Friday, September 27, 2013

Oils of the Day - Peppermint, Frankinsense

I just went away for five days.  It was lovely.  LOVELY!  But I didn't take my oils.  I debated.  But I figured that I'm not too attached to them and therefore wouldn't miss them.  I was right.  Though two nights while I was away I woke up feeling sick to my stomach and boy would I have given peppermint a run for it's money!  But tonight I was walking with the kids and my stomach felt a little funky.  Yay!  Another chance to put my oils to the test! (just kidding...yay is never my gut reaction to funky pun intended)  Nevertheless, as soon as I got home, I pulled out my peppermint oil and rolled it on my lower abdomen (with my new roller top, thanks to a friend who had some extras after my lid decided to take a trip down the bathroom drain this morning!).  Peppermint oil is supposed to calm the rumbles in your tummy and help digestion, I believe.  There are a few oils that are supposed to do that, but peppermint is the one I have so I gave it a shot!  Did it work?  Well, yes and no.  Or maybe yes and I don't know.  The neat thing about oils, the thing I love, is that you can actually feel them working.  It's hard to describe.  When I put the peppermint oil on my stomach, I could actually feel it being absorbed, if that is possible.  It was like a relaxing, calming, warm hand pressing on my stomach.  Now, did it take the tummy rumbles away?  Not completely.  But I feel better now, a few hours later, and with no sudden runs to el bano this evening! (sorry if TMI) The thing I'm still questioning is whether I would have felt better by now without the oils.  Part of me thinks that I would have felt the same this evening, regardless of the oils.  Sometimes tummy rumbles just pass on their own.  But the feeling I had right after I applied the peppermint oil, the sinking in of the oil...that was worth feeling.  So maybe if I'd applied it again, an hour later, that would have done the trick?  Or maybe if I'd applied it in a slightly different place? Or added another oil? Who knows.  But there's my oil of the day story :)  The verdict?  It's worth a shot!  I'd rather rub (or roll!) on some peppermint than take some Pepto if those are my options!

I'm also conducting an experiment with Frankincense and my c-section scar(s).  I'm guessing it will take a while to tell if it's doing anything but I'm curious to see if it will fade my scar faster than regular old "time."  I'll let you know.

Oh, and something that I was going to rant about, while I'm blogging about oils anyway, is how much of a nuisance they are to apply.  I'm all for natural healing and all that jazz...but we are a socks wearing family (at least myself and the kids are) and often you have to apply the oils far more often than just once or twice a day.  Seriously, to have to take socks off every hour or two all day to apply oils?  Not fun people.  I do wish that I could just apply the oils in the morning and evening, when my socks (and the kids' socks) are off anyway, and have them actually work their magic.  We just don't love being barefoot so it's not convenient at all to just stop what we're doing, take off our socks, use our oils, then don our socks again.  Just saying.  I realize there are other places to put oils, but we are also long pants and sweater wearing people. There's not alot of bare skin in this house to use oils on without undressing to some degree.  I guess I might just get used to it...

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Oils of the day

I haven't been posting much the last couple days, but not because I haven't been using the oils!  I just haven't been using them for anything new, nor have I been noticing much different from what I've already posted.  BUT...I think I'm making progress in my experiment!

PanAway and Valor for aches and pains - I am convinced here.  The other day I was walking and my knee was bothering me.  It only hurts occasionally so I can't speak to chronic pain relief BUT, I got back from my walk and it was still hurting so I rubbed some PanAway on it and as I walked back to the kitchen, the pain was gone.  Then today, my back was hurting (hello, hauling two kids around all day and night!) so I rubbed two drops of Valor on my lower back then rubbed two drops of PanAway on top of that.  I must say, my back is feeling pretty good now!  So for minor aches and pains, I would definitely recommend these two oils!  My guess would be that if you have more intense pain or pain that is constant, it might not respond as well OR you might need to reapply oils more often.  But I'd say it's worth a try.  I feel better about rubbing some essential oil on my back or knee or jaw (which is also helped incredibly by Valor) than popping a Tylenol.

