If baby only eats and drinks breast milk, you do not need to remove poop, as it dissolves fine in the washing machine. But if baby eats or drinks anything other than breast milk, first shake poop into toilet. This is not as gross as it sounds.)
  • Wash diapers in cold water with a SMALL amount of detergent (no more than half what you would normally use) and a few drops of tea tree essential oil (a natural anti-fungal and anti-bacterial).
  • Rinse diapers an extra time in hot water with some vinegar (a natural fabric softener that also helps prevent detergent build-up, which affects a diaper's absorbency).
  • Dry diapers. Do not use fabric softener.
Wash polyester covers with diapers. Wash diaper pail liners every couple days with diapers.

To wash and lanolize wool covers:
  • As necessary, spot clean covers. Use a Sudz'N'Dudz wool wash bar to clean leaky poop and food stains. Wash bars can be purchased online at www.TheNaturalBabyCo.com.
  • Every 1-2 weeks, wash covers. Add a small amount of Eucalan No-Rinse Wool Wash to a sink full of slightly warm water, add wool cover, soak for 15 minutes minimum, roll in a towel to remove excess water, then hang dry. Do not rinse. Do not use commerical wool detergent like Woollite. Wool wash can be purchased online at www.NickysDiapers.com.
  • Every month, lanolize covers. Add a pea-size amount of Sudz'N'Dudz Pure Liquid Lanolin to a small jar containing a few ounces of hot water, shake well until lanolin is completely dissolved, add lanolin water to a sink full of slightly warm water, add wool cover, soak for 15 minutes minumum, roll in a towel to remove excess water, then hang dry. Do not rinse. I do not recommend using Lansinoh Lanolin, as it is very difficult to dissolve. Liquid lanolin can be purchased online at www.TheNaturalBabyCo.com.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Cloth Diapering 101: Types of Diapers

There are five basic types of diapers.

Chinese Prefold Diapers + Cover

(Bleached Chinese prefold diapers are pictured above)
Comments:
This basic rectangular cloth diaper is called a "prefold" because multiple layers of cotton have been "folded" and sewn together to create an absorbent pad in the middle third of the rectangle. (The more layers sewn together, the more absorbent the diaper is.) For newborns, fold a diaper in thirds short-wise (end to end, not side to side), insert the diaper into a cover, and attach the cover to baby's bum. For bigger babies, fold a diaper in thirds long-wise (side to side to as to make a really skinny rectangle), insert the diaper into a cover, and attach the cover to baby's bum. For baby girls, instead of folding, you can twist a diaper in the middle, insert the diaper into a cover so the twist is in the crotch area, and attach the cover to baby's bum. The cover will hold the diaper in place so you do not need pins or Snappis (the modern pin-less "pin"). They come in a variety of sizes, depending on baby's size and the amount of absorbency desired.
Pros: Cheap. Trim, so fits well into a diaper bag.
Cons: Because the diaper itself doesn't have gusseting around the legs or waist, you have only one line of defense (the cover) against blow outs.
Where to buy: I purchased mine online at www.Nicki'sDiapers.com. Or for diaper service in DC, Maryland, or Virginia, try www.ModernDiaperService.com. The benefits of using a diaper service are not having to launder your own diapers and not having to buy different sizes as your baby grows. However, the extra load of diaper laundry turned out to be less burdensome for me than I expected, and it is cheaper to buy your own diapers than it is to use a diaper service.

Contour Diapers + Cover

(Kissaluvs contour diaper is pictured above)
Comments:
This thick cloth is shaped to better resemble a diaper. Place a diaper in a cover, wrap the back edges ("wings") of the diaper around to the front, and attach the cover to baby's bum. Or wrap the back edges of the diaper around baby's bum to the front, hold the diaper in place with a Snappi, then attach a cover over the diaper. They come in a variety of sizes, depending on baby's size.
Pros: No folding required.
Cons: Just as bulky as fitted diapers, but without the gusseting or snaps.
Recommended brand: Kissaluvs.
Where to buy: I purchased mine online at www.JilliansDrawers.com.

