So have you seen this around Facebook?

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It's been popping up on my news feed for weeks now and personally.... Well I just don't like it. I understand that most may take it as a joke but others I assure you take this quite seriously.

There are several reasons why this list of rules makes me cringe deep down inside everytime I see it. The fact is... I never plan on being THIS involved in my son's love life. All I can do is hope that I've raised him in a way to recognize the good ones and avoid the bad ones when it comes to dating.
This list of rules shows way too much control of a mother over her son... And if a mother feels the need to have this much control when it comes to her son dating, well...
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Nope sorry... Couldn't come up with a justifiable reason. If your son is old enough to date... Let him be! If we are talking about teenagers well then of course the typical rules and curphew stuff applies but I STILL think it's too much... From the way this list reads it sounds like we are talking about an adult male as the son... And a mother who has those kinds of rules for the woman dating her son.... Well... That's just asking for trouble.

So...I feel I need to come up with another list. One that is true in my eyes and hopefully in others who are like me. I think I'll call it...

"So You Want My Son to Love You?"

Advice from a mother.. to her son's girlfriend, fiancé, or wife:

1. BELIEVE... In what you ask? Everything.... Believe in love, miracles, magick, a higher power. Believe that the good guys always win. Believe that love will always prevail. In a world where we already know, far too well, that horrible things do and will happen... You need to be that glimmer of hope that keeps my son going when everything goes wrong... and if I do my job right... He will also be yours. Believe in my son.

2. LAUGH OUT LOUD... Don't think that being an adult means letting go of your kid at heart. Be silly, find joy in funny things, be happy, PLAY! Others may stare and they may get annoyed... Feel sorry for those people... Don't let them change you. Don't let them change my son.

3. LET HIM BE A GENTLEMAN! I taught him no other way to be... Be receptive of it! It doesn't mean you can't do it on your own... It means my son sees you as a lady! Take it as a compliment.

4. BE STRONGER THAN HE IS... Is this one confusing? Let's face it... He's a man... You're a woman. If you're not sure what that means yet you will. You have instinct, you have power. Know how and when to channel the goddess that you are.

There it is... That's my list. Common sense? Maybe... Short? Absolutely! My son will have his own rules. All I know is that I look forward to meeting the woman my son chooses to bring home one day. She should not fear me for I will not fear her.
 
 
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So if you follow me on Facebook you know I had to make my lil man an onion chest poultice in the wee hours of the morning due to his cough. He wasnt happy and I needed a quick fix without running for the over the counter stuff. We do have Hyland's Cough and Cold which I do approve of because of the all natural ingredients... But grandma gave it to him daily while hubby and I were out of town on business. So I kinda want to step away from that. It doesn't feel right giving him so much of something over a long period of time.

So... A chest poultice... Usually made with fresh onions. Super easy and super quick... Here's what I used:

1 large onion (This amount will change depending on what size chest you are applying the poultice to)

Olive oil

Flour

Old T-shirt or piece of cloth you don't mind ruining

I coated the bottom of a pan with olive oil... I would say it ended up being about 2-3 tablespoons. I chopped the onion and put them in the pan on high heat (I had a coughing lil man I had to tend to!). At this point as I was stirring the onions I had to stop myself from reaching for the spices!

After they become fragrant and translucent, I turned the stove off and added a few spoonfuls of flour... Just eyeballing it until it became less oily and more of a paste.

I grabbed an old tshirt and layed it on the counter and spread the poultice on the t-shirt. I folded the t-shirt over trapping everything inside, put it on a plate, and ran to my coughing lil man.

I took his shirt off and had him lay flat on the bed... I placed the t-shirt with the poultice inside on his chest (FYI I waited for it to cool down enough to place it on his skin but the key is to have it be as warm as the person can stand it without it burning them). Then I placed a towel over that to help keep the heat in. Ideally you want a hot water bottle between the poultice and the towel but we don't have one (ummm....).

He said he didn't like the smell but once I told him it would help his cough and that it was medicine he was very cooperative... Poor baby will do anything to get rid of that stinking cough!

After about 10-15 min he began to settle down... His cough became a little less intense and less frequent... And then... he was asleep. <3

He seems to cough the most when he wakes so I imagine I'll be doing this again in a couple hours... Oh and I also gave him tea made from chamomile and plantain which I know helped as well.

Tonight I'm going to put garlic oil on his feet and with everything combined... I'm hoping he'll be back to new come Monday. Here's hoping!!

 
 
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Isn't it beautiful!? It's my new medicine cabinet! I didn't have a designated area for medicines and vitamins... We had them in the herb cabinet which was fitting since I use herbs medicinally as well... But hubby has some big 'ol fat bottles of men's vitamins, fish oil... My lil man has his gummie vitamins... And like I've said before we aren't against modern day medicine so I have the few basics like Children's Tylenol, regular Tylenol, Excedrin (yuck!) and arthritis relief. Those last two are for grandma who always chooses them no matter how much I offer her my herbal remedies.

