What every mother should know about fevers

Here is some info I recently put together on fevers for a Moms board I help run. I just thought I would share since it’s the cold and flu season.

A lot of moms are concerned about how high a fever gets, febrile seizures, brain damage, etc. So what’s the real deal on fevers? What is a fever for? What are some natural ways to relive fever symptoms and the fever itself?

Some info on why you shouldn’t kill a fever.

Why is a fever important?

Fever is the immune system’s response in addition to sending T-Cells to fight antibodies. The T-Cells can kill bacterial pathogens. Those pathogens are killable by T-Cell attacks. Fevers are also part of the clean up process for toxic bacterial waste products.

Viruses are not living microorganisms that rummage about internally looking for food to scavenge, as bacteria do. A virus does not have a nucleus cell that divides to create more microbes, as bacteria do. The body’s thalamus/thyroid reaction raises the temperature slightly, and that stops viruses from replicating.

A snippit on piggybacking meds to reduce a fever and the percentage of children who get febrile seizures.

Only 5% to 10% of children under six get febrile convulsions, which usually last for a few minutes. The commonly misdirected concern is that a high fever in a young child can create brain damage. The actual situation is that vaccinations and other illnesses are the real causes of brain damage, not the fever itself.

The fever phobia has led parents and maybe some doctors to alternate Tylenol with Advil or any Ibuprofen in a desperate effort to reduce fevers. This effort has occasionally resulted in more serious damage, sometimes death. Even the American Academy of Pediatrics advises against these desperate measures to reduce fever. They advise sticking with one medication, using conservative doses carefully.

Info from National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) on febrile seizures can be found here.

The vast majority of febrile seizures are harmless. There is NO evidence that febrile seizures cause brain damage. The degree of the fever has nothing to do with the seizure, it’s how fast it spikes. You can have febrile seizures at any temp, it’s all about how fast it spikes.

Vaccinations are causing impaired blood flow (Ischemia), Chronic Illness, Disease and Death for us all

Febrile seizures are not caused by “fever”. The fever expands the diameter of the tiny blood vessels so that more white blood cell infection fighting “soldiers” can traverse down the ‘roads.” When the blood vessel roads become jammed, by too many white blood cells, and altered fluid dynamics, there is ischemia. Ischemia causes a lack of oxygen to the brain.

What can I do to treat my child’s fever naturally without Tylenol, Ibuprofen or similar fever reducing meds?

Herbs – Elder flower and yarrow increase sweating to help manage hot fevers, while ginger has warming effects to help manage fever with chills. Tea is an excellent way to administer herbs while keeping a feverish child hydrated and nourished. Helpful herbal teas for fever include chamomile, red clover, rosemary and peppermint. Lemon juice or honey can be added to the tea (never give honey to infants under one year).

Essential Oils – Lemon, lavender, eucalyptus, thyme, pine, rosemary and sage essential oils are beneficial for feverish children and also help support the immune system to support the body’s defenses instead of suppressing them. Drop some lavender essential oil in cool water and use a washrag to wipe a child’s forehead for a cooling, relaxing effect.
Treating Childhood Fevers with Aromatherapy, Essential Oils, Natural Care for Infant or Child Fever

Homeopathy
– Aconite, Belladonna, Nux Vomica and Pulsatilla are four common remedies indicated in childhood fevers.
Treating Fevers with Homeopathy and Choosing a Homeopathic Remedy for Childhood Fevers

Foods/Fluids – Many children lose their appetite when feverish, so parents can give nourishing fluids like fruit juices, teas, broth and juiced vegetables to keep a energy and hydration levels up. Whenever a child can eat try feeding them easy to digest fruits, vegetables and nuts to avoid constipation, provide plenty of energy and gently stimulate digestion. Let the child eat as much as they desire rather than purposefully “starving a fever” as the old myth goes.

Rest and Light Activity – While infants and children with a fever will often sleep more often, or longer than usual, parents should allow their children to be lightly active if they feel like it. A walk around the block in the fresh air can raise a sick child’s spirits.

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Baby Bump #3

It’s so important to document this awesome time in my life. I know that one day all of this will be a distant memory and I will forever cherish these photos. Many thanks to my talented sister who took these pictures for me at 33.4 weeks during my third pregnancy. There will be more to follow as we have another shoot scheduled soon but here are some for now.
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Giving birth and giving birth away

What does it mean to give birth? For some women the thought of childbirth is scary at best. It involves a hospital stay, IVs, drugs injected through a catheter placed in the spinal cord, and possible major abdominal surgery. It’s a big medical process with monitors and internal examinations by strangers who are professionals so they are blindly and routinely trusted. Often times it involves unnecessary interventions such as rupturing membranes (breaking of waters), Pitocin (a drug that magnifies contractions far beyond the tolerable pain of a naturally occurring contraction), episiotomies (cutting a woman’s vaginal opening even though it is designed to stretch), vacuum extractions (literally sucking a baby out by it’s head with a suctioning mechanism that can cause brain injury, bleeding and death) and forcep extractions (using special medical tongs to grab a baby’s head and forcefully pull the baby out). In many cases a woman’s body is forced into labor unnaturally when it is something that would have occurred all on it’s own. Birth is one big medical procedure. And this is normal birth in America. This is how women plan their births with their doctors. Electively drugging themselves and their babies through a pain that we were designed to tolerate, a pain with a purpose that guides us through the process. Yet we choose to be numb to it all, all because of fear. This is not giving birth, this is giving birth away.

Childbirth is one of the most empowering events in a woman’s life. It is an opportunity to trust in the nature of how we were designed and what we were created for. It is a time to revel in our beauty, our flawless construction for creating life. It is a time to celebrate, not to numb our bodies and our minds out of fear. Giving birth is a very special event that each woman should remember always as a pivotal moment in life. It should never be reflected on in regret. Yet so many women are experiencing mourning after their childbirth experience because they gave birth away. Birth is ours to hold dear, and even though we may not realize it at the time it is also ours to give away. So many women do not know that they are giving birth away and how it will effect them until it is too late. I want to encourage every woman out there reading this to consider what I have said. Birth is not an emergency or a medical procedure. I do understand that for some it must be this way but for the vast majority it is not. Women have been birthing babies for eons while being present mentally and physically. It’s something you can do! Is drug free childbirth hard work? Yes. Is it painless? No. Is it going to kill you? Absolutely not!

Many women lack the support and education for drug free childbirth. They hear horror stories and stories from drugged childbirth making it seem like a ray of sunshine. I am hear to tell you that the pain of childbirth ends, it does not last forever. It is a pain with a purpose, your body’s way of speaking to you about a very special event taking place that needs your presence. Do not run from the one thing that will bring forth life. Pain in childbirth is beautiful and miraculous, it isn’t horrific or intolerable. Give your body a chance to speak to you in a way that will forever change your life. Give your baby a drug free start in life. You can do it, and there are many people who can and want to help you do this.

For more more information on drug free childbirths and support for the process visit Natural Birth and Dona International.

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Momfinitions

So I decided to enter this Momfinitions contest. Leave me a comment cause I get points for that, too! Thanks and enjoy.

Elastibreast (ee-las-tea-breast) n. – What your breast turns into after more than one pregnancy. Elastibreast, also known as elastiboob, is a condition accompanied by the ability to breastfeed a child in your lap without using your hands or arms for any type of support.

Poopdar (poop-dar) n.- Similar to the fartdar, the poopdar is the ability to determine when someone has dropped a load into their diaper.

The sensitivity of ones poopdar increases during pregnancy and is not always considered a blessing. The poopdar does not seem to be as effective in men, though, and this subject is extremely taboo in some households.

Binkinese (Bean-kee-knees) n. – The strange, almost English sounding language that comes from the mouth of of a pacified child. We call them “binkies” in our house. Some call them “pacies” so this momfinition may also be known as Pacinese (Passy-knees).

Snotcolate (snot-co-lit) n. – What evolves when a child who is scarfing down chocolate doesn’t take the time to breathe or let you wipe their runny nose.

Whinese (whine-ease) n. – Similar to Binkinese, this
strange language evolves when a child proceeds to whine in place of using actual words. All words become one long sound such as “MaaaaahhhhmeeeeIdooooon’twaaaaanttoooooooo,” producing Whinese.

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Perfectly flawed

I never realized how okay it was to be myself.  I never knew it was okay to be imperfect.  I’ve always measured myself against others, a feat that only brought me despair and sadness.  I am not perfect.  And finally I have come to accept that and be at peace with it.  But here’s why…C H R I S T.  In the eyes of the Lord I am equal to all others.  Even those I hold in higher regard, even those I envy, and yes, even those I despise.  We are equal you see, because in the Lord’s eyes we are all sinners.  And what better way to be flawed than perfectly flawed?  How am I perfectly flawed you may ask?  Because just as I am equal to all others, I am also offered the same redemption and forgiveness.  My sins are forgiven, washed away, just as yours.

So if you ever wondered how to fit in in a perfect world, stop now.  Because you nor I will ever be perfect.  No one will ever be flawless.  Except he who can redeem us all.  So go about your merry way, flawed to the ends of all you do, our father will always be there, waiting to redeem you.

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Ephesians 4:2

How foolish can you be? After starting your Christian lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort? Galations 3:3 (New Living Translation)

For the law never made anything perfect. But now we have confidence in a better hope, through which we draw near to God. Hebrews 7:19 (New Living Translation)

For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift— not from works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Romans 3:23

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The Dreadlocked Mess Momster

Don’t let anyone touch your hair or advise you on how to dread your hair unless you LOVE thier dreads.

