Monday, August 30, 2010

Moving On Up to the West Side (Humming to the Jeffersons Theme Song)

Hi everyone! Yes I've been a very terrible host these past few months and I have to admit it has been challenging writing in both my blogs. But I have very valid reasons! 1) I'm a mama to a very active 19 month old boy, 2) writing in 2 blogs with this mama brain of mine can create writer's block at times, and 3) we just recently moved!!! The last answer has definitely taken up alot of my time this past month. But I do want to apologize to all of you for not having the capability or creativeness to write...but that's about to change. ;o)

This post is gonna be short and sweet because I'm completely exhausted each night after a fulltime job, making dinner, getting my lil man to sleep and then trying to unpack at least one box a night...

What I wanted to express is how amazing the Universe truly is...and if we truly listen to the settle signs She gives us, we can truly manifest our dreams into fruition! This move is a wonderful example of this. For quite some time now, Dalmacio and I have been talking about how we want to move closer to the beach and in nature...and well, now we have both. We're about 5 minutes away from the beach yet peacefully isolated within the beautiful, breathtaking mountains.

Everything basically fell into place for us with this move. Our last place we were living at was nice and had its perks with a big kitchen and a laundry room with a washer and dryer but after 2 years living next to a neighbor who constantly yells at her kids was starting to take its toll on us.  Especially Andrik who was now fully aware of the negative energy and getting affected by it. Our 2-year lease was coming up and we would've had to sign another 2-year lease and I couldn't bare the thought of living another 2 years next to a woman who verbally abused her children.  And just by chance (actually just by God's beautiful plan), a place went up for rent.  And even though the place is smaller than our old place, the beautiful environment and the community is so much more spacious and loving than two of those old homes put together!

So yes I've been on hiatus for a lot longer than expected or have wanted.  But being a mama + writer's block + unpacking + enjoying the fresh air and surroundings has consumed my every moment.  I'm actually ecstatic that I posted the last 2 events that happened in June and July over the weekend.  It took staying up until 3AM to write in both my blogs but I did it!  Probably something I won't do again - especially when you've got a cute lil man waking you up at 7 the next morning to play. But two days later and I'm very relieved that I'm all caught up in this blog.  August we didn't have any Family Love Village gatherings because of our move but we will be back in effect in September!  So yes my fellow villagers and readers, I'm back!  And ready to share, connect, dig my toes into the dirt and get grounded with all of you!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Summer in the "Shade" - Sunday 7/18/10

The Family Love Village gathered for a fun playdate at a summer event called "Shade" - where the sandy beaches met the tides of good music and good vibes!  It was definitely a fun day where not only did the babies get to play in the sand but the mamas and dadas got to groove in the sand, as well!  A friend and well-known DJ within the community (Porter Tinsley) is known for throwing day events with house music.  When I heard this event was happening, I thought it would definitely be fun to get the families together and enjoy a day at the beach.  When I found out our very own villager, Travis Lea (a.k.a DJ FatFinger) was one of the headlining djs for this event, we definitely had to go and support!

DJ Daddy FatFinger and DJ Rylo on the 2x4's!
I love events like this where it's during the day and not only is there good music to dance to where you get to run into old friends but what is always a BIG plus is the fact these type of events are family friendly! 

I feel the best way to express this fun-filled day is to share through the pictures.  There is truth to that saying: "A picture is worth a 1000 words" - or something to that extent.

Here's a picture with Sonia, Sean & baby Sasha to the left, Dalmacio and Andrik in the middle along with Eva and Rylo to the right.  Travis must've still been djing.

Daddy and Andrik flying in the sky...

And here are a few pics of the babies solo:

Looks like someone is taking after mommy!

Sasha hooping!  And her mama ain't too bad either!  ;o)

Eva & Professor Rylo

 At the end of the day, if there's still a smile on your lil one's face, you've done something good!!  ;o)
Babywearing Mamas!!

Phew...what a day!  Dancing, building sandcastles, hooping...what a wonderful way to spend some family love time!  There will definitely be more of these precious moments to share and remember.  Until next time...

