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Early Language

As a Speech-Language Pathologist for Early Childhood Intervention (babies 0-3 years old) and more importantly a mom of 2 young children, early language development is always on my mind. It comes very natural to me. I truly love my job and its such a passion of mine. Research shows that the brain doubles in size in the first year of life, and is 80% of its full size at 3 years old. Those first few years of life are critical for language development!

In this post I am going to focus on my 19 month old daughter and the things I do to stimulate her language right now. This by no means is a complete list of strategies to help your child with his/her language, just a few tips!

Get down on your child’s level: This seems like a simple suggestion, but there is no better way to show your child that what he/she is doing is interesting and important to you. Kids often try to find a way to get to your level if you are not on theirs. They may climb on the couch to sit next to you, tug at your pants while cooking so you will pick them up, or want to sit in the high chair next to you while sitting at the table. One of the first means of communication between baby and mommy/daddy is eye contact. Children start focusing 8-12 inches from the face just days/weeks after birth. So, getting on the floor where their eyes are at your eye level is a great way to encourage communication. While face to face, over emphasize the way you move your mouth to make the sounds. Repeat sounds that your child says. Make eye contact and smile at your sweet little one!


I caught my husband reading to our “princess” before bed last week. I love this precious moment caught on my phone!

Read books: Reading to your children can start at birth. Young children may not look at the books, but you are establishing a routine early on that will hopefully become one of your child’s favorite times of day. You don’t really have to “read” the words of the books, just as long as you are engaging your child in looking at the pictures on the pages. Let them help you turn the page. Point to the pictures and tell your child what you see. When you are pointing to the pictures move from left to right to teach pre reading skills. Right now my daughter loves books like Brown Bear, any book of first words, books with flaps to open and find things, and SkippyJon Jones.

Use lots of repetition: A study I read said typically developing children need to hear a word 50-75 times to understand what a word is, and even more to learn to say it. When you get tired of reading a book for the 100th time, remember that your child is memorizing the book and associating the words with the pictures on the pages. One of my favorite activities to do with the children I see is playing with farm animals. 2 sounds together (a consonant + a vowel- like ‘moo’ or ‘baa’) are some of the most basic easy sounds to produce and I start with these. Use the animal sounds over and over again with your baby.

Use variations in your voice: babies are more interested in you speaking when your voice goes up and down in the same word. Use lots of exclamations such as “wow, uh-oh, whee, ouch, ooo, yay.”

Simplify the number of words you use: Sometimes I find myself telling my daughter, “Go get your shoes A so we can go to school.” What I really should have said is just “shoes?” and looked around to try to find them. When she finds her shoes I say “shoes!” “Shoes on” Then when she sits in my lap I can show her the shoes again and say “shoe on” for both feet. Now I just modeled the word “shoe” 5 times for her.

These were just a few suggestions to stimulate your child’s language. What are some things you do with your child to “teach them to talk”?

Jennifer M.

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[Aromatherapy] Week 6 Weight Loss: Deep Blue

So, these past few days I have really gotten annoyed with Facebook! Good grief oh golly! It is all over the place. That works though since I’m doing my best to not be on Facebook all day everyday anymore! So what do I do with my time? I join a gym! The last week of doTerra’s 6 week blog experience, I join a gym. How ironic? It actually kind of is. I kind of thought it wasn’t affordable, and that it would be bad for my daughter. Yeah right; my almost-7 month old loves it. We bring her in and the ladies love her, and the other kids want to play “baby” with her. My 7-month post-partum body also loves it.

So, how do Essential Oils play a role at the gym? Well… let me tell you! My mid-lower back hurts more than usual. Yeah, that myth about where the epidural was… that spot. It hurts. Lets fix it!

DEEP BLUE Oil or Lotion… doesn’t matter too much which. No, it doesn’t directly help you loose weight, but once you start exercising, you mind find it more important than the slimming Peppermint or Slim & Sassy to your brain! Maybe even the detoxing Lime and Grapefruit oils. You maaaay not find it as “necessary” as all those other oils helping you avoid your cravings, but being in good spirits and pain free is very important!

Here’s the deal, for me at least.
1. A little goes a LONG way.
2. Don’t put it on right before, after, or during the workout or shower unless it is VERY diluted. I learned this the hard way with Biofreeze/IcyHot awhile back, take that times 10 and you get Deep Blue consequences. Learned that the hard way too 😡 Your pores open, and I’m telling you – A LITTLE GOES A LONG WAY! These essential oils are POTENT!

