Werther’s Original Soft Caramels

I received these to try for free from Influenster.com. Now I have to admit, I only shared on of these with my fiance. I ate the rest of the bag myself. Oops! So in the middle of the night, I went out to the pharmacy and bought another bag of these to share with my daughter. They were so good! She’s almost 3 and handled these so well! No problems with the texture, no gagging or choking, she just gobbled them up. She is on the spectrum and does have issues with some foods, so I was pleasantly surprised that she took so well to them. We also melted some and coated some apples for a nice caramel apple dessert. I always have an issue with caramels sticking to my teeth and taking forever to dissolve. That was not the case with these. They became melty and gooey and dissolved in my mouth!

I have not had Werther’s caramels in any form since my Mere-mere passed away. That was always a special thing between us and I was just never interested. Getting that little bag in the pumpkin voxbox brought back so many fond memories. It’s silly to disregard something like that because of fear or sadness, but that is not what occurred. I may have teared up a bit, but it was more joyful tears than they were sad. I get to share this experience with my daughter and that means the world to me–just like I’m sure my Mere-mere felt sharing these with me.

Influenster Blossom Vox Box: Australian Gold SPF 30

I’m a lover of free samples and trying new things. It has always been one of the best ways to get me to buy a product. If I try it, I like it, I buy it, and I tell other people about it! I was very fortunate to receive the BlossomVoxBox from Influenster this month filled with free goodies to try and review.

Australian Gold SPF 30Australian Gold SPF 30 is wonderful. My primary reasoning on this is that it doesn’t smell like bananas or some sort of tropical fruit. In fact, the scent is very mild and not very fruity. I need sunblock because I burn easily. My daughter also needs it and we both have sensitive skin. There haven’t been any breakouts using this product and my daughter thankfully didn’t get any sort of rash from it either! Guess who is buying more of this stuff for the summer!

Pros:

Light weight: It doesn’t feel too heavy of tacky when applying but I did notice my skin seemed to soak it up a bit. I didn’t use my regular lotion for a few days and I have dry skin.

Smell: Mild and light. I’m not sure how to describe it other than not annoying. I’m not very fond of many of the scents of other brands of sun blocks. This one sits up high on my list as a favorite just because of this fact.

Adequate protection: I applied this product and was out in the sun for about an hour. I have a slight tan which is a bit weird.

Easy to remove: My skin didn’t feel super greasy or like I still had product on when I washed it off as long as I used soap. I first tried with just water but there was still a bit of a residue on my skin. Warm water and soap seemed to do the trick.

Con:

Spreading: My dry skin seemed to soak this stuff up so I wasn’t sure I adequately spread it onto my skin. I think it could lead to using more or less product than actually needed.

Water: I didn’t have the means to go into a pool and see if it was still able to adequately protect my skin. Since it didn’t full wash off in just water, I would hope it would still have some protection when a person is immersed.

Definitely give this product a try this summer. I am usually horrible at applying sunscreen just because I don’t like the smell or the feel of it. I think this one will make it easier to apply. At $8.99, it’s not in a bad price range either in comparison to other sun screens.

Ingredients are taken from http://www.australiangold.com

Active Ingredients
Avobenzone 3%
Homosalate 7.5%
Octisalate 5%
Octocrylene 2.75%
Oxybenzone 2%

Inactive Ingredients
Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Allantoin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Butylphthalimide, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Carbomer, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance (Parfum), Glycerin, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, Isopropylphthalimide, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Methylisothiazolinone, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Polyethylene, Polysilicone-15, Polysorbate 20, Propylene Glycol, Sorbitan Oleate, Terminalia Ferdinandiana (Kakadu Plum) Fruit Extract, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Tocopheryl Acetate, Triethanolamine, Water (Aqua)

Treat Yourself Better: Admission

Good news! Yesterday my daughter had allergy testing done on her back. Everything was negative including nuts. This happened the first time she had testing, but she had a delayed reaction to soy and peanuts. Blood test revealed an allergy to peanuts during that first testing. She had blood work this time as well and we will know the results within a few days. I’m excited because if the tests are negative, we can proceed with oral testing in the office. If that goes well, her allergy will be removed from her charts.

