Saturday, January 31, 2015

Rowan's Room

I read a blog post a couple of days ago on enjoying this stage with your child. You know the type. The type that make you feel guilty, like you can't possibly enjoy them enough amongst all of the stressful tantrums, messes, and sticky fingers. Because you can't get time back. Because you still have to buy groceries, fix meals, do dishes and laundry... I usually really hate these kinds of articles. Just because I have bad days doesn't mean I don't enjoy our little son. Hindsight is 20/20 for everyone and I know i'll miss these days. I even miss yesterday but I only have today. This article at least gave some tips that I hadn't considered before and some of them I actually liked and didn't come with a healthy helping of guilt! One of the suggestions was to take a photo of your child's room because it won't be something you remember. So today after cleaning his room and organizing all of his toys again- he's been tearing the place apart during "nap time" since getting a toddler bed, I took some pics! It was fun and his room is nothing amazing, but, I enjoyed photographing it and am glad i'll get to look back on these. After taking a few photo's from my own perspective I took a few from how Rowan sees his room. Enjoy!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Essential Oils/ Homeopathic Healing

I wanted to share my journey with Essential Oils and natural healing with you so far. First of all, I have a little bit of a wrap sheet when it comes to health problems. In no way am I anti modern medicine. More than anything I wish the two fields would come together to treat the body as a whole in the best way possible. Anyway, after having antibiotics shoved down my throat for my sinus problems for a few years, not getting better, having them totally mess up my system and just having one surgery after another I decided to go see a naturopath.  I was extremely skeptical. But I was also desperate. I couldn't function, was throwing up any new antibiotics, my body wasn't responding to them and i'd become quite depressed. So my mom took me to see a naturopath that was in Rexburg. She doesn't really do the homeopathic healing thing, but she took me. I didn't tell him ANYTHING about myself or my health problems. He proceeded to use *muscle testing to diagnose my health issues. He named all of the existing ones I knew I had and then some.  He knew I had pre-diabetes, thyroid problems, infection and a lot of other things.  One of the diagnosis was an imbalance in my body was caused by candida. An overgrowth of yeast in my body due to a compromised immune system that no longer could fight as the good flora in my body had been wiped out so many times by antibiotics. I saw him for a few years.  Gradually my health got better and better. I still struggle with sinusitis but seeing that doctor was my first experience with a full body, homeopathic approach to healing. At one point he pinpointed some things I needed to forgive others for that were holding me back in my own relationships.  I didn't understand why over and over i'd fall for these guys that didn't care about me and used me while having someone else in mind. After working with him to forgive my heart was opened and I met Danny shortly after.  All through this process I still remained a little bit of a skeptic. Granted, the supplements weren't always a magic fix but almost always I felt much better as I worked with him to get my systems back in order.   Mostly I was skeptical because I just can't see  or the solid proof of the technique. But I do believe that the spirit and body make up the soul and that one effects the other. He helped me to improve my health and I was in a good place at the time I met Danny.

*Muscle Testing:

Based on the concept of internal energy fundamental to traditional Chinese medicine, muscle testing is a noninvasive way of evaluating the body’s imbalances and assessing its needs. It involves testing the body’s responses when applying slight pressure to a large muscle, to provide information on energy blockages, the functioning of the organs, nutritional deficiencies, and food sensitivities, among other things. It can also be used to test the body’s responses to herbs and other remedies.

Fast forward a couple of years. A friend of mine became certified in the body code. I still considered myself an open minded skeptic at that point but again, I saw results. And often times I KNEW where she was going with things. Just like i'd know what medicines my body needed when my naturopath would "ask" my body.  While Danny was deployed I went through a lot of different emotions. I missed him terribly, pregnancy was hard and  I struggled. The strongest emotion I felt in his absence was abandonment. Know what emotion has come up again and again as my friend does work for little Rowan? Yup. Abandonment that he felt while in the womb. Anyway she's helped us a lot with different things and just like my naturopath she has pinpointed specific emotions and toxins tied to specific times in my life that I knew exactly what she was talking about. Some pretty personal and emotional or spiritual. I know that the main belief behind the body code is understanding how our emotions effect our body and cause ailments. It involves releasing those negative feelings and toxins within us to restore health. I still don't understand quite how all of the body code works but my friend sent me a book on it called "Feelings Buried Alive" I plan on reading very soon.

