Monday, May 9, 2016

An Ele-phant Never Forgets [9-12 months]

9 months...
... we joke that she's our Ele monster because she's been growly since being a few months old. It freaked Bean out so much that she'd cry, "I'm scared of Ele monster!" Hilarious stuff. What's best about her monster-ness is when Daddy plays chase - growling and stomping after the girls - Bean runs away from him, Ele growls and crawls towards him!
... she's been doing this forever, but we call it her "Joey" move. She tips her head back and murmurs, "m..." when people start talking to her. (It reminds me so much of Joey's, "How you doin'?" move from Friends.)

... she's obsessed with dirty stuff. Dirt piles, dirty diapers, shoes, socks... within seconds of changing her diaper she beelines for the dirty one. Gross. Sweeping is difficult when she's awake because she scatters the dirt pile everywhere and she absolutely loves chewing on dirty socks. Gag.
... has an obsession with stuffed animals. She'll squeeze them and pat them and rock them in her arms and carry them around in her mouth.

10 months...
... stands on her own and takes A step. For the longest time she refused to take any more. She finally took her first steps on Saturday March 19th in front of her Poppy, Uncle David, Daddy and Mommy! She was so proud of herself as we all cheered her on.
... says, "nigh, nigh" for night-night. When Josiah (my sisters baby) was in his swing, she rocked it back and forth, cooing, "nigh, nigh" over and over again.
... LOVES shortbread girl scout cookies. The moment she sees one, she FREAKS out.
... not sure how she did this, but Mandy walked into the living room (after BRIEFLY leaving it) to find Ele IN the baby swing, sitting ON TOP of Josiah. Seriously kid. She's the crazy one.
... began signing "eat" but instead of using the tips of her fingers she slaps her lips with her palm.

11 months...
... signed "eat please" instead of just "eat" and then screaming!
... she LOVES baby dolls. She will sit in a rocking chair to rock and burp them. So so so so cute to see my baby pretending to be a little mommy!
... since learning to walk the girl is a walking bruise, especially her poor forehead.
... one of Bean's "chores" is feeding the dogs. Ele LOVES to help with this. It's hilarious to watch her put the food in their bowl! Quigley and Marley are so patient with her too. She likes to stick her little fingers in the food while their eating. Marley just dodges her, but Quigley sits and waits for her little hands to be outta there. Usually we have to hold her so they're left alone and can eat in peace!
... becoming mobile has made bedtime entertaining. The MOMENT she's naked she squirms around for freedom and takes off - hysterically giggling. When I run after her I can't help but laughing with her as she belly laughs. It is absolutely adorable.

12 months...

It's so incredibly hard to believe this girl is one already! This year flew by. What a wonderful year it's be with this beautiful, smart, onery, laughing, fearless Ele-Monster! Nicknamed Ele-Monster because she growls at everything (and she's crazy)!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Tuesday's Top Ten [Favorite Essential Oils]

I've been using essential oils as long as I've called Lori Widener a friend, and I honestly cannot pinpoint how many years that's been exactly. She introduced me to thieves when I came down with a nasty bug and it worked so well I've been hooked ever since. She's my go-to for any advice on using essential oils appropriately, because (per her advice) they are dangerous if you don't use them correctly. I trust her judgment. Not only does she have success stories that would blow your socks off, but we've nicknamed her Dr. L for all her knowledge on healing. Whenever there's an ailment we want her expertise. I feel so incredibly blessed to have her in my life. Since she is the super humble type, I'll brag on her a tad.

I know a small fraction of what she knows and it is because of her guidance that essential oils have taken over my medicinal cabinet.
See what I mean?
My sister Mel helped there too. She started using essential oils back around that time and helped me order her favorite oils to stockpile my cabinet. Since then my knowledge has increased and I finally feel comfortable enough with what I know to write about it here.

Here are my ten favs...