Fitted Diapers + Cover

(Swaddlebees One-size Organic Velour fitted diaper is pictured above)
Comments:
This diaper-shaped diaper has gusseting around the legs and waist, and closes with a series of snaps. Snap a diaper onto baby's bum, then attach a cover over diaper. This turned out to be my favorite diapering combination. The snaps allow the diaper to grow with baby, so there are only two sizes for baby's entire diapered life.
Pros: Because it has gusseting around the legs and waist, you have two lines of defense (the diaper and the cover) against blow outs. And because each diaper comes with a doubler (a small rectangle diaper piece that can be snapped inside the diaper), you also have an extra line of defense to soak up urine for night time or heavy wetters.
Cons: Bulky.
Recommended brand: I love Crickett's hemp-cotton blend, which is rated number one on www.DiaperPin.com.
Where to buy: I purchased mine online at www.CrickettsDiapers.com.

All-In-One Diapers

(bumGenius One-size Organic all-in-one diaper is pictured above)
Comments:
The cover is built into the diaper, making this a cloth version of the disposable diaper. Some diapers close by snaps, while others close by Velcro. They come in a variety of sizes, depending on baby's size.
Pros: Easy to use. Fairly trim, so fits well into a diaper bag. Because these diapers are just as simple to use as disposables, many cloth diapering mamas use these when leaving their baby with someone who might otherwise be afraid to use cloth diapers.
Cons: Expensive.
Recommended brands: BumGenius has good gusseting, which works well to prevent leaks. It has Velcro closures, which makes the diaper very easy to use. Unfortunately, the inner lining is a man-made material and the Velcro doesn't hold up as well in the wash as snaps would. BumGenius Organic has a natural inner lining, but does not have the same kind of gusseting and so didn't fit snugly on my skinny-legged newborn baby, increasing the likelihood of leaks. Also popular is the Dream-Ez, which has a natural inner lining and snap closures. Unfortunately, it does not have good gusseting for skinny-legged babies either.
Where to buy: I purchased mine online at www.NickisDiapers.com.

Pocket Diapers

(FuzziBunz One-size pocket diaper is pictured above)
Comments:
This diaper is a cross between a fitted and an all-in-one. The diaper itself doesn't have anything to soak up urine, but has a "pocket" inside for stuffing. Each diaper typically comes with one pocket insert, but you can purchase extra inserts for night time or heavy wetters. I stuffed mine with two inserts; some moms stuff theirs with folded prefold diapers.
Pros: The diaper can be stuffed with a little or as much as you want to soak up urine.
Cons: Expensive.
Recommended brand: FuzzyBunz is currently rated number two on www.DiaperPin.com, but seems to be the most popular cloth diapering option overall on a variety of mothering forums. I loved them until I realized the inner lining is a man-made material.
Where to buy: I purchased mine online at www.NickisDiapers.com.

Wool Covers

(Aristocrats wool soaker and LoveyBums Wool Crepe covers are pictured above)

Comments:
I adore using wool covers with fitted diapers. However, I don't recommend using them with prefold or contour diapers because the covers aren't fitted enough to guarantee a defense against blow-outs.
Pros: Natural material. Breathable. Because wool neutralizes urine, only needs to be washed every one to two weeks (other than spot treating poop leaks).
Cons: Hand wash only. Must re-lanolize every one to two months. (Lanolin is what gives wool its natural water-repellant properties.) Water-repellant, not water-proof, so gets slightly damp after a few uses and needs to be hung to "dry."
Recommended brands: Aristocrats Soakers brand are heavy duty and are my favorite nighttime covers. They come in a shortie and a longie (with legs) style. Although they look bizarre in pictures on their own, they are very cute on baby! LoveyBums brand has a variety of styles, depending on the absorbency desired. Wool Jersey Covers are light weight for daytime use; Wool Crepe Covers and Wool Pull-Up Covers are medium weight for daytime or nighttime use; Wool Interlock Covers are heavy weight for nighttime use. The pull up covers are great for older wigglers because they are easier to use than the snap covers.
Where to buy: I purchased my LoveyBums online at www.LoveyBums.com. I purchased my Aristocrats online at www.NickisDiapers.com.

