The Business of Oil

I don’t know if it’s the Washington air or my getting older but I find myself trying to approach some things in life more naturally.  Like my health.  (Never mind the three bags of Cheeto Puffs I inhaled while in California during the quilt retreat last weekend – what happens at quilt retreat, stays at quilt retreat.)

Occasional junk food aside, I do like trying to find natural alternatives to everyday chemical products.  Except toilet cleaner.  Have you ever tried to use an all-natural toilet cleaner?  If you have well water or hard water, you can almost forget about your toilet ever being sparkling again without bleach.  Thankfully, Lysol makes a cleaner that is septic-safe.  And it kills the stains. I like a clean toilet so I don’t mind the chemicals there.

But I do sometimes mind all the pain killers, allergy pills, and other medications.  I used to get excruciating migraines ten years ago.  Only a prescription medication would dull the pain.  I don’t have anything against prescriptions when they’re absolutely needed.  I get it.  I’m on a daily thyroid medication.  But when I just have a dull ache in my temple or my lower back is stiff from sitting on the floor, I don’t always want to be popping a pill to get rid of the pain.  And that’s when I started researching essential oils.

I won’t overwhelm you with what I found because there is SO much information about oils out there.  But I will tell you what I love about them.  They’re plant based and have no chemicals.  While oil remedies might take more frequent and longer doses (as most natural remedies do), the outcome is the same as their chemical counterparts.  I love a dab of lavender on my temples when I’m feeling stressed.  I used to use peppermint for my sinuses and plan to use it again once I’m done breastfeeding (peppermint decreases milk production and I’m all about boosting it right now.) Fennel is great for boosting milk production though.  Eucalyptus and Oregano are alternatives to peppermint for sinus issues. Breathe is an oil blend by DoTerra that is a mix of several fantastic oils like peppermint and tea tree to really clear up those sinuses. Deep Blue can be found on the same page as Breathe and it’s another awesome oil to mix with carrier oil and rubbed directly onto the lower back (my biggest problem area in terms of soreness, especially as little miss grows!)

Some oils can be ingested and some are better used topically.  I personally like to put a couple drops on the soles of my feet straight, without a carrier oil.  And carrier oil is just a plant based oil that allows oils (even hot ones) to be placed on the body if you have sensitivities or you are putting them on young children.  Some people use fractionated coconut oil (some fats have been removed so that the oil stays in a liquified state) and some use almond oil.  I’m using almond oil right now because that’s what I have in my house and it’s what I use on little miss after her baths.

Speaking of little miss, I use a couple drops of lavender in her bath at night.  A couple is all that’s needed because essential oils are so strong.  A 5mL bottle will last quite a while even when using it every day.

I also have a diffuser for my classroom that I’m excited to try out with the On Guard blend from DoTerra.  Every year without fail, my classroom becomes an incubator for germs (what classroom doesn’t?) No matter how often I sanitize desks and door handles, the crud gets passed around multiple times a year.  I’m planning to diffuse On Guard every day to protect not only me and my family but my students as well.  I’m hopeful that there will be fewer absences this year.

Do you use essential oils? Which ones do you find most beneficial?

Almost all the oils I mentioned are in the Family Physician Kit (click here and use the search bar to find the oils (including the fractionated coconut oil) you’re looking for.)  Fennel and Eucalyptus are single oils and they can be found here

All opinions stated are my own. As a Wellness Advocate for DoTerra, if you purchase anything through my retail site, I will earn a commission.

Mish Mosh of Random

Time really does fly when you have kids.
Cliche but true.
Little miss is almost four months old and I haven’t even done her three month wrap up OR picture.

::shaking my head::

I haven’t just been busy with the kiddo either. But she adds a whole ‘nother layer of busy to everything else I do around here. An unpredictable layer.

