Archive for the 'health' Category


Stomach Bug Survival Kit

Whether you need to run to the store for your family or you want to bless someone else’s family whose  has been hit by the stomach bug, here is a list of survival items we’ve found essential to weathering the storm.

  • Saltines: Mild carb, easy to digest.
  • Sprite: Sugar helps balance electrolytes and fights dehydration.
  • Chicken noodle soup: Salt also helps balance electrolytes. I’ve found chicken and rice soups to be more unpleasant to throw up. The rice gets stuck in the throat. The noodles slide back up easily.
  • Jello: Sugar and Salt for electrolytes and smoothly travels up and down.
  • Pedialyte: For electrolytes and fights dehydration, use sparingly since it is pretty strong and overuse can actually induce diarrhea.
  • Wet wipes: Because you can’t give them a bath every time they vomit on themselves.
  • Lysol III: It’s the only cleaner (aside from bleach) that I’m aware of that kills stomach bug viruses.
  • Rubbing alcohol: For cleaning cloth furniture that has been vomited on. It disinfects and evaporates quickly.
  • Paper towels: For vomit clean up.

Luxury Items:

  • Spearmint essential oil diluted in water (brown bottle): I spray this inside their cleaned vomit bowls to keep the vomit smell at bay (which can make them feel more nauseous).
  • Nice smelling all-purpose cleaner: To use as needed.
  • Laundry detergent: Because we do a lot of extra laundry during these times!
  • Diapers (if sickies are at that age): We go through double (triple?) the amount of diapers we go through normally.
  • Entertainment: Thankfully we have Netflix, but  if that isn’t available, bring some movies or stories on tape to help keep the kids entertained while they are laying down.
  • Food for mom: Often mom will end up neglecting to eat because she is so busy with the kids. Bring her something easy to eat (a sandwich, a ready made salad, protein smoothie?) and maybe some coffee to keep her going strong.
  • Garbage bags: For mess control!
  • Straws: Because it is better sip then gulp when you are throwing up a lot.



First Aid in the Kitchen

Note to self: To do not turn on Kitchenaid after combing the  hot boiled potatoes over still nearly frozen stick of butter. It will send molten lava potato shooting all over your kitchen, not to mention, you.

I still have a burn scar from a similar incident about 6 years ago.  When it happened last night, I remembered what someone told me about wrapping the burn in aluminum foil.  I slathered some of that great aloe vera/lidocaine gel all over my left arm before tightly wrapping it up in foil.  Speed is key in this method working properly. It took about an hour of keeping my forearm wrapped, but I knew my makeshift bandage was done working when I could squeeze my arm again without pain. Today there are only a couple minor burn splotches, so  I’d say the foil was a success.



It’s been awhile. Mira is teething and Ophelia has been going through this weird clingy stage.  Finally, at long last, both my daughters are asleep and my husband is at some theological debate (held at a local pub which explains the draw.)  I decided to address the million dollar question:
To Organic-size or Not to Organic-size.
(I’m a geek, what can I say?)

