Tag Archives: health

A Little of Everything

First off, thanks for all your fabulous comments yesterday on my mothering post!  Every one of them meant so much.  🙂

Today was a pretty fabulous day.  It was filled with strawberry picking, playing with friends at the park, sitting in the shade on the lawn swing watching the kids play, gardening, talking, tree climbing, homemade strawberry sorbets and lots of other good stuff.

There weren’t exactly bluebirds circling our heads (though a grackle did dive bomb me in the back yard as I was hanging laundry!), but the kids were pretty much happy and nobody stripped down, scaled cars, shouted at me or alarmed the neighbors.  A success in my book.

Now on to other things…

If you’ve been alarmed about the recent news stories concerning lead found in juice boxes, Z Recommends has another side of the story you might want to read.

Yes, there is probably lead in your child’s box of juice. There is also lead in your honey, your salad dressing, your teething biscuits, your store-bought chocolate chip cookies, your pickles, your lettuce, your spinach, and your sweet potatoes (fresh). There is lead in many of the things you – and your children – eat on a regular basis. That’s because there is lead in pesticides, in the air, in the soil… almost everywhere…

It’s good information that puts it all in perspective.

If you’re like us and have an abundance of strawberries (say 55 pounds!) this page of strawberry recipes might come in handy.

I highly recommend making strawberry sorbet with some of it, though.  My easy way is to blend fresh strawberries in the blender with a little water and sugar to taste, and then freeze it in the ice cream maker.  It’s that easy!  Victoria says she likes it even better than ice cream.  You can put the mixture in popsicle molds too.

We also made some jam and syrup but most of it we just froze for later.  If you’re new to freezing berries, the best way to do it is to wash and hull them and then spread them in a single layer on a cookie sheet in a freezer until they’re just frozen (1 to 2 hours) and then put them in gallon bags (squeeze out all the excess air to protect them from freezer burn).  Flash freezing them first means they’ll be individual berries and not a solid lump of strawberry ice when you want to pull some out later.  🙂

Lastly, Here’s some sweet little paper dolls of all sorts to print out next time you need a little rainy day fun.

And with that, chickadees, I’m off to read “The House of Dies Drear” to a very impatient night owl.

Kiss your kiddos, count your blessings, and don’t forget to take care of you!

Happy Thursday!



Filed under This and that

Six Nifties

Here’s some of what’s been filling up my browser windows lately…

1. Meet Me At Mike’s has started a fun little envelope project that anybody (child or adult) can take part in.  Send in a pretty little decorated envelope with something small inside (Artist Trading Cards, a photo, candy wrappers, ribbon, anything!) and at the end of the project one name will be drawn from all those who contributed to get ALL of the loot.  The envelopes will also be displayed in their window in Australia, so this would be fun even without the chance to get some pretty fantastic crafting supplies and doo-dads!

2.  Organic Gal has compiled a really thorough list of “Fakers and Not Fakers” — companies that claim to be natural or organic and may or may not be as healthy as they seem.

3. Now that you know which brands to look for, get some of them free at Saffron Rouge (more info here).  I got my order in today and it was a great way to try some heavenly smelling, safe bath products for nearly free!

4.  Magical Mama Pamela recommended these darling little sea creatures you can make from free patterns at Futuregirl’s blog.  They look adorable!

5. I’m in love with lots on this post from Little Eco Footprints.  I’ve been wanting to grow mushrooms with the kids for quite a while and didn’t know there was such an economic way to do it (though I don’t know how hard it would be to find a mushroom farm close enough to us) and also love the looks of her mushroom rissoles.  They look like the insides of stuffed mushrooms.  Mmmm!  🙂

6.  Happy To Be Called Mommy has published a tutorial on how to make homemade Wiki sticks.  What fun!  One of the commenters noted that one of the ingredients may not be good for little ones so perhaps a little experimentation is in order with beeswax or other more natural ingredients.  They look beautiful and those with a great yarn stash could make some gorgeous ones!

And with that, I’m off to find free German resources for a 12-year-old bent on learning the language.  Tschuss!


Filed under neat stuff elsewhere

A Few Good Things…

… that have caught my attention lately:

  • Here’s a super simple, inexpensive spray you can make to clean fruits and veggies at home:

Susan Sumner, a food scientist at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, developed a solution that is an effective disinfecting procedure to clean those conventionally-grown fruits and vegetables. It is non-toxic and inexpensive, and can also be used to sanitize your kitchen counters and food preparation surfaces such as wooden cutting boards. She simply uses white vinegar (or cider vinegar) and 3% hydrogen peroxide (the same as found at the drugstore). Put each solution into 2 spray bottles. Spray your produce (or work surface) with the vinegar and follow with the hydrogen peroxide. Then rinse the produce under running water or wipe the surface with a clean, wet sponge.


  • Yahoo’s Healthy Living section has this simple chart of 9 food ingredients to avoid, what they do and why they’re bad.  This is great info if you’re unclear why brominated vegetable oil is added to soda anyway or you want something concrete to convince your mother-in-law that yes, food coloring really does cause hyperactivity and other problems for lots of children and there’s a reason to stop filling your kids up with red Kool-aid and Skittles.  😉
  • I’m really enjoying the Let the Children Play blog from a preschool teacher in Australia.  Much of the focus is on how to make outdoor spaces good for children, especially related to nature and the senses.
  • Likewise, I’m loving irresistible ideas for play based learning, also from an Australian preschool and also focused on outdoor play spaces for children.