Here is a current picture of mine:

***Disclaimer: This is a blog about my dread journey. I was misinformed, misguided and made a lot of mistakes in the beginning. Here is what I went through and how I finally got on the right track. DO NOT USE WAX on your dreads. You can scroll down to the 8 week update to see where the wax removal/unbraiding/untwisting process begins. It was a total PITA. Then on October 14, 2008 I started from scratch going natural doing nothing more than keeping the locks separated.

So after a little over 3 years of wanting locks, I went for it.  For me, dreadlocks are more than just an alternative hairstyle that looks cool.  I originally wanted dreadlocks because I thought they looked cool.  Then I discovered that after a few months of maintenance I would be free from a world of having to do anything with my hair!  For me that was fabulous.  As my spirituality has grown over the past year, I found even more reasons to have my hair locked up.  I have dealt with struggles regarding my image for years.   Allowing my hair to control how I feel about myself is unhealthy and silly, at best.  I have never known what to do with it.  Most often I ended up with it braided or in a pony tail anyway, never satisfied and always feeling less like less of a person because of it.  This is my freedom from those ways of thinking, this is my emotional freedom, a display of my struggle and victory over this issue.  Yes, I came to win this battle in an unorthodox manner, but I prayed heavily about this and it just seemed right.

I’ll post regular updates (mostly for Mecca, the lady who started the locks for me).

Getting started
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Almost 1/2 way
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All done!
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1 week
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2 weeks
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3 weeks
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4 weeks
I have been taking these pics myself with the exception of a couple. I’ll have my hubby get some good shots to show the length to add.
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And because a few people asked, this is what I do before bed, every night. I wax my hair and wrap it up in a satin scarf. It’s not flattering at all. There are a lot of Miss Cleo and Chiquita banana jokes around here.
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So Mecca came by this weeks to lock up the new growth. There was almost an inch of growth in only 4 1/2 weeks! She busted out her crochet needle as I downed 4 200mg Ibuprofen. In less than an hour she was finished. I got the green light to stop using wax everyday and after 4 1/2 weeks I finally took a shower without a shower cap! I had forgotten how relaxing a shower can be. At this point I can wash it once a week. After the lock up next month I should be able to bump it up to two times a week.
1st follow-up lock up @ 4 1/2 weeks
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And after a shower
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5 1/2 weeks
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I tied it
Once out of necessity because I didn’t have a scrunchie or a clip (the 1st photo) and again just because I can…
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7 weeks
I’ve stopped the wax. It’s been about a week with no wax at all and things are getting shaggy. I’ve found that I still have so much wax in my hair though from the first month that all I need to do is palm roll the frizzies back into the dreads. I love that I can wear my hair down and not be hot. I was never able to wear my hair down before.
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8 weeks
Hello, I am a former candlehead. That is what the dreadlock community calls people like me who are unfortunate in having someone give us bad advice regarding wax and dreads. I recently learned that putting wax in my hair was counterproductive to establishing dreads. I also found out after spending over $200 that dreadlocks should never cost anything more than your time, patience, and commitment. Frustrating, yes. But there is hope. It’s been 2 weeks with no wax in the following pics. Ya dig how curly they are?
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9 weeks
Next week I will be making a wax removal concoction that is known to aid in wax removal. I will let it sit on my hair for 1/2 an hour prior to boiling my hair. The only way to get the wax out is to heat it up and melt it out. My husband helped me with boiling it once but it’s clearly going to to take some extra effort.
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10 weeks
Here some close ups taken with a really nice camera. I can’t wait to post pics after the wax removal this week!!
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Showing underneath
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Okay, so here it is a month later and it’s also the night of my 3rd dewaxing attempt…after the first round of dewaxing, which entailed me laying my counter top with my hair in the sink and my sweet husband pouring pots of boiling water over then length. I soaked the length of my hair in the pots of water in between pourings. Not much happened. My hair was softer to the touch but there was still a lot of wax in the twisted/braided parts.

An online friend recommended a concoction of baking soda, lemon juice and orange oil (with water of course) and I gave that a try. I mixed the ingredients up and covered my hair. My intentions were to let it sit for 1/2 an hour before rinsing but after 15 min my head was itching so badly that I felt like a rabid dog, I had to wash it out. Here are the results from those two dewaxings…

As you can see, the wouldbe locks are much loopier (which is a good thing)
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I also learned that the micobraiding and twisty crap that was done to my hair to help “start” the locks was completely counterproductive. I’ve come to terms with it and even though it takes anywhere from 45min to an hour to unravel one, I am slowly but surely taking them all down. The parts that are braided can never dread, it’s impossible. The braids will create weak spots in the dreads, and braiding isn’t dreading, can not help hair dread, and is an absolute mess with wax on top. Some friends actually are helping me from time to time, thank God because there are 57 locks.