We are under a lot of stress in many ways. It’s weird because we are used to helping others and putting ourselves last. I am now realizing what a bad example we are setting for our daughter because of this. It is okay to help people when you have the means, but it’s not okay to neglect your self.

Looking further into my own habits, I live a very unhealthy lifestyle. It’s not much different from many of the people that are in my life. That is the problem. It isn’t seen as bad. It is seen as normal. I don’t get out very much because I don’t have time or make the time to do so. I spend far too much time watching things or reading on the internet. I don’t treat my body as well as I could. Then of course I try to implement better habits, and you know what happens? Things come up that throw me back out of balance because I let them.

It feels like my family is always getting sick and having some sort of pill shoved at us to help make the sickness go away. Sure some medication is required, but we’re never given or shown the tools to make positive change to our lives to possibly do without pills. It wasn’t something that we were taught by our parents. We have to learn it for ourselves.

I finally have an appointment with an endocrinologist. I have known for some time that something isn’t quite right. If I can find out what it is, I want to research and find ways that I can handle it by treating myself better. A doctor can only do so much, and I’m tired of having to take drugs to feel “better” when quite often the side effects make me feel worse for wear.

I really don’t fall on the spectrum of a naturalist, but there are times I feel so strongly about certain aspects. It can feel like it is all or nothing at times, but that is no way to succeed in changing your life style. It happens in small pieces. Day by day, being kinder to yourself, telling yourself that negative thoughts are normal, but still telling yourself that you are loved unconditionally just as you are in this very moment. Truly believing that takes time. Change or evolution takes time.

I want my mom to move in with us. I want her to take advantage of implementing a more healthy and positive lifestyle. I feel sick over this though. She is so very depressed and pessimistic. She cries a lot and says a lot of negative things about herself. I don’t know if I’m strong enough to help her or if her living with me would pull me down with her.

I also want her to move in for selfish reasons. I didn’t get time with my grandparents. Two of them were dead before I was born. The other died when I was very young. I didn’t have a good relationship until nearing the end of my last grandparent’s life. I want my daughter to know her grandmother and to have memories with her. Most importantly, I want to have memories and more moments with my mother. I want to reconnect what I feel is a disconnect of our relationship we once had. It is something I feel very deep-rooted and strongly about. I wonder if this could be enough to make it work for us? Then there are a number of hurdles that need to happen in order for her to move in so it may not be possible.

I feel like action could set me up for failure. Then the fears of failure and procrastinating tear down my will to try. Sometimes it feels like such a delicate balance, but nurturing my own health and well-being could be helpful in this case. I need to learn to accept failure with grace. I’m not perfect. I always felt that while knowledge is power it is also ever-changing. As we learn more our perceptions of knowledge change. What is true today may not be so tomorrow. Learning is therefore power. The ability to learn and to change is what allows us to accept knowledge for what it is in the present and moving forward.

I can hear the birds singing this early morning. The sky is lighting up in the distance beyond the trees out my window. I am tired from this cold, but I feel very much at peace with myself. Sleep has been disjointed as well as nourishment. I’m trying to flow with what my body needs as it is needed. One step at a time.

Nexium Withdrawal: Update Week 2

Nexium withdrawal has become tougher. I haven’t taken more of it, but my stomach, esophagus, and even my sinuses have been in pain from acid reflux. I have been taking a quarter of ranitidine (zantac) to ease off the stomach pain at night… Not every night though. I have been trying to space it out. I also wake up with an orange tongue–weird and gross, but brushing gets rid of it. I have noticed a considerable problem with what I ingest in general since coming off of the medication.

Issues: Coffee now makes my stomach feel incredibly raw. Things have been processing through my system much faster than I am use to, and this just speeds up the process even more. It also causes more of those low blood sugar jitters. The reason I was consuming at least one cup a day was to prevent migraines. I think I need to try to cut back to some tea or maybe even decaf to give my stomach a chance to heal.

