Monday, March 23, 2009

Memories and Smells

Tonight I was doing my nightly ritual of face washing, teeth brushing, etc. Since we are staying at my in-laws house currently, I had left my lotion downstairs and used some of the lotion by the sink for my hands.

Immediately I was taken back to Coventry, England 2001. All because of a lotion. The same brand of lotion that I used for 4 months while living in a tiny bedroom on the 3rd floor of a very damp and cat-smelling home. I can see the fluffy, single bed up against the wall right below the tiny long and narrow window - that I left cracked 24/7 to help with the cat dander & just stale stuffy air of the February winter inside. I am back in the room standing next to the narrow closet, looking at my huge forest green & maroon backpack that has 7 months worth of clothes, bedding, and school supplies stuffed into it. As I open the bedroom door, I can see the narrow hallway with the tiny, but beautiful Victorian style bathroom - with the hot water heater to the right as it kicks on loudly warning us all of the 10pm shut down time of the city water for each night. And not only do I see my home for that time, I see faces of my college friends and the cobblestone and brick roads outside. I can see the buses, train, and people sitting at the internet cafe and those on benches. I see the huge Cathedral and people walking around with backpacks and laughing at the tourists; the outdoor escalators and the amazing 3 story mall. I can smell the rain; I can smell the smog & exhaust; and I can see the green countryside outside of the city. Everything - every memory- about that time I am taken back to by the smell - the smell of lotion - the memories that I created 8 years ago during my Senior year of college. And I miss those memories -those experiences. So in honor of Coventry, England and all the wonderful people, my host family, and my friends & teachers, I have posted just a few pictures. I will have to go through my albums and post some more later!

I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to live over there for a brief time and I would definitely go back in a heartbeat!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Lipstick and God

So it has been so busy here the past few weeks! My daughter and I got to travel with my husband to the State High School basketball tournament to watch him ref and spend time with family. We are finally getting back into a groove here at the Davis household! And believe it or not, I actually did not have content pre-written to post while away.

The past weeks I have been enjoying a book, Sex God. This book frequently brings tears to my eyes and touches my soul. I think that anyone should check it out - the title is only the beginning! This author has amazing podcasts as well and are definitely worth checking out as well. One of the chapters that I most recently read was entitled "God wears lipstick". I have found this chapter to be very applicable for where I am currently in my walk with God and our stage as a family right now. The entire context of the chapter was centered around a story of a British Lieutenant Colonel who was part of liberating a German concentration camp.

Bell quotes in this chapter:
"How you treat the creation, reflects how you feel about the creator. When a
human being is mistreated, objectified, or neglected, when they are treated
as less than human, these actions are actions against God. Because how you
treat the creation reflects how you feel about the Creator."

he goes on to say...
"When I respect the image of God in others, I protect the image of God in
me. When Jesus speaks of loving our neighbor, it isn't just for our neighbor's
sake. If we don't love our neighbor, something happens to us. And in trying to
protect the image of God in them, we just might be protecting the image of God
in ourselves in the process. Because with every decision, conversation, gesture,
comment, action, and attitude, we're inviting heaven or hell to earth."

This concept really hit home for me. I have watched and listened and known of so many things where people have been mistreated by those who claim to love our Creator the most. And what has grieved me the most is that they are hurting themselves so much more. They are not just hurting the other, but themselves- their families - their relationship with the Maker.

At the end of this chapter Bell finishes the story of the British officer saying that one afternoon a huge shipment of food and medicine arrive - and boxes full of lipstick. The officer states that people were walking around with 'scarlet red lips' and walking around 'with pieces of lipstick clutched in their hands'. The officer states "at last someone had done something to make them individuals again, they were someone, no longer merely the number tattooed on the arm....that lipstick start to give them back their humanity."

Bell finishes by saying,
"...sometimes, the difference between heaven and hell may be a bit of lipstick."

My husband and I have chosen a path that we want to protect the image of God in ourselves - we want to invite heaven to earth - to our home - to our in and outs of daily life - to our hearts and minds. I don't ever want to say that I was known for taking away from a person's humanity - their image in Christ and in so doing, do the same thing to myself.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (aka Panic Disorder)

I hate how this is referred to as a disorder - because it is curable - not treatable.