(photo by irresistible ideas for play based learning)

Any neat blogs or sites or ideas on your radar this week?


Filed under neat stuff elsewhere

Pregnant With Cancer?

ChemoMama has started a blog telling her story of fighting breast cancer and continuing with her pregnancy at her new blog, Pregnant With Cancer.  I had no idea that there were chemo drugs that were safe for pregnant women.  Head over to read her story if you want to know more and also to see a very adorable little girl.  🙂

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Filed under the big stuff

Our Gratitude Tree

Here’s a little project we made up today
in honor of Thanksgiving

We cut a branch outside and trimmed it
and pushed it deep into a nice heavy potted plant.
Then we cut leaves out of colored paper
and wrote things we were thankful for
on each one.
We punched holes at the ends
and hung them from the branches.

We each had our own color.
Mine was teal, Daryl’s was red.
The kids had purple, green and blue.

The kids were so proud of our finished gratitude tree
and I have to admit it makes me smile too.

More thankful projects and activities are here.

And did you know about the Melissa and Doug recalls in Canada?
I think those of us in the U.S. should be aware of it, too,
since their toys all come from the same factories (in China)
and the holidays are coming.

Enough seriousness.
Please go do some random silly thing now
and have a wonderful Sunday.

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All Better!

I’m back from my adventures with swine flu and feeling fabulous once more.  Our little timetable here was…

Friday through Sunday:  Anna (9) had the flu (mainly a stomach ache and headache, with some throwing up on Saturday)

Saturday through Tuesday:  I had the flu (mainly severe muscle aches, headache, fatigue, sore throat, uncontrollable coughing and fever)

Tuesday through Wednesday:  Jack (6) had the flu (mainly headache, sore throat and fatigue, with moderate fever)

Tuesday night to present:  Alex (2) has/hadthe flu (mainly higher fever and irritability)

So hopefully we will all be done soon!  (I am fairly sure Victoria had this for quite some time last summer and hopefully she’s got immunity.)

On Tuesday, my shipment of elderberries arrived and a homeopathic flu kit from Oscillo.  Victoria and I made up a batch of the elderberry syrup and we dosed everybody up with that and Oscillo.  It could be coincidence or the placebo effect, but I felt better right away and the boys seem to be recovering quite quickly.

Yay for immune boosters and herbal remedies!  Yay for flus that eventually end, and yay for dear hubbies that keep us all fed and cared for while we moan in bed.  🙂


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Elderberry Extract Helps Treat and Prevent H1N1 and Other Flus

Like much of the world, I’ve been anxiously watching the H1N1 outbreak and researching like crazy to keep my family safe.  One remedy that came up again and again was elderberry.  The research is really impressive and reassuring.  I’ve ordered elderberries for a recipe I found online and will make up a batch as soon as they arrive, but you can also just purchase the extract.  If you’re interested, I put the information I found here with lots of links for sources and information.  Knowledge is power, and I feel much more prepared with this information. 

For more information about symptoms and when to seek medical attention, see this article.


Filed under Uncategorized

A Minor Medical Emergency

Sorry folks, no fun blog post tonight!  I will give you this word of warning though.  If your kids all have diagnosed ear infections and sinus infections and you’ve been feeling really run down and miserable yourself and you have amoxycillin leftover from when you had that sinus infection last month…. do not even think about self-diagnosing and taking it!

I just got back from the emergency room after breaking out with a beet red, burning, itching, painful, maddening head-to-toe (starting at the head!) rash.  Within 15 minutes of taking the pill, my face and chest looked like I had a blistering sunburn.  The nurses in the ER actually thought I was burned.

One hour, three shots and a whole lot of icy wet towels later, they let me go home with some medication and instructions to never again take a penicillin family drug.

Wow!  That was really, really unpleasant!  🙂

According to this site, I have discovered "the poor man’s mono test" and that anybody with mono who takes a med like amoxycillin will develop this rash.  Some seem to have a harder time with it than others, but most of these poor folks had it for days or weeks.  I can’t imagine having it for more than a minute.  It burns!

In any case, I have pills to take and am heading to my own doctor in the morning.  I’ll be back with something fun for you tomorrow!



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More Health Benefits Found for Breastfeeding (For Mom!)

We all know the health benefit of breastfeeding for babies by now and it’s pretty well known that it also lowers the chances of breast cancer for mom.  A new study of nearly 140,000 women found more health benefits for moms who breastfeed, though.

Women who have breast-fed, it says, are at lower risk than mothers who have not for developing high blood pressure, diabetes and cardiovascular disease decades later, when they are in menopause.  The benefits increase with duration of past breast-feeding, the study found.

Women who had breast-fed for more than a year in their lifetimes were almost 10 percent less likely than those who had never breast-fed to have had a heart attack or a stroke in their postmenopausal years. They were also less likely to have diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol.

The study found that there were health benefits for women who breastfed for as little as a month.

Women who reported more than a year of breast-feeding were:

  • 20 percent less likely to have diabetes,
  • 12 percent less likely to have hypertension,
  • 19 percent less likely to have high cholesterol and
  • 9 percent less likely to have had a heart attack or a stroke

by the time they entered the study. 

Experts are still weighing in about what causes the differences.  Whatever the reason, it’s good to know.

Next time someone gives you grief for "still" nursing your little one you can say you’re improving your health.  Or a steely glare works too.  Whichever you like!  😉 


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