Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Thought for Today

Things will get better

That little black cloud made it's appearance once again in our lives this morning. I attempt to find solutions and keep a smile on my face. I must remind myself....things will get better.

Hold No Regrets

Looking back when I was first diagnosed with MS I am very fortunate for the things I am still able to do. MS is a very unpredictable disease that has robbed me of so many things I once enjoyed doing. On the same token, there is a lot I can do that my doctor was unsure of.

Now 8 years into it I have but one regret; all the things I wish I would have done had I known. I might have been more adventurous, less demanding on myself, maybe I would have learned to water ski or try something I'd never done before. In the end it doesn't matter any more.

My biggest regrets now are only of those of my children and all the things I wish we could have done when they were young. The things I wish I could change. To have more patience, to be a better parent, to have had the ability to be home when they were little. It's always easier in hindsight what could've, would've, should've been.

Instead of focussing on the past what we need to do Is plan for the future, dream and live each day to the fullest and the best of what we have. I guess as we get older we learn from life's lessons.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Todays Family Humor

My son calls me today. A little short of breath, calm but I knew something was definitely wrong by the tone in his voice.

He tells me or at-least what "I" heard was that he believes there is a fire at his apartment. It's hot and the lights are all out. He's trying to find his shoes in the dark and the smoke is getting worse. He questions if he should bang and doors and help evacuate. I can hear him fumbling around and I can tell the smoke is getting to him. I tell him just get out and I'm on my way.

I proceed to attempt to call my husband at work as I'm racing out the door in such a hurry I lock myself out of the house and am now banging on the door trying to get my daughters attention. With keys now in hand I'm blazing down the road while once again calling husband. This time I call his work rather than cell. After leaving a message i continue on both hands on the wheel, tunnel visioned and imagining what I'm going to arrive to.

As I reach my destination just a couple minutes away I'm surprised to not see flames. I do see fire trucks and squad cars. There are people standing outside as firemen are all around. I hear more trucks coming as I cautiously look for my son. Not finding him anywhere and now in a panic I attempt to call his cell only to get voice mail. I immediately call back and am relieved but very confused when he answers from his apartment.

I try to put the pieces together as he tells me the firemen wanted him to stay. Confused, I ask why? He tells me it's his apartment! I question why someone else was evacuating him then? He says I heard him wrong. He was wondering if he should evacuate people. As he continues on I learn a spatula has fallen out in the bottom of the dishwasher which tripped the circuit turning off all power. The apartment is full of smoke and the officer had called for back up. Even the apartment manager and police didn't recognize it was in the dishwasher.

Now almost in tears I can't control my laughter as I hear a "thanks mom, you would laugh" on the other end of the line. By now the firemen next to him also chuckles.

My son says this is the most embarrassing day of his life. I add, well it could have been worse. You could have evacuated the building. We all got a good laugh at his expense.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Whats your opinion?

A Grand Adventure

Im Always looking for cheap adventurous family activities. So when the casino sent me 3 free rooms for the weekend our family couldn't resist. My oldest son along with his wife and 2 children, my 2nd youngest daughter, her boyfriend and her daughter, along with myself, husband and our youngest daughter packed up and headed north for what was sure to be a winter wonderland. Despite a few Inconveniences we experienced the first night at the motel; we did indeed have a cheap and fun weekend.

Sometimes all a person needs is some imagination and willingness to get outdoors and experience all mother nature has to offer.

We enjoyed 3 rooms conveniently located all together and overlooking beautiful mille lacs lake. We spent some time by the beautiful and magnificent fireplace which was not only beautiful but quite relaxing. We played in the snow, went swimming, ice fishing, and some time at the casino. The kids absolutely loved the kids area and I even won a little money. On the down fall my husband broke his radial head which basically is his elbo.

We had planned on ice skating but ran out of time. Overall it was a great weekend and everyone had a good time. Thank you to the casino and my family. Another wonderful memory.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Enjoy yourself

Eddys Resort Review

We check in at 4:30pm Friday. There is one person on duty to run the front desk. This immediately poses a problem as there are several other guests waiting to also check in. I notice the staff person becomes overwhelmed as numerous phone calls are coming in and she starts making one mistake after another. Sometimes the phone is answered while she stops helping the guest to answer a call while other times calls are unanswered. Several people are interrupting her check ins by wrong rooms, bedding, questions and the need for her to call for shuttles.

As I finally get to the desk we too have an issue. While two rooms were reserved all weekend the third room has been double booked and I'm informed they have no where to put us on the second night.

I ask if there are 2 cribs available or if my son should bring ours with from home. I'm assured they have plenty and she will bring two in a few minutes.

I park the car which is close to the door and start hauling everything to my room. Upon entering our double queen luxury room it becomes apparent this room is not clean. While one bed remains unmade the other has what appears to be human poop on top of the cover. Not believing my eyes I walk over pull the cover down and see hair all over the bed. I immediately call the front desk. The girl reasures me she will be but a moment and call me right back.

