Tuesday, February 4, 2014

A Season of Change



2013 was a very busy year for us and as we continue into 2014, things are seemingly taking off. Lily is now 2 years and 4 months old (going on 7). Wow, saying that I realize how young she really is! This year we dove head first in our first year of home schooling. A question I often receive is "why are you rushing into school?". I want everyone to understand that this is not my intention. I realize Lily is very young and I would never push her to hard or take away her childhood. The best part about The Charlotte Mason method is that you can make your lessons appropriate for all ages!

You see, all of this started late one night after a birth. My client and her husband were bonding with baby so her mother and I stepped into the hallway to give them some privacy. We got to talking and it turned out she had home schooled all of her children. She was so passionate about teaching them and helping them to develop a love for God. It really touched my heart how devoted she was to setting a good example for her now grown kids. I started thinking about our family and Lily and how we really weren't doing enough. After I got home -and a much needed nap- I set my mind to make a list of goals and plans to envelop our lives our spiritual endeavors. At the beginning of the year we started slowly incorporating lessons into our day. We started with having a daily Family Worship. One month in and Lily has memorized 2 scriptures, can explain many bible stories (Noahs ark, Baby Moses, Creation, and Adam and Eve), and can find chapters and versus in the Bible. She also loves to sing along with Kingdom Melodies. I regret to inform you that she seems to have inherited my voice. Hopefully, with time, she will work that out ;). It has also helped us personally to get our personal study done each week. 


Our home schooling endeavors cover much more than Bible Studies. We have been reading piles upon piles of living books and classics. Lily has developed a love for reading and begs us to read her favorites. Each night we read a chapter f the original Pooh tales. Have a mentioned Winnie the Pooh is a favorite in our house? I'd have to say that's an understatement.  Nature walks have helped us slow down and observe the beautiful things around us. I hope to start journaling soon, I can't wait to see Lily's perspective of life!



News Sandwich:
The good news, I have fallen in love with home schooling.
The bad news, it's a little overwhelming to think WE are responsible for this innocent being.
The good news, it's good practice for when life gets a little busier.

Now join us on our journey as I (hopefully) stay afloat :)

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Monday, February 3, 2014

Charlotte Mason- A brief explanation


"Train a boy in the way he should go; Even when he grows old he will not depart it" - Proverbs 22:6


There is a lot of information out there to better describe exactly what Charlotte Mason was all about, but here is an overview in a nutshell. Charlotte Mason was a British educator who had an intense desire to teach children and teach them well. I love her teaching motto and hope to adapt it to fit our own lifestyle, "I am, I can, I ought, I will." (isn't it amazing?!) Included in her teaching methods are as follows:
  • Living Books- A book written by one person who is extremely passionate or who is an expert on the topic. (NOT textbooks)
  • Habit training- Learning the habits of attention, perfect execution, obedience, even temperance, neatness, kindness and punctuality. 
  • Short lessons- Lessons less than 20 minutes for young children. With a "time limit" children won't linger in lessons and get right to work!
  • Nature Study- Get outside, journal, observe, learn EVERY DAY! 
  • Art Study- Studying paintings, listening to music, reading poems. Developing a relationship with art.
  • Handicrafts- Learning any useful skill.
  • Unorganized play- and lots of it :D
  • The Bible- To be read every day.
There is more to it (ie. narration, dictation, language arts, math, etc) but since our little one is so young we will be sticking to the pre school lessons. I am so excited to embark on this next chapter of our life. Won't you join us?
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Monday, February 18, 2013

To medicate or not to medicate. -Fevers

All kids get fevers at one point or another, the question is what do you do? A fever can be a scary thing. Most people see them as bad. But are they really?


(I'm one of the lucky few with baby who is always happy, even when sick.)



What causes a fever?

  • Infections are the most common cause of fever.
  • Medicines such as antibiotics, antihistamines and narcotics. This may be due to an adverse reaction or may be the drugs design.
  • Damage to tissue (surgery, heart attack, hemorrhage, etc.
  • Other medical issues (skin inflammation, arthritis, cancer, etc)


What is the point of a fever?

                 A fever is the natural response to an illness such as a viral or bacterial infection. Fever allows white blood cells to proliferate faster, and helps them migrate through tissue better. It also increases the virus-fighting ability of interferon's  and may decrease the ill effects of some bacterial toxins. It’s also thought that an overly warm environment may be less hospitable to bacteria that have developed in a way to thrive best at normal body temperatures. In laymens terms, a fever fights impending sickness. A fever may be a good thing!!

