Thursday, September 1, 2016

Why I started using Essential Oils

Hi there. Been a while. Just gonna ignore that, and jump right in.

So I am super late to the essential oil game. I think DoTerra became popular like a century ago. When that happened I thought, "hey you crazy crack pots, go to the doctor. Oil does not cure the common cold." I want to say first and foremost: I was right. I think if anyone in my family is sick, I am very much in favor of going to the doctor. However, since having children, I have discovered that doctors get pretty PO'ed when you bring your child, who has a virus into their office. I have been kindly told essentially, 'go home, there is nothing we can do for you and you are wasting my precious time.'

However, I still have a baby waking himself up with a cough on occasion. We all know that baby sleep is precious both in the way that it is very cute and very necessary because it means that I can sleep. Consequently, when my second came around, I started to throw my hat into the essential oil ring. I know that there are varying degrees of oil. They range kind of like cars. There are crappy beater cars that are an embarrassment to drive in high school all the way up to Porsche quality. I tend toward New York Biology brand, which is kind of like a Ford quality brand. The functionality is great, and I really enjoy using these ones as they have a dropper and are very open about what they put in their products.

I have found that essential oils just plain help with things. My mom loves to use different oils for joint pain and what not. I actually went through an issue where my baby went on a nursing strike and I ended up with a plugged duct. This was painful AND super uncomfortable. I also was away from home at my parents, and didn't have a pump. Consequently, all I was allowed to do was use a warm compress. My mom had me take a warm bath with Lavender essential oil in it and rub some on myself as well. Now, I can't necessarily say it was the oil alone that helped. Perhaps it was the warm bath or the warm compresses I was using, but relief was nearly immediate, and my son started nursing soon after.

I started looking for oils, and have since found my favorite to be Peppermint, and yes, it is partially for the smell. But I also think it helps me with headaches, energy and most importantly, helps my kids with colds. I guess when there is a minor problem that doesn't warrant a doctor, it is nice to have something I can do to feel like I am helping. I think it may even actually work.

Disclaimer: I received Peppermint Essential Oil from New York Biology for my honest and unbiased opinion concerning their product. I feel like I was both these things.

Books I am Reading: Serafina and the Twisted Staff by Robert Beatty (hard cover) and Yes, Please by Amy Poehler (audiobook)

Monday, June 22, 2015

The Necessity of Jameson Jackson

Dear Deprived Readers --

I would like to say that I don't write often because I am pregnant, ergo so tired I literally fall asleep while accomplishing tasks that require me to stand. But really, I am just a little lazy.

 That said, I have to take a moment and make a list of why Fathers, and specifically, Jameson Jackson is so necessary in my home. Jameson is part of the youth program in our church which is associated with Scouting. He recently went to a high adventure camp for about a week.  I want to point out that my house was infinitely more clean because of this (proving that having a husband is like having a teenage boy), however --

It. Was. Horrible.

Here is why:

1. It turns out that Jameson is an instigator of fun in our household. I've always thought I was a fun and adventurous kind of gal. Turns out I just married a fun and adventurous man. Consequently, Packer was bored out of his mind after Jameson was supposed to be home. Bored 3 year olds at 6 pm is not fun.

See? Fun
2. We got sick.  This was the same day Jameson got to go play on some Razors in the desert. I wanted to punch him in the face.

3. It also turns out that Jameson pushes and encourages Packer to do really anything. I never thought I coddled our son in any way, in fact feeling that I needed to be a bit more of a 'Panda Mom'. I was wrong.

4. I am pregnant, so everything is infinitely more difficult.

See the crazed look in my eyes? Yeah, that is terrible. And this was taken a few months ago.
5. As much as I love a bed to myself, I couldn't sleep. This was not due to a missing husband alone, but it did contribute to the problem (the first night I convinced myself demons, murderous theives, or possibly satan himself were going to descend on our household -- evidently Jameson is the only thing standing between these horrors and our little family on a nightly basis).

The truth is that as much as I missed him personally, I missed his help even more. There was a void in our family. He came home late on Saturday. Sunday, we got up and got ready to go to church. During the service, Packer was acting up a bit, so I handed him over to Jameson. His son curled up and fell peacefully and sweetly asleep in his father's arms. Jameson then also fell asleep. It was a poignant moment for me. It also freed me up to listen to the service.

