Friday, December 7, 2012

How can you be halfway to 3?

My dear boy,

How is it that you are 2.5 years old?  My boy, you are such a little man and so sweet in so many ways.  

You still love to eat many of the same things, its a wonder we can get you to eat any fruit or veggies.  That is very hit and miss as is your diet in general.  We just chug along.

You moved into your big boy bunk bed and you love it.  So far no major incidents and the transition was so easy, your maman thanks you.

You love your Pierre the penguin and Monica your baby.  Monica sleeps in the drawer of the tv stand and Pierre is with you every night.  You also love Figaro our kitty and you are very kind to animals.

You play with puzzles, blocks, coloring books and trucks.  You also still bang away at your keyboard, dancing and clapping and now singing.

Your language is flourishing and its really cool to see how you switch between French and English. 

Little man, not all is positive.  You are in a pushing phase at daycare but we're thinking it will pass soon.  Also you tend to think cookies should follow dinner whether you eat your dinner or not.  Also we've had to leave swimming lessons a few time because you dont like to listen and have a mind of your own.  A mind of your own is a wonderful thing my son, but structure is important too.  You're get a minor pass for now as much of this is quite normal. :)

You are an endless ball of energy and you are so so sweet.  We love you sweet boy, we love you, we love you :)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Swimming Suits and Motherhood

So every woman's favorite shopping excursion MUST be for new pants or a swimming suit....amiright?!?!  I think those two items alone must bond us women together in frustration that is illuminated by flourescent bulbs in the cramped quarters of a department store dressing room.

In fact I hate buying pants so much that Im cramming myself into pants I have NOW instead of going and buying a new pair because goddamnit, these 10 lbs NEED to come off NOW or I'm going to throw a hissy fit because I am NOT spending another $75 on a pair of pants that I cant even get in Canada.  Oh and the pair of pants that does fit but are not particularly flattering are now so thin (read, not very thick to start with) that you can see my underwear through them.  Coooool. 

Anyway this post isnt about pants.  But about swimming suits. 

Here's the thing.  I havent worn a bikini since I was 11 but I think it was probably my favorite swimming suit because I can remember it clearly and none of the other swimming suits that I've worn in my childhood have any place in my memory.  Bright blue with hot pink polka dots and a cute little ruffle around the waist.  Perfectly cute for a 11 year old. 

Then I hit puberty at 11.  Even cooler.

And "oh your belly is sticking out like Grandma's" said my uncle.  Even better.

So since then, swimming suits have been something I avoid buying entirely (which I did mostly through high school and college, save for trips to Florida or Hawaii).  As an adult in the last 5 years I have purchased five suits.  This time though while the task is still painful, I just do it.


Because we go to my in-laws cottage a lot and its a necessity.

We go to the YMCA once a week to take my son for swimming lessons and DH and I take turns with him in the pool.

When we started going to the Y, I swore to myself that I would NOT let my body image issues get in the way of having fun with my children.  I would NOT put up excuses not get in the pool or worry about what others thought of me.  On bad days, I swore I would "fake it til I made it."  I would NOT shy away from photos of myself in a swimming suit anymore if I'm creating memories with my children. 

So far I've managed to stay true to my unspoken promise.  Motherhood hasnt altered my body physically that much but mentally its been a different game, one that I think I like better.

This weekend we introduced my son to the childhood staple of the fun of running through the sprinkler on a hot day.  Joy was had by all three of us.  I posted the pictures on Facebook.  The top of this suit is not one I wear in public very often.  The one with me and my son has several "likes" by my friends and family.  I could point out all the things I dislike about the photo which would be the things I dislike about myself.

Or I could just let it speak for itself...whatever that means.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Trying Again

I know...terrible blogger.  Two months and nary an update. 

I'm not even going to really apologize for that...I'm busy.  I work with people that have high needs and therefore my days are high stress.  I have a 2 year old.  Nuff said. ;)

That said, the summer is flying by and I cant believe its the middle of JULY...hello.  Lots of weekends at the cottage, swimming and soaking up the sun.  The weekends have been good to me.  I sleep better at the cottage, I get my fill of vitamin D and I feel a lot of energy until about Wednesday whereby my tank empties out and I'm counting the hours until the next weekend.