1. Thieves is the best blend ever. Whenever I have a sore throat I run this on my neck and it literally takes seconds to feel relief. If I have sore muscles this blend helps significantly. It keeps bugs we were exposed to away. And because this list could be endless I'll just end it with, you can use this blend for about anything. The story behind it is pretty cool and if it's true it'll stay at #1.

2. Frankincense (Boswellia frereana) has so many uses that I won't even begin to list them all. I use it daily. I rub it on the throat for coughs and to reduce inflammation on my neck and back before visiting the chiropractor and when I feel a pimple forming and and and ...

3. Tea Tree aka Melaleuca (Melaleuca alternifolia) is perfect for cleaning. I mix 1/4 cup of dawn dish soap with a 1/4 cup of vinegar and 10 drops of tea tree in a spray bottle filled to the top with warm water - it's a perfect all purpose cleaner and disinfectant. I also put it in my laundry soap. Whenever there's a cold virus I dilute it in a roll on and rub it on the back of the neck, temples, bottom of feet, and sinus. Put one undiluted drop on a canker soar and it kills it. Tea tree is good for a lot of things that I use daily.

4. Lemongrass (Cymbopogon flexuosus) is my favorite to diffuse after cleaning my house. It's an air purifier and I love how it smells. 

5. Peppermint (Mentha piperita) is the best for headaches and stomach aches. I've kept from puking because of this stuff. I just rub it directly on my aching gut and my wrists. With a headache I take an undiluted drop and press it into the spot I feel it stemming from and voila - it works within seconds.

6. Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is a favorite for aromatherapy - especially when we're watching a movie and wanting to relax. My husband prefers to diffuse lavender when he's sleeping. I also use it for my daughter's nasty hangnails; mixed with a bit of almond oil and it does wonders for her skin.

7. Lemon (Citrus limon) is another one I use for colds. I also diffuse it and clean with it - especially when there's cold like symptoms floating around. When that's the case, I mix 2 drops of lemon, 5 drops of thieves (which already has a ton of lemon, but in this case I simply add a bit more), and 1 tsp of honey for a cough medicine that works rather well. I'm allergic to cough medicine so whenever I come across stuff like this I get all giddy for some much needed relief.

8. Oregano (Origanum vulgare) is another favorite thanks to Lori's recommendation to my sister who diffused it in her house while her family was down with a nasty cold. I caution you on this one. It's HOT! I put ONE drop in a teaspoon of honey (as recommended in Modern Essentials) and my husband compared it to a habanero pepper and he loves eating spicy food.

9. The allergy blend my sister gave me is amazing. I put it on my essential oils necklace so that whenever I feel itchy or the need to sneeze I breathe it in and it wards the feeling off. When I put this stuff on my sinus' I feel instant results - especially for my itchy nose and eyes. (The allergy blend is equal amounts of lavender, lemon and peppermint diluted with carrier oil of choice.) 

10. Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus radiata) is a favorite for congestion. It's also an anti-inflammatory and antiviral so it's perfect for those snotty illnesses. We diffuse it whenever we need some sinus clearing and I also put a few drops in the bath for a lovely decongestant.

*Always check the plant name and do your research; however, Google is not your bff. My go-to is Lori, but if you don't have a Lori use the Modern Essential book (which I refer to daily so I'm not always bugging Lori, lol). Here's one reason why I give this advice: I saw a negative review on a diffuser I purchased (and love) where the customer expressed her frustration at not being able to smell the oil. She supposedly put in 10 drops of her choice oil (whew!) and was frustrated at the diffuser for not working. I would question the oil. So many companies sell diluted, mixed oil, claiming their stuff is 100% potency. Be careful where/what you buy. (I purchase from because I trust Lori's suggestion for it and it is decently priced. I like doTERRA and am one of their customers, but they charge triple what Bulk Apothecary does. Their prices are ridiculously high - and I believe they're overpriced - but they have a few blends (i.e. Deep Blue) that I really like. If you're willing to spend the $$$ start there.)

Check out my Essential Oils board on Pinterest for more ideas!