For example, she’s taking a very long nap today. Long for her. Long ever. Almost two and a half hours. But I wouldn’t know she’d sleep so long and so can’t plan for this blessed amount of time to get things done. Because typically she cat naps for 30 minutes at a time. So I usually run around the house as fast as I can throwing laundry in, folding, taking a shower (maybe), doing dishes (quietly), and/or making up the bed.  Today, she catnapped around 9am and then fell asleep on me around 10:30. Here we are, two + hours later…

So I thought I’d take advantage and write a bit since the laundry is just about caught up, the kitchen is clean and the trailer is set up for our next set of visitors.

Happy summer time everyone! Our “heatwave” isn’t nearly as bad as our neighbors to the east (specifically Seattle/Tacoma) but it’s been pretty warm.  Hopefully, we’ll be back to our normal 60ish degrees by the time September rolls around.

We go back to school officially the Wednesday after Labor Day but we have a few days of inservice the week before our first day. I’ve been sketching out physical changes I want to make to my classroom as well as curricular ones.

I have things to paint and rearrange in there. Files to empty and set back up again. Boxes to be packed and cleaning to be done. My notebook to set up. The Mister and I are shooting for next week to get both our rooms in order. We’ll pass the baby back and forth. I may even have one of The Mister’s former students come in for a bit to watch her while one or both of us work.

I’m not really ready to go back to work. Well, I am but I’m not. I’m looking forward to focusing just on my Alternative kids this year. I’m looking forward to only working three days a week. But I’m not looking forward to little miss being in daycare. At least she’ll be with us more than she’s in care. And she will have a little friend who’s six months older than her there too.

I just have a feeling the first day is going to be tough. Like tears tough. For all of us.

But we’ll get through it. I’m not the first working mom ever to leave her child with strangers. And our daycare has come highly recommended by many people. So that’s reassuring.

So what else didn’t you want to know about my thoughts on leaving my baby in daycare??

Anyway.

I’ve also been researching and cooking more vegan and vegetarian meals these days. Little miss seems to have an aversion to dairy and beans and I’ve been avoiding meat. That makes for some interesting meals. Lots of veggies, some eggs, and a protein shake supplement just to be sure I’m getting enough protein while I’m still breastfeeding.

I do feel lighter eating so many veggies. My stomach, while no where near the flatness it was 10 years ago, feels flatter without dairy. I still have lots of work to do on tightening up the muscles but it’s good to not be working against the bloat of processed foods.

I really like Happy Herbivore and Bold Vegan recipes. Also, Post Punk Kitchen has some fun recipes as well. But like I said, it’s really interesting trying to find recipes that don’t use lentils or beans. Hopefully once little miss starts eating solids, I’ll be able to at least add those things back into my diet. I’ll have a much wider recipe base to choose from.

Have you ever cut out dairy or meat before? What happened?

Taking Stock

I saw this done on The Small Things Blog and thought I’d give it a shot myself since I’m up early.  (Original post here.)  Little miss woke up around 5am for a little early breakfast and snuggle then went right back to sleep.  Since we’re leaving at 8am to go pick up Grandma from the ferry, I didn’t see any point in going back to bed when I’d be getting up pretty soon after.  So here we are.

Making : a tiny sweater for my tiny daughter
Cooking : vegan and vegetarian things these days
Drinking : decaf coffee with a smidgen of fully loaded
Reading: Goldfinch on my iPad
Wanting: to get back into a workout routine
Looking: forward
Playing: “who’s got your hands??” with my baby girl
Wasting: no time planning out the upcoming school year
Sewing: all things useful
Wishing: time would stop
Enjoying: my little family
Waiting: for everyone to wake up
Liking: mornings
Wondering: what my daughter will be like when she’s my age
Loving: little snippets of time to write
Hoping: I don’t screw up this parenting thing
Marvelling: at how quickly my daughter is growing
Needing: just a few more hours of sleep (kinda wish I had gone back to bed!)
Smelling: crisp after-rain air
Wearing: no perfume these days
Following: my instincts
Noticing: how blessed we are to live where we do
Knowing: what’s best for our family
Thinking: about meal planning
Feeling: happy we have another couple of months off
Bookmarking: recipes and dresses to make for tiny daughter
Opening: lovely packages from lovely people

High Five for Friday!

