Friday, January 31, 2014

Every Single Day You Make a Choice

These past few weeks have been a bit of a challenge with the babies being so sick. It all started over the Martin Luther King Day holiday weekend when L came down with a cough - out of nowhere. We still went to church that Sunday, but by Monday night, his cough had gotten progressively worse and he was up half the night coughing so badly that he almost threw up several times in bed.

I kept him home that Tuesday as a precaution, and was glad that I did, as he ended up throwing up all over the floor, leaving a trail from the couch to the bathroom door at about 10:00 a.m. that morning. Had I sent him to school, I'd have had to walk to go pick him up since we still don't have a second vehicle. As I stood with him in the bathroom afterward, trying to clean him up well enough to stick him in the bathtub, B comes traipsing into the restroom and slipped on his vomit. I spent a good portion of the rest of that morning cleaning up children and puke, then rubbed them both down with essential oils before laying them down for a nap.

L ended up missing school Wednesday and Thursday of that week as well, but was feeling much better by Friday (although, he doesn't have preschool on Fridays). Only by then, B had come down with the same virus, full blown. Thursday night and Friday night were pretty horrible for her, the poor thing. She had such a difficult time coughing and choking on mucous that she threw up several times both nights. Friday night, we went through every last towel, sheet, and blanket that we had in the house before the coughing subsided enough for her to finally get a few hours of sleep. I had to do 5 loads of laundry (linens and clothes) the following day, just to get through the pile of laundry that had been soiled from the whole fiasco. By that time, she had also started to battle a fever off and on, and continued to do so throughout the course of the next few days.

Saturday night, she didn't throw up at all, but she started this extremely bizarre behavior, where she would wake up in the middle of the night screaming her little head off. She would also start scratching at her face in a fit of rage and would hit herself in the head, sometimes grabbing onto her hair and pulling, as if trying to yank it out. It was almost like she was possessed or something, like she was out of her mind. I don't know if she was just in a severe amount of pain, or what, but we tried applying and diffusing essential oils, offering her a drink of water or something to eat, but nothing seemed to get through to her. She just kept going back and forth from Zach to me, then back to Zach, and by the time she finally started to calm down, the three of us (Zach, the baby, and I) were out on the living room couch practically sleeping in a sitting position. We were so exhausted.

Sunday night, the fiasco started again, only this time it lasted a total of almost three hours. Poor Zach had to get up at 4am for work in the morning too. I dare say that neither of us could have possibly gotten more than three hours of sleep that night, so the next day was pretty challenging for both of us. I was sure glad when B finally slept through the night (for the first time in almost a week) on Monday night.

Since Tuesday, both kids have been on the mend, but life has still been pretty stressful, as it usually is when kids aren't feeling 100%, and can tend to be clingy and whiny - not to mention all the naughty little annoying things they have been doing all week to drive me bonkers. Zach has been gone a LOT with work and lessons, too, and I've been stuck home without a car for the majority of the day (each day) with not much of an opportunity for any kind of break from it all. I think that especially has been pulling on my sanity strings a little.

Anyway, through the chaos of the last few weeks, I started to feel a bit down. I think the Lord has really recognized my need for a little extra TLC, though, for I have felt His love in abundance - particularly over these last few days.

It all started one morning with a simple, little meme that a friend posted on Facebook. I had had a particularly stressful time fighting L tooth and nail all morning just to get dressed, and after he was finally on the bus and on his way to school, I was left feeling on edge and emotionally beaten. I happened to log on to Facebook shortly after returning to the house, and the meme was one of the first things I saw. It was an animation of a scene from the inside of a tour bus. On one side, there sat a man who stared out his window at the dull, rocky side of a mountain, a sad frown painted on his face. On the other side, there sat a man peering out of his window at a beautiful scene of sunshine and rolling hills, a smile illuminating his expression. At the top of the picture were the words:

Every single day you make a choice.

Seeing this image immediately put me in check. I was reminded that I am in control of my feelings, and that I have the power to either see the positive things in life, or dwell on the negative, overwhelming things, ultimately leading to feelings of sadness and frustration.