Polyester Covers

(Thirsties diaper cover and Bummis Super Whisper Wrap diaper cover are pictured above)
Pros:
Machine washable and dryable.
Cons: Man-made material.
Recommended brands: Thirsties come in a variety of solid colors and is rated number one on www.DiaperPin.com. I really like mine, especially for use with prefold diapers since they have a small fit. Bummis Super Whisper Wrap comes in a variety of prints and has been rated number two on www.DiaperPin.com, but seem to be the most popular cover on a variety of other mothering forums. I liked mine, especially for use with fitted diapers since they fit a bit larger than the Thirsties. I think the Bummis Velcro holds upbetter in the wash than the Thirsties Velcro. Bummis Super Snap only comes in white and are recommended by Cricketts Diapers. I have not tried them.
Where to buy: I purchased mine online at www. NickisDiapers.com. Bummis Super Snap are also sold at www.CrickettsDiapers.com.

Snappis:


I used a diaper service for my baby's first month, but soon realized a load of diaper laundry each morning would not be as much of a hassle as I thought it would be, especially since my washer/dryer was easily accessible in the kitchen. My initial stash of diapers consisted of Crickett's fitted diapers for everyday use and all-in-one and pocket diapers for my diaper bag. By three and a half months, my stash of diapers consisted of Crickett's fitted diapers for everyday use and Chinese prefold diapers for my diaper bag. Nowdays my diaper stash consists of Crickett's fitted diapers for everything.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Why I Cloth Diaper My Baby


I am often asked why I cloth diaper my baby. Quite simply, I have no desire to wear plastic underwear myself and find it a little selfish to put cloth underwear on my own body but subject my baby to plastic underwear. In short, cloth diapers are surely more comfortable than disposable diapers. That being said, there are a lot of other great reasons to cloth diaper a baby.

Cloth diapering is cheaper than disposable diapering. It costs approximately $2,000 to disposable diaper a child from birth until the time he is potty trained. It costs approximately $1,500 to use a diaper service for the same child. It costs between $300 and $1,000 (depending on the type of diapers used) to cloth diaper, including the cost of electricity and water needed to wash and dry the diapers. And the same cloth diapers can be used by multiple children!

Cloth diapering is better for baby's health than disposable diapering. A baby's skin absorbs at least 48 toxic chemicals from disposable diapers. These harmful chemicals include chlorine, dioxin (which can cause cancer), sodium polyacrylate (which can cause skin and respiratory problems, including asthma), and tribytil-tin (which can cause liver disease and hormonal problems). In fact, polyacrylate was removed from tampons in the 1980s because it increased the risk of toxic shock syndrome. Studies have also linked disposable diapers to urinary tract infections in baby girls.

Cloth diapering is better for the environment than disposable diapering. Diapers are the single most common found item in landfills, and experts estimate it takes 250-500 years for a disposable diaper to decompose. Disposable diaper companies argue that cloth diapers are bad for the environment because of the water and energy needed to wash and dry them. However, disposable diaper manufacturing plants surely use more energy in creating disposable diapers than that used by the combined individual households to wash and dry cloth diapers. Furthermore, parents can minimize environmental concerns by using energy efficient appliances and a front-loading washing machine, and by hanging diapers to dry (or partially drying them in the dryer and finishing them on a clothes line or drying rack). Finally, it is illegal to dispose of human feces in the trash, yet most disposable diapering parents ignore this law and the potential health and environmental dangers it may pose.

