Thursday, August 27, 2009

Keeping our family healthy

No one wants to get sick.

No one wants a cold, the flu, a sore throat, etc, etc. And now everyone is freaked out that they (or someone they love) might get the H1N1. I am allergic to feathers and Alex is allergic to chicken (at least one of his earlier tests indicated so), so neither one of us can get any sort of flu vax. I'm not entirely thrilled at the thought of certain vaccinations, anyway, so I'm going to try to do whatever I can to keep us healthy this flu and cold season.

As you may recall, I've been using essential oils for various reasons. The aromatherapist at a local health food store said to use Aura Cacia's Medieval Mix. (Aura Cacia is one of the brands carried at the store) The Medieval Mix (the equivalent to Young Living's Thieves oil) has been blended with sweet orange, lavender, lemon, tea tree, eucalyptus, red thyme, white thyme and rosemary. I asked the aromatherapist today what it was that kept sickness at bay. She said the oils that were used were anti-bacterial or anti-viral. The way to use the oil, she advised, was to apply a drop "neatly" (straight, not diluting it) to each foot and rub it in (be sure to hit between your toes, too), either before school (or work) or before bed, or to be on the safe side, you could do both (every 12 hours). If done at night, you could blend some of the oil with some lotion and rub it on your neck and behind your ears.
NOTE: If using this on smaller children or the elderly (anyone with thin skin), blend the essential oil with olive oil, lotion, or some other carrier, as the oil is too strong to be applied neatly.

Another tip I was given today was to put a small pan of water on the stove and add some clove powder and cinnamon powder and let it permeate the house. Not only will it make your house smell delicious but it will help ward off illnesses, too. She said clove and cinnamon were two of the spices used waaay back when to help with plagues!

Just to add, I've been using lavender as part of my deodorant routine for a couple months now, and I haven't gotten my normal "summer cold." Lavender essential oil is supposed to be great for environmental allergies as well as being antibacterial. And I don't know if the lavender is the reason, but Alex hasn't been sick, either, and for the longest time he was getting sick once a month. (I'm breastfeeding, and my theory is the armpit is awfully close to the breast, so he probably inhales quite a bit of lavender. Or, and this might be far fetched, but maybe some is even finding its way into my breastmilk?)

Now I'm not saying these are fool-proof plans but I figure there's no harm in trying them!

What natural remedies do you use to keep the sickies away from your house?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Our new toilet song

Alex is showing some readiness to use the toilet. He lifts his shirt, tucks it under his chin, and starts tugging at his diaper and says "pee pee! pee pee!" Then it is my job to remove the diaper so he can go climb up onto the big toilet, then get back down, climb up again, get back down, throw a couple of pieces of t.p. in, climb up, get down, flush, and tell the t.p. bye bye. Sometimes he sits on his little toilet, also. Other times, he likes to get one of the step stools and stand in front of the big toilet and pretend to go. So far, he hasn't released into either of the toilets, but I'll be waiting with a big, encouraging "Wahoo! Way to go, Alex!!"
In the meantime, I'm trying to come up with ways of getting him to release while on the john. (If anyone has any ideas, please leave them in the comment section!) Today, I started singing Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star to him (which is normally his bedtime song). I then replaced "twinkle" with "tinkle" and threw in a bunch of random words. I finally ended up with this version, which I think is a keeper!

Tinkle, tinkle, little boy,
Going pee is such a joy!
When you have the urge to go
Just let Mom or Daddy know.
Tinkle, tinkle, little boy,
Going pee is such a joy!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Brothers reunited

Alex woke from his nap just in time to go pick Brother up from school. I changed his diaper and told him to get his shoes, and he gladly obliged. He also brought me my shoes, which were the wrong pair, so he went back and brought me Biju's flip flops. Once we hit the road I positioned the cd to just the right song for when Ajay got in. Mrs. M brought Ajay out and told us he did fine the rest of the day. We headed back to the van but Ajay stopped part way there to give my legs a good hug. I got down on his level and gave him a squeeze back. Then the brotherly love started. Ajay kept giving Alex hugs and kisses. It was a very sweet reunion.