That same day, I felt the prompting to recommit myself to daily, personal scripture study - to invite the spirit into my life, and to give myself a constant reminder of our Heavenly Father's love for me. It's only been a few days, and I cannot tell you the incredibly positive impact it has already had on my emotions AND my thinking. I think when we focus on the blessings in life, the many marvellous things we have to be thankful for, it's easy to see the beauty in simple things that challenge us, things that might otherwise be devastating to our happiness, should we choose to only see the frustration in our situation.

Yes, I have a lot on my plate on any given day, as many stay-at-home mothers do - shoot, as parents in general do - but I am so grateful that I have that opportunity to begin with, that I have such beautiful, healthy, amazingly magnificent children, and that I get to be the one they run to when they are sick, scared, tired, sad, etc.

I know that they are only small for a very short while, and that before long, they will prefer to hang out with their friends or to be left alone in their room to read or listen to music (as I am already getting a taste of this with my oldest, M), and I won't be such a desired commodity in their everyday life. I know that then, I will have much more time to do that personal reading I long for now, to go grocery shopping on my own, or to just stinkin' use the restroom in peace - but it will be then that I long for the days that  they were small and just wanted me hold them in my arms. It will be then that I will look back on this time, wondering how it all passed by so quickly.

I am thankful for the love that my Heavenly Father has shown me through my trials these last few weeks, for the blessings in my life, and for the constant reminders that as one of His beloved children, I am loved and I matter. I am also grateful for a friend who acted on the prompting to post a simple meme on Facebook - one that reminds us that, "Every single day you make a choice," because from here on out, I am choosing to focus on gratitude and love. :)

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Delicious, Remineralizing Fruit Smoothie

If you read my post from yesterday, you'll already know that I have been doing some reading lately on how to remineralize your teeth. Well, this morning, I came across this great article that has some very good information on some of the diet changes that can be made to start the process. I read in the article that adding coconut oil to your diet can be very beneficial, so I decided to try it today when making the smoothie that I have been making for the babies with the cod liver oil/butter oil capsules.

Well, the smoothie was a huge hit. Both babies chugged it down, and I thought it was absolutely delicious (although, I took my portion of the smoothie out before adding the cod liver oil/butter oil capsules since I can just swallow those whole. I wanted to make sure the babies got as much benefit from the capsules as possible).

Anyway, since this smoothie was such a success (it definitely met with my little ones' approval), I thought I would share my recipe, in case any of you were interested in trying something like this yourselves.

Delicious, Remineralizing Fruit Smoothie

2 cups raw milk
1 container greek yogurt
1 cup organic spinach or kale
1/2 cup organic coconut oil
1 Tbs. local organic honey
1 banana
1 cup frozen mixed berries
1 cup frozen strawberries
2 cod liver oil/butter oil capsules (per person) - I used Green Pasture Butter Oil/Fermented Cod Liver Oil Blend capsules.

Directions: In a blender, combine all non-frozen ingredients (except for the oil capsules) until smooth. Add the frozen ingredients, blending well after each addition to ensure smooth consistency. When contents are blending smoothly, remove any portion of the smoothie to which you don't wish to add the oil capsules. Add oil capsules to the remaining portion of the smoothie (in the blender) at this time and blend until smooth. Serve and enjoy.

I know it's best to always go fresh/organic when possible, and that not everyone likes to add frozen berries to their smoothies, so if you choose to use all fresh, organic fruit, you will need to add a little bit of ice at the end to give it a slightly frozen consistency.

And there you have it. If you try this smoothie, let me know what you think. Or, if you have a good remineralizing smoothie recipe that you would like to share, please feel free to do so. I am still learning the ropes of the remineralization process, so I may tweak the recipe a bit as I become more knowledgeable. In the meantime, enjoy. :)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Can Tooth Decay Really Be Healed Naturally?

So, I have a bit of an embarrassing confession to make. I took the family to the dentist last week for routine checkups, and to my horror discovered that B-Boo (my 20-month-old) has two cavities (one in each of her bottom-back teeth), and L-Bear (my three-year-old) has seven! Yes, that's right...7!

