Saturday, September 13, 2014

Good Intentions

I had such high hopes for this blog last year. I had told myself things like, this is the year I'm going to document our homeschool life. And I'll do reviews of products that I love and others could love because I reviewed them. And I'll post recipes and tutorials of how I make certain dishes, complete with pictures. And I'll share the tips and tricks I've gathered from all the Pinterest-ing. And hey! I'll post about my Pinterest projects. And our family and friends will get to see snippets of how our days go, and see more of the kids and their various school doings and whatnot. Alas, my aspirations of blogging glory were, once again, trampled by my reality. A reality in which I am juggling too many balls, and some of them are doomed to fall. I will admit that the juggling is most often a self-induced state of being. So in the interest of reorganizing and prioritizing, I will try once again to simplify. To follow through on things. To manage stress, adopt healthy habits, and focus on what's important.

As I look back over the years since I started this blog, I see a pattern. A gap of many months, or perhaps a year (or more) appears between posts, and the post immediately following such a gap attempts to assure the reader that there will not be such a gap again! This blog will be revived! There are so many ideas to share, and projects to be done, and moments with growing children to capture for posterity - how can I let such things go undocumented? Yeah. So here I am again.

Perhaps I'll make blogging a regular thing again. I do enjoy it, and there is a lot to be said for being able to look back at one's life and see how things have changed (or not). I look at past posts on here and realize how fleeting childhood life is, and that compels me to try again. So here I go.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

How I Cured My Son's Strep Throat Infection Without Antibiotics

First I need put a disclaimer out there:
I am not suggesting that everyone should ditch antibiotics. I am not anti-doctors (or anti-medicine). I am not a medical professional, and I am not saying that this way will work for everyone.

I believe that if you have a pretty healthy body and strong immune system to begin with, then natural methods of healing are more likely to work. I have been working hard for the past 5+ years to transition my family to a non-toxic, real food lifestyle. And beyond that, for the past year and a half, I have tried to use natural remedies for ailments, because of the knowledge, support, and encouragement I have received from my AMAZING Maximized Living (Victory Chiropractic and Wellness) doctor, Dr. Jake Parrish. Because of his practice, I have begun to learn what a powerful healing system the body is when it is well taken care of. And because of trusting what I have learned while under his care, I have found out first hand that it is possible to clear up minor illnesses quickly, cure pretty serious infections naturally, and even avoid many illnesses altogether. It has not been easy to forsake my previously go-to medicine cabinet staples like Tylenol, Ibuprofen and Benadryl when my sweet children have had illnesses, but with faith and trust I have used alternatives and they have gotten over illnesses just the same (and I think oftentimes more quickly). Prevention is key!

Now, on to the story.

A few weeks ago we had some precious friends come and stay with us overnight. Unfortunately, my friend's son had an ear infection coupled with a sinus infection. I believe he had already been under a doctor's care, but they had been traveling, and he kept waking up with a high fever and a lot of pain each night. It was the same the night they stayed with us. His ear also started draining pus and blood that night. They went straight to the doctor from our house the next day, and my friend texted me later on that the ear had staph infection in it, and that we might want to disinfect our couch cushions where he had slept. That was on a Thursday night into Friday afternoon.

Sunday evening, my throat started to get a little sore. As did my husband's, Blake's and Josh's. Josh definitely had the most pain, as it seemed to get a lot worse pretty quickly as the night wore on. In addition he started feeling a bit feverish, so I took his temp and it was at 100.0. We knew immediately how we'd gotten the exposure to illness. I started our regimen of colloidal silver, wild oregano oil, olive leaf extract, and strong probiotics, along with some natural throat spray. For Josh's pain I used a homeopathic children's liquid for pain and fever.

On Monday morning, I looked at Josh's throat and noticed some white spots had formed - I knew immediately it was strep infection. I have had strep many times in my life, so right away we called and made a doctor's appointment. His temp was at 99.8, and in addition to what I had already started for natural rememdies, I added in raw honey with cinnamon.

We went to the doctor, and Josh tested positive for strep immediately. We got the prescription for antibiotics and headed to the chiropractor from there. We were supposed to attend a workshop that evening, but we decided under the circumstances we would just get adjusted and be on our way. Dr. Jake likes us to come in when we are sick, as getting adjusted is one of the ways to heal our bodies naturally. Chris texted him just to make sure it was okay since Josh had strep, but he insisted we still come in. So we went.

While we were there, I told him all of the things I was doing and he suggested that I add coconut oil to help soothe the throat and to help with the infection. He also strongly encouraged me NOT to use the antibiotics (unless we absolutely had to). So Chris and I decided we'd see how things went. We filled the prescription, just in case, and went home and did a little research.