Best video for Fathers Day: Heavenly Father, Earthly Father

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Antelope Island

Hello there world! It has been a blessedly relaxed time for us (this is probably because I have resigned myself to many tasks I do not want to do, but need to be done regardless. i.e. washing dishes and cleaning toilets). Our early spring has been typical of Utah -- mix of beautiful days and snow flurries. We did have a dip in the weather so it was a tad colder. Not that I am complaining as it lent a certain unpredictability to crossing that was entertaining. I took to wearing a coat to every shift. I was both freezing and hot.

We made brownies on Tuesday, and consequently had a premature tubby time. Our conversation went something like this:
Packer: Is that mud?
Me: Nope, it's brownie batter. (Repeat this portion of conversation 3 times)
Me: Do you want to try some?
Packer pinches the smallest amount of batter, tastes it, then says, wide-eyed with a reverence he has yet to show in church: It's Delicious!
He then proceeded to cover his face and clothing in the stuff, while I taught him how to lick batter from a spoon. He sat on the counter while I leaned next to the counter and it was so much fun to just eat something yummy and a bit contraband with my son while we both giggled. An every-day beautiful moment.

We went to a park after running to Target to get some odds and ends. After Jameson and I argued over motivational methods and when to give up shoving Packer down the 'big slide' -- we had fun.

Finally, we went to Antelope Island with the Christensens and Powells. We went because it was half price day for state parks, and they had this fun owl watching event. As usual, things didn't go according to plan. The presentation on the burrowing owls unique to Antelope Island was standing room only. That wasn't going to work for any of the little bodies. So we browsed the visitor's center, and then went on a quick hike to the Lady Fingers. We saw an owl, bison and bunnies!! It was So. Much. Fun.

The point is that we have had a pretty great weekend. It was a bit bumpy and cold, but it was our first adventure in far too long, and I realized that I need more of them!

Good Book to Read: The Amish Cook by Elizabeth Coblenz. This is actually fun to read and gives a great insight into Amish life. It also makes me thankful I don't rise at 4 in the morning to do chores and make massive amounts of food.


Sunday, February 22, 2015

Oh I'm Just a Little Black Rain Cloud. . .

Our week has been . . . trying in the way of everyday sort of difficult. My back continues to hurt, and Packer continues to puke at indiscernible moments in time. Health oddities aside, it has been remarkable uneventful.

Monday was President's Day, and I spent most of it lying on my back. However, my Dad sent me a Valentine with $20 attached. You best believe I made it to get a Pedicure. Fun fact: I am super cheap, so I go to Tops Nail Salon and School. It is the salon for the Asian underworld in Taylorsville, Utah. They mostly don't speak English, so I try to keep things simple. Otherwise I end up with flowers when I ask for a spider web.

We have spent more time playing inside this week than I had hoped as it was evidently the 'last' of the nice days. I don't really believe that, but we did make it to the park one day.

Dinosaurs have become a mainstay in our house. They mostly kiss and hug and roar at each other. We gave up hitting each other with them after the first few rounds of bruised fingers. There is a lot of 'waking up' the dinosaurs after they lose a roaring battle and fall down. I have thoroughly enjoyed playing make believe again. I can tell I am using parts of my brain left dormant for far too long.

Good Series to Read: Stray by Rachel Vincent -- A little racey, but very compelling story of a young were-cat in the big wide world. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Doom and Gloom

I think we had so much fun last week, that the karmic forces of the universe simply had to reverse our good fortune. It has been . . . a week. I will try to list the fun and not-so-fun things that happened to us this week.

1. Our dog, Shay, ate her blanket. Really dog?!? Really?!? Shay ate her blanket on Sunday night, and proceeded to puke copious amounts for the next 2 days. It was nasty. Plus I went online to look up 'why my dog ate her blanket' on google. It led me to multiple horror stories of dogs needing expensive surgery. This drove me into a downward spiral of worry and stress. Jameson said she would just have to die because he wouldn't pay for it. Fortunately, it didn't come to that. It seems she either puked or pooped it all out.

2. Packer tired to pole vault and it didn't go well. He was running along the sidewalk with a large stick and it hit a line in the sidewalk. This launched him into the air, and then he landed on his face. It was traumatic for everyone involved, but no emergency medical trips were needed. Just lots of cuddles.

3. I ran out of my hypo-allergenic lotion, so I tried to use some left over lotion from a previous buy in the bathroom on my legs. Broke out in hives. 

