Friday, March 27, 2015

Three more hops towards Easter

       Well, the weekend is here.  If you are reading this as soon as I post it, there is a free Epix weekend for this weekend.  That might keep the kinderla entertained for a little bit.  If you don't, or are wondering what to do other than allow the little ones to become zombified by the tv perhaps the next three Easter themed crafts can help while away the time until Peter Cottontail brings the annual sugar rush express back into our lives to celebrate spring.  I have tried to keep  it organized by age again.  I am trying to be more organized in general.  (What? It beats actually cleaning or being neat in real life.  Besides, this counts as organized. It does too.)
1)Wooly Lambs Garland- (preschoolers with some help- glue)
You will need paper plates (or stiff paper), cotton balls, some dark paint or crayons, glue, one long strip of paper or string or ribbon.
Remember those Thanksgiving turkeys you made with a traced handprint?  Same idea.  Have the kiddoes trace their hands and carefully cut them out.  Turn upside down, and voila! a sheep template. Color the four fingers dark (for the legs).  The thumb is the lamb's face. Help them glue cotton balls to the sheep's body and now you have fluffy lambs.  Glue to the string in a row and you have an adorable Easter garland.

2)Peep Wreath (elementary age - especially if you use a glue gun)
You will need- wreath form (twig, styrofoam, even one cut out of cardboard would work), ribbon (in a pretty color.) Several boxes of peeps, glue dots or glue gun.
Make (obtain) a wreath form.  Basically any circle will do, make one out of twigs, buy one at a dollar store, cut one out of cardboard.  Wrap the wreath in a pretty colored ribbon and glue the ends down.  Then simple glue the Peeps to one side of the wreath (think like paper dolls standing hand to hand.) Cute and those suckers last forever.

3)Giant Peep (older kids only with this one)
You will need big piece of styrofoam or florist foam, ribbon, spray paint (or craft paint), Sharpie marker.
Get a big piece of styrofoam or florist foam.  Draw a large Peep rabbit shape.  Carve out with a bread knife (I did say older kids) Spray (or paint) in a bright Easter color.  Draw on two black dots for the eyes and give it a smile (with the sharpie).  Tie the ribbon around its neck.  This is a great one for right inside the entryway.:)



Monday, March 23, 2015

AHHHH Spring

             I'm sure you read that title up there as "Ahhh (contented sigh) Spring".  You would be wrong. Read that as AHHHHHHHH (frightened gasp) Spring.  (Or, alternatively, as ahhh(choo) spring - that works around here too.)   A long, somewhat blissful winter, followed by what seemed like an eon in the hospital has thrown me off my game and I haven't quite gotten back into the swing of things.  And now, holy cannoli, Batman, I have just found out that Feisty Pants' Easter break is the week BEFORE Easter.  (WHAAAAAATTTTT??  Whoever decided that has obviously never had to come back from Grandma's for Easter before.  I bet a lot of kids don't make into school the Monday after.) So, now I am scrambling what do with FP next week when she is bored and it will probably be too cold to hang out outside for long periods of time.
          So, to that end. I have been scouring the interwebs for easy Easter crafts.  I am going to try make the next few posts about that.  I have decided to try to post them for different age groups too.   ('Cause I'm just so darn helpful, you see. You're welcome!)  Here are the first three ideas.  Hope they keep your feisty ones busy and happy too.

1) For the pre-school set (Although, don't lie, you will totally play with these too.)-
Funny Bunny Masks:
 You will need craft sticks (popsicle sticks, tongue depressors, or the ilk), pipe cleaners (either 3 or 6 for each mask) and pompoms (one for each), glue.
Simply twist the pipe cleaners into bunny whiskers (three twisted in the middle or six twisted at the end, depending on how long you want them to be.)
Glue a pompom to one end of the craft stick. 
Glue the whiskers (at the middle where they join) right underneath the pompom.
Voila, instant bunny face. 
Points if you wear them at Easter Dinner.  Bonus points if you go out for Easter dinner.

