Category: Parenting

Our first black eye… or not?

Many people have seen this movie…

So you understand that my child could climb well before he could walk. Heck, he’s still pretty wobbly with walking, but he scales EVERYTHING in the house. A few Fridays ago he was scaling yet another household item and toppled before I reached him. Insert big bloody scrape and a bruise setting in immediately. Oh, and lots of tears between the two of us. I was heartbroken, sure I was the worst mother in the world. We cleaned him up, calmed him (and me) down and I set about treating his eye. I rubbed my “bruise buster” on his eye, as well as some colloidal silver (my newest love!). The bruise dissipated within two days, so then we just kept up with the colloidal silver. One week later, I think it speaks for itself!

Ouch! How we treated our first black eye | found at http://www.oliverandtara.com

 

The very next week O started coming down with a cold. I gave him the “cold buster” and 5ml of colloidal silver to drink 2x a day for three days. Praise the Lord, the cold disappeared before becoming a full blown amount of yuck!

Yep, colloidal silver is here to stay in our house! I would love to hear about any of your “must-haves” in the all-natural medicine cabinet!

❤ Tara

My First Aid Box

I have a very mobile toddler. And by mobile, I hardly mean “skilled”. It’s actually quite reminiscent of people watching Frat Row on a Friday night. He crashes into things more frequently than actually reaching his intended destinations. And forget turning around, that’s asking way too much. Unless the dog is handy to hold on to while he pivots 180 degrees. So injuries, scrapes and bruises are common place. At home I have my cabinets and drawers always “at the ready” with my essential oils and “fix its” for his owies. But I needed something on the go as well. When I found some adorable “first aid” boxes, I knew I’d struck gold! I transferred key oils into travel sized bottles and taped a “cheat sheet” into the box. We’re now ready for just about anything… I hope…

Essential Oils First Aid Box | http://www.oliverandtara.com

What’s in the box and why?

Here are some of the many uses I’ve found listed on-line (but I’m no doctor, so don’t take this as medical advice!)

  • Frankincense
    • Concussions, skin problems, blisters, sore muscles, immune system
  • Lemon
    • Fevers, stomach upset, indigestion, sore throat, cough, constipation
  • Melaleuca (AKA Tea Tree)
    • ‘’Disinfecting cuts, builds immunity, ear problems, sore throat, allergies, inflammation, lice, flu, cold sores, hives, rashes
  • Peppermint
    • Nausea, congestion, pain, bruising, fever, insets bites/stings, poison ivy/oak, food poisoning
  • Helichrysum
    • Pain, bruising, minor burns, swollen eyes, vertigo, bleeding
  • Oregano
    • Bacterial infections, disinfect cuts/scrapes, reduces, pain, bruising, inflammation, strep throat, constipation
  • Lavender
    • Pain, sleeplessness, cuts, burns, scrapes, allergies, sunburns, cold sores
  • Melrose
    • cuts, scrapes, inflammation, burns, rashes, canker sores, cold sores, fungal infections, viral infections, ear infections
  • Purify/Purification
    • Tooth pain, allergies, bug bites, deodorant, ear infections, stings, UTI
  • Thieves/OnGuard
    • cold, flu, tooth ache, poison ivy, headaches, sore throat, antiseptic

Add in a few Band-Aids,  some q-tips for applications and you’re ready for whatever life (or your toddler) may throw at you!

❤ Tara

Packing for a Frenectomy

Packing for a Frenectomy | A peek into what is inside Liam's procedure bag over at http://www.oliverandtara.com/packing-for-a-frenectomy/

I can’t believe we leave for LA today. Tomorrow we see Dr. James Jesse and Liam’s smile will be changed forever. For good reasons… but forever different. Is it crazy that I’m struggling so much with that? Anyways, on to what is in the bag…

I really racked my brain this week to try and figure out what Liam loves the most. What brings him comfort? What does he turn to (other than breastfeeding) when something hurts or upsets him? I also researched the interwebs to try and find some ways to offer him relief from pain beyond Tylenol. Below is a summary of some of his favorites that are in the suitcase today:

Packing for a Frenectomy | A peek into what is inside Liam's procedure bag over at http://www.oliverandtara.com/packing-for-a-frenectomy/His blanket. My mom found this on a discount site when I was still pregnant. It’s soft orange minky on one side and owl satin on the other. Whenever he wants to sleep he pulls it up over himself. Blanket is DEFINITELY in the bag (and I’ll pay you good money if you find “backups” of this… )

 

Packing for a Frenectomy | A peek into what is inside Liam's procedure bag over at http://www.oliverandtara.com/packing-for-a-frenectomy/White Noise. This kid sleeps better with sound, always has. He is a “startler” and sudden noise (no matter how little) in a quite room jerks him awake. I contemplated packing his white noise machine, but we went with our Happiest Baby On The Block soundtrack off of Amazon mp3 and this awesome Logitech speaker his uncle Curtis hooked us up with. It worked when he was tiny, so hopefully it still holds it’s magic!

