First Aid for Colds

We are all familiar with the necessity and just good ol’ common sense of keeping around a First Aid kit in our homes and cars. It isn’t that we planĀ for accidents or injuries to happen just makes sense to be prepared for that “just incase” possibility. These days our injury oriented first aid kit is stocked with items like Miracle, OwEase, Bee’s Aid and various essential oils. The homeopathic form of Arnica and activated charcoal have also become permanent fixtures.

I’ve been thinking lately that I should keep an illness first aid kit stocked. Not that I am planning on illness but if preparedness with a scraped knee or bee sting is common sense why wouldn’t the same rule apply for colds, sniffles or allergies? If we get sick there are certain items I need and often times don’t have on hand. Some of them are easy to replace and others not so much. Especially for the items that require a lot of effort to find or might be difficult to find at all it is especially important to deliberately keep those items on hand.

So, what would a First Aid Kit for Colds look like in our house? I made a list. Cuz I love lists. Lists are my friend. They help me out a lot in life. You should make friends with lists too if you haven’t already. šŸ˜‰

  • Raw local Honey. Indefinite shelf life. Can be difficult to locate so always keep a supply on hand.
  • Real from healthy bones and joints from scratch Chicken or bone Broth to the tune of 1/2 a gallon minimum standing by in the freezer. I wrote about how to make bone broth and about some of it’s incredible healing properties here.
  • Jars of rich bone broth

    Jars of rich bone broth

  • Herbal Teas from Traditional MedicinalsĀ My personal favorites are the Throat Coat for Kids, Throat Coat for Adults, Breath Easy and Gypsy Cold Care. These Teas are shelf stable for a good long while and are wonderfully soothing and beneficial. Especially for those prone to asthmatic complications of various illnesses.

    Breath Easy

    Breath Easy

  • Fresh Garlic, preferably organic. Whole Heads of garlic last me anywhere from 1 to 3 months depending on the average temp in my kitchen. I re-stock as soon as I’m down to 1 head. Poultices use up garlic pretty fast and for an average cold for 4 people doing poultices several times a day you can easily use up 5 to 6 heads worth. So, when I re-stock that is the amount I shoot for. We also eat a lot of fresh garlic. If I see it starting to sprout or shrivel I make a point of using fresh garlic for the next couple of meals and replenish the supply my next shopping trip. Need to learn how to do a garlic poultice? I made this video a while back and it covers the how-to in all it’s simplicity. šŸ™‚ Just clickĀ Garlic Poultice Tutorial
  • Winter Breeze. This is one of the best products ever. It’s a necessity in our house. You know about Vick’s Vapor Rub? This is like that only waaaay better. Better FOR you because it doesn’t have icky petroleum based ingredients and WORKS better due to the high powered ingredients it’s made from. It is super effective and actually helps to kick whatever the problem is much faster because the oils in it are antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti viral not to mention lung and sinus soothing and nasal passage opening. Massaged over chest and back if there is a tight cough, on the soles of feet for pretty much everything and around the nose for sinus pressure and stuffy noses. Child safe and (after testing for sensitivity) safe for use on infants feet.
  • BerryWell. This is a one stop shopping spot for convenient yet incredibly effective cold and allergy superhero. It’s expensive and sometimes goes out of stock but it has a VERY long shelf life so there is no reason to wait till the last minute to get it and risk having to wait a week or more to get it in your hands. It works best the earlier into a situation you take it so having it on the shelf ready to go is by far the best policy. I try to keep 2 to 4 bottles on my back shelf for that *just incase* scenario.
  • Probiotics. I’m fairly flexible on which one, but infusions of broad spectrum good bacterial are crucial for helping the gut get a handle on whatever war is being waged in the body. The vast majority of our immune system is regulated in our yards of GI track so dumping some reinforcements down there when dealing with an illness, even if it isn’t a stomach oriented problem is a good policy.
  • Essential Oils. These multi faceted tools are useful for everything really and First Aid for sicknesses is no exception. Not only can they be used in a myriad of remedies to directly fight the illness and symptoms in the body they can also be used in cleaners around the house to keep the sickness from spreading.

