December 12, 2014

Exercising/ Abigail becomes obsessed

Guys. I'm competitive. Like horribly so. I can sometimes convince myself that "winning isn't important" and then I can somehow keep my craziness in check- but MOST of the time I know that "winning isn't important" is SO NOT TRUE and then I get all crazy and MUST WIN THE THINGS.

This has been to my advantage a few times: In school with grades. Competitive Swimming for 10 years. Winning "Lord of Cataan" at Fort Benning. 

Most of the time it is NOT to my advantage. ( Like wanting to WIN AT CHRISTMAS). But whatever....I recently found something that was absolutely PERFECT for channeling my crazy ways into something much more productive. 

The "activity tracker". There are tons of them on the market right now, but after doing a bit of research I decided on the Fitbit Zip . It's small and simple ( just like what I want to be! ha!) 

 I also decided, on a friends advice, to hit up the Ebay world to see if I could get one on the cheap. And ended up with 2 for $35 each, brand new! That's well under the current price ( around $45 or $50) !
( and if you're lucky the seller might send you candy!) 

So I would definitely take my advice and try Ebay before buying one anywhere else. What I don't advise you to do, however, is to be like Abigail and get impatient about being outbid every time and then bidding on FOUR at once and then having to PRAY you don't win ALL THE BIDS. And then thankfully only winning two and just giving the other one to your sister*.  Don't do that. 

OK, so now let me explain what happens. You stick this little tracker in your pocket or if you're like me and you ONLY WEAR YOGA PANTS with no pockets...then just clip it on your pants and BOOM you're in business! It starts counting your steps. 
Just tap the Fitbit and it'll tell you the time, how many calories you've burned, how far you've walked and how many steps you've taken. 
Then, you can get online or download the app to your smart phone and it'll keep you updated on extras like tracking exercise times, count calories and water intake...stuff like that. But all of that is not important. All that is truly important is making that ultimately daily steps goal. I set mine at 10k and while most days that isn't hard, sometimes I become TRULY obsessive about reaching my mark. 
here is a screen shot from my phone on a day when reaching 10k was NOT hard! 

We're talking walks around the block in the pitch black. Or going for runs on days you aren't scheduled to go for runs. We're also talking taking EACH article of clothing from the laundry basket to the closet ONE at a TIME from the living room so that it takes more steps. 

Basically its the best thing ever for crazy obsessive people. And, if competing against a little machine isn't enough for you. *Then get one for your sister who's also uber competitive and then start "challenges" ( a push of a button on the App) and start tracking her steps is the last day of our five day challenge and, win or lose, I can't WAIT for it to be over! I'm so sore! I've been so active haha! 

As you can see I have become waaaay more active.  And therefore one more tick in the positive competitive category. 

Also, if you get a fitbit for Christmas or just for yourself off of Ebay, then become friends with me and I'll have yet another reason to walk around the house in circles every time I'm talking to someone on the phone. 

December 08, 2014

What is for Christmas....Tabitha

As with my last post, I will now regale you with the Christmas presents Tabitha is getting this year. She'll be 2 in January so bless her heart, gifts for her come around basically once a year.  Its rough having a birthday so close to Christmas, but we'll try to make it up to her! And bonus! All the fun things that I couldn't get her for Christmas because of my self-inflicted "Wear, Need, Read, Want" rules, I can just get her a few weeks later at her birthday ;-)
( way to ruin the point of the game there, Abigail!)

So, here's what our little almost-two-year-old is getting for Christmas this year! 

Wear: Unlike with her brother, Tabitha does not need anything in this department! In fact, thanks to the generosity of my sister and friends, I have only bought a few odds and ends for Tabitha in these two years of her life, and none of those odds and ends were because she really needed them! Girlfriend has clothes and shoes coming out of her ears! SO that said I decided to go with an "accessory" this year and I found the most fun thing a two year old girl could have: 

It's called a Poochie & Co Purse and in searching the internets to find a picture of the one I got for Tabitha I found that a real live celebrity is also a huge fan ( remember the adorable little girl from Beasts of the Southern Wilds? Or maybe you'll remember that she's the little girl from the upcoming remake of Annie coming out this Christmas? Yeah, Quvenzhan√© Wallis. ) Annnnyway, it makes me happy that my daughter is already going to have a celebrity purse! hahaha! 