Cloth diapering causes less leaks and blow-outs than disposable diapering. My baby has had no more than three blow-outs and half a dozen leaks in the first 14 months of his life. (And four of the leaks were likely caused by his mama not snapping the diaper tight enough.) On the other hand, one of my disposable diapering friends had at least five blow-outs a day during the first few months of her daughter's life.

Cloth diapering creates fewer diaper rashes than disposable diapering. Most diaper rashes are caused by too much urine moisture too close to the skin for too long a period of time. Cloth diapers breathe better than disposable diapers, and cloth diapered babies are changed more often than disposable diapered babies.

Cloth diapered babies potty train earlier than disposable diapered babies. Disposable diapers are designed so the baby cannot feel the wetness caused by their urine. Unlike cloth diapered babies, they don't easily associate urinating with an uncomfortable wet feeling. Cloth diapered babies are potty trained an average of six months before their disposable diapered counterparts.

Cloth diapers are cuter than disposable diapers!





As a side note, washing cloth diapers has turned out to be much less of a hassle than I thought it would be!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Ear Ache Remedies

If I wasn't a believer in the power of herbal healing before my baby had his first ear infection, I definitely would have been a believer after! Two days before his 6 month checkup (at 7 1/2 months), my baby got abnormally fussy and started persistently pulling on his ear. I mentioned this to our pediatrician, and after a quick look into his ears confirmed my baby had an ear infection. She gave us a two-day treatment plan that worked almost magically. A few months later my baby again got abnormally fussy and started persistently pulling on his ear. So I implemented our treatment plan and, again, things were back to normal two days later. Here's what our pediatrician had us do:
  • Children's Ear Formula by Golden Flower Chinese Herbs - 1 ml every three hours. This liquid formula contains 13 Chinese herbs. Our pediatrician gave me a set of small syringes with the needles removed, and I used one to easily suck the tincture up out of the bottle and then "inject" it into my baby's mouth. He loves the flavor!
  • Mullein Flower Ear Oil by Wish Garden Herbs - 2 drops every two hours. These drops contain garlic and mullein flower, an herbal painkiller that calms inflamed nerves. I found it best to have a cotton ball or clean cotton cloth handy to cover the ear immediately after putting these drops in so that they had time to make it down the ear canal before my baby stuck his finger in his ear.
If my bottle of garlic-mullein oil ever runs out, I might try making my own oil. A Bulk Herb Store article instructs readers to crush a fresh clove of garlic, place it in a tablespoon of warm oil, let the oil sit for five minutes, then strain out the garlic. I would probably try and figure out how to infuse almond oil with mullein, then use that as the base. If you've ever tried making your own garlic oil, or have another natural ear infection remedy, I'd love to hear about it!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Herbal Poultice

A poultice is an external herbal preparation that allows an herb's healing properties to work on a specific area (like a wound, bug bite, external infection, or swollen joint) or to be easily absorbed into the bloodstream (if battling a virus or internal infection). It is basically a pile of wet herbs wrapped up like a burrito and held onto the skin.

When making a poultice with fresh herbs, blend or mash with a little hot water; when making a poultice with dried herbs, mix with enough hot water to moisten the entire pile of herbs; when making a poultice with powdered herbs, mix with a little hot water and then with olive oil to make a paste. Wrap the moistened herbs in a piece of cheesecloth or other clean cloth, and place against the skin. Hold in place with your hand or wrap in place using medical tape, a bandage, or plastic. Keep the poultice on the skin for anywhere from 30 minutes to three days, depending on the severity of the illness (less for a garlic poultice). Change the herbs and cloth at least once a day.

To make a garlic poultice:

1. Mash three to five garlic cloves (one to two for a baby or child) onto a piece of cheesecloth or paper towel. I prefer using a garlic press because it is very effective at extracting juice from the clove. And I like using cheesecloth because it makes me feel more "earthy" but a paper towel honestly works just fine.