Lemon in water - I've said it before and I'll say it again: Yum!  We are loving the switch to drinking lemon water.  And I'm not sure if it's the lemon water that's to thank but I think I'm starting to crave more fruits/vegetables for snacks than sugary cookies and chocolate.  All it takes is 1-2 drops of lemon oil in 1 litre of water (in a GLASS or STAINLESS container), give it a little stir and voila.  So good.

Lavender and Peace & Calming - I put a drop or two of each of these oils in a warm bath last night for Kayden about an hour before bed.  I don't know if it's the oils or if she's just settling into a bit more of a routine (finally?), but she went to bed at 7:45-8pm and was only up ONCE between bedtime and 7:45-8am!!  Maybe the oils calmed her so she could rest well.  Or maybe they worked on me and I just slept through all the less insistent cries last night...

As far as the smells of the oils go, some of the smells are growing on me.  I love the smells of Valor, Lemon, Peppermint, and Peace & Calming. I still hate the smells of Thieves and Purification.  The other ones I'm kinda indifferent about.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Oils of the day

Kayden woke up last night around 10:30pm and just wouldn't settle again (usually I just need to go in and pat her side a few times and she's back to sleep). She was just getting more and more worked up as time passed. I noticed that she'd spit up more that day and had an unusually large baby cereal snack right before bed so I thought her tummy might be bothering her. It also seemed like a pain/discomfort thing as she would calm right down then her face would scrunch up and she would arch her back and be wailing again. SO, I pulled out my oils, hopeful that she would settle quickly once I used them on her. Because I suspected tummy troubles, I put peppermint on her tummy. I used lavender on top of that hoping it would settle her and help her sleep. And then, because she was so worked up by this time, I put a drop of peace and calming oil on her feet. I used all of these with a carrier oil (coconut oil). So, the moment of truth...drumroll please!  Did it work?  Not at all. Nothing. She just kept crying and arching her back. Finally I nursed her, even though I KNEW she wasn't hungry, and that calmed her down and she settled into a deep sleep for the next almost 5 hours. I was disappointed that the oils didn't help more. Maybe I used the wrong ones or in the wrong places?  I'm still learning so that could be it. But I know from experience that feeding her when I did would have produced the same reaction, whether or not I'd used the oils. So...the oils were a fail last night. Anyone who is into oils have any suggestions for next time?  Gentle baby?  Or a different oil/placement?  Let me know!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Seven Months Old

Wow, I just sat down and typed "Four Months Old."  SEVEN months old.  Yikes.  I'm really slipping.  Some days I wonder if I'm going crazy.  The other day I sat down with my journal and went to wrote the date and I almost wrote October.  Yeah.  Moving on...

Kayden is 7 months old today!  She is growing up in every sense of the word.  According to the measurement at her last immunization appointment, she has hit a growth spurt!  Though I'm fairly certain that the measurement at her last appointment was off so it's probably just a steady growth.  She's getting closer to 50th percentile though has always been under.  In the weight vs height ratio, though, she's right near the top!  That's the technical way of saying I have a chubby little girl on my hands.  And it's lovely!  She's so cute :)  Kayden weighed 14.8lbs at her last appointment.  She could easily be 15lbs by now.  She's wearing 6-12 month clothes. 

Kayden is sitting with ease, not really tipping much at all anymore.  She started sitting in the wagon for walks this month, without having to be tied to the corner with a scarf  :D  She's an old pro.  She stood for a couple seconds at the couch yesterday but she's not really there yet.  She doesn't really understand the concept of hanging on to help balance.  If she starts tipping, she just falls straight over.  (oops) 

 Kayden loves baths.  She's a little water-baby.  She and Levi are having baths together these days and they both enjoy playing with each other.  Levi was getting a bit too brave in the splashing and pouring of water, though, so the rule quickly became that whatever he does to Kayden in the bath happens to him next.  So if he pours a container of water on her face, guess what buddy?  You get water in your face too.  He's not as comfortable in the water as Kayden is so he's gotten much better about not water-boarding his baby sister all the time.