In the Need category this year, I went around and around. There are a lot of great toys that can be helpful in teaching your kids all sorts of important things that you feel like they "Need". But I finally decided on this game Barnyard Bingo Game. Because she's played with it at Speech Therapy and she's totally into it.  The best part is that the game can be used "as is" ( according to the rules) but I think it also has a lot of potential for other forms of play which is important when we purchase just about anything around here. But just to prove to you Tabitha's enjoyment. I took a video of her at Speech Therapy today: 

When it came to Tabitha's Read book this year, I went with something I knew we'd both love but that would also continue to help Tabitha with her talking. For whatever reason nothing promotes Tabitha speaking quite like Leslie Patricelli books. She LOVES them! And honestly, I do too! They are funny and fast and just enough quirky!  Tabitha is getting this one for Christmas: 

And now for Want: 

Eeeeek! Once again I went and bought something on sale waaaaay ages ago and I've been DYING for Christmas to come so I can give it to Tabitha! I purchased this on Zulily  for next to nothing way back this summer! (!!)  and now I'll finally get to give it to her! 

Having to watch her put her stuffed animals and dolls at their tiny doll table and feed them with random cups has been KILLING ME ;-) 

So there you have it! That's what Tabitha is getting for Christmas! So, I'm curious, what are your little girls getting this year? Anything you're super excited about like I am? 

What's for Christmas.....Ransom

Hey friends! It's that time of year! Where I tell you what my kids are getting for Christmas this year! I know you've just been dying to know!

Like I've said before I've implemented the important " Need, Read, Wear, Want" rule with our kids to keep the buying under control. However, for the first time this year I had a little bit of a hard time sticking to my "categories" but I did it! So here goes!

This year Ransom is a 4.  A very rascally 4 who has grown and grown and is sitting tall in the 90th percentile in height and its been hard to keep him in clothes. He's also been dominating his Balance Bike for a few years now and has been asking for a big boy bike for a while now. As for his wants, well, they are ever changing and EVER GROWING. Maybe its just my 4 year old but the kid tells me what he wants for his "birthday" almost every day. *sigh*

So let's start with wear:
I started by getting him these pretty sweet PJs when they were on sale a few months ago.  :

Because it is EMBARRASSING what Ransom wears to bed these days....usually either too tight/too small PJs or giant old T-shirts. The sad thing is, he LOVES PJs and its been hard on him to not have cooler ones, or at least having his cooler PJs be super de duper tight. 

Unfortunately Ransom's Need is also in the "Wear" category. I don't know how to get around this and I feel semi bad about it. I usually try to make the "Need" also something that he'd want  but this kid needs new clothes BADLY. So hopefully long-sleeved t-shirts and sweatshirts covered in monster trucks and spots logos will make him happy enough.  ( I hit up the $3.88 section in Walmart, especially since he'll probably just out grow them all in 2 minutes anyway). 

Want: So HOPEFULLY we will make up for the "Need" present not being the coolest with this present: 

Being as cheap as ever, we got it for a sweet deal at Wal-Mart because it was missing a handlebar grip that we could easily replace. However, if you're looking for a Hot Wheels 16" for a little dude, you can also get it here. 

And then on to the Read: This year I went with something a bit different. Ransom has started going to "big church" with us and has a little backpack full of "quiet entertainment" and I wanted something that he could look at for a long time but would not need it read to him necessarily. So I found this book that I think will fit the bill.  I haven't gotten it yet so I'll let you know if I like the pictures or not!

Merry Christmas to Ransom!You may notice I'm just not that into his presents this year, and that makes me sad, but I do hope he loves his Bike ( we're going to try to skip right over training wheels so wish us luck!) So tell me, what are your little boys getting this year? Anything you're super excited about?

December 05, 2014

Preschool Party Prep

Well friends, we're well in to December and basically that means that I've got about FIVE blog posts I've been writing in my head and quite literally ZERO time to write them. Every time I get on the computer I end up scouring the internets for the perfect Christmas presents for various nieces and nephews. I really love giving presents. Mostly because I like to WIN at Christmas.

I want the present recipient to say, "Wow, Abigail just WON CHRISTMAS this year!"
Which. Well. Is the most selfish reason for giving presents ever.  So you know, I've basically lost the reason for the season. ;-) Interventions can be scheduled for Jan. 6th and onward. Inquires below.

Anyway, today I made the time to post-mostly because I've hit a little bump in the present buying road.-I only have 3 presents to go. The hardest people to buy presents for.  ( I'm looking at you MOM) So I'm taking a break to cleanse my present pallet and hopefully return with renewed vigor.

