Momaical is a humorous look at trying not to raise a flock of assholes. Cursing & copious coffee involved.

Momaical: [mom-mahy-uh-kuhl] = (Hybrid of Mom and Maniacal.)

7.31.2012

I have a FB fan page now!

I am lumbering through the process of setting up a Fan Page on Facebook.  Help!!!! Let me know what the best way to go about this is. Here's the site:
https://www.facebook.com/#!/MomaicalBlog

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! xoxo

7.29.2012

We Spent A Lot Of Money So Pretend Like You Are Having FUN dammit!

The signs were there but I chose to ignore them.  I wasn't hungry.  At all. Which is extremely weird because I am ALWAYS hungry.  I could be in the middle of being carjacked and be all "Hey Zorro, could you pull my car into that McDonald's?  All this stress is making me crave a Big Mac.  Do you want some fries to go with that upcoming arrest?"  So, the fact that I wasn't hungry was an indicator:  it was time for me to go on vacation.  The only time I ever get sick is on vacation.  I guess it's because it's when I finally allow myself to relax so the illness slithers in and strikes like an asp.  I am the Cleopatra of furlough.

So, not only am I always sick, vacationing nowadays takes on a whole new level of stress.  As parents, we painstakingly plan where to drag tiny people with the hopes of creating wonderful memories and learning experiences.  You research hotels with enough space and family tolerance. You actually have to think: is there a gigantic conference of monks who will break their vow of silence to tell my kids to STFU because they are fighting over who has more scrambled eggs from the buffet?  Gone are the days of week long relaxing beach lounging at all inclusive resorts where your biggest stress is making sure you flip often enough to achieve maximum tanning results.

See, the thing about family vacations is that the kids come with you.  You spend so much time and effort and money to present amazing wonders of the world to them.  They're super pissed off and pouting because you're the asshole who won't buy them a $250 stuffed bear at the hotel gift shop.  You'd think we would learn.  And yet, year after year we pay thousands of dollars to yell at our children in new zip codes. 

This year, my in laws came to see us from the east coast.  And my MIL wanted to visit Lake Tahoe while they were here.  Perfect!  We haven't been there yet either!  We packed the SUV to the brim and headed east for a three day excursion.

Here's the Norman Rockwell Version of our vacation:
We enjoyed every wonderful attraction that Lake Tahoe has to offer.  The children were grateful.  The weather was deliciously warm but not humid.  My hair looked terrific and I only chose healthy food options that were low in calories, yet satisfying to consume.  No monks broke any vows. 

And...here's the reality:

During our drive to Tahoe, my two year old sang "Maanananananana Pop Goes The Weasel! Mananananananana Pop Goes the Weasel!" on repeat for hours on end, peppering it with the B-side version of the ABC's (the one that skips several letters but adds colors and a few numbers).  Once and a while she trotted out a kick ass knock-knock joke like: "Knock knock. Who's there?  A tiger in underpants" (Bahahahahahahahahaha!!!! - laughing maniacally to herself).

My five year old watched High School Musical 2 approximately seven hundred million times. 

Our hotel was next to the casinos.  But since Lena is about 150 months shy of her 18th birthday - we ended up spending $600 in the arcade instead to win a squishy rubber frog (which Emmeline immediately ripped the leg off of).

Since we haven't had rain in 6 months, of course we woke up to vicious thunderstorms which peppered Lake Tahoe intermittently throughout the day.   We opted for a duck tour of the area (since we were getting soaked anyway).  As there are no seat belts in the amphibious vehicle I had to keep a death grip on my curious toddler who kept trying to "yook" off the side of the boat into the ginormous lake.  Between the fighting, crying and whining, the girls were robbing us of our will to live.   We strapped them into the car in the hopes that they would fall into an ennui-induced coma while we drove around the mountains.  It is cute how delusional we are in times of crisis.  No sleep was to be had.  My hair looked like a small family of rodents had moved in from the humidity. We were contenders to be recipients of death by whining and nagging for snacks and prizes.  My headstone would have read "It's. Not. Fair!!!!!!" and "Cawy me!"

The next day was beautiful out so we drove up the opposite side of the lake. It's an absolutely GORGEOUS drive which I spent the entire time nauseated and trying not to vomit in the cooler while we looked at water.  And houses near the water.  And more water.  With some boats.  On the water.  We drove by Donner pass.  Yummy.  Nothing like thinking about cannibalism when you want to barf while sitting in the third row of your SUV and listening to a rousing rendition of Puke Goes the Weasel.  

