Because I can

11870736_10205366104767915_6178803902882541499_nTonight, like every night,

I walk my path.

Tired. My bed is so much closer, but I have to…

Because I can.

Someday, I won’t be able to.

Tonight, I can.

He was curled up, hard to find his face, but I did.

Then, to her room.

I’d already been in here once.

We’d already had our routine.

Him too.

Both had oils, smiles, chat, hug. 😉

But, I still had to walk to their room,

and kiss them good night,

just one more time.

Because I can.

It’s what I do.

Every.

Single.

Night.

I’m a Mom.

 

Always enjoy the journey.

Because we can. 😉

sunset on riverside

 

Experiment #2: Mo’s sinus issues (doTerra trio of relief)

What kind of relief can essential oils provide for sinuses?

I’ll be letting you know soon. I’m pleasantly surprised with the results we are seeing in just a few days.

We’ve started using lavender, lemon and peppermint to help with sinus relief. My husband has some of the worse sinus problems I’ve seen. He’s tried everything over the years, OTCs, prescriptions, allergy shots, netty pots, you name it, he’s done it… except essential oils.

We are 3 days in and my husband seems a little less congested. Things ebb and flow, so it may or may not be the oils. After a bit more time, I’ll be more certain of our results.

I also had him use a drop of eucalyptus oil on his maxillary sinuses yesterday morning. First, the smell was a bit strong, so the grimace on his face put me on guard, he was getting ready to use the “that voodoo stuff you do” on me….  In less than 30 seconds the eucalyptus oil was making a difference, and he had a different expression, a surprised, more pleasant look on his face. He didn’t say anything. He’s my forever skeptic. So, I can usually count on him for the truth, whether I want it or not. His silence spoke volumes. 😉

So, here’s what we are doing for Experiment #2:

Lavender_15mlBlending lavender, peppermint, and lemon (1-2 drops each) into our palms and rubbing together. Cupping hands about 8-10 inches away from our nose and slowly breathing in.

After smelling the wonderful aroma, we are rubbing it on other areas of our body to promote absorption, the back of the neck, wrists, and bottoms of feet. Drew likes to rub a bit over her heart too.

We’re all doing it twice a day, morning and before bed.lemon

Tonight, while I’m try to finish up these details about EO Experiment #2, guess who comes and ask me for his oils? Be right back. 😉

Maybe there is something to this “voodoo” essential oil stuff….

Peppermint_15mlWarning: I do not recommend taking a really deep breath in the beginning, it can be quite overwhelming.  I do recommend you start slow, the aromas are potent. Take a small breath until you get used to the aroma and its powerfulness, then you can breath it in a little deeper and continue taking a few deep breaths. Rub into your feet if the aroma is too strong to be on the back of your neck. Josh prefers his feet.

 

Update on Experiment #1: Josh and Drew both took tissues with oils to school. Josh took wild orange/vetiver. Drew took lavender/lemon. I got a “good” from them both when I picked them up. Not a lot of details except about how powerful the aroma was coming out of Josh’s cubby when he opened it. So, maybe all of the 8th grade around his cubby will be focusing better.

I am really enjoying the research I am doing  and knowledge I am gathering about all of the wonderful, natural uses of these oils. I wish I knew sooner! I highly recommend you learn a little too. I bet it will change your world like it has mine.

I’d love to know if you have any essential oils secrets, please share in the comments below. The rest of us will keep your secret too. 😉

If you are interested in more info, contact me. As always, I hope you Enjoy the Journey!

*Using essential oils can assist you on your path to ultimate health and wellness. Please be advised that Essential Oil practices discussed on this website are not intended to replace the advice of your medical provider. Please learn about essential oils before you use them.  

Write his teacher a letter… A lesson I wish I learned sooner

writing_letter_12071260152646It was so well received, I knew I should have done it sooner…. Oh, well… We all live and learn.

Letting your child’s teacher know what to expect when you have a child with challenges like ADHD, Anxiety, learning disabilities, Depression, etc. can make such a difference in your child’s school year. Don’t hesitate to write a letter and tell your child’s teacher about your child’s strengths, challenges, and any other pertinent information that is important to help your child succeed.

All teachers want to help our children, that’s why they became teachers. What most parents don’t know is that teachers are given absolutely no resources about ADHD. Can you believe that? The environment where children spend the majority of their time is housed with educators that are never given the opportunity to learn about ADHD (~10% of kids), unless they find time outside of their work schedule to pursue further education on the topic. Not fair… not to the kids, not to the teachers, and not to the rest of the school population. It is up to us as parents to bring information about our child’s challenges to the school and the teachers. Don’t assume they know. If you want someone to have information about your child or their challenges, tell them directly, don’t assume the information gets shared.