Those comprise my Sickness First Aid Essentials. All of these items are multi faceted. You’ll probably find yourself reaching for various ones for totally different reasons than an illness. The trick in my experience is to keep them on hand because illnesses don’t come with a 1 week advance notice so you can have time to scramble and assemble some last minute troops to fight it with. Wish I had a dollar for every time a desperate Mom called me when I was taking customer service calls with Beeyoutiful begging for a next day shipping option and willing to pay a ridiculous amount to have it shipped fast because her family had been struck down by an illness of some sort and she was out of Berrywell or some other crucial immune boosting supplement.

Doodlebug curled up in her chair on a cold winter day

Doodlebug curled up in her chair on a cold winter day

Be prepared! Get prepared! Go take stock and make sure you have enough resources on hand to fight something from day one. Ā And while you are checking your families sickness inventory let me know what you consider to be crucial. What is the one thing you never ever want to be without no matter what?

Sinus and Cough Travel Buster Tip

We decided to take a last minute trip to GA this weekend to see my family. The day before we left I had that pre-sickness “ick” feeling all day. Downing immune boosting supplements and of course my trusty Gut Guardian since I’m still faithfully plugging away at the challenge I blogged about a couple of weeks ago. No specific symptoms developed other than a mild sore throat from drainage. A few spritzes of Bee’s Aid and all was well.

Steve woke up the morning of our departure feeling like I had the day before. We discussed staying home since it was obvious both of us were actively fighting off the cold Doodlebug had been so generously sharing with us for a couple of weeks. She of course got it from a friend who generously shared it with her. Such sharing people we all are. Packing extra supplements in our handy travel supplement bag along with our travel case of essential oils and diffuser we decided to go anyway. We were already packed! Plus, without any specific symptoms other than “I think maybe kinda sorta we might be getting sick” it seemed like the lamest of reasons to cancel.

So off we went. As long as we stayed on top of the supplements we all felt pretty good. Kinda tired but we were sleep deprived and traveling. We took care to eat as well as we could traveling and I packed an ice chest from home with an electric skillet to do a bit of hotel room cooking to save us from the necessity of eating out much. The first night in the hotel we noticed we were struggling with stuffy noses. My chest felt a bit tight. An experienced asthmatic (although inhaler free for years now!) I knew to take that as a serious indication that my body was struggling to get on top of this thing. Concerned that I might be on the brink of succumbing despite the Ā the diffuser running I decided to get creative with the tools we have here in the hotel room.

Step one was to utilize the coffee maker for a much healthier purpose than coffee. I cranked it up with a full pitcher of water.

Hotel Room Coffee Maker with Plain Water

Hotel Room Coffee Maker with Plain Water

Next was a stop by the handy dandy essential oil travel case to select which oils I wanted to use in this particular concoction.

Essential oil padded Travel Case

Essential oil padded Travel Case

My selection was a bit random, but they would all help each other to get the job done.

Essential Oils for sinus pressure and chest tightness

Essential Oils for sinus pressure and chest tightness

Waiting for the water to finish getting nice and hot I sprinkled drops of the oils in varying amounts into the bottom of the hotel provided disposable coffee cup. Once the water was nice and hot I poured it in on top of the prepared essential Oils in the cup. The steamy rich aroma of the blend instantly rose up around me. Ahhhh. Nice! It started working right away.

Pouring hot water over essential oils in cup

Pouring hot water over essential oils in cup

Grabbing a towel and throwing it over my head as the last step I got settled in and breathed in the steam as deep as I could through my nose and deep into my lungs.

Towel Donned and steamy cup of essential oil laced hot water in hand

Towel Donned and steamy cup of essential oil laced hot water in hand

10 Minutes of this “breathing treatment” and all my sinus pressure was gone and the tightness in my chest had loosened. Whew. I’m going to be able to sleep much better tonight. Sometimes the extra moisture in a steam delivery method makes the essential oils more effective. In my experience this is especially true of chest tightness. The moisture helps everything let go and relax faster and more effectively than just the cold mist diffusing of the oils. The cold mist diffuser is helpful, don’t get me wrong, it’s what keeps our noses clear all night long as we sleep but for that immediate fast relief nothing beats a steamy oil treatment.

What is your favorite sickness busting travel trick?

 

 

 

 

 

Better than Nothing

Waaaay back when I first started blogging about traditional foods and healthier lifestyles I wrote what has been one of my most popular posts. Good, Better and BestĀ options with our food choices. In hindsight I think it’s one of the most popular posts not because it’s well written but because people desperately need options. Compromise has become a necessity.

