Ginny’s EO #10

Children’s Allergy Relief BlendChildren's Allergy Relief Blend

I created this blend initially to help treat a nasty reaction to some mosquito bites. My daughter was getting very swollen and the bites were almost unbearable for her. Not really even thinking about it, I whipped up a blend of oils that I knew would help stop some of the itching and hopefully decrease some of the swelling. The blend worked wonders to help alleviate some of her discomfort.

Little did I know that I would also be using it to help treat my son’s allergies. He has never ever had issues with allergies in the past and now, all of a sudden, we can’t walk outside without his eyes becoming red and itchy. For my outdoor loving boy, this is tragic! It’s very frustrating for him to not be able to go out and enjoy the places he loves most.

I tried this blend on him when he had his very first reaction to something floating around in the air. The reaction he was having was bad enough that we needed to throw him in the shower and change his clothes. His right eye was swelling rapidly. I put the allergy blend on his feet every fifteen minutes after he got out of the shower. Withing a half hour he was still a bit swollen, but the itching was gone. We’ve been using the blend every day since.

If you have a little one suffering from allergies and don’t want to give them a synthetic allergy medication, give this blend a try and see if it works. As with all essential oils, what works for us may not work for you, but it could be worth a shot. Feel free to tweek things to work for you and your child’s chemical make-up. We use pure essential oils because we feel more confident in where they came from and how safe they are. If you’re using a different brand of oils, you may need to change the amount of drops you’re putting in.

Here’s the recipe:

In a 10 mL rollerball mix:
20 drops Lavender
20 drops Lemon
20 drops Peppermint
15 drops Melaleuca
Top the bottle off with Fractionated Coconut Oil.

Rub this blend over your child’s feet every morning and at night for prevention and anytime during the day in between when their allergies are causing them some troubles. I also will swipe it across my son’s forehead if we’re out and about and his eyes start to get itchy.

Another great preventative measure is to have your child take a spoonful of raw local honey twice a day. Over time the honey may help build your child’s immunity to whatever type of pollen is causing their allergies. AND you won’t hear any complaints from your wee one about taking honey for a medication. ;) Find out more about what honey can do for your allergies here. There is not much research out there to prove that this theory is correct or incorrect, but hey…if it tastes good and it’s also good for you, why not take a spoonful every once and a while.

I hope you are all able to enjoy this beautiful summer weather with all of your kids in tow! :)

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Severe Sinus Cold Protocol

Sinus ColdA couple of weeks ago I had a sinus cold hit me like a freight train. It came on fast and hard…and I’m pretty sure I was developing a sinus infection. The severe pain radiated from above my eyebrows clear into my teeth.

Lucky for me, I had an amazing sister who had just gone through something similar a month before. Chrissy shared what worked for her and I started the protocol right away. I thought that we should put the information out there since it worked so well for both of us. We both avoided a doctor’s visit and the dreaded antibiotics. With all of my tummy problems, I will only take antibiotics unless I’ve extended all other resources (in steps essential oils…a God send!!). Antibiotics can strip your body of much needed good bacteria. These good bacteria live within you digestive system and are important in maintaining a healthy immune system.

Here is what we did to relieve and help heal our severe sinus colds:

At the onset of any cold, Chrissy and I both recommend taking what’s called a “Flu Bomb.” For adults that is 2 drop Oregano, 4 drops Lemon, and 4 drops Protective Blend. Do this about every 2 hours until your symptoms are gone.

When I got my sinus cold, I was diffusing  Respiratory Blend and Protective Blend (in seperate diffusers) CONSTANTLY…If you only have one diffuser, you could alternate the two blends.

After the sinus pressure hit full force, I started taking Lemon, Lavender, and Peppermint (2 drops each) in a capsule or small glass of water about every 2-4 hours. This helps to clear up the congestion and pressure.

Another oil that works wonders on the congestion is Digestive Blend (down the bridge of your nose and across your forehead). Weird to use a stomach blend on your face, but it works…trust me! I was using this blend on my sinuses about every hour to keep the pressure down.