Naturopathy and Its Benefits with Dr. Michelle Gerber on Sat. 6/5/10

What is Naturopathic Medicine

Naturopathy is a system of medicine that promotes optimal wellness and is based on the following principles:
• Do no harm--including choosing the most gentle effective therapies first
• Treat the whole person--physical, mental, emotional and spiritual
• Treat the cause--not just the symptoms
• Focus on prevention
• Treat each person as an individual
• Doctor as teacher--answer questions, provide information about any conditions, explain the treatment
• The healing power of nature--the body has an instrinsic ability to heal that needs to be supported, and following the principles of nature will usually lead to the speediest and most thorough recovery

Naturopathic medicine restores health by removing obstacles to cure and supporting the body's own healing processes. It combines the latest in scientific research and evidenced based medicine with traditional wisdom and natural healing practices.

Dr. Michelle Gerber is a licensed and board certified Naturopathic Doctor and a Certified Professional Midwife who is trained in the art and science of medicine and natural childbirth. The very first time we met Dr. Gerber to see if she would be a fit for Andrik's pediatrician needs, we knew it was like a glove awaiting its hand to join matrimony! LOL It was very important that we had a holistic pediatrician who believed and supported what we believe in. We were very grateful to have found her. As a naturopath, she uses a variety of tools, including laboratory testing and imaging, nutrition, exercise, lifestyle coaching, botanical medicine, homeopathy, physical medicine, hydrotherapy, pharmaceuticals and more.

Knowing how wonderful Dr. Gerber has been with Andrik and learning all this amazing information from her, it just felt natural (no pun intended) to want to share this with the village. When I asked Dr. Gerber if she'd be willing to be a guest speaker for the village and she replied with a cheerful yes, I was so ecstatic - especially since she was willing to take time out of her very busy schedule (she's not only a pediatrician, she is also a midwife - double wow)!

Dr. Gerber joined us on Saturday 6/5/10 at one of the village family homes. She not only explained the benefits of Naturopathy but she also gave us a wonderful list for a natural first aid kit (see blow). She then stayed for a little bit to connect with us and eat some yummy food (truthfully this post has been long overdue and can't remember what was served) but believe me, it was yummy! :o)

Below is a list of the naturopathic first aid kit that Dr. Gerber gave us. There are some notes that my husband, Dalmacio wrote down that are underlined and in bold text that I thought would be helpful. Some of the notes are a little unclear so I apologize ahead of time if it seems a little confusing. Overall it gives a plethora of great products to buy to help build a first aid kit that is natural without all those harsh chemicals (minus the Children's Tynelol at the very bottom - hence the reason it's at the bottom of the list).

Naturopathic First Aid Kit

Arnica/Traumeel cream or Inflamyar cream
Calendula succus
Herbal salve (All Purpose Salve or another with calendula, comfrey, yarrow)
Castor oil
Aloe vera gel
St. John’s Wort oil
Chickweed salve or cream
Ear oil (Garlic and Mullein)

Rescue Remedy flower essence (for infants, can rub a little on their 3rd eye or where blood vessels are)
Immune support (Echinacea/VitC/Elder (in liquid form - strawberry flavor), Children’s Glycerite, or Immune A, etc.) - Berry Well (General Immune Suppor powder form)
Ginger tea
Antispasmodic tincture
Tummy glycerite and/or tea
Calming glycerite (helps in calming an overly excited infant before going to sleep)
Elderberry syrup
Herbal cough syrup

Thermometer (digital)
Organic black tea bags (great for drawing things out, i.e. abscess fluids from a toothache, draws out bruising in a black eye)
Thin cotton socks, thick wool socks
Neti pot
Flannel, cheesecloth or other thin cloth (can be used for castor oil packs or a band-aid?)
Hot water bottle

Onions, garlic, lemons (for digestion), rosemary, thyme, oregano (all 3 are anti-bacterial), turmeric, beets (or beet juice—for constipation) and cloves.