ALSO I'm posting today because I really really need your help! I'm in charge of Ransom's class Christmas preschool class party which I thought other parents would be helping with, but his class' parents have zero interest in helping out this year and there is only one volunteering parent per party and I guess all the other parents are just riding the wave of the rest of us this year. Meaning, I'm ON MY OWN. Which, you know, is kinda cool because I like to be in charge, but its kinda not cool because, you know, MONEY.  So I've already got my menu set. ( which side note, I'll have you know that I thought up these ideas ALL ON MY OWN while sitting in the pick up line at school but then OF COURSE as soon as I googled them PINTEREST insisted that other people had ALREADY come up with these great ideas and gone so far as to take pictures and post them. BUT I'd still like for you to all give me creative credit, ok?!)

But now that I've got the lunch taken care of, and I figure I'll have cookie decorating as the craft. BOOM. DONE.  But there's ONE MORE THING I'd like to do. And it's mostly all for myself. ( *Insert living my dreams here*) I'd like to read them a Christmas Story.

And here's where YOU come in!! What are your favorite children's books to read out loud to kiddos?! I am kinda a snob! I insist on good content plus good pictures. So, you know, I'm picky!.

Also, just to make you think harder please just leave out the books that include Santa. I don't have an agenda here, just that I feel like we're already over-Santa-ed. So lets just stick to other Christmas Tropes, ok? So now that've made all my demands! I hope I haven't scared you from sharing your own favorite Christmas books with me! I've got a little list going but I am curious to see what you guys will come up with and then maybe I'll share what I have so far! But so that I don't make you do ALL the work:  My own personal favorite is a little old for preschoolers but when I saw it on a pile of books at the library I snapped it up like a long lost friend! Love, love, LOVE this book!  Go check it out Apple Tree Christmas by Trinka Hakes Noble it is beautiful in every way. :

November 16, 2014

The library plot

Raise your hand if you find it hard to find friends these days. Is it just me? Where was I when they were handing out the friendship bracelets?
 Oh, that's right, I was moving every other year as an Army wife....I was so blessed during all those years that I can now count a best friend in almost every my besties are now spread across the country. Which is great and all...but some times you want someone to look you in the eye across the table and be all, "you have baby snot on your with that situation."

But now that I find myself in a less and less military environment, i.e. everyone else isn't in the same boat, I'm starting to realize that its a stone-cold world out there where apparently everyone else has already made out their BFF list and there are no blank spaces ( Oh, wait, is that why I don't have friends? That I just put in a Taylor Swift reference and no one notice?!?)

Annnnywho, something funny happened this year that I just HAVE TO TELL YOU.. I was visiting my home town and enjoying some Mommy time with my sister and our kids. We'd just attended a super disappointing story time at the local library and were now letting our kids run havoc at a nearby gym when another mom approached us. We made conversation and within minutes she was getting my sisters details.  And I was super impressed/jealous. I'd been trying to break into the Mommy scene at my own local libraries, parks, mall play areas and chickfilas and I'd gotten NADA. And here my sister was scoring a new friend in MINUTES. Whaaaaaa?!?!
But, within hours my sister texted me to say that the "new friend" had added her on Facebook and low and beyond she was one of those "sellers" know, one of those chicks that "works from her home" by throwing parties, doing before and afters on her fb page and making her instagram a variable who's who of know the girl.*
And in that moment we both knew it was a sham. It turned out it WASN'T any easier in my sister's town than in mine, she'd just come in contact with a chick who needed a few more buyers for her monthly balance.

We laughed, we made some jokes to make us feel better and we returned to our lives of wiping snot and packing cheerios to go.

AND THEN....I was at my own local library ( why is it always the library?!?! Is it in a handbook or something!??) and I started to make conversation with a girl who was also in the kids section with her own littles. And I was super excited and surprised at how receptive she was! She didn't respond in one word responses and she didn't exit for "nap time" at the first opportunity, in fact, SHE quickly asked for MY number! "Wow!" I thought, I've finally done it! I've finally made another mommy friend "Out in the wild."

And then. AND THEN. She actually CALLED ME. Like within the first 24 hours! CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS!?!? I was shocked  and not a little bit flattered. I had clearly rocked the library banter and she was wanting more! Sadly I was at one of those inflatable lands where kids jump around on giant balloons and us parents stand around and pray that it gets all the energy out so that we all get to sleep in the next day.... SO I couldn't hear her call and so I called her back as soon as I could....annnnnnd I got her voice mail....annnnnd it went something like this:

"You've reached SO and So, your friendly neighborhood Blah-blah consultant! I can't come to the phone right now but leave a message, I'll get back to you!!! BEEEEEEEEP"

And so I knew it had happened.

I had been duped. I had fallen for the ol' library friend scam.
 So when, a few weeks later and I'd actually ignored the earlier warning signs and actually met for a play date and then a few days later I was politely propositioned to "throw a fun party for all my friends where we could sell a little blah blah!" I knew I only had myself to blame.