How and When do you treat a fever?

            This is the tricky part. Not all fevers require treatment. Often, it is better to let the fever run it's course. This will allow the body to naturally (and quickly) rid of the sickness. 

The following are the recommendations for treating a fever:
Baby 6 weeks or younger with fever of 101 or higher, consult your doctor immediately.
Baby 7 weeks to 3 months with fever at or above 101, consult your doctor within a few hours.
Baby 3 months to 9 months with persistent fever at or above 101, consult your dr within a few hours.
Baby or child above 9 months with persistent fever at or above 103, consult your doctor.


Waiting out the fever:

  • Stay hydrated (coconut water!!).
  • Stay comfortable (baths, cool cloths).
  • Keep track of how high the fever is.
Medicating:
  • Contact your doctor to decide whether to use the drug of your choice (tylenol, motrin, ibuprofin).
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Stay comfortable.

Why NOT medicate automatically?

Fever reducers are considered a fairly safe drug now-a-days. But let's think about this for a moment. A fever is there to fight an illness. By administering a fever reducer you are disabling the body's natural process to help you get healthy. In addition, drugs are a foreign object. When you add a foreign object into your body, your body turns it's attention to ridding itself of said foreign object, thus turning it's attention away from the illness. Make sense? So not only are you stopping the "fixing" process but you are throwing a wrench into the works!!!

to quote Dr. Sears
"ARE FEVERS DANGEROUS?
No. Many parents have a misconception that fevers are a bad thing and a sign that there is some serious underlying illness. This simply is not true. Fever is a normal and healthy response of the body to an illness. The body's immune system releases chemicals that raise the body temperature. This is part of the normal infection-fighting process."


Medicine has it's time and place in the world. 

  • If a fever of 103 or above is persistent (lasting 4 hours or more) the risks out weigh the benefits!! This is when we would contact our doctor. 


  • It is SO important to know your kid. I am aware that there are exceptions to the rule. Some kids may have other complications forcing you to treat a fever you may not treat otherwise. Just remember you know your kid better than anyone else!

Without further ado... here are some responses from mom's to the question 
"What do you do when your kid has a fever? How old are they?"

Emily says... "my soon to be 3 yr DD when she gets a fever under 101- I watch and increase fluids, over 101, I think possible ear, viral, bacterial, etc. increase vitamins and supplements and if over 103 usually Motrin- safer more effective then Tylenol- we always try cool cloths, onion in socks etc too. 

However my other DD is one now. She has history of high fevers usually once a month of 105 highest was 105.6 she instantly gets Motrin- anything over 101.4 after we are seen in clinic. ( she had recurrent sepsis, kidney infections, breathing issues, epilepsy and cerebral palsy. Her health history has been h*ll and we don't wait anymore- if we do we wind up admitted to hospital. . Hard to say! Every child is different and pays to have a mom that knows their child and can decide difference from not feeling week fever to serious illness like sepsis."

Brandy says... "My 9 mo had a fever about three weeks ago as did I (no flu just cold); since we are gluten free and LO is allergic to corn (syrup and starch are in OTC meds) which means there are really limited options. We did a lot of keeping him wrapped FWCC and nursing as often is possible while I stayed hydrated with water, tea, and homemade chicken soup. It took about 24 hours, I took his temp about every 4 hours just to track."

Whitney says... "We say 'thank goodness' because it means her body is working like it's supposed to. A fever is a great sign and should not be feared. Of course, it's not great your child is sick but the fever is burning off the infection. Addy has rid herself of 2UTI's and a few colds due to fevers. We do skin to skin and nurse and within a day or two she is 100% better. One time she hit 106 and I took her to the ER. The Doctor's told me to never fear a fever and to let it run it's coure. We don't medicate either, she is 2.5 years old!"

(I) say... "A fever is very important in fighting off infection. We medicate if the fever is sustained for 12 hours at 104 or more. We always keep our doctor in the loop but feel that it is more important for our daughter to fight off the infection naturally instead of intervening with possibly harmful medications."

LeastWicked says... "Our son is 23 months and we cherish a fever because it means his body is working to destroy the cause. We don’t medicate unless it’s over 102 or he is saying he is uncomfortable. We half dose with Advil. Give him a Luke warm bath. Give him a cool sippy. If it climbs above 103 we call the pedi and ask her opinion."

