Sunday, February 21, 2010

The One Year Mark

The last week of February marked one year in business as Immigration Solutions LLC. During this first year I have had paying clients from the following countries:

Burkina Faso



El Salvador



The Gambia






United States

Mexican states represented include:

Distrito Federal
Estado de Mexico
Nuevo Leon

Thank you, Lord, for an interesting first year! I have learned about countries I didn't know existed, and have helped people file for immigration benefits I thought only attorneys could do. I wonder what next year will bring...??

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Pink Eye

My baby woke up one morning last spring with his eyes almost plastered shut from yellow eye gunk. The area around his eye was red and swollen, and over the next couple days the whites of his eye were pink. Here's what I did:
  • I brewed some double strength chamomile tea. Every other hour, I dipped clean cotton balls in the tea, squeezed some tea into the corner of my baby's eye, then wiped the gunk out of his eye.
  • Every other hour (when I wasn't applying chamomile tea), I expressed 5-7 drops of breast milk into the corner of my baby's eye. The anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties of breast milk are amazing! Knowing how to hand express breast milk is not only useful to relieve engorgement, but is also helpful to heal infections like pink eye and prevent infections in scrapes and cuts. Click here for a step-by-step guide to hand expression. The most important thing to remember is that the milk sinuses are behind the areola - not in the nipple. Squeezing the nipple will only give you a sore nipple, so make sure you are placing all the pressure on the areola.
After two days of chamomile tea and breast milk, my baby's eye was back to normal. If you have effectively used any other natural remedies for pink eye, I'd love to hear about them!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A Month in Our Life: January 2010

A sample weekday:

6:00 - Mama and baby wake up before the sun. Within about 10 seconds, baby is full of energy and ready to start the day. Baby uses the potty in the bathroom. Mama and baby read books together.

6:45 - Baby helps mama make breakfast by operating the coffee grinder (to grind flax seed). Mama and baby eat breakfast. Baby knocks on Erika's door to play with her and her cat. Baby says goodbye to Erika, which usually "requires" putting on Ticha's hat and scarf.

7:30 - Mama does the dishes, tidies the bedroom, folds the diapers, packs our bags, and gets ready. Baby plays with Ticha, the most creative person I've ever met. They make houses for cat toys (including one named "Pink Ears"), play hide and seek, roll hand weights in the hallway, make car ramps out of old suitcases in the living room, and clomp around the house in Ticha's high heels or Erika's boots.

8:45 - Mama and baby play outside. We usually head to the alley, look inside every garbage can in sight, run up and down dirt piles, jump off tree trunks, slide on the ice, and play with rubber bands stashed in a box next to a neighbor's recycle bin.

9:45 - Baby plays with Ticha some more. Mama packs lunch and loads the car.

10:00 - Mama and baby leave for the office. Baby naps in the car. Once parked at the office, mama does her Bible study and takes a short nap.

12:00 - Mama sets up the office. Mama and baby eat lunch. On Fridays, mama treats Estela and baby to tortas or huaraches from Rancho Liborio.

1:00 - Mama and baby play together. This usually involves chasing each other around the office, "vacuuming" the carpet, climbing all over mama as if playing in a jungle gym, making a ruckus with musical instruments, pushing trucks, throwing balls, practicing putting keys in the door and clicking the Ergo together, turning the lights on and off, and reading lots of books. Periodically during the day, baby blurts out the words "dot" or "cuckoo" or "crash-bang-boom" and then peals with laughter.

3:00 - Mama and baby walk around the neighborhood and talk to "the usual suspects." Baby seems to be learning at least two new words a day, and his all time favorite right now is "hat." On the way to the post office every day, we walk by a group of day laborers waiting for work, and since it is cold outside they usually all have hats or hoods on. Baby likes to point/wave to each man in turn and announce "hat."

3:30 - Mama and baby play together some more in the office. Baby announces he's ready for a snack by saying "eat," announces he needs to go potty by patting his diaper, and announces he's already gone potty by taking his diaper off.

5:30 - Mama and baby eat dinner. Mama tidies up the office. While listening to lullaby music, baby gets ready for bed, and mama and baby read together. Last thing before leaving the office, we tuck the stuffed monkey under a "blanket" and give it a smooch and say night night.

7:15 - Mama and baby leave the office. Baby falls asleep in the car.

8:00 - Once home, mama eats another dinner, does laundry, works on business stuff, then hopefully has a little time to relax and read before soaking the next morning's breakfast.

10:30 - Mama crawls into bed with baby.