Here is Emerald Bay.  If you spin around in circles while reading this post, you will have the
same nauseated experience I had while sightseeing.

All in all, we did have a great time. My in laws kept the girls overnight a few times during their visit so I was able to lie in a ball of nausea without being nagged.  We were lucky to spend time with our family and I got the cutest t-shirt!  Maybe for next years vacation we can take the children to a monastery and drop them off with the silent sitters.  The monks will be grateful for their vow of celibacy and I can go barf on a beach in peace.


7.21.2012

She Fangs! She Fangs!

It was a beautiful summer evening; the kind they show in douche commercials.  I was tending to my garden of succulents, lovingly pruning and watering my few survivors from the Ass Wreath debacle of 2012: http://www.momaical.com/2012/04/where-does-one-get-ass-looking-wreath.html.    I was just about to reach my hand into the largest of the pots when a slight movement drew my attention. A flash of black and red entered my line of vision and a black widow spider crawled up on to the top of the cactus.  She and I locked eyes for a moment (which is pretty intense since spiders have like 50 zillion eyeballs)   She smiled, languidly licked her spider lips and dared me to come closer. I'm pretty sure I saw poison roll down her fang.   Ill prepared for an encounter of this magnitude I ran into the house after my lethal weapon (aka my husband).  By the time we returned to the scene of the assault, she had disappeared back into her high rise succulent apartment complex leaving only her web of destruction as evidence of her presence.

Here is the Arachnid High Rise. 
It use to be full of neighbors until the "incident" when she ate them.

 
I have never been afraid of spiders.  In fact, I had a tarantula named Fluffy in college.  I have always been the type of person to scoop up a spider and free them outside.  Spiders are good: they eat bugs, they make cool webs, they can spin things with their ass.  But, now we live in California and the stakes have changed considerably.  There's an actual possibility of coming face-to-face with venomous predators like rattlesnakes, tarantulas and black widow spiders in your yard.  

My friend Erica is petrified of spiders and her house has been like Grand Central Web.  She has hosted a handful of the bitches in her house over the past few weeks.  When she sees them she "screams in their ear until they die" (or until her husband arrives to smash them).  I was teasingly calling her by her new Native American name: Spider Whisperer Who Screams in their Ears Until They Die.  Now, she's got the last laugh as I am the recipient of my own black widow God smack. 

I was upset because my children play in the backyard constantly and I can't bare to think about them getting bitten. I was pissed off because she was totally squatting on my property - rent free!!!! And, now I was more than a little nervous about taking care of my plants which is one of my favorite things to do outside.  And, I let my fear get the better of me and my imagination took on a life of its own.  This spider grew to mythological proportions.   It crept into my house and crawled on my face while I slept and laid its eggs in my ear.  It was lurking behind corners just waiting for the right minute to pounce and inject its venom into my heart to make a tasty Tracy tidbit.

I began to avoid my plants and wouldn't let the girls anywhere near them.  Lena, always helpful in a crisis, began to spew black widow facts:  "You know Mommy, black widows inject poisons into their husbands and then eat them."   Awesome.  Emmeline ran over to get us because a new "bug" was on the porch and now we are afraid of bugs instead of fascinated by them.  Lena: "That's a praying mantis.  They eat black widows. And they also bite the heads off their husbands.  Bugs are SO WICKED COOL, huh Mommy? "    Well, at least Emmeline's bug had arrived to save us because I was sure planning to give my killer nemesis a wide berth. 

I finally confessed my fear to my husband because he is so supportive and understanding of my neuroses.  And, once again, he did not disappoint.  "Yes.  Definitely do not enjoy your boring hobby because a tiny bug might bite you.  Did you even read anything about black widows? "  I confessed that I remained blissfully ignorant while enveloped in my fear of this bug killing me and my children and dragging our shriveled up bodies to her lair.  "Well, they can't kill adults nor kids unless they're sickly.  Why don't you stop reading all that stupid shit you buy for your Kindle and read something that actually matters?" 