2. Fold the cheesecloth around the garlic.


3. Flip over and sprinkle just enough hot water onto the herbal wrap to moisten the cheesecloth. (This step isn't always necessary when using a paper towel because the garlic juice typically starts soaking into the paper right away.)


Hold directly on your skin. If treating a wound or other external irritation, hold it on the affected area. If treating an internal infection, hold it on your chest, back (if you have help), or the soles of your feet. Keep the poultice on your skin as long as you can stand it, moving it around as needed. (It will start to burn, especially if using cheesecloth.) I usually try to keep it on my skin for 5 to 20 minutes. When using a poultice on my baby, I try to hold it on his chest, back, and the sole of each foot for 20 to 30 seconds at each location.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Garlic

Garlic is my favorite medicinal herb - a true powerhouse of healing properties.



History

When testifying under oath, ancient Egyptians swore on garlic cloves in the same way Americans today swear on the Bible. Garlic was so valuable that 15 pounds of garlic could buy a healthy male slave.

In the mid-1300s, four famous thieves pillaged Plague victims' houses and later buried the dead (as part of their punishment after arrest), but never got sick. One of the thieves was an herbalist who concocted an herbal preventative remedy that the thieves claim kept them alive. Termed the "Vinegar of Four Thieves," it contained lavender, peppermint, rosemary, sage, wormwood, and of course garlic.

More recently, during World War I, doctors in Great Britain used garlic poultices to prevent wounds from becoming infected. The British government encouraged civilians to grow the herb and paid one shilling per pound. During World War II, garlic was dubbed "Russian penicillin."

Healing Properties
A member of the lily family, garlic has the following properties:
  • Alterative - cleanses the blood (thus helping the liver, spleen, kidneys, and bowels)
  • Antibacterial - destroys bacteria and prevents bacterial growth
  • Anti-diabetic - regulates blood sugar
  • Anti-fungal - destroys fungi and prevents fungal growth
  • Anti-inflammatory - reduces inflammation
  • Antioxidant - prevents and slows free radical damage
  • Anti-parasitic - destroys and expels worms and parasites
  • Antiseptic - slows tissue decay
  • Anti-spasmotic - relieves nervous irritation, muscle spasms, convulsions, and cramps
  • Antiviral - destroys viruses
  • Discutient - dissolves tumors
  • Expectorant - eliminates mucus from the throat and lungs
  • Immune-stimulating - strengthens the immune system
  • Lung tonic - strengthens the lungs
  • Lymphatic - stimulates and cleanses the lymph system
  • Vulnerary - promotes healing of burns, wounds, and cuts by protecting against infection and stimulating cellular renewal
Garlic is active against such conditions as arthritis and other joint issues, asthma, bronchitis, candida, earaches, high cholesterol and hardening of the arteries, colds, digestive problems and gas, dysentery, e-coli, fevers, the flu, herpes, HIV, lead poisoning, meningitis, ring worm, salmonella, sinus and respiratory problems, strep throat, tuberculosis, typhoid fever, ulcers, viral encephalitis, warts, whooping cough, and yeast infections.

Description
Garlic is a complex substance that contains at least 28 active constituents. In comparison, pharmaceutical antibiotics are simple substances that typically contain only one chemical constituent (which is often originally derived from an herb). Bacteria can easily learn how to counter an unnaturally isolated single constituent, rendering many antibiotics useless with time. The use of naturally occurring herbal antibiotics, on the other hand, does not create antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

When crushed, the amino acid alliin joins forces with the enzyme allinase to produce allicin, garlic's lead healing component (and also the subtance responsible for garlic's strong smell). One milligram of allicin matches the potency of 15 standard units of penicillin.