2)Grade schoolers-
 Sock Bunnies:
  You will need colorful socks, rice, ribbon, rubber bands (two for each bunny) sharpie markers, pompom (optional) scissors.
Simply take colorful socks. (You KNOW you have tons of odd socks.)  Fill up to the heel with rice. Secure shut with a rubber band. Add a second rubber band two thirds of the way up the filled part and tie over rubber band with ribbon.  (This makes the body and the head.)  Cut the top into two parts for the ears.  You can be as simple or as creative as you want here.  Draw on a face and tail with sharpies. (A little pompom would make a totes adorable tail.)

3)Older kids (all ages with an older one's help, really)
   Candy Terrarium:
   You will need: small jars, easter grass, ribbon, small candy figures such as small chocolate bunnies, peeps, etc.,  Perhaps paint or labels, if you really want to go all Martha Stewart on this.
Place a little Easter grass in the bottom of the jar. You could paint something spring like on the outside beforehand if you like.  Add some colorful candies- jellybeans, m and m's or the like,.  Place one candy figure- a small chocolate  bunny, a single peep, etc.  Place lid on jar.  If you add a ribbon and label for each dinner guest, these would make cute place cards.  (We just throw the food on the floor here and make them all wrestle for it.)

Monday, March 16, 2015

Hey Honey

            So now that we have survived the flupocalyopse of 2015, I came across about a billion articles on how honey can beat a flu shot.  (My first thought was "Great! NOW they tell me...")  Seriously, though, I don't know if that's true or not.  I am definitely the opposite of an anti-vaxxer.  (I would give Feisty Pants a prostate cancer vaccine)  But in the interest of "Hey whatever works", I've looked up some decent honey remedies and am presenting the most interesting ones here.  Honey is naturally antibacterial and antifungal, so it could work. I am a firm believer in throw everything at the kids and see what sticks.  If they don't work for you, well, at least we all have learned something, and it's made with honey so it will be a tasty failure.  Btw- These are not for babies, little tummies under a year cannot always handle honey.  There is sometimes a bit of botulism in honey.  Not enough to make a kid or grown up sick but the very little guys should stay clear.

 Honey Immune booster-
1 fresh lemon- juiced
3-5 cloves crushed garlic
3/4 teaspoon grated ginger
pinch cayenne
pinch turmeric
1 TBS honey (raw is best)
Add ingredients to 1 cup water.  Mix well, makes about a cup of juice.  Take daily for flu.

 Honey/Cinnamon Paste- (sore throat/coughs)
1 Tsp Honey
1/2 Tsp Cinnamon
Mix to form paste.  Take two to three times a day for sore throat and coughs. (Man, I wish I knew this one when Hippie Pants was little.  Giving her medicine was like feeding poison to a tasmanian devil when she was a toddler.)

Raw Honey (insomnia/allergies)
2 tsp of raw LOCAL honey
That's it- just make it local and raw and swallow before bedtime.  taken over time it is said to help with allergies and insomnia.

You can also add honey to your bath (1/4 to 1/2 cup) to moisturize skin.  You can slather some on scrapes and cuts to stave off infection and help skin heal faster.  You can even mix some honey and lemon juice into yogurt, and when you get bored eating it, apply the rest to your face for a rejuvenating mask. (Just leave on for ten minutes and then rinse.)

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Can't we just hit the snooze button?