It was time to take my garden back.  I arrive, armed to the teeth in my pink Kate Spade plastic rain shoes (don't want her to bite my feet) and brandishing a pink shovel (because pink is the antithesis of what the mistress of the dark will be wearing).  It's on.   I decided to fake her out with a deluge from the hose and spray her web.  Bahahahahaha!  My ruse worked! She sticks her head out from her secret underworld to see what prey is ensnared in her web of destruction.  I am ready.  I take a swipe at her with my pink shovel...and...nothing.  She doesn't even blink her zillion eyelids. She laughs an evil spider laugh (at least I think she did. No dogs came running, but I'm pretty sure she must have because she's evil and that's what evil creatures do when they best you).

I reach into my arsenal to pull out my backup weapon.  My husband.  He comes running (ok, he saunters and grumbles the entire way over because he was doing something). "For fuck's sake, Tracy.  That's what you've been afraid of? Give me your shoe."  And, a milisecond later she was nothing but a squish in my memory.  The girls run over, cheering on their hero.  I squirt the carcass off my pot with the hose.  Life gets back to "normal" where the girls are playing "detective spider squishers" and whacking each other with "fip fwops."  We are safe.  For now.  Until the tarantulas start making their way down the mountain in the fall.  But, I am stocking up on the end of the season flip flop/weapons. And I will be ready.

7.16.2012

Stroller Reviews for Moms with Multiple Kids

Are you looking for a kick ass stroller for your tiny people? Check out these reviews from savvy moms in the know...

http://www.mamasagainstdrama.com/2012/07/what-mamas-have-to-say-monday-22/#more-2831

Let me know if you have any other favorites!!!

7.15.2012

How Do I Find A Job I'm Qualified For Other Than Toilet Scrubber?

So, it turns out that looking at open houses is bad for my health.  And, by "health" I mean free time.  Because, when you look at $2,990,000 houses - the house that you're living in sucks no matter how great you once thought it was. 

Just look at this motherfucking kitchen!  Yes, this house is so amazing that even your kids can curse a blue streak about it without any repercussions because you would be "I see the motherfucking kitchen and am currently drooling in this bitch of a sink!"   I mean, having this kitchen is not going to get me to cook - but just imagine how AWESOME I would look behind the island totally NOT cooking!  I'd be all "What's a girl got to do to get some food around this joint?" and it would magically appear!  I'm so sure of it.


Picture me lounging in my courtyard... Did I just say courtyard?  Fucking-A right I did! It's in the middle of the goddamn house. I'd be hanging out like the trucker mouthed princess I should be but am not because I was screwed out of that title with my birthright.  I'd sipping Veuve Cliquot and eating gross things on a cracker because that's what classy people do when they sit in the motherfucking courtyard in the middle of their house.   **(See aforementioned disclaimer about profanity)**


And, at the end of my grueling day of being a non-cooking, potty-mouthed, wannabe princess, I can soak in this tub covered in pink bubbles made from the souls of freshly-squeezed fairies.  I will ring a bell with my finely manicured fingertips as to alert my servant (aka husband) that it's time to bring me a glass of Rodney Strong Chalk Hill in a Tiffany wine glass.  I will sip the intoxicant while staring longingly at my vast collection of Manolos, Choos and Louboutins in the closet to the right of the tub.


Several reasons why it is dangerous to dream:

1. Because my husband would be all "What the fuck, Tracy?  Where the hell did you get that annoying bell from?  Your legs aren't broken. Get your own damn wine.  And, if you ring that a bell again we can fix that whole 'legs not being broken' bit." When I finally got myself wine, it would more likely be served in a red Solo cup because my children have accidentally broken most of my real wine glasses.

2. In order to afford one closet in this home, I need to get some form of gainful employment. My husband so helpfully suggested that a small $75,000-$100,000 job would be a good investment towards accomplishing this lofty goal. Oh, is that all? I considered building an effigy of him and stabbing it 75,000-100,000 times, you know, to thank him for his helpfulness.

3. I also need to trim spending on non-essentials like juice boxes, health insurance and future college funds.

4. I should also start considering black market organ donation.  Where does one start with this? Craig's List? (Slightly used uterus up for bids....Make me an offer.  Willing to trade.)


