The Playground

Looking at this picture it looks like an average playground, right? A place where moms and dads take their little kids to play outside and learn to socialize. For most kids this is a place to squeal and run around with other kids that you don’t even know. Funny how kids can just jump right in where there is no judgment or shame or the tricky navigating that takes place as people begin to age and notice differences.

It was at this very playground that I had taken my kids to play over 26 years ago that I noticed the big difference. Being a native to my city I am often overcome with memories of not just my childhood, but the memories of raising my own family here and the changes that have occurred over my life time. It never fails when I walk past this playground I am transported to a time over two decades ago when a simple intention to have a little picnic at a playground shook my world.

Triggers are a funny thing like that. They sneak up on you when you least expect it and send you back in time. Thankfully, over the course of twenty years and lots of personal growth I am no longer triggered to a place of pain, but rather I think of the young mother that I was who was lost in her own life and about to embark on something that would either break her or make her.

Seeing the merry-go-round on my lunchtime walk I was reminded of the sunny summer day when I was carrying my one year old around making sure that he wasn’t eating too much sand or climbing on things too high, and trying to watch my older two kiddos. My oldest son was fully self-sufficient at a playground and was busy making new friends and doing what boys do on playground equipment. Scanning the area for my daughter, my eyes finally landed on the merry-go-round. There she laid, stretched out and holding on with her little hands while a group of older kids were spinning her as fast as they could. She was fixated on the sky and completely at ease.

Huh. That is strange I remember thinking. No other kids were on this piece of equipment, only the bigger kids spinning her. I watched for a few minutes and eventually walked over and spoke to her. She was completely unaware of the spinning sensation or how most of us would feel being spun into a dizziness that I cannot even imagine. I tried with everything to get her off the merry-go-round but the tantrum that came when I touched her arm sent her into a rage that I had never seen.

Then came the stares from other parents. Then the grabbing of their little boys and girls and taking them far away from this now screaming, sweating, snotty, disheveled mess of a three year old. Then came attempting to get my boys and her get out of there fast as I could while the gasping of others was all I could hear. Then the protests from my oldest son that we had just got there.

I am sure to an onlooker it was scary or even perhaps the thought that she was being a “bad” kid.

Soon after my life began to turn itself upside down. More and more opportunities occurred that I was aware of how different my little girl was. More and more opportunities for me to feel shamed and embarrassed and on the outside of a club called parenting. More and more sadness and the great unknown.

Over the years I learned that her little brain could not interpret things like spinning and effectively organize the sensation and as a result her brain caused chaos in her sensory system, so she learned that spinning was not something she was allowed to do, although she craved it.

Today, I am able to walk past that merry-go-round–the exact one that was my first look at my different girl– and be grateful to see that it was an experience that would either crush me or lead me down a new path.

Although it took many years to get on the path, I eventually did and it led me someplace amazing.

My message hopefully will be read not as sadness but a reminder that you never really know what is happening in a person’s life and that different doesn’t always relate to bad or scary. Blessings to all the parents struggling and my hope is that the world softens a bit and people choose to be helpful instead of judgmental.

Follow me for more goodness!

Breathe Essential Oil Blend

Breathe essential oil blend makes it easy to take simple respiratory support on the go when seasonal threats are high (just swipe on the bottoms of your feet or over your chest with a bit of carrier oil. Rub on neck, chest, back, or bottom of feet for a restful sleep.

Breathe essential oil blend is my go to when I feeling stuffy or have any sort of breathing discomfort. It is also amazing for those who sleep with a snorer. Just have that person apply a little on their mustache area or pop in your diffuser*!

This blend is safe for all ages too, with proper dilution of course. I like to apply this one to the bottoms of feet and not only do the feet feel amazing but breathing gets a little easier! Perfect for little ones!

Breathe Essential Oil Blend includes:

  • Laurel Leaf
  • Eucalyptus
  • Peppermint
  • Tea Tree*
  • Lemon
  • Cardamom
  • Ravintsara
  • Ravensara

* be mindful using this around dogs and cats. Never apply to animals directly and make sure if diffusing the animals have a way to leave the room.

Ready to get this one in your home?

Acknowledging the Goodness

In recent weeks I have been coming up with strategies to ease my aching heart about the obviously very different Thanksgiving celebration that this year will hold. On one hand, I am incredibly grateful for the health and happiness within my family and close friends, but I am also allowing myself to feel the very real disappointment and sadness that is present when I face the grim reality that I won’t be spending this years annual holiday surrounded by food, festivities, and of course, family.

