I am super excited! Halloween is tonight and all my kiddos are geared up and ready. And for the first time in years hubby is actually home on Halloween so we actually get to go Trick or Treating as a family. Which is good because I am abandoning him and the kids for the better part of the next two days. I will be attending a rally in my hometown on Saturday to see Joe and Jill Biden. Then on Sunday I head into the city to hear Barack Obama speak. I am suuuuuper excited. Oh and I voted this week…it was a fun experience…especially getting to “school” some election boards workers who were fraudulently telling people they had to have a driver’s license or photo ID to vote.
Homeschooling is going great. My son has been making strides with his reading and for the first time has reading related goals, woot! Yesterday we benefited from the nearby public schools as they arranged for a NYC children’s playhouse group to perform story book musicals at a nearby historic theatre. It was so much fun…the kids LOVED it. We got to sit in the balcony, which was a first. The group turned some of our favorite books into musical productions…If You Give a Pig a Pancake, How I Became a Pirate, and The Paper Bag Princess, to name a few. Surprisingly both kids liked The Paper Bag Princess Best and it is a REALLY good story with a princess who journeys to save the prince instead of the other way around, outwitting a scary dragon, and then kicks the prince to the curb when he criticizes her appearance after the rescue, LOL. It was a great time but pretty noisy being there with 1500 public school kids!
Sooo…on to some cool weekend links:
Check out my post on 5 Minutes for Going Green: A Very Merry Green Christmas.
This WikiHow page on Dumpster Diving is really fun and informative. I am uhm…becoming interested in Freeganism and dumpster diving so I thought this page was pretty cool. I have a story to tell you about this issue so look for that coming soon! ;)
Another seemingly bizarre idea I have had lately is building a home made out of old shipping containers. Just look at some of these amazing homes made from garbage.
For the crafty I saw this tutorial for a pocket tissue holder that rocks and some gorgeous quilted coasters.
We are headed into cold and flu season so I thought I would link to some of the articles I have already written about this. No need to reinvent the wheel. ;)
This article about flu shots is timely and I have had several readers ask if I get them or my kids get them. The easy answer is HECK NO! ;) Check out my article: Flu Shots – Helpful or Dangerous?
I just wrote about an alternative to over the counter flu and cold medications called Sinupret. This is a great, natural product for congestion and coughing. There are some links on that page to natural remedies too.
For sore throats we drink slippery elm tea. It really coats the throat with a slimy feeling substance and takes the soreness away pronto but I did want to give a shout out to a new product, Bees M.D. Organic Honey Throat Drops. Created with honey as the main ingredient, this product is certified organic, created to naturally soothe sore throats and is ideal for the whole family. What’s more, the company has pledged a portion of the proceeds towards the research & protection of bees. I welcome you to check out their cute site when you get a moment. We have some on hand for the season….they taste yummy. ;)
And while I don’t think any of my readers have to worry about the Bird Flu…the book Escape the Bird Flu is a great read for learning about how to prevent illness and take care of yourself. I also like Never Get Another Cold.
Of course my fave resource for staying healthy is a guy named Dr. Ian Shillington, a Doctor of Naturopathy. On his web site you can order a free lecture on CD and it is a wealth of information. I have been a fan of his for over 3 years now.
Sure there are lots of really cool green lunchboxes on the market but you sometimes you just want a no muss, no fuss lunch sack…but you don’t want paper. Enter the EcoBags Lunch Tote. I am a big fan of fancy bento lunches for me and for my kids but simplicity is divine too and I really like this lunch sack. It is just a tad bigger than a paper lunch sack and it is made of recycled unbleached 10 oz. cotton canvas and it has a Velcro closure at the top. It is recycled because scraps are collected and woven into new canvas material to make the bags. Taking care of it is easy too…just machine wash on cold and hang to dry. I hand wash mine in the kitchen sink and hang to dry or throw it in the wash with a load of clothes. It is both kid & grown up friendly and oh so perfect for travel and day trips. You can even get creative and personalize them with colorfast fabric markers and paints, or sew on some patches. And at only $5.50 a bag they are a steal.
