Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Article: "How I Cured Hyperemesis Gravidarum Naturally"

I am so excited to share this post with you from Katie at The Cultured Home Economist:

How I Cured My Hyperemesis Gravidarum Naturally

Be sure to hop on over to get all the details, ask questions, and join the conversation!

The approach that Katie shares is similar to that shared by other HG bloggers such as Zsuzsanna at Are They All Yours?!?! and also Amy at Pink Stork Solutions.

Ladies, I am so proud of all of you out there who are doing your own HG research and are finding such wonderful answers - and sharing them with the HG community. Thank you for all you are doing!

Katie, thank you for sharing!

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Homeschool Curriculum Choices 2018-2019

Last year, I never got around to posting our curriculum choices. This year, I decided to take a moment to stop by and jot them down!

Without further ado, here are our choices for the 2018-2019 school year (which, for us, will be starting in one week):

Sixth Grade

Math - We will use Christian Light Math 6. This will be our fourth year of using Christian Light, and we LOVE it!

Language Arts - We will use Christian Light Language Arts 5. We have already begun the gradual process of getting our son caught up to grade level in language arts, so we will be moving into level six before the end of the year.

Reading - Christian Light Reading 6. Again, love this program! The new edition of this curriculum isn't coming out until June, so we'll be doing extra time with our Latin program while we wait for this to arrive. (The previous edition is still available.)

Penmanship - Our Language Arts curriculum includes a penmanship component, but it hasn't been working well for our student. I've been giving him homemade assignments, which has worked really well, but I'd like to save some time and use a pre-made book. We're going to give Pentime 5 a try.

Reading Comprehension - Read and Comprehend, (finishing) level 5 and (starting) level 6 by Abeka.

Composition - I use a homemade "curriculum" of various writing assignments. I have not yet found the need for a formal curriculum.

Science - We will use Bob Jones Press Science 6. I do not have all of the bells and whistles for this curriculum. I simply have the student text, and I use a homemade schedule of reading and notebooking. For us, simple science is just better. I add in weekly science activities.

History - We will continue using Story of the World. This year we will complete Year 4 (moderns) and move into Year 1 (ancients). This includes weekly readings, narrations, a coloring page, a map assignment, an optional outline assignment, and extra enrichment projects when we have time.

I really considered moving to Notgrass History's America the Beautiful, which would be less work for me - besides being a mouth-wateringly wonderful curriculum. I will be honest here - the considering factor was price. Totally free vs. over a hundred dollars. However, I'll be keeping Notgrass in mind, and if I can find a used copy, we may switch - or if we find that we are expecting a new baby and I need something that can work for more independent student work, we might just bite the bullet and buy it anyway.

Maps - Continuing with a generic maps book that we've used for several years. This is not going to set the world on fire, but it does fulfill a purpose.

Logic - We will continue to use Mindbenders. (In 9th grade, we plan to transfer over to a formal logic program with Memoria Press.)

Latin - We will complete Latina Christiana, and move into First Form Latin if we have time.

Spanish - Spanish 1 by LifePac. I'm really excited about this!!

Piano - Starting with the Alfred series.

Literature - Our 6th grade is assigned 20 minutes of "history reading" and 20 minutes of "fun reading." Both of these are assigned by me, with input from him.

Bible - One chapter per day, one memory verse per week.

Character - Our 6th grader will be going through "Created for Work" with my husband.


ABC Series by Rod and Staff

Kindergarten 1 by Christian Light

Rocket Phonics

Whole-Family Activities

Galloping the Globe - Serves as a history/science topical reading list for elementary students.

Charlotte Mason Memory Box - We use this to memorize Scripture, historical pieces, and poetry. Highly recommended.

History Video Time - We use this to teach music. Every fortnight or so, I select one new hymn, one historical piece, and one classical piece. We watch them every day. This has been such an amazing way to learn historical music! Highly recommended! Here is our music list from this past year in case you would like to see examples of the pieces we learned.

I have lately also thrown in extra "how-to" videos into this time, in order to teach a variety of skills. We've covered how to cook scrambled eggs, how to use a hammer, how to do a proper push-up, how to survive in the desert - all sorts of great things.

