Do you want snot-nosed kids all winter? Me neither, some natural ways to combat colds, the flu and fucking germs

Friday, November 21, 2014

I'm no homeopathic gung ho hippie mama.  I do believe in the power of natural healing.  I think modern medicine is great too, for certain ailments, just as homeopathy is great for certain ailments.  I try to take a logical, integrated approach when healing my family.

I'm motivated on the natural side because I truly fucking HATE side effects.  I've had them all: heart palpitations from Sudafed (even some sinus medicines too) I felt like I was having a fuuuucccckkkkinnggg heart attack. Not cool.  I've had steroids for Shingles - which make you feel bat-shit crazy.  I experienced, "Roid Rage" if you will.  Along with a whole host of other side effects from antibiotics/antivirals: diarrhea, constipation, nausea, dehydration, weird lookin' poop, weird smelling poop, etc.  I could go on forever, but I feel like I've grossed you out enough.

The other motivation  is ever since I started more natural approaches to my diet and embracing supplements, my body seems happier for it.  AGAIN, I AM NOT SOME NATURAL FREAK.  I drink organic red wine, while chain-smoking menthol cigarettes (ahem, social smoker).  Hardly a picture of perfect health.  But in the area where I have changed my life the most - MY DIET - I've seen incredible results.  I quit coffee, and somehow have more energy.  I switched to a mostly plant-based diet (fruit, veggies, beans), and let's just say, things are a moooovviinn', that never moved that way before.  Let me break it down for you.  I used to dread going to the bathroom, now I love it.  And lastly, I lost 12 pounds (and counting), just by changing my diet.  My exercise stayed the same (which is at most on a good week, 3 times).

So enough about me and my praises for natural diets and healing (seriously if you want tips, email me, I'd be happy to share my non-starving diet to you), here's what you're really waiting for - a list to help you in your pseudo-homeopathic desires.  A list to possibly save you from an extra boogery winter.

( I have no affiliations with the below companies, nor do I get paid by any of them. This list is based off of my own experiences, and research.  This is NOT medical advice.  I have to say this or some idiot will try to sue me.  Call your damn doctor.)

1. My favorite cough syrup of all time: HONEY.  Ask any doctor and they'll tell you that honey is the best cough syrup you could give your kid.  REAL ORGANIC HONEY, no fake shit from Wal-Mart folks.  If you for some reason can't get your hands on some good honey, or don't know what to look for, there's a pre-bottled alternative.  The best product on the market that I've used is ZARBEE'S.

It is dark honey, mixed with Vitamin C and Zinc (all child dosages of the supplements).  You can give it to your child every 4 hours.  My kids beg for this stuff before bed, and I think it helps tremendously with the cough.  Zarbee's has other products to help sick kids sleep (with melatonin in it), and some natural tummy remedies.  It's easy to use, great taste, and no side effects.

*NOTE - don't let your kid sniff it before they drink it - they may be put off by the honey smell.  One of my kids likes the taste, but hates the smell.

2. Oscillococcinum is a certified homeopathic product that claims to shorten the duration of flu like symptoms.  Wait til you hear what's in it.  I shit you not - this is going to sound like a witches brew. 

According to literature, Oscillo (French), contains natural bacterium, anas barbariae, aka, a dilution of wild duck heart and liver extract.  Let me explain how this remedy supposedly works.  According to homeopathic "law", "LIKE CURES LIKE."  Because waterfowl tend to harbour the flu virus (especially their livers), the theory is that extracts of wild duck liver will have the flu virus in it.  And therefore, if the flu is in the extract - that form of the flu, will cure your flu.  Weird I know.  But, the results I've had with this product are miraculous.

The scientific proof isn't exactly there for Oscillo.  What I'm telling you is all based on homeopathy.
Many skeptics say that the dosages provided, are too diluted to do anything beneficial for you, in terms of fighting off a virus.  Others say, not enough rigorous testing has been done.  