I have spent the last 10 years working on nutrition, vitamins, exercise to take care of my body in what the physician world recognizes as Generalized Anxiety Disorder. I was doing really well until after Kaileigh was born. As I continued to breastfeed, I struggled to manage my weight and couldn't take half of the supplements, etc. And I found my anxiety returning. Because of the extensive surgery I had to undergo after delivery, I had almost 4 months of recovery time. This is what ultimately got me into a different pattern of life and eating habits. All this to say, I have finally been getting back into a "groove", if you will, for how I was operating pre-birth!

I see a holistic doctor monthly and take supplements, along with diet, exercise, and massage therapy as well twice a month. Since re-starting my regiment, I have not had to take one prescription pill to 'treat' my anxiety.

I wanted to share with everyone some of the things I have learned and discovered for myself that has truly cured the anxiety. Keep in mind that not all these things work for everyone, but a huge majority of people do find this to be true and work.
  1. Some explainable causes for anxiety & panic can be low blood sugar - you can just eat something and find yourself calming down.
  2. Scent/Aromatherapy also work with others - baby powder, lavender, hyacinth, & peppermint are just a few of the scents that aid in relaxation of the brain.
  3. Acupressure - I myself am very responsive to this technique and is why I have a massage 2x a month. There are specific pressure points that actually release a "euphoric adrenaline" that will literally relax and calm your whole body. I also use "neck wraps". You don't even have to go out to the store to buy one, you can take a clean sock with some rice and just tie it up and then heat in the microwave. If you want to add aroma, go to your local health store and get the desired oil to put on the rice. This can be a really cheap way to have some nice 'spa' therapy! I love the Lemongrass Spa products; not expensive, but very effective
  4. Diet - foods that are low in caffeine and sugars are huge. Adding in a vitamin drink or EmergenC to a glass of water will actually calm your body.
  5. Vitamins - B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, and Adrenal health are definitely key.

Though these are just a few options, if you are faithful and get yourself into a routine, you will not help but notice a difference.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Cooling Off With Cloth

Summer is - almost here - though lately here in Colorado with 70 degree weather at the beginning of March - it does feel like summer! Obviously, with summer comes the higher temperatures. Disposable diapers, like anything lined with non-breathable plastics, are HOT!

The Summer heat can also contribute to diaper rashes. According to the Journal of Pediatrics, 54% of one-month old babies using disposable diapers had rashes, with 16% being severe rashes. Diaper rashes are caused by a several different issues, but a hot, dirty diaper is one of the most common causes. Cloth Diapers are much cooler than disposable diapers, and necessitate more frequent changes; keeping your baby cool and dry for these hot summer months. Course, I have come to realize now that Kaileigh is older, we are not changing her diaper near as much as when she was a newborn.

When shopping for the right diaper for your child, some good pointers to keep in mind.
  • Look for a fitted diaper - this is the diaper inside a cover. You don't have pin or fasten! It's just like using a disposable diaper.

  • You can choose from all sorts of varieties of diapers: organic cotton, fleece knits, or milled cotton. My favorite brands of fitted diapers are the Bum Genius & Bummis Super. And really,anything in the Bummis line is just amazing -fitted & with covers. Bummis covers are waterproof, but are EXCELLENT for breathing! Kaileigh has never once gotten a rash when wearing the cloth diapers

  • All fitted covers work with prefold diapers. Chinese prefolds are definitely top of the line, but I have found normal prefolds to work just as well.
If you are looking to start cloth diapers for the first time, or aren't quite sure, you should check out all that the Nurtured Family has to offer. You can order most of your supplies from them and they are quite competitive with other companies that carry the same brands of power washers, diapers, covers, etc.

Nurtured Family also has supplies and tips from maternity to toddlers! So, not just diaper products are here. I have ordered from them several times and will continue to use them!!
Cloth Diapers, Nursing Bras & Baby Slings -

Thursday, March 5, 2009

A Nanny Is For Anyone

We are not rich. We are not poor. We just are!

My freelance work is such that there are times I must have quiet and concentration. I am either making phone calls or needing to develop something that requires no interruptions. Up until about 6 months ago, I was doing great: wake up, feed Kaileigh, feed myself, dress Kaileigh, maybe dress myself, start working. While Kaileigh was awake, I could work in 30-45min "intervals", if you will; she could watch a veggie tales or other movie in the pack'n'play and I could get phone calls made. Then, she could sit in her exersaucer in the office and play around, which usually lasted about another 30min or so and then I would have enough work done so that I could play with her and attend to her until morning nap. PERFECT routine & schedule!