I've continued to try and steer clear of antibiotics whenever I can. At one point in our marriage I was diagnosed with a bladder disease and told to take an antibiotic after each time my husband and I were intimate. This frustrated me beyond belief.  I knew what would happen if I followed the doctors orders and I refused to do it. Danny was frustrated that I didn't listen to the doctor but you know what? I've found much more relief for that condition by watching what I eat than I ever did with medication.  Although I do suffer from my existing health issues I don't get sick from bugs near as often as I used to. My immune system has come back somewhat and its really been a blessing.

Now we come to essential oils. I was in the same frame of mind with them as with the naturopath and his muscle testing, and the body code. Skeptical.  Again, because I didn't understand them. I kind of have one foot in both camps. I eat clean sometimes. I use natural organic stuff  and steer clear of toxins sometimes… but I also take a lot of medication. And I HATE it. I had been interested in learning about essential oils for some time and after having a few suggested to me, just in passing for pregnancy related issues I decided to try them. I ran into a deal on baby steals and ordered 4 oils. But I couldn't find out ANY information on the oils, how to use them or if the company even existed. The more I poked around on line the more I began to wonder if these oils were even any good. Eventually I ordered a Starter Kit from Young Living. It came with a diffuser and 11 different oils to try along with some samples and a lot of information on how to use them.  I took me a little bit of time to trust that the oils could do the job. I found myself taking tylenol along WITH my oils for a headache.  I started using their resources to find out what oils to treat what ailment and started using them regularly. But I still wasn't sold, mainly wasn't sure I wanted to pay so much. I found one company out of Idaho and ordered a few of them. And… they just didn't seem to help that much. I researched the company and just wasn't convinced. So I started really digging into what made a pure pure therapeutic grade oil, how they worked, the science behind the oils and so on. After understanding Young Livings Seed To Seal Promise and doing my own little tests on my Idaho oils I decided I'd stick with Young Living.

So how have the oils I got in my starter kit helped me?

Headaches: Pan Away and peppermint often help with headaches, depending on what kind.

Neck pain: Pan Away

Sinus pain and headaches: Moving to FL has been so hard on my allergies. Its green and lush and blooming outside and basically poison for me. Along with my sinus problems being magnified by pregnancy its been a real issue. So what helps? The Allergy Trio. Peppermint, Lemon, and Lavender. If I dutifully apply this to my forehead, nose and behind my ears I DO NOT experience the awful sinus pain in my face or sinus headaches that have been so constant.

Sore throat: Constant post nasal drip means I usually sore throat. I apply purification to my neck in front of my throat and its gone. Just gone. It seems like magic and still is crazy to me but wow. It WORKS.

IC/bladder disease: I haven't treated many flares with oils but Lemongrass on my tummy helps as well as drinking the NingXia  Red.

Asthma attacks: Allergy blend plus a blend called R.C.

Congestion: Allergy blend, or just peppermint.

Acne: Ugh. Pregnancy has given me the worst acne of my life! I made a little moisturizer cream with Frankincense, Tea Tree oil, Purification.. and lavender? I can't remember now. I use it to remove my makeup and to moisturize. Now to kill those nasty zit spots I am using strait tea tree oil also to treat the zits. It seems to be helping.

Pregnancy Carpel Tunnel: Yeah. I've used Valor, pan away, lemongrass and peppermint. All to either reduce swelling or treat pain. It's dong much better.

Husband snoring: Valor.

A cold: Rowan had a cold and I put thieves on the bottom of his feet to fight it and boost his immune system.

Depression: Joy and grapefruit

WOW. I'm sure I could keep going if I could remember how many of them I've used! I really hope to have essential oils help me to come off of my medications after baby boy 2.0 is born. I'm really seeing how amazing and effective they are and i'm working to eliminate medications use only these pure, healthy, natural, oils.  Its so exciting! To think… if I could not have to take 2 allergy meds, metformin, levothyroxine and then all of the others i'm on for pregnancy? It'd be so awesome! 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

My Gallery Wall- On a Budget

Those of you who are my Facebook friends might remember me asking you to share your gallery walls! Thank you for sharing if you did, you all definitely got the wheels turning.

I've wanted to do a Gallery wall for some time now. I just love being able to share a few pictures of our family along with other things of interesting textures. I actually love any kind of collage on the wall- plates, empty painted frames… my only thing is BALANCE. Some people have it some people don't.

Most of the gallery walls I really loved I found on pinterest- just like every craft I do now days right? So I saw elements from each that I really liked and decided on what i'd like to incorporate.

