Monday, January 9, 2017

Self Care for Cold Season

                 Well now, here in Feisty Pantslandia (The Democractic Republic of Feist? First Imperial Feistopia? Pantsgri-la? anywhoo, I'll stop now...)  we have been battling colds since school started, or time began, I don't remember which now. It seems like we just get over one bout of sneezing and aching and complaining and right away, here comes one of the first ones to have had it all snotty and wheezing and achy, again. Sigh. I blame all you touchy feely, happy, affectionate wierdos out there.  Honestly, I am going install a high tech airlock that sprays everyone with purell and lavender oil on my front door any day now.   May not work but everyone will least at smell great.  You're welcome.
                 But until I win the lottery or figure out to diy my own biosphere, I guess we will have to continue battling the season of colds and flu. (The flu, especially, is said to be bad here in NYS this season.) So I thought I would write down a few self care tips to help anyone else stuck in this snotty handkerchief of a January.  Anything to make us all a little more comfortable right now.
1) Ginger, ginger, ginger.- Seriously.  Ginger tea with lemon and honey is really good for throat and sinuses.  It soothes and coats the throat and is also great for troubled tummies. (The reason why everyone drinks ginger ale when they're sick is for the ginger.) Candied ginger especially is proof that the Universe loves us as far as I am concerned.  It's warming, soothing, helps with coughs.  There is even some evidence that ginger will boost your immune system.
2) Homemade vapor rub- Vicks or Dr Unker's are fine but this is all natural  and you can adjust the scent to your liking.
You will need:
1/4 cup olive oil
1 to 2 TBS grated beeswax
5-10 drops eucalyptus essential oil
5-10 drops peppermint essential oil
5-10 drops tea tree oil
10 drops lavender essential oil (optional)
Melt the olive oil and beeswax in a glass jar (I stick things like this in a small glass jar and put the jar in hot water) Stir in essential oils. 
   extra tip- My mother and aunts swore by slathering this on your feet last thing at night, putting on thick socks and going to bed at the first sign of a cold.  Can't say it works for sure, but it's an old wives tale sworn to by a bunch of old wives.
3)Try putting a few drops of peppermint oil or eucalyptus oil in the tub.  You could even throw in a half cup or so of epsom salts  to make it even more soothing. (The magnesium is great for the muscles)  Soak, relax, let the steam open your kid's sinuses (or yours).
4) Don't forget the chicken soup!  Or bone broth.  Or veggie broth for the veg heads like Hippie Pants. Hot broth with a touch of protein and fat works wonders in healing and soothing. 
                  So there ya go.  Just rest and take it easy. I'm sure we will all better in no time. If you need me of Feisty Pants, just text us.  I'm not touching any of you germy buggers until I'm sure you don't have the plague.

Monday, January 2, 2017

To the other parents who have been there

               So I have totally been procrastinating everything and sulking about the universe since November.  It seems like the world is devolving into a Lord of the Flies bully fest where jerk offs are rewarded and everyone else is labeled as prey or foolish. But you know what? Enough. I'm done.  I cannot make the world dance to my drumbeat even if it is the coolest, most awesomest, peace, love, and granola drumbeat you'll ever get to hear. And all my pouting isn't gonna do a thing except bug those I care about and eventually cause me to get on my own nerves. Which I have. Right about this weekend.
               Feisty Pants had a crappy weekend. (Ten people went to my folks for Christmas.  Five now are battling a hideous cold  known as the plague that won't quit.) We spent Friday night at a walk in clinic and Saturday at an ER. She's fine now but it's soul wearying to spend days in a hospital setting when you are not working there and therefore are simply in an enforced waiting period; especially with Feisty Pants, who is a complex patient, and whose every hiccup makes doctors have three intense, whispered conversations with each other about what it means.
                So, now, enough.  I'm tired and crabby.  All my whining is getting on my own nerves. I'm putting my attitude into time out and it's not welcome back until it knows how to behave in public. Which brings me to my point. Action of some kind is what usually snaps me out of a funk.  I was reading this morning about an actress whose infant son had a skull fracture and this scared the hell out of said actress. It was hard when FP was born and we sat, terrified and gobsmacked, waiting for the next doctor/nurse/therapist/specialist/witchdoctor/priest to come around and spout an entire medical text of jargon and scary what ifs and what could bes at us, and we were expecting terrible news due to her birth injury. And I grew up with disabled siblings so I never had to have that heart broken "but it only happens to other people" moment.  I can only imagine what it's what like for a parent whose trauma literally comes out of nowhere. There must be something we can do to help a bit more for the parent first stumbling down this road.
                  Soooooo, I got up this morning and looked at my safety pin on my coat and had a thought.   I know there a million therapy groups and online sites and facebook groups.  But I was never one for too many group anythings. (Honestly I was always a Wednesday Addams in a world of normals...) Isn't there something we can all do, like a safety pin but different, to let the next parent just falling out of bed and stumbling down this road know we are least good for a few pieces of advice, a cup of coffee or at least a safe ear to spout at???  Something that's totally informal and simply says, "We've been where you are and it's cool to approach us."  What do you think? Any ideas?