 

Packing for a Frenectomy | A peek into what is inside Liam's procedure bag over at http://www.oliverandtara.com/packing-for-a-frenectomy/Mickey Mouse. Don’t ask, because I have no idea. I think it comes from the DNA he shares with his uncle Logan. But this kid has recently fallen in LOVE with Mickey Mouse. He treats him like his “baby” – rocking him, patting his back, kissing him. It’s freaking adorable. Trust me.

 

Packing for a Frenectomy | A peek into what is inside Liam's procedure bag over at http://www.oliverandtara.com/packing-for-a-frenectomy/Essential Oils. My doTerra and Young Living essential oils are packed up and ready to go. In the bag I have lavender, onGuard, frankincense, copaiba, clove, gentle baby, peace and calming and more. All to help him with pain, decrease the swelling, encourage rest and promote healing.

 

Packing for a Frenectomy | A peek into what is inside Liam's procedure bag over at http://www.oliverandtara.com/packing-for-a-frenectomy/Diffuser. This may sound CRAZY (and I’m not quite sure Oliver approves) but I’ve packed my diffuser as well. He has been sleeping much better recently when I diffuse Gentle Baby. And diffusing Thieves or OnGuard will help keep him healthy in the hotel after this attack on his immune system. Plus mommy may need a bit of “Peace and Calming” heading into Thursday’s appointment.

 

Packing for a Frenectomy | A peek into what is inside Liam's procedure bag over at http://www.oliverandtara.com/packing-for-a-frenectomy/Tylenol. I am all about natural interventions, but when there is a chance that my little guy can be in some significant pain I don’t hesitate to pull out the big guns. We don’t use Tylenol for teething and such, but I don’t think twice for big procedures. God gave people brains, and those brains created Tylenol. I’ll use WHATEVER God has available to me in order to keep my little guy happy.

 

Packing for a Frenectomy | A peek into what is inside Liam's procedure bag over at http://www.oliverandtara.com/packing-for-a-frenectomy/Toys and “Baby”. Anything that I can use to distract him from his pain! I’m bringing some of his favorite toys which include his poker chips with drop bucket, small balls and cars. I’m also bringing my iPad with “baby” (Baby Signing Time). It’s the only movie he is allowed to watch and I’m pretty sure Rachel (the creator/host) is his first crush.

 

Packing for a Frenectomy | A peek into what is inside Liam's procedure bag over at http://www.oliverandtara.com/packing-for-a-frenectomy/Popsicles and Ice. Everyone knows something cold is a huge relief with mouth pain. So I picked up some small ice cube trays and a friend loaned me her popsicle molds. My plan is to make some breast milk popsicles and ice cubes. The ice cubes I’ll put in one of his mesh bags. Again – relief is key!

We’ll try to keep you updates was we are able – probably on the Facebook page! Please keep those prayers coming and watch for photos over on my Instagram!

❤ Tara

Activities: Pull String Toy

Pull String Toy: A DIY activity for infants and toddlers! Great for cause and effect as well as fine motor! | find it at http://www.Oliverandtara.com

Continuing with activities I’ve created for Pip, here is how I made our fun Pull String Toy. I found this idea on Pinterest, and it was quick and easy to recreate at home! This toy is great for cause and effect,  pincher grasp,  pulling, using two hands separately (one to hold the container, one to pull)… I started using this toy when he was around 9 months old and we still pull it out to play!

Materials:
Single hole punch
3/4” ribbons of different materials
Thin,  flexible, plastic container (found at the dollar store!)

How To:

  1. Punch holes into the sides of the container. I did a triangle pattern like this: ◦.◦ I matched the pattern on opposite sides, and reverse the pattern for the opposing opposite sides: .◦.
  2. Feed the ribbons through the holes and into the opposite side’s holes. I criss- crossed some to give Pip a different “feel” when pulling.
    Pull String Toy: A DIY activity for infants and toddlers! Great for cause and effect as well as fine motor! | find it at http://www.Oliverandtara.com
  3. Tie off the ends of the ribbon with knots big enough to cause them to stop at the hole. I left a longer “tail” at the end of each knot to practice “pinching” when pulling.

Then just put the lid back on and you are set! I found I had to demonstrate how to play with this a few times for Pip to understand. But he loves watching the ribbons going back and forth!