-Beautiful white frames with decorative edges
-Pops of color
-Empty frames..maybe

So how do you do a gallery wall without breaking the bank?

I wasn't sure honestly! I told Danny that even though I wanted to do this I fully expected it to end up being pretty pricy. Gorgeous unique frames can be very expensive. Of course this is what every husband loves to hear right! No. Not at all. But he was a trooper and believes in my dreams and all that for gallery walls so we went to Michaels to see what we could find.  We both downloaded their app so at least we could use coupons. I was pleased to find out their frames were on sale! They were buy one get one half off I think. So I walked down isles and isles of frames and found none at all that had the look or feel I wanted in white.

Danny had ventured over into the wood craft section and was letting Rowan entertain himself with a little wooden rocking chair when he came across some frames! He called me over and I was so excited to see the selection of raw wood frames they had. And they were very reasonably priced.  Like around 5$ plus or minus a couple of bucks depending on the size. I picked out a few frames with the orientation of my photos in mind and also chose a T for our last name from the same area. I did find a couple of mirrors there I liked but they were 10$ each and I just couldn't do it.  So I went home and got busy on my project. If you've noticed me do little furniture facelift jobs with a blue and coral-y color I used those same paint cans for my pop of color frames. I wanted them to match my living room and didn't want to buy new paint so there you go.
Here's one style of raw wood frame that I purchased to put our family initial in. I painted it really well with one layer of my blue chalk pain. Buuut I started feeling like it was a little too intensely blue for one of my biggest frames so I dabbed my sponge brush in a teeny bit of white and just drug it over the edges in little streaks. It softened it up just enough and gave it a great shabby chic feel!

 The rest of my frames I painted white with one coral frame and the word family to add more colors that would tie the Gallery Wall in with the rest of my living room's decor.  Here's what I had after just my frames were painted.

Once I got to this point I selected the sizes and photo's I wanted for each frame and ordered them online through Sam's Club. Then I went hunting for the pieces to complete the wall. I went to Ross … I was really sick that day and not at all feeling like shopping but we only have one small table and it was covered in frames. With a toddler in the house I knew it would be a matter of time before he got ahold of one and ruined it. So I wanted my table back and to have the gallery wall up asap. I was lucky to find a set of three white framed mirrors at Ross for around 10$ as well as a little quote block.  In the end I like it but I think if i'd been feeling better I would have spent more time looking for more items that I was crazier about. 

Now according to pinterest you must trace every frame and map it out on our wall first in paper and then you will know just where to put your frames and bla bla bla too much work. Just lay them out on the floor and arrange them until you like it. Take photo's so you can see it from a different perspective. 

And here it is! I think I did tweak a couple more things after hanging it. Just to make it a little more balanced but I expected to! Love it, it's just been hardtop keep Rowan from grabbing the lower ones! Sorry my pics aren't very good. Poor lighting. So in the end, aside from our mounted family photo Danny and I figured the whole thing cost us around 40$. Not bad! 

This one is my most favorite :) 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Boy #2

I cannot believe this baby is another boy! I mean I KNOW what the odds were, but, still for some reason i'm constantly still having to stop my mind from wondering to gold moccasins with bows and cute little frilly outfits and dreamy pinks and gold for a nursery.  We were really hoping for a girl "tried" for a girl and this pregnancy has been so much harder that I kind of thought it may be! I maintained that I didn't KNOW ever, but, sure enough i'm still surprised.

We were able to find a sitter for Rowan for this last appointment and sonogram. A nice family in the ward (one he likes to visit during sacrament) took care of him while we went to the appointments. We were there for almost 3 hours after everything was said and done, we were really grateful he hadn't had to sit through that. It was our midway anatomy scan. At first we weren't sure we were going to get to find out, baby had his legs crossed for the majority of the scan. Once the US tech got down to only a couple more things to check and us still not having seen she asked me to move to my side to see if me changing positions would get the little one to change his own position. Sure enough she got a clear picture of the bottom and I could tell right away that if this baby were a girl… well… there was NO way this baby was a girl. After she zoomed and focus his little man-ness was quite apparent! Another boy!

If you look at the ultrasound photos from my last post you'll see baby's hand up by his mouth. He had his hand up near his mouth again this time so i'm starting to wonder if he'll be a thumb sucker. That would be precious!