We also recommend using a neti pot to help flush out your sinuses. I did it once in the morning when I got up and again at night before bed. If your sinus pressure is super bad, you could probably do it mid-day as well. There is a ton of information out there on the Web about how to use a neti pot effectively. Here’s the one I watched. I will warn you that using a neti pot is the weirdest sensation I’ve ever experienced inside my nose. If you’ve never used one before, it takes some getting used to, but it’s SO worth it afterwards.

The most important thing to remember with a protocol like this is consistency! If you aren’t consistently using your oils to help support your healing process, you won’t see results as quickly or effectively. Anytime you are using essential oils, you’ll want to remember to use a low dose, more often…especially for acute cases like a sinus infection.

**I’m not a doctor…please follow this protocol with caution and consult your doctor before beginning it. This blog post is meant to share a success story that I had, not diagnose or treat any ailment that the reader may have.

esign

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Homemade Pizza

bubpizzaMy family has to have pizza almost every week. HAS TO. Sit in for green peace, picket line protest, riots and looting if pizza isn’t heading their way soon… kind of situation. Our town has the greatest little pizza place that we often treat ourselves to but buying pizza once a week gets rather expensive. So I make pizza 90% of the time. Its really easy and super cheap.

Here we go.

Sauce:

bubsaucepint of tomato sauce (or a can)
can of tomato paste (6oz)
Garlic (I use almost 4 cloves cause we love garlic)
1-2 T. Italian seasoning (oregano, basil, sage…what ever suits you)
Salt and pepper to taste

First things first. Mix the sauce up and leave it to sit for at least an hour. You could even do it in the morning before you leave for work.

Crust (this is for one crust and maybe a few breadsticks, but easily doubles for more)

1 tbs yeast
1 cup hot water
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
3 tbs oil
3 cups flour (round abouts)

peppizzaMix everything but the flour in your stand mixer with your dough hook attachment. Add flour a cup at a time until you get your consistency. I like my bread to rise high and be really airy so I like my dough to be a little sticky when I leave it to rise. Rise time for this is 45 minutes to an hour.

Grease pan(s) with oil. Roll out your dough on a floured surface. Try to get it pretty thin other wise you will end up with limp pizza and that’s never fun. Arrange your dough on your pizza pan, leaving your edges unfinished hanging over the sides. Alex loves plenty of sauce so I lay it on pretty thick. But you should do whatrollnpizzas best for you. Layer on all your favorite toppings. We go for meatlovers with pepperoni, ham, and sausage. I use at least 2 cups of mozzarella and probably the same amount of cheddar. I like to start with my base of sauce then go to a layer of meat then cheese, and so on a so fourth. Always ending with a layer of cheese. Then I sprinkle a healthy dose of Italian seasoning.

Roll up the edges of your crust and bake at 400 for 20 or so minutes. Your cheese should start to slightly turn brown. Check your crust and make sure its good and browned if you can.

pizzauncookedLet sit for a few minutes so your cheese can set up… then eat it!!!
Chrissysignature

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Baby Bum Salve

Baby Bum SalveAs promised last week in my “Diaper Wipes and Solution” post, I’ll be sharing my diaper rash ointment today. This stuff was a life saver several times for my baby. She had what some would consider as chronic diaper rash. It didn’t seem to matter what she ate…she always got a rash and they were super hard to get rid of.

When she got a diaper rash on her bum it was BaAaAd! All the store bought ointments and creams would sting and burn…I still remember the shrill screams from her poor helpless mouth when I tried different brands. All I wanted to do was help her bum feel better, not make it worse. It was heart wrenching!

I came up with this salve recipe after much trial and error and fell in love with it quickly. She didn’t scream when I put it on, in fact more often than not it would help ease the pain so she would quit crying all together.

It worked most of the time for her most severe rashes. One time it wasn’t working, my mother-in-law found us a cream at a pharmacy called Calmoseptine (I think) and that didn’t seem to irritate her and worked nicely to clear it up. We kept the tube around for emergencies, but used this salve for most of her rashes.