Megan says... "I never medicate for a fever. Our pediatrician told us that no fever is too high and that medicating a child to reduce a fever can actually make them sick longer. Letting a fever run its course is important for fighting infection."


Kristal says... "I don't medicate until we hit 104. The purpose of a fever is to kill the bad bacteria."


You know your child better than anyone else. Do you research and make an educated decision based on your personal situation. DO NOT let anyone make you feel like a crummy parent because you are doing what you feel is best for you child. Education is key!





What do you do when your child has a fever? How old are they?
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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A Mothers Love

I remember the moment Lily was born when her fusses were soothed by laying on my chest. She looked up at me with her big blue eyes as if she was saying "I'm all yours momma and I'm never growing up!" Now she is so big, running around knowing exactly what she wants.
Her happiness spreads through me like a cool ice cream cone on a hot summers day. It's cheesy to say 'they grow up too fast' but it's oh so true. When I hold her now she wraps her arms around my neck with a slight squeeze as if she is telling me again, "I'm all yours momma, but now I'm growing up." Last night I pulled her out of her bed and held her tight, all night. I didn't want it to end. Every day is bitter sweet. It's so wonderful to see her learning new things and becoming so independent yet I never want to let my baby go. As she grows and becomes more independent day by day, I will cherish every moment. Then one day, she will have a family of her own and she will look at her own daughter with indescribable love and feel the bitter sweet truth behind a mothers love.

As each day passes and Lily grows older, I think of my own mother and can't imagine how hard it must be live so far away from her girls. So to her I say, I'm all yours momma and though I've grown up, I will love you and appreciate you forever. Pin It Now!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Photo Update

I realize I've been a bad blogger. With a lack of updates and posts I have left you hanging on our life. I give you permission to use the ruler on my hand. Until then, here are some pictures from recent events :)



My little Beauty at her Aunt and Uncles wedding

Dancing with Grandpa

An attempt to show the world how cute she can be... failed.

With Uncle Nay Nay and Aunt O

Running around at lunch time during the Assembly

She loved collecting leaves

Then sharing them.

Family :)

Reading quietly like a big girl!



Just look at those pig tails!!


At my brother and sister in laws wedding :)


They had the neatest photo booth!


...We obviously loved it.


Nightly walks!


Lily loves holding Savannah! She will be a good big sister one day in the not-so-near future.


Modeling her new Panties!


My little sick baby :( She's starting to get better now!


And lastly an announcement to the whole world! Shouting from the rooftops:

IT'S BEEN A WEEK WITH NO POTTY ACCIDENTS! I think we can safely say, our potty learning experience has been successful and we have a reliable little smarty pants. :D


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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Herrington Manor 2012

Every year we take a huge family trip with my family to West Virginia. Last year and this year we took a little prerequisite trip to Western Maryland with just my parents! Lily got to see her first snow last year and spent much of her time being held by Grandma and Poppop. 

This year was even bigger! Lily got to play in a foot of snow, go sledding and try talk a walk on the slippery side.
Lily and Poppop sleeping on the way!

Lily loved the loft...

...she liked to throw things onto our heads below!

Getting her Spartan WOD in ;)

Sleeping with Poppop

Trying on her snow boots (my baby is a giant!!!)

Trying to sled on her own...

It was a little scary!

Sledding with Daddy

Then with Mama!

The snow  went up to her knees! 

Snow Angels were NOT her thing.

Even when Daddy did them with her.

She wiped out a few times. We thought it was because it was slippery... really she had an extra sock in her boot ! 

We love snow!

There was even a park!!

New spokes-baby for Maryland State Parks!

With Grandma and Poppop

Poppop saves the day!

My little country girl on the way home :)


It was a fun trip filled with lots of yummy food made by Grandma, a warm fire made by Poppop and more than enough love!

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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Milk Please! (or not)


As a mom I have to make decisions for myself and my child. One of those decisions is to allow my daughter to self wean and not give her cows milk. I often get the question "What's wrong with cows milk?" and usually I respond with "nothing!" because I don't like confrontation. However, now I feel the need to explain myself (so people stop thinking I am so crazy!!)