I was completely shocked (and embarrassed as a mom) because at their last check-up, neither of them had ANY cavities - AND I am the one who usually holds them down to brush their teeth every day and make sure they are getting cleaned properly, so I just can't fathom how so much damage was done in such a short amount of time. Even more horrifying than the fact that they each had so many cavities, however, was the thought of each of them getting drilled on and having to endure the pain of needles and said drilling. :(

And because B-Boo's cavities are right in the center of her back teeth, the pediatric dentist referred us to an oral surgeon for an evaluation in case she needs to get a root canal. Can you believe that?!? A ROOT CANAL! She isn't even 2 yet! I am sure you can imagine my horror - picturing my 20 lb., tiny baby girl, as petite and precious as she is - being sedated and lying helplessly on her back while they drill on her and cap her poor, little teeth. Yeah, I immediately started feeling a sense of panic. I am sorry, but she is just TOO dang little to be needing a root canal. ::sigh::

But then I remembered an article that I stumbled upon on Facebook a week or so ago called Toddler's Severe Tooth Decay Halted in Only 5 Days. I scrambled around Facebook that evening, trying to remember how far back I had seen the article, and who had posted it so I could go back through and read it in detail. Then I found it, thank Goodness.

The article talks about the average number of toddlers with cavities increasing over the last 5 - 10 years, and how something must be seriously wrong with our children's diets in order for such a drastic change to have occurred in such a short amount of time. Unfortunately, it didn't go into detail about how to fix the problem, but it did share a video testimonial of a mother whose toddler's decaying teeth were healed by simply changing her diet according to a book that she had read by Ramiel Nagel, called Cure Tooth Decay. Naturally, it piqued my interest, so I checked out the author's website and soon found myself on a mission to find an alternative solution for my babies too.

Can cavities REALLY be healed naturally though - without drilling and being filled? Has everything we've ever thought about the properties of our teeth been wrong all along? Some of the research I have come across as a result of this enlightening concept has completely blown my mind, and I am still in the process of learning so much more. I ordered Ramiel Nagel's book and it should be here in a few days, but in the meantime, I have been doing some of my own research, and have already started to put some of these findings into effect.

For example, Sarah, the author of the above article posted a link to her previous blog post titled, "How I Healed My Child's Cavity." In that article, Sarah talks about her pre-teen son who had a cavity, and how she healed her son's cavity with information that she had learned from a book called Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Dr. Weston A. Price, former head of research for the National Dental association who pioneered the idea of healing cavities naturally through nutrition. Apparently, Dr. Nagel's book (Cure Tooth Decay) is even based on Dr. Price's program, which has been proven to be 90-95% or more effective in remineralizing decaying teeth.

Anyway, so Sarah started giving her son butter oil and cod liver oil every morning with a breakfast of raw butter and honey, and after only a few weeks, she took her son into the dentist to discover that his cavity had, in fact, healed on its own. After reading this, I started asking myself, "Why raw butter?" I soon found out that raw butter is very vitamin rich and has a lot of super healthy components that are vital in the remineralization process.

According to an article by The Paleo Mama, which also refers to Dr. Nagel's book, Cure Tooth Decay:

Raw milk is very rich in fat-soluble vitamins, like Vitamin A, K, and E. It is, also, rich in water soluble vitamins like C and B-complex. A quart of raw milk from grassed cows contain 50% more vitamin E and 7% more folate than pasteurized milk.  Moreover, fresh raw milk naturally contains vitamin C which is completely absent from pasteurized milk (source). All these vitamins are extremely necessary for good oral health.
Raw milk is extremely necessary if you are interested in remineralizing your teeth and healing present cavities. 

After reading this, along with Dr. Price's assertion (regarding cod liver oil and high vitamin butter oil) that, "One without the other did not do his patients justice, but the two together worked like magic", I ordered some capsules from Amazon that are a blend of the two oils. I started taking the capsules myself but realized very quickly that it was going to be dang near impossible to get the babies to swallow them, so I tried blending them up in a fruit smoothie, which both of the babies love. Yay.

I also decided to look into getting some raw milk and butter to start giving the kids, but found that it is really difficult to come by, so I started looking up videos on YouTube about how to make raw butter yourself. I plan on making some raw butter tonight, and will let you know how that venture turns out. In the meantime, what are your thoughts on healing cavities naturally?

I will post an update as soon as the kids have had follow up appointments and the state of their oral health has been re-evaluated. ;)