Here’s what you’ll need:

2 oz. beeswax
1 cup coconut oil
1 oz lanolin (optional)
1 tsp vitamin E oil
2 oz calendula infused oil (or just olive oil)
1/4 cup aloe vera gel
20 drops of melaleuca essential oil
15 drops lavender essential oil
8 drops of lemon essential oil

In order to make this recipe you’ll need a double boiler (I get real technical and use a pot and a metal bowl). Melt the beeswax, coconut oil and lanolin in your homemade or store bought double boiler, if you’re fancy like that. Remove from the heat. Add your calendula infused oil, vitamin E, and aloe. Let cool completely. Add your essential oils and mix well. Transfer to small jars and freeze what you aren’t using so it doesn’t go bad. There are not preservatives in this so, after you take it out of the freezer, you’ll need to use it withing 2 weeks.

I hope that this salve will be useful for someone out there. It made a huge difference for my sweet baby girl and her diaper rash issues.

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DIY Diaper Wipes and Solution

diaper wipesUsing cloth diapers was a choice Chrissy and I both made to cut back some of the expenses in our houses. We bought our diapers here. Up front it cost a pretty penny, but the amount we saved in the long run was well worth it. We stock piled different sizes of diapers while we were pregnant with our oldest boys. And the best part was…we were both able to reuse the diapers we bought for our next child.

While we were stockpiling diapers, Chrissy devised a great way to save even more money…by making our own diaper wipes! It was cheap, easy, and effective.

All you need is 1 yard of flannel fabric and a sewing machine. Oh…scissors and coordinating thread might help too! ;) We chose to use flannel because it’s really soft and is very absorbent.

Spread the fabric out, keeping it folded in half. You’ll keep the front and back pieces together when you go to sew. Cut out the desired size you would like. We did 3” x 4” because they fit pretty well in an old diaper wipe dispensers. Cut out as many sets as the yard will allow, keeping the two pieces together.

Head to the sewing machine and stitch around the outside of each pair with a zig-zag stich. I didn’t even need to pin mine. They don’t have to be super pretty, your baby won’t mind. ;) Pile them into a container. AND you’re done!!

At this point you have to decide: do you want to leave them dry and moisten them only as you need them or do you want to make a solution to pour over them? I’ve done both and find that my babies were less likely to get a diaper rash if I make some kind of wipe solution to kill any bacteria that might try and hang out after I’ve cleaned up all the poopy. Here’s the recipe I came up with for my favorite wipe solution:

Chamomile Diaper Wipe Solution:

2 cups hot water
1/3 cup dried chamomile flowers or a couple of chamomile tea bags
6 drops Melaleuca essential oil
¾ cup raw uncut apple cider vinegar
a pinch of Epsom salt

Steep the flowers/tea bags in the hot water for about 5 minutes (then filter out the flowers)

Mix the remaining ingredients in to the chamomile water (Epsom salt will help to keep the oil and water from separating)

Pour the solution over your wipes.

At this point you’ll need to check to make sure all of the wipes got saturated… I kinda squish my wipes down to squeeze a bit of the solution down farther into the stack of wipes. If there are still a few wipes that didn’t get much of the moisture, add a little bit more water to spread the solution throughout all the wipes.

Another diaper wipe solution I’ve tried and found to be pretty effective is to use ½ cup of witch hazel mixed with 3 cups of hot water. Poor over homemade diaper wipes.

AND their ready to use…As you finish changing a diaper, just keep the wipe inside the dirty diaper and wash them together. Easy peasy!!

Don’t use cloth diapers or cloth wipes??? NO PROBLEM!!

Cut a paper towel roll to fill and empty wipes dispenser and pour the wipe solution over that. Pull out the card board center and draw the paper towels up through the center and push into the lid of the wipes dispenser. I use this method when we travel. We buy a small pack of disposable diapers to use for convenience and take our homemade wipes with us. My daughter has a very sensitive bum and I couldn’t use the store bought wipes on her or she would breaks out in a rash..