Here's my experience.  My 4-year old daughter was showing signs of the flu one morning.  I brought her to my chiropractor - thinking I could talk her into an adjustment. (If you don't know - spinal adjustments can be done at any age, even infancy, and can help shorten the duration of viruses in the body.  Healthy spine = healthy body).  Well, my 4-year old refused, so my chiropractor suggest Oscillococcinum.  I was like, Ooooa -ssseeee---lllloooo- caccaaa, whatta?
He's like, you can buy it at the CVS across the street.  Sure as shit, it was there, so I gave it a whirl.  I swear, within 30 minutes, my daughter went from crying, sunk in eyes, slouched over in my bed, to a perky, slightly energized girl (for a sick girl) with a suddenly found appetite.

Twenty-four hours later, no fever, and no signs of the flu.

Coincidence? Random? Who knows, but I saw it, so I believe it works.

3. Emergen-C Kids: Aaaammaaazziinngg. If you've ever used the adult version of this stuff, you probably swear by it.  Emergen-C, is packed with vitamins and minerals to help you fight off whatever virus is attacking you - notably a shit load of Vitamin C and Zinc.  

I give my kids this stuff at the first sign of illness, and so far, up until our little flu episode recently, they haven't got a full blown cold.  The preliminary signs and symptoms show up, then BAM I hit them with Emergen-C, and I swear the symptoms go away.  I think it truly gives their immune systems a boost. The fruit punch flavor is yummy, and it fizzes, so it's fun for the kids to drink.

I'll admit, there's a lot of added shit to the ingredient list - that doesn't make it that healthy, -mainly sugar and fake sugar, but I like everything else about the product.

4. ChildLife Echinacea: this product is specially formulated for children, is alcohol free, organically grown, no soy, no nuts, gluten-free and flavored with natural sweet orange essential oil.  I don't give a fuck if you've heard you need to be careful with Echinacea.  Don't let it stop you from using it!  Yes, you should be careful with it, just as you would any manufactured over-the-counter drug.  But, I bet you'd need to be way more careful with an over-the-counter drug.  

The point is Echinacea is great for helping boost immune systems.  

**Important, if your child has asthma, be cautious.  It says so on the label. I'm particularly sensitive to this asthma issue- because one of my kids has respiratory issues.


Eating vegetables is not a trend. Eating all organic isn't a fad.  It's fact.  When you fill your body (and your children's bodies), with the right food, their immune systems automatically get a boost from all of the minerals and nutrients.  Believe me, I know the prep work to eat healthy can be a lengthy task.  Washing all of the fruits and vegetables.  Cutting them up.  Kale is one dirty motherfuckin' plant.  I get it.  But it's worth it.  Food that doesn't come from the ground will not provide your body with the macro-nutrients it needs to fight off germs and keep diseases at bay.  

I beg of you, for your children's sake, watch a documentary or something on this shit.  You got Netflix?  There's a bunch on there.  School yourself.  Change the way your whole family eats.  We're all used to buying the same stuff at the grocery store, because it's easy, it's routine.  I challenge you to add one more hour for two weeks to your grocery routine, looking at labels and trying new things.  You will be amazed and appalled at how many fake ingredients these food companies put in our foods.  Again, if you're overwhelmed, see a nutritionist, they're very knowledgeable, or I can get you started in the right direction, email me. None of the above cold and flu remedies will work without a healthy foundation.  And you're kids will keep getting sick.  Who the hell wants to keep tending to sick kids in the middle of the night?  Not this mom.

Happy 30th Birthday To ME!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

I mean, I wasn't exactly looking forward to 30.  In anticipation of my 30th birthday, I thought of all the things that were behind me.  Mainly, my youth.   I was sizing up my successes and my failures against my peers.  I was focusing on my crows feet, varicose veins and saggy tits.  Too bad I was so depressed that I couldn't see what lie ahead of me, and what's going to be here every single year.  My family.  Cheesy I know, but I'm feelin' the love right now folks.

My sister surprised me on my birthday - and it made me think how fucking awesome life after 30 is and will be. (PS, I'm an ugly crier, and I own it).  (PSS -the quality of this video diminished when I converted it for this blog, if you want a better version, GO TO MY FACEBOOK PAGE already!!)


A Wine for a Whine

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Little child why do you whine?
Every time you do, mommy pours more wine.

You do it for minutes nine!
At which point I yell, "I draw the line!"

This is beyond pretending it's fine,
Through your whine, I can barely dine.

The whimpery whine sounds like an injured swine,
that did entwine, on the fence line.

Through the whine, I will pine,
for happy days, when I was on cloud nine.