I was giving him homemade chicken broth, yogurt, and whatever else he felt like eating that was nourishing. We found that garlic is a great healer for infection, and we asked Josh if he thought he could chew on some raw garlic. Chris and I decided to do it with him in solidarity, and so we all risked dragon breath. It was spicy as all get-out, and Josh decided he would not like to do that again, but maybe we could put some in his chicken broth the next day? What a trooper. His fever had pretty much been off and on at this point, and never again got over 99.8. We had debated on whether or not to give him the antibiotics, but decided to wait until the morning and see how Josh felt.

I have to add here that I happened to mention the garlic chewing on Facebook, and received some comments from friends and family whom I had obviously upset with my choice to attempt natural healing methods. I had not meant to alarm anyone in any way, and had I thought it through, I would have not said anything until he had already been cured. I didn't feel like I could explain myself properly on the Facebook forum without inciting debate and possibly hurting feelings, so I wanted to write this blog post to not only let those interested know what methods I used, but to also assure my family and friends that my children are not just an experiment. I am doing my very best to take excellent care of them and to keep them in good health. I would never risk their lives or assume I could take all medical matters into my own hands. In this particular case, I felt pretty confident to try because we caught it immediately. We were also prepared to use antibiotics if things didn't get better after just one day. I love my family and friends dearly, and totally appreciate their care and concern for our well-being. Moving on.

Tuesday morning he woke up and said he didn't have as much pain, but the white spots were still there and his tonsils were still pretty swollen. No fever this day though. Chris' throat pain had disappeared completely, and I felt much better as well. Blake had a wee bit of sore throat pain still, and George still felt fine. I had researched more natural methods of curing strep after Josh went to bed, and decided to add gargling with baking soda, which I had him do 3 times per day. I also added Lemon Balm extract, which I had read was good for sore throats. We continued with all other natural remedies, and I added another homeopathic pain relief. I also added chewable Vitamin C tablets. We decided to wait one more day, and if the white spots were still there, or if the pain was the same or any worse, we were going to give him the antibiotics.

Wednesday morning he woke up and his throat looked SO much better! NO white spots! His throat was still red and a bit swollen, but he said the pain was a LOT less. And still no fever. So we kept going with all of the natural remedies. I figured since he had been fever free for a couple of days, it was a good time to disinfect. We washed every stitch of bedding in the boys' room, plus pillows and stuffed animals. I changed out the toothbrushes, had the boys wipe down all of the handles/door knobs/light switches, washed all of the toys that had been out (put a ton of Legos in a mesh bag and ran them through the dishwasher - brilliant!), and steam cleaned all of the upholstery.

Thursday was better still - swelling was completely gone, and the throat was just red. Very little pain, and not all day. I think this was the day that Blake was back to normal too (he had only had a minor sore throat, and it never progressed).

Friday Josh said he was completely pain free, and his throat looked almost normal, just a teeny bit of reddishness left. We were shocked and amazed (and super grateful!) that he was able to heal completely, and about as quickly as if we had used antibiotics. 
Here are the specifics of the protocol I used:

Colloidal Silver (Genesis Pure silver or Silvercillin Spray): twice per day, 3 sprays
Strong Probiotics (Garden of Life Raw Probiotics): 1 capsule, 2-3 times per day
Raw Honey mixed with Cinnamon (ratio of 1 tsp honey plus 1/4 tsp cinnamon): 1 spoonful twice per day
Coconut Oil: I added this to the honey/cinnamon, but it was not received well by the children (I didn't really like it that way either) - next time I will make sure to make this healthy fudge recipe, which is something we all love
Baking Soda Gargle (1 tsp. baking soda in a glass of water): gargle 3 times in a row for 5 seconds each, 3 times per day
Wild Oregano Oil (California Natural): 1 capsule twice per day
Olive Leaf Extract (Nature's Way): 1 capsule twice per day
Vitamin C (natural Factors): 1 chewable wafer, 2-3 times per day
Vitamin D: 10 minutes of sunshine out on the deck each day in swim trunks
Lemon Balm Extract (Herb Pharm):  15-20 drops in an ounce or two of water, twice per day
Echinacea/GoldenRoot (Herbs for Kids): 2 ml 2-3 times per day
Nourishing Foods: homemade chicken broth with minced garlic, herbal teas, yogurt, etc. (NO junk food and very little sugar - homemade popsicles made with fresh fruit and xylitol)
For Pain: NutriBiotic throat spray (1-4 times per day), Kids Relief Pain & Fever drops (every 4 hours when the pain was bad), Boiron pellets - phytolacca decandra (5 pellets 2-3 times per day), Cepacol lozenges (could have every 2 hours if needed, and this was probably the only thing that wasn't all natural or homeopathic, but they really did help his pain in the beginning)

The rest of us did most of the protocol as well, and nobody else got infected (George never even got sick in the slightest). We all stayed on this until a couple of days after Josh was completely well. So while I would use antibiotics if I felt it necessary (infection spreading, not catching it in time, child not willing to comply with natural remedies, etc.), I am thrilled to find that strep CAN be healed using natural methods.