In the big picture I realize that it is just one day. One measly 24-hour period that can easily be made up when this all passes with a bounty of food and connection.

And yet, I also have a strong need to acknowledge the sadness and emptiness that the lack of tradition brings to my heart. There is in fact a hole that is empty of the connection that regardless of how busy our lives are, people come together for one day of family.

I will miss that.

I have given myself a few days to notice the missing parts of the tradition that I love so much. I love the hectic amount of cooking, the matching orange, brown and red table decorations, and even the ridiculous turkey shaped salt and pepper shakers. I love to see my sons interact and jive each other while their sister tries to sheepishly engage. I love to see the history of our lives be woven together again for a few short hours.

Now that I have had my time to feel what I feel, I am ready to rumble with making new traditions. I decided to switch up my classic food items a bit and prepare a few new dishes. After spending some time prepping yesterday I came to the realization that cooking for two is much easier than fourteen, so there is some beauty there. I also realized that my kids are making their own traditions and that is what I always wanted. I had always hoped that they would grow up to truly own their life and create experiences for themselves that nurture their unique spirit.

As the turkey gets put into the oven today, I am reminded of all the good. I have raised two fantastic men, I have a warm ad cozy house, my career fulfills me and I am truly loved. Those are the things that matter. The memories and traditions will be locked into my heart space with fondness, and today I choose to take abundant breaths and soak in the quietude of the day knowing that all is well.

Photosensitive Essential Oils

When I first started using essential oils I had no idea that some oils could cause a burn. Crazy, right?

As we head into warmer months and more outside time, remember that some oils are photosensitive and cause a reaction that is uncomfortable when combined with sunlight.

Be mindful when applying the following if you plan to be in the sun. You can still use them, just apply on the feet or a covered area or take internally (I only ingest pure, certified therapeutic grade oils that I am positive have been tested).

Check out this gorgeous ebook for the basics and be sure to drop me a message if you’re not sure which oils are safe  I’m happy to help.


Essential Oils and Children

Now that I am grandparent (ack!) I am learning all about essential oils and children.  When I had my kiddos I had no idea I could swap out over-the-counter remedies for natural options. I sure wish I had these choices! I am determined to make sure my sweet little grandbaby gets to use essential oils and learn the natural way. I have been learning so much and want to share!

First, parents who are new to essential oils should know that essential oils and plant parts have been used for centuries to promote wellness, and are not a new fad or trend, but a tried and true solution for many of life’s everyday problems. Families in ancient Egypt used plant extracts and oils for everything from cooking and beauty treatments to embalming and religious ceremonies. For centuries, families in China have continued practices that promote wellness by using plant extracts and materials. Plant extracts and oils were a major staple in the households of ancient Rome, as plant parts were used for their fragrance and calming properties. After centuries of safe use, parents can rest easy knowing that essential oils have been proven safe and effective time and time again.

Because essential oils are naturally occurring compounds found in plants, they are a popular ingredient for many commercial products. Essential oils are often used in perfumes, soaps, candles, lotions, and skincare products to add fragrance. Due to their powerful purifying properties, essential oils are also frequently added to cleaning agents and products. Chances are, you most likely already have products in your home that contain essential oils. The benefit of using pure essential oils on their own is that it allows you to avoid the harmful toxins and chemicals that are often added to household products.

As mentioned, the key to safely and successfully using essential oils on children is observing the special safety guidelines that have been set to protect children from overexposure or sensitivity. As a parent, it is important to remember that the rules for using essential oils with children are different than those for adults. By observing specific guidelines when it comes to essential oil dosage, dilution, application, storage, and more, you can help your children safely and effectively enjoy the benefits that essential oils have to offer.

Dosage Because children have a smaller body mass; have thinner, more sensitive skin; and are still developing, their dosage level of essential oils should always be smaller than adult doses.

For a comparison of adult versus child doses of essential oils, take a look at the chart below: This chart provides general guidelines for dosages when it comes to using essential oils with your children, but remember to always consult your child’s physician about any specific health conditions or concerns before using essential oils on your child. Diffusing essential oils in your home will allow your children to reap the benefits of your favorite essential oils, and is one of the safest and simplest forms of application. Dilution Many parents have concerns about the topical use of essential oils with children because of their sensitive skin. The best way to protect a child’s delicate skin when using essential oils topically is to dilute before application. Diluting an essential oil with a carrier oil like d?TERRA Fractionated Coconut Oil before applying it to your child’s skin will help reduce the risk of sensitivity. Always supervise children during essential oil usage. Perhaps the most important safety guideline when it comes to essential oils and children is to ensure that your child only uses essential oils under adult supervision. Even if your children are used to essential oils and know how to apply them, it is always best to supervise any oil application to ensure safety. Essential oils are extremely potent and powerful, and many children do not understand concepts like dosage, dilution, and sensitivity. In addition to teaching your kids about applying essential oils safely, it is important to always be present when any essential oils are being used around your children.

