Pets and Essential Oils!

Our animals certainly deserve the most natural care, just like we do! Sometimes it’s hard  to know if certain oils are safe or exactly how to go about making an oil safe by diluting it. Thankfully, my sister created this very helpful post with some fun recipes to help us out! Just click the link and enjoy! 

I once saw my sister put a few drops of oil on her crazy hyper boxer/ lab/ pitbull mix and I was shocked to see Bailey calm down in maybe a minute. I had never seen anything like it, and I had been close to this dog for a long time. That moment was when […]

via Essential Oils for Dogs — How To Be Myself

Good dog!

Since Gavin was born, Bailey really has been getting the short end of the stick (you know, the one no-one has thrown for her). She does get some reprieve from her life of boredom with the new baby with frequent trips to Grandpa’s house but that’s honestly the highlight of her life right now.

Bailey’s life before the baby:

With that being said I really feel like she deserves some attention and praise for what a good dog she has been through this life change!

Just like ours, her whole life changed overnight and she has handled it like a champ. I am so proud of her!

Bailey sharing the attention:

She loves her new baby brother so much and always uses caution around him. She’s been patient and sweet but I know she’s really looking forward to the day he starts throwing her some good scraps from his high chair!

100 miles!

I’ve taken it pretty slow when it comes to getting back into shape after having Gavin. I’ve cosistantly done “something” when it come to occasional exercise but honestly, for the last 9 months, my main goal has been to survive.

I was however, inspired by an unusual event last fall. I had woken up at 6am to pump milk for Gavin (again). When I was done, I tried going back to sleep for half an hour and it just wasn’t happening.

That’s when I realized I was insane and I was wasting a perfectly good chance to go for a morning run by myself! I instantly jumped up as quietly as possible, tip toed past the baby, the dog and the husband like a stealthy ninja, grabbed a shot of Ninxia/Nitro, a couple drops of EN-R-GEE oil and practically got dressed in the garage out of fear that I might wake one of them up and ruin my chance!

As I excitedly opened the garage door, (why does that have to be so loud?!) my hopes and dreams were instantly smashed with the realization that it was raining. Hard. Why had it not occurred to me that it could be raining outside? Seriously. Stupid rain was trying to ruin my chance to go running with out dragging a stroller, dog, picnic basket and overnight bag along! (okay, the last part is an exaggeration but sometimes it feels like it might not be). Nope. Not gonna happen, I decided that though i am sweet as sugar it’s unlikely that I would melt and I went anyways. (so proud of myself!)

In the end, it stopped raining, I got my best distance and time since before I was pregnant and the sun was even out part of the time!

After that, I decided I wanted to go 100 miles in the fall. Walking and running both count. I just have to get in the steps! I loved the goal because it was attainable yet challenging and I ended up making it down to the 1/4 mile with only 8 hours to spare! I felt quite accomplished and loved that I was able to use this “movement” goal to balance all my fitness so decided to make it a regular thing. That’s right. 100 miles per season. I can do that! Right? Well, Winter started December 21st, right before Christmas and my baby had surgery on December 26th so I’m getting a late start… I don’t know if I can do it this season but I did get some cute new shoes for motivation.

You see, I believe in setting yourself up for success 😉

How to place your Young Living order after you have already become a member!

There are a two different ways that you can place your young living order after your initial sign up. You can either place an Essential Rewards Order (ER) or you can place a Quick Order (QO). Both are designed to benefit you differently, according to your needs. The most important thing is getting you your order, the way you want it and I’m going to help you get the best benefits along with it!

Ordering on Essential Rewards for the first time? Most wholesale members enroll in a program called Essential Rewards (ER). This makes a ton of sense for you if you are ditching all the toxic products in your life and switching to a more healthful lifestyle, if you are going to place an order at least once a month or if you just like to get free stuff!

Ordering on ER truly is the best bang for your buck. You get a percentage of what you spend back in points to redeem for more products. I earn 25% back on everything that I buy which means that I can use the young living products I know and trust in place of most of the household products that I would normally be buying anyways! Transfer buying, as they call it!

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How to place an order on Essential Rewards:

  1. Sign into your virtual office account using the login info that you choose when you became a member.
  2. On the left hand side, click Essential Rewards and then click join now.
  3. Add the products that you want to order and click save monthly order.
  4. Check your total personal volume (PV), NOT your total dollars spent and make sure it is what you need it to be in order to qualify for the promos you want (if you want any this month!)
  5. Select your payment/shipping method and DONE!

It really is that simple! Your customized order will ship on the same day each month and you can choose/change it at your will.

When you are enrolled in the Essential Rewards program you get a monthly box of whatever products you choose. There is a minimum order of 50 PV per month required to stay active in the program. PV value is different than dollar value. Each product has a PV value but generally speaking, the PV value and the dollar value are about the same on most products.