Making your own wipes is a safe, natural, not to mention SUPER cheap way to clean your baby’s sweet lil tooshie! We hardly ever had a problem with diaper rash when using the chamomile wipes solution. Of course I also make a rash ointment to use on the rare occasion that my little Bug did get a rash. I’ll post the recipe for that next week. :)

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Posted in Being Self Sufficient, Craftiness, Herbs not food, Little Bodies, Natural Mommy, Sewing Projects, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Idahoan Shepherds Pie

sheppieYou know what aggravates me to no end? Finding a recipe that boasts to be one of the most amazing things that you will ever put in your mouth? Then it tastes hoe-hum? Ya know? This recipe will either do it for you or it wont. Personally, I like it enough to eat it… my husband? LOVES IT!! I don’t know why because usually recipes that are this easy will get a complimentary nod from him. He literally gets crazy excited when I make this though. One of my favorite things about this recipe is that other than the flour and dairy, I can grow it in my garden (or in most cases steal it from my grandmas) and the meat comes from my husbands Fall hunting haul.

Idahoan Shepherds Pie

1 pound Elk Burger (any kind of ground meat will work here)bulion

1 onion

1 jar of canned green beans (store bought canned works great)

2 cups frozen corn (1 can works great too)

homemade cream of chicken, mushroom or beef soup (1 can of store bought is fine) –2tbs butter, 2tbs flour sauteed with 2 cups milk and 2-3 tsp bullion.

4 or 5 potatoes, peeled, boiled and mashed. Honestly, here your on your own. I hate following recipe directions pertaining to potatoes. There’s never enough or there’s too much… living in Idaho means your potatoes are huge so usually the latter happens.

shepperpieBrown the burger with the onion. If you use beef you will have to drain it after its cooked. Toss your cooked meat and onion into a 9X13″ pan. From here you can go two ways. Layer your veggies OR mix it all up. Me? I mix it all up, its gonna taste the same anyway and when I get too formal with stuff it stops being an easy meal to cook and more of a chore. From there I stir in the cream of whatever in… or have your butler layer it on if you so choose.  Finally, load those taters on the top. Do not mix this in or your casserole will not be a casserole and more like a cow pie in appearance and texture. Gently spread the mashed potatoes over the contents of the pan. Bake at 350 for half and hour to 45 minutes. BOOM… dinner. We eat this in bowls since it contains all of your essential food groups to have it be considered a nutritious meal.

Ready to hit the oven1

Ready to hit the oven

Chrissy*

Posted in Being Self Sufficient, Home Recipes, Idaho Grown, Real Food, Sisters Grown or Hunted, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Confessions of an Emotional Eater

Emotional EaterI’m opening up and being very vulnerable about something a bit embarrassing for me this week. I have a problem and my hope/prayer is that if I write about it, it won’t be so hard to control. We have to admit we have a problem and be willing to change before it can be resolved…Right? I only ask that you please don’t judge me…This is pretty hard for me to talk about.

Here goes…

Hi. My name is Ginny and I have an emotional eating problem. Whenever anything is upsetting for me, hard to handle, or even when I’m just plain bored, I stuff my face like a bear storing up for winter. Obviously this makes it hard for me to achieve my weight loss goals or keep wight off once I’ve lost it.

I ‘m constantly bouncing back and forth from an “ok” weight for my short frame to a weight that makes me feel super self conscious. During the later, I don’t want to be dressed in anything but sweat pants. I’m just uncomfortable and feel gross; partially because of how I see myself, but also because of all the garbage I’m shoveling into my body. Then…to top it all off during this self conscious time, I also start getting worried and stressed about my weight. Guess what this leads to….More eating!! It’s a viscous cycle. :(

Having just celebrated my 32nd birthday, my metabolism isn’t what it used to be. So…it’s becoming much easier to put on weight and much harder to take it off once it’s on there. The problem is that I’ve been eating to mask my emotions ever since I can remember. I’ve gone through phases of eating tons and then cutting back and getting control, only to fall back into my hole and eat tons again. Prrrobably not the best thing for my body!!

From large portion sizes to closet eating , this has got to stop!