Of course, the joke was firmly on the fake friend....I didn't have any friends to invite to such a party, so HA HA! JOKES ON YOU GIRL!

So there it is. There's my warning/plea. I am going to continue to try to make Friends out there in the world ( outside of  the comfy Military bubble) and hopefully one day I'll actually meet someone who thinks me and my ( ADORABLE AND ENTERTAINING and MOSTLY WELL BEHAVED) littles are worth hanging out with, and that I won't have to buy a product for them to think so.

* P.S. I actually have friends who sell all kinds of great products from their home. Beachbody, DoTerra, Mary name it! And many of you have asked me to buy your products and/or throw a party...and I've LOVED supporting you...this is no way a judgment on you or your businesses. I respect your willingness to get out there and make some monies...I also doubt you do anything like this story to make said money so don't worry, this isn't about you! :-) xox

October 30, 2014

"Essentially" what I've learned

Tabitha LOVES putting oil on her feet every day. She even puts in on her stuffed animals too. 

So, here's a little update on my essential oils usage. Some of you have been asking, which I appreciate your interest in my little "experiment" and for those of you who didn't ask. Sorry. Just ignore this. But, really, can I just say? You SHOULDN'T ignore this because I think I'm the greatest essential oils user ever.
And here's why.

I can honestly  honestly say that I'm terrible at this experiment because I refuse to change my current ways. For instance, if I have a headache I take Ibuprofen ( which I've always done) and then I also put a little peppermint oil on my temples ( what my essential oils manual says to do). Then the headache goes away and I'm really happy about it. DONE.

But then, lets say, YOU come and tell me you have a headache. Well, sorry, I'm probably gonna have to offer you both, because I'm too impatient to figure out if JUST the essential oils would have worked for my headache. I hate headaches. I'm gonna try and kill them will ALL my guns. I am basically NOT the girl in the horror movie that shoots the bad guy and then TURNS AROUND AND WALKS AWAY. Girlfriend, you KNOW he's not dead and he's gonna come up behind you and get you! NO! You EMPTY ALL YOUR BULLETS INTO THAT DUDE.
So. That's what I do with headaches and allergies and eczema. I use up all my bullets.

The good news is that all my bullets seem to be working.

The other good news is that there were a couple of things in my life that I didn't have ANY other bullets for: my psorisis and our immunity and my children's restless sleeping.

So, I can definitely WITHOUT a doubt say that I am ONE HUNDRED PERCENT SOLD on "on guard" essential oils blend that works for immunity. I rub a diluted bit of that oil on my kids every morning before I put on their shoes for the day and, recently, when we were out of town I rubbed it on their feet at night too. And, friends, we have not gotten sick AT ALL. Ok, strike that, I got a really bad case of allergies that threatened to turn into a cold for two days. And I pouted and threw a fit that my essential oils weren't working, while I did shots of oregano oil ( not for the faint of heart) and diffused on guard in my room at night and BOOM a day later my cold was GONE.
And? AND? We went out of town and my kids kissed and hugged and ate after and breathed on and snuggled a countless number of cousins and aunts and uncles and grandparents and NO ONE GOT SICK.


This is big news.

Because that NEVER EVER happens..
In fact, I now love this oil so much that I bought another two bottles of it  ( then put those bottles itnto little sample bottles and handed it out to my friends like it was candy. Because  WE SHOULD ALL BE HEALTHY TOGETHER.

And then we went BACK to visit family AGAIN and I was not diligent at all about putting the oil on my kids and Tabitha GOT SICK. So boo on me.

I have also been putting a mixture of oils on my legs where my psoriasis rash is the worst and it has, in fact, faded significantly. It is not completely gone, but then again they told me I might have it forever, so faded is a major step up from FOREVER. I'm still not sold on this being the miracle solution to my legs, but if I'm really honest, I'm not that diligent in putting the oils on every day. Which I clearly should be.

And now to the one that most of you Mommies have been asking me about Serenity. It is a mixture of a couple different oils to promote, well, serenity.  This is the one all my mommy friends have been clammering for me to test... Seriously? You care about calm children more than healthy children? Hahaha! No worries, I am not judging you, because i am RIGHT THERE WITH YOU. So here's what happened:  While I have tried using the oils to combat specify instances of  "preschool/toddler drama" say in the late evening when everyone starts inexplicably wrestling,  I didn't feel like it made a  marked difference. But, when I just diffused it a few times in our home during times I knew we'd be couped up inside for a while, I myself felt remarkably calmer and I  think overall our home was more peaceful. It wasn't magical or anything ( darn it) but I've also used a drop or two on a pillow or a favorite stuffed animal when the kiddos have woken up in the middle of the night and it did seem to affect how quickly and easily they went back to sleep. Unlike the  On Guard which I actually think I could stand behind and say YOU ALL NEED TO USE THIS, the Serenity oil is just another thing that I'd offer up as an option when  dealing with  sleeplessness, rowdiness etc etc.

