Thursday, October 29, 2015

City vs Country - vs Kids

It's no surprise to anyone that I adore living in the South. You smile to everyone you pass on the roads. You can ask almost any person you walk by for comfort food recipes. "God bless you" is heard in the grocery stores, gas stations, pretty much anywhere. You can start up conversation with anyone while waiting in line and the older country folk have wisdom of a lifetime they love to share.

Every morning, I go downstairs and the first thing I do is open the blinds. Trees, grass and songbirds are my "good morning," every morning - every season. I'm sure Cris, my husband, has heard more than enough of "Dear God, I love North Carolina" but I do hope he takes pride in the fact that he's the first reason I came.

There is one thing that I noticed soon after moving here... and that's the work ethic in the people born and raised here. There are a lot of construction workers here that seem to be very "on the job." Home Depot and Lowes is always full of people hauling materials for their jobs - and on a side note, lots of cowboy types tipping their hats to the ladies, which I just love the see. But it seems that work ethic is pushed into minds in the teens. Every summer, I see teenagers mowing lawns and doing all sorts of work around the home for their neighbors. Thirteen year olds are cleaning gutters, raking leaves, trimming trees. It's an amazing thing to see in America's young guys! These are the kids that will grow to be men - something you don't see so very often. These guys will be able to raise a family and take care of their wives and children. I can't help but smile every time I see them, so busy in their labor and not at all bothered or ashamed by what they're doing. They're helping their neighbor, they're getting paid and getting experience that they will no doubt use in their future.

These days, kids are babied. Their self-esteem is babied. No one is wrong anymore. No one is last anymore. No child feels the sting of losing a game because "we're all winners," right? I feel like that's such a big problem these days. Babying every aspect of a child is sheltering that child. Teens are too sensitive now. Adults are too sensitive now. Everyone just wants to "follow their dream" and expects that dream to leap into their arms. That's not how life works. Life is work. It's labor. It's focus. It's time and sacrifice and not always getting what you want.

Kids here in the South are taught to respect authority and respect their elders. Teens here offer to help anyone who seems like they need it. Strangers will stop on the road to help you with your flat tire.
Where do you think this type of behavior starts? At home! I wish, I wish, I wish parents would realize that it's at home that our children are developing their behavior - not at school. In most schools today, the teachers are not teaching them how to respect, they're teaching them academics. As parents, it's our job - OUR job - to instill these things in our children.

Why are there so many kids talking back? Why are there so many kids calling their parents "stupid?" Why are there so many 20-something-years-olds out of work, out of school and out wasting their lives and their parents money away? They're too busy playing video games or dreaming their lives away to actually make a life for themselves, aren't they?
Where did they learn this behavior?
At home.

At home.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Beat Viruses With Essential Oils

(This is not paid advertising. All opinions on all products are my own)
My one year old, Phina, was quite sick the last two weeks. She was coughing - mostly in the night - and severely congested. She snored like her Grandpa and was a major mouth-breather, even when elevated. I tend to turn to essential oils when it comes to this type of thing, especially when they're this little (Phina is 1 and a half and a healthy 28 pounds). I will admit that I have not depended on them alone, though. 

After years of experience with viruses - *ahem* I do have four kids - I learned that you can want to be as natural as possible but when it comes down to it, you will use what works. For mine? Essential oils have worked and worked even better when used alongside Hyland's homeopathic remedies. 
I tried the Nighttime Tiny Cold Syrup, but my kids are one of those rare types that get hyper instead of tired when given anything with a "sleep aid" in it. The Complete Cold 'n Flu was what worked best for her. She would calm down, and her coughs would lessen within a few minutes of giving her the syrup. Sometimes, she'd have a coughing spell just after administering it but afterwards, she'd be fine for a few hours.

Back to the oils, though. I placed about 13 drops of tea tree oil and 16 or so drops of Oreganol in one of our cold mist humidifiers. (we use the Crane Drop Shape ultrasonic humidifier and I haven't had any issues with it yet when using essential oils. 

I also made a slave to rub onto Phina's chest (and on her feet once she was fast asleep because she hates the goopy feeling between her toes).

I blended:
5 drops of Thieves (I use Young Living oils)
4 drops of peppermint
4 drops of lavender
4 drops of lemon
1.5 tablespoons of Coconut Oil

Ok, so there may be some moms about to jump on me for using too much essential oils to the coconut oil ratio but I am telling you, this baby girl's congestion was bad and this blend helped. There was no sign of it burning or irritating her skin.

The virus hung out for about a week but these remedies did help to ease the frustration for baby and for mama. I could feel less guilty for going as natural as I could for her and confident that I didn't just attack her little body with chemicals and junk like that. Yes, I know it's possible to go even more natural but you know what, this is what helped my baby and if this is going to keep her from getting worse and feeling pooped all day, I'll continue doing it this way.

We all want what's best for our little boogers. And, mama-to-mama, I want what's best for your baby, too!

Maybe you have some advice for me! I'm learning every day, as we all are and am looking for even more natural remedies to help out the little ones.
If you  do have something, comment below! I look forward to hearing from you.