Low-fat dairy. When I switched to this while on nexium, I started to feel a bit better. Now that I am not on it, this stuff is terrible on my stomach. I have no problem handling the full-fat items, but low fat causes my whole body to feel out of sorts. I’m talking gas, bloating, stomach cramping, reflux–the works!

Salt. I have been craving salt and seem to be rather dehydrated. It has been very dry in our area especially with all of this bitter cold and snow. I am not drinking as much water as I was originally because the doctor suggested I was drinking too much and throwing my electrolyte balance off. Oops? I guess I have to find that happy medium.

I feel hungry when I am actually hungry. This is crazy. I thought it was possibly the nexium distorting my perception of hunger and I do believe that I can not say that I was right. Instead of just suddenly getting the shakes and needing to eat a ton of food to ward it off, I feel hungry first. It amazes me that I had been living for so many years without the feeling that I needed to eat. I also feel full after I eat so I haven’t been as mindless about eating. I start to munch and suddenly my stomach feels full and I am wondering why I was stuffing my mouth in the first place. Not having the means to tell if you are full or hungry can really upset the balance off your system!

I did get some activated charcoal capsules and I have spirulina. The spirulina gave me a bit of a fever before and I wasn’t sure if it was a common side effect or if it was a possible allergy. Fever can be a common side effect, but where I’m dehydrated, I think I will wait until I get that sorted first. Fish and iodine allergies run in my family. I have been allergic to tilapia for a long time and have off and on issues with clams, but I’ve been okay to eat other fish like haddock, salmon, shrimp, and even scallops. More recently though I am noticing body temperature increase, flushing, and breathing issues (the last could be anxiety from the other issues) when I eat scallops and shrimp. I guess I’m staying away to play it safe for a bit until I can get some allergy testing done to confirm or disprove what is going on.

Baking Soda for Anxiety?

I did it. I am officially off of cetirizine (Zyrtec). I have had a couple of break through issues with my skin getting a bit of hives or redness. It’s been far and few in between now. I just take 12.5mg of benadryl if this happens though and it usually goes away. I would try hydrocortizone cream, but I misplaced it. Oops!

As another point of interest, I was chosen by Influenster to test out Pantene Pro-V Full & Strong Shampoo, Conditioner, and Dry Shampoo. I just used it for the first time today and will write up a separate post about that.

In other news, we are giving our chest freezer to my father-in-law. Management says it is a fire hazard even though they originally gave us permission to have it. They “never” had any paperwork stating that we could have it. We had it when we lived with my fiance’s parents. Informed the management when we moved into our own place and they sent maintenance to make sure we had a good place to plug it in. Then when we moved into this new apartment after a massive leak in our old place, we were told maintenance would come and find out where we could put it. This never happened. Anyway, they saw we had it, never remembered it, told us it was a fire hazard and are forcing us to get rid of it or face eviction. It does state it can be considered for reasonable accommodation but they are refusing even after hiring an electrician ourselves to prove it could be safe in our apartment.

Rhaewyn is doing ABA therapy 5 times a week. So far, it’s stressful because of the snow. We are considering condensing, but right now we just want her to get as much help as possible before she enters school. She is also in the Early Intervention play group where we have to be in the building but attend a parent’s support group.

With all of the stress going on I have been doing a lot of research on natural ways to improve my mood. This is where baking soda comes in. In some articles it suggests using baking soda to prevent lactic acid buildup in the muscles from a work out both before and after. I have also read up on respiration and CO2 levels in the body in conjunction just by doing a simple google search for the key terms. Do check the articles because there are suggested adverse side effects like alkolosis and increased potassium excretion.