Its hard to have all of your family and friends so far away when it comes to revealing the gender of your baby. I had all of these grand ideas that involved secret deliveries and mailing DIY scratch cards … but in the end I realized I wouldn't have patience for any of that and decided a photo would  be best. A photo half of my family didn't get because it didn't load. Oh well.  We announced it with photo's of Rowan "holding" a giant blue smiley lolly pop.  In reality want to know what happened? He woke up super grumpy from his nap. So I took him outside hoping to cheer him up and eventually get the photo's I wanted. He stayed grumpy outside. Jabbering/yelling at the neighbors dog who kept barking at him through the fence. He didn't want ANYTHING to do with holding a giant sucker. Ironic considering he'd swiped a sucker from the candy store in the mall and popped in into his mouth before we'd even noticed. Anyway so my photo's were super staged. Every time I tried to get him to hold it he'd slap it out of my hand or throw it on the ground! So much attitude this one. I love the black and white photo. I wish i'd not cut off his head so much and I did have ones with more of him in the photo but I couldn't resist using that one because of his pouty lip. Life is SO hard when you're only 19 months old and your mom wants you to hold and lick a giant lolly pop! UGH! He's so funny!

We've had a girl name picked out since we were dating but these boys.. we struggle with naming our boys! At this point we don't have any idea what we will call him. I mean i've had a list that i'm constantly adding names to and removing names from just as quickly but nothing has really stood out. I'm sure something will feel fitting before he's here. Or at least when he arrives.

This pregnancy has been so hard. I think part of it is that I had been pregnant only 3 months before, but we'd lost that pregnancy. So its like i've been pregnant, sick and miserable for almost a year but still have 4 months to go before I get to hold our baby. The zofran seems to be helping less and less. The docs tried increasing my dose and that didn't help so now they're having me take B6 with it and that doesn't change anything either. I knew it wouldn't but said i'd try it. I feel nausea most of the day still and still throw up most days at least once.  I have constant headaches and sinus pressure and pain. My bladder disease is really starting to flare now that the baby has gotten up there in size and it will continue to agitate it. I have round ligament and back pain accompanied by swelling from my bladder that makes it hard to do much. I had these issues with my last pregnancy as well but its all been magnified by my already stretched out muscles. There's nothing they can do for pain and I couldn't find a urogynocologist that would take my insurance. I've had trouble with being extremely out of breath from very early on in the pregnancy if I do anything.  I told my doc and I guess that's  sign of stress on my heart so I'm supposed to see a cardiologist soon. I also have what I think must be pregnancy carpel tunnel.  my hands and wrists go numb if they're not laying flat by my side while sleeping or if I raise them at all during the day, talking on the phone, holding Rowan or whatever. It seems to be worse in my right hand. I told the doc but she just said "that happens to me too." Well… for me it's only been an issue during pregnancy and I don't think you can blame it on a pinched nerve if your hands are numb just resting on your chest while sleeping rather than down at your side…. They're making me test my blood sugar too 5 times a day! Its outrageous and my fingers are aching. I'm pre- diabetic, have been since I was an eighth grader and take metformin. They're treating me as though I were diabetic though. Kind of irritated by that. But I understand how important it is for things to stay level and not to be constantly flooding the developing baby with too much sugar.  You should have seen/heard her reaction when she asked if I tested my blood sugar and did I have a monitor. I said I did have one but was not currently testing.  She clearly thought I was an idiot. But you see… the army just handing it to me. Right before we moved. They have me no direction or instruction on what should be done. I did look up the ranges for normal, pre-diabetic, and diabetic blood sugar levels and tested for a week or so. Just for myself to see what caused spikes and things. She was pretty skeptical of the testing I had done too when I said i'd looked up the number ranges because I couldn't quote the numbers to her.  Funny thing, at the end she just handed me a chart and gave me no instruction on what numbers to look for either.

While we were at our appointment I expressed concerns to the doctor about my nutrition.  I have a hard time eating most of the time because I feel so yucky. And getting in protein is especially hard. The easiest things to get and keep down are quick carbs, which is not at all good for keeping blood sugar stable. Or getting all of the actual nutrients and vitamins and minerals you need. The doctor basically said that because my baby measured fine it was up to me if I wanted to try something else (like a high nutrition protein meal replacement shake that was approved for pregnancy).  This surprised me, but I think from her perspective she just looked at me and thought 'Well, it doesn't look like you're starving." and Said "You're weights been stable and the baby is normal so …" thanks doc. I hope I don't get her again and especially hope she doesn't deliver. I think they have you see whoever is open at this place. She was pretty condescending.

Sigh, lots of pricked fingers and doctors appointments in my future. We are definitely taking a break after I have this baby.