I also want to be accommodating to my guests... Not everyone knows that I use herbs and even those who do... They aren't all believers. So if someone comes over and ask for Tylenol for a headache... I want to be able to accommodate them.

So anyway... I didn't like seeing all those mainstream meds sitting in my herb cabinet alongside my pretty mason jars of herbs and teas. So I found this beautiful cabinet and guess what was the first thing it reminded me of? Anne of Green Gables!!! Remember the scene where Diana runs to Anne's house because her little sister is horribly sick... Anne runs back with her and they go to this little cabinet hung on the wall filled with dark glass bottles and she grabs the epicac. Of course as I just mentioned it won't be filled with dark glass bottles since its for all the over the counter stuff but it DID inspire me to start making tinctures! One shelf for OTC stuff and the other shelf for awesome dark glass bottles! (By the way Anne saved the little sister... In case you haven't seen the movie).

 
 
Okay so maybe that's a bit extreme but that's all I could think of to title this post.... How about we call it a separation... a permanent separation with visitation rights with my smartphone, tv and laptop during nap times and occasionally on the weekends.  Yeah.... that's better.  Now here's why...

Last week it just dawned on me that I've become too darn dependent on our TV... Now I'm not against watching TV... not in the least in fact.  I love TV.... I'm EXTREMELY picky with what my son watches and I think he's learned a lot from the shows he sees.  But since the baby has been born it's kinda been an every day all day kinda thing.  Plus the baby is catching some views of the TV just because it's always on and that I really don't approve of that.  I never even let my son watch TV till he was two.  So that was my first clue.  I really don't want my newborn being entertained and missing out on the real life lessons all around because of a TV screen...  and hey you know what?  That goes for my son too!

My next clue was how I was treating my almost four year old.  When I stood back and looked at the situation I saw myself being too short with him and too detached.  I reminded myself that HE was my job.... nothing else but him and my new baby girl were the only things that deserved my utmost attention during the day with the next in line being our home.  So I made the decision right then and there that we were going to just stop.... No more TV during the day and no more smartphone for me unless the kiddos are napping or playing with their daddy on the weekends. 

Today is our second day trying out this new system.... Our first day was last Friday... and we are LOVING it.  The thing I noticed the MOST is I haven't lost my cool with my son... which actually makes me super sad because it makes me realize that the reason I've been losing my cool with him in the past is because he's been seeking the attention that I was giving to the internet.  Ugh.... shaking my head in shame over here...  Okay... brushing it off now.... because I'm changing it.  I've ALREADY changed it and I am proud of myself for recognizing that something wasn't quite right. 

You know what's icing on the cake both Friday and today?  My house is getting CLEAN!!!  Our priorities are better... I'm making things fun... and we're getting things done! 

I didn't realize how much could be missed by the simple act of checking things like Facebook and Pinterest in a day.... I was missing out on my child's life.  They grow so fast and before we know it I will have wondered where all the time went.  I don't want to look back and say it all went to my phone.  NOTHING is more important than my babies.  I am so excited.  For all you homemakers out there... if things aren't quite right and you're not accomplishing what you feel you should... take a step back and see if maybe you check in on the internet a bit too much... it may be something you can try to give up as well! 

Oops! GOTTA GO!!! My precious boy is awake! ;)
 
 

So if you you've been with me a while you've seen the recipe I posted for homemade laundry soap... Well this is the same recipe (sort of) but this time I'm including a little picture tutorial.

Here's the recipe:

1/4 bar of Felps soap

1 bar of Ivory soap (I didn't use this last time)

2 cups of baking soda

2 gallons of hot water (not boiling)

What you'll need:

Cheese grater

Medium size pot

5 gallon bucket (or a container that could easily hold two gallons)

Something to stir with (I used a paint stick)

Last time I just used a full bar of Felps soap... This time I wanted to try a bit of Ivory since it works well at getting out stains simply by itself... however a bar of Ivory soap isn't as large as a bar of Felps so I used a 1/4 bar of Felps to make up the difference.

Last time I also wasn't quite prepared... So we scoured the house looking for something that would hold two gallons and we ended up using a small trash can... This time I went to Home Depot and grabbed myself a 5 gallon bucket for I think around $5. This was MUCH easier... Oh and I grabbed a handful of paint sticks on my way out. (FYI they have about a zillion uses so I always grab some when I'm there!)

First... We grate the soap... I got tired out after a bit so hubby helped me out.

Then you put the grated soap into a pot and fill with water just enough to cover the soap.

While the soap is melting over medium heat (stirring occasionally) I filled the 5 gallon bucket with two gallons of hot tap water. By this time soap is melted and I add it to the bucket with the water. Then finally I add the baking soda and stir.