Then the walking happened - then running - then the need to constantly be moving. No longer were there exersaucers and pack'n'plays to keep her contained. Yikes! Then maybe she'd take a morning nap, maybe not. Yikes, Yikes! How am I going to get all this work done that has to be completed at specific times?? I was starting to slack in the areas that some of my clients depended on me most. And we honestly, just couldn't afford to lose them right now. So, my husband and I got creative. We started putting local ads in Craigslist for PT babysitters/nanny's, but nothing was really exciting us. I then got an email from MOPS International saying that they had a site they trusted and recommended It was very cheap to join; though they do have free memberships as well. With the paid membership of $18/month, I was able to search for sitters in our zip code, the price range I was willing to pay, run background checks, and get references from them! We found a PT nanny within 2 weeks of signing up. It was amazing! And not only can you find nanny's, but you can also search for Senior Care Specialists, Pet Sitting, Housekeepers, AND even tutors!

I tell EVERYONE about this place because I have found great happiness! I now crank my work out in 2 days and have the nanny come to play with Kaileigh & she also helps with household tasks as well. It has been a HUGE blessing. She lives only blocks away from our house and is also available for us at other times as well. Talk about a perfect service that lets you be in control and find exactly what you're looking for!I also liked the fact that you don't have to sign up for several months at a time - you can go month by month and cancel at any time without any penalties, while still maintaining a free membership after that.

So if you are in need of childcare, special needs, senior specialized care, pet sitting, tutoring, housekeeping, and more , check them out today!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

"What Is This?"

'Oh, what is this!?'

Though it is not that clearly articulated, this is Kaileigh's favorite phrase lately. She walks around pointing at everything and saying 'oh! what is this!?' The excitement in her voice and just the pure "wow" and "wonder" of everything that she sees and touches. And I never get tired of hearing her ask this phrase and watching her eyes light up.

I am learning so many things through my daughter. She reminds me daily of the love that God has for me and how he never tires of hearing us say 'Oh, what is this!?' Yet, how often do we pause in wow and wonder at what God has surrounded us by-by what He is doing in us and for us? It seems that at some point we stop looking and asking 'Oh, what is this!?' and just go about our day, when all He is wanting and waiting for us to do is ask this question and watch our eyes light up as we get all excited at His marvelous hand and work in our lives.

I have been in such awe these past months as I notice all around me things that God has done and is doing and it does cause me to get excited and say 'Oh, what is this!?'

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Flax Seed & Oil

Well, I might as well just come out and say it - my daughter is always constipated; until recently.

When first starting solid foods, bananas would always "plug" her up, so I would only feed her bananas if she could eat prunes. Well, once she wasn't eating baby food all the time and started eating whatever it is that we have for breakfast every morning, she started to have the same problem - hard or no movements. Well, though she does still love prunes and will eat them in her Super Porridge, let's face it: who wants to eat that every morning or even every other morning?!

Refusing to use the so called laxatives and other agents, I decided that there had to be another way to help "ease/soften" her exercises! So I got to thinking, I put flax seed oil into my protein shakes in the mornings because it adds a nice 'sweet' flavor to it and it helps me get that "omega 3" in. However, only flax oil can be taken by toddlers. This has a much more pungent smell and isn't quite as sweet tasting! BUT, it does naturally help soften a child's stool. One agent that I'd started to not have in Kaileigh's diet as much was the malt-barely and millet grains that help naturally aid in digestion and stool movements. I never thought about it until looking further into the benefits of Flax.

Flax oil not only softens and aides the intestines, but it is also a nutrient that facilitates absorption of the vitamins that the child is eating. Plain mineral oil (which some do use for laxative properties in toddles, just slides through and has no nutritional value).

A toddler can have up to 2 teaspoons of flax oil a day OR a tablespoon of flax seed meal (ground flax seeds). Flax seed meal is great because it not only aides in the digestion for the toddler, but it also contains FIBER. And fiber is also key for that little kiddos intestinal tract!