Reason #1:
If you know me you know that I LOVE ice cream and milk chocolate and pretty much anything with dairy in it. BUT, it makes me sick. I am just one of the 66% of people who have lactose intolerance. That's right, you heard right, 2/3 of the worlds population have lactose intolerance. Why is that so, you may ask. Humans need an enzyme called lactase in order to digest lactose. We stop producing that enzyme between 2 and 5 years old. (Makes sense right? That's when babies naturally wean from their mothers breast!)


Reason #2:
Did you know that we are the only mammal that drinks another species milk? ALSO, did you know that we are the only species that drinks milk past infancy? 
Human milk is the perfect mixture of fat, protein, lactose and vitamins made for baby humans.
Cows milk is the perfect mixture of fat, protein, lactose and vitamins made for baby cows.
I am not raising a 200 pound child with 4 digestive compartments. (She is barely 20 lbs actually.)
Cows are much larger than us and grow much larger and much faster for a reason!

Reason #3:
Cows milk has 59 active hormones and tons of allergens, cholesterol and fat. In fact, most cows milk sold in America is genetically modified! Have you ever wondered why the average American cow is twice the size of a naturally grown cow raised elsewhere?


See the difference in size? That's what those lovely growth hormones do to a cow, what are they doing to obese America?

Reason #4:
The number one reason people drink cows milk is because, milk has a lot of calcium and calcium builds strong bones. In a way, that logic could make sense. But let's think about that for a moment. There are approximately 35 mg of calcium/100 ml in human milk and a whopping 130 mg of calcium/100 ml in cow milk, but those facts look only good on paper. The amount a child will actually absorb into their non-cow body is less than 30%! So at most they are getting 39 mg/100ml but their bodies won’t use it the same. Studies have shown that people that consume dairy on a daily basis actually have less calcium in their blood than those that get their calcium from leafy green vegetables. Interesting isn't it? Let me show you a study showing that calcium from cows milk does NOT make strong bones.  <<Click here to see the full text!

In the Harvard study, women consuming greater amounts of calcium from dairy foods had significantly INCREASED risks of hip fractures, while no increase in fracture risk was observed for the same levels of calcium from nondairy sources.

Reason #5:
Three of those 59 active hormones found in cows milk are  testosterone, estradiol and progesterone. They sound familiar huh? That's because two of the three hormones are found in birth control!! These hormones are used to prevent pregnancy. Ever wonder why there has been such a decline in fertility in the Western World? This may answer that question.  

I have barely touched the subject as there are many more reasons scientists believe that cows milk is detrimental to our health. These are my personal reasons to have made the decision not to wean my daughter and give her cows milk. That said, I am not against cow's milk. I believe that everyone has the right to make an educated decision for themselves and their children. All I ask is that you respect ours!

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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Why I Became a Doula

Me and Faye Rosalina

Why I Became a Doula
By: Chloe Chrysanthus

When I got pregnant I became determined to birth naturally. I did research day and night on ways to stay comfortable during labor, practices in hospitals, and things that could go wrong. I educated myself on every possible decision I could make. I decided to use a midwife at a local hospital that was known for it's birthing options. After having a very long and hard labor I did more research to determine what I could do differently for my next birth. That's when I learned about doulas. At the time I thought it was silly to hire someone you don't know to support you during labor. But after attending a friends birth, I realized how important that extra support really is. It became important to me to provide the support women need during their pregnancy, labor, birth, breastfeeding and postpartum. I believe that every woman should be able to birth the way they choose and I want to be there to help make that happen.

I fell in love with birth. While that seems silly to many, to me birth is the most amazing, passionate and beautiful experience of a persons life. After attending just one birth I was hooked on the adrenaline rush you receive as baby makes their entrance into the world. I have never felt such a connection to anything before I started with labor, birth and breastfeeding support. Birth gives me a calm and peaceful feeling for days after. Working as a doula gives me purpose and clarity in a messy world.

I hope to spread awareness of the importance of doulas. I also hope to offer my services to those who may not normally be able to afford such support. In conclusion I'd like to quote the wise Dr. J.H. Kennel, "If doulas were a drug, it would be unethical not to use it." 
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Monday, November 5, 2012

Our month in photos!

Lily rode a tiger!
We took a trip to Fells Point with Uncle Dustyn and Aunt Olivia 

Uncle Dustyn came to visit!
Lily met her brand new (adorable) cousin!
Lily moved into her new big girl bed!
We got our cool new Baby Jogger Summit XC!
We de-molded the bath tub, then enjoyed it :)
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