Elementary Science and History/Culture - This is a homemade curriculum that I am developing to cover basic topics of interest. I have also added in a weekly preschool "fun time" activity, and a weekly science activity. We'll see how that goes.

Morning Read-Aloud Time - This is for our memory box, catechism, safety, history and science read-alouds, Bible, character, and usually one longer read-aloud.

Afternoon Read-Aloud Time - This is for older students, covering our read-alouds and history curriculum.

One of the fringe benefits of home education is the wonderful education that it offers for the homeschooling mama. I feel that I'm finally getting the education that I've always wanted, but which I just didn't get when I was in school. It's a lovely feeling.

Feel free to shoot me any questions, dear friends! I will now once again bury myself in the land of not-blogging (except rarely!). I hope that each of you has had a wonderful Easter and is having a wonderful spring!

Monday, March 5, 2018

Carnitine and CoQ10 Supplementation for Hyperemesis Gravidarum Prevention

Here's another interesting nugget:

"Hyperemesis Gravidarum – Severe Morning Sickness: Are Mitochondria Involved?"

It's a fascinating article, and the take-away is the suggestion of pre-conception supplementation with L-carnitine and CoQ10. The suggested dosage can be found at another article from the same site on mitochondrial dysfunction and cyclical vomiting syndrome:

  • Co-enzyme Q10: Participants were treated with co-enzyme Q10 (ubiquinone) in liquid or gel capsule form (from a variety of brands) at a starting dose of 10 mg/kg/day, or 200 mg, divided twice a day, whichever is smaller. 
  • L-carnitine: Participants were treated with Carnitor brand or generics at a starting dose of 100 mg/kg/day divided BID, or 2 grams twice a day, whichever is smaller.

I think that this is a fascinating line of thought, and I am planning on adding both supplements to my regimen as of next month to see if there is a difference in our next pregnancy experience. (I will use this brand of L-carnitine (2 grams twice a day, for a daily total of 4 grams) and this brand of CoQ10 (100 mg twice a day, for a daily total of 200 mg).

Thoughts, anyone?

Happy Monday!


Later edited to add: I began dosing with L-carnitine and CoQ10 on April 18, 2018. For the present, I am using half the dosage mentioned above, for the unfortunate reason that supplements are just so expensive. Hoping for good things!

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Low-Fat Diet for Hyperemesis Gravidarum Prevention

Every year or so, I search "How to Prevent Hyperemesis Gravidarum" to see what pops up. Every so often, I happen upon a gem, and this was one of them:

Preventing Hyperemesis Gravidarum (Janette Rallison)

In this post, author Janette Rallison tells her HG story (it's brutal), and then tells what finally helped her:

"Before my fourth pregnancy, I researched on the internet and bingo, I found some useful information... I found a website that midwives used to discuss pregnancy issues and one talked about a diet that helped prevent hyperemesis gravidarum. Basically, for three months before pregnancy women were put on a diet where they ate no meat, fat, sugar, preservatives or additives of any kind. (I can’t remember whether dairy was allowed. I had a little  skim milk for calcium but didn’t eat cheese.) If I remember right, the idea behind this diet was that it improved your liver’s ability to function."

And it worked:

"The diet worked. I wish I could say that for that fourth pregnancy I had absolutely no morning sickness, but I still did. It just wasn’t nearly as extreme. I didn’t get sick until later in the pregnancy and it wasn’t as bad. I didn’t have to be hospitalized once. I was well enough that I could eat in the morning. As the day progressed I got sicker and sicker. Around noon I had to take to my bed and stay there, hoping that resting would help me keep down my food. But I was still able to eat a little . This probably sounds bad as far as normal pregnancies go, but it was a huge improvement. The pain was much much less and throwing up actually relieved the nausea, whereas before it wouldn’t. 

"I always tried to go to sleep at nine because I knew if I was up later the nausea would get bad. But I didn’t want to die. And with the other pregnancies, I really did. I remember my husband leaving in the morning and he would ask me if I needed anything. I would tell him, “Yeah, get me some arsenic.” I was only half joking."

Hop on over to the original link to read the whole story!