I was taught very early on in my professional training that it is important NOT to label kids, so I certainly didn’t want to do it to my own child. In most of my professional situations this is an absolute, but as a parent of an ADHD child, I WAS WRONG! SO WRONG! If your child’s teacher doesn’t know his strengths and weaknesses, how can she help him grow. Yes, most good teachers figure it out, but why waste those months, there are only 9 to get the job done.

If you’ve read any of my posts about ADHD, you know that my son, Joshua has trouble sitting still and staying on task. I have found that talking to his teachers at the beginning of the school year helps Josh and his teachers be much better prepared. For years, it took the first 3-4 months for his teacher to “get to know him” all because I didn’t want to label him. You know, the whole “clean slate” philosophy. I think part of me was trying to test the teacher to see if she also thought that Joshua had ADHD. There was part of me that would doubt it on occasion, although professionally, I knew he was classic.

After writing or asking for a conference with your child’s teacher(s), there should be a plan. Joshua is given specific expectations, as all ADHD kids should. He is also given tools and accommodations to help him succeed, which all ADHD kids deserve. All of his teachers stay in frequent communication with Josh to help him stay on top of assignments that are due, projects that have deadlines coming up, homework that needs to be done, etc. Throughout elementary and most of middle school, Josh has succeeded with the help of some pretty great teachers. We chose private school during 3rd grade for Josh, and haven’t looked back since. I was a public school advocate for a long time, but that debacle is for another post.

If people do not understand how the neurological challenges alter kids behavior, it is crucial for the child’s educational and emotional well-being that they learn. I just read a post on ADDitude.org today with quotes from parents that “wish they knew…” There is always something more we wish we knew.

So, as you prepare for the school year, don’t forget to prep your child’s teacher. You don’t want months to go by this school year, and then have a conversation about what your teacher wished she had known in September. It’s as easy as writing a quick (and, sometimes, not so quick) email. ADDitude.org has a short article and sample letter with great ideas for accommodations, click here to check it out.

So, as you embark on another year of your child’s education, be sure to keep everyone on your journey informed. You’ll be glad you did. I promise! It will make your life easier and most of all make your child’s educational experience more rewarding and successful. Then, you can say, “I’m glad I wrote that letter!” instead of “I wish I had…”.  😉

As always, I hope you are Enjoying the Journey! 🙂 

letter-writing-anymore

Today We Remember: Never Forget

Today, September 11,  is one that will always be marked in the minds of Americans. The lives of thousands of innocent people were lost. Please spend time to remember those lost and the family members left behind. Families lost mothers, fathers, grandparents, children, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews.

Although there is much sorrow attached to this date, there are ways to make it positive. I was listening to the radio this morning and some of the guys from the show were sent out to share Random Acts of Kindness. I thought this was a great way to honor the memories of those lost on September 11, 2001.

I hope you are able to share some “Random Acts of Kindness” along your journey today. 🙂

Helping Children Deal with Stressful Situations

After the recent tragedy in Boston, I thought it might be a good idea to repost this…. Prayers for those families affected by this horrific act.

Katie Pink Tolley

In the aftermath of recent events, I felt it important to revisit some of the specifics about helping children deal with stress and disaster. I hope you are trying to shelter your children from the recent tragedy that is all over the news! Children do not need to see or hear about other children being killed while at school. It could lead to lots of fear and anxiety about leaving parents and/or going to school. Please TURN OFF THE TV!!!

So, how can you help your child go through a stressful event and minimize worry and concern?

  • The most important thing to do is stay calm. Children look to the adults around them for support and comfort. Often, parents will appear anxious, worried, and constantly talk about their fears and “what if…” scenarios. When a child is exposed to these behaviors, they will most likely be more anxious and worried…

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Helping Children Deal with Stressful Situations

In the aftermath of recent events, I felt it important to revisit some of the specifics about helping children deal with stress and disaster. I hope you are trying to shelter your children from the recent tragedy that is all over the news! Children do not need to see or hear about other children being killed while at school. It could lead to lots of fear and anxiety about leaving parents and/or going to school. Please TURN OFF THE TV!!!

So, how can you help your child go through a stressful event and minimize worry and concern?