I will say that since Tabitha has gotten a virus ( mentioned above) that has caused a fever for the last few days one night I forgot to put the diffuser of Serenity and On Guard mixed in her room and she was up CONSTANTLY and needed to be held and rocked.  The next night I remembered the diffuser and she was only up a few times in need of her paci. It could be a coincidence...or it may have really helped, especially since her fever was pretty much exactly the same. Who's to say?

And so, in summery. I think I now actually kinda sorta believe in essential oils. There. I said it.. But, other than the immunity  oils, I see most of them as just added tools that maaaay be helping and not hurting our family. I like the fact that now when I struggle with something in our home like sleeplessness or allergies I can turn to oils as a viable option.

Ok. I think that's enough  "screen time" for this topic! If you have any questions about my specific experiences do let me know! I'm actually putting in an order for myself tonight ( my cut off time is tomorrow night-October 31) so if anyone would like to use my discount send me a message ;-)-hehe. Cuz I'm a rebel like that.

October 06, 2014

My secret hobby

So, I think I've mentioned this before, but in my 7 years of marriage I've lived in 7 different places. Pretty crazy, right? And for the most part that has not always been the coolest. BUT there is one thing that I do  enjoy about moving and that is the decorating and the organizing! We have now lived in our current house for over a year and a half and I was starting to get antsy. Which is probably why I went through a weird furniture painting phase a month or so ago...

That said, this last weekend afforded me a little house-decor challenge when I inherited not one but two new pieces of furniture. Now, its not like our house is huge and just FULL of empty spaces waiting to be filled. In fact, quite the opposite. But, when the time came to take Brett's Grandmother's piano so that it could stay in the family and I could happily tell me children about the hundreds of sweet hours their Great-grandmother had spent at this very piano-teaching lessons and composing music and playing and singing hymns...well, there was clearly NO CHOICE but to take it.
And then when I was faced with either taking my Great-GREAT Grandmother's china cabinet or "I'm just going to take it to the dump right now",  Brett and I rented a Uhaul and on our last trip to visit family, came come with some "home decor puzzles".

And I won't lie. I absolutely DELIGHTED in my little furniture problem. Where could I put it all? What would I need to re-arrange?! How could I keep the house from looking stuffed with furniture?
Oh, it was all too much fun for me to handle!

In the end, my bookcase in the dining room, moved to the living room and became a part of the "play area". In fact, bonus points, when you re-arrange toys locations in your house, your children will magically think they have new toys and play happily for a solid hour and a half. BOOM!

The piano then took the bookcases spot in the dining room, and other than the fact that Ransom wants to play the piano before and after every. single. meal. I absolutely love having it in the dining room, especially a part of my family photo wall. Treasures should be with other treasures.

And the china cabinet? Well, it actually was quite helpful! I was able to put it into a corner of our bedroom and move all the books from the bookshelf in the dining room into the china cabinet/bookshelves! I ended up "gift wrapping" the doors because one side was missing its glass ( and since my bank account just took a hit, I'm not in the glass buying mood) and I actually kinda love how it turned out.

I may, at some point get some fabric because I feel like the paper probably won't stand up well with my little rascals running around, but for now this looks pretty cute! 

( wrapping paper is from Ikea many many moons ago)

And so, after this day of moving and organizing and running around after my children all in the midst of it, I'd go ahead and say that I'm happy NOT moving for another year and a half ;-) I've had my little decorating fix.

October 03, 2014

How I "lost" my phone and what I gained

So, last Saturday my phone was tragically and unfairly stolen at the library. I say tragically, because if you've ever purchased a phone "out right" without any kind of phone contract to buffer the costs then let's just say, that's a tragedy to ANY bank account.

And I say unfairly because I think all stealing is just so UNfair! I think once the feelings of optimism that maaaaaybe the person would decide to turn from their evil ways and return my phone to me ( it had already been wiped by the time I tried to access it on my find my phone app), had passed the major feeling I had was just the desire for JUSTICE! I just hated the idea that someone could be so jerky as to take advantage of a bedraggled Mom with her two little kids and then GET AWAY WITH IT. UGG!!!