This made me think about when we are stressed we can hyperventilate and lower our CO2 levels which makes our bodies more acidic. Would it make sense that baking soda could help prevent some of those sick and fatigued feelings when our body is hyperventilating? I decided to give it a try. My stomach ached like I had heartburn. I do take nexium but it doesn’t quite work well at times. I was feeling light-headed, insanely antsy, agitated, moody, shaky, etc. I put 1tsp of Baking Soda into a filtered glass of water (8oz). I began to sip it. To be honest it wasn’t until I got a little over half-way down that I noticed I felt so much better. It wasn’t just physical symptoms either. It was suddenly easier to think and focus more of positive. Low CO2 can cause vessels to constrict which can lead to diminished brain function. The last time my CO2 was checked it was at 19. One point below where my lab considers normal. My liver enzymes have also been elevated by one point as well. I’m not sure if there is any connection as to my low CO2 causing the liver issue or vice versa. The doctor hasn’t been able to find anything wrong despite running tests. I just tend to feel anxiety stricken a lot, fatigued, sore, depressed, and in a brain fog.

Getting pH paper would be the proper thing and testing twice a day to see how alkaline or acidic your body is if you can’t have your doctor frequently monitor you. Where I fall into the low/acidic side, I feel confident in having 1tsp once in a while. The first one was on Saturday and I’m having my second today. I will note that once I felt better during the first glass, I tossed the rest of it. I was just looking to see if I could physically feel any improvements after ingestion. The time spent drinking the first glass was spaced out over 45 minutes.

I still remember my mom using baking soda for heartburn and she would take 1tsp with a little bit of water all at once. While this wasn’t a daily thing, I do wonder if it could have caused any negative side effects taking so much at once. Again, it is best to consult a doctor before you start anything. I’m certainly stubborn and will discuss it with my doctor when they are available. The excessive amounts of snow has made it impossible to book an appointment before March.

Baking Soda for Athletes –

http://doctoroffitness.com/resources/fitness-articles/item/q-a-using-bicarbonate-to-buffer-lactic-acid-in-athletes-2

http://drsircus.com/medicine/sodium-bicarbonate-baking-soda/side-effects-contraindications

http://biohacksblog.com/baking-soda-as-a-pre-workout-supplement/

Hyperventilation –

http://www.healthline.com/symptom/hyperventilation

Zyrtec (Certirizine) Detox

For some time the past year I had noticed some ill effects taking place after consuming my generic brand of Zyrtec known as Cetirizine. I have it filled at the pharmacy (not just purchasing over the counter). I have been on it for a number of years, consuming two 10mg tablets a day. One in the morning, and one at night. This used to fair well for my allergies, but after pregnancy something different began to happen.

I felt unwell most of the time. Stuffy and congested about an hour after taking cetirizine. I would like to note I also take Singular (Montelukast) one 10mg pill every morning. I have also been extremely bloated and just unable to lose weight. Since the symptoms were very noticeable at night after taking cetirizine, I decided to cut out my morning dose to see what happened. Not too much except some slight itching. It took about a month to go away.

The bad symptoms persisted at night though and I started looking into withdrawals and complaints about zyrtec and it’s generic counterpart. If you do a google search you can find a number of complaints about issues surrounding cetirizine. Male, female, race, age, all of these things do not seem to matter much and the symptoms remain pretty consistent. What caught my eye in particular is that many people didn’t test positive for certain allergens when tested by an immunologist after coming off of cetirizine a week before their test. On the opposite end of this, many people tested positive for just about everything. This includes myself. I am highly allergic to just about everything outdoors except for rabbit. How could this be? There has to be something to it if there are so many complaints out there!

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New Year. New Post.

I made all of the previous years posts private. Why? I like the idea of moving forward and starting anew. I don’t want to dwell on past troubles and tribulations, but take what I have learned and move on. This year in particular, I feel like I am finally forced to become that super-organized mom who says “no” to a lot of things because it just doesn’t work into our schedule. I have a very large wipe board calendar to try to achieve this as well as the calendar app on my laptop (not as effective on days I do not use my laptop). I spent much of last year reading up tricks and tips on how to get organized and to make the most out of the things I currently have. I guess you could say it has been a work in progress.

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