  • The most important thing to do is stay calm. Children look to the adults around them for support and comfort. Often, parents will appear anxious, worried, and constantly talk about their fears and “what if…” scenarios. When a child is exposed to these behaviors, they will most likely be more anxious and worried as well.
  • Turn the TV OFF! Watching images of disaster, angry people, and listening to hyped up newscasters will only increase a child’s concern. Watch a family movie or play a family game instead.
  • Talk to your child about their fears and concerns. Children will often be worried about things because they have exaggerated or irrational predictions about what may happen.
  • If there are serious injuries or losses, make sure your child knows what is going on. Children that don’t know the reality of a situation will often assume the worse.
  • Encourage your child to ask you any questions they want. Discuss what they are worried about, the unknown can be scary.
  • Find time for friends. Having life return to normal as soon as possible can be the best way to help your child understand that things will be ok!
  • Spend time together, this will make your child feel comfortable and secure.
  • Remember, children are resilient, they often persevere during times of stress and turmoil!
  • Encourage your child to journal or draw to deal with their feelings.
  • Continue to practice habits for good health. Get adequate sleep, exercise and make sure you eat well. Taking care of your body in times of stress is important. For tips on nutrition, check out my post, Let them eat cake… for breakfast?

Helping children through times of high anxiety can be challenging. Recognizing that your child is having difficulty dealing with a situation is not always easy. Symptoms of stress and anxiety can present in multiple ways, such as: bad dreams, insomnia, bed wetting, not eating well, not wanting to venture away from a parent/caregiver, stomach aches, headaches, not wanting to play with friends, difficulty concentrating, difficulty in school, or even irritability. If your child seems to be having lingering effects for a prolonged period of time, I would recommend seeing your primary care provider. Children can have Acute Stress Syndrome, which occurs immediately or within a month of the precipitating even. Children can  suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome if the fear and anxiety symptoms last for weeks or months.

I hope that you are able to help your children deal with any fears that may develop if they learn of the most recent tragedy that has our nation on high alert.

Please pray for the families affected by this terrible tragedy. These are challenging situations to deal with along life’s journey!

God Bless you and your family!

Helping Children Deal with Disaster

With all of the news coverage of Hurricane Sandy, aka “Frankenstorm” I thought I should write a post about helping children deal with natural disasters.

So, how can you help your child go through a stressful event and minimize worry and concern?

  • The most important thing to do is stay calm. Children look to the adults around them for support and comfort. Often, parents will appear anxious, worried, and constantly talk about their fears and “what if…” scenarios. When a child is exposed to these behaviors, they will most likely be more anxious and worried as well.
  • Turn the TV OFF! Watching images of destroyed property, angry weather, and listening to hyped up newscasters will only increase a child’s concern. Watch a family movie or play a family game instead.
  • Talk to your child about their fears and concerns. Children will often be worried about things because they have exaggerated or irrational predictions about what may happen.
  • If there are serious injuries or losses, make sure your child knows what is going on. Children that don’t know the reality of a situation will often assume the worse.
  • Encourage your child to ask you any questions they want. Discuss what they are worried about, the unknown can be scary.
  • Find time for friends. Having life return to normal as soon as possible can be the best way to help your child understand that things will be ok!
  • Spend time together, this will make your child feel comfortable and secure.
  • Remember, children are resilient, they often persevere during times of stress and turmoil!
  • Encourage your child to journal or draw to deal with their feelings.
  • Continue to practice habits for good health. Get adequate sleep, exercise and make sure you eat well. Taking care of your body in times of stress is important. For tips on nutrition, check out my post, Let them eat cake… for breakfast?

Helping children through times of high anxiety can be challenging. Recognizing that your child is having difficulty dealing with a situation is not always easy. Symptoms of stress and anxiety can present in multiple ways, such as: bad dreams, insomnia, bed wetting, not eating well, not wanting to venture away from a parent/caregiver, stomach aches, headaches, not wanting to play with friends, difficulty concentrating, difficulty in school, or even irritability. If your child seems to be having lingering effects for a prolonged period of time, I would recommend seeing your primary care provider. Children can have Acute Stress Syndrome, which occurs immediately or within a month of the precipitating even. Children can  suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome if the fear and anxiety symptoms last for weeks or months.

If you and your family had to endure the weather challenges of Hurricane Sandy, I hope you came through it without any serious injuries or damages. It sure was  one heck of a storm, definitely one for the record books. Going through natural disasters is an unfortunate part of life. It is part of the journey we could all do without!

Hopefully this part of your journey will be put behind you quickly, and make you and your children stronger on the flip side.

One way to make ’em smile… Pets!