Kayden doesn't love solid foods, but she doesn't hate them either.  Her favourite is slightly warm baby cereal.  It doesn't seem to matter what kind.  Mix in some raspberries, and that's ok too.  She doesn't really enjoy anything with much flavour yet though.  Health nurse says I need to be feeding her foods with iron and skip the baby cereal completely.  Well, if my baby ate absolutely anything, then great!  Bring on the beef/eggs/green veggies.  But if she's not going to eat them, I'd rather she fill her little tummy with SOMETHING and perhaps sleep a bit longer at night?  She's eaten a couple Aeroroot crackers and animal crackers too, which are a complete and total mess, but she seems to enjoy having something to suck on.

Speaking of sleeping...this month has been a gong show in that department.  She had been pretty steady for the first 6 months.  And then I decided to push my luck and see if I could eliminate the night-time feeds.  I had a couple glorious nights of 10 hours between feeds but since then she's gone to wanting to eat every 3.5-4 hours all night long, which is worse than before.  Ugh!  Some nights are good, some are bad.  I think I'd rather just have a predictable routine if I'm going to be getting up at night.  Not knowing if I have an hour or 3 or 6 from the time I go to bed is hard on the body!  Naps have been shifting too.  We were in a good routine with her longest nap being at the same time as Levi's.  Now she's wanting to take her long naps morning and evening and hardly sleeps an hour at the same time as Levi.  So I guess we're in a transition time with her and sleep.  Makes for a VERY tired Mommy!

We moved Kayden into Levi's room this month!  We were at my parents' place visiting and decided to put them in the same room and it worked really well so we figured we'd just continue to have them share a room when we got home.  It has been an adjustment, let me tell you!  Trying to figure out how much noise needs to happen before we respond (finding a balance between letting them adjust to each other's noise and not wanting everyone in the house awake all night).  There have been many a silent curse in the middle of the night of our decision to buy a 2 bedroom house instead of a 3 bedroom.  GAH!  But it seems like we're making progress and it is nice to have our master bedroom back.

Kayden remains a content baby.  She's been sick the past week or so and even in the midst of a runny nose and sore throat (if it's what Levi and I had), she's always ready with a smile for her family!  She is a bit more shy with others but so far no full-blown stranger anxiety.  Kayden will happily sit in the grass outside for a long time while I garden, just looking around and feeling the grass under her.  The same goes for in the house.  She's often happy to just hang out in the jolly jumper, exersaucer or on the floor, watching what's going on around her - and with a busy, two year old brother, there's always something happening!  Levi loves to make her laugh.  His favourite game with her seems to be peek-a-boo which is fairly loud and involves lots of yelling, but fortunately there's a lot of laughter from her too so I just leave them to have fun, despite the decibel being a bit high for my ears.  Levi also loves to get her toys and play with her by rolling her over for tummy time and "blowing" on her belly.  She takes a lot but there always comes a point when she's just done.

Kayden has started reaching for absolutely everything.  And everything she grabs goes straight to her mouth.  When she notices that something makes noise, though, she'll wave her arm up and down to see if she can make the noise again.  She has no teeth yet, though I think she must be teething.  We'll enjoy her gummy smile for a bit longer.  Kayden has yet to roll over.  She still has blue eyes, though some days I think I might be seeing a bit of hazel(?) coming in from the middle.  I do hope that they stay the dark blue that they are right now but I'm sure they'll be beautiful, whatever colour they are.  Kayden is starting to babble more.  "dadada...aaaaa..."  She laughs most when Levi plays with her or when you tickle her ribs.  Kayden always wakes up with a smile; going to get her after a nap or in the morning is always so rewarding.  (I'm sure it would be rewarding in the middle of the night too, if I could see anything through the groggy blur...)

I'm looking forward to month number 8!  I can't believe we're getting well into the second half of Kayden's first year!  And yet, it feels like she's been here so long already.  Being a mom of 2 is completely routine by now.  There are very few moments when I feel pulled in half because both kids need me at once.  We've gotten into a wonderful groove and I'm loving it!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Oils of the day

Peppermint - Nathan used peppermint on the back of his neck for a headache (he's going off coffee)...he said it really seemed to help.  He didn't take anything else for the headache.