You can also mix up blueberries, strawberries, and other fruits with flax oil and/or meal with yogurt (or soy properties for non-dairy) and this is a great way to help get those nutrients down the child.

I am simply amazed at how intricate God has made our bodies and how there is always something natural to solve an issue with our bodies!

Monday, March 2, 2009

"Mrs Davis? Hi, Kaileigh's Appointment Was at 2:15 this Afternoon..."


"Really," I said. "I never got a confirmation call."

"I have you down here as confirmed on Friday at 2:35pm."

"Really. Who did you talk to?!"

"I don't have the name written down, but I did speak with someone and they confirmed your appointment."

"Well, I wasn't around on Friday and we have no messages or any record on our caller ID. This is really frustrating cause I would've been there had this 'ghost' confirm er told me I had an appointment."

"I'm truly sorry Mrs. Davis, but we had you confirmed and we will need to re-schedule and get your no-show fee."

"Ok, so I can come in anytime this week that you pick, but I'm still going to say that there is no message, caller ID, or call to our cell phones, and I'd really rather not pay the $50 for an appointment that I was unaware about. I can bring phone records if you'd like"

"Very well Mrs. Davis. We will see you later this week."

"Thanks. Bye"

So either the lady was like 'gosh this mom is crazy' or she was like 'this is a hole I will not be able to get out of with this mom, so I'm going no farther.' Regardless, I'm sure I will have to end up paying the $50 for not showing up and just deal with it. Though to me, $50 IS a huge deal when I truly didn't get a phone call of any sorts and am now saying 'good bye' to our March date night to pay for my lack of responsibility that I had no clue I was being.

Last week at our MOPS group, we talked about perspective - in parenting and viewing life as a whole in a larger picture. We looked at a piece of art that was "pointillism". The closer you looked at the picture, the more dots you could see and not the entire piece of art - the dots were more accented and the painting was blurred, but the farther away you held it, the more defined the picture become and the dots were blurred. The whole point being, when we can step back and look at the whole picture, the dots aren't as big and defined. The closer in we look and pick away, all you see are the dots and not the art.

So back to my conversation above with the nurse earlier. Really, in the grand scheme of things, it's not that big of deal - or "dot" - should I say. Inconvenient? Definitely. But at least Kaileigh has a doctor to go to and has a good one that can fit us in again in the same week and have a nurse that can deal with my irritable voice over the phone. What a way for me to be reminded that there is a bigger picture in this adventure!

And so, here is one more way that I choose to 'own my adventure'.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Healthy Toddler - My Monthly Cooking Spree!

Today was my day to cook all of the vegetables and fruits for Kaileigh. I've been using the Super Baby Food book since she was about 5months old. When I first started this "cause", if you will, it was merely out of the need to save expenses in the purchase of jarred baby food. Even with a 4oz jar at .49 each, you figure you end up buying almost $50-85 in baby food a month - not including any cereals or other foods for them. So, I decided that I was going to make my own baby food! I spend at least half of that each month and I'm able to buy fresh, organic, produce and fruits and grains that ended up lasting longer than a month ; especially the grains. All I needed was a food processor and a blender (if not grain grinder).

At first I was overwhelmed and thought that I would never be able to keep up with it. However, it took me one month of this system and after that I had it down to a 2x/mo routine. And naturally, as Kaileigh got older, the amount of 'pureeing' went down and the amount of work I had to do. At this point, Kaileigh still LOVES her "super porridge" and has it about 3 times a week. And, though I try to get her to eat "chunks" of the same vegetables, she will only eat them mashed. So, at this point I am willing to still mash up the veggies if it means she eats them! And now that we are definitely in the snacky stage of life, this book is just on the counter all the time!

Now all of that said to say this:

In addition to saving money, Kaileigh has been exceptionally healthy and is eating the same way that Greg & I do. Not EVERYTHING is 'organic', but it is always fresh and we try to buy as natural as possible. And I have had such a rollarcoaster with my own hormones since High School, that diet is everything in this house. Why not just start right away with our child?

The more reading I do, the more I realize how important it is to help shape a child's diet before the age of 2. Not saying that Kaileigh will not like things from time to time, but she will always try something once.

What started as a necessity to save money, became a true belief and lifestyle in organic & natural nutrition for not just my husband and I, but for our 1 1/2yr old daughter.