I am not personally planning to try this diet. As the author herself mentions, it is a very difficult option, and I'd rather stick with the very low carb or Trim Healthy Mama approach. But firstly, this does highlight the importance of liver cleansing in HG prevention. (I am currently using this supplement for that very purpose.) Also, if anyone wants to give this a try, go for it! (I wouldn't recommend any extreme diet for long-term use, but in the short-term, it could be great!)


Thursday, February 15, 2018

Merry Christmas!

Okay, people. I started this post in early December, and it's still not finished. Enough is enough. I'm going to wrap it up today, and even if it's not finished, it's going online. Love you all!

Being that we are home from church (all sick!), it is the perfect time for me to begin the one blog post I am allowing myself this year - a Christmas-time update on how our family has been this past year.

Here, in completely random order, are some thoughts about the past year. And other off-the-wall thoughts, too - a bonus!


The word that comes to mind to describe 2017 is challenging.

It all started - quite literally - the day after New Year's Day. On that day, my husband's job went straight from, "Yay, this is awesome!" to "Oh, my. This is very, very, very bad."

And it went downhill from there. It has been eleven non-stop months of heavy-duty job stress, including five months of unemployment. My husband is now two weeks into his new job, and all is going well (except for a major, major reduction in salary). But oh, my - it was a stressful year.

The second major challenge of this year was a church move. I don't need to elaborate on the stress and tears that have accompanied these past few months.

Additional challenges were our first experience with major medical bills when having crummy-because-it-pays-for-nothing health insurance, and major plumbing problems that took a good month+ to resolve. (The kids loved doing dishes in the bathtub and the backyard, if nothing else!)

I am going to be completely open here, in case it is of help to anyone reading: The biggest stress for me this year has been the simple fact that in a lot of the major decision-making mentioned above, my husband and I were not in agreement about most of it. This made everything harder. I know a lot of you ladies are - sometimes, or often - in the same boat. Decisions have to made, and God calls us to submit to our husbands. And that's really hard when everything in you is wanting to go a different direction.

But God really does bless when we submit, even if we don't agree. There have been great blessings that have come out of this year! And I am learning additional strength (it takes much more strength to submit graciously - which I haven't done perfectly, or even well - than it does to put one's ears back and exert one's own will), as well as a character trait that I greatly desire - that of being sweet, gracious, and gentle, rather than nagging, negative, and in-control. I need the practice - and this year, I got it.

But seriously, enough complaining. It's also been a great year. This little guy, who entered the world super-early in February...

... is now a strapping 11-month-old. He is superbly and adorably plump and a champion eater, and loves beyond measure to be held. We have decided that he possesses a Jekyll and Hyde character - if you hold him, he is the adorable Sir Squeaks-a-lot, and if you put him down he becomes Sir Screams-a-lot. I have taken up part-time babywearing (which I normally don't care for) out of sheer self-defense.

He's a darling.

Some pictures from last summer:


This year, for the first time, I experienced homeschooling an older child with the trio of a preschooler, a toddler, and an infant underfoot. Wowza. You ladies who do this regularly have all of my admiration.

Next year, our soon-to-be-6yo will join the fray as our second student, and that will be an interesting challenge.

Some of the perks of this year have been:

* Finishing our first year of Latin. I highly recommend Memoria Press's Latin program! Latin has been such a wonderful experience, and I adore it. I love that I am getting to fill in the gaps in my own education - next step, German and French! Oh, boy... how I love languages. 

* Our study of World War I - My own education contained virtually nothing about WWI, and this was so interesting. We especially loved Nathan Hale's Treaties, Trenches, Mud, and Blood. Also, the music!

* Our studies of Ireland and Scotland, and especially of their folk music. So incredibly beautiful. Here are a few favorites:

* Our ongoing studies of American folk songs. Here are a few so far:

* A new experience this year was attending a local Greek festival. The children have been attempting Greek dancing ever since. Here is my husband's video:

Field Trips

This year included many, many field trips. Here are pictures from a few of them, plus some other fun activities:

Our homeschool group's Valentine's Day party.

Our local chuckwagon cook-off.

Making boric acid crystals. The blue color is actually not the crystal itself, but the blue pipe-cleaner form showing through the clear crystal. 

Irrigation day!

The state fair. 

Butterfly gardens at our local botanical gardens.