You should end up with a bucket full of liquidy goop.

I then used a funnel and filled two empty gallon jugs with my new laundry soap. Remember to label those containers!!! Oh and pour slowly and keep an eye out for overflowing bubbles!! I did a little at a time to let the bubbles settle.

So there you have it! Easy peasy! A little goes a long way and keep in mind this will not give you suds... But that doesn't mean it's not doing its job! I add about 1/4 to 1/2 cup depending on the size of the load.

This batch seems to be working out just fine... However, for some reason that I cannot pinpoint yet... I think I liked it better when I used the full bar of Felps with no Ivory. If you haven't heard of Felps it can be found in the laundry aisle at Walmart.

Oh and have I mentioned that I throw in about a 1/2 cup of vinegar to the load as well as a fabric softener and static reducer? It works wonders!!

 
 

I'm so super excited about my new favorite thing!! It's a new DSLR camera!! For my birthday back in February my husband treated me to a new Nikon digital camera... Well a friend helped me realize that for just a little bit more money I could get my hands on a DSLR. So I took her advice and exchanged the Coolpix digital camera for the Nikon D3100!!

Here's the thing... Too often we hear how people own their DSLR but have no clue how to use it. Well I do not want to be one of those people... I want to learn everything I can about my camera!! I have ALWAYS been interested in photography although I've never ha any direction whatsoever. One day I hope to take some classes but until then... I have a plan.

Recently I've discovered a few photographer friends of mine posting photo challenge photos... Where they a list of key words for each day of the month directing them on the type of photo to take. Most of the time I see these photo challenge linked to groups like Instagram, blogs, etc... I decided to start a photo challenge just for myself... To learn more about my camera each day and to spark my creativity.

So I found a photo challenge list on Pinterest and began my personal photo challenge journey yesterday on June 1st. "Borrowed" waste first challenge word and this was the result...

I'm already having tons of fun with this project and I know I'm going to learn tons about my camera by doing this. Tune into Facebook for the rest of my photo challenge pics. I'll be sharing MOST of them on there (or at least the good ones).

HAPPY JUNE!! :)

 
 
Something which comes out of nothingness is naturalness,
For a plant or stone to be natural is no problem.
But for us there is some problem...
To be natural is something which we must work on.

- Shunryo Suzuki, Zen Master
Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind
 
 
So when I was pregnant a little over three years ago with our son... my husband and I did a photo shoot of the two of us and my pregnant belly.  This time around I've been feeling pretty guilty about not being able to do the same with this pregnancy.  After pondering over it for bit I realized that the photo shoot from my last pregnancy isn't actually all that great LOL!!!  There are a few shots that I like but I never fell in love with them enough to even print them out and frame them.  In fact I'm not sure I could even find the CD of photos right now if I wanted to!  So that got me thinking about this one picture my hubby took when we were pregnant with our son... we were just fooling around one night with the camera and were doing a bunch of silly shots.  Well one of them ended up turning out pretty cool in our opinion.  Mind you we are no where near professional photographers and we just had a point and shoot camera.  Well that thought led to me thinking of a specific photo my hubby took during this current pregnancy and how I love it just as much.... and voila! A new idea was born!! 

I decided that I would order a 5x7 print of each photo and frame them and hang the corresponding one in each of our baby's bedrooms!!  The guilt was slowly drifting away.  In my opinion I think that's even more special than a staged photo shoot.  Each picture with their mommy happily showing off her pregnant belly of each of them.  I received the prints in the mail today and as I was thinking of the types of frames I wanted to buy for them another idea popped into my head.  I remembered that quite a while ago I had written a poem... a poem I thought I had lost but happily found and saved to my computer.  I went searching for it, found it, read it and got a little teary eyed.  This poem I decided would go alongside each photo in a double frame.  A gift to my babies from their mama.  I only hope that when I go searching tomorrow I find the perfect frames to hold two 5x7 prints... I know I've seen them before so hopefully it won't be a problem. 

So since I don't share pictures of my baby (and baby to be) I figured I'd share my pregnant belly pics that I've chosen for this special gift.  I will also share the poem I wrote that will go alongside them.  Please remember that when I write poetry, my heart and sole goes into it and they are quite special to me and extremely personal.  So if you feel inspired to share please give credit back to me... it would break my heart to see this poem out there being claimed by someone else.  I thank you. 
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 I made you from scratch

There is only one "you"

Take care of yourself

Be kind and be true.

Don't mark up your body

For you have only one skin

And I made you from scratch

Must I tell you again?

There's only one "you"

And you're beautiful see.

Don't put yourself down

Else you're putting down me.

Smile to everyone

So your heart won't turn sour.

Others may hurt you

But don't give them your power

Don't follow the crowd

Don't try to be cool.

Cuz I made you from scratch

I made only one "you"...

 

By: Linda Leigh L.

-Mama-