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Holidaze, take one

               Okies now, so I totally have not been pouting and worrying about the election (Fascism can be fun!) and I certainly have not been procrastinating, like, at all. I swear.   It's mostly that we have just been crazy busy.  Dragging Feisty Pants to sleep studies, and doctors appointments.  ( The latest cold has turned into three doctor's appointments and two rounds of antibiotics.)    Then there is Christmas gifts to make and buy.  Cookies and baking and all those fun chemistry accidents we like to call cooking around here.  And real live snow days with snow and everything. And planning a trip to my folks. And beginning arrangements for the next trip to Philly for the next round of tests for Feisty Pants' upcoming scoli surgery.  And Feisty Pants has discovered her no longer hidden talent for talking smack so we all have to drop everything and watch football so she describe the game to us.  ("Look at da score Goo- you LOSIN'!!!")  And a few Christmas parties already.  And, yes, right on cue someone did throw up and end up in an ER- so it is officially the holidays now!
               So, before we get too frenzied, or too fed up and actually start the revolution, I thought would take a moment and make a post or two about something normal like being a parent or fun things for kids to make for the holidays.  In no particular order- here a few fun crafts to make with the kids.  They are fun and cute and just might make good gifts for the grandparents or aunties or whoever is still left to cross off the list.
1) Sugar hand scrub-  you will need  a small fancy jar  about 8 oz (mason or otherwise), 3/4 cup (or so) sugar, 1/4 cup olive oil, enough liquid soap to fill jar (I would use liquid castile -think Dr. Bronners, but really any would do) Essential oil in any scent you like (optional)
Pour the sugar into the jar. Add the olive oil. Stir carefully.  Top off with liquid soap. Add 15 to 20 drops essential oil.   Stir again.   Add a cute tag and ribbon.  Easy peasy- and very charming.
2) Peppermint ornaments-  you will need peppermint candies, alumnium foil,  ornament hooks or paperclips, ribbon or twine.  (This one needs adult supervision- or a dad- either way)
    Line a cookie sheet with foil.  Unwrap candies and place close together in a design you like (stars, flowers, wreath, homunculus glob, whatevs).
Bake at 325 degrees for about five minutes (maybe longer but start checking on them then)  When the candies have melted together but still mostly retain their shape., it's time to take them out.   Allow to cool.  While still soft (here comes the really adult part) insert the hook partially into the candy to form a hook or loop from which to hang.  Hang with the ribbon or twine when totally cooled.  Looks adorable.  Smells like Christmas!
3)Bubble bath paint- you will need an empty paint container (like the kind you get in a kids art set) or small empty jars (baby food jars might work),castile soap (or clear baby shampoo), cornstarch, food coloring.
  Note- there's not a lot measuring here.  It all depends on much you make, so start slow and eyeball it.
         Place the soap in a mixing dish- (enough for all the colors) Add cornstarch about a TBS at a time and stir very well.  When it feels like the right texture for paint(think craft paint) you're done.  Place into individual containers and stir in food coloring until you get the color you want.  
         Happy crafting!