Day at the farm!

Our local American heritage festival!

Our Thanksgiving tree, pre-decorations.

At a family wedding, in which the 5yo got to be the ring-bearer:

Gearing up for eclipse day:

Vacation (No, really.)

Five years ago, I got up the guts to plan a vacation. (Not my strength.) It was an absolute disaster, and I haven't tried again.

But this year, some sweet friends offered us the use of their cabin, and we accepted. Success! It wasn't easy, but I am so thankful that I finally moved ahead and did it.

We might even do it again some day.


I have come to realize that I will probably never be Lutheran again.

I grew up Lutheran, but left the church immediately upon my marriage. Since then I've been mainly Baptist and Presbyterian. But I have maintained a deep love for the Lutheran church, especially as I study Lutheran theology and learn about the liturgical year.

But there's most likely no going back. That's what happens when you marry a Pentecostal from Texas, y'all.

But I've come to realize that I don't have to wait forever in terms of getting back to my Lutheran roots. So one of my ongoing goals is introducing the liturgical year (Lent! Epiphany! Advent!) to our family and home, despite the fact that we are - in general - attending churches that don't practice or recognize the liturgical year.

It's an ongoing discipline, but I love it.

Closet Lutherans of the world, unite!

Anyone know what this is?


One thing that continually strikes me, as I travel this road through parenthood, is how much the world devalues motherhood. Motherhood is something that is tossed aside like worthless rags. Anyone who "is worth more than that" is off doing something "worthwhile" in the work world. Motherhood is simply not appreciated for the deep, heartfelt work that it is.

And before parenthood, I didn't appreciate motherhood either. I knew that I needed to be home with my children (thank you, Dr. Laura Schlessinger, you are wonderful!), but I did not perceive motherhood as something difficult. You simply had a child or two, they behaved themselves because you wanted them to (ha ha ha ha ha ha), and then they started school and you got back to your real life.

I had no idea.

I had no idea how important mothers were. I had no idea how difficult motherhood was. I had no idea how motherhood would change me, would challenge me, would stretch me in every possible direction - painfully - all at once.

I now know this: If God manages to do nothing else during my lifetime than to change me into what He truly wishes me to be as a mother, then I will be content with nothing more than that.

Because motherhood is that hard. And it is so, so important.

Mothers of the world, don't let your role be devalued. And don't underestimate how hard it will be. But it is so worth it.

Goals for 2018

This year is already presenting with its own challenges! 

  • We are currently dealing with our first-ever case of the real flu bug.
  • Our little guy will shortly be beginning a course of treatment for plagiocephaly. (And we, the parents, will shortly be beginning a course of long-term payment for said treatment, LOL!)
  • Dental issues for me. (I have begun an n=1 experiment to see if I can deal with these on my own. The timer is running, and we will find out the truth this coming July.)
  • Financial challenges - Repairing our battered finances after a half-year of unemployment. 

I have some exciting new projects that I am also considering for our homeschool program:

  • My husband and son will be going through "Created for Work" over the next year. (Awesome book, highly recommended!)
  • We may have the opportunity to join a co-op.
  • I am going to give teaching piano lessons to our eldest another try. (Just can't get myself to pay the exorbitant fees that professional teachers charge, ouch!)
  • I am hoping to start teaching Spanish (as well as the Latin we're already learning) to our children.
  • I am preparing once again, after a gap of six years, to teach kindergarten. With what I've learned in that time, it will be completely different than round #1 was. What that will look like, I'm not yet sure.
  • I am considering trying Memoria Press's composition program. Oh, boy - Memoria Press products just make me drool.
  • I am working on an extensive project of cataloging our entire book collection - both by title, and classified by age level and historical period. I hope to be finished with this before book-buying season (May and June, the time for used curriculum sales) begins.

I am busy preparing mentally for some upcoming milestones:
  • Teens - Yes, the clock is counting down! Seventeen months and counting until we have our first teen. (*Insert mild panic attack*)
  • High School - We are now three years out from our first high school student. I am working hard on the basics so that the upper levels can fall more easily in place.
  • Multiple Students - Having done our first seven years with only one active student, this is going to be quite the challenge. 

And much more!