Arborvitae–Before your next family hike, dilute Arborvitae oil and apply to the wrists and ankles to repel insects naturally.

Basil— During homework time, diffuse Basil oil in your child’s study area to promote a sense of focus for studying, reading, or completing other tasks that require mental clarity.

Cedarwood–Cedarwood oil holds relaxing properties that can soothe the body and mind. When your child wakes up scared in the middle of the night, dilute Cedarwood and apply to the bottoms of the feet to help them return to a peaceful feeling.

Cilantro— Dilute Cilantro oil and apply to your child’s fingernails and toenails to keep them looking clean and healthy.

Cinnamon— During your child’s nighttime routine, dilute one drop of Cinnamon oil in two ounces of water, and have them gargle the mixture for a cleansing mouth rinse.

Clary Sage— Before your child goes to bed, apply one drop of Clary Sage oil to their pillowcase to help them prepare for a restful night of sleep.

Clove–Clove oil holds cleansing properties that are particularly useful for oral hygiene. After your child’s six-month cleaning at the dentist, add one drop of Clove to their toothpaste to help maintain a clean mouth.

Coriander— The fresh, green aroma of Coriander oil makes it both relaxing and stimulating. When your child is working on homework or an important project, diffuse Coriander in an essential oil diffuser nearby.

Eucalyptus— To promote feelings of clear breathing and open airways for your child, dilute Eucalyptus oil and apply it topically to your child’s chest. As your child breathes deeply, the oil will provide an invigorating vapor.

Ginger–During a long car ride or road trip, diffuse Ginger oil in the car, or place a drop of Ginger in your child’s palm and have them inhale the aroma.

Grapefruit— If you have a teenager who is struggling with skin imperfections, add a drop of Grapefruit oil to their facial cleanser or moisturizer to help improve the appearance of blemishes. (Avoid sunlight or UV rays for up to 12 hours after application.)

Lavender— Add Lavender oil to your child’s bath, or dilute and massage on your little one’s abdomen to promote calming and soothing feelings.

Lemon— If your child craves sugary juices or sodas, add a drop of Lemon oil in a glass of water for a fresh, flavorful beverage. (This can also be done with Lime, Grapefruit, Wild Orange, and other essential oils).

Marjoram— Harness the calming properties of Marjoram by applying diluted Marjoram oil to a fussy child’s feet before their nap.

Melaleuca— To help with occasional skin irritations, dilute Melaleuca oil and apply to your child’s affected areas.

Peppermint— When your child feels overheated, add a drop of Peppermint oil to a cold water compress, or to a cold foot bath to help them cool down.

Sandalwood— Help promote relaxation and reduce stress by adding one drop of Sandalwood oil (Indian or Hawaiian) to your child’s evening bath.

Vetiver— When your child is having a rough day, dilute Vetiver oil and apply to the child’s neck and bottom of the feet to help promote calm feelings.

Wintergreen— Whether your child plays soccer, football, lacrosse, hockey, or any other sport, you can keep the unpleasant odor of their gear at bay by putting a few drops of Wintergreen oil on a cotton ball and placing it in their practice bag.

Aromatic use In addition to the essential oil uses designed for children listed above, one of the simplest and safest ways to help your children experience the benefits of essential oils is through aromatic use. By diffusing essential oils in your home, you can create an invigorating, calming, relaxing, or uplifting atmosphere for your children. Diffusing essential oils can also help purify the air in your home when you want to dispel unwanted odors or produce a clean, fresh scent. Diffusing essential oils in an essential oil diffuser is a simple way for the entire family to experience the powerful benefits of essential oils, without worrying about dosage or dilution.

Now that you know that essential oils are in fact safe to use with children, and have educated yourself about the safety guidelines, it is time to learn about some of the best essential application methods for children. While children can enjoy essential oils in many of the same ways as adults (with proper dilution and dosage), there are many essential oil usage methods that are unique to children.