I began the quest to look for the job of my dreams (even though I am totally holding out the hope that Warner Brothers is drafting up an offer as we speak http://www.momaical.com/2012/07/i-wanna-wite-for-that-wascally-wabbit.html).  It really shouldn't be that difficult to find, right - especially if I'm only looking for a cute little six figure salary job? So I start googling.  Part time writing, reading, grammar Nazi, smart ass, on-line, teacher turned blogger who loves to write and has a Master's in Education, BA in Spanish, BS in Broadcast Journalism and can do this job while having a kid that walks around me whining because I am not holding her on my "yap" while I am working.  Hmmmm. Weird.  There's NOTHING out there.  What else?

Wait. A. Minute.  Just because I was disenchanted with the initial Ph.D. program I wanted (http://www.momaical.com/2012/03/we-dont-take-kindly-to-folks-like-you.html) doesn't mean that my future as a scholar is totally out.  What if I get a job at Berkeley and then get in front of the department where I want to enroll for another Master's degree program?   They'll totally see how much they need me in their program and they will practically beg me to apply, right?

Oh.  Turns out that the only job opening that I am qualified for is to open up a gym facility before the ass crack of dawn.  Fuck.  

All the jobs I am interested in I am not "qualified" for.  All the jobs I am qualified for suck ass.   Ok, so it turns out that looking at million dollar open houses is not only bad for your health but also your self esteem.  What I really need is someone to give me money to be outlandish and wear cool shoes. They should bend to my will and I can say whatever I want because I am the supreme being.  Wait. One. Second.  It's all so clear now.  I need to be a cult leader! 

Just imagine me holding the cult meetings in the pool house while I address my people from the balcony overlooking the pool.  "Attention all minions!  There will be a new uniform policy in the Momaical Cult!  Burberry will be designing a flattering bathing suit and lounge suit for all of you.  We will only be seen in plaid.  I repeat, we will only be seen in plaid.  That is all."



 Oh, this is too good. I will definitely have to look into this job. It would be PERFECT! More on this epiphany later...

7.12.2012

I Wanna Wite For That Wascally Wabbit!

I have finally figured out what I want to do when I grow up.  I want to write for the new Looney Tunes show.   It’s on the Cartoon Network in the afternoon when the girls need some downtime and I guffaw like a donkey through the entire thing.  The writing is HIGH-LARIOUS – especially for Lola Bunny - because she's certifiable.  Here is some of her dialogue from my favorite episode. 


In Episode 12: "Double Date" Daffy Duck wins a dinner for two at a fancy restaurant (by rigging the contest, of course). But socially awkward (and slightly bitter) Daffy keeps striking out with the ladies.  So, Bugs Bunny enlists his relatively unstable “girlfriend” Lola Bunny to give Daffy some pointers on how to speak to a woman. 


Lola: Before you can have a successful date, you need to understand women. So I’ve written you a script filled with things that every woman will want to hear on a date. If you say these things, I guarantee that any woman will immediately fall in love with you.

Daffy: Really?

Lola: (hands him a piece of paper) Just say those words.


Daffy: “You are a beautiful, beautiful woman. You are the epitome of grace, style and femininity. You’re my best friend.” … This stuff is pretty good.

Lola: Told you!

Daffy: “You’re my best friend.  In fact, you’re the only friend I need. Here’s a good idea...Let’s get rid of all of our other friends and only be friends with each other. Also, we should cut off family members that don’t support our relationship. Also, we should have jobs where we work together. Because if there’s one thing I know, it’s that if we drop all of our friends, cut off our families and work together, we are guaranteed to have a perfect relationship.” … This really works on women?

(A now smitten Lola is staring adoringly at Daffy)

Daffy: Are you ok?

Lola: I’m fine. I just, I never noticed how handsome you were.

Daffy: Oh, thanks.

Lola: You have a really big beak.

Daffy: Thank you very much.


Daffy asks Tina Russo (from the Copy Place) out on the dinner date.  While he’s taking a shower in preparation for his date, Lola enters Daffy's room through his window.  She's sitting on his bed waiting for him to come back in.

Lola: Hello, Daffy.

Daffy: Ooh! Lola! What are you doing here?

Lola: Did you ask that girl out?

Daffy: Yeah, I did.

Lola: So you’re gonna go out with her? What do you even know about this girl?  She could be trouble. She could be dangerous. You know, not every girl is as stable as me. (Crushes a soda can on her head)


Daffy: No, Tina’s great.

Lola: Her name’s Tina? That’s not even a real name.  It’s a made up name like Ballswick or Kathlarg.