Anyway, the tragic/unfair event happened right on the eve of us heading out of town to visit family and Brett was still in the midst of working very long long shifts at work. I had a ton to do before we left town and so, in the end, we headed off to visit family without dealing with the phone situation. It was going to work well because I'd be with Brett and people could reach me via his phone, or send me messages the "old fashioned way" using Facebook or email ( haha!) when I checked it once or twice a day.

And so almost immediately on our drive I realized that: when we drive somewhere and I'm NOT driving I check instagram continually. I also listen to Pandora and I also check my emails and I text my friends a lot. I also realized that my children do a million cute and documentable things in a given 10 minute span and without a phone to document those moment I have to just soak it in. No pictures for later instagram posting! Just plan old-fashion memory.

When we arrived at Brett's mom's house we were greeted by a glorious host of family and for the next two days my kids ran absolutely wild with about 8 or so cousins. Mud pies, hammocks, bicycles, cupcakes, s'mores and a very necessary bath at the end of each day. At the same time, I got to chill and chat with the adults and watch the glorious scene of cousins unfold....without taking a single picture. And without checking instagram to see what comparable fun other people were up to. I also didn't share the glorious fun we were having with anyone that wasn't siting next to me on the couch and it was STILL FUN! I got pretty much zero likes. And no comments. But it was still very much a glorious two days.

I then headed to my parents house for another day and  half where I hung out with my sister, commiserated on how 4 year-olds truly affect ones mental status, and discussed important things like  the unmentionable Kimye wedding episode ( if you don't know what this is, please don't ask...clearly you're already a better person than me and we should just keep it that way) and watched our children run around us screaming. Once again I did not share what I was doing with any one! In fact, I was now 4 days into not having a phone and I wondered if anyone wondered where I was. And if they did, was that really that important?

We finally headed back home yesterday, and because Brett was driving a big Uhaul back ( post about this coming soon!) I drove myself and the kids 5 hours home WITHOUT A PHONE. That's right. No GPS. No phone in case I got a flat tire ( though, granted Brett was about 30 minutes behind me on the road), no apps to tell me where the nearest Starbucks was, no pandora to listen to music, nothing. And somehow, we made it home Instead of a phone to keep me company, I just thought lots and lots of thoughts on those highways headed home and I've decided that my addiction to my smartphone really was at an all time high. I am hoping that now that I will once again have a phone ( tomorrow I'm headed to the Verizon store), that I will not return to the intense connectedness that was filling my days. I say this here because I know it will be easy to return. That the addiction sneaks in all sneaky-sneaky like and before you know it you're checking your Facebook feeds in the bathroom. ( ew!)
However, if you check your phone when you're sitting at a red-light in your car. Then, you my friend, might need to have your phone stolen at the library because wake-up-calls can be greatly refreshing.
( Though, I'm sorry, I still feel sad that I have no pictures from all those awesome cousin-fun-times.) iPhones are good for some things.

September 10, 2014

To be totally frank(incense) with you....

In the past two weeks we've had a visitor for a week, Ransom started school and Tabitha has been teething some major canine teeth action.

And we've been perfectly healthy. Not only that but I've actually started running again! At the end of August I was barely able to get out of bed and I was basically catching every cold known to man...and now.. Running.

SO. What happened?

Maybe it's a coincidence that even though we've brought in the germs of an entire school and even though I was still struggling after my tonsillectomy, we've been healthy?

OooOOOooor maybe its because I decided to take the major plunge and start using essential oils? Who's to say, really? And while I'm not totally convinced that it was all the oils, I'm convinced enough to give it a serious shot for the extended future!

One step at a time I'm becoming super crunchy and granola. But, seriously, I was at the end of my rope! And I guess that's a good place to be when you decide to start experimenting!

So, I talked to a friend of a friend who's an expert on essential oils and after hearing my laundry list of ailments she suggested I go all in and purchase the "Family Physicians pack" from DoTerra Oils.  After doing a bit of my own research and learning that Doterra is one of the very few companies that you can TRUST with the quality of the oils ( sadly no cheap oils from central market for me!), I went for it. And here is what I've done and learned in the last few weeks!
I store my little oil bottles here, with my prettiest dishes...aren't they cute? ( the dishes and the little bottles)

The kit comes with these oils:

Lavender: I've been mostly using as a "calming" agent in my diffuser mixed with Oregano ( more on that later), I've also put a little on Ransom's pillow a few nights when he's woken up with bad dreams.   Every time he's immediately gone back to sleep and then  SLEPT IN ( those of you with crack-of-dawn babies know what a miracle that is!)