As an Essential Rewards Member, you:

  • Get reduced shipping rates
  • Qualify for free monthly promos
  • Get discounts on products that are exclusive to Essential Rewards members.
  • Earn reward points which you can cash in for free products (this alone is like gold to me)!
  • Can cancel it anytime, for any reason
  • Have no membership fees
  • Get additional loyalty gifts, based on how long you are enrolled.

If you are ordering as a wholesale member then there is literally no reason not to jump on this program. Even if you don’t plan on ordering monthly, you have nothing to lose some pretty cool things to gain! (you do have to call and cancel if you decide you want to- but that’s easy)

PV Assistant:

Once you are enrolled in the Essential Rewards program, I highly recommend that you turn on the PV Assistant. It’s a tool that allows to you to set the minimum PV that you want to hit each month. It helps you by adding products of your choice to your order, should you go under your preset minimum PV. This is helpful in the case that something in your ER order goes out of stock before your order is shipped. This has happened to me before and it is very sad. It will lower your PV which could affect any promotions you were planning on getting that month and if you go below 50 PV then it will take you off essential rewards all together, causing any reward points that you have accrued in the past to disappear.

PV Assistant is located in your Virtual Office on the left hand side under Essential Rewards. Just set your PV assist to send you whatever items you tell it to as replacement items. It will not change, add or replace anything you have in your current ER order unless something goes out of stock!

I personally like to fill mine up with everyday must have oils that have a variety of price points. I also like to add common oils that I can give away as gifts but let’s face it, I’ve never received anything that I didn’t want to keep for my self 😉

Changing your ER order each month:

  1. Login to your virtual office account using the login info that you choose when you became a member.
  2. Go to Essential Rewards, my monthly order, change order
  3. Choose the products that you want, save monthly order
  4. Check your PV total, NOT your total money spent and make sure it is what you want it to be in order to qualify for the promo’s that you want.
  5. Select your payment/ shipping info and done!

Reasons to order on Quick Order:

  • If you are not enrolled in Essential Rewards.
  • You are redeeming your Essential Reward points.
  • You want to place an additional order in the same month that your ER order has already been placed. (people might do this if they forgot to order something, if there is a sale or if they want to qualify for the monthly promotional items twice!)

To place a Quick Order:

  1. Login to your virtual office account using the login info that you choose when you became a member.
  2. Choose the products that you want
  3. Check your PV total, NOT your total money spent and make sure it is what you want it to be in order to qualify for the promo’s that you want.
  4. Enter payment/shipping info and done!

You can still qualify for promotional items based on the total PV that you order in your quick order so watch for the monthly promotions!

I hope this was helpful, please let me know if you have any other questions!

Check out my disclaimer page for treating medical conditions.

 

Gavin’s Healthy Heart!

During one of the high-definition ultrasounds that I received while pregnant with Gavin, they had discovered that he had a VSD (Ventricular Septal Defect). That means he had a hole in the wall of his heart which seperates the ventricles. Congential heart disease.

VSDs come in a variety of sizes, each with specific attributes that may or may not require surgery. They did several EKGs (Echocardiogram’s) on him while I was pregnant and knew he would likely need surgery but we would have to wait to do an EKG when he was born for definite answers. Sometimes VSDs can close on their own and cause no problems so we were hoping for that prognosis!

At that point, we did not know that he would be premature and that we did not have as long to wait as we had originally thought. As soon as he was born they rushed him off to do all sorts of testing with different specialty departments and one of the things they did was an EKG, confirming that he would need heart surgery but they would have to wait until he was bigger.

This was right after he was born when they took him to see the specialists, Gavin is somewhere in all that equipment!
This was right after he was born when they took him to see the specialists, Gavin is somewhere in all that equipment!

His first goals would be 1. Stomach repair/function (he was born with Duodenal Atresia and was not able the digest food), 2. Stability in all the areas where prematurity cause instability, and 3. weight gain.

Once we were home from the NICU, we began taking all measures to fatten him up. I would take a portion of the breast milk that I had pumped, wait for the fat to settle on the top (about 24 hours), siphon only the fat (hindmilk) off the top and add it to the regular breast milk. Then I would add avocado oil and vitamins to each bottle. Lucky for us, he couldn’t tolerate formula when we tried adding it to his bottles for extra calories so we had to think outside the box. People would see me making bottles and comment that it was the most complicated and time consuming baby feeding process they had ever seen!

Siphoning the fat from the milk

Gavin’s VSD was causing his heart to work extra hard to keep him alive and it was burning extra calories while doing it. We were playing catch-up in every area while still battling feeding issues related to prematurity (Preemies have to learn to coordinate the suck, swallow, breath technique in sync without choking and causing a Brady episode which means their vital stats bottom out, they turn blue and they have to be stimulated in order to breath) and a severe tongue tie. Other things his doctors told us to do were to not let him cry because it burns vital calories and to not let him get sick.

We took our job very seriously. Our house was pretty much on quarantined lockdown, used as Gavin’s personal healing sanctuary with round-the-clock skin-to-skin for most of the summer.