Daffy: I think Tina’s a real name.

Lola: Oh, she has you so duped.

Daffy: (opening the bedroom door) I think you should leave.


Lola: Fine. But you are making a huge mistake. (Yelling while climbing back out of Daffy’s window). Tina’s crazy! She’s a crazy person. She’s a crazy, fake-named person who’s probably a stalker!  (Slides down the ladder propped up in the window).

I’m just gonna leave this ladder here for later. I can’t lose him. I’ve got to stop that date. And I know just how I’m going to do it.  Is it weird to talk to myself? No, it’s not weird. You think I need a haircut?   I don’t know. You could grow out your bangs.  Ooh, that’s a good idea.

Watch the clip here and laugh until you stop: Stalker Lola

Comedic genius!  I just imagine sitting around a table laughing your ass off writing these scenes. Ok, now that I know what I want to be when I grow up…anyone got an in? Some contact at Warner Brothers?  Or, perhaps someone that owes you a hit?  They could take out one of the writers to create a need for me.   However, I don’t want to know about it.  Because orange is just not flattering on me.  And I have never really understood why Kardashians choose to wear those God awful jumpers.  In fact, that may actually make a really funny Lola Bunny episode!  See!  I am perfect for this.  Now, if I could just get someone to call and offer me a job.  They're probably working on the second season of this series right now – so maybe there’s still time for me to get hired…

7.10.2012

Lowest Common Denominator Diet Plan

I was checking out the super important news du jour (TomKat Divorce info) when I stumbled upon an article about the "Best and Worst Foods to Eat on a Diet".
I'm always looking for healthy food ideas for my family so I checked it out.  And, I hope you're sitting while reading this - french fries are bad for you. Wait. What???? Starchy potatoes fried in fat and then dipped in sugary ketchup are not healthy?  GASP! Why have dietitians been hiding this earth shattering information from us? And, more importantly what Mensa candidate wrote this Pulitzer Prize winning article? I'll save you the additional shock by summing up the rest for you: Fruits, vegetables and healthy proteins like nuts are good for you. Fried food, processed food, food high in starch and soda are bad for you and will make you fat.
Have we really gotten to the point where society is so stupid that we have to dumb down EVERYTHING? Let me show you pictures of good food and bad food so you can understand what is healthy and not healthy. We don't want you to strain your brain by reading.   They should have titled the article: "If you crawled out from under a McDonald's yesterday then this is a guide to healthy eating."  I imagine they were trying to hit an overweight male 18-45 audience with the slideshow where I found it.  If  I wrote the article for that demographic, it might go something like this:
Lowest Common Denominator Diet Plan
"Hey, Fat Ass.  Yeah, I’m looking at you.  And that’s a lot of looking.  Put down that potato chip and listen up.  And, while you’re at it, use that Napoleon Dynamite t-shirt to wipe the Cheez Whiz off your face while I’m talking to you.  Because you’re a giant pile of disgusting and it’s making me throw up in my mouth a little.  Don’t worry, your mom knows how to get grease out of cotton.  Ask her since you’re living in her basement.
See that bowl of ziti and butter you're stuffing your fat face with?  Think you’re eating healthy food because it’s just a small portion? Wrong. That butter alone is at least 200 calories – probably more like 500 with the amount the noodles are drowning in.  You’re eating white pasta and then dipping Italian bread in the congealing pile of fat beneath the carb loaded-nirvana.  That’s going to take you about 3 hours running on the treadmill to burn it off.  Still taste good to you?   You could eat an entire salad, big piece of chicken and a glass of wine for fewer calories. 
Don’t you want to have a date, like, ever?  It’s time to make some small changes towards a social life.  One step at a time.  First, switch out Coke for Diet Coke. Yeah, it will taste weird for a few days – but it’s easier than going cold turkey off soda.  Granted, there’s artificial sweetener but like I said earlier – little steps.  Then change one of those sodas a day out for a water.  Over time drink more water than soda.  Step two: Change white starches for whole grains.  Sure, they taste like paste in pasta form – but you probably ate tons of it when you were in elementary school anyway.  Just use whole wheat bread instead of ginormous slices of sourdough.  Start adding vegetables and fruits to each meal. Don’t get all fancy with them – brussel sprouts are something you work up to.  Find some that don’t make you gag.  Eat them.  A lot of them.
Fried foods are bad.  Stop freakin' shoving them in your pie hole. Yes, french fries are fried. I mean, hello - they're called FRIES.  Mozzarella sticks are fried.  Fried chicken - you guessed it. Fried. They will kill you. Processed foods like hot dogs are nasty.  Eat them sporadically - that means not with every meal.  Try for once a week. 
Sugary treats are bad. Yes, that includes donuts.  I mean, does Homer Simpson look like he just competed in an Iron Man competition?  Joe Manganiello = hot.  Homer Simpson = not so much. 
Get your fat ass in gear. Stand up and move around while playing your Wii. (and that's not a euphemism for your wiener although that may burn calories too).  Start taking a small walk to the end of the road.  Do that every day for a week.  Add a few blocks on every week.  Stop spending your allowance on Big Macs.  You’re going to need it soon to buy some new clothes because sweatpants in public are just plain wrong.  And, before long, even you might start getting laid. And that burns a lot of calories. 