I am sure you have heard the buzz recently about over the counter medicines for kids. I have avoided them like the plague for several years but it seems more and more doctors, drug companies, and family groups are getting hip to this danger and they are urging the FDA to ban over the counter medicines for kids 4-6 and under…some groups want it to be 12 and under. My personal opinion is that these medications are just chemical cocktails that suppress symptoms or mask them. They have no healing values whatsoever. They “may” help to ease the symptoms of illness that make us uncomfortable but that does not outweigh the dangers in giving our kids nasty chemicals at a time when they are already weak and sick. I think these pharma medicines are just bad news and need to go away.
On the flip side there are numerous natural remedies that can help our little ones feel better when they are sick. I wrote about some of these here and here. I swear by Sambucol too.
Now there is a new option for parents…Sinupret Natural Sinus, Respiratory and Immune Support from Bionorica. It is a special blend of European Elder, Common Sorrel, Cowslip, European Vervain and Gentian that been used in European countries for decades and is just now becoming available to moms in the US. It has been the #1 most widely recommended, scientifically tested nasal and sinus support formula in Germany for children for more than 70 years. It provides sinus support and immune support as well. Incredibly they claim that there has never been one serious side effect reported from Sinupret for Kids and it’s efficacy is so well-documented that it is the most prescribed product by pediatricians in Europe. Our own Dr. Bob Sears recommends it and gives it to his own kids.
It is made with natural and safe ingredients, it has no stimulants, caffeine, ephedra or pseudoephedrine, and no history of dangerous side effects. It is recommended for children ages 2 and older and it is also available in adult strength as Sinupret Plus.
One of my all time favorite things to do is hike and unfortunately I have not done any hiking since moving to Ohio. :( I used to hike every day in Arizona because the mountain was literally just outside my door. Check out this pic taken just 6 feet from my bedroom patio. My best friend and I used to go hiking on South Mountain in Northern Phoenix about once a week as well. A couple days ago I was going through some books to see if I could donate any and I came across my large collection of hiking and camping books and it really gave me the itch to get hiking again. There is just no greater adventure in my mind. A mountain or trail reveals itself to you with every step and tells a story you can’t see from a car window. It awakens something earthy and primal in you and makes you acutely aware of how special every moment is.
Some of my all time best memories of my 20+ years in Arizona are on the trail. I remember sliding down the mountain at slide rock, trekking across all the springs at Seven Springs, jumping off a bridge into the cool water below, traveling down into the Grand Canyon, fishing at Bartlet, and my boyfriend (now husband) taking a 30 foot fall off of Squaw Peak. Okay maybe that memory wasn’t so nice at the time but now it is pretty funny since everything turned out okay…save a few scars. In the mountains surrounding my home I remember the exhilaration of finding two abandoned homes and exploring them, a couple abandoned mines, seeing mountain lion tracks and spotting a few rattlers and stray cattle. Oh yes, it is time to dig out the backpacking equipment and go out to see what adventures Ohio has to offer.
My only problem is that there is nowhere to hike or backpack where I live for at least 35 miles so daily hikes are out until we move into the city which has several awesome parks with hiking and camping. I am already plotting out several day hikes and some overnight backpacking trips. We have to start getting the kids used to this sort of adventuring because I have recently revived my dream to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine…it takes six months to do. What could be better than spending six months camping and hiking with your favorite people on the planet?
For anyone interested in hiking and camping with their kids I suggest you read Trailside Guide: Hiking and Backpacking by Karen Berger. It is an awesome book with info on what you need to hike, what to wear, what to eat, what to do about blisters, injuries, and bad weather. Basically everything you need to know. My guide is waterproof even so I can take it with me. Also check out Camping and Backpacking With Children. And another good book that will inspire you is A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson who hiked the The Appalachian Trail I mentioned above.
I just picked up 50 Hikes in Ohio. Let the adventures begin! Any other hiking and backpacking enthusiasts out there? Comment and share your stories or your fears about hiking and camping with kids if that is the case.