Now here I sit 20 minutes later feeling limber and great!

PS: This stuff is also awesome for bruises, headaches and migraines, inflammation (obviously), and sprains. Its expensive, but so worth the cost. This is the one oil I would choose if I had to choose one single thing ever. Maybe, because it has solved any migraine I’ve ever had — and those are the worst pain ever in my opinion.

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Bread pudding

In honor of my grandmother’s 86th birthday today I was going to write about one of my things that she made me growing up.  I’ve been trying to figure out the recipe since she passed away on August 16th.  She had a brain cancer and a some tumors elsewhere in her body and she ended up with MRSA and her body just couldn’t fight that infection.   When I visited her in the assisted living center she was in she wanted to make sure I knew how to make her bread pudding.  She never really measured anything and I’m still working on getting the right measurements.  The first time I  made it I mixed it all together in a bowl and then put it in the casserole dish and baked it.  That wasn’t right the pieces of bread weren’t in big chunks like she made it.  This week when I made it I had the pieces torn a part into the casserole dish and then poured the egg mixture on to the bread.  That didn’t work because all the bread didn’t get covered.  I do skip a step about using stale bread and probably shouldn’t since I try to use fresh bread so that will probably be my next step to try when I make it again.  I don’t want to leave you without a recipe though so here it is as it was told to me.

stale bread torn into pieces put into casserole dish.  (my grandma always used a round one so that is the type I use)
In a separate bowl whisk together
a couple of eggs
some sugar
some milk
some cinnamon
some vanilla

once all those ingredients are whisked together pour it over the bread and bake at 350 degrees about 30 minutes.  I insert a knife in the middle and make sure it comes out clean sometimes it take a little longer.

Here are some of the things I have figured out.  If using 6 eggs that takes longer than 30 minutes to bake.  I’m pretty sure it’s 1 cup sugar, 1 cup milk and 1 tablespoon vanilla.  I’m pretty sure it is NOT 1 tablespoon cinnamon and if you use the bread that is thinner it does not take a whole loaf.
I usually like to give you a picture of the finished project but didn’t take one this week since I was in a hurry last night trying to make this and chicken and dumplings and get all the kids dinner before karate class (my older boys are now 2nd degree orange belts) and didn’t start as early as I wanted to since I had to take my oldest to the doctor and it looks like he got his first (and hopefully last) concussion at football practice the night before.

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[Aromatherapy] Weight Loss: Week 5 of 6: Odds and Ends

Week 5! Almost there! How have your past 5 weeks been? I found myself regressing almost this week! Possibly, more so than I thought … so I did some research. We’ve talked about doTerra’s Slim and Sassy blend, doTerra’s Grapefruit oil, doTerra’s Lime oil, and last week, doTerra’s Peppermint oil. This week, I did some research, and ran across an article which referenced Dr. Alan Hirsch. He has done research on hunger and what causes it. According to Dr. Hirsch, whereas it is often believe hunger is associated with blood sugars and amount of food in the belly, he disagrees. Apparently, with my understanding of this article which referenced him, satiety (the feeling of being full) can be triggered by scent.

The goal here is not to NOT eat, but rather eat what you want when you want and how you want — with regulation and conscious decision. When I got pregnant with my daughter, I thought to myself, “Oh – I’m suppose to gain weight. I’m hungry, lets eat!” While I was pregnant, I ended up having to do that, or I got sick sick sick from not eating. The problem was, after giving birth, I continued to do so, and now half a year later, here I sit still doing so. I’ve cut out soda. YAY! I’ve increased my water by, ohhh… I don’t know…. 9-10 cups/day. YAY! But, I still eat just to eat.

This past week, I’ve done some concious studies of my actions and foods. I know I must eat more than “average” per say to maintain my milk supply. I know this. And, add in my exercise, which because of supply problems I’m only doing in moderation… I MUST eat. So, I’ve decided on three meals a day, with two smaller “snacks” in between. By the time I’m done and settled with my child and family, it’s usually 7:30 before I can eat dinner. So – scratch that. I’ve selected 2 meals a day, and three snacks. Not ideal, but this will work. My issue? I don’t do that – I eat all day, and not healthy foods all the time. Stress eaters don’t always select the best food afterall.

SOOO….. at the beginning of the day select two or three of these. Carry them with you, and change out the chosen oils daily. Get different ones for max effects. Throughout the day, smell them 3-6 times per nostril, with the other nostril closed. 6 deep sniffs is considered “adequate.” If you under smell, your hypothalamus will be triggered to be “hungry” and you will in fact eat more. Scents supposedly work too: chocolate, peach, maple syrup….