We are asked on a frequent basis “But if I can’t find or access xyz food what do I do?” or “If I can’t afford this or that supplement or food item?What then? What then indeed.

I don’t know about you but I prefer a world with black and white. Nice simple and easy choices. You know, like whole foods are best. Always buy whole foods. Ahhh. That seems simple! I can do that! Only buy whole foods. But then you learn about soil depletion and the effects of fertilizers, pesticides andĀ fungicides and think oh no, whole foods aren’t good enough. They need to be all natural or ORGANIC whole foods. Taking the hit to the budget is worth it. You just tighten up elsewhere. Then you learn about the varieties of whole foods chosen and (gasp) genetically modified to withstand transportation Ā and decide that locally produced, heirloom variety whole foods are the way to go. As you dive deeper and deeper into the world of nutrition the lists of Thou Shalt Not Eat and Thou Shalt Not Source becomes ever longer.

Along with the Eat Nots and Source Nots there also pop up the Prepare Nots with all the different ways whole foods will actually deplete nutrient reserves when prepared improperly. It’s enough to make one want to give up on the whole thing and go get a full meal off the McDonalds Dollar Menu. Except you do vaguely remember how it sits like a rock for hours afterwards and you’d have to resort to downing one of those expensive digestive enzyme pills just to feel human again. Not to mention that article you saw float by your newsfeed a few days about about the McDonalds recall of their apple slices. And if they have to recall apples who can risk a hamburger there?? So instead you sneak a bar of chocolate and try not to think about the fact that it has sugar in it and that Fair Trade is a meaningless term so the poor people you thought were being treated fairly actually are still getting paid a pittance and the whole world of packaging and labels is just one big scam. Then you remember that according to that one MLM company nobody actually sells TRULY raw chocolate but them, everybody else is just lying.

Speaking of scams. Those darn free range eggs you scrounged up the extra money to buy?? Turns out they have soy. Oh yes. GMO Soy. Which means all the hormone free meat you go out of your way to buy might as well have had hormones because you now know how bad GMO soy feed is and how much estrogen gets dumped in the eggs. Those beautiful gorgeous orange yolked eggs. You gaze at the package feeling a little sick but most of all disappointed.

Sometimes it feels like we just can’t win for losing in the nutritious and safe food battle.

Doodlebug helping to pinch traditional Czech homemade cookies with jam for Christmas treats

Doodlebug helping to pinch traditional Czech homemade cookies with jam for Christmas treats

It would be one thing if all of this was for us. Us as in adults. But it isn’t. We are slogging through the information wars for our kids. We are sourcing for their health. For their nutrition. In my experience only as our health directly affects our children (ie nutrition in the womb) or our ability to have children do we REALLY get dead serious about the whole nutrition thing. That or a life threatening illness. That tends to do the trick too. It is impossible not to care or to walk away from what is learned and to let go of “ideals” when it involves the next generation. And the parent guilt sets in. Especially if you know now what could have saved your first or second borns a lot of health grief and you see the difference in your next child. Or if you are a parent looking back at your kids lives wishing you had known then what you know now about nutrition.

The little peach tree in the back yard where we buried our tiny Kaitlyn Anne

The little peach tree in the back yard where we buried our tiny Kaitlyn Anne

It’s a guilt laden world. And there are those on all sides who like to add to the guilt because it helps to pad their bottom line and profit margins. There are even the ones who are not guilt-mongers for baser reasons like profits but actually are deeply concerned and well meaning. I typically fall into the later category. It can be incredibly difficult to take good and life changing information about food and use it to live a freer, healthier lifestyle vs. a life of bondage to food legalities. You can’t unlearn what you know. And with knowledge comes responsibility. And with responsibility the weight of an extra burden in our already crazy lives.

There is an art to negotiation. Successful negotiations are all about knowing what is truly important to both parties and what things are optional. As you learn the list of what is crucial may rapidly change. My list looks very different today than it looked 3 years ago. In the process of negotiating the terms of life between current knowledge base, current resources, and currently available options it is important to have narrowed down what is MOST important. What things do you feel comfortable compromising on? How big of a compromise? Below is a sample of my current list. I have mine divided up into Required (the items I don’t want to compromise on) and Allow (the items I’m willing to compromise on due to budget restrictions and or availability)

  • Eggs: Free Range Required, Non GMO Soy Required. Humane Treatment required. Allow GMO Free grain. Allow non organic.
  • Beef: Grassfed Required. Antibiotic and Hormone Free Required. Humane Treatment Required. Allow to be finished on grains for up to a week before processing. Locally sourced and processed required (Locally = same state) Allow grains used to be GMO/non organic.
  • Fruit: Organic/All natural/Sustainably farmed preferred. In season preferred. Transitional crops allowed. Minimally sprayed allowed.