As I sit on the chair waiting to unpack I grow impatient as three hours have passed. I use the bathroom when I see the towels are also dirty and there's garbage in the can. I again call the front desk and she apologizes as she is still alone and swamped. She's not done anything to resolve our issues yet.

After another half hour, crying babies and still haven't eaten I now go to the front desk. Several people are still checking in. She's also having to stop for calls as well as sale pizzas to guests. There is not one room available and eventually she decides to leave the front unattended and come clean the room herself.

Feeling empathetic for her I quickly help her make beds as she does what she can as fast as she can. She finally brings one playpen and can only locate one feather topper. The second bed still has just a sheet. She leaves stating shell be right back with the second comforter and playpen.

Another hour has passed before I finally go back yet again in hopes we can get some children to bed. We do get another feather topper but no playpen.

She attempts to make things right by requesting we be comped a room the second night on the room they screwed up on. I'm given a confirmation code and am confident we can now rest at ease.

Finally in bed I hear what sounds like a party next door. About ready to beet my daughter, whom I assume is making all the noise, i walk out in the hall and discover it's coming from the 50+ individuals between us and our sons room. I roll my eyes take a big breath and retire to bed.

Saturday morning is a new day. So I hoped. Shortly after waking a fire ball shoots across our room from an electrical outlet. Now ive just had enough. My son grabs the chord from the wall and I take it down to the front desk. While there I also question my comped room for tonight. I'm origionally told I will have to pay full price and it doesn't seem the manager is too concerned with the clock. Eventually I'm told we will pay half price which I'm basically forced to pay or go home. Supposedly maintenance will be coming however, after two hours there no where in sight. Housekeeping did make an appearance but they have no idea what's going on or where anything is. They don't usually work here but have fired 3 people for a lengthly history of not cleaning rooms!! Really!

The view is beautiful and the room is nice as well. The service is some of the worst I've ever seen. I'm hoping for a better stay the rest of our time here.

We plan to go ice fishing, ice skating, sledding and play some slots. That is after my husband gets back from the hospital down the road. You see he fell on the ice and we believe may have broke his arm by the elbo. Yep, you got it!!!!

It's now been several hours and yet another electrical outlet on the same circuit smells like it's burning and still no assistance.

Time to check out the casino and get away from this cursed room.

Picture one is of unmade bed when we arrived. I won't gross anyone out with the human poop on bed but trust me the front desk verified it.

Picture two room today.

Picture three were questioning. Is this what they do with cursed rooms? Lol

Picture four, it's confirmed my husband has a radial head fracture. It's broke!

Friday, January 27, 2012

What do you love to do

Everyone has something that they look forward to or love doing. Please share with our readers something that you love....

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Go ahead SMILE!

Did you know that I am a firm believer that life is what you make of it?

I am often asked how I can smile even through tough times. Well, I believe that if you put a smile on your face and try to be as upbeat as possible you can actually change your mood which in- turn can change how you look at things and how people perceive you. Thereby making life a little bit more enjoyable.

Go ahead SMILE!

Another crazy Thursday to the cancer center

Today is thursday and that means its time for the cancer center. Since chemo was last week all we have today is moms Procrit. She's trying to convince the nurses to take it for her today but so far no dibs.

As I sit in the waiting room I watch as most are quiet. The mood is serene yet anxious. Some have been through quite a battle while I can see others look new and scared of what lies ahead.

Mom is always upbeat and cheerful! Then again she's good at hiding emotions and always being strong. What appears to be may not always be what she's feeling deep inside.

Today she is excited as she announces she only has a 30 day wait for Vegas and NASCAR! The nurses greet her as if they've known her for a life time. Always happy to see her and some of the best care I've ever witnessed. She loves to pull pranks on all of them and dress in many disguises.

Today she has me drawing a face on her head. She claims she doesn't know if she's coming or going. All I can do is laugh and hide.... !!!

My life is sure gonna be ho hum one day.....


Thank you to all of my followers and a big welcome to Heather for being my 100th follower!!!! You can check out her blog at

I love comments and Feedback and look forward to your input this year.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Being true to yourself and knowing those limits

Only after extensive thought and investigation have my spouse and I made an informed decision to not move forward with accepting the children which were offered to us through relative care. I realize some people may judge us negatively for our decision, but we must also be true to ourselves and our family. Which means far more than doing something to please or impress others.

Although I personally am deeply saddened to turn away a child, we also must take into account our own limitations. In this case, the amount of ongoing and lengthy transportation we feel was just too much for us to manage. At 40 hours a week in drive time alone we feel we would be compromising not only our own family but the children in question. Along with the already negative and crippling feedback we have encountered by some, has played in our decision to leave the past in the past.

We wish them well and are confident the system will work. We will however, be a support system through the county as needed.

What would your message be?