Friday is here! Let’s get started.

1. Today is a good day already for two reasons.  One – it’s the day after my last day of work.  And two – it’s the first of three snow makeup days that we didn’t have to use this school year so that means The Mister is snoozing in this morning.

2. I made it to 39 weeks preggo working full-time!  Some people thought I was crazy for going so long but I really didn’t have any issues that would have kept me from working.  Other than being as slow as molasses climbing up the stairs to my 2nd floor classroom multiple times a day.

3. I finished a pair of tiny mitts for Peanut.  Can’t have any scratching going on.  I think I’ll wait till the baby gets here to show them to you.  🙂

4. We had a few days of near 60 degree weather this past week.  It was glorious!  I cannot wait for spring to truly be here.  I love our sunny days! The sky is truly blue, the water is gorgeous to stare at, the grass is greener.  Really it’s just beautiful up here when it’s sunny.

5. Our fruit trees are budding and blooming out.  Which means fruit will be coming in and I’ll be able can some more this year.  Combined with The Mister’s garden (he so has the green thumb in the family – mine is black), we’ll have quite a bit to store up and give away.

What’s great about your Friday??

Check out The Lauren Elizabeth’s blog for more Friday posts.

Photo Monday

It’s almost spring. Which brings us closer to days like this. After many gray days with rain and then drizzle, I’m itching for a truly blue sky day. Part of that itch is because of the gray. It’s also because I’ve been cooped up in the house until today, getting over my second bout with the crud. Nothing like sickness to make a person long for spring/summer. It can’t get here soon enough.

Karma

As I type, I’m sitting in my classroom, listening to a whole hoard of elementary school children file in the auditorium (above which my classroom sits) and a little irritation rises up inside me.

Don’t they know we have classrooms up here?

Can’t their teachers keep them quieter?

Why are little kids SO loud?

And then it hits me.

My kid is probably going to be the loudest of all someday.

I’m only saying that because I wasn’t a terribly loud kid but The Mister and I can get into some loud conversations about nonsense that sounds like something dramatic but it’s not.  On occasion.  Nothing earth-shattering or vow-breaking, just… we’re loud sometimes when we’re talking to one another.

Plus there’s that whole “paybacks are a B&$#H!” karma/divine retribution thing.

I can only imagine what our kiddo will pick up from us.

Changing the subject just slightly, we are just about ready to meet this little one.  Like I mentioned before, the nursery is done.  My DIY project is done (both with much help from my lovelies.)  The car seat base is in the car, as is the hospital bag though I keep adding to it.  Lip balm anyone?  We heard first hand at our last birthing class that having your favorite lip balm handy is a top priority because the hospital-provided balm is crap.

What’s the first thing The Mister grabbed when I texted him last week and told him my midwife thought that my water broke?  My lip balm.  He’s so good. (P.S. Obviously my water had not broken or I’d have posted Peanut pictures already. False alarm! But The Mister was ready!)

As we creep closer to 38 weeks (seriously, this last month is taking forever to get through!), I’m sad, happy, excited, and nervous all at the same time.  The sadness is reserved for my students.  I’m sorry to be leaving them next week, three months shy of the end of the year, and six weeks before their AP exam.  They’ve been really wonderful and I’m so glad I’ve had the opportunity to teach AP this year.  I may not have this chance again.

At the same time, I’m really excited to meet this little bug that’s been growing inside me for the last 8 months (truly, finding out we were pregnant at roughly four weeks makes for a long pregnancy but so worth it.)  I’m also nervous because, well, I’m a first time mom.  And I don’t want to be super paranoid first time mom or lax either. I can’t believe the hospital sends brand new babies home with newbie parents!

And because of that whole karma thing, Peanut will probably be late, prolonging my elephant ankles and waddle even more.