Lemon: I've used this in my diffuser as well because it also has airborne disinfectant abilities, but I've also used it in a spoon full of honey when one morning I woke up with a sore throat. ( Sore throat gone right away) *Important note: a teeny tiny drop of these essential oils goes a REALLY long way! My awesome consultant gave me several great guides on just how LITTLE I have to use!

Peppermint: One of my laundry list ailments was thrush in my mouth from all the antibiotics I've taken over the last few months. After 5 days of a little peppermint ( it has natural anti fungal abilities) in coconut oil swished around in my mouth and spit out- I was totally better! And this was after trying anti fungal meds to no avail!

Melaleuca: For another of my list of ailments: the guttate psoriasis that I developed from my ongoing strep throat ( seriously? I have no luck.) I've been putting a mixture of Jojoba oil ( just a carrier oil really, but I love it for not leaving grease stains!) Melaleuca and Frankincense on my arms and legs after I shower every day! The change has been amazing! I asked my doctor about it when I visited today and he couldn't deny that it was getting better.  I'm also going to try the Melaleuca on Tabitha and Ransom's eczema, though we've been enjoying a little moment of "clear skin" at the moment...maybe due to: using a combination of Lavender, Lemon and Peppermint rolled on the skin you can combat  allergies! WHAAAA?!? )

Oregano: I've used oregano diluted with oil on my own skin to help my immunity, but oregano can be kind of potent on sensitive skin so I've been using it in my diffuser with other oils ( usually lavender, because who doesn't like a calm kid?) for the kiddos ( and their sensitive skin)
I bought this little diffuser on Amazon and I love it! It was FAR cheaper than any other diffuser I've seen, and it works great!
( It should be noted that this extreme closeness to the diffuser is not necessary or recommended, Ransom just REALLY wanted to be in the shot ;-) !) 

Frankincense: This stuff is the best! I basically want to mix it with all my other oils because it seems to do EVERYTHING ( but its also the most expensive ( and one of the reasons its such a great deal in the physicians kit) and now I'm understanding why Jesus got it as a birthday gift. ;-)

Deep Blue®: I mentioned earlier that I've been feeling so much more energetic and so I've started running again! However, I still have some foot issues to contend with ( Plantar's Facisitis) and I've been using a little Deep blue mixed with oil to rub into my sore muscles. So far my foot hasn't been causing me much trouble at all! Brett also had some shoulder problems that after a deep tissue massage with Deep Blue he felt way better!

Breathe: I haven't had to use this one yet!  But since I hear a serious respiratory virus is making its rounds this year I'm glad I have it handy for my defuser and for little stuffed up chests in the future!

DigestZen: Brett is constantly having tummy troubles ( oops. Sorry for sharing husband) and so I've rubbed one or two drops on his stomach the last few weeks, he says he can't say "for sure" if its helped or not, but I've used it when I ate my sandwich too fast and had a tummy ache yesterday and I liked the smell at least ;-)

On Guard: My faaaaaavorite and the oil I've used the most obsessively ( for obvious reasons) its the immunity cocktail and I've been putting it in a carrier oil in a little roller bottle and rolling a little on the bottom of my kids feet in the morning and at night ( they both love it!)

So there you go! I'm super excited about this development in our family health, I am sure I will continue to dole out Ibprofene for teething and use our tried and true eczema prescription oil and any other medicines that we deep necessary, but I REALLY enjoy having these oils around as a preventive measure and as an added boosts to our medicine cabinet. And now what about you? Are you a fan of oils? Any amazing "recipes" I should start using? Also, are you an oil "hater"? I'd love those inputs as well! Seriously, as you can tell I'm still at the very beginning phases of learning here and would love all thoughts I can get!

*Other note: Because I bought the "kit" I'm now automatically a Doterra partner or something. I know very little about this, except that I'm sure if you used my site ( linked above as well) than I'd get some sort of good deals ....but honestly, I'm just happy that as a partner I get major discounts on future purchases and it doesn't cost me a thing! Score!

September 05, 2014

We did it.

This post is brought you by my parents who sent a package that included the movie "Planes" for Ransom. My mom apologized that there really wasn't anything in the package for me, but I beg to differ. We're watching a movie at 3:30 in the afternoon on a Friday and I call that a Mommy Present. 