As I’m becoming more and more aware of my emotional triggers, I can see a light at the end of the tunnel, but I still catch myself burying my emotions in a bag of Doritoes sometimes. Being honest with myself about how I’m feeling is the best way to stop what I’m doing; which requires me to put down the chip bag and stop to think about what the underlying issue is so that I can deal with it. Kind of hard to do sometimes; especially if I don’t want to deal with it in the first place.

One other thing that was helpful and put a hurtin on my emotional eating was when my husband and I decided to start eating healthier a couple of years ago. We do our best not to buy any “junk food” when grocery shopping. We always have fresh fruits and veggies around the house to snack on. We try our best to buy organic so that we’re not putting unwanted toxins into our bodies. The chips we buy are plain, old, boring, dip in salsa corn chips. Still not a great choice…but better then Doritoes. We only have candy in the house after holidays such as Halloween, Christmas, or Easter. And only then because other people have given it to us.

I’m very proud of the choices we’ve made in what we will/should eat. However, I’m still struggling with self control  when I’m out and about. Junk is WAY to easy for me to get my hands on. I’m more prone to grab junk food when I’m alone. I’ve been known to hide/stash bags of chips or gummy worms in the car at times….I’m getting better, but I slip up from time-to-time. It’s pretty embarrassing when your husband finds your bag of “car chips” under the seat by accident. :-/

One of my biggest fears is that I will pass this emotional eating problem on to one or both of my children. I know I’m not setting a very good example for them right now…even if I think I’m pretty good at hiding it. I pray that I can get it under control soon.

Thank you so much for reading my confessions. If you have any tips or tricks that have worked for you, please share. I’m open to any and all suggestions. Or even if you have a confession of your own about emotional eating, you’re welcome to get it off your chest in our comments section. :)

Any prayers or thoughts you can send my way would be greatly appreciated.

God bless!

esign

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Gluten Free Chicken Stips

GF Chicken Strips 2*Not gluten free? Check out the recipe at the bottom that I used to use…the kids loved it.

I’ve been doing my best to be gluten free for about 8 or 9 months now. I’ve done a TON of experimenting and had a great deal of failures with a couple of sporadic successes. Thus the reason why this is the first gluten free recipe I’ve shared so far.

I’m actually really excited about this because it took a long time to get these chicken strips to a point where everyone in the family would enjoy them.

The great thing is that these can either be fried or baked…whatever your preference is. We usually bake ours, but we tried them fried the other night and they were super yummy that way too…What am I talking about? They were even better that way…everything is better when it’s fried. ;)

The recipe is big enough to freeze about half of it, depending on your family size. I usually take the extra time to make a big batch, so we’ll have an easy to grab lunch for the next few days. I have even made a double batch over a weekend to have a little stock pile of chicken strips in the freezer for when I know we’re going to have a busy week ahead of us.

To save myself some time and a few dishes, I like to mix each “concoction” in a gallon ziploc bag. This way I can throw everything in the bag and shake it around a little…instead of doing small batches of dipping; which can take forever.GF chicken strips

Gluten Free Chicken Strips

5-6 chicken breasts (cut into strips)
5-6 eggs (one per breast)
¼ cup water
2 cups almond flour
2 cups masa (corn) flour
1 cup gluten free flour blend
½ Tbs. garlic powder
1 tsp. seasoning salt
¼ tsp. black pepper
2 Tbs. dried parsley flakes
2 Tbs. chicken bouillon powder

1. Mix the eggs and water and scramble well.

2. Combine the flours, garlic powder, salt, pepper, parsley, and bouillon powder in a bag and combine.

3. Thrown the strips of raw chicken in the eggs. Coat well. Transfer to the flour bag (this can be pretty messy…oh well~if you’re not making a mess, it won’t taste as good right!?!). Shake and coat well. Place the coated strips on a cookie sheet, lined with parchment paper (or just a greased cookie sheet).

4. Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes on each side. Or fry them up in your frier.