Steven H. Horne states in The ABC Herbal, "[A] nurse who worked in a hospital growing bacterial cultures told me how she had proven to herself the powerful effect of garlic. She took a petri dish with a very powerful strain of bacteria and set a peeled clove of garlic in the center of the dish. Within two hours, every bacteria in the dish was dead. She told me it took eight hours for the strongest antibiotic the hospital had to kill that same strain of bacteria when the antibiotic was sprayed over the whole plate. That shows you how penetrating the effects of garlic are."

Preparation
Everyone can use garlic, including babies and pregnant and nursing mamas. To get the most benefit from the allicin, it is best to use garlic in its natural unheated, unprocessed state. Whether battling a severe condition or the onset of a cold, garlic is an easy herb to use. My favorite preparations are raw garlic, garlic oil, and a garlic poultice.

To take garlic raw, simply crush with the side of a chef knife, mince, scoop onto a spoon, and swallow with water (as if it were a pill). Some people prefer to mix the minced garlic with raw honey before swallowing. I take two to eight cloves a day when fighting a cold or other infection. Some practicioners recommend taking up to 9 bulbs a day, depending on the severity of the illness.

To take garlic as a poultice, create a poultice with three to five cloves and hold it to your chest as long as you can stand it. (It will start to burn.) I usually start on one side of my chest, then move to the other side of my chest when it gets too uncomfortable, then to the middle of my chest, then back to the first side, etc. for 5-20 minutes, depending on how I feel. When applying a poultice to a baby or child, create a poultice with one or two cloves and try to hold it on their chest, their back, and the sole of each foot for 20-30 seconds at each location. I apply a poultice once or twice a day when fighting a cold or other infection. However it can certainly be applied more often if needed. To help soothe the skin, I usually rub an herbal salve onto the skin when I am done with the poultice.

A small bottle of garlic oil (especially oil infused with mullein) serves as great ear drops for children with ear infections. Put two to three drops in each ear every two hours.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A Month in Our Life: August 2009

My baby is getting STRONG! This month he bettered his running skills and also learned how to walk up and down stairs (holding on to me or a railing). Although walking by himself across the park or around the neighborhood could potentially still take all morning, he easily moves faster than me around the house and the office. And he loves being chased! When he starts running, he usually looks back to see if I'm following him. Thankfully, he is pretty good at obeying "stop" and "stay" (we started working on "stop" at about 12 1/2 months and "stay" at about 13 1/2 months), although he still regularly tests his limits by purposefully putting one toe past the stop line or outside the stay area, and looking to see if I'm looking and will react.


And a quick video in which the door really is as big and heavy as it looks:
video

My baby is becoming a CREATIVE COMMUNICATOR! If he is hungry, he lets me know by pulling out the red sparkly vinyl mat on which usually sit and eat at the office. (And if I'm hungry, I tell him to get out the red mat, and by the time I've got our food out, he's already placed the mat on the floor, albeit slightly askew.) If I suggest we read some books, he'll pick a few out of the book basket. And if I tell him to put something away, he usually drops or throws it in the nearest basket or bag. (We started working on "put it away" at about 11 months, and although he usually thinks it's really fun to put things away, he often gets sidetracked and starts playing with whatever he is supposed to be putting away.)



My baby is sort of STARTING TO TALK! He can possibly say four words/phrases:
  • gato (Spanish for cat)
  • dog
  • all done
  • agua (Spanish for water) - this typically sounds similar to "apple"
He does not yet say mama. Although he can blabber mamamamamamamamamamama, he does not ever seem to say it in connection to me.

While I don't yet have any clear words on video, here's a quick clip of this month's favorite sound:
video

Try our new favorite recipe from Rejuvenate Your Life! Recipes for Energy by Serene Allison, published by Above Rubies.

Rich Carob Treat Balls
3/4 c tahini
3/4 c carob powder
1 T honey
1/2 c raisins
1/2 c chopped nuts and seeds

(I used a small handful each of pumpkin seeds, hazelnuts, and almonds.)

Mix together. Roll into balls with lightly oiled hands. Freeze and enjoy!