So, Brett has been working nights for the past 4 weeks. I'm not complaining about this. I did my complaining last night on my ongoing chat conversation with two of my Mommy Besties. I have to delete our conversations every few months-not because of all the incriminating pictures of our kids doing dangerous/hilarious things like standing up in the bathtub-but because we often text SO much that it actually takes up my precious iPhone space. If you don't have a "safe" place to vent your parenting emotions at 4:56pm when dinner is only half done and there is a 20 month old attached to your leg and a four year old lecturing you on car types relentlessly-than shoot me a message and I'll send you my number. Every mom deserves this important lifeline. P.S. We use a lot of emojis. Particularly the "little wine glass" and the "hands in the air" girl.

Anyway, yesterday we were in the midst of Daddy Working Nights, and Mommy had only had 45 minutes of alone time in...two days....because someone is cutting 4 teeth and decided that sleeping was for the weak. And It turns out I don't do well with only 45 minutes of alone time. And we had just gone to the grocery store at a quarter to 5 because I was missing a key, important ingredient to dinner ( fine, it was ALL of dinner, ok! Geez.) and somehow we got out of there in one piece even though I'd forgotten a certain someone's pacifier ( which she usually only gets at bedtime but...four teeth.) And we'd had to sing Wheels on the Bus nonstop the whole way to the grocery store....And so in a moment of joy and triumph having left the store alive and semi-sane I let out a big "We did it! We did it! We did it!" And a few fist pumps from the drivers seat and then my four year old mustered what I'm sure was meant as a legit compliment: "You're just like Dora, Mom!"

And as much as I hate to admit it, I really AM like Dora! I totally navigated through this week as "easily" as if I had a map in my backpack and BOOM! FOUND THE TREASURE on Pirate Island!  We made it through this week! Here's  a "little glass of wine" emoji for us all...

August 16, 2014

One of my favorite things: Mrs. Meyers.

When I was in the seventh grade one of my teachers gave me a little tea candle. I'd never had a candle of my own before so I was pretty excited to burn it in my room and feel super grown up. The smell was divine. But soon the little tea candle was gone and so was the smell, and since it was an unlabeled little tea candle I had NO IDEA what the smell was....But I spent the next 17 years hunting for it. Sometimes I would find something that was similar but nothing exactly until one day I happened upon Mrs. Meyers cleaning products and they were having a sale on candles. As soon as the geranium scent hit my nose I was transported back to my seventh grade, thats not necessarily a place I want to be, however the smell was still fresh and clean and not over powering. I bought three and headed home a happy camper.

And so my love for Mrs. Meyer's products began. It started with candles but it quickly spread to their counter cleaner. Also an amazing scent but no artificial ingredients that could harm my kids and an ability to make even the crustiest crustys come off of my counters and I had bought into the hype. During the holiday season they had this cranberry scent that I loooooved and I actually bought a bottle EVERY TIME I went to Target that holiday season ( apparently I went to Target a LOT because I'm only now on my last bottle and it's AUGUST). I'm hoping they'll bring the scent back next year ( fingers crossed) but even if they don't I'm in love with plenty of their other scents and products that I probably won't mind too much.
Ew, don't look at my nasty nail polish, but LOOK AT MY GORGEOUS STOVE TOP!

With a husband and two kids with incredibly sensitive skin the type of hand soap I use is very important. And let's be honest, I'm not the ONLY ONE who does dishes so my dish soap also needs to be gentle and all natural. Mrs. Meyers again, done and done.

Right now I've got the Lemon Verbena candle burning in my kitchen ( because friends, cauliflower may be good for you, but its NASTY smelling!) and I just finished up cleaning some pots and pans in a flash with the geranium  dish soap.  Basically in the half hour that it took me to complete my after dinner ritual I had used 4 Mrs. Meyers products. SO if you're already a fan of Mrs. Meyers tell me what your favorite scents are! I have basically stuck with the Honeysuckle, Geranium and Lemon Verbena but I'm curious if anyone loves the Basil and Radish scents, I've been tempted but they seem earthier than maybe I am? Has anyone tried their all purpose cleaners or toilet cleaners?
Also, if you HAVEN'T jumped on the Mrs. Meyers train you totally need to! The products are natural, good for the environment and the humans that live in said environment, and when it comes to "natural products" they are very reasonably priced! You can pick up most of these products at Target, HEB, Whole Foods, World Market and tons of other locations! And if you live in a small town without many options you can always hit up the Mrs. Meyers website to order ( sometimes they have no shipping fee days which is awesome!) and also to find out where products are sold near you!

As always, I'm a terrible "blogger" and therefore I am absolutely NOT getting anything from the Mrs. Meyers  company for writing this review! In fact, I have no idea how people go about getting those kinda freebies-but to be honest, this way you, my dear readers can always count on me to tell you the absolute true "Abigail Opinion" without any agenda or outside guidance, so win...I guess. haha!