Dieting shouldn't be just living on rabbit food or cottage cheese. It's trading out the crap for the good stuff and you have to do it over a period of time. Because no one can make drastic changes to their bad behavior overnight. Just start slowly and remember: fruits and veggies = healthy, fried food and sugar = death."  When you can actually look at yourself in the mirror then buy a real guide to healthy food written by people who have actually studied this.  Unlike me. 
My phone is ringing.  It’s probably Tosca Reno calling to hire me to write health articles for Oxygen.  Oh, nope.  Just a telemarketer.  Weird.  I was so sure someone would want to hire me after such a motivational and inspiring diet plan created by someone who has no formal training in nutrition whatsoever.  Maybe they're just stunned speechless by the fantasticness of it all...Yeah.  That's probably it.

7.09.2012

APB for a Missing Muse

Dearest Muse:

Where are you today? I actually have a few minutes to write instead of my usual type a word, deal with a meltdown, rinse and repeat method of blogging. My little ones are lethargic from the heat and therefore are slightly less high maintenance than usual. So, I could use some funny inspiration.

Yes, I did appreciate you sending the burly woman wearing jeans with the fronts ripped out from the pockets to the knees like reverse chaps - but that's not really enough for an entire post. I also guffawed at the woman at the hair salon giving a detailed description of her breast feeding/pumping practices to her new flamboyantly gay stylist whose face matched his kelly green skinny pants listening to her intricate details.   She clearly needs a lesson on how to speak to her audience. But again…not enough. 

I miss your sick, twisted humor that provides me with bountiful fodder.  It’s becoming clear that I am entirely too dependent upon you and should look into some type of 12-step program.  Except, I don’t have the time nor the energy for all 12 steps.  I’d only make it one or two and then begin imagining a future involving boring user manuals on vacuum cleaner bag maintenance or the art of watching paint dry.  Downtrodden,  I’ll end up writing for some Penny Saver free thing that comes in the mail and just gets put directly into the bottom of a birdcage.  My writing will be an aviary litter box, muse.  Are you ready for that kind of guilt riding on your muse-licious shoulders?

Hope you get off your lazy muse butt and make a visit soon.  I have chocolate.  I’m just saying.  I’m not above a little bribery.


Love,

Tracy


7.08.2012

Review of 100 Natural Remedies for Your Child by Dr. Jared Skowron

I was always a believer in medicine. If I had a headache, I took an Advil. If I had a stomach ache, I took a Rolaids. While I was in college the health center must have had a contract with Robitussin; no matter what ailed ya, they prescribed Robitussin.  Cold? Robitussin!  Sprained ankle? Robitussin! Appendicitis? Guess what! Yup! Robitussin!

So, I am no stranger to using antibiotics to cure many different things. I have had terrible high blood pressure for most of my life. Diet and exercise do nothing to regulate it.   My doctor prescribed Labetelol to control it. About two weeks after I started, I got so ill I had to be hospitalized. It turns out that the pharmacy had filled my prescription incorrectly. Instead of high blood pressure medicine, I was ingesting a ridiculously high amount of an anti-seizure medicine called Lamictal. I was hospitalized for a week with something called Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (Great. I can't even get something with a cool name. Sounds like I picked it up in Jersey). The recovery was brutal. It permanently burned out my tear ducts as well as destroyed my skin.