Biju called just as we got back to the van, so I let Ajay answer the phone. He answered with a "Hi, Daddios!! I had fun at school today! I cried three times." Luckily I think he had enough fun today that he is willing to go back tomorrow. There were only a few other children there today, and the whole class will meet tomorrow. Thus far, they have done staggered attendance to let the kids get used to their new routine. Ajay informed me that tomorrow a hundred kids will be going to his class. (I think there will only be about 20 in his AM class)

Our refrigerator is now the proud bearer of two pieces of artwork (I had just cleared it of all previous artwork last week). I can't wait to fill it up with more art and watch his skills progress!

Since everyone was in a better emotional state, I was able to snap some more photos.

A good cry on the first day of school

Well I didn't think it could happen to me. I wasn't emotional at any point leading up to today, but as we got out of the van in front of Ajay's school I started to feel the burn behind my eyes. I kept myself in check and told Ajay that he was going to have so much fun today. Ajay has been very vocal about not wanting to go to school but I was somehow able to get him excited about it by telling him what they would be serving for breakfast. Breakfast didn't hold water when it came time to take his backpack off and hang it up on the hook with his picture. Both of his preschool teachers were very helpful and understanding. Mrs. J. eventually got the bag off, hung it up and swooped Ajay up into her arms. He then melted into tears, which prompted me to lose any composure I had. I turned away so he wouldn't see me and the teacher was left to comfort both Ajay and his mommy. She took him into the classroom while Mrs. M. brought some tissues to me and assured me he would be fine. I know he'll be fine, he's such a people person, but a mommy's heart hurts knowing that he has to go through that painful period before he warms up to those around him. He told me this morning that he didn't want to be alone. Last year he went to school with either Mommy or Daddy, and he wants it to be the same this year. I saw a father dropping his child off for class. He was outfitted with his digital camera, just as I was, and he had the telltale red eyes of a parent having a bit of a tough time letting go. I saw other parents passing me in the hallway giving me that "It'll be okay" look. Alex was riding in the sling and I had to laugh as I thought to myself how different the two boys have been. Ajay has always had a hard time with seperation - at the Y for kid care; when I worked at the library (even tho he was staying at home with Biju); when I left him with my sister as I ran an errand. He was always fine after awhile, and once he got used to the new routine, there were no more tears. Alex hasn't had such a separation issue so I'm hoping that in 2.5 years, when it comes time to drop him off at preschool, there won't be such an emotional departure.
Breakfast should be over soon, then they'll go to the restroom and Mrs. M will call me to give me an update.
Right after I put Alex down for his nap, Mrs. J called to tell me Ajay was fine. He ate a tiny bit at breakfast, then had a freak-out moment in the restroom (darn those automatic flushers!) but that he was back in the classroom with all of the other children sitting on the rug, ready for the next part of the day.
I think I'll go do some tasks around the house to keep my mind occupied. After all, I leave to pick Ajay up from school in less than 2 hours!
(BTW I only got one photo of Ajay in front of his school, and the booger is SMILING like he was happy to be there! I wasn't able to get any more shots once we got inside and the whole emotional turmoil began. I won't be posting that one pic on here simply because it has the name of the school in the background, and ya gotta be safe on the 'net!)
PS - I forgot to mention earlier that Alex was asking "A-day? A-day?" on the way back to the van. I told him Ajay was in school.. "coo?" Yes, he's in school, we'll pick him up in a few hours.. "our?" Then we got back here and he kept calling "Buh-buh?" Poor kid. I'm sure it'll take a few days for him to adjust, too.
We'll make it.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Look what I found!!!!

So maybe you didn't catch it from the exclamation points in my title, but I am SO excited! I just found a website to Galli Galli Sim Sim - it is India's version of Sesame Street. There are even some of the same characters (Elmo, Grover, etc). I can't WAIT to show this to Ajay tomorrow!! I'm hoping there will be some Hindi spoken along with English so he can start learning Hindi while watching cartoons. I just watched a clip and it was spoken in English. I'm on my way back for more. YAY!!!
Here is the link for you to click on so you can see the website. C'mon - you know you want to!!