I am back on the fitness train and getting frustrated.  I recently had a whackadoo of bloodwork which confirmed that I'm not fat because of a bad thyroid, diabetes or other some such nonsense.  Nope...just fat because I dont exercise.  Cooool.

With that comes the struggle to not engage in negative self-talk...trying the crazy notion I try to get my clients to do.  If negative self-talk hasn't worked, why not try positive self-praise?

So with that, I am trying hard to shed this obsession with the bigger picture of losing 75 lbs and just try for today to do better.  The difficulty with this is the obsession may end with me but doesnt end with the gaggle of women I work with where weight is an almost daily topic at lunch. 

Also, we are trying for #2.  Much to my dismay, we did not get lucky the first cycle again like we did with our first born.  I say lucky because thats what it was...sheer luck.  Thats ok, just more fun ahead to try.  I also dont get super crazy about TTCing (other than peeing on cheap sticks..who knew that could be so fun!?) and just go with the flow. 

Trying for number 2 has been much as the same as trying for baby number 1.  The similar anxieties and excitement.  I'm craving a baby belly with all the wonderful kicks and squirms like mad.  I had a great pregnancy with Maxim so I'm hoping for much of the same this go around.  We already have carpet purchased for the remodel we will have to do to our 3rd bedroom in preparation for the newest addition.  I have an idea of how I want to decorate.  And seriously dreaming of a little sister for my boy. 

Other than that, I'm trying to find new ways to de-stress.  Including more exercise, meditation and reading time.  I'm hoping that these things start to pay off in dividends for myself, my energy and for my family too. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

On Turning 2

My sweet boy is 2.  His birthday is today.  I can't believe we have a 2 year old.  He's so grown up and changing every day.

Dear Sweet Boy,

Today you are 2.  Oh the things you can do!  You are running, yelling, squealing, dancing, yakking boy who has more energy than I can ever imagine.  You are the light of our lives and so much fun.

You're not eating much.  Eggos, bananas, yogurt, cheese, milk, peanut butter english muffins.  We know for sure you'll eat these things.  Everything else...well its more or less when you feel like it.  Typical toddler.  You also LOVE chocolate, especially M and M's.  You don't get much for sweets, but man, you love them.

You got a new keyboard for your birthday.  You play it every day and just love to jam out.  You took your first wagon ride a few weeks ago, when spring was starting to show up.  You also love to play with balls, trucks, your kitchen, your doll, your mower and your penguins.  You also got a new art table for your birthday so you can color, play with your Playdoh and other fun artsy activities. 

You are saying more words, and you mimic everything.  The other day, your Papa was flirting with your Maman by putting his hands in Maman's pockets.  We were laughing and you were watching and after he was done, you came up and patted Maman's behind trying to get into my pockets. 

You love Figaro the kitty and you are so good to him.  You are our little thinker.  Every new environment, you take a few moments to scan it and check it out.  You are not shy or clingy, just checking everything out  Once you're comfortable, you're all in and very social. 

You are very well behaved at restaurants and other public places.  In fact, your Maman and Papa and you got a compliment from a complete stranger about how well behaved you were at the restaurant.  You also have your days, like last week when you did the body throw in the middle of the pharmacy.  Your Maman thanks you for both...the beautiful days when you are so sweet and the lessons I learn in patience when you are acting your age and I am reminded of it.   

You love to watch Elmo's World, Bubble Guppies, Bugs Bunny and Chuck and Friends.  Thankfully TV only catches your attention for moments at a time, but you certainly have a few favorites. 

You love playing outside, and you love books.  Your favorite books are Dr. Seuss's ABC, Un million c'est grand comment?, Harold and the Purple Crayon, Watch Me Hop, and Green Eggs and Ham.  Maman has been practicing her French with you and can now read Un million, c'est grande comment? and know the plot and how to say the words properly.  She's very happy about that and so are you since it's one of your favorites. 

Sweet bubs, you are the best son a maman and papa could ask for.  We are so excited to be your parents and love every day we get to share with you.  We are so proud of you.

Je t'aimerais toujours,


1 week

1 year

 2 years

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

On Turning 30

I turned 30 yesterday.

I had my meltdown about it a week before.  It appears my sentimental side reared its ugly head.  Because I'm not really sad about turning 30, more of a nostalgic meltdown.

So today is a new day and I don't feel any different.  Just another day.

I must say I loved my 20's, especially my university years.  I also know I didnt appreciate them hardly enough while living those years. 