3. After we recovered from all the fun, we went to Wheeler Farm with some friends from church, Dana Hicks and Becca Leavitt and their daughters Reagan and Maddie, respectively. It was a lot of fun, but may have ended up in a battle between myself and Packer in a crowded playground. I am pretty sure some parents were tempted to call the authorities because a crazy lady was dragging a screaming child and reluctant dog to her car.

4. We went to the aquarium again, and it was blessedly uneventful. However, Packer did come out of the play area and told me 'we don't hit babies' per our last visit there. It's good to know we learn from past mistakes.

5. Finally, I got to visit with my Mom, who was here for Rootstech convention with her friend from the library. I got to go with her on Saturday to see some fantastic speakers and to see Elder Anderson (apostle for the LDS church) give his new temple challenge. While I loved Elder Anderson's talk, I really benefited from Al Fox's talk. She just said some things I really needed to hear.(Fun tidbit, my brother was in the branch presidency when she was baptized!)

6. I got a migraine at church and had to come home on Sunday, hence writing on Monday. Also injured my back.

Isn't life grand?

Good Book to read: Any of the Molly Harper series. These are super fun paranormal/humor/romance books. They do get pretty saucy, but are lots of fun and have helped me see the humor in my week. . . I would start with Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Sunshine and Happiness

Let's be honest, it has been unseasonably warm in Utah. Like most of my friends, I have discussed how I am vaguely worried about summer and how I want to be able to take a shower (drought conditions can make this iffy) when summer comes. But. The truth is . . . I am in love with an early, mild wonderful spring. I wake up to sunshine and hopefulness, instead of the dreary dream-killer that usually reigns over February in these parts.

That has been the theme of this past week . . . sunshine and happiness. We got to do so many fun things. Packer got to chase some geese at Wheeler Farm. Yes, I realize the parental irresponsibility in this, but most of the geese here do not find my son to be enough of a threat or an annoyance to chase him back. Also, I was close enough to punt them across the field if things got out of hand.

 Jameson also scored some free tickets at work to the Jazz game on Wednesday. It pays to work at Zions Bank sometimes. We had great seats, and were able to take our son to a fun game. I am fairly sure that Packer has been more places and done more things at 2 years old than I had at 20. That might not be a good thing. He was pretty terrified when the Jazz Bear came out on a motorcycle and revved the engine while flames shot from the hoops. He kept an eye on where the bear was for the remainder of our time there, which was until half time.

I think I am most proud of Packer finally climbing up a ladder at the park. He is a cautious little fellow, so it was quite the accomplishment.

 We visited the aquarium, and the penguins were unusually friendly and excited to come up to the glass, thrilling myself and Packer. And about 50 other kids. 

Jameson has also decided to compete in a Go Ruck challenge, and has been training rather fiercely. Packer and I met Jameson and his brother, Wesley, at the park the other day during a training session, and Packer got to participate. It was just about the cutest thing ever.

In other news, I am 7 books into my 52 book challenge for the year. Follow me on Goodreads to know exactly what I am reading at any given moment. But right now I recommend Strong Mothers, Strong Sons by Meg Meeker, M.D. I would like to point out that this book took me almost a month to read. Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs by Molly Harper took me 2 days. Good things sometimes require an investment.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

We got a dog . . .

. . . and it was more of an adjustment than I anticipated. I mistakenly believed that because I had brought  child home and survived, everything else would be a cake walk.

I was wrong.
Sleeping at my feet -- all the time. She loves me, and it is very gratifying to have someone love me simply for providing food and water.

Shea is a beautiful, obedient, sweet, loyal, intensely shy year and half old chocolate lab. And we love her. That being said, I was simply not prepared for the following:

1. Getting up as early as 4:30 am to let her out to go poo.

2. Convincing Packer not to play in her water or eat her food.

3. Also, 'Don't ride Shea' has become a common phrase in our house.

4. Hives on my face. (This may have been a stress reaction, as it has since gone away)

5. Jameson's insistence that any minor ailment, from aches to sneezes to mild headaches, is due to his allergies to Shea. These complaints come often and are more detailed than I have patience for. The kicker is that he actually probably deserves my sympathy.

Any and all suggestions to solve these or other problems are seriously appreciated.

Good Book to read: Inside the Kingdom: My Life in Saudi Arabia by Carmen Bin Ladin. Yep, Bin Ladin. This was both terrifying and informative.

Our week in pictures:

Packer loves Shea, especially walking her. Fortunately, she is very obedient and doesn't go running off at all, so her can 'walk' her.

Climbed his first tree all by himself!!

Fashioned his own walking stick to navigate the treacherous leaf piles.