           Well, I am feeling quite cranky today.  I shouldn't be, but I am.  I should be really zen right now.   We are home safe and sound from the hospital. Feisty Pants is getting feistier by the day.  The house is slowly coming back into some semblance of order. We always rip it apart when we get transferred out of town.  I can pack efficiently and quickly OR I can do it neatly.  Take your pick.  And then we wreck it again when we get home by unpacking.  We are getting all the crazy stuff done that we have to do to get FP's life back into shape.   Restarting  routines, restarting standing appointments, getting the medication regimen back on track.   Filling out all the "Why, yes, she can go back to school, therapies, life" paperwork.  Notifying all the very patient care givers in Feisty Pants' life to put her back on all their schedules.   It's a minor pain, but not an unhappy chore.  It means things are going right for the moment.  We are even oh so slowly catching our collective breath and not feeling like we have to stare at her every single effing second.  And she has only pulled her g-tube once since we have been home.  (That is a good record for a bored FP . She is having a little mercy on us.)
            She even found her birthday cake flavored birthday cake mix at the store for her small b-day dinner tomorrow. (The big grandparents/birthday/shopping/pizzapalooza weekend comes later in between both girls' birthdays) And it is too birthday cake flavored.  It says birthday cake right on the box where other boxes say vanilla or devil's food. 
            So all in all, this week has turned out to be pretty good.  We are all home.  My kid is well and truly on the mend.  We have caught up on most of the stuff around here.  So, why then do I feel cranky?  I would like to tell you why.  A little bit is leftover stress.  Sort of an emotional detox from all the worry when she was sick.  The flu sucks when you are a typical healthy person.  It is DANGEROUS when you have health issues.  She was sicker than we have seen her in a long time.  This will simply take a while to work its way out of our systems.  But that we are used to.  The thing that really getting on my last nerve is frigging Daylight Savings Time.  I hate it. Sleep deprivation is a constant companion when you have a disabled kid.    A hospital stay really ups the ante on sleep loss too.   And now, just as we have the chance to get back to the insanity that passes for normal around here, society wants to take away that most precious of commodities, a whole frigging hour of sleep.  And for no real good reason.  It does not save energy.  We are no longer fighting the Kaiser.  Why do we continue this silly farce?  I think some like it simply because it reminds them summer is coming.  I don't want to be reminded that my favorite time of year is almost over. You people all run around acting like losing sleep is worth it.  It's not. I just want to hit the snooze button and have a few more weeks of starlit bliss. Daylight savings  is awful, terrible, no good, and mean.  It is the drunk who picks a fight at the party.  It is a toddler with chicken pox having a temper tantrum.  It is an EMPTY coffee maker. It is a cold sore on prom night. It bites. I hate it. And the next person who says, "Isn't this nice? It's light later now" is getting a giant wedgie. You have all been warned.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Digging Deep

       So I haven't posted in a bit. Sorry. I am sure you all wait with baited breath for these posts.  After all, I'm sure they are the central reason for your very existence.  (I can hear those eye rolls.)  But, alas it has truly been a roller coaster ride this hospital stay.   First, it turned to be the flu.  (Sorry if we exposed any of you.)  The flu with a secondary pneumonia meant two antibiotics, one steroid, one antiviral,  and a partridge in a pear tree.  The meds, when added to sick little kid with an already stressed out body, led to severe gastritis and an abdominal bleed.   Which led to a severe anemia.  And a freaked out pediatrician.  And two units of blood.  And one triple lumen cath in her groin.  And an ambulance ride to another city, another hospital.  Which I am severely pissed about.  (I don't think this hospital is the right place for her.)
        But here we sit, well into week two of our hospital stay.  Her lungs are healing (yayyyyy).  Her hemoglobin count is on the rise (double yayyyyy).  They will run a few tests tomorrow to make sure it was just gastritis. If she can only just stop randomly popping a temp, we may go home soon.
            And here, right here, is one of the everyday realities of being the parent of a disabled kid.  Feisty Pants is awesome and fun, like any kid.  What she isn't and never will be, is predictable. We never know when the next cold will led to a ventilator.  Or when the cure for the illness will be harder than the illness itself. Or when she will simply react to an illness in bizarre  and colorful ways.  As a parent, you must dig down and get tough enough to withstand this.  Trust me though, you got this.  You can do this.  If you need any inspiration after all, just look at the toughest human being you know, the one right there in the hospital bed.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Something else for a change.