It has been really helpful for me to actually get what the most important things are to me written out in a systematic way. The list can be as detailed as you wish it to be. I would recommend updating it every couple of months if you are on a fast track of learning and trying to make changes for your family. At a minimum the list should be updated about once a year. It can be as basic and simple as the following.

  • No Margarine or veggie oil spreads. Only butter. No Butter with flavorings or colors added.
  • Read all labels of everything before purchasing. No MSG or HFCS.

Start somewhere. Anywhere. Despite all the nutritional information conflicts it is worth it to make your move somewhere. The worst thing you can possibly do is throw up your hands in despair over not ever being able to get it all done, it all bought and prepared “right” and just decide to do nothing at all. SOMETHING is always better than nothing. A trick I learned a while back that seems to work wonders for me is to always “one up” whatever the convenient temptation is at the moment. If it’s the difference between running to the store to buy them out of Snickers or making a homemade batch of brownies with nutritious ingredients by all means make the brownies. Then you can congratulate yourself on how healthy it is that you used raw sugar and avoided all the horrible ingredients in the average candy bar. It’s the better choice. Maybe one day life will work out to where we can all always have the best. But until then it would save a world of frustration if we could just give ourselves the freedom to do the next best thing. The freedom to compromise.

Food prepared with love, care and attention to details is the best food. Always. Even if it is GMO Sweet corn on the grill. If we lose sight of the purpose of our pursuit of good food, lose sight of our relationship with our children and the generation of kids we want to help then it renders the food battles pointless. Keep the joy in the process. Keep the kids involved. Teach them to enjoy the process of food in all it’s complexities. That it’s about ever so much more than learning how to use the presets on the microwave.

Doodlebug helping to make bread at 2 years old

Doodlebug helping to make bread at 2 years old

Some of us have, and continue to deal with serious health issues. Our luxury and margins that we can compromise with is not nearly as extensive as those who do not have very specific health issues they are treating with what I like to call “Food Therapy” or nutritional healing. When food is being used as medicine it’s a much more strict and less enjoyable proposition. But even with the strict nutritional healing protocols joy can be found in the process. Food can still be made to taste good.

My kids and I had eggs for lunch today with gorgeous deep orange yolks from free range chickens. Chickens fed Soy feed. We enjoyed every last bite. We also ate raw cheese melted on those eggs from cows fed organic feed. Soy again. We ate every late bite of that raw cheese. And we were grateful for it. Grateful to be able to have and afford raw cheese. Grateful to be able to have and afford egg yolks so obviously full of rich nutrients from chickens that had the freedom to run around and eat bugs all day. We are so grateful for our less than ideal, less than perfect lunch. It was amazing. It was a lunch rich in compromise and nutritional value.

Have you learned the art of negotiation in the food info wars? What is the compromise that bothers you most?

Got Vision?

I married a really wise man. Before we got married we talked. A lot. Long distance relationships are good like that. You are forced to fill the air time with words that would otherwise be taken up in silence or giddy chit chat just soaking in each others presence in person. Not to say those in person local relationships are inferior on the communication front (to be honest I still feel a twinge of jealousy over how easy the whole in person romantic experience must be) but I know for us the states separating us were instrumental in us having good premarital communication.

Steve and I

Steve and I

So this wise guy I was gonna marry asked a lot of questions. He wanted to know if our visions, or our goals for a future life together were compatible. If I even had a vision for the future. We made a lot of plans and outlined a lot of goals together.

7 years down the line the details of those plans and goals have changed a LOT. The core of our “vision” has remained the same however. This past week someone asked me about this crazy dream we have of developing a natural themed community-neighborhood. We have a lot of unorthodox plans and dreams. But it’s fueled by the overreaching vision and goals we had all those years ago.

We wanted to raise a healthy family in both body, minds and emotions.

We want to teach our children to be strong, to be leaders and how to serve others and the world at large with kindness.

We want to leave whatever patches of this earth that come into our possession better than we found it.

We want to encourage and help others as we are able to.