So I vow to make my 30's different in that way.  To make each day count and appreciate it all now, rather than look at my last day of my 30's in 10 years and get all regretful or something.

I have a feeling my 30's will be good to me.  I already feel the self-confidence thing that is supposed to come with your 30's creeping on me.  Thats a very good thing. 

I am happy that my career is well-established now and happy that it happened before I turned 30.  I will be married 5 years this year in October and my son is turning 2 very soon.  I have healthy parents, good relationships with my family and so many wonderful friends. 

Goals for my 30s....more babies, traveling, good health, keeping my marriage as loving as it is now, strengthening friendships, learning new recipes, reading new books and re-reading some oldies.  I will finish Anna Karenina, The Bible, and The Divine Comedy this decade too.  Dye my hair a funky shade of something purple.  Get out of a style rut.  Buy more shoes.  Have more fun, dance more, love more, laugh more. Who knows what it will all bring, but this I know for sure....

24 hours in my 30's...looking good so far :)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

More Answers...

26. )How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?

Some days I feel much older than 29, other days I feel my age. I think this goes with the status of my health and how I'm feeling mentally as well. Yet another reason why I am taking a stand to change my health.

27.) Would you break the law to save a loved one? I saw a story recently of a mother who beat up her son's drug dealer and has been charged with a assault. I have to say that for me it would depend on the circumstances. There is a difference between helping and enabling as far as the consequences of either helping or enabling but at times its difficult to figure out what you're really doing for somebody . For the mother that I cited above...assaulting a drug dealer doesnt change the nature of her son's addiction. He'll find another dealer. Its so sad and I feel for her..but if I were in her shoes, I would not have broke the law to 'save' my loved one.

28.) What makes you smile? My son. My husband. Warm days. Sunsets. Beautiful lyrics, beautiful melodies. Success. Red shoes. Jewelry. Friends. Wine. Wine with Friends. Fancy coffee. Cookies and milk. Christmas. Babies. Love.

29.) When its all said and done, will have you have said more than you've done? I really sincerely hope not. I hope every day or at least most days I am leading by example. Simply doing. Acting. Responding. Moving mountains.

30.) If you have the opportunity to get a message across to a large group of people, what would your message be? Its cliche but its true: I'm not telling you its going to be easy. I'm telling you its going to be worth it. Also to take care of your mental health. Its just as important as physical health but the body gets much more attention than the mind.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Day 1

Is the hardest day.

Here it is folks...

Chest 45"
R Arm 14"
L Arm 14"
Waist 42" (eek)
Hips 50.5" (double eek)
R Thigh 29"
L Thig 29"
Weight 228

Why write this?

To get honest with myself.

And for help.

To remember.

And eventually forget.

Here is to Day 1. Learn and Burn down.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Questions 21-25

21. If you had to teach something, what would you teach? Before I went into psychology and the field I'm in currently, I was a first year university student and I decided I wanted to be a music teacher. I had played piano since age 8 and been in the band since grade 5, tootling away on my clarinet, bass clarinet and contra-alto clarinet. I loved music, all things music. But I walked away after I realized two things-music is very competitive and I'm hate competition and that I didn't want my joy for music to be sucked into my career as I imagined I might dislike it at some point. But if I had to teach something, I would love to teach music...the theory, the love and analysis of lyrics, the smooth necessary musical back bone of all music that is the bass line...I would love it.

22. What would you regret not fully doing, being or having in your life? I would regret not fulling doing all I can do to be a giving human being. I would regret not being the best me, mother, wife, family member and friend I can be. I would regret not having the blessings of love and family in my life.

23. Are you holding onto something you need to let go of? Yes. 75 lbs of excess weight sa a symptom of a lack of confidence in my physical capabilities and memories of a bad relationship.

24. When you are 80 years old, what will matter to you the most? I hope that it will matter that I lived to my fullest potential. Also, a sense of humour, good bladder control and the ability to still care for myself would be cool too ;-)

25. When is it time to stop calculating risk and rewards and just do what you know is right? When your head and heart finally intellectually know what is right is much easier than to know it in your heart.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Unfortunate Firsts..

I met my first addict 8 years ago. Me...22, new undergraduate and fresh in the field...Her...a beautiful 17 year old girl whose "father" started her on crystal meth at age 12.