I have to tell you about the latest additions to our family! We brought home 2 little kittens today!! Drew and Josh are so excited! They chased the babies around the house for the first hour; until they realized that it would work better to sit and let the babies come to them. Initially, we planned on getting Drew a kitten for her birthday a few weeks ago. As we waited the couple weeks the kittens needed to get bigger before leaving the shelter, we decided we needed 2! Getting a pet for each kid in the house sounded like a better idea. Yes, dogs are nice, but, we don’t have the time at home that a dog requires right now, and in the past we have contemplated gerbils or hamsters. We have even had a few fish and hermit crabs, but that didn’t end well. Kittens are what we decided would fit best into our family.

Every kid needs a pet! It teaches a little bit of responsibility. Yes, I know I will be the one doing all the work, but a Mom can dream can’t she. 😉 Pets also give unconditional love, what more could we ask for!?! When children are stressed or down, a pet can be great therapy. Having a companion that is always there with unconditional love is very heartwarming. Having a loving pet to cuddle with can help improve self esteem and self confidence, that’s a win-win situation. And, having a kitten to snuggle and cuddle with really does make the kids smile! Drew has been giggling for hours now. Tonight, Josh and Drew are both in their respective beds, with kittens laying next to them, it’s just priceless!!

Josh has decided to name his kitten “Kwai”. This is a slant from Kawai, which means “cute” in Japanese. Josh is my out of the box thinker, so researching a name took days for him. I must emphasize the word research, because that is exactly what he did. He spent time on the computer looking up different words and their meanings. Josh has taken to Japanese ever since his fascination with Bey Blades, I’m sure most mothers of boys can relate to this phase. Josh has decided he wants to learn Japanese, and I guess this is the beginning…

Drew named her kitten “Jules”. This came from one of her favorite movies, Rio. There is a bird named “Jewel” in the Rio movie. She has asked for a blue macaw, but, that just wasn’t going to happen. We told her the bird would be living here longer than she would. So, when she first started talking about names she came up with Julie. This was very interesting because we live on property that my great-grandfather first purchased and developed in the late 1930’s, and his wife’s name was Julia. Coincidence?? hummm?? I think not… makes you wonder, now doesn’t it. Well, it makes me wonder who is still wondering around this place! It warms my heart and makes me smile. My cousin, Julie, who lives 3,000 miles away in Cali thinks it’s just a great name. You can guess where her name came from, now can’t ya?

Well, all I can say is, adding a pet to the family is a great idea. I’ve been wanting to do it for a while, but the timing hadn’t been right until recently. Me getting my masters, kids too young, but now that the kids are 6 and 10, it works perfectly. And, as I said, one way to make ’em smile is to get a pet! Kids love animals, and animals (usually) love kids. They just go great together, kind of like peanut butter and jelly. So, as you travel along this exciting journey called parenthood, Get A Pet!! Get whatever pet works for your family, it really doesn’t matter what it is to the kids. You will be glad you did, and your kids will be glad you did too! Just ask anyone that has a pet, and they will agree, no doubt about it!

So, if you want to make ’em smile….Get a Pet for the family to enjoy!!

As always, I’m hoping you Enjoy the Journey!! 😉

Summer Safety Rule #1 – Always, Always, Always keep an eye on kids around water!!

Photo from Confession’s of a Dr. Mom blog post: “In the blink of an eye”

The story is always the same – “I only looked away for a second…” and the end of the story is complete tragedy. I couldn’t write a better post myself about how important Water Safety is for children, so I am sharing a post from Confessions of a Dr. Mom. NO ONE wants to live through the loss of a child by drowning.

When Drew was about 3 she wanted to “show off” for some colleagues I had over for an evening around the pool. She proceeded to go down the ladder in the deep end of our pool, saying, “Watch me swim!” Only problem, she couldn’t swim yet!! I was inside getting supplies for our evening and when I came out, my friend Abby was climbing out of the pool with her. It took less than a second worth of discussion from the adults to realize that Drew wasn’t able to swim. She swam a few feet away from the ladder, and then started to SINK!

There are so many stories about kids that just narrowly miss drowning because someone was being vigilant. There are too many stories about children that weren’t so lucky.

DON’T LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOUR FAMILY! BE VIGILANT!

I read a blog by a pediatrician that shares some lifesaving advice. Melissa shares some great “Water Safety Rules”. Read her post  In the Blink of an eye, it is truly eye opening!! Thanks for sharing such great advice, Melissa!

Toddlers need constant attention, the “touch” rule is a good one! Don’t let a split second mistake ruin your Journey!