Gluten Full Version (with a few variations) :)

5-6 chicken breasts (cut into strips)
5-6 eggs (one per breast)
¼ cup water
1 ½ cups flour
½ Tbs. garlic powder
1 tsp. seasoning salt
¼ tsp. black pepper
3 cups bread crumbs (click here for our DIY bread crumb tutorial)
2 Tbs. dried parsley flakes
2 Tbs. chicken bouillon powder

1. Mix the eggs and water and scramble well.

2. Combine the flour, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.

3. In a separate bag, mix the bread crumbs, parsley flakes, and bouillon together.

4. Thrown the strips of raw chicken in the flour mixture, then the eggs, and lastly the bread crumbs. I like to pat the bread crumbs into the meat to make them stick better. Place the breaded strips on a cookie sheet, lined with parchment paper (or just a greased  cookie sheet).

5. Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes on each side. Or fry them up in your frier.

Bonus Recipe: Best Fry Sauce in the WHOLE World
(I apologize for the vague measurements…I never measure, but it always turns out AmAzInG)

1 huge scoop of mayonnaise
Equally large amount of ketchup
About 2 tsp of mustard
Couple of shakes of Worcestershire
A dash of pickle juice

Stir to combine. :)

I’d love to hear your thoughts on these recipes. Or if you have a GF recipe you’d like to share, please comment below or send us an email.
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A jounrney with K9 hypothyroidism

thyroid1We adopted our Dollie as a sweet little pup. She grew up fast and was soon off enjoying the world. As a young dog she was very active and began making jogging trips with me as soon as she was finished growing (please visit this post for tips on jogging with your dog). She was a very physically fit and athletic dog that was always on the move.

About the time that Doll turned 3 she started to become a little less energetic. At the time we thought she was just growing out of her puppy stage. Less energetic turned into lethargic and she started to sleep all the time.

She would still become excited when we started to prepare for a jog. She started to lag on the last mile into town. This turned into us having to stop and rest halfway out and soon I was calling my husband to come and get her because she couldn’t make it home at all.

babydollieShe was overweight almost over night. Our vet told us to put her on some healthy weight formula, though after two months she was still gaining. I stopped taking her on runs. She was miserable. You could tell just by looking at her that life really wasn’t worth living. She started loosing fur on her tail, nose, and elbows.

After four or five months of trying to loose weight and being miserable, Dollie took a turn for the worst. One afternoon she started to puke and projectile diarrhea blood everywhere. We rushed her to the vet and he prescribed her some antibiotics and some meds to level out her cholesterol. When got her home we had to keep her in the house 24/7 because she would try to run away from home. Our loving lab, who had been no further than the door step for 6 months, was gone. We found her laying in a drainage ditch, in the freezing cold, trying to die. We thought we were going to loose her for 2 days after it began, and even considered putting her down. She finally pulled through.

dollbeardShe was good for 2 weeks after completing her round of medication and had another relapse of her symptoms, though thankfully less severe than the first time. Upon taking her back to the vet, he decided to take a blood to check for hypothyroidism. When the tests came back her thyroid levels where so low that they couldn’t be detected.

She has been on thyroid medicine ever since. Two weeks after taking her pills she started to play again. The tired “sick of life” look was gone from her eyes. A month into treatment she was running with me again and after two trips could keep pace. Her weight started to drop.

doll2

This was the day we found out she had hypothyroidism. Notice how dull her coat is.

She is still overweight by lab standards. Despite her strict diet and a good amount of exercise. We still have some work to do and more discoveries to make. We have our dog back though and that means the world to me. I wished that I had caught this before it got so bad. In writing this I hope to reach out to others who have seen such a dramatic swing in their dogs behavior to really consider thyroid problems. I read a lot about it and asked the vet but both of us thought that Dollie was too young for this disease being only 3 when she started showing symptoms.

If I could say anything…don’t give up on your dog. Even if they seem to be on deaths door step. It could be something as easy as leveling out the thyroid levels.
Chrissysignature

Now...pretty much the Ronda Rousey of the dog world.

Now…pretty much the Ronda Rousey of the dog world.

Disgruntled that there are no posts about her.

Disgruntled that there are no posts about her.