Freed from the confine of that whine,
that so desperately needs to decline.

And so, it is my opine,
that you sweet child, whine,
to release your inner malign!

Little child why do you whine?
If you don't stop, I will resign,
And recline,
And whisper, if you don't stop the whine, you will need to fetch mommy more wine.

Raising a Creative Kid in a Standardized Society

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

My kids (like many of yours), are vastly different from each other, night and day if you will.

The older child is the "Quiet Contemplater."  The younger child is dubbed the "Destroyer."

The older one is completely content reading books, watching television for hours at a time, and logistically planning every. single. day.  She's got a calendar in her nightstand folks, that she schedules shit and marks the days off.  I don't even have a calendar.

The younger one has ants in her pants, loves music, can't sit still and DESTROYS EVERYTHING.  Furniture, toys, whatever she can get her hands on.  Barbie doll limbs have been completely severed from their bodies at the hands of my daughter.  Lego towers pushed to the ground, to explode on impact.  Princess dresses, ripped (literally) to threads and shreds.

My younger daughter has exhibited the propensity to royally fuck shit up since she was a baby.  And admittedly, until recently, I'd usually yell at her, and punish her when she'd break, yet another one of her sister's toys.

That's saying it mildly actually -

To be perfectly honest, I'd scream at the top of my lungs, grab ahold of my daughter's arm firmly, and basically drag her to the time out room when she'd dismantle a beloved toy for the five-millionth time.

And while, I think it's a great lesson to teach your kids - Cardinal Rule #1: Thou shall have respect for other human beings things.  I don't think it's that simple.

Sure, it's easy for me to get caught up in the moment, when older one is screaming (sometimes crying), that little one ripped off another Barbie head (yet again).  And I'm dumbfounded, how do I make her stop?!

And then it hit me.  Why am I trying to stop her, from something that comes so naturally to her?  I should find a healthy way to nurture this behavior, before she tears my house apart from top to bottom.

I theorized - If I give her stuff to purposely fuck up, she won't feel the need to fuck up everything else (toys, dresses, shoes, etc.)

I mean, what do I care if the kid takes paper and shreds it for an hour?  Or if she destroys Legos that I built for her, to knock down?  Or if she takes markers and scribbles it all over big poster boards?  I don't! As long as she's not ripping up precious Barbies, knocking over expensive candlesticks and drawing all over my floors and walls.

Give her an outlet, I say!

But, it got me thinking even more.

I've been yelling at her for this behavior for so long, sending her to time out - and in essence stifling who she really is.  I'm forcing her to conform, to some societal notion that sitting prim, proper and still will lead to rewards and success.

Think of most public schools.  I realize there are going to be exceptions to the generalizations I make here (especially in the name of Montessori schools, magnets, charters, etc.)  But the majority of public schools in the United States adhere to a culture of standardization.   Many in our country believe that standardized schooling, and then standardized college, and standardized academia overall will result in a more successful generation.

We tell our kids to stay in school, go to college and get a great job.

But do you really think the great ballerinas, musicians, artists, writers, etc. benefited from standard schooling?

I think not.

Creative minds cannot thrive in a standardized school.  Creativity is a great phenomenon in every one's brains.  However, some people exhibit this ability more (and better) than others.  Standardizing a creative mind - stifles it, and leaves no room for their creative practice.

I believe all babies are born as creative beings.  And it is parents, schooling and society that slowly chip away at this creativity.

If a creative mind is given the opportunity to practice their creativity in a safe, encouraging environment, the results can be amazing.  And the more they practice, the more creative they become.  Creative people have to practice being creative too - like every major fete in this life.  Practice leads to a more perfect expression of talents.

If you'd like to learn more about how to nurture your child's creative nature, read the article by Dr. Laura Markham that appeared on, entitled, "Nurturing Your Child's Creativity."

After all, your kid could be the next Sting, the next Anna Pavlova, the next Pablo Picasso, the next Joan Didion......the next......

Do Your Kid a Real Favor - VOTE!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Can you sense my frustration?

I've lived through enough inequality in my 29 short years on this planet, than I can handle.

The seemingly endless struggle of women's equality is sad.  It is a sad state of affairs.

