Monday, July 21, 2014

Sending a Mommy Care Package for a Sick Toddler

Let me just start by saying I love snail mail. And by love, I mean I 

Loooooooooooooove it. 

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram you've probably seen that I am participating in a snail mail revolution. I'm sending out cards for birthdays, graduations, Father's Day, Mother's Day, new babies, and just about any other reason you can think of. So, when a friend posted on Facebook that her little toddler had a cold and a double ear infection I knew what I had to do. I put together a little care package for her and sent it out the door! Now I haven't talked with this girl in about ten years but we have had babies at the same time, we are always commenting on each other's posts and she cracks. me. up. And honestly, who doesn't like getting mail? ESPECIALLY when you're cooped up in your home with a sick toddler. 

Here is what I put together for her:

1. Coloring Books and Crayons: Babies get super cranky when they're sick. Sometimes you can avert crankiness for alittle while if you have a new toy. But I definitely wouldn't get anything too crazy, it's going to get covered in snot and germs so it would be best if it's something that can get thrown away with little guilt. 

2. Disinfecting Wipes: I like these better than sprays strictly for their convenience. It's way easier to wipe a door handle or a little spill with this than to pull out a spray, get a paper towel, and then walk to the kitchen to throw it away. I just keep a couple of these around the house. 

3. Infant Tylenol

4. BABY Rub: There is a difference between regular Vicks rub and their baby rub, I don't know what it is but it's important to only use the baby rub on babies. The Mister is a big believer in Vicks. I could take it or leave it, although apparently it works best if you rub it on the sole of your feet and then cover them up. Pinterest it. 

5. Kleenex: when toddlers are sick, snotty noses run rampant. Seriously, the snot cannot be contained. I bought the cooling kind but a baby might not appreciate the menthol sensation so depending on the age you might want to get the lotion kind. I would splurge and spend the two dollars for the brand-name Kleenex versus the scratchy general brand.

6. Boogie Wipes: These things are amazing. They are great for cleaning crusty noses but they are so gentle.

7. Saline Nose Spray: We use this all the time with our boys. These nose sprays spray a fine mist that is perfect for little babies and the saline gently dries up their noses. We will sometimes spray them, wait 30 seconds and then suction. The spray works great at loosening up the gunk. They still hate it. :)

General Guidlines:
-Keep in mind the toddler's age. Some things are appropriate for two year olds but not for one year olds. 
-Google and Pinterest are your friends. Look up what kind of symptoms a sick baby might be having and work from there. Sore throat? You could get some pedialyte Popsicles. Headaches? Some tylenol would help. 
-Try to follow the Guidlines of how she raises her children and her basic philosophy. While this is a gift, and she wouldn't complain, she will be blown away by your thoughtfulness. If she buys organic get organic chicken soup. If she is hesitant about giving her kids medication maybe buy some chamomile tea to soothe her children's sore throat. 
-Don't forget mom. Unfortunately you can't send alcohol in the mail...I asked. But you could send some rag mags or a gift certificate to her favorite take out or delivery restaurant. You know your friend, get her something that would make her feel special. 

-Pedialyte Pops/ Zip Pops  - Great for sore throats and getting kids their electrolytes up. Dehydration is a big issue.

-Receiving Blankets: for wiping up all manner of bodily fluids. I think these are the best but they are kind of pricey. You could go for the cheaper ones since they are probably going to get thrown away.
-Nasal Aspirator (or Snot Sucker to everyone not a medical practitioner) : Honestly, you can't find a better one than the blue ones that come from the hospital, but here is one that is sold by a medical supply company so hopefully it is the same kind.

-Vapor Bath Soap: I haven't used this, but it seems like it would work in theory.

-Humidifier: If she doesn't have one get the one that was on her registry. I really want this one.  It has a night light.

-Be Koool Soft Gel Sheets : These are great for headaches. I use them on me :)

-Cozy Plush Toy with Lavender Scent (Microwaveable)  : Or you can make one! This is great if the child is over 1 and can sleep with soft toys.

-DVD/Stuffed Animal/Toy
-Chicken Soup: Buy it or make it!

-Food Pouch: These. Are. Awesome. A lot of times when kids get sick they just wont eat but these little pouches are like smoothies. Bear Bear gets one or two of these a day and I can feel better knowing he has had some kind of fruits and veggies. You can make your own using a blender or Nutribullet but when you're sick, these are super convenient. This is for a pack of 12 but you can find non-organic at Target or Walmart for about a $1 per pouch.

-Chamomile Tea and Honey: infants under 1 should not eat honey

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Best Worst Day

Today has been...well truly there are no words. I have cleaned, planned for the next week, crafted, played with my boys and read many books to them. I even have chicken soup slowly, comfortingly, bubbling away in the crock pot. It's been a mostly productive day except...

My twins have not stopped screaming since four o'clock this morning.

So all these projects are half finished. Normally, I would have had a full blown melt down by now. I have snapped a couple of times, Bear Bear resided in time out for most of the morning, and I took five minutes to myself this afternoon to drink a cup of coffee and check Facebook, all the while my boys were fussing in the living room.

A couple of things have happened to make this day the day it has been. I managed to get rid of some large items in my home yesterday which has gotten me excited and hopeful about my home again (it's been a while). I planned the upcoming week which helps me feel less lost. And the next two things go hand in hand.