Go ahead and vote:
A) I clicked on the link
B) I intend to click on the link
C) I haven't clicked and probably won't (spoil sport!!)

And don't forget to leave your comments!!

PS - If you're intersted and want to see more, go to YouTube and search "Galli Galli Sim Sim." I saw a clip with Cookie Monster and Zoe talking about biscuits (cookies). It is in Hindi, so I have no idea what was said. I'd love to find the same clip in English so we can watch them back to back and learn some Hindi. So much fun to occupy my Saturday evening!

Monday, August 17, 2009


I'm so glad the boys enjoy playing outside. I do wish there were less mosquitoes, tho. I'm trying to find a nice natural remedy. I've tried one of my essential oils (Aura Cacia's Medieval Mix) plain, some of my oils blended with lotion to go on more evenly, cloves soaked in water then added to the Medieval Mix and a touch of milk (to emulsify) which seemed to work for about 15 minutes at a time. Last year I tried pure vanilla extract, which smelled nice, but was a bit sticky, and didn't seem to work all that well. Yesterday I was on the phone with someone who said I should spray on some Listerine, which reminded me that I had already used that remedy a year or two ago, and as I recall, that didn't work all that great, either. Maybe I should try again today. Anyone know of some really good natural mosquito repellents?
The issue seems to be mainly in our yard. The weather was nice and cool last evening, so Biju and I took the boys out for a "sidewalk" (as Ajay puts it). Ajay rode his bike, Alex rode in his stroller. I don't think any of us got one single bite during our walk! I've heard catnip is a good herb to have planted to keep the skeeters away. I'll have to keep my eye's peeled and try to find some. I think I'll plant them around our whole perimeter.....

Here are some shots of the boys last week playing outside. If you look closely, I wouldn't be surprised if you found a mosquito flying somewhere near their exposed skin!!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A play date for Ajay!

Ajay became good friends with a boy named Alex while attending his one night a week school. It got rather confusing around our house. We would have to clarify "our Alex or your buddy Alex?" when Ajay started talking about "Alex." It has been a busy summer but we were finally able to get the boys together for a play date. (Alex and his family were planning on coming over for Ajay's 4th birthday, but Alex's little brother decided to be born on that day, go figure!)
Alex and his mom, Crystal, and little 2.5mo. old Rylan came over on Thursday morning. The two bigger boys looked very happy to be meeting up again, and Alex was able to give Ajay his birthday gift. Crystal told me it was hard on Alex knowing there were such cool toys sitting in the gift bag that weren't his! Our Alex kept giving Rylan kisses, took his nap, then woke up and gave Rylan more kisses. The big boys destroyed Ajay's room within minutes (that's what is supposed to happen at play dates, right?), then after a bit headed outside. I popped up some popcorn for everyone to snack on, and the boys thought the birds needed feeding, so even the animals got a little snack.
The boys look like they could be brothers, if you ask me! In fact, all 4 boys look like they could be related. It was nice to catch up with them again, and we're aiming to have a play date at their house next week. It's just a shame the boys won't be going to the same preschool together - I'm sure they would be quite a team!!
Here is how we found them after the mom's had a brief catch-up. Ajay was "sleeping" on the floor and Alex was trying to open up the window.

Don't they just look ornery??

Alex giving Rylan kisses before they had to leave.

And one last buddy-squeeze before departure.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Corn on the cob

That hailstorm way back when pretty much did our corn in. The stalks were still standing, and the cobs were still attatched, but after letting them "grow" a little bit longer, I noticed they were not getting any bigger. I eventually plucked them off, shucked the husks and stuck'em in the fridge. I had never dealt with corn on the cob, so didn't know that the kernals would get tougher the longer they sat. I finally got around to boiling them. Whoowhee were they tough! Alex didn't really mind, tho. He's a big fan of corn on the cob!! Ajay had a few bites then said "no thank you" to the rest. (I don't blame him, I did the same!)

Of course after looking at this picture, I wonder if maybe he enjoyed the (tough) corn so much because he's teething.....