Out of these simple heart desires the driving force behind a supplement company was born. The two homes we have lived in in our marriage have housed a lot of folks at all different stages in life. We put a lot of time and effort into learning about health and how to live our lives more sustainably and responsibly. We spent a lot of time with our children. We adapt almost every area of our lives to incorporate our children.

Steve and the Doodlebug: A tiny Bee Keeper in Training

Steve and the Doodlebug: A tiny Bee Keeper in Training

We love to dream. We’ve learned that it’s Ok to dream big. We’ve learned it’s Ok to make mistakes along the way trying to learn how to make those dreams a reality. We’ve made big mistakes along the way. We’ve learned, we’ve adapted, we’ve tweaked. We’ve had to pay and are still paying for some of those mistakes. The whole process of mistakes = learning new and important lessons is something we’ve come to embrace as a part of life. The College of Life has been expensive for us and the certifications not as respected as Harvards but we are grateful for them anyway.

One of the dream-goals we are working towards right now is the purchase of a piece of property large enough that it can be subdivided and a community developed. It’s a logistical nightmare and there are probably a 100 ways we can think of right off the bat for it to easily go wrong. But we’ve learned that some of the best things in life come with a very high probability for failure. We were told when we partnered in the launch of www.beeyoutiful.com that it was a foolish idea. It was destined to fail. There were a thousand reasons NOT to start that business. We counted the cost and decided to do it anyway. It’s been a headache, it’s dominated the majority of our married lives but for every frustrated Ā and even tearful moment it’s taken from our lives it’s given that and more back. It’s allowed us to work together as a couple in our own home. It’s allowed our children to be more active parts of our lives. It’s been the vehicle to allow us to become physically healthier. It’s been the source and means of good to what now number in the hundreds of peoples lives. We would never have done it, never have stepped out and taken the risk of a brand new business if we had not been willing to dream, hope big and act on the vision we wanted for our family.

One thing we have learned that a dream is just a dream if it is never brought into the realm and responsibility of real life. We are working to bring our current big dreams into the realm of our reality in a lot of small ways. The first and most obvious are financial. It just makes sense to gain financial freedom so that is the front receiving the bulk of our efforts right now. The other is trying to learn as much as we can about how to properly and effectively manage a property. How one goes about doing sustainable and natural animal care and raising. How to garden efficiently and effectively. About 98% of this knowledge is purely head knowledge and hypothetical at this point in our lives. So, we are hacking away at that percentage ratio to get it much lower by the time a financial breakthrough can be obtained. We are going to get a small chicken tractor and start raising some chicks. This year if we are still on this property we are going to build a key hole garden to test it against more traditional raised beds and some of Ruth Stout’s gardening techniques. We plan on identifying and learning about the types of trees on our wooded hill. Steve is managing his bee-hive organically without the use of antibiotics and chemicals that most bee keepers use and is learning what it would take to manage multiple hives. All of this real life practical small scale knowledge will help lower our real life experience ignorance for a bigger property with bigger logistics if that ever comes to fruition. In the meantime our lives are the better for the knowledge and experience we are gaining.

Steve teaching a friend how to work the bees with the hive in our backyard

Steve teaching a friend how to work the bees with the hive in our backyard

So what is the vision for your family? Ā Do you have big dreams? What are you doing to make those dreams and goals a reality? Do you include your kids in the dreaming big process?

WordPower

Our eldest is a very emotional child. Very emotional. And exceedingly uninhibited in how she expresses her emotions. While part of me envies her complete freedom of expression another part cringes at her complete obliviousness to the repercussions the expression of her emotions can have on people around her. When she was very young she would throw hysterical fits and be completely overtaken by the strength of her emotions, usually negative ones. Feelings of anger, out-rage, hurt etc. Frustrations with imperfections in herself and her life would send her spiraling out of control.

As an individual who hates conflict it’s been interesting for me to observe how many individuals who have very strong self expression tend to feel a lot better after verbally exploding and venting their feelings. They are like whew! Got that off my chest! Now you know how upset I am and how awful you are so now I can be Ok with you again. Meanwhile the people around them may still feel shell shocked and traumatized by the vehemence, harshness and meanness of how the feelings were expressed.

So here is me. Someone who struggles deeply with expressing emotions as I feel them with this child who is a veritable volcano of emotions set to erupt at regular intervals. We could not be more opposite in basic personality types. I am often in awe of her strength and ability to express exactly what she feels. Her freedom of self expression is something that I want her to always have.