For a while it has been hard for me to really appreciate the time I have with my boys. The twins are at a difficult stage and Bear Bear is at an even more difficult stage (can you say terrible twos?). Sometimes I feel like I can't keep up and that I'm not doing right by my children. It eats away at you. Now I know I'm a good mom. That doesn't mean that I am impervious to mom guilt and scathing thoughts to myself. I beat myself up all the time and my children bear the brunt of that negativity.

I have had an idea rolling around in my head that I would try to turn my thinking around to a more positive outlook. I decided I would start with Bear Bear. Ever since the twins came home he has been the best big brother, but he has been acting out towards me and Barry. He is desperate for our attention and we give it when we can but for him he needs constant reassurance of our love since he tends to get into trouble roughly every 32 seconds. I decided I would start just by giving him a big smile every time he came into the room or every time I caught him glancing my way. If he did something good I would praise him and I would take the time to touch him as I passed him, even if it was just a gentle pat on the head. I decided on this course of action about two weeks ago and despite its incredible simplicity, I haven't done it.

Today, two things came across my Facebook feed. Barry's aunt posted about one of her friend's baby who is in the NICU and she included a picture. And we heard of a tragic miscarriage that aunt's daughter went through yesterday. I don't know the details because I didn't ask, I still can't handle anything bad regarding babies. But these two devastating events hit me hard today.

After seeing these posts I went and snuggled with each of my children and made them the promise that I would try harder. I promised that I would smile more, I would praise more, I would enjoy each day more. It has been a rewarding experience.

Today has been a horrible day. Two teething babies and a toddler on the rampage but I am proud of myself. I am calm. I am happy. Have no doubt, I'm frustrated as hell but I am taking it all in stride rather than taking it out on my kids.

So I challenge you to a very simple endeavor.

Smile. More.

If you need to quantify it, smile three times tomorrow for no reason. Smile at the person at the drive through window, say thank you and mean it. Smile at your pet. Smile at the blue of the sky, the wind messing up your hair, the ridiculous comment your friend made. Smile at your babies and your spouse. It will change your world.


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Our 4th of July

 This 4th of July was AWESOME!!! 

Usually we don't do much for the holidays. We hole up and stay home for the most part. Barry's family is about an hour away from us and the way to them is always traffic filled so unless it is a holiday like Christmas, we tend to just stay home.

Not this time bucko!

Barry's Uncle Dennis asked us to come by Aunt LaDonna's beach house and spend the 4th with them. His family is not known for their planning, usually we get a call the day of asking why we aren't hanging out with the rest of the family :) At first I was like "Really? We're going to drive an hour and a half to the beach...on a 4th of July weekend where the 4th falls on a Friday? Have you lost yo' damn mind?!" 

I'm so very glad we went.

Bear Bear, Corbin, and Emma

Nana with Nathaniel, Papa with William, and Aunt LaDonna

Nana making William giggle

Bear Bear, Nana, Papa and Barry

Bear Bear with William

Papa with Bear Bear

Papa with Bear Bear

Aunt LaDonna with Nathaniel, Robbie with William

My awesome contribution to the noms :)

Papa and Bear Bear

Scott, Robbie with William, they were like two peas in a pod. So cute.

Seriously, the fireworks.

We had a blast with the family! 

Also, the fireworks...omg the fireworks! Not only did Barry's family have their very own arsenal of highly dangerous explosives (seriously, not a sparkler to be found. Go big or go home) but it seemed like everyone on the beach was putting on their very own fireworks show. I mean BIG fireworks. They started at sundown and when we left near midnight they were still going strong. 

Not too shabby for the twins' first 4th of July!


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Patriotic 4th of July Mason Jars

 Hello everyone!

I found this super cute 4th of July lantern set on Pinterest and I just had to try it out. 

I'll start by saying that there is nothing particularly difficult about this project, it just has a lot of steps. 

What You'll Need:

1-Quart Sized Mason Jar
2-Pint Sized Mason Jars
Rubbing Alcohol
Paper Towels
Star Stickers - Small foil and Large Foam
Gentle Paper Tape
White Spray Paint
Blue Spray Paint
Red Spray Paint

1. Wipe down your mason jars with some rubbing alcohol and let dry. I believe this helps the paint to stick by getting rid of the oily residue left behind by your hands. I have no evidence for this ...I could be totally making it up :)

2. Stick the little sticker stars on the jars randomly. Make sure to leave space for the big stars later. You don't need a whole lot of the little stars.

3. Spray paint all the jars white. You could do two coats, and if you have the time you probably should. I would much rather do two light coats than one heavy coat but I was pressed for time.

4. Let the jars dry completely. I let mine dry overnight (nap time only lasts so long, I ran out of time). 

5. Use the blue tape to create stripes on the pint jars. The top of the top strip will be a little difficult to lay straight. Place the foam stars on the quart jar.

6. This is important! Paint the jars white again! This way, if there is any bleed through the tape it will be white instead of red or blue. The white paint will make a seal around the tape to make sure no bleed happens. You can skip this step if you don't care about clean lines.

7. Paint the pint jars red. Paint the quart jar blue. Let dry. My blue came out a little cracked because I didn't shake the can long enough. You can't see the defects at all when it is lit.

8. Remove blue tape from red jars. Use a needle to lift the edges of the stars from all jars. Remove stars. 

9. Grab a glass of wine, cram a tea light in each jar and congratulate yourself for being awesome. :)

I love my jars and I can't wait to use them every year!! 


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