Several homeopathic companies sell home kits with many of the basic acute remedies included

Activated charcoal—for sever indigestion, migraines, and can be used in some types of accidental poisoning (always contact Poison control before administering anything)
Bentonite clay (mix with water as a topical paste for cuts and scrapes)
Carob powder (1 step down from Active Charcoal - helps with diarrhea)
Essential oils: Eucalyptus, Lavender, Tea Tree, Thyme, Peppermint, Lemon Balm
Children's Tylenol (it may not be natural but can help bring a high fever down and only used when necessary and the consult of your physician)

Monday, August 16, 2010

SyntheCore - A Pilates Mommy (or Daddy) and Me Workout

Our next gathering held on Saturday May 6th, 2010 was definitely a fun and active one!  The Family Love Village had a guest speaker, Michelle Starlin who gave us a free class on a very fun, interactive and effective workout called Synthecore

Synthecore - the brain child of three families was dedicated to helping parents maintain and improve their bodies while bonding with their children.  Synthecore’s president and exercise expert is Michelle F. Starlin. Michelle lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Drew, and their two wonderful children.  What had first began as a Baby and Me Pilates class at the park had evolved into the creation of Synthecore and the new dvd.

Their goal is to create workouts you can do at home which integrate your children into the activities and keep them where they should be, in your arms and close by. Synthecore is a green company concerned with how we will pass along the earth to our children. They believe in and live by the saying, ‘ We do not inherit this land from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children’. 

Michelle is a dedicated advocate for attachment parenting and for those who strive to stay fit while spending quality time with their children. Being an environmentalist is also a high priority and Michelle intends to keep Synthecore as green as it can be. When I checked the website under "EcoCore" just to see how green they really are, I was very impressed with what I discovered.  Below are some of the steps they have taken to reduce their carbon footprint on the world.

  • Their DVD eco-jacket uses post consumer recycled card stock.
  • The DVD jacket is entirely recyclable and printed with vegetable ink.
  • During the dvd filming, no disposable products were allowed & the fruit/vegetable remains were added to a compost.
  • The exercise mat used in the video is 100% recyclable.
  • All of these toys used during the shoot are PVC free.
  • Their website is powered by wind energy.
  • Their mailing envelopes, mailing labels and receipts are made from post consumer recycled paper.
  • They have an electronic office, only printing necessary documents.
  • They recycle everything possible.
  • They strive not to buy any single use products.
  • They drink out of stainless steel re-usable bottles.
  • They use incandescent light bulbs.
  • They have given green talks and are helping their charity recipient, Alexandria House, become eco conscious.
  • They all use either cloth or non-bleach diapers on their babies.
I was also very happy to hear that not only are they eco-friendly but they support others in need.  Synthecore also believes in paying it forward. They are happy to give a percentage of their sales to the Alexandria House. It is a transitional residence and house of hospitality providing safe and supportive housing for women and children in the process of moving from emergency shelter to permanent housing.

All of the above resonates so well with the Family Love Village beliefs so when Michelle mentioned that she would be happy to give us a free class, I jumped at the opportunity!  We had a nice intimate class that day.  And it was so nice to have some of the fathers there with their babies too (not just the moms).  The class started off with some stretches with our lil ones in tow.  Then we began the workout.  What I found to be the best and most original part of the class was actually wearing our babies in their slings/baby carriers while working out.  This was definitely a fun workout, not only for the adults but for the babies too!  It truly incorporated bonding with our babies while getting a very effective exercise. 

I was so impressed with the workout (and let me tell you, I did get a good pummelling -even through the breaks in between with grabbing my son in between distractions of wanting to play with toys and the other babies).  I even purchased the dvd.  Although I have to admit, I've been a bit lazy these days (or is it just extremely busy chasing after an 18month old running around) and have only done the video once.  They say it takes 21 days to get rid of an old habit or to start a new, healthy habit.  I better get on that healthy habit and start working out to Synthecore soon! 

All in all, it was such a great way to spend quality time with our lil ones and get a workout other than my arms (from picking up my son).  :o)  I highly recommend it to everyone wanting some exercise with baby in tow!