I have many goals for the coming year. I am also working on defining our family homeschool's distinctives. What really defines our family, and our homeschool? It's an interesting project to write that out, and I will post that here when I am done.

One thing that I will not - to the best of my knowledge - be doing much of this year is, again, blogging. I have been in "not blogging" state for over a year now, and while it is stressful, it is necessary. I simply don't have time, and I need every bit of my energy to deal with the demands of home, marriage, and five children. 

That being said, I miss all of my blogging sisters! Thank you so much to those of you who have kept in touch with me via email. I hope to stay in touch with each of you over the coming year. 

(Just a reminder: The email address associated with this blog has changed, and my old one is now inactive, so don't email me at my old address!)

I do plan to stop by to post the following:

  • As promised, our family's "homeschool distinctives."
  • A few posts on hyperemesis prevention research.
  • An updated pregnancy preparation plan.
  • Occasional family updates. (We're talking once or twice a year, max.)
  • Random posts as the need arises.

But on the whole, I won't be around much.

Dear readers, I send much love! I wish each and every one of you a very merry (belated) Christmas, with all of my wishes for a wonderful 2018! Happy New Year!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

All-Natural "Diet of Worms" Cake Recipe for Reformation Day!

Hello, folks! Still alive, still not blogging, but stopping by to post this recipe!

This is our third year of making a "Diet of Worms" cake for Reformation Day. The kids love it, and it's a great and funny way to remind us of history.

In the past, I've made this cake (technically called Dirt Cake), but the ingredient list is less than optimal. This year I decided to try my hand at making my own from scratch!

(I should say that this is an "almost-all-natural" version, as I'm still using store-bought gluten-free Oreos and storebought gummy worms. Feel free to attack that next level on your own!)

And... it was a huge success! My one complaint was that it was overly sweet, so I've reduced the powdered sugar in the creamed mixture from one cup to one-quarter cup, and the sugar in the homemade Cool Whip from three tablespoons to two. Feel free to adjust as needed. I will probably continue to chisel down the sugar content of the various components until I find our lowest threshold.


"Diet of Worms" Cake

For Crumbs:
15 oz package of gluten-free oreos

For Cool Whip:
¼ cup cold water
1 tsp. gelatin
½ tsp. cream of tartar
1 ¾ cups whipping cream
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla

For Pudding:
3 cups milk
¼ cup cornstarch
½ cup sugar
2 dashes salt
2 eggs
4 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. vanilla

For the rest:
½ cup butter
8 oz cream cheese
¼ cup powdered sugar

Gummy worms


Make crumbs: Pulverize in food processor. Set aside, covered.

Make Cool Whip: Bloom gelatin in water. Melt over low heat. Cool completely. Mix cream of tartar and 1 Tbsp. cream in sandwich bag. Snip a corner of the bag to get it out - Put tartar mixture, cream, sugar, vanilla in stand mixer. Beat for about 2 minutes. When it starts to thicken, slowly pour in gelatin. Beat until thick and smooth but not to stiff peaks. Cover and refrigerate.


(Set butter and cream cheese out to soften in stand mixer.)

Make pudding: Mix milk, cornstarch, sugar, salt, and eggs in pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, boil gently 1 minute, remove from heat, stir in butter and vanilla. Cool in ice water bath.

Assemble: Beat butter, cream cheese, and powdered sugar in stand mixer. When light and fluffy, add in cooled pudding and mix. Fold in Cool Whip. Place in 9x13 pan: half of the Oreo crumbs on the bottom, then the creamed mixture, and half the crumbs on top.

Adorn with gummy worms. Remember to cut these in pieces when serving to young children! (Otherwise there is a risk of them trying to eat an entire gummy worm at once and choking on it. Don't ask me how I didn't know this before last night, and now I do.)

Enjoy, dear friends!!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

This Time It's for Real!

Yes, folks! My updated 2017 pre-conception hyperemesis prevention plan is now posted for your reading pleasure. Unfortunately Blogger insists on leaving it down where it was originally (and mistakenly) published a few months back, so it wasn't bumped to the top in its new-and-improved state. Hope on over and enjoy!

Hyperemesis Prevention Plan: Annual Updated Version (2017)

Have a wonderful night, dear readers!