I still remember the day that he hit 5 pounds like it was yesterday. We worked hard for that gain and we were thrilled! Throughout the summer we had regular visits with his team of cardiologists and even though he was gaining weight, they consistently said his condition had not improved. They said his weight gain was not enough, he needed surgery but he would not be able to handle it until he was bigger.

We had been praying for healing all along and at each visit we hoped they would say the hole was closed and he didn’t need surgery, but it kept not happening.

They would let us listen to his heart for ourselves and each time we heard the whooshing of blood flowing through a hole so big that our layman’s ears could hear it was still there.

We were honestly disspointed and a little angry but we never stopped hoping.

One night stands out in my mind, I was standing over him as I put him to bed in his swing (he slept sitting up because he had reflux from being premature). I remember starting out praying a typical prayer for his heart to be healed but this time was different in the fact that I got the clear realization that he would be healed, whether it was through surgery or through God’s hand alone. I remember saying and really believing “I know he’ll be okay, I trust that he will make it through this but it would just be so much easier and better if you would simply use your power to heal him without surgery. I know you can”. There was power in that moment and several others along with it.

Moments like the time we were at my Grandmother’s Memorial (sadly, she had passed away while we were in the NICU but my family decided to wait until we were home to have a service). Someone was talking with my husband about Gavin’s upcoming heart surgery and he boldly replied, “I believe he’s not going to need surgery”.

Us at my Grandma Gladys’s memorial

It wasn’t instantaneous, we had gone to a few appts where the cardiologists said he would still need surgery and we started declaring his healing and believing for it daily. We even came to terms with the real possibility that we would need to walk through heart surgery with him and were very grateful to have an awesome team of doctors that God had given us who could bring him healing through medicine. After all, healing is healing, however it comes.

“Is this the same kid?”

At his next “routine” heart check up, August 28th, Gavin was almost 5 months old and had been steadily gaining weight. We went in for an updated EKG and to set his surgery date. We knew the drill and were just going through the motions. I’m embarrassed to say that we were honest-to-God caught off guard when it was time to hear the report of findings and his cardiologist told us the hole had closed, he would NOT need surgery and they were taking the failure to thrive label off his chart!

Getting his EKG

She looked a little unsure and confused when she said, “let me re-check his chart. Is this the same kid? No really, is this the right kid? I can’t believe it! What did you guys do to him?” Then she made us wait so she could have two other cardiologists check him out. They were all dumbfounded and said they just couldn’t believe it. I remember how happy my husband and I felt, I remember looking at each other and saying, “We can believe it”!

Today, we CELEBRATE!

My mama heart was so relieved and overflowing with joy for my sweet baby boy and all I could feel was thankfulness. Thankfulness for healing and all the people who believed with us! So if you were one of those people, we thank you from the bottom of our healthy hearts!

Update: We recently had an EKG done at 9 months old and his heart still looks great!

Gavin’s first tooth!

Thank God Gavin finally got his first tooth! He’s had symptoms of teething since he was 2 months old! Now, 7 months later, he’s got his first tooth and the second one is not far behind!

He’s had to work hard for this victory and it’s probably no coincidence that we read him my very favorite childhood book about a girl and her tooth last night. It’s called Airmail To The Moon. It was written by Tom Birdseye. Have you read it? It’s one fun book and it was super precious to see my husband reading my well loved (it’s even signed!) copy to our son!

Anyways, I guess it’s a good time to find him a dentist and help him learn to take care of all those beautiful teeth!

It’s back to work I go!

After taking the last 9 months off work to be a full time mom to my brand new preemie, Gavin, I’m going back to work!

By the way, it’s not like I “simply” had a baby and took 9 lovely months of planned maternity leave. It’s more like I was just living my life when my water spontaneously broke 8 weeks early. This event put the world as I knew it into an abrupt halt and marking the beginning of the most powerful life experience that both my husband and I have ever had!

I own massage therapy business and it’s been a big part of who I am for the last 10 years. I love massage and I love my clients. I’ve never minded working because I genuinely love what I do. Even the tedious behind the scenes stuff (AKA QuickBooks & Insurance Billing) isn’t so bad when you’re doing what brings you purpose. When there is a client that you care about attached to each transaction and when you get the old fashioned satisfaction of putting in a good days work at the end of each day, you don’t mind the hard work.

However, bringing my new found pride and joy into the mix certainly changes things. Ever hear about moms having all the feelings about returning to work after having a baby? How spending one minute away from their baby is pure torture? Yep. That’s a real thing. The kicker? Don’t judge me.

I work from home so he’ll actually be in another part of the house with a trusted family member or friend. I said don’t judge me! I can hear you judging me. I know it sounds pathetic but what if I’m in a massage when he first crawls or at the rate he’s growing, learns to drive?!?! I just hope that if any of these things do happen, whomever is watching him is smart enough to lie to me about it.

All in all, I’m happy to go back. I’ve honestly missed my clients and it will be nice to have a little outlet doing something I love. I’m excited because things are different now and I feel like I have the same set of tools but more compassion and experience to bring to my clients.

None the less, who could blame me for loving the chance to hang out with this guy all day?