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

French Fries

          Soooo, here I sit in one of the Ronald  MacDonald Houses of Philadelphia.  There are four in the greater Philly area.  We have stayed in three so far.   They are truly a hallmark of civilized society.  Being sent to a far away hospital is never fun, even when it's merely for testing like this. It is an amazing comfort to find a real bed in a quiet, safe place after a chaotic, stress filled hospital day. Every time I think Micky D's  is an awful fat filled institution, I remember the RM Houses and stick a damn french fry in my mouth and shut my fry hole. Anytime you want to feel truly noble, donate your time or even some money to a such a place. Even if you never hear it,  I guarantee some tired, stressed out family will be singing your praises.
          Goo and I brought Feisty Pants down to St Christopher's to see a pulmonologist and get pulmonary clearance for her upcoming scoliosis surgery. (We have several clearance hurdles to cross.) Getting said clearance involves getting a sleep study done.  We have been down this road three times before.  It's a twelve hour test. We are lucky if we make to hour eight because Feisty Pants is called Feisty Pants for a reason. She is very. well, feisty .  She usually spends her time during a sleep study by continually ripping off all  the leads and throwing them at us.  While proclaiming to all and sundry how much she disapproves of sleep studies.   I did the last three.  This time it's Goo's turn.  (They usually only let one parent stay for the test.)  So here I sit by myself in RMH.  It's weird to be myself, ever.   Goo suspects I am partying it up, reveling in the aloneness.  In truth, I find myself  at a loose end and bored with my own company.  If I were at home, I could clean and finish my gazillion emails, or at least play with the dog and pretend to clean, but here I guess I will write a few posts and, I hope, catch up on my sleep. But the enforced idleness makes me a bit anxious.  In truth, I spend so much time being Feisty Pants' mom first and foremost, that I don't really know how to deal with myself when I am not.

Sent via the Samsung GALAXY S® 5, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

W. T. F.

                    I wanted to make this post about the loveliness of November.  I even had it half written. I wrote about how the end of daylight savings makes me happy.  I wrote about how wet, windy, dismal weather is one of my happy places.  I wrote about how November is one the Universe's grand in between times that gives solace and refreshes the spirit of a tired, busy soul.  I wanted to wax rhapsodic about how the closing in of cold weather makes us all appreciate our loved ones more and naturally draws us all closer together.   But I can't, because somehow there is a CANCER IN THE AMERICAN SOUL AND WTF IS WRONG WITH US?!?!? 
                      Why the hell did we go and elect Mussolini 2.0?!?    This isn't a conservative/liberal argument.   There were plenty of conservatives to pick from.  We could have gone with any of them.   They had experience and education and all the hard ass bonafides (defund Planned Parenthood, no to the Dream act, lower taxes, etc. ) that any right wing pundit could love.   This isn't an antiestablishment argument.   Bernie Sanders was right there in the wings allowing any person with a populist bent to Feel the Bern and stick to the man- with grace and dignity and class.   Why the hell did we go for the a-hole who is a bully and anti-female, anti-immigrant, classist, and racist, and frankly, tacky besides?  At best, he is a bullying narcissist.   Quite possibly he is in the pay of foreign goverments. Quite definitely he is a thin skinned con artist.
                       And why, dear reader, you may ask am I harping on this in a blog about raising a disabled child??  Because of this- my child is among the most vulnerable in society.   People think that the disabled are not preyed upon by so called good people, but they are . EVERY DAY.  It happens when some jerk acts like my kid doesn't need the accommodations that he refers to as"special privileges".  It happens when some supposedly respectable citizen complains that they shouldn't have to pay taxes to "take care of her" as if they don't benefit from taxes I pay every day.   It happens when some bureaucrat tells me they cannot pay for necessary medications or doctors because there is not enough money in the budget meanwhile cutting taxes AGAIN for some wealthy a-hole.  
                       Most of all, it happens when the evil starts creeping in, slowly at first, when those in charge start muttering about the "takers" in society.   When supposedly decent human beings talk about "those people who just aren't like us".  When people continually confuse obedience with morals or ethics.  Or confuse flag waving with real honest patriotism.    If it is not stopped, it ends with discrimination becoming legal.  With those in need first starved financially of needed services.  Then just starved period.  All while supposedly "good citizens" turn a blind eye and a cold heart.