Do you have a message or something you'd like us to share?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Relative Care is this my cross

The social worker called again today working on all the issues regarding the relative care placement being offered to us. As it gets more and more complicated all the what Ifs seem to go on forever. It becomes apparent that we have all the education and training needed to make a difference in the lives of these children. The complications are once again from outside family. My heart is in all the right places however the driving commitment and time required along with the already rocky past of some family members is something we need to discuss. As we decide whether or not to proceed forward I question do these same people who have ridiculed and shunned us realize we are the ones they seek help from? This will or would require assistance and commitment from not only myself and husband but friends and family as well.
In further evaluating my own thoughts it comes to me....
Is this how Jesus felt?

The lost tooth

Part of the excitement of childhood is loosing a tooth and waiting for the tooth fairy. Upon picking my 6 year old up from school today she jumps in and yells get this on video I'm gonna loose a tooth!!! Mind you this wasn't loose last night until she bumped into her cousins head and decided to start wiggling in hopes of treat money.

Ironically we pulled this in the nearby parking lot of a dentist office.

She's already treating it as a golden tooth worth a small fortune I'm sure.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Road to 100 Followers

How exciting.... Its been a year ago that I was introduced to the world of blogging. Now I'm on the road to 100 followers. Please share our journeys with your friends and ask them to follow or like my facebook page.

If there is anything you would like more information on or something you are interested in please don't hesitate to ask.

Thank you so much to all my followers its been a great year and Ive enjoyed all the wonderful people Ive met along the way. Here's to another wonderful year of adventures.

Homemade Eucalyptus chest rub

10 drops essential oil of Camphor
2 drops essential oil of Wintergreen
1 drop essential oil of thyme
1 ounce Olive Oil
1/2 teaspoon Beeswax
Preparation: Add the beeswax to the olive oil and heat until the beeswax is melted. Use very low heat or a double boiler to prevent burning the oil.

When the wax is melted, remove the oil from the heat then add the essential oils and stir to blend. When the mixture is cool it is ready to use. You can make this using only the eucalyptus oil if preferred.

To use rub a small amount on the chest as needed to relieve congestion.

Powdered milk bath recipe

1 cup Dry milk
5- 8 drops of Scented oil - perfume oil or essential oil

Mix 1 cup of dry milk with 5-8 drops of oil. Mix well. Add more oil for a stronger scent. Place in a container for gift giving.

Baby teething biscuit recipe

2 tbsp Shortening
1/2 C. sugar
1 egg
1tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp water
1 1/2 C. baby cereal

Heat oven to 300 degrees. Cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs, baking soda, salt, vanilla, and water. Mix until well blended. Gradually stir in cereal. Knead until smooth. Pat into rectangle. Cut into 12 1" bars, smooth edges so they will not be sharp. Place on ungreased sheet. Bake 20-30 min or until dry. Store in uncovered container overnight.

Home made playdough

1/2 cup Salt
1/2 cup Hot water
1/4 cup Cold water
1/2 cup Cornstarch

Mix salt and hot water and heat to boiling point. Stir cold water into cornstarch in a small bowl. Add cornstarch mixture to boiling water. Stir continuously to break up lumps. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is like stiff pie dough. Remove from heat, and turn out onto plate to cool. When it is cool enough to handle knead until smooth and pliable.

Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

When stored in an airtight container, the "dough" will keep a long time without refrigeration.

Love is....

Just had to share.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Truth Is

It amazes me how many times I'm asked how I do it. Better yet, how to this day, some act like I stole my grand daughter or was forced into raising her. Neither of course are true. In fact, we did not steal our grand daughter nor were we ever forced to raise her. The truth is I miss the older children in the house. I miss the chaos and all the friends over. All the many sports and school activities that kept us busy for so many years. I love the fact that we can do it all over. I wish with all my heart I had the patience I have now back when the other 4 were younger. We are more established, wiser and things are easier. Often times I actually regret all the things we can offer now that we couldn't then. A person always says if they could do it all over again... well I can tell you we are doing things differently and we would still change things. I guess a person will never feel like they did things exactly right. Proof no one is perfect.

Another thing I'm asked is how I find time to take care of my Mom and how I possibly can do both. This honestly makes me chuckle. Really? Don't people work and raise a child any more these days.

My days are long and drawn out. Its not unusual for me to get less than required sleep. In fact, even with my MS I have learned to function on little sleep. Yes, I say function because I realize that some days my fatigue is worse than others but I get by. My day starts at 6:30am when I drag my butt out of bed to my trusty iPhone inches from my head. Rarely is it far from me as my greatest fear is there being an emergency and I'm not reachable. None the less, I get my 6 year old up and ready and safely to school by 7:30am followed by dropping of my 19 year old off to college and 2 year old grand baby to daycare all by 8:00am. I then rush like a crazed woman to Moms where I spend the majority of the day. I am fortunate. I have gotten to spend nearly the last 2 years of my life with her every day. I am everything from her caregiver to house cleaner. Some days we do nothing but hang out or run errands. Many days are spent at the doctor. She has a great attitude about her cancer and is always up beet about it. Often I feel as though I'm still learning something from her. I love the fact, and I have been very fortunate to be able to both take care of her and my 6 year old. When I leave the day from Moms my day is far from over. After picking up my 6 year old I head over to the collage where I pick up another daughter, finish up some of my own errands or more doctors appointments for the kids. Eventually we all make it home. While getting dinner going I'm maximizing time by getting some cleaning done before my husband comes home with our 2 year old grand daughter. My husband often helps finish up dinner as I start homework with the kids and field a few phone calls. Evenings are my favorite time of the day with much needed family time, baths, relaxation and eventually bed.

My husband as well as both sons are all mechanics. When their not at work it seems their either working on something or fielding calls from others asking for their help. Weekends are completely different. They are about family and spending time together. Not much inter fears with us spending time together. Were not rich by any means but we do become inventive. There is a lot a person can do with little or no money if you really look. Besides camping all summer we all enjoy fishing, hunting along with day trip and weekend getaways. Both my husband and I DJ nearly every weekend from Memorial through Labor Day. I also enjoy volunteering and am a Girl Scout Leader. My point in all of this is that my blog is at times, random. I'm sure many people question how one post or another has anything at all to do with adoption. In reality its not just about adoption but on life itself. I believe true happiness comes from within yourself and life is what you make of it. You can either wait around and complain or you can live each day to the fullest. We have hard times and often I feel as though it seems that black cloud will never go away. I'm sure to a person who doesn't know us they feel like we are just being dramatic. The truth is because of all the things we do for others and all we do we have high expectations of ourselves. There's going to be drama from time to time. Some days I could pull my hair out and sometimes family argues. In the end we have each others back. That's what family does. Sometimes you inadvertently hurt the ones you love. As for my life, I wouldn't have it any other way. I like being busy. I like feeling needed. And.... on those occasions when I need a break don't worry I'll let you know.

In general I blog for myself. To share my life, experiences, hopes, dreams, and humor. It does not mean everything I post is about me or even about Kinship adoption, just experiences in my life and the people in it. The truth is I wish I had more time to blog. Even if no one ever read it I find it very rewarding and relaxing. Ive met some very wonderful people along the way.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Foster care Precautionary cleaning when meth use is suspected

Meth Labs Have Implications for Foster Parents
When a child has been recently exposed to a methamphetamine lab (within the past 72 hours) the risk to foster parents and other placement providers is minimal; the child has been fully assessed by qualified professionals and, if necessary, decontaminated. However, to protect yourself and others in your home and for the welfare of the child, be prepared to take the following actions:
Decontamination Precautions. Place any clothes worn by the child into a plastic bag until they can be washed. The clothes should be washed separately on the hottest setting.
Rewash a second time and air dry outside the home, not in the dryer. Run the washer once empty to clean it thoroughly. Shoes should be washed with the clothes if possible or wiped off with soap and hot water.
The child should bathe in very warm, but not hot water. Use lots of soap. Wash the child completely including hair, face, between toes, and other hard to reach places. Drain the tub and give the child a second bath to remove any residual chemicals. Drain and clean the tub thoroughly afterwards.
Unfortunately, because of concerns about possible chemical contamination, children exposed to meth labs must leave behind all their personal belongings when they enter foster care. Foster parents should anticipate this and continue working collaboratively with agency social workers to ensure children have what they need in terms of clothes, stuffed animals, toys, shoes, etc.
Seek Information. Be sure that the placing social worker provides you with:
  • As much information as possible about the extent of the child’s exposure to chemicals and/or toxins
  • A description of medical treatment the child has received
  • Information about any follow-up medical appointments the child may require
Family-Centered Strategies. Child welfare agencies are using strategies such as shared parenting and child and family team meetings with meth-involved families only when they can ensure the safety of children, foster parents, and everyone else involved. Even when face-to-face meetings with parents are not possible, it will still be helpful to the parents and child to have ongoing communication through an exchange of letters, photos, etc.
Monitor Child Well-Being. Because some effects of chemical exposure can develop slowly, foster parents should seek immediate medical attention if they notice the child experiencing:
  • Headache
  • Drowsiness
  • Unusual movements such as tremors, shaking, jumpiness, agitation, or seizures
  • Trouble breathing, coughing, or poor color
  • Fever
  • Hallucinations or mental confusion
  • Any other unusual symptom that seems severe
Anticipate Emotional Trauma/Stress. It is likely that the circumstances of the discovery of the illegal methamphetamine laboratory and removal have been traumatic for the child. Often labs are seized in SWAT-style police raids and analyzed by people in Hazmat “moon suits.” One or more parents may have been arrested. In addition, the child may have been subjected to neglect or physical or sexual abuse. Foster parents should ensure the child has a warm, stable environment and be prepared for emotional reactions from the child that may follow placement.
taken from Fostering Perspectives Vol. 9, No. 2• May 2005

Sensory Processing Disorder

What is Sensory Processing Disorder?
Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD, formerly called Sensory Integration Dysfunction) is a condition resulting when sensory signals are received but not interpreted normally by the nervous system. As Circle of Moms member Athena Y. shares: "My 5-year-old daughter's problem focuses mainly with touch...Her brain misinterprets certain feelings and temperature as pain or she just does not feel the pain. When she was two [her] clothing hurt her, she could not be touched; even brushing up on her just walking by would frustrate her to the point of tears. She could not stand the feeling or temperature of the water at bath time."
Children with SPD may be hypersensitive (over-responsive to sensory stimulation) or hyposensitive (under-responsive to sensory experiences), or both. As Circle of Moms member Amy L. explains: "Itvaries a lot from one child to the next; most have mixed reactions, oversensitive to some things and undersensitive to others." 
Different studies have suggested that anywhere from 1 in 20 to 1 in 6 children experience sensory symptoms that could affect their everyday lives. 
Occupational therapy is the main form of treatment for children with Sensory Processing Disorder. Often, the disorder is not treated until a child has reached at least age 4 and a half (and some contend diagnosis and treatment should be held off until age 6 or 7)

Signs of Sensory Processing Disorder

The signs of Sensory Processing Disorder vary widely between different children. Still, there are common red flags to look for. TheSensory Processing Disorder Foundation lists the following signs of SPD by age
In Infants and Toddlers
  • Has problems eating.
  • Refuses to go to anyone but the primary caretaker.
  • Has trouble falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Is extremely irritable when being dressed; seems to be uncomfortable in clothes.
  • Rarely plays with toys, especially those requiring dexterity.
  • Has difficulty shifting focus from one object/activity to another. 
  • Does not notice pain or is slow to respond when hurt. 
  • Resists cuddling, arches back away from the person holding him.
  • Cannot calm self by sucking on a pacifier, looking at toys, or listening to parent's voice.
  • Has a "floppy" body, bumps into things and has poor balance.
  • Does little or no babbling, vocalizing.
  • Is easily startled.
  • Is extremely active and is constantly moving body/limbs or runs endlessly.
  • Seems to be delayed in crawling, standing, walking or running.
In Preschool-aged Children
  • Difficulty being toilet trained.
  • Is overly sensitive to stimulation, overreacts to or does not like touch, noise, smells, etc.
  • Is unaware of being touched/bumped unless done with extreme force/intensity.
  • Has difficulty learning and/or avoids performing fine motor tasks such as using crayons and fasteners on clothing.
  • Seems unsure how to move his/her body in space, is clumsy and awkward.
  • Has difficulty learning new motor tasks.
  • Is in constant motion.
  • Gets in everyone else's space and/or touches everything around him.
  • Has difficulty making friends (overly aggressive or passive/ withdrawn).
  • Is intense, demanding or hard to calm and has difficulty with transitions.
  • Has sudden mood changes and temper tantrums that are unexpected.
  • Seems weak, slumps when sitting/standing; prefers sedentary activities.
  • It is hard to understand my child's speech.
  • Does not seem to understand verbal instructions.
School-Aged Children
  • Overly sensitive to stimulation, overreacts to or does not like touch, noise, smells, etc.
  • Is easily distracted in the classroom, often out of his/her seat, fidgety.
  • Is easily overwhelmed at the playground, during recess and in class.
  • Is slow to perform tasks.
  • Has difficulty performing or avoids fine motor tasks such as handwriting. 
  • Appears clumsy and stumbles often, slouches in chair. 
  • Craves rough housing, tackling/wrestling games. 
  • Is slow to learn new activities.
  • Is in constant motion.
  • Has difficulty learning new motor tasks and prefers sedentary activities. 
  • Has difficulty making friends (overly aggressive or passive/ withdrawn).
  • "Gets stuck" on tasks and has difficulty changing to another task.
  • Confuses similar sounding words, misinterprets questions or requests.
  • Has difficulty reading, especially aloud.
  • Stumbles over words; speech lacks fluency, and rhythm is hesitant.
For more information, visit the Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation.
The information in this article is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Relative care

Most of my followers know my passion for helping people especially when it comes to a child in need. This in part, is what allows me to care so much about the lives of all the little people who I've come to know through the years, who for one reason or another were placed in our home. For me, it has always been simple. To make a difference in the life of a child. To make the difference in the life of a family. So that with guidance and tools, one day with alot of hard work a family can be reunited.

Many times these children come to us within an hour of us receiving a call. Sometimes this can be the middle of the night. Rarely do we know the child. The child often is afraid. Can you imagine what some of them have witnessed in the moments before being taken away by a police officer or child protection officer? For that matter, can you imagine what some children have witnessed or been subjected to for months, years, or even their entire lives?

But what happens when this child or children are relatives? Someone you love with all your heart or someone you barely know but simply share DNA. Over the years, we have received several calls from child protection questioning relationship with one child or another. Ironically, every single time we've been contacted, it's either been a distant relative or one that barely knew we were alive until they lost their child. While we would take any child relative or not, distant family can sometimes be the most difficult. This is true once again. It's often not the parent, or the child but that of the extended family. Although it may be hard for them to understand we have done this many times and respect the fact that it can take a village to raise a child. None the less, we sit back and question will two more children soon be joining us for awhile? Knowing you are the right choice to help and having outside family members disagree can put us in a awkward position. To help or not to help? The last thing children need in this situation is family conflict. Time will tell.....

Greener with Homemade liquid laundry soap

1/3 bar Fels Naptha Soap
1/2 cup Borax
1/2 cup Washing Soda

Grate the soap and put into a sauce pan. Add 6 cups water to the sauce pan and heat until the soap melts. Add the washing soda and the Borax and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat. Pour 4 cups HOT water into a big bucket (bigger than 2 gallons). Add your soap mixture and stir. Let the soap sit for 24 hours and it will gel. After 24 hours mix well with your hands and let it sit another 24 hours. Put the laundry soap into a container to use.

Use 1/2 cup per load, or 1/4 for HE washers.
Shake well before using.

Ive noticed this works well with sensitive skin and makes a great product for laundering cloth diapers as well.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Concerns with Tea Tree Oil decide

As I've started researching different things to go more natural I found this article on pooters and thought it was definitely worth sharing.

The following is taken from "pooters" sight.

Should I use tea tree oil on my baby?

What Does Tea Tree Oil Come From?
Tea tree oil is an essential oil obtained by steam distillation of the leaves of Melaleuca alternifolia, a plant native to Australia. Historically, the leaves were used as a substitute for tea, which is how tea tree oil got its name. The part used medicinally is the oil from the leaves.

Why Do People Use Tea Tree Oil?
Tea tree oil contains ingredients that have been found to have antiseptic and antifungal activity. The compound terpinen-4-ol is the most abundant and is thought to be responsible for most of tea tree oil's antimicrobial activity.

People use tea tree oil for the following conditions: acne, athlete’s foot, dandruff, vaginitis, thrush, periodontal disease, yeast infections, eczema, lice, psoriasis, and boils. Tea tree oil is most commonly found as a pure essential oil. It is also an ingredient in creams, ointments, lotions, soaps, and shampoos and can be used as a safe disinfectant for cloth diapers.

Safety Concerns
A study by researchers at the National Institutes of Health in conjunction with a pediatric endocrinologist at the University of Colorado found that tea tree oil used topically caused unexplained breast enlargement in boys.

Additional studies show that women who are pregnant or nursing or suffering from hormone-sensitive cancers should avoid tea tree oil.

Undiluted tea tree oil can cause skin irritation, redness, blistering, and itching; and occasionally, may cause allergic reactions ranging from mild contact dermatitis to severe blisters and rashes.

Tea tree oil should not be taken internally, even in small quantities, as it can cause impaired immune function, diarrhea, and potentially fatal central nervous system depression (excessive drowsiness, sleepiness, confusion, coma).

Please note that the tea tree oil in commercial toothpastes and mouthwashes is generally considered to be acceptable because it is not swallowed.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A greener home

A couple weeks ago while having dinner at my oldest sons my daughter-in-law introduced me to her home made laundry soap. I have to admit I was surprised to see how great the clothes smelled and looked.

Having asthma and allergies in the house I've since found myself looking up other products and recipes and questioning our own products used in the home.

Instead of using harsh chemicals I've started trying a few things myself. I've found it's easier to breath and just as effective to wipe up spills and dust with a damp cloth rather than dusting spray.

I've read hydrogen peroxide kills mold and mildew. It sanitizes and removes stains.

I started to look up a few homemade recipes and even brought out from the dust a very old home remedy book past down from my great grandmother. Who knew I already held some of life's greatest treasures and never bothered to look them up or read.

Here are a few household cleaning recipes I wanted to share and pass along for others to try.

All purpose disinfecting cleaner
2 cups distilled water
1-1/2 to 3 tsp liquid Castile soap
1 tsp tea tree oil
Mix ingredients and add a couple drops Of your favorite essential oil to give it a pleasant scent.

Oven and stovetop cleaner
1/4 cup baking soda
Enough water to form a paste
Put on cool oven or stovetop.
Hint: let it sit over night for stubborn stains.

Toilet bowl cleaner
1 cup borax
Pour into toilet bowl at night. Scrub in the morning and flush.

Countertop and glass cleaner
1/4 cup white distilled vinegar
1 quart warm water
Mix and pour into a spray bottle. While with crumpled newspaper and forgo the paper towel.

