Jennifer's blog

Sprains, Strains & Broken Bones: #4, and Last in our First Aid Series

I’m a bit superstitious. I wish I weren’t. It has improved over time, but when it comes to my kids I haven’t shaken it completely. I’ve noticed superstition rear its head as i’ve written the first aid series. I noticed, for example, that after the blog on healing salve for cuts and abrasions, my older son, Aidan, seemed to have one wipe-out after another that required the use of my newest potion. Same with the Tummy Trouble Tea and our incidence of the stomach flu.

3 Steps to the Perfect DIY Mother's Day - in 1 Hour or Less

I don’t remember the details of my first Mother’s Day, but I’m pretty sure it involved a card, and a happy hour trip to the neighborhood bistro where we’d order an appetizer, a glass of wine to split, and a complimentary bread basket. We used to do this a lot for special occasions. We were super-short on money, my husband and I, (I mean, everyone wants more, right, but we’re talking pregnant and no health insurance short.) but we also liked the high life a bit, so we’d get creative on how to indulge ourselves and not break the non-existent bank. It was a cash-only system.

Recipe Weekend: Healthy Hibiscus Tea for Mother’s Day

My son Aidan and I have started a new routine. After I’ve put his little brother to bed, Aidan stays awake with me and helps me with the recipe I’m working on -- cough lozenges, Ammie’s baby food, our homemade hand cream, whatever. Last night I was awake making hibiscus iced tea for a baby shower -- and Aidan asked to stay awake with me. He helped with the ingredients, he even took all the pictures you see in this blog. It made me realize a new joy of getting elemental and making homemade stews and brews -- I get to share it with him. It’s become our thing.

In Honor of Mother’s Day: How NOT to catch the Stomach Flu

What to Do When Your Kid Gets Sick and You’re Not Sick...Yet

You know how you think you’re a healthy person when you’re in your 20’s and single and you can stay out all night (maybe with a cocktail or two:)), maybe not even make yourself a home-cooked meal for days at a time, and you never get sick? And you may even start believing that you’re the kind of person who doesn’t get sick, you have a strong immune system, and your body is resilient enough to handle whatever you throw at it? Maybe you even start to feel self-righteous about it -- it’s the yoga, the Pilates I do, the salads I eat, the juice? And then, you have kids...

Recipe Weekend: Homemade Cough Lozenges

In honor of our spotlight on slippery elm bark yesterday, Maddie’s sweet daughter Wren developed a nighttime cough. Not a little one either, but the kind that wracks their little bodies and keeps them --and you -- fitfully awake. Allergies are high right now, her eczema has been flaring. In the system of Chinese Medicine, these symptoms together make perfect sense. Eastern medicine considers the skin, the nasal passages and the lungs to be part of the same organ ‘system’ of the Lungs, an inherent logic as all of these body parts open to and interact with the outside world in protective and intimate ways, all being involved in the process of breathing. This is seen in the correlation we often see as practitioners between eczema and asthma.

Spotlight on Slippery Elm Bark

Uh-oh. I think that this whole solids thing may have gone awry. Not dreadfully, unrecoverably awry, more like, ‘let’s step back, assess and regroup’ awry. Avocado went well. No problems there. Four days of green slimy fun. Then I introduced mushed banana. I love this one because it’s gentle, easy to prepare (my older son and his friend mashed it themselves, before taking turns feeding baby), and full of potassium. It’s also the food we’d use during my days in Latin America for what my father would politely call, “Montezuma’s Revenge.” In other words, banana is good for stopping up the works. Little one hasn’t pooped in 2 days. He’s not quite ready for cooked prunes and plums... What now?

Seasonal Allergies & Kids: Natural Remedies to Provide Sweet Relief

My babysitter called in sick last week. She never calls in sick, and that makes two babysitters in one week’s time, both with the solid work ethics of...well, better than mine, anyway. When she shows up again this Monday, she sounds like Kathleen Turner. Not a bad thing, if you’re Kathleen, but a little deep and hoarse for a ninety-pound pixie. Her replacement sitter meantime spent two hours the week before getting my little teething love to take a nap - only to wake him with a coughing fit. “Don’t worry,” she sputters, “it’s just allergies.”

Recipe Weekend: Jane-of-All-Trades Silky Homemade Hand Cream

It looks like the homemade hand cream wins today for my Recipe Weekend project, mainly because I’m still in the land of avocado and bananas with my baby (for which I don’t need a recipe), and my hands still feel the toll of last night’s culinary creations. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, you are undoubtedly not alone; for more on this, and what inspired the red-hot debate on the topic for this recipe weekend, check out this blog post. In short, I was trying to decide whether to explore the world of solid foods today or the world of homemade cosmetics to cure my case of dishpan hands -- clearly, beauty won over function.

Introducing Solid Foods: The Beginning

It’s 1:20 in the morning, and I’ve just finished making 5 batches of abelskivers for my 2nd grade son’s Danish festival tomorrow - as in, Denmark, not the pastry (and 6 batches if you count the batch my husband polished off single-handedly). I’m not Danish, so there was quite a learning curve. Ugh. Did I say that? I meant...yum.

I’m thinking this means I’m done with all mama-related responsibilities for a while and it’s time to settle in for a bath and a cup of tea before bed -- and then I realize that I’ve only fulfilled my food-related duties toward boy #1 -- and boy #2’s needs are a lot more difficult than Danish pancakes. First of all, there’s the 2am feeding -- which I love, I don’t mind it at all, but then there’s the 4 o’clock and the 6 o’clock lately too, which is new. The boy is HUNGRY.

Coffee Talk: Does Coffee Help or Hinder Mama’s Health?

I am sitting in my son’s martial arts class this afternoon, chatting with another mama. “I should have gotten a coffee today,” she says. She doesn’t need to say why. It is, after all, the end of the day, at the end of the week, and she’s the carpool gal today. “Mmm. Sounds good. Why didn’t you?” I ask. “No food or drink dojo policy,” she says. “Plus, I shouldn’t anyway. It’s not good for me.” I nod in understanding, but the truth is, not even a full hour prior to picking my son up from school, I read another article on the merits of coffee -- this time, significant correlations are mapped between coffee drinking and decreased heart disease in women.

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