Wednesday, June 19, 2013

First-Aid Kit in a Bottle

I've had this little bottle of Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca Altemifolia) up in my medicine cabinet for years. I cannot even remember what I originally purchased it for, or even what I've used it for in the past, but the other night, when I was literally dying from a terrible, horrible, ginormous mosquito bite that I had found on the outside of my left knee that I could not stop scratching and while ransacking the bathroom looking for anything I could find that might provide some sort of relief, there it was staring at me from that thin, top shelf. Since I couldn't find any sort of anti-itch cream (not that those ever seem to actually do anything, but I needed something if even just for my mental well-being, you know, the good ol' placebo effect) and knowing Tea Tree Oil has a strong medicinal smell and comes in that magical, thick brown glass apothecary jar and therefore must have some medicinal uses as well (seemed a logical assumption to me!) I decided to grab it and read the label. To my delightful surprise I found these lovely words on the back: "First-aid kit in a bottle. Dab on cuts, stings, burns, and abrasions..."  I wasn't super hopeful that it meant it would do anything for my white, angry bug bite, but I figured it wouldn't hurt. So after I took a long, hot bath to take my mind off the itch, I grabbed the bottle and applied two drops directly to the bite. And do you know what? It stopped itching. And not only did it stop itching, but the next morning when I woke up, the bite - which had been puffy and swollen and about the size of a dime - was almost completely GONE. I could NOT believe it. I have always had terrible reactions to mosquito bites and they seem to last for days (and get bigger from me scratching them incessantly). This one was gone the very next day. I was so ecstatic about the results I did a little more research and found out that Tea Tree Oil has antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiseptic qualities and can pretty much be used (with fantastic results!) on any sort of skin ailment including (but not limited to): cuts, scrapes, burns, bug bites, pimples, and even other dermatological conditions such as psoriasis. It really is like a magical little first-aid kit in a bottle which means not only is it a better natural alternative than chemicals and steroids and other harsh medications used to treat common skin ailments, but now instead of buying a different product for each problem (think Neosporin, Hydracortisone Cream, or other -expensive- prescription creams and drugs) you can just keep a little bottle of Tea Tree Oil (TTO) handy...and use it on everything! I had no idea it worked so well and I am so excited to now be privy to this great secret! And having four little ones around who are constantly getting scraped up, I'm sure this little bottle that has sat unused for several years, will now be used up in a jiffy! 

Friday, June 14, 2013

To Abigail on Her First Birthday

June 14th, 2013
Sweet Abigail Jane,

I haven't even written my first thought down yet and the tears are already starting to flow. You are our greatest blessing. Although the world would have had us think that having triplets already was "enough" - God knew better. He knew we needed you in ways we could not have known. And He sent you to us in His perfect timing; to bring comfort and joy and endless happy, drooly baby smiles. The day of your birth makes me giddy every time I remember it. It was perfect in every single way; everything we had ever dreamed of - a healing balm after the long, scary road we faced with your big brother and sisters. God fulfilled our every hearts' desire the day you were born  and although giving birth naturally was something I had always excitedly feared, it turned out to be an experience I will always be so deeply thankful for. You were placed on my breast just seconds after you entered this world and you really have not left that place for more than a few minutes at a time since that lovely day. It has been pure joy being able to nourish you with my body; being able to protect and care for you in ways I was unable to with my other babies. And because of that, I haven't wanted to let you go. When you fell asleep on me that first night at home, both of us happily exhausted from your birth, and we sort of "accidentally" began our co-sleeping journey, I realized that even while sleeping I wanted you right there with me. My skin warming yours and your skin warming mine. Both of us breathing and dreaming and waking in unison. Your small knees and feet tucked softly against my bare stomach. Your soft little hands lightly sweeping across my naked chest. Although I expected to be sleep deprived, I slept better than I had in years. Rather than waking for bottles or pumping or babies crying out from the other room, we fell into a beautiful routine of "dream-feedings"; you and I both rousing slightly from sleep to nurse and then both falling back into blissful slumber, cuddled close, you secure in mama's arms, me breathing in and savoring your sweet baby smells and touching your soft, downy head. As I write this you are lying on top of my tummy nursing in your sleep; one arm wrapped around my side, your head resting on my breast like a pillow. Oh, Abigail, you are the sweetest little baby. So happy. So content. So darling. I love the way you're always trying to stick your little hands in my water glass and how you just hold them there, submerged, grinning ear to ear when I let you. I love the way you scrunch your little nose up and say "Ohhh" and lean in to kiss me, your daddy, your brother and sisters. I love waking up in the mornings and feeling your soft little body against mine and having your sweet, sleepy face be the first thing I see. I love how you love to take baths; with me, with your siblings, by yourself. I love how you reach your little arms up so I will hold you. How I'm always holding you. How I've been given the gift of holding you nearly every minute of every day for the past year. I love how you just discovered this past week that you can grab my shirt and pull it up for "self-serve" nursing. I love the way you clap your hands; methodically and high so you end up clapping them right in your face. I love the way you refuse to lie still long enough for me to change your diapers and how you think it's hilarious if you can roll over and get away before I get one snapped on. Or the way you fling yourself into Grace's tent and try to hide from me. I love the way you love Oliver and how you're always looking for him. I love that your first steps were to Audrey followed by big hugs and kisses. I love being your mama, and most of all, I love you. 

Happy 1st Birthday, sweet Abigaily Janey.

"Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it." Proverbs 4:23