Grandma and my daughter-in-law would be impressed at my accomplishments!!!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Freezing your butt off

If you didn't see this on the Tonight show, I hope you're sitting down when you read it. This is probably the funniest date story ever, first date or not!!! We have all had bad dates but this takes the cake.

Jay Leno went into the audience to find the most embarrassing first date that a woman ever had. The winner described her worst first date experience.

There was absolutely no question as to why her tale took the prize!

She said it was midwinter...Snowing and quite cold... and the guy had taken her skiing in the mountains outside Salt Lake City, Utah .

It was a day trip (no overnight). They were strangers, after all, and had never met before. The outing was fun but relatively uneventful until they were headed home late that afternoon.

They were driving back down the mountain, when she gradually began to realize that she should not have had that extra latte. ! ! They were about an hour away from anywhere with a rest room and in the middle of nowhere! Her companion suggested she try to hold it, which she did for a while. Unfortunately, because of the heavy snow and slow going, there came a point where she told him that he had better stop and let her go beside the road, or it would be the front seat of his car.

They stopped and she quickly crawled out beside the car, yanked her pants down and started. In the deep snow she didn't have good footing, so she let her butt rest against the rear fender to steady herself. Her companion stood on the side of the car watching for traffic and indeed was a real gentleman and refrained from peeking. All she could think about was the relief she felt despite the rather embarrassing nature of the situation.

Upon finishing however, she soon became aware of another sensation. As she bent to pull up her pants, the young lady discovered her buttocks were firmly glued against the car's fender. Thoughts of tongues frozen to poles immediately came to mind as she attempted to disengage her flesh from the icy metal.. It was quickly apparent that she had a brand new problem, due to the extreme cold.
Horrified by her plight and yet aware of the humor of the moment, she answered her date's concerns about' what is taking so long' with a reply that indeed, she was 'freezing her butt off' and in need of some assistance! He came around the car as she tried to cover herself with her sweater and then, as she looked imploringly into his eyes, he burst out laughing. She too, got the giggles and when they finally managed to compose themselves, they assessed her dilemma. Obviously, as hysterical as the situation was, they also were faced with a real problem.

Both agreed it would take something hot to free her chilly cheeks from the grip of the icy metal! Thinking about what had gotten her into the predicament in the first place, both quickly realized that there was only one way to get her free. So, as she looked the other way, her first time date proceeded to unzip his pants and pee her butt off the fender.
As the audience screamed in laughter, she took the Tonight Show prize hands down. Or perhaps that should be 'pants down'. And you thought your first date was embarrassing. Jay Leno's comment.... 'This gives a whole new meaning to being pissed off.'

Oh and how did the first date turn out? He became her husband and was sitting next to her on the Leno show.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Idaho teen looses cancer fight after delivering son

POCATELLO, Idaho – Jenni Lake gave birth to a baby boy the month before her 18th birthday, though she was not destined to become just another teenage mother.

Lake, who decided against treatment for tumors on her brain and spine so she could carry the baby, died of cancer on Nov. 21, 2011, 12 days after giving birth to Chad.