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Coping With Exhaustion

exhaustionI don’t know about how things go in your house, but some weeks in my house it seems like I never get to sleep. I haven’t seen a full, uninterrupted night’s sleep in over five years. I know what you’re thinking, “HOW IN THE WORLD DOES THAT HAPPEN??” Well I’ll tell you…It all began when I was pregnant with my first baby. Now as you mommies well know, sleeping whilst pregnant is not an easy feat (especially in the later months). Post partum, part of my exhaustion was contributed to my decision to do attachment parenting; which I LOVE, but it’s hard to stay rested when your children are so close to you all the time (especially if they wiggle a lot in their sleep).

If you’re pregnant, the best advice I have for you on how to handle the pre-delivery days, is to sleep when and where you can. You have a hard battle ahead of you, so in order to be ready for the big “D-Day” you’ll need to sleep and rest up as much as you can. Take naps if you can…If not, go to bed early and try to get as much rest as possible. Some nights I slept on the couch with my back propped up by pillows (I had AWEFUL heartburn). One thing that also really helped was to sleep on my side with one of those big body pillows between my knees.

Try to relax! A nice warm bath is a great way to calm your nerves and ease achy bones and muscles from all of the extra weight you’re carrying. I took baths everyone during my third trimester with both of my kids. Maybe put a few drops of lavender or chamomile essential oil in with you to help the process. My baths were nightly before bed, it really helped a lot! I would take a nice warm cup of chamomile herbal tea with me and sip it while in the tub to help with the relaxation as well. It’s important to take some nice deep breaths while you lie in the water. It not only brings more oxygen to your brain and helps calm your mind; it’s great for the baby too.

After I had our beautiful son, we soon discovered that sleeping was not his strong suit. Some nights it seemed as if he would fall asleep just to wake up again five minutes after I got him back to sleep. This was all fine and good and I was able to cope OK, until I went back to work. I lost my afternoon nap and was having to get up earlier to make it to work on time. Now he’s almost five and still wakes up, on a occasion, once a night. One choice my husband and I made as new parents was that we couldn’t handle letting him “cry-it-out”…we just couldn’t. So I always got up with him and we did a lot of co-sleeping.

Now we have two wee ones and are coping with our youngest not wanting to sleep through the night. Luckily our oldest does his best to stay in his bed most of the time. We even went through a faze when both of them were in bed with us making a mommy sandwich. My poor husband got feet in his face and chest all night. Luckily he is understanding and patient with the kids. They tend to do better over the summer months when I’m home with them every day and we can have a solid routine. I know in my heart that as they get older they will develop independence and good sleeping habits. I’m doing my best to guide them and teach them good sleeping habits.

If you are like me, and can’t handle the process of “sleep training” your baby, but need ways to cope with your exhaustion here is a short list of some of the things that I do to keep my head above the water:

Go to bed after the kids go down for the night. Even if you just go to read a book, go to bed. If I sit down and watch TV, I’ll be up much later than I should and make my exhaustion worse.

Take naps when you can. In the car (while hubby’s driving of course), on the weekends, whenever you have a few minutes to just close your eyes and let your brain turn off for a minute or two.

Eat healthy. Nothing makes exhaustion worse than a poor diet. Processed foods can create many digestive problems (heart burn, indigestion, diarrhea, etc.). Sometimes it’s hard to avoid these foods, but try not to eat them too much.

Take a break from time-to-time. Have someone watch the kids so you can take a walk, a nap, or even just a few moments at home to yourself.

If you can afford it, go get a massage. If you are able to enjoy the luxurious kind at a spa, sweet talk your hubby into giving you one. You deserve it!

Exercise…”you’re only one work out away from a good mood!” It can be even harder to be motivated to exercise when you’re exhausted, but you’d be surprised at how it will make you feel. Even if it’s just a walk around the neighborhood, get up and get moving.

I know it can be hard to admit when you’ve had too much or that you can’t take any more. Before you hit your breaking point, stop, step back, and get someone to help you. Even a couple minutes of quiet time can mean the world on a day when exhaustion is at its peak. I know I feel better when I get a chance to recharge my batteries. You will too! Life is too short to be serious and responsible ALL the time. Sometimes you just have to let a few things go, so that you can make it through your day.

Now get off the computer and go take a nap!! ;)

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