I have since found some additional immune-boosting treats, recipes, and methods that I would like to try the next time infection comes our way (including the use of essential oils, which I already love and use for many homemade cleaning and body products). I NEED to get ingredients for this recipe for Elderberry Gummies!

My favorite websites to purchase quality (and MUCH cheaper) supplements are:

And if I can't find what I'm looking for there, then I go to or It's always worth researching to find the best prices, as it is not cheap to keep a family healthy - but I'd rather spend the money on the front end by trying to prevent disease instead of spending money for doctor visits, prescriptions and various medical procedures. Of course, life is unpredictable, and you can do all the right things and still end up with cancer or disease (and on the flip side, you can treat your body terribly and somehow not get sick a lot). But I truly believe that investing in your health is always worth the effort.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Bi-annual Blog Post

At the risk of overwhelming my devoted readers, I have cut back to twice-yearly posts. This both keeps my readers giddy with anticipation and allows them some breathing room between readings.

In all seriousness though, how is it that I have not blogged in 6 months time?! I was searching for a recipe, which I thought I had recalled posting on this blog some time ago (and I had - 5 YEARS ago, to be more precise), and I realize that for a while there I was posting with some sort of regularity, and I miss having that documentation of my kids' lives. They're not really getting it anywhere else, except maybe in loads of digital pictures stored on the computer (because I haven't gotten around to making their scrapbooks, like I have always planned to do).

Today's post serves dual purposes: it gets something out there so as to not let this blog go completely stagnant (I will bring it back! I will!), and is perhaps the start of a new category - gel manicures. I have been using gel polish on my nails for the past couple of years, and I'm sure I could do a series of posts about that journey. I have become somewhat passionate about this product, as frivolous as it may be, and I think putting the pics of my nails will help me remember which looks I loved and what products I used to achieve them. So this is more for my own brain than anything else, as I have lost much of my recall and multi-tasking ability with the birth of my children.

So here is my first picture for the topic of what I will deem "The Nail File." The picture quality is severely lacking, as I took this with my iPhone, with bad lighting. But it is the only copy I have, and so there you have it. If I do actually end up posting regularly, and add more nail pics, I may try to up my photography skills for the viewing audience's benefit. We shall see.

This was my 4th of July manicure. For this look I used 2 coats of Gelish Sheek White, then a coat of Gelish Vegas Nights for sparkle. Then I used one coat of Gelish Top it Off top coat, cleaned it off, and stamped the stars using Mash plate #49, and alternated with Sally Hansen Laquer Shine Dazzling (the red one) and Spoiled Your Fly's Down (the blue one). Both of these colors stamped just okay, but I did have to take a toothpick and add a little more color here and there. Then I added another layer of Gelish Top it Off, and there you have it. Just overlook the blurriness of the photo, the unmoisturized cuticles, and the floor pads in the background.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Snow Day!

The boys have been so anxious for snow, since long before Christmas. There was a tiny bit on Christmas Eve night, but it was just a wee flurry that didn't accumulate or anything. This week had been nothing but cold icky rain, but then on Thursday afternoon we started getting snow. A LOT of snow (especially for us). And it came down quickly. Huge, heavy wet flakes. Plus it was thundering! This is what we saw first:
Then less than an hour later, it looked like this (and yes, that is our red wagon in the background - try not to judge):
And since Chris had work to do, we weren't ready to get out and play in it until it was just about getting dark. So we decided to wait until Friday to play in the snow, since co-op was cancelled anyway. We got up yesterday and the snow was all still there, AND it was sunny! We hadn't seen the sun for so long. So we went out and enjoyed the snow day, and here's the proof:

Josh was so excited, he flung himself down in the snow, face first.
He loved his face full of snow.
 George immediately grabbed the sled.
 Blake was at least smart enough not to put his full face right into the snow.
 He made a snow angel instead.
Josh went right to work making a tiny snowman (in between bites of snow, that is).
Chris got in on the fun - snowball fight!
We decided to make some snow people. This is the his and hers set.
George made his even bigger than mine!
Blake made a teeny tiny one.
Jaz loves the snow. It brings out friskiness that we rarely see anymore, being that he's so old and gimpy. He didn't stay out the whole time, but he did have fun.
Our 13-year-old neighbor boy saw us having so much fun that he decided to come out and join us. More sledding and snowball fights ensued!
I made some colored water spray for the snow people, and used it to write Blake's name in the snow.

We had a great time out in the snow and sunshine, and once we were finished we came in and had some hot chocolate. We were thankful not to lose power, or get a vehicle stuck somewhere, and that we were all healthy enough to go out and enjoy the play time.