While being admitted to the hospital, she pulled her nurse down to her at bed level and whispered into her ear. The nurse would later repeat the girl's words to comfort her family, as their worst fears were realized a day after Jenni's baby was born.
"She told the nurse, 'I'm done, I did what I was supposed to. My baby is going to get here safe,'" said Diana Phillips, Jenni's mother.
In photographs, the baby's ruddy cheeks and healthy weight offer a stark contrast to the frail girl who gave birth to him. She holds the newborn tightly, kissing the top of his head. Jenni, at 5 feet and 4 inches tall, weighed only 108 pounds at the full term of her pregnancy.
A day after the Nov. 9 birth, Phillips learned that her daughter's decision to forgo treatment for tumors on her brain and spine so she could carry the baby would have fatal repercussions. The cancer had marked too much territory. Nothing could be done, Phillips said.
It was only 12 days past the birth — half spent in the hospital and the other half at home — before Jenni was gone.
Even so, her family and friends insist her legacy is not one centered in tragedy, but rather in sacrifice.
This month, her family gathered at their ranch style home in Pocatello, where a Christmas tree in the living room was adorned with ornaments picked out just for Jenni, including one in bright lime green, her favorite color. She had passed away in a bedroom down the hall.
Recalling Jenni's infectious laugh and a rebellious streak, her mother held the baby close, nuzzling his head, and said, "I want him to know everything about her, and what she did."
The migraines started last year, when Jenni was a 16-year-old sophomore at Pocatello High School. She was taken to the family doctor, and an MRI scan found a small mass measuring about two centimeters wide on the right side of her brain.
She was sent to a hospital in Salt Lake City, some 150 miles south of Pocatello, and another scan there showed the mass was bigger than previously thought.
Jenni had a biopsy Oct. 15, 2010, and five days later was diagnosed with stage three astrocytoma, a type of brain tumor. With three tumors on her brain and three on her spine, Jenni was told her case was rare because the cancer had spread from her brain to another part of her body with no symptoms.
Her parents, who are divorced, remember they were brought into a room at the hospital and sat down at a long table as doctors discussed her chances of survival.
"Jenni just flat out asked them if she was going to die," said her father, Mike Lake, 43, a truck driver who lives in Rexburg, north of Pocatello.
The answer wasn't good. With treatment, the teen was told she had a 30 percent chance to make it two years, Lake said. While he was heartbroken, Lake marveled at how strong she seemed in that moment. "She didn't break down and cry or anything," he said.
But her mom recalled Jenni did have a weak moment that day.
"When they told her that she might not be able to have kids, she got upset," said Phillips, 39.
Jenni started aggressive chemotherapy and radiation treatments, while also posting videos on a YouTube site titled "Jenni's Journey," where she hoped to share her story with updates every other day. She managed to upload only three videos, though, as her treatments left her tired and weak.
On her second video, posted Nov. 20, 2010, Jenni appears distraught while a family friend records her having lunch with her mom.
"Last night, like, I was just lying in bed and I was thinking about everything that was going on and it just like, it just hit me, like everything, and I don't know, it made me cry," Jenni says on the video.
Her mom is shown burying her face in her hands. "Do you know how hard it is to be a mom and know that she's sick and there's nothing you can do," she says, before collapsing into tears.
Jenni persists: "It's hard. It's like, I don't know how long this is going to last and I just want it to go away … I feel like this is holding me back from so much …"
By March of this year, the tumors had started to shrink, the family said.
In a picture taken at her prom in early May, Jenni is wearing a dark blue strapless dress and gives the camera a small smile. There's a silver headband in her hair, which is less than an inch long. Chemotherapy took her shoulder-length blond tresses.
Her boyfriend, Nathan Wittman, wearing a black dress shirt and pants, is cradling her from behind.
Jenni started dating Nathan a couple of weeks before she received her diagnosis. Their adolescent relationship withstood the very adult test posed by cancer, the treatments that left her barely able to walk from her living room to her bedroom, and the gossip at school.
"The rumors started flying around, like Nathan was only with her because she had cancer," said Jenni's older sister, Ashlee Lake, 20, who tried to squelch the mean-spirited chatter even as the young couple ignored it.
They were hopeful, and dreamed of someday opening a restaurant or a gallery.
Jenni had been working as an apprentice in a local tattoo shop. "She was like our little sister," said the owner, Kass Chacon. But in May, Jenni's visits to the shop grew less frequent.
She had been throwing up a lot and had sharp stomach pains. She went to the emergency room early one morning with her boyfriend and when she returned home, her family members woke up to the sound of crying. "We could hear Jenni just bawling in her room," said her sister, Kaisee, 19.
She had learned that she was pregnant, and an ultrasound would show the fetus was 10 weeks old.
Jenni's journey was no longer her own.
From the start of treatment, she was told that she might never have children, her mother said, that the radiation and chemotherapy could essentially make her sterile.
"We were told that she couldn't get pregnant, so we didn't worry about it," said Nathan, 19.
Jenni, the third of her parents' eight children, had always wanted to be a mom. She had already determined to keep the baby when she went to see her oncologist, Dr. David Ririe, in Pocatello two days after she found out she was pregnant.
"He told us that if she's pregnant, she can't continue the treatments," Phillips said. "So she would either have to terminate the pregnancy and continue the treatments, or stop the treatments, knowing that it could continue to grow again."
Dr. Ririe would not discuss Jenni's care, citing privacy laws, but said, generally, in cases in which a cancer patient is pregnant, oncologists will consider both the risks and benefits of continuing with treatment, such as chemotherapy.
"There are times during pregnancy in some situations, breast cancer being the classic example, where the benefits of chemotherapy may outweigh the risk to mother and baby," Ririe said. "There are other times where the risk outweighs the benefits."
There was no discussion about which path Jenni would choose. Her parents didn't think of it as a clear life or death decision, and Jenni may not have, either. They believed that since the tumors had already started to shrink earlier, she had a strong chance of carrying the baby and then returning to treatment after he was born.
"I guess we were just hoping that after she had the baby, she could go back on the chemotherapy and get better," her mother said.
Jenni and Nathan named the baby Chad Michael, after their dads. Nathan has legal custody of the child, who is primarily cared for by Nathan's mother, Alexia Wittman, 51.
"Nathan will raise him," she said. She brings the baby to Jenni's house to visit her family whenever they ask.
Jenni didn't show regret for her decision, not in the final weeks of her pregnancy as she grew weaker, and not when she started to lose her vision as the cancer took its course, her family said.
Jenni's last words were about her son as he was placed beside her a final time, her father said. As she felt for the baby, she said: "I can kind of see him."
Jenni's Journey:
Jenni's YouTube videos:
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