So we had Margarita’s at Chipotle and some friends helped…
This is how I feel about my hair
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And here’s one just cause I think it’s a good pic
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I sit here now with the concoction on my hair once again. It isn’t itching nearly as bad as I didn’t put it on my scalp this time and I changed the ratios a bit. It’s been soaking for 20 min. In another 10 or so I’ll scrub the heck out of it and continue the unraveling. I cannot stress enough, NEVER let someone twist, braid or wax your hair to start your dreads!!! I’ll post an update pic tomorrow.

Okay, so after some massive untwisting and debraiding here’s an update.  Sometimes I’ll get started taking one down and have to stop (because I have a life outside of my hair) and I’ve found that the bottom half (which is undone) is already starting to dread!  So I am undecided as to wether or not I should undo the new dreading to reach the top half of the lock so I can finish the unbraiding…UGH!!

And to boot I am so caught up right now. Dig this – one of the major reasons I decided to dread up was to escape my self-image issues. I have had some really bad ones and done different things over the years to try to truly accept myself just as I am. To prove to myself that I can love myself and I don’t care what anyone else thinks. I’ve even gone a year without shaving my legs in the past LOL Well, I never wanted to have to care much for my hair anymore. No more feeling ugly because of my stupid ponytail, fly-aways, naturally curly, oily hair, yk? But since all of the misdirection on my dread start I find myself obsessing over getting these stupid braids out, it takes so much time every day so I am always “fixing it”, and I look like a freak and I am back in a vanity trap. What I have taken from this is that I obviously needed to learn a few more things before I am truly freed from vanity.

October 14, 2008
This is where I started over from scratch – going natural with NO wax, no palm rolling – doing nothing other than keeping the locks separated.

Here are some pictures from today. I am having a friend wrap the locks that are completely unbraided because they are growing into every other dread and it’s way messy. Hopefully I’ll get them done tomorrow.
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Okay so it’s been a while since I last updated. I combined some lock bringing me from 57 of them down to 42. The have combined so well that I can’t even tell which ones I combined. I’ve removed the wraps that a friend put in place for me and having them in was so helpful in keeping certain lock separated and helped with the combining process as well.
Here are some pics with wraps…
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And now after much time with the wraps removed
6 months
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Time for another update!
The loose wispy ends are being sucked up into the dreads so I am expecting some major length shrinkage over the next few months.

Approx 8 months
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And another update – I am losing the wispy tips these days. I am 9 months in since I started over and here’s how it’s looking!
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Just another update…I’ve lost over 2inches in length in the last 2 months! Here it is around 10 months since I took the waxy braided mess out and went natural.
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And @14 months

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And at 2yrs and 3mos

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Mojo Saves The Willows

We moved in to The Willows in March 2008. Sometimes you never know how ghetto a place can be until you live there. A dear friend of mine lost her house to a kitchen fire that started from hot wings in the wok. This got me thinking. I searched my apartment only to find there is no fire extinguisher anywhere. Not only is there no fire extinguisher in my apartment but there aren’t any mounted in the breezeways or corridors, anywhere. When I confronted the management office it went something like this:

Me: There is no fire extinguisher in my apartment.

Lady: Oh, well, this complex is older and we’ve been grandfather clocked in so the law doesn’t apply to us.

Me: Well, I don’t think that because this complex is old means that it’s at any less of a risk for catching on fire.

Lady: Well, I think it may also be in part due to how close we are to the fire department.

I left there feeling completely unsatisfied with her answers. I moved to Alabama from Florida so I was unaware of the laws with regards to extinguishers, rental properties, etc. So I phoned the Fire Marshall. I filed a complaint and asked that he look into it. He called me back within 3 hours and told me that he came to inspect the property. The complex is in violation of the fire prevention safety regulations. The law as of 2005, states that all residential (R2, I believe is what he called it) buildings (new or existing) must have fire extinguishers within at least 75 feet. Seeing as how there are none, within any amount of feet they are clearly in violation.

So the verdict is that he ordered the complex to purchase 170 fire extinguishers by no later than Thursday, June 19th and that the installation begin ASAP. Every unit will have a 2 1/2lb fire extinguisher installed under their kitchen sink!

I am honestly baffled that I am the first tenant to ever question this or call to complain. Seriously, am I the only one who realizes that fire is dangerous? And as far as the responses I received from the lady in the office – I can’t believe she thought being in close proximity to the fire department was reason enough to overlook a life saving, required by law measure for the tenants here. But she say they were “grandfather clocked in.” That one had me LOL

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