PanAway - I hold alot of tension in my jaw and it often clicks when I open it - which hurts!  I put PanAway on it and, while it didn't make the clicking completely go away, I did notice it relax and stop hurting enough to chew.  Was it the oils?  Or was it the massaging of my jaw?  I'm not sure.  I do know that the area where I rubbed the oil felt strangely...good?  Haha.  How's that for a description?  My jaw did feel more relaxed after I used the oil.  Was it all in my head?  Did my jaw relax because I was thinking about it?  Who knows. I do plan to use this more often as my jaw bothers me and maybe time will tell if it was actually the oil that made the difference.

Lemon - day 2 of drinking lemon oil in our water.  SO GOOD! (*oils should always be used with glass or stainless steel containers)

Levi loves smelling the oils whenever I have them out.  I'm hesitant to let him sniff them all at once because they really are quite potent.  But tonight I let him take a good whiff of the Valor oil, in hopes that he would have a really good night's sleep.  He did settle pretty well, though he often does these days.  It's so hard to tell with oils!  Are they working?  Are they making a difference?  Or is it all in the mind?  So far I'm not convinced, BUT I'm certainly having fun experimenting with them and I'm open to having my mind blown.  :)

*correction...I put Valor on my clicking jaw, not PanAway.  When I used PanAway this morning, it really didn't seem to make much difference, but then I used Valor and that was the feeling I was talking about.  It feels like relaxation just starts on the skin and soaks on down.  Still a little tense, but not clicking or hurting nearly as bad!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


I was bitten by the domestic bug pretty early on (and no, not the bed bug variety of domestic bug).  I've always wanted to be homemaker.  Dream job. I love it. And I take it pretty seriously too. (I'm really gunning for that promotion..oh wait) To me, being a homemaker is about so much more than cooking and cleaning and taking care of the kids. There is so much more to a home than just errands and chores and schedules. Homes are living, breathing organisms. How do I want our home to feel to the people who live here, not to mention every person who walks through the door? What values do we have?  If I don't want bitterness to eat away at my family, I'd better watch my attitude. If I want a joyful house full of laughter, I'd better be willing to do what I can to create that atmosphere. (Though there are certainly things out of our control that can change the way we "homemake"...I'm not saying that its as simple as just smiling all the time if we want a happy family life.) Anyway, I digress. 

These days, my homemaking is consisting of putting away food for winter so we can eat home-grown food long after earth freezes over. Yay!  I've never really canned anything before. I tried pickles last year and they were sorely disappointing. But!  I am not beyond trying again!  This year I have expanded my horizons and so far I have canned strawberry and raspberry jams, pickles (gotta get this one right!), apple sauce and juice, and apple pie filling!  It feels so so good to see all those empty jars downstairs slowly being filled with colourful and tasty treats for winter! 

I've also developed a love for gardening this summer that was never there to this degree before. As a kid, I hated gardening because it was always a chore. Pull that acre of wild mustard, please. Weed the rows of peas, please.  Time to plant/hill/dig potatoes!  Here are some peas that need shelling. (Ok, I always enjoyed that one because my sister and I discovered that we could do it in front of the tv) Anyway, my mom always said that we would enjoy it when the gardens were our own and I never believed her. But it is so true!  I've been loving my gardens. Though interestingly, the weeds are no more fun to pull, whether or not the garden belongs to you...

Random sidenote on oils: we started drinking lemon oil in our water today. AMAZING!  I don't know about any benefits other than taste at this point but wow. It is so fresh and clean tasting. And because its oil, it kinda coats the inside I your mouth and leaves your mouth feeling wonderfully fresh (mouth-coating is not as gross as it sounds...unless you're drinking something like Thieves, then it's grosser than it sounds). 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Oils - an introduction to my introduction to oils

So, you all know me. I'm a fad-follower. I dive into the deep end as soon as each new fad makes its appearance.  I was the first one with a cell phone.  I was the first one wearing skinny jeans when they made their comeback. I was the first one dying their hair when it became popular back in junior high. I was first in line to buy a CD player, MP3 player and then iPod when tapes started going out of style.

Ok, if anyone is fooled, let me tell you, this is so far from who I am. I'm usually the one who sits back and watches to see if the latest craze is sticking around long enough for me to buy into it. I didn't have a cell phone until two years ago. I didn't dye my hair until grade 9 (everyone else started in grade 7!). And I didn't buy a pair of skinny jeans until a few years in, once I made sure I wouldn't look like a geek the next time I stepped out the door, lest the style change while I was sleeping. 