I’ve sat on both sides of the fence and the opinion I am about to express is very simply that. I am hesitant to address this particular subject because it tends to be rather inflammatory and since it is a non-salvation issue, I see no reason to blow it out of proportion. We are talking about food (a passion of mine) and how we choose to buy it. I realize I have mentioned my love of organic produce before and thought I should explain my inclination. Personally, I like the idea of growing my own food for the exceedingly superior taste, the discipline involved and the altogether Glory-to-God-ness of it.   However, I live in a lovely apartment on the second floor in Condoville with no sustained direct sunlight and the next best thing to growing my own  is to buy it from the guy down the street. I’m all for supporting the locals. Firstly, because I can appreciate the work they do and secondly, I believe that “Love thy neighbor” encompasses where we put our money. My husband could give you some good resources on that rabbit trail, but you’ll have to talk to him about that as I am trying to keep this from being too long.  In addition, my children have inherited their father’s rather sensitive stomach. While I can easily munch down a large fries, Ben gets very sick at the slightest whiff of McWendy’s Queen Fil-a.  In the spirit of loving my family, I have begun to do the best I can to protect them from the foods we cannot identify at first glance.  When it comes to lotions, cosmetics, and toiletries, I still feel the draw to natural products. They smell better (to me), and don’t irritate my sensitive skin. There is, of course, the question of finance whenever this topic is brought up. I agree, that in our current economy, to buy all natural and organic would easily cost 3 times more then shopping  should. As a teacher’s wife, I’m not burdened with too much extra cash lying around either. In our home, I try to buy natural/organic for only the things that really matter. Fruits and vegetables go without saying (once you’ve had a sunripened tomato from your neighbor, you’ll know what i mean). I try to keep whatever I put on our skin pretty simple (that is no more then 10 or so ingredients and ones I can pronounce and recognize). Mira and I have very easily irritated skin. Ben and Ophelia are mildly intolerant to the homogenization process so I try to buy non-homogenized or soy milk when the budget allows. However, other items, like flour, rice, sugars, coffeebeans etc, I buy wherever it is the cheapest. There are always affordable ways to make your everyday habits a bit healthier on a budget, too. Like eating oatmeal for breakfast and using brown, raw sugar, honey or molasses as sweetener. Throwing together your own salad dressing instead of buying premade is an easy and economical way to improve your dinner. In making over our diets, I have found great liberty from needing to diet. Natural foods (when done right) taste better, have less bad fats, and are more filling. I also feel not a small amount of excitement when I buy that really good cheese we all love and bring it home to have with some really good french bread. I enjoy surprising my family with delectable delights like cocoa covered almonds and wasabi peas (sounds gross but OH SO GOOD!). I’m really not saying you should go one way or the other, I’m just trying to explain why I get so excited about shopping from the farmer’s market or why I get such a thrill from making bread that actually turns out well. We have found some good books and cookbooks on the subject if anyone is interested, let me know. I’m interested in how everyone else manages their food budget and how they make it work. It is, I believe, one of the major challenges of a housewife.


Be a good person

HELP MY SISTER FIGHT LEUKEMIA & LYMPHOMA!!! She is a nurse at Seattle Children’s Hospital who is training to participate in a triathlon fund raiser to help stop leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin lymphoma and myeloma. Be a good person and donate!



I know this is kind of off topic, but it seems to be the buzz on the street. I don’t want this to be a discussion about birth control and the Bible. That’s not what this is about (and I don’t have the wisdom to address it properly, anyways!). I am concerned because they are really pushing Mirena right now. You gotta love how pharmaceuticals is more about business then ethics!  I’ve heard tons of other women asking questions about this particular IUD. I even had 2 OBGYNs recommend I use it. So, I decided to do some research on it. I emailed the doctor I went to while I lived in Moscow. He’s a Christian and always demonstrated godliness, wisdom, thoughtfulness and kindess at his practice. I trust him implicitly! He referred me to this website:

Virginia Hopkins Buyer Be Aware Report on Mirena

Then, a simple google search pulled up these sites from people who have used Mirena:

Mirena IUD Forum

Naturopathic Medicine Network Forum on Mirena

CafeMom Mirena Support Group

Aphrodite’s Discussion Group for Mirena Mirena Side Effect Forum

And then after reading the pamphlet promoting Mirena and seeing the side effects as documented on pages 5 – 8 on this FDA site:

FDA on Mirenda

I decided, most emphatically, that Mirena was not for me. Just thought I’d pass along the information in the event you are being pressured to use it, too.  Just doesn’t seem worth it to me.


ginger and lemon tisane

Here’s a great drink to make (and drink) when you have a sore throat. You could just use “Lemon Zinger” or “Lemon and Ginger” tea bags, but they don’t come anywhere near to the clear, hot, refreshingness of this tisane. And if you’re in a pinch (or drinking 5 gallons a day and can’t afford it), you can probably leave out the lemongrass.

Ginger and Lemon Tisane
serves 4

2 inches fresh ginger, peeled
2 stalks lemongrass
4 teaspoons honey
1 lemon, sliced

Thinly slice the ginger and cut each lemongrass stalk in half crosswise, then lengthwise. Put the ginger and lemongrass into cups, then add the honey and a slice of lemon. Top up with boiling water and serve.


cleaning products

Lately I’ve been re-examining my house cleaning methods, or more particularly my house cleaning products. I’ve known for a while that I’ve probably been going a little overboard with my ‘bleach everything’ policy, and so I’ve slowly been warming up the ‘vinegar and baking soda method’ of cleaning. After doing some reading this morning, I’ve decided to launch into it and do away with my many bottles of specialized cleaning products and try to simplify it down to a few products that are easier to store and safer to use. One thing I’m wondering about though is a good all purpose cleaner. I’ve looked at that new line of Clorox Green Works products, and I’m considering their all purpose cleaner. I’m wondering, has anyone used that? Do you have any other suggestions for ‘safer’ cleaning products?