Bean in Nose!

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Did you know a bean can sprout in one’s nose? Neither did I. It sounds like the stuff of urban legends: a toddler inserts a bean into his nose. The parents aren’t aware that it’s up there. No visible discomfort, no symptoms, no snoring or unusual breathing, no complaining… Next thing you know a plant is growing out of the child’s nostril!

Well it didn’t happen quite like that, but it seems like it could have. I was eating breakfast with my two year old when he sneezed. I heard a very light thump following his sneeze. What could have dropped to make that sound? Beneath him, a black-eyed pea, lightly coated with sinus fluid and fully germinated. There was a sprout growing from the bean!

Not so unbelievable when you think about it. Inside the nose is a perfect environment for germination. It’s warm, dark and damp. And it only takes a day or two for a bean to germinate. I just can’t believe he had a dried black-eyed pea up his nose for two days!

I allowed him to play with some dried black-eyed peas from my cupboard. I had poured some into one of the pots atop his play kitchen, so that he had something fun to stir. He is beyond the stage of putting things in his mouth when he’s not supposed to, so I wasn’t worried that the beans would be a choking risk. A potential sinus risk, I hadn’t considered.

He is absolutely fine. I have since uncovered a few other stories of such occurrences. This happened today, on a Sunday, and I shall call his pediatrician in the morning to consult, just to be sure.

This has struck me as both creepy and amusing. Mostly, I am glad he is okay and have learned my lesson! Later tonight, I’ll post some tips about what to do if something is lodged in your child’s nostril.

Season To Ill

Its so lovely this time of year. The weather is cooling. Children are returning to school in new clothes. Stay at home Moms breathe a sigh of relief as they finally find time eat a proper lunch. And then there is the ugly side, seasonal illness. We haven’t been touched by it yet (no school age children); but friends and family are absolutely plagued at the moment.

It seems folky and arcane; but I swear by my ginger garlic tea. Although I am not a scientist and haven’t the means to perform any type of precise lab testing, this recipe has done me right over the years and has served quite a few friends I have shared it with as well. Its a mixture that has evolved over the years, originally inspired by my grandmother’s cure-all of whisky, honey and lemon tea–more lemonadey than a hot totty; but probably not as suitable for children as she believed in her day. Later on in life, I discovered an amazingly repulsive but satisfying garlic tea in cafe with an esoteric vibe, housed in the same building as a Harley Davidson shop on Manhattan’s Westside (neither are there any more). The recipe has now reached its perfection. It more drinkable than its two inspirations and packs a greater punch–and when I say punch, I mean a punch in the face of whatever ails you!

What you will need:
a clove of garlic
fresh ginger (about two fingers or to taste)
two lemons
honey
green tea (2 tea bags or loose)
ginseng (fresh or powdered) (optional)

First thing: boil up some water, enough for 2-4 cups of tea. While the water is heating up, mice your garlic (a garlic pres will speed this up) and chop up the ginger (a Magic Bullet or food processor can speed this up). Throw the garlic and ginger (and ginseng if you have it) right into the water and turn the water down low, just below a simmer. Let this go for about ten minutes, to brew up strong. When your chopped ingredients soften, add the tea. Wait another minute of two and squeeze the juice of two lemons in and add honey to taste.

The first sip may schock you a bit as garlic in tea doesn’t seem quite right to the uninitiated; however you begin to enjoy the fragrance of this tea the more you drink it. And it actually feels comforting right away.

I find that when I drink a few cups of this tea throughout the day at the first hint of illness, the illness turns around and never surfaces. If its already there, it may vey well lessen the symptoms and shorten their course.

Also, you can make a big put and leave it on a warm burner to steep throughout the day.

Boudreaux’s All Natural Butt Paste

Boudreaux’s All Natural Butt Paste really works. Due to the comical name of the product, we were given quite a lot of this at our shower, tucked into gift baskets, etc. I couldn’t possibly use it all, so did a little re-gifting. We mainly use it when we travel because we change diapers as soon as possible at home (so no need to be concerned about diaper rash), although when you’re going through airport security and the line seems endless or you’re in a foreign place and can’t immediately find a decent spot to change a diaper, this will prevent any consequences. I think its a great diaper ointment . Definitely go for the stuff in the green tube (not the yellow), as the green, all natural version does not contain petroleum and it works just as well.

Obtaining A Passport For A Minor (U.S. Citizen)

Do babies and toddlers need a passport? Any United States citizen, no matter what age, traveling outside of the United States requires a passport to enter or leave foreign countries (at time of publishing, a birth certificate alone will suffice so long as you are traveling by land or sea from a contiguous territory i.e. driving to Canada or taking a cruise through the Caribbean. (See details here).

Applying for a passport for a child can seem rather complicated; although as long as you are organized about it, the process will go smoothly–and its very rewarding. There’s a thrill in doing so, looking forward to the wonderful adventures to come. Beyond the obvious benefits of obtaining a passport for your child, seeing the physical passport with your son or daughter’s cute face inside will melt your heart.

Below is a step by step description of everything that  you will need to do. I went through the process immediately after my son’s birth, as we were traveling internationally before his 2nd month. I had to expedite service on both the birth certificate and passport. We obtained a passport in time without a hitch. Here is how:

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Etsy Score! Koenigco Handmade Screenprinted Totes, Cards and Posters

This week’s favorite Etsy find: koenigco. The Koenigs are a wonderfully fun and creative family in South Pasadena that happen to be great friends of ours. The Mister was born Stateside and the Missus hails from Scandinavia. They describe their collective style as “where the Wild West meets the Northern Lights”. Finding inspiration in each other, their beautiful daughter, psychedelic rock music, the desert, Scandinavian darkness, Midwestern food and random adventures, koenigco creates delightful and practical handmade goods from thank you cards to wine totes to gig posters and my favorite: the all purpose fully-lined and reversible totes, perfectly sized for a trip to the grocery or as a simple diaper bag (I’ve found it so much easier to use a tote. Too many pockets in well-intentioned, but over-thought , diaper bags leave me searching endlessly for what I need immediately).

Hearing Protection for Babies, Toddlers and Children

With a musician husband and as an indie label owner with a significant penchant for live music myself (on longterm hiatus, family first), baby “noise cancellation” headphones were one of the first things on our registry. No, we haven’t yet toted our son along to concerts (in fact we haven’t been to many ourselves in the past year since he was born); but I knew full well that in all practicality, an occasional sound-check would be unavoidable in our lines of work. Finding the right-sized headphones was no easy chore. I think I read over a hundred customer reviews and endless specs before deciding on the Junior Earmuff by Peltor. They aren’t noise cancellation headphones in the sense that they provide white noise to cancel outside sounds. They are technically barriers that muffle dangerous loud noise–much better for baby.

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Seeds of Change and Seed Savers Exchange – Certified Organic Seeds & Supplies

Where we live (in the deep South), its time to start planting this year’s vegetable garden. I’ve been covered in dirt all week and tracking it into the house. The mud room is, quite literally, a mud room. The beds are almost ready, lots of new compost and soil piled high. Spirits and enthusiasm, soaring. I’m shopping for seeds now and decided to skip the local seed and feed and find something better online: Seeds of Change. I do love supporting local business; so I am going to ask my regular store to please start carrying Seeds of Change products. The website offers a store locator; but nothing close enough to me; so for now I will place my order online.

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