Thinking

Thinking

Emotions are emotions. They don’t change the facts of a situation or the rightness and wrongness of things. They are absolutely authentic and I view the right to our own feelings (and especially a child’s right to their own emotions) as one of the most basic of human freedoms. But this spewing of emotions has left me at a loss as a parent nevertheless. How do you train a child who regularly erupts with harsh and abusive words based out of how strongly she feels things without taking away her right to feel that way? How do you validate the freedom to have those emotions and the right to express that strength and level of feeling while not causing hurt and damaged relationships to others? And, the most challenging of all, if adults struggle so deeply with these concepts how on earth do you break it down for a young child? My every instinct is that if healthier communication avenues can possibly be established the younger the better. In theory young dogs are easier to teach than it is to break old dogs of bad habits. The canine example has held true of what I have experienced in my own human life as well.

This past week we had something of a breakthrough for both of us. The concept has made a big enough difference I feel like it’s worth sharing. It came out of me observing how the minute an adult is perceived to be losing control of themselves in a conversation they instantly lose the credibility they desperately need, the validation they crave. Things like crying inappropriately, raising their voice, blaming others for everything about a situation while taking no responsibility for their own actions = an instant loss of respect for whatever it is they are attempting to convey. What they are desperately trying to express, the authenticity and strength of what they are feeling gets lost in the shuffle because the vehicle or method of communication they are defaulting to actually hides the all important point of what they need expressed.

Our daughter stood before me last week with huge tears rolling down her flushed face. Her blue eyes an especially intense blue like they get when she’s thoroughly riled. Through hiccuping sobs she yelled at the top of her voice “I hate this family. I hate lunches. I hate you cooking me lunches. You are a horrible Mom…” Anybody looking at her face could see the the deep hurt plastered over it. She FELT deeply insulted, hurt and even betrayed. So hurt she felt like she had to lash out as the only way to handle the intensity of what she was feeling.

Unhappy

Unhappy

 

This scene might have been warranted if it had been over some large life event. Some horribly traumatic new household rule being imposed. Or some awful food be dictated to be eaten. The fact that all that emotion was over me frying her eggs and flipping them in a way she was not used to did not negate how deeply she felt about what was to me a very stupid and insignificant issue. Frustration rose within me. How many times did I have to correct and train her before it would CLICK with her that it is NOT Ok to verbally lash out with abusive words when she was upset and angry?? To observe her in that moment it would be easy to assume she had never been corrected or trained to behave appropriately. There was no indication that kindness to others has been a central part of all of the training she has received in her 5 years of life. When would she develop an ounce of self control and decide to exert it I wondered for the 100th time.

I sat there looking at her trying to figure out a new way to approach this old problem. She paused expectantly with lip quivering and caught her breath between sobs waiting to find out what the repercussions of her Ā hateful outburst would be this time. Resignedly I thought “At least she knows there will be repercussions. I guess all that training hasn’t been totally for naught” Observing her straight back, fiercely determined face, shoulders back and seeing how tall she has gotten the thought slipped through my mind “She’s so tall. So strong. She needs the truth” Deciding to allow myself to communicate the emotional vulnerability I was feeling as a result of her verbal assault I swallowed the lump that had suddenly appeared in my throat. Taking her hand I said softly “I know you are upset. I hear you yelling. I am trying to hear what you are saying. When you yell and say hateful and mean things to me though I can’t hear your important message anymore. I can’t hear what you feel. All I can see and hear is the meanness and unkindness you are showing to me. I love you. If you are upset I want to hear about it but I can’t hear the important message you have when you scream and yell. You are strong and what you feel is strong. If what you feel is strong then you don’t have to yell it. You say it with confidence and strength and the words will stand strong without yelling.”

She blinked and tried to process what I said. A fresh round of tears started down her face and she said “I don’t know how to have strong words” “Yes you do”, I replied. “If you feel it strongly then your words will be strong. Say what you need to say with strength and confidence like this!” and throwing my own shoulders back and holding my head high I said in confident clear tones “I do not like my eggs fixed that way. Can you please fix them another way?” Scrunching up her nose doubtfully she surveyed me skeptically. Shrugging she gave it a try. Shoulders back she said in loud and confident tones “Mama I hate those eggs. I want them with cheese and not Pepper.” She stopped and eyed me for a reaction the curiosity clear on her face wondering if something that simple would do the trick. “I am really sorry I messed your eggs up. I can feed these to your little brother and make you some new ones. Would that make you feel better?” Still looking somewhat skeptical she responded “I really do HATE those eggs you made” in clear bold tones. “I’m sorry you hate these eggs and I’m sorry you got so upset about the eggs” I replied. Heaving a sigh of relief she responded “Yeah, me too. Being upset over eggs is very hard.”