Needless to say, I am much more reticent to use prescriptions. I am not opposed to them - sometimes they are the only thing that cures what you're fighting.  However, after having kids I have tried to incorporate a more naturalistic method of treating my daughters before rushing off to the pediatrician's office. (Usually right after I go there, the girls bring something even worse home than what I brought them for!)  I have read many different books on alternatives to conventional medical treatments. This is the best book, hands down, that I have discovered. I found it last fall on Amazon's Best-Seller list of Children's Health books.

 
It's called 100 Natural Remedies for Your Child. The Complete Guide to Safe, Effective Treatments for Childhood's Most Common Ailments, from Allergies to Weight Loss. It's by Dr. Jared M. Skowron. It's broken down into three sections: Natural Solutions for your Kids, Top 100 Pediatric Health Conditions and Safe, Natural Solutions and Body System Remedies.

Part One, Natural Solutions for your Kids, talks all about the power of food. More and more people are choosing to cut out processed food, foods with potential toxins/pesticides and other less healthy food choices. Instead, we are becoming more knowledgeable about the best types of protein, carbohydrates, fats and sugars to consume.   In my house I have been slowly transforming my pantry over the last 7 years. The first thing I did was to add whole grains. We started eating much more clean food. We have been slowly eliminating processed foods from our diets which means I have to freakin' cook more - but it's all worth it knowing that I am helping keep my children healthy while teaching them how to eat correctly. We have added more Omegas, probiotics and complex carbohydrates to our daily food consumption.   Chapter 1 from Dr. Skowron's book is a great start if you’re looking to make healthy changes for your family and yourself. It's easy to read and also gives great stories from children who have overcome great health challenges with changes to their diet instead of solely relying on prescriptions. 

The second part, Top 100 Pediatric Health Solutions, is phenomenal because it reads like a dictionary of illnesses.   As soon as my two year old gets a cold, within 5 days she also is host to a vicious earache.   I flip to the index of 100 Natural Remedies for Your Child and it tells me exactly where to find the information about ear infections.  We know that she doesn’t have allergies, so this is not the cause of the inflammation.  We tried out the herbal eardrops Dr. Skowron suggests.  This helped immensely and the infection cleared up without the need for amoxicillin.   You can find just about any childhood concern addressed in this chapter: from cradle cap to pink eye to croup.  There are also holistic approaches to more severe illnesses like cystic fibrosis and diabetes.  Each condition has a description of the symptoms and provides multiple methods of addressing the issues with diet, vitamins and supplements and naturopathic remedies.  He also offers some alternative remedies for many of the conditions.  I highly recommend trying natural methods before jumping right into an expensive trip to the pharmacy.   It's not your only method of treatment!!! 

The last section is about overall recommendations for healthy living.   Two thirds of my hair fell out after my second pregnancy.  I figured it was just mad at me for having a second kid – but it apparently held a grudge.  I used the information about the Mediterranean Diet to help it slowly get over being a hater and return to my head.   I also know that high blood pressure runs rampant on my side of the family.  So, I have used this chapter to introduce the key foods and naturopathic remedies into my household to hopefully stave off this condition for the girls and eliminate it from my life.  Also, the back of the book has an index that reveals all natural supplement - drug interactions. This ia a wonderful section about the different remedies, how much to take of them as well as possible side effects.  It’s critical to know what will interact poorly!  I had a friend that didn’t know St. John’s Wort can diminish the efficacy of oral birth control pills.  Oops.  Nine months later we had a new tiny friend! 

Anyway – I hope your child never has one second of illness.  However, should her entire class become at risk for a lice outbreak, it’s good to know you can turn to this book for some remedies.  Same for ADHD and autism.  Before placing your child on tons of prescription drugs, at least give a natural method a chance.  Or, read it over and implement small, healthy changes into your kitchen.  It will help everyone – not just the under 18 crowd. 

100 Natural Remedies for Your Child. The Complete Guide to Safe, Effective Treatments for Childhood's Most Common Ailments, from Allergies to Weight Loss by Dr. Jared Skowron is an easy how to guide.  The only thing I can think of that he missed from Allergies to Weight Loss is Xenophobia.  But, maybe he’s just saving that for his next best seller. 

Pick one up today!  It's available in paperback and Kindle.  Then your friends will start coming to you because you're the cool, crunchy mom that knows what feverfew is and you didn't even go to Hogwarts.









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