Oils that work:
Ginger (also great for digestion and nausea)
Black Pepper (also great for addictions such as nicotine)
Grapefruit (previously discussed)
Peppermint (previously discussed)
Clove (also great for tooth pain)
Basil (also great for earaches)
Lime (previously discussed)
Dill Seed
Orange (doTerra’s Wild Orange)



Please feel free to comment with any questions you have about essential oils and use in your home, or EMAIL ME ( to inquire about samples, purchase, or enroll in your wholesale account.

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Hand Cookies!!!

A month or so ago I was watching Pioneer Woman, which doesn’t happen very often, and she made hand cookies with her daughter during a sleep over.  My mind immediately started spinning searching for a time in our schedule when we could hand cookies.  I knew I wanted it to be during the week and when the older boys were home but between football practice and karate class that doesn’t leave much time.  I checked the calender and the boys had October 7th off.  Now that I had the date picked out I started to worry about my rolling pin skills or lack of to be exact.  I figured I would never get better if I didn’t just try!  The boys were looking forward to making their hand cookies so this past Monday I set out to make hand cookies.  Callum fell asleep so he didn’t get to make one but he still makes a fist when I try to make his hand print with paint so I wasn’t to heart broken.  We followed the recipe from the Pioneer Woman’s website that you can find here.
My skills with a rolling pin have not improved at all but I will get there, maybe.  The boys loved making the cookies and painting the cookies. Image  I was very surprised with how Mason did.  He did ask me this morning if we could make hand cookies again since it was raining and since it was raining on Monday I guess that makes rainy days baking days. ImageHere is what they looked like when I took them out of the oven.  Mason smashed his hand down when I was cutting his out so it was a little thin.  Alex’s hand (the green one) was a zombie hand and Wyatt’s was the red one.  I love baking with my kids and this was actually one project they wanted to do with me.  Have you baked with your kids lately?  No matter how little they can help and they love helping and then eating right after.

On a side note the boys were off because it was a teacher work day and yesterday was REPORT CARD DAY!!!  That day happens to be one of my favorite days.  Alex is rocking the 6th grade and brought home 4 A’s and 2 B’s.  Such an improvement over last year and he said it’s because he has friends this year.  (Last year kids still considered him the “new kid” and a “city boy” and here being a city boy is a bad thing I guess) Wyatt brought home straight A’s and was very excited!  I am so very proud of my boys and probably as a reward (even though we don’t do rewards or punishments for grades if they do their best) their dad will take them to a haunted hay ride this weekend.  I will stay home with the little ones.  Hope ya’ll are enjoying the fall weather!

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[Aromatherapy] Weight Loss: Week 4 of 6: Peppermint

I have absolutely loved this series of posts with you guys. Week one, we discussed doTerra’s Slim and Sassy blend, week two we discussed doTerra’s Grapefruit oil, and last week we discussed doTerra’s Lime oil. In addition to these oils, I have began working out once more, (finally! it only took my daughter turning 6 months old!) and have cut sodas from my diet. Today, I introduce Peppermint Essential Oil.

I still encourage you, please email me with “DoTerra Questions” in the subject line, or comment here for more information, questions, comments, samples, or wholesale enrollment opportunities. I’ll be more than happy to talk with you!

I absolutely love Peppermint EO. It boosts my energy, refreshes my mind, and is EXCELLENT for my GI system. There are so many uses for the Peppermint oil. A study showed that those who used Peppermint Oil in a daily routine ate 23% fewer calories on a consistant bases than those who didn’t, and on average that added to nearly 3,000 calories a week, or equivalent to loosing 20 pounds in 6 months with healthy eating habits and moderate exercise activity. This is not a “diet” oil, this is a lifestyle.  What’s awesome? Unlike Lime used topically, Slim and Sassy used topically, and Grapefruit used topically (also used internally or diffused) this one I tend to use diffusing only (unless I have an upset stomach or headache in which case internal or topical is my choice of application). A cold air diffuser is amazing, but I tend to stick it on a crotchet flower hooked onto the air vent of my car.

Now, some studies link Peppermint to milk – production problems for nursing mothers. I haven’t noticed this with doTerra’s pure oils, and won’t risk it with other brands. I tend to be super careful and haven’t used it internally at all since birth, but diffusing… seems safe for my milk thus far!

How are your weight loss and fitness plans going? Making goals? Reaching your goals? Tell us, share!

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