              Well, we have had a heck of a week.  We thought it was going to be a blissfully boring week off from school.  It turned into the flu,  an asthma attack and, SIGH, yet another hospital stay.  So perhaps to stave off the bad karma of whining about a lack of sleep and tv and good coffee, and an excess of cabs and work; I should spend a few minutes simply being grateful.
              So to that end, thanks Universe. Thank you for letting us live near a good hospital so we didn't have travel for hours to get Feisty Pants medical help. Thank you that we did not have to call an ambulance.  Thank you also for not having us shipped to Timbuktu.  It's hard enough when she is across town, let alone across the state.  Thanks for having a genius respiratory therapist working when did show up at the ER in the wee hours of the morning.  His expertise and dedication is the sole reason we were able to stay here and not be shipped out as if Feisty Pants was the medical equivalent of a hot potato. (Thanks Bill!)  Thanks Lourdes Women's and Children's ward for putting up with all our annoying requests and endless sucking down of your coffee and most of all for your excellent care of our youngest child.
             Thank you, Feisty Pants, for being cool and awesome even though you don't feel well and we are totally getting on your last nerve.   And for trying really hard to find a way to communicate with the doctors and nurses.  And especially thank you for not slugging anyone too often even though we often literally a pain to you.
              Huh, whaddya know?  I do feel better. And as I type this, FP is sleeping semi peacefully.  There really is some magic in gratitude. So I will end before I can start to whine again. Thank you all for reading this.

Friday, February 20, 2015

In Which Feisty Pants is Fed UP

             Feisty Pants is not not not enjoying her vacation from school this week.  It was bad enough that we did not agree to her oh so reasonable requests for a cannon and some pleather.  It was bad enough that Goo, whom she thought she could trust, had the gall to get a tummy bug and give it to her.  It was even worse that I, Queen Buzzkill  the Unreasonable, made her go the hospital when she developed a secondary infection and had trouble breathing thus forcing her to undergo poking and prodding and icky breathing treatments from people who are all mean and surely have cooties.  We have now crossed the line beyond all hope.   When the doctor, in a moment of rare niceness for an old fart (she must be nearly -gasp -THIRTYFIVE), asked her if there was anything she could do to make Feisty Pants more comfortable, we Mr and Mrs Buzzkill Horriblepants, interfered and said no.   Well, technically FP said "Yes, go get Alfie."  The doctor heard that as, "Go get ELF". She replied,"Well, I think maybe I could. Is that a toy?"   We, the evil ones, said,  "No, she means she wants her dog (a pit bull mix), ALFIE"   And now we have ruined EVERYTHING!  They would too have let her bring Cheweverything Pants to stay with her in the hospital and we suck and ruined it.  She is completely fed up with us.  FP wants no more of our nonsense, thankyouverymuch, and is not speaking to us.  We know this because she has told us so about half a dozen times.   She even told on us to Grandma, who oh so sweetly replied that she would try to think of a way to let Cheweverything Pants come visit Feisty Pants and I should be ashamed of myself. My mother is soooo helpful with the kids.
              Feisty Pants is also completely fed up with the medical profession as a whole.  Doctors are mean.  Nurses are all out to get her. The respiratory therapists are nightmare inducing as far as she is concerned.  Why, when she carefully explained that her IV was annoying they all refused to take it out.  She was forced to do it herself. TWICE. And then, when she nicely had done their work for them, they just put another IV back in. They did not even say thank you. FP has no idea how we all live with ourselves.  Don't even bring up the blood pressure cuff.  That is not a medical instrument, it is a device solely designed to torture kids and she is not fooled one bit by our lies.
              Worst of all, it is supposed to snow again this weekend.  Just when she had discovered the wondrous joy that is sledding, we decide to get all evil on her and she is going to miss the best part.  And no, it is NOT too cold for her.  She is certain we are making up more lies to be mean.  Wind chills are something made up by old people who don't want to pull deserving children up hills.  How she will ever live with such horrible family members is almost beyond her reasoning.  Feisty Pants just must take comfort in the act that one day she will have her vengeance. As soon as she gets some pleather and a cannon.