She was my first intake. She changed my life.

I remember her name, I remember her face, I remember her story.

I remember that 4th of July when she gave me the first real test of my career.

I remember the rage, the pain, her teeth, her thin frame, the tears, the sleepless nights.

I remember her laugh, her smile, the way she joked around and acted 17 instead of the too old-too soon adult she acted as more than once.

I remember the night she left our facility, 18...aged out of the youth system...getting into her meth-dependent "father's" truck after he picked up his drug before picking up his daughter.

I remember praying for her as I watched the headlights disappear. Its fitting that I was the staff on shift a she said goodbye considering all the firsts she gave me to me.

I'll remember it all for as long as I live.

I've met lots of addicts. I've heard lots of stories. I remember the stories, but I forget the names and their faces after awhile. Some stand out more than others. The stand-outs I don't forget.

Today, this goddamn wretched disease of addiction took a life. A beautiful life. A 33 year old life. A man who wrote lyrics and played the guitar. A man who served the community with a smile and encouraged his fellow peers. A father to two beautiful girls. A husband. A son.

A beautiful life. Cut short before its potential could be met.

I don't doubt other addicts I've met along the way have met similar fates. This is just the first I've actually learned of a past client's outcome.

First death.

A first I knew would come someday. A first I wish wasn't a reality.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Questions 16-20

The next series of questions from this website...

16.) Have you done anything lately worth remembering? A couple who we are friends with recently found out their almost 3 year old (3 in May) has leu.k.emia. This child already has c.yst.ic which they learned of at her newborn screening tests. I dont particularly enjoy the company of the male half of this couple (and I'm fairly certain he feels the same about me) and at times have nothing but disdain for him and his behaviors but I do get along ok with his wife. I was devastated, as we all were in our circle of friends, to learn this news, thinking of their poor child and how difficult this must be for them as parents. So despite my dislike for him, I did not forget my own grace and charity for them and their daughter and we donated some cash along with a few meals and snacks to help them out. Its worth it for me to remember this lesson of giving to people in time of need in any small way possible.

17.) What does your joy look like today? See that pic below...of my beautiful boy and our chill cat...that is my joy. My child every day is my ultimate joy, everyday.

18.) Is it possible to lie without saying a word? Yes it is. Body language and facial expression say so much more than words do at times. Lying by omission is still lying.

19.) If you had a friend who spoke to you in the same way that you sometimes speak to yourself, how long would you allow this person to be your friend? A few months ago, I would have said for not very long. Now I'm getting better at the self-talk thing but its certainly a good question to ask oneself. I know if I heard negative talk from another, I would end the relationship in a heartbeat but you can't end your relationship with yourself so easily and it isnt always apparent there is negativity going on in your own head. Insight is pretty important when it comes to this sort of thing.

20.) Which activities make you lose track of time? Listening to music, playing the piano, cooking and baking and reading. All of my favorite things in the world...leave me with a book and my Ipod and I step out of the world for awhile.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Questions 11-15

11.) Do you think crying is a sign of weakness or strength? I think it can be both actually. I think most think of this issue in terms of character. To that I say bullshit...crying is not a character issue at all. In my line of work, when a client cries, they have likely broken down a wall of defensiveness and are opening up themselves to not only the person listening but to their own self. Depending on the situation, crying can also be a sign of strength.

12.) What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you? I have no idea.

13.) Do you celebrate the things you do have? Yes but not enough. I could work harder at gratefulness for sure, but after the hard days I have and when I'm feeling hopeless in my work, I definitely appreciate the hand I've been dealt in life.

14.) What is the difference between living and existing? I'm not sure if I can really adequately describe this but I know it when I see it and feel it. Moving along, shuffling through, not really living with passion and purpose. Existing is going through the motions, living is being in every moment and fully present.

15.) If not now, when? I ask myself this all the time and I put things off thinking I have another time. Sometimes, I dont. And someday, I won't.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Questions 6-10

Questions 6-10 in the 365 questions...

6.) What do you wish you had spent more time doing 5 years ago? Five years ago I was graduating my Masters program in June, and getting married in October. I moved back home from Chicago until my wedding. I guess I wish I would have spent more time with my parents and family before my wedding because since my wedding I have lived in Canada with my husband. The distance between here and there is great and can feel very far at times. I also wish I had spent my last few months in Chicago trying one more restaurant, exploring one more museum and partying it up with my friends.