❤ Tara

Scrunchy: Toy Cleaner

Continuing on my “scrunchy trend”, I made some toy cleaner from my essential oils! I got this idea over the weekend from my friend Anna who had made some for her diaper bag. Between our day trips around Colorado and flights back to California, this stuff will come in handy! And the best part? It’s the easiest recipe you’ll ever have to follow!

Scrunchy: Toy cleaner made from essential oils like doTerra and Young Living! | found on oliverandtara.com

Toy Cleaner

  • 3 oz spray bottle (< $1 at Target)
  • Thieves (Young Living) or OnGuard (doTerra)
  • Water

Just fill the bottle up with water and drop in 3-6 drops of OnGuard or Thieves and give it a shake. Keep it in a Ziplock in your bag (in case of spills) with a cloth and you are ready for whatever hits the ground! And, because doTerra and Young Living are of the highest quality, you can feel confident in your little one putting that toy back in their mouth!

❤ Tara

Scrunchy: DIY Hair Detangler

I’m surprised at how “crunchy” I have become since having Liam. I’m not TOTALLY “crunchy”, just somewhat. Hence the term “scrunchy”. I read all the labels and am very aware of everything that goes in or on his body. That’s why I delved into the world of essential oils. Even then, I really researched the companies and identified what made some better than others. Since stocking our house with oils, I’ve been replacing EVERYTHING. From my face care, to what we wipe down counters with to what touches Liam’s body! I won’t FILL this blog with everything essential oil, but I will be sharing things we love because it’s a part of being a mom – finding things that work for our kid and sharing it with others! That being said …

Hair Detangler recipe using essential oils by doTerra or Young Living! | found on oliverandtara.com

I often joke that Liam has “daddy’s hair in the front, mommy’s in the back”. His hair is nice and smooth in the front while frizzy and wild in the back! Even though I brush it every morning, it looks like I haven’t by the time we reach story time, church, etc. And “just brushing” doesn’t work – it needs wetted. Which sometimes makes him a tad “crunchy”. I knew I needed to get some detangler that could also smooth his hair in back without greasing the front. Reading the bottles in the store made my skin crawl, I just couldn’t put some of those things on his sensitive skin! Searching Pinterest didn’t give me a GREAT answer, but I mixed a few recipes and created this! The recipe is so simple…

Hair Detangler

  • 2 TBS fractionated coconut oil
  • 1 TBS grapeseed oil
  • 2 drops peppermint (doTerra or Young Living)
  • 2 drops lavender (doTerra or Young Living)

I diluted 1 part of this mix into 10 parts water. This means I put 2 teaspoons in a 3 oz spray bottle (I bought mine for $.97 at Target) and then filled the rest up with water. I filled to small spray bottles and still had some left over!

I’ll give you an update in the future to let you know if we still love it!

❤ Tara

P.S. You can get your Young Living or doTerra oils through me – feel free to ask me more about oils or why I think these two companies are the CREAM of the crop! Link in the menu to your right!

Milking It: Cookies!

Milking It: Cookies | oliverandtara.com
image source

Yes, you read that right! You can actually JUSTIFY cookies! Well, like an nursing mother CAN’T justify them. But seriously, these can help with milk production – and my friends say they are quite yummy to boot! (Remember: me = overproduction … me + a dozen of these would probably = engorgement)

Why cookies? Well, just any cookie isn’t going to work. Sorry ladies, that box of Thin Mints in the freezer cannot be applied to this excuse. The kind of cookies I am talking about are “Lactation Cookies”. Creative title, no? But there is actually a science behind them.

As you look through the collection of cookies below, you’ll see a common set of ingredients between them. Brewers yeast, wheat germ, whole oats, and flax seed are just a few. These ingredients are believed to help increase your milk supply! Reading through the blogs and websites of each pin, a lot of the moms believe it helped them. And guess what, you can even mix some fenugreek in for good measure!

There are plenty of variations, even muffins! Browse through the board and see what looks yummy. Butterscotch? Pumpkin Seed? Chocolate chip? What are you waiting for?! Get baking!

❤ Tara

Milking It: Fenugreek

Milking It: Fenugreek | oliverandtara.com

If you have done any googling, you have no doubt come across “fenugreek” as a way of upping your milk supply. But why? And how? And what are your options? Read on fellow milkies, read on!

Fenugreek is a plant grown in Europe and the Middle East. It mainly comes from India, but is also harvested from Iran, Egypt, Pakistan, France and many more locations. The Fenugreek leaves are used as herbs, its seeds are for spices the the leaves and sprouts as vegetables. The most well known use of fenugreek is in some Indian curries.

I can hear you now – Ok, ok Tara… but what about my MILK?!

Well, fenugreek is believed to be a galactagogue. (It’s ok to say “galacti-go-go wha?!” I did too!) It is really just a fancy way to say “I get the milk flowing!”