Since the egg episode we’ve had occasion to deal with more outbursts. She got hold of some foods this week that caused a regression into behaviors we hoped to have left behind permanently when she was two. When her outbursts are triggered by food reactions this new method has not worked at all. Nothing to date has worked except clearing it out of her system and waiting for her body to be able to normalize. However the normalĀ episodes of outbursts have had a very positive response to the concept of strong words being able to stand strong on their own when boldly and confidently expressed. If she launches into one of her verbal assaults punctuated with volume and tears I put a finger to my lips as a visual cue and say “I can’t hear the important strong words you have to say and the strong way you feel about them. Be bold and confident in how you talk to me if you feel it isĀ important” Occasionally I have to remind her “If what you have to say is strong enough to have tears and yelling then it’s strong enough for you to be bold and confident about” Standing at attention she clearly and assertively states her case. Without tears. Without hurled insults and hurt verbal tongue lashings. It’s been an amazing thing to see and a breakthrough for her to get more respect and more validation for her point of view than she would ever have gotten with a fit.

It is my hope that in the coming years she will continue to gain confidence and communication skills for her strong emotions and feelings. The world needs more strong women who are not afraid of their feelings. Who have the confidence to express themselves without fear. Who are sensitive enough to the wrongs in the world to react and fight to get them changed. Who can be bold in their emotions knowing they are an asset instead of a weakness. Who are wise enough to draw others to their cause and not alienate them as they communicate the intensity of the need. It is my prayer that our daughter grows to be one of these strong and fierce women. She’s been given a special passion in life, an ability to care for details that do not matter to most. It’s a gift, one that I hope she is able to embrace and not despise.

If anybody reading this has a strongly emotional child with a will power of steel please know that I have an incredible amount of respect for the work it is to train children like this. I don’t in any way mean to minimize the difficulties and challenges that come with the parenting territory of children with all sorts of personalities but intend to simply tip my hat in respect to the specific challenges that face the parents of these super strong, super sensitive, super expressive children. Be their cheerleader. Love ’em and for goodness sakes don’t try to break them. Chances are they’ll break you in the process and even if they don’t, breaking them means the world loses a powerful asset. Those wills of steel will bring positive change and strong leadership where more compliant personalities will bend.

Teach them kindness, teach them compassion. They’ll learn both the best from seeing you demonstrate patience and love to them when they least deserve it. The flip side of hyper sensitive and observant kids with build in strong sense of justice is that they are acutely aware of when they are undeserving of affirmation or appreciation. Undeserving of a hug. And undeserving of patience. As tempting as it might be to feel put upon by these little demanding individuals being plunked into our lives it’s actually quite the honor to get to parent them. At least that’s how I am choosing to feel about it. šŸ˜€ Otherwise I’d be shipping a certain child off to Siberia one of these rough days.

Self Expression

Self Expression

Gut Challenge starts TODAY!

Just incase you missed it before you can read all about it by clicking here

Today is the day we start! Just to make things a little more interesting I’ve also decided to give up sugar for the 2 month challenge. <gulp> Yeah. Big deal for me. But I truly believe it will make this challenge far more effective for my health so it’ll be worth it.

bye bye sugar

bye bye sugar

Anybody else want to join me?? You can modify the challenge to whatever you specifically need or that fits your lifestyle right now. We have a thread on the Beeyoutiful forum so we can help encourage each other and hold each other accountable for whatever our goals are during this challenge. You can read the thread and join it if you wish by clickingĀ hereĀ The more the better!

Ready? Set? GO! šŸ˜€

PS Beeyoutiful still has the Gut GuardiansĀ steeply discounted right now. You can check out the prices by clicking here. This is a really amazing price for such high end probiotics! I’m personally stocking our freezer with a couple extra bottles in addition to what we are using for this challenge because it’s rare that a premium product is discounted like this. My budget is thankful!