7.) Do you ask enough questions or do you settle for what you know? I think I tend to settle for what I know more often than I ask questions, but I will say this depends on the situation. In my work, I ask questions all the time. Its well over 50% of my mental activity and treatment of clients. So in my personal life, I tend to settle for what I know because I'm just so tired of questions. Plus my DH does a TON of questioning of everything so he does more than enough for us both. I have been analytical by nature since I was a little maybe I have a good balance of the two? Interesting question...haha...see...even my answer is slightly ambiguous in whether I continue to question or settle...

8.) Who do you love and what are you doing about it? I love my husband and I do it by showing respect. I treat him as an equal partner, work hard to not use harsh words or language against him, no name-calling, and I try not to nag or be controlling. I treat him as an adult to his face and when talking about him when he isn't around. I dont use sex for power and control (I like it too much to punish myself too, haha) or punishment. We have a no name calling unspoken rule in our marriage...I think if that was to happen, it would be a real sign of trouble. We dont even jokingly say "f-off" to each other and if he ever called me a bitch, I would have his balls in a jar.

9.) What's a belief that you hold with which many people disagree? I don't tend to hold too many controversial beliefs in my heart, and I don't really think my belief system is unique...we all think we're unique but really, we are too often alike too. Focusing too much on disagreements is what creates even bigger problems in my opinion so I haven't really thought about how my beliefts differ from others...I more interested in how they are similiar. In thinking of my line of work, services for women are way more abundant than they were 30+ years ago. Shelters, advocacy, counselling, and support for issues women weren't allowed to talk about or were even acknowledged to be a problem so many years ago are amazing to have for women nowadays. That said, I believe strongly there isnt enough for men as well. I believe in rights for men and in my line of work, too many things are advocated for women only and not for the men folk too. For example, why do women get free sexual assault counselling but male survivors of sexual assault have to pay for it out of pocket? Just one of my peeves when it comes to extreme feminism. My sisters in womanhood are so deserving and didnt get anything for so long but now the pendulum has swung so far we are leaving half the population behind in important issues to them.

10.) What can you do today that you were not capable of one year ago? One year ago I was in the midst of a pretty significant depression based on my lack of employment and feeling less than good about my contributions and self-esteem. Mix in some undiagnosed, untreated mild postpartum depression as well...I can say with 90% certainty I had some of that going on too. I think much of the contributing factors to that were uncertainty about my job situation, financial stress and knowing I wasn't a very good stay at home parent some days but not knowing when I would be back to work. It created a lot of anger, anxiety, emotional eating and lack of control. I can say today that I am capable of self awareness and recognition of how to manage these feelings and knowing it is all temporary. However long temporary is, its still temporary. To manage behavior when feelings and situations are temporary is a skill I have honed for myself and my own situation very well.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

365 Questions

In an attempt to blog more often, I am turning to this website and its list of 365 questions. So I shall answer them here. I'm going to try to catch up by answering 5 a day for a bit.

1.) When was the last time you tried something new? I tried bellydancing back in September 2011 at a local studio and it was super fun! It was also incredibly challenging physically and mentally. I can't recall prior to this the last time I tried something new. Generally I'm pretty cool with staying my comfort zone, but I realize more and more that this holds me back too. So with a touch of fear and anxiety, along with some excitement, I gave it a whirl and I really enjoyed it. It was incredibly difficult to confront my body fears in such an intimate way but I'm glad I did it. I am so uncoordinated and it was disappointing to learn that I have lost some of my natural rhythm I have as a musician as I have gotten really lazy the last few years. It made me realize I need to work a little harder to keep my body healthy. I think I'm a little more at peace with my body image lately as a result. Oh and I'll be doing more classes in March so I hope this is an activity I can do continue to do, learn and enjoy.

2.) Who do you sometimes compare yourself to? I would be lying if I said I never compared myself to other women in the looks department. For a long time it has been in a negative light towards myself, but I'm working on this. I'm working on becoming more content with my own looks. I think with the next decade of my life looming ahead, its making me think a little harder about things.

3.) What's the most sensible thing you have ever heard someone say? In a career full of counselling, advice and thoughts on situations, I have to say that this is really hard to answer. I`m surrounded by sensible things all the time and I often offer my own sensible things to others. So I guess one thing would be the grass may be greener on the other side, but remember, it takes a lot of shit to fertilize a field.