You have a lot of options when bringing fenugreek into your diet. Below are just a few..

Fenugreek, klabatImage Source

Raw

You could go totally hard core and get straight up fenugreek. Then add it into your food or steep it in some hot water. I’ve heard the flavor can be QUITE overwhelming… so you may want to proceed with caution with this idea!

Note: Some of my mommy friends reminded me that there are fenugreek capsules you can take! If you want it pure – give those a whirl!

 

Tea

This is the route I took when I was expecting. I grabbed a box at my local Whole Foods and threw it into my bag. The Lactation Consultants at the hospital brought me tea bags as well. I thought it tasted a bit like black licorice, which I am *not* a fan of. I found it easier to drink over ice, and would chug it. Amazon offers a variety of Milk Teas. I went with Organic Mother’s Milk personally – each tea bag made two cups of tea.

mothersmilkImage Source

 

milky1
Image Source

Milky!

I have not tried this myself, mostly just because I haven’t come across it in stores. But I would love to give it a try – perhaps a review soon? And not just because I am a child of the 80s/90s. Milky! is a product created by Tia and Tamera Mowry (Sister, Sister!). It’s made with fenugreek, but created to mask the taste for those who REALLY don’t like the flavor. You won’t find it on Amazon, but you can find it in Destination Maternity stores, on their website or over at Need Brands.

Next up – baking and breastmilk? Mmmmmm!

❤ Tara

Additional Information:

A list of other galactagoues

All Amazon links do have my associate’s code included.

Milking It: Drying Up

Milking It: Drying Up | oliverandtara.com
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After last week (World Breastfeeding Week), my brain is still stuck on the topic. So I wanted to discuss a topic many mommies have questions about – how to encourage milk production. This is a topic I didn’t look much into before having Liam. I wish I had! Thankfully I had read about certain items and did throw them into my bag. Also, we were blessed that the hospital where Liam was born is quite “crunchy”. So the Lactation Consultants brought me some things to increase supply as well!

I am “blessed” with over production and have to pump to get some of the milk off regularly, especially after a few days of cluster feedings or a growth spurt (for Liam.. not me!). But I know plenty of moms who really struggle with production. And not just at the beginning! I was talking to a fellow mommy last week and her supply almost totally dried up after a few days with a low grade fever. Yikes! Other moms have a lot  of difficulty keeping production up when they have to do significant pumping (working moms, poor latch, sick babies, etc). Since Liam has been born, I’ve read and researched a TON. Our breastfeeding relationship is something very important to me. The thought of my milk drying up is heartbreaking!

This will be a series, so I am spreading the posts out of this week. Today I wanted to provide a list of things that COULD dry up your milk. Keep in mind, ever mommy’s body is different. So some things may dry up one mommy’s milk while not affecting someone else’s milk supply at all. But it’s better to be safe than sorry from my point of view!

Food/Drinks

Meds/Supplements

Actions

Sage
Peppermint (any form)
Antihistamines
Decongestants
High doses of B-6
Prescription pain-killers
Weight-loss supplements
Appetite inhibitors
Estrogen birth control
Vitex (for fertility)
Cabbage Leaves
(helps with engorgement)
Tight bras
Pumping patterns
Supplementing formula
Smoking
Rapid weight loss
Limited BF length
Pregnancy

 

Anything on this list I have missed? Let me know!

❤ Tara

WBW: For Those Who Couldn’t

WBW: For those who couldn't | oliverandtara.com

Today is the final day of World Breastfeeding Week. I want to hit on a topic that comes up a LOT …

 

The mom who WANTED to breastfeed but her life took another path.

 

I want to say that by celebrating World Breastfeeding Week, I was in no way saying “I’m better than you”. Instead, it was to stand with moms around the world to celebrate those who breastfeed , to raise awareness about breastfeeding and making sure everyone’s rights are protected. I’m the first person to say that what we plan for our children doesn’t always come to fruition. I had grand plans of a natural child birth, but my life took another path when Liam became transverse breech at 36 weeks.

In my opinion, what matters is this:

Did you educate yourself and then do the best you possibly could for your child?

Yes? Then you my friend, are a supermom. And don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Celebrate motherhood, whether you have reached it yet or not. Because there are those who have!

Celebrate breastfeeding, whether you did or didn’t. Because there are those who did!

Celebrate formula, so that you ARE able to offer your child food. Because there are some who don’t have access to it.

Overall, will you please choose joy for the road traveled, and not judgement (on yourself or others!). We are all doing the best we can.

Happy World Breastfeeding Week – for mom’s everywhere to have the right to try to do it with their blessings.

 ❤ Tara

 

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