The latest "thing" in our area is essential oils. These are therapeutic grade oils that one uses for an endless number of things. (Young Living is the company everyone uses around here.) These oils are used for everything from the common cold to headaches to cleaning the kitchen sink to brushing your teeth to emotional healing to mosquito repellant. Seriously, people use them for everything. After hearing people talk about them and rave about the difference they have made in their families' health (and after talking with a friend who encouraged me to give them a try), I broke down and bought a basic "starter kit". It contains all the most basic, often-used oils to get you started. To convince you. To lure you into their depths. 

I will admit, I am quite skeptical. But they promise the world (well not quite, but close!) so I figure I'll share a bit of my experience with them here. I've had a number of people interested in hearing about them so if you're one of those people, this is the place to follow along while I experiment with Young Living essential oils!

First off, you're all probably wonder how they smell. of my greatest fears in starting down this essential oil road is that my house will begin to smell like the oils. I'll admit, I'm not a fan of most of the oils I've smelled. Lemon smells amazing.  Peppermint is pretty good.  But some of the other ones...I'm just not loving it.  I hear that they grow on you...or don't.  We shall see.  I also fear that my kids will smell like them when they go to school and will be made fun of because of it.  (I remember a boy in my class in grade 3 who was basically shunned because he smelled can be so cruel!)  Aside from those two things, I have nothing to lose!

You're probably also wondering what I've used them for so far.  Well, I only got them 3 days ago but so far I've used:

- Peppermint for a headache - I rubbed a drop of peppermint oil into some coconut oil (aka carrier oil) and applied it to my temples and back of my neck.  Those are the spots where the headache was.  Did it work?  Well, I'd say the pain in my head indeed felt less almost immediately.  Unfortunately I think it was due to the burning of my eyes from having the oil so close to them (temples).  I'm going to double-check whether or not that was the correct way to apply the oil in this situation.

- Peace and Calming for putting kids to bed - I've used a drop of this oil on the bottoms of Levi's feet for two nights so far.  He usually goes to bed pretty well so I wouldn't say I've seen a huge difference.  He was pretty hyper one night before bed and settled really well but he might have done that anyway.  It's hard to tell.  This morning, Kayden was wide awake at 5am (three hours early according to our routine) so I used a drop of this oil on her feet.  I was really hoping that she would calm right down and go back to sleep but she just kept crying like nothing had happened.  *sigh*  So much for a miracle-worker.

- Peace and Calming AND Valor for having house-guests - I'm usually pretty laid-back when we have people over but every once in a while the lack of sleep from having two young kids mixes with people coming over mixes with LIFE and I feel a bit on edge when we're supposed to have people in our home.  I started the day with a drop of Valor on the bottom of each of my feet.  Throughout the day, if I ever felt myself getting anxious, I would just go into the bathroom and take a deep whif of one of those oils.  I've gotta say, it was quite a relaxing day!  Completely not what I expected, to be honest with you.  I'm still not convinced that it was due to the oils alone, but hey, I'll give them another chance :)

- PanAway for hubby's sore knee - Nathan has a knee that bothers him from time to time.  So, when he mentioned that his knee was bothering him, I pretty much tackled him with oil in my hand, ready to rub it into his aching knee.  haha.  I asked him a couple hours later if his knee still hurt.  It didn't.  Was it the oils?  Could be.  I'll need more to convince me that it was!

- Thieves for sore throat - they suggest putting one drop of Thieves oil into four cups of water, then drinking it if you have a sore throat.  I am game to try anything so I mixed it up and took a big swig.  You know how something can be so bad that you involuntarily shudder after ingesting it?  Like Buckley's?  That was me and Thieves.  Gross.  And the worst part is, because you're drinking water mixed with oil, the oil coats your mouth and throat so you can't get rid of the taste.  It's just...there.  Ick.  NOT doing that again.

I look forward to learning more about these oils and sharing what I find.  I think they have potential to be better for some things than for others, but we'll see.  I'll try to post regularly about what I'm learning and finding.  Follow along!