And if I don't do something, say something, anything about the struggles of women and families ......nothing meaningful will be done about it.  For my own kids.  My 2 GIRLS, will have to live through the same bullshit I have lived through.  And face the same discrimination that I've faced, my mother faced, my grandmother faced, and the women before her.

This seems crazy.  Our country has failed to make meaningful headway on so many issues that face our women today.

Do you really think, if women, just work harder, lean in more, that they'll enjoy the same financial successes as men?

This isn't a 'pull yourself up by your bootstraps' kinda deal.  Women get the short end of every stick, because of children.  The women that want to have children and work - are told they can have it all.  But America doesn't give them the tools and the resources to make that possible.  Well, unless of course, you'd like to pop out children, and never see them because you're working so much.  Which is totally fine with me, if that's what you choose.

Here's where voting can help:  It can get the people into office that will fight for your rights.

For example,

I demand daycare be provided by companies, or a stipend, something, so we can level the playing field between men and women in the workplace.

I demand better a Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

I demand paid maternity leave for at least 12 weeks.

I could go on forever.

Women, mothers - we cannot expect our kids to grow up in a more equal country, if we don't take a stand.  If we don't vote the people into office, that will make these changes.

Say what you want about the political process - it's corrupt, politician's aren't working together, bla bla bla bla.

It's an excuse.

Because if there is a slim chance, even a 5% chance that my vote actually makes a difference, why not give it a shot?

If you have not voted today, muthas, get going before those polls close.  Can you imagine not having the right to vote? Women fought for that, so you can fight for more.

The new "Uber for kids" app gets a resounding, Hell No.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

But, I say, this is genius.

What? Like you've never had a scheduling conflict before with your kid's various activities?

The new app called, Shuddle, is designed to pick up your child and bring them to their extra-curricular activities when you can't.  Or when, gawd forbid, you just want a damn break from being a chauffeur.

Many parents on social media have been asked if they'd use Shuddle and there's been a resounding, "Hell no." And "Absolutely not."

Here's a quick rundown of how the app works.  You call the company and schedule the ride.  Parents use their credit cards to pay for the service (so your kid isn't walking around with a wad of cash), and they give you a secret passcode to use when the driver arrives.  Only the driver, you and the child knows the passcode - to ensure the driver is legit.  You can GPS track the ride on your phone in real-time.

The drivers go through background checks, They go through face-to-face interviews.  And they have to present two employment references.  Their vehicles also have to meet Shuddle's standards: no more than 10 years old, inspections up to date, insurance, etc.

The company only hires women, who have children, or who have worked with children before.  And the drivers go through Shuddle training.

You could compare the service to a school bus - minus, the 20 other children distracting the driver.

You could say it's safer than putting your kid on public transportation - where several random adults are interacting with your child.

It'd be safer than relying on a "carpool club", where several parents of children in the same activity share the responsibilities of driving the kids to practice.  a.) I bet you didn't ask the other parents for their driving records - you're just trusting them b.) it's un-reliable - if little 'Mary' gets sick, and her mom is on carpool duty that week, you think that mom is gonna go around picking up all the little brats for gymnastics practice? No, she'll be home tending to her sick kid, and you're kid will be fucked out of gymnastics.

And lastly, Shuddle might even be safer than you driving your own damn kids! Let me explain before you think I'm crazy.  How safe do you think you are really driving when you are rushing like a mad person, speeding, running red lights, all in the name of getting this one to soccer practice on time? And the other one to tutoring? And the other one to dance? (gawd save the parents with 3 + children) It's not safe at all.  Throw in a screaming baby in the backseat of your mini van and you're fucked!

My personal note to parents with 3 or more kids - I don't know how you do it.  If I see you out at a bar or restaurant some day - have a drink on me please.

So what's so bad about this app?  It seems like a better option than all of the above.  It seems to have the proper safety features, the right insurance, and the right idea.

Or maybe, just maybe this speaks volumes about what's going on in our society and our children.  The fact that this app was even created.  Maybe our kids are over-involved?  Maybe they don't need to be in so many damn things.  Activities.  Always busy.  Always doing.  There's a value in free time too.  If you feel busied, harried and hectic by all of the bullshit going on in your family's life - I bet your kids feel it too.  They could be craving a less structured life too.  A balance.

Something worth examining, especially with apps like Shuddle coming down the road.