Friday, August 14, 2009

Sleep and my Sandmen

There's something just so sweet and innocent about sleeping children. I haven't gotten a sleeping picture of Alex in a long while, so during an extra long nap I snapped one. Ajay has a habbit of falling asleep in interesting spots, so I got one of him during his nap, too.

As for the sandmen, I think I'm regretting getting a new bag of sand for the sand/water table. What a MESS! I know, I know... children=mess. But c'mon! Alex and Ajay have made sand their new accessory, to be worn anytime they're outside. On their clothes, in their clothes, in their hair, in any cracks and crevices of their tiny bodies. Alex enjoys eating it, too, so I find it in his diaper not only after coming in from outside, but hours later after it's gone through his system. That is a diaper rash that must truly be irritating!

I'll throw in a couple of extra pics for good measure :) I've counted 6 growing eggplants now. I'm excited! I got my latest edition of Martha Stewards Everyday Food Magazine and lo and behold there are recipes for all the in-season eggplants.
August 10th vs. August 14th:

Friday, August 7, 2009

Summertime fun

Since it has been awhile since I've posted about the boys and their antics, I figured you were hungry for an update.

I poured some grape juice into some freezer-pop molds, and the boys enjoyed slurping on their healthy snack while outside.

While visiting my family for the weekend, Ajay recruited Brandon, Jenna and Aunt Brandi for a water balloon fight. Alex was napping, so Ajay was sure to save a couple "baby" water balloons for his baby brother to play with when he woke. Nana Cindy and Alex watched from the window for awhile before Alex went out to join in the fun.

Yesterday the boys were playing in Ajay's room when I heard Alex start crying. This is nothing new, really. However, this time, when I looked I saw a nasty cut across the bridge of Alex's nose. Ajay, apparently, had somehow cut Alex with a fireman's helmet. I dabbed a blend of olive oil and tea tree oil and attempted to put a band-aid on him. The band-aid didn't quite work, but he thought it was pretty funny!

This is what it looks like today (Alex has been a grump lately, so pardon his cranky expression).

The garden is making a comeback!

I'm thrilled - I was out checking on the garden the other day, and I had gotten so used to just seeing leaves on the plants, that when I saw an eggplant growing, I stood there shocked! I looked at it from all different directions before I decided that yes, indeed, that was a real eggplant growing. I looked at a the other eggplant plants and saw a couple of blossoms growing thick. If luck holds out, we'll have at least 4 eggplants!! I'm crossing fingers for more, too. Today I was out admiring our eggplant, and watering everything else, when I noticed *gasp* I have THREE little green peppers growing!! Only one plant is producing, but hopefully the others will follow suit. I'd love to have a red and yellow pepper from the garden. The tomato plants look quite bushy, and have a lot of little yellow blooms, but no little 'maters as of today. Go, tomatoes, go! My zucchini plant is about done for. I got one nice zuke out of it after the storm, but the bugs did it in. Now all 4 plants are gone. So sad. My aunt told me today, tho, that I could still plant another zuke plant if I wanted and there would be time for it to produce. Cukes, too, and a few other veggies. Now that I have more space in my garden, I'm thinking about it.
For your viewing pleasure, I went out and got a few snaps of our growing produce.
Green Beans; Green Peppers

Tomato Plants (with wilting Basil planted between them); Tomato Blossoms
Growing eggplants!!!
Only one of these came from our garden - the dark green zuke. The others came from the garden of a co-worker of Biju's. The wild garlic came from my sister-in-law's Dad's yard. (Theres a LOT more not pictured)
Some "naked ladies" that grew next to the garden

I love my job!

I just wanted to let you all know how much I love my job!! I'm not talking about caring for my boys, it's just a given that I would love that "job." I'm talking about my new Norwex gig. I did a party on Saturday, one on Sunday, two home demonstrations on Monday, and a party on Wednesday night and I could just keep going. I really enjoy telling people about the Norwex products and get a kick out of seeing people's faces light up when they see all they can do with just water and our cloths. I'm so happy!