Keep Dreaming

In the Fall of 2010, the owner of Belly Sprout, Christy Funk, posed a question on her Facebook wall. She asked us mamas out there if our dreams were on hold now that we have children or were we living the dream, balancing work that we loved and our children. This got me thinking. I had put my dreams on hold for awhile and I stopped to think about how I could adapt it to include my children.

I let the ideas rattle around in my brain for the night on how to balance children and a music career and this is what I came up with. Why couldn’t I teach a mommy and me music class where my children were present and could enjoy it? No babysitter required. Now, I just had to pitch the idea to the store owner as I clearly had no venue to hold this class. I thought about doing a trial run with the GenX moms playgroup, but I was faced with the limitations of my small living room.

I was nervous about broaching the idea to Christy out of fear of rejection, but I decided to “man up” and just go for it. My mantra was nothing ventured, nothing gained. I wrote her an email and pitched the idea and do you know what? She went for it. Do-Re-Me & Mommy was born. Since the holidays were approaching, we decided to host some free classes to introduce it to the community.  I gathered up some baby-safe musical instruments and cracked open the songbooks. I poured over hundreds of songs to find age-appropriate and popular tunes that most people would know. I found holiday songs set to popular children’s tunes and created song sheets, so parents could follow along. My goal was to make this fun and interactive.

The day of the first class arrived and my nerves were through the roof; I don’t remember eating breakfast. I don’t even think I slept through the night. I woke up early and while all my boys were still snoozing, I headed around the corner to print the colored song sheets at the office supply store. Since it was close to Thanksgiving, I went with harvest gold. I had rehearsed the songs over and over and was getting worried Scooby wouldn’t be interested since he’d heard them a bunch of times, including on the car ride over to Belly Sprout.

It was an overcast misty day, and I was hoping for a good handful of mamas and babes, but I tried to keep my expectations low. All the instruments were displayed on the kids’ table and I set up my IPod and speakers for the end of class boogie. What a joy it was to see friends and new faces coming to class. Eighteen moms showed up with their children in tow. We sang, we laughed, we jingled, we jangled. At the end, we all hung out and had a great time swapping mamahood stories while the kids danced and played. I felt so blessed to have such lovely mamas there who were encouraging even when I got nervous (Thanks Scriv!).  It was an experience that still brings tears to my eyes. The warmth and camaraderie, the new friendships forged, all from a little spark that took courage to share and bring to fruition.

I look forward to the future and I’m optimistic about keeping my dream alive in uncertain times.

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'Tis the Season To Be Sick

‘Twas the night before Thanksgiving and all through the day, I’d been achin’ and chillin’ with no appetite.  I called up my hubby and asked him to please, bring home some Oscillo as fast as can be.  After taking as directed, third time the charm, Thanksgiving morning I was raring to go.

Now, I truly felt like the flu was upon me that day and I’m ever so thankful to have heard about Oscillococcinum while attending a vaccine workshop at Belly Sprout by Dr. Lauren Feder, a homeopathic M.D. Our Thanksgiving dinner may have turned into take-out otherwise. I took the Oscillo just as instructed, at the first sign of flu symptoms, and followed up with one dose every 6 hours. By the third dose (after a good night’s rest), I was in good shape and able to cook all day.  I was worried that it may taste funky but not at all. It was quite sweet actually. What I really like is that when my son turns 2 he will be able to take the same Oscillo dose. No need to purchase the children’s type. It works for the whole family which helps the pocketbook and storage space. I love how homeopathy helps my body do what it needs to do when I couple it with rest.

A week later, So Cal was bathed in heavy winds which seem to be the culprit of my family’s “sniffles” lately. God only knows what’s flying around in the air out there. I knew I was fighting something off when my throat came up sore. As this is the first line of defense, I took immediate action by gargling with full-strength Alkalol, a natural antiseptic and mucus solvent. I then got out my trusty Neti Pot and filled it with a mixture of equal parts Alkalol and lukewarm filtered (previously boiled) water, and flushed my nasal passages. My new drink of choice became tea with honey and I donned a scarf around my neck at all times. I broke out with the generic Emergen-C to help boost my immune system.  It is effervescent which I learned from a pharmacology seminar was the fastest way oral medication would reach your bloodstream; hence, why I like many homeopathic remedies as they are dissolved in the mouth under the tongue.

What's in your medicine cabinet?

When my throat would worsen (usually at night which is an indicator to rest), I would gargle with Alkalol again and eat a teaspoon of honey and let it coat my throat. My yoga instructor uses turmeric with raw honey but, I have yet to try this and I don’t know the measurements. I stay away from citrus as it dries the throat. Being a singer, you learn many hard lessons while singing and performing, so I’ve learned what works best for me. Tea shouldn’t be too hot either, you’re just trying to soothe it, not inflame it. The same goes for soup. Chicken soup is always a winner, but I changed it up this time with some albondigas (meatball soup) with an organic chicken stock base and lots of fresh veggies.

After a couple days of contending with my throat, the rest of this bug reared its head with sinus pressure, headache and cough. I continued with the above remedies and ran to Henry’s for some back-up. There, I found that Boiron, the makers of Oscillo, had a few other remedies in their arsenal, on sale to boot. I picked up some Chestal syrup for my cough (another product my son can take when he turns 2—KA-ching!) and Sinusalia for my sinus pain. Also in my shopping cart was Ricola sugar-free cherry drops to keep in my purse for cough attacks and ginger-peppermint tea for my sinuses.

If I had the luxury of an hour of alone time (remember I’m a mother of two children under the age of 2), I would steep a pot of this ginger-peppermint tea and run a hot bath with sea salts and essential oils. I tried this when I was single, and it really helped sweat out a sinus infection.  This time around, I would just have to settle for dressing warmly and lots of tea with honey. Oh, I almost forgot another key remedy in my bag of tricks, Save The Baby. It’s an old family favorite and hard to find. It’s like Vicks rub. We apply it at night to our chest, throat and upper lip. The vapors help soothe the cough, throat, and nasal passages.  During the day, I would take a whiff of some pungent aloe gel. This can be used similarly if Save The Baby is unavailable to you.

This might seem like a lot to you, but this is my drug-free way of letting my body work its magic and avoid the doctor’s office.

What’s in your medicine cabinet?

DISCLAIMER:  I received no compensation for any of the above products/entities mentioned. I am a consumer and the above statements were based purely on own my personal experiences and are no substitute for medical care. Keep in mind that I’m not a doctor and don’t let me dissuade you from seeking medical attention if and when necessary.