Let the school soirees start, and the parent shaming begin

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

"With a parent, it's always guilt. You want to be there, but you kind of also want to be here."

                                                                                                  - Heather Locklear

Tis' the season for school parties.  So far - we've received invitations for a pumpkin themed luncheon, Fall festivities, Thanksgiving concerts (followed by a lunch), Mystery Readers and Christmas parties.  And don't forget teacher conferences!!  Sound familiar?

 I have 2 kids in the same pre-school, but in different classes.  If you add that up - that's 6 events times 2 = 12 fucking functions where my presence is expected.  That's 12 in just 3 months.

And on the e-mails and newsletters, this is what I've read:

"At least one parent or family member needs to be present with your child."

"Parents - it really means a lot to your child if you're there."

"If you can't attend with your child, please plan on keeping them home from school that day."

What the fuck is going on here?

First, I pay for pre-school.  I pay these people to nurture and teach my children 4 days a week, for 4 hours a day so I can work, exercise, do laundry, run errands, scratch my ass and get a fuckin' hair cut.  I don't neeeeeedddd to do anything in the form of non-emergency class functions.

Mothers are constantly nurturing.  We nurture at home, we nurture at work.  We are sending our kids to school, because it's good for them, and let's be real - we need a break.  However that break takes form (working, volunteering, domestic duties, training for a marathon, sitting on our asses, spa days), is our own business.  We shouldn't be made to feel guilty, for not showing up to class functions during those precious school hours.  Those hours are sacred, just like nap time.  Those hours are holier than thou.  Give us the damn break we are paying you to give us.

Third, these class parties with their parental expectations are holding back the working mothers.

I've worked flexible hours since my children were babies.  I'm thankful for that.  But, because I chose flexible jobs - my professional life has suffered.  Most women leave the workplace after babies all together, or they choose flexible jobs.  In the end, we don't end up climbing the ladder as fast as men and don't make as much money.  So for many of us moms who chose to work a paid job, the only time we CAN work is when our kids are in school.  Is my earning potential going to suffer because I'm expected to be at 5-million kiddie functions during MY work hours, and my KID'S school hours?  You're damn right it will suffer if I RSVP 'Yes' to all this shit.

And lastly, telling the kids in the classroom that all of the parents are invited to these parties - sets me up for disaster.  My children do understand that mommy and daddy work.  They get it.  But, to have to explain to them that I can't take time off to go to their party this week, or that day, is heart-breaking.  Here, the teachers have built them up for this great party, and your mommy and daddy are coming - and BOOM, it blows up.  Because news flash folks, a lot of parents can't just take random days off work that aren't justified by sickness.  And even taking sick days for your kids is a battle - you're better off telling your boss that you are the one that's sick.  Because then, at least you won't get parent shamed by your boss.

I can't even imagine how a single parent in a similar situation must feel.

Us parents feel guilty enough every damn day.  We always feel the push pull of - we need to be doing more with our kids, spending more time - but the truth is - CARETAKING TIME don't pay the bills.  You are not compensated for caretaking.  Mothering, in our society is considered a gift.  A freebie. And until that changes, we're forced to make choices, and strike a balance in our family life, that's right for all involved, financially and emotionally.

My child's Fall Party starts in 50 minutes, from right now.  I've already put in my RSVP.  And it's 'No.'  She may be the only child in her class right now that has an absent parent today.  I don't know what damage it will do to her.  But, I do know, I'm there for her.  I'm there for her in a way I see fit. I'm there for her in ways that I deem important. If that sounds selfish, I don't give a fuck.  It could be more damaging, showing my child that I am THERE FOR HER EVERYTHING.  She could think my whole life revolves around her.  And it doesn't.  That's just the truth.

And I cry.  Because that's what this society has done to women.  Shame them, for wanting to grab a piece of success and profitability.  Shamed them for ambition.  Shamed them for sometimes, and I repeat sometimes putting their kids second.

I may not make a whole lotta moo-la from this writing gig I got going on.  And I may not have a boss - other than me (and my bank account).  But, I'm building something here.  I'm building a livelihood.  I'm building a name.  It's all part of the process of getting myself rehabed and primed for the next stage of my life.

Why can't the preschool my kids attend, see the value in that?
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