4.) What gets you excited about life? My son's innocence and his wonder at the world. I think of how much he has changed and learned in his almost 2 years and how every new thing is such a wonderful experiment to him. How cool to help him explore and change the world.

5.) What life lesson did you learn the hard way? As I am rapidly approaching my third decade, I wish I would have spent my second decade in a more carefree manner. I have no regrets about how my 20's played out, I just would have liked to have cared less about what others think and let loose. I would have really enjoyed my university years more and not taken them for granted. They did fly by as the years tend to do. I find as I get older, I am getting more carefree and less uptight. I don't want to be looking upon my fourth decade and feeling this way so I intend to make my 30's a really wonderful time in my life.

Monday, January 2, 2012

3 Weeks of the Sickies

Yes, it is week 3 of somebody in this house being ill...mostly me and the baby. DH has gotten lucky so far, the cheeky bastard (knock wood).

I havent updated in forever. Lets just say I had a full week of my parents and brother visiting us which was awesome and tiring and busy all at once. Then December hit us full on so it was getting ready for the holidays.

Then two weeks before Christmas, Maxim go sick. Then the week after, just before Christmas, I got hit with the worst damn stomach flu I've had in years. I honestly can't remember the last time I was so sick. I was out of work for 2 days (3 days really with the forced day off due to Occupational Health's requirements) followed by one good day, followed by the worst gas and gut pain over the holidays I've ever had in my life. Last week, I still wasnt 100% until about Wednesday...and now I have a nasty chest cold with a terrible cough.

Seriously. Seriously the worst Christmas ever when it comes to this. I so didnt enjoy myself like I normally do.

Upside that isnt really a positive thing: I've lost 10 lbs in 3 weeks due to sickness and lack of appetite.

Home remedies are the best. When Maxim threw up his 5th damn DAY in a ROW (it ended up being 9 days if you are really curious) due to coughing, I called my grandma. I had it up to HERE with cleaning up puke. Seriously, I know I gotta lot of years ahead of me cleaning up barf, but enough was enough after 9 days in a row. Poor baby was so sick, he wanted nothing to do but sit and lay on us. The extra cuddles were awesome but I felt so badly for him.

Anyway so I called my grandma and she gave me my great-grandma's home remedy for chest congestion. Long ago, I learned that grandma's remedies are just awesome. When I was in high school, I was a band trip on a bus. I ate Subway then sat on the floor of the bus with my friends...huge mistake, huge nauseous headache ensued. I threw up on the bus in a bucket next to my band director. At the time I didnt make the association between car sickness and the episode, I thought I was coming down with a bug. We were like 20 minutes from my great-grandma's teeny little town and I asked my band director to drop me off for the night. So this big coach bus pulls up in front of my great-grandma's and out she comes with welcoming arms. She nursed me back to health with a teaspoon of creme de menthe and sugar. Yep, thats it. It sounds really foul but trust me, it soothes an upset tummy very fast. I didnt have real creme de menthe during my latest bout with stomach flu, though I was praying it would magically show up in my cupboard at any time. After some great-grandma love, I was good to go the next day and my great-uncle drove me to my band's destination so I could finish my trip. Ever since I do get headaches in the car from nausea unless I'm driving or in the front seat (even the front seat isnt a guarentee) so I'm usually driving.

So grandma's remedies rock. The remedy we used this time was the mustard pack. The recipe is as follows:

3 tbsp of dried mustard
2 tbsp of white vinegar
2 tbsp of white flour
2 egg whites

Mix it up into a paste and spread on a a piece of old thin cotton fabric (old torn bedsheet or t-shirt for example). It will feel cold to the touch. Place on bare chest and keep there for 10-20 minutes (for a child 5 minutes). Be sure to watch so the skin doesnt burn as the circulation in the chest and the mustard interact to heat it up very quickly. If you are doing this to a child, half the recipe down for a smaller pack and remember it will feel cold to you so you have to watch the chest so it doesnt blister. Remove from the chest when it starts to turn pinkish red.

We did this to Maxim twice and it really helped clear it up.

I'm so hoping we all get well really soon. I'm so tired of having low energy and no motivation and feeling like crap. I'll try to post more frequently and hopefully will get some pics up from our Christmas soon!