                        It may not come to this.  I hope it doesn't.  But it so easily could.  I am scared.  I am very angry.  And make no mistake.  To quote the Texas republican, "There is no honor in being a good Nazi." I am scared that not only is my child's way of life at stake. I am scared her very life could be at stake.   This is my CHILD. I will go down swinging.  The zombies are rising. I am tripping everybody.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

For Hot Pants on her birthday

        Originally, I wanted to make this post another fun Nerdoween craft post.  That one will be next time, I promise. I think.  (It's totally adorable if you believe me.)  Instead, I have decided to make this about Feisty Pants' nurse, Hot Pants.  It's her, umm, er,  29th birthday, give or take a few years, and I thought I would say what she means to us. So, Hot Pants, this is for you.
        Thank you, for all you do for her.  For taking Feisty Pants to school so she can get an education.  Thank you for taking her to school so she can get her therapies.  For taking her to school so she can make friends.  And scheme to hold a boy's hand.  And flirt with all the older boys.  Thank you for helping her to get her hair done so she can show us what a bad ass 13 year old she is with her multicolored mohawk.   Thank you for helping her paint her nails and go the salt sanctuary at the spa so she can enjoy being totally high maintenance. And taking her to the circus. And letting her get eaten by a dinosaur.  Thank you for  being a good nurse so I don't worry while you two are off gallivanting around doing all these things and so much more besides.
           I know, you're going to laugh this off and say, "Hey, it's cool. I'm getting paid."    But what you do isn't just getting Feisty Pants to school or getting her some much needed social enrichment.   What you are doing is showing my severely disabled child that having a rich, full, socially active life isn't just possible for her, it's downright normal.    I grew up with disabled siblings back when parents still had to sue just to get them into school.  You are showing my child that Monday means spa day.  And that school's are not just for education, but also girl talk and boyfriends and hairdos.   Just like every other frigging thirteen year old girl on the planet.  That is more precious than rubies and all the money in the world.  I would wish for you to win the lottery but then I am afraid you would retire.  So instead I will wish that you always find working with Feisty Pants fulfilling and working with her parents not too much of a pain in the ass. Thank you so much.
Happy 29th birthday!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Nerdoween, take one

                               Around here, we adore Halloween.   It really is the perfect holiday. There are no obligatory gifts or enforced closeness.  Don't get me wrong, I actually like giving gifts and seeing my favorite characters at the lunatic asylum, um er, I mean my family.  I just don't relish being told I have to.   You can be as social, or not, as you like for Halloween.  And we seem almost like a normal family. (Mwahaha)  Plus the Universe has seen fit to go ahead and do most of the decorating for you.  The leaves are beautiful.  The air smells fantastic.  There is the right amount of spooky chilliness in the air. Plus, chocolate, duh.  And pumpkins.  And cider. And every Halloween that Feisty Pants is not hospitalized is like Christmas and my birthday, anyway.   Then just when it cannot get any better, throw in ghost stories and nerdy cosplay.  
                      So, before Goo finds me passed out in the yard due to sugar intoxication, wearing one knock off ugg boot and a chunky sweater I stole from him and surrounded by empty psl cups from Starbucks, I figured FP and I ought throw a few posts together  about fun Halloween type crafts.   Hopefully I'll detox and be out of nerdoween rehab in time for the Christmas cookie binge.  In the meantime, have fun doing these crafts with your kiddos and pretending you're only doing it to be a good parent and not because its fun.
1) Handprint ghosts- you will need: Black paper, white paint, stick on googly eyes.
 Have the kids stick hands and/or feet in white paint and stamp onto black paper.  When dry, turn upside down (so toes or fingers are at bottom) and add googly eyes.  These are fun and adorable.  You could even make a bunch and clothespin to twine for a homemade spooky garland.
2) Pumpkin party favors- you will need: squares of orange tissue (or any thin) paper, green florist or washi tape, candy such as m and m's, candy corn, nuts, trail mix, etc.
Take a small(ish) square of orange paper (4 or 5 inches per side), place a handful of candy in center, gather up the corners and twist into a small ball  with a stem.  Wrap the tape around the top for a stem - this should hold it together.   You could even CAREFULLY draw a face on with a sharpie.
3) What would Halloween be without fun jack-o-lanterns???
 Find lots of amazing patterns here: