Sunday, August 28, 2016

Let's Talk About Something Gross: How to Deal with the Stomach Bug

Okay guys. Your kid wakes up in the middle of the night and says, "Mommy, I threw up!" Gross. It's every mom's worst nightmare. If you tell me that you like dealing with the stomach bug, I will call you a liar. To your face. (With love, of course!)

We've dealt with our fair share of vomit and diarrhea in our house, so I've perfected my method of dealing with the terror of the stomach bug. (We've also dealt with cyclic vomiting in the past...a terrible thing for a child to have, but on the bright side of that, it doesn't typically spread through the house like a virus does.)

I wanna share with y'all the grossest info you hope you'll never need. How to survive at night when your kid has a tummy bug or cyclic vomiting. Stop reading now if you're faint of heart. 

1. Invest now in a good mattress protector to go under the sheets, BEFORE the bug hits. Preferably 2 if you can afford it. But trust me on this. If you can't afford 2, get puppy potty pads or the next time you have a baby ask for some extra mattress protectors for yourself when you go home. You won't need them but they come in handy in the middle of the night when you need to strip and remake a bed.
2. Have at least two sets of sheets for your child's bed.
3. In the event your child throws up or has diarrhea in his/her bed, put them straight in the bath or on the toilet if needed. A warm bath is what all my kids want after they've thrown up.
4. Strip the bed, the mattress protector has saved your life. You're welcome.
5. Take the soiled sheets and mattress protector outside and leave it til morning. Trust me. The last thing you want to do at 3am is deal with cleaning soiled sheets.
6. Check on your child.
7. Grab your favorite all natural, disinfecting cleaner. (I prefer Young Living Thieves want something to disinfect, but since you're using it on or around where your child sleeps, you don't want to use a harsh chemical like bleach or Lysol.) Grab an old rag or paper towels. (Paper towels NOT recommended for carpet cleaning.)
8. Clean any spots on the bed or carpet that weren't protected by the sheets.
9. Throw those dirty rags in the washing machine (or outside with the soiled sheets, but we usually do one load that night of stuff that's contaminated but not heavily soiled.) Whatever you do, don't just throw it in the dirty laundry with the other clothes...don't contaminate everything! It's almost as if I can SEE the germs jumping from the dirty rags onto everything else I own.
10. Wash your hands. I repeat. WASH YOUR HANDS!  Oh, and check on your child.
11. Redress the bed. Remember to somehow protect the mattress (pads or protector). I put the pads under the sheets, then they don't bother him or crinkle under him. If you don't have another blanket to use, beach towels make great covers.
12. Lay towels or pads or something down beside the bed, along with a trash can or bucket or bowl for more throw up and spill over. My current favorite vomit catcher is a laundry basket lined with a garbage's huge and catches a lot. Make a clear path to the bathroom if there isn't one already; we usually have blocks or army men or something in the way.
13. Get your child out of the tub and redressed. Tell them how important it is to lean over and throw up in the can if possible. I tell mine to listen to his body: if you wake with a tummy ache, run to the toilet or lean over because you'll probably throw up. Don't wait. Listen to your body. 
13a. This goes along with listening to your body. This is imperative for any potty trained child to comprehend: DON'T. TRUST. A. FART. Get up and go to the bathroom. Yes I actually tell my children that.
14. Tuck him in and kiss him goodnight and pray for no more vomit or diarrhea on your watch.
15. The next day, you'll want to clean the sheets. The easiest way to do this is to lay them on the driveway or grass and hose them off. By now the throw up and poop will be dry and just flake right off. Then you can grab a dirty towel and wrap them up and carry them to the wash (so they don't drip all through the house.) 
16. When you regain energy the next day, begin disinfecting the house. Door knobs, laundry baskets, bathtubs, toilets, beds...anything that may have been soiled. 

Optional, but also very important, things to do:
** if you have Young Living Essential Oils, diffuse Thieves and Purification. Kills germs and smells together. And believe me, the room will stink. Matches also cut smells, but not as well as oils. Get some oils. And please, please, please trust me on this -- Febreze and throw up don't will make your child feel even sicker.
** if you're able, diffuse thieves, oregano, and purification in all the rooms, and make a mix (in a bowl or roller bottle, diluted for the kids) of those 3 oils to put on EVERYone's feet in the house.
** after the mattress protector is clean, put it back on the bed if you don't have a second one. Save those pads we talked about in step 1 for later if they weren't soiled.

Well, there you have it, friends. I hope you never need this information, but if you have children and you send them to school or take them with you to the grocery store or go to church or ever step foot out of your house ever, you likely will need it. Tuck it away, and I hope it helps you. Maybe you won't have this problem so often that you develop your own system. But if you do, please share any tips I've left out. 

P.S. I hate the stomach bug. 

Friday, April 15, 2016

Potty training Easton

I will have to go back and update days one and two later. I intended to post this as a status to FaceBook, but it just got too long.

 Potty diaries, Day 5. I know some could not care less, carry on.

On day 3, after cleaning up two very runny stool messes (one actually happened at the Y, sorry my friends!) I decided to give up and put a diaper back on Easton. He must be too young for this, I thought. We didn't wrestle anymore over the potty that day, but he still TT'd on it before bed and kept a dry diaper the rest of the day.

Day 4, Thursday, he wakes up and says no to the potty, but Carson convinced him to give it a go. (Score for big brothers!!) I could tell he had to poop, but we didn't have time to sit and convince him to go since I had to get the bigs to school. Since I had already given up in my head, I just put a diaper on him and got in the car to go. In carline that morning, Easton starts squirming and crying like he's trying not to poop in his diaper. It was pitiful. I told him to let it go and he kept saying "ow, ow!" Like he was hurting. I figured he was just "going" and didn't like it. Even though I had given up, I made my way to Walmart and bought two new potty seats, a cute baseball one and a small on that sits on the floor...thinking maybe they'd entice him to sit some more and try.

When he and I got home, his diaper was surprisingly dry! So since it was just him and me, we decided to park his rear end on the potty, and the new potty chair worked. He went TT straight away. SUCCESS!! We resolved to give big boy underpants another go. Wrong choice. Shortly after that he got a little runny poop in his underwear. So, so, SO gross. After I cleaned it all up and put a diaper back on him, he starts crying and saying he needs to go again. We parked on the potty yet again, this time fully intending to stay until he was done. We sang songs, read books, ate LOTS of snacks, drank some juice, and stayed there for a solid hour. There was finally a little success, but it's basically straight diarrhea. (Sorry, so gross, tmi!) He cried when he pooped on the potty, he cries when he has a diaper on, so we're in a catch 22.

The bright side is this: even though he's had a diaper on, he still takes it off to TT every time he needs to! YAY!! The downside is this: I'm potty training a kid with diarrhea. YUCK!
So if you see us out and about and see a diaper on Easton, you'll know why. I'm pretty sure I messed his system up royally with all the juice we drank on day 1. He's used to water only, and that day we drank SO many Capri suns. Even though they were the roaring waters version, they still have WAY more sugar than he is used to.

Day 5, he has on a diaper, just in case we have another runny day, but he has successfully TT'd on the pot already. I *think* he has that part down. If you can't tell by now, I have very little patience, but I'm so thankful this method of potty training worked for us once again!! Whew! Mama needs a nap!

An update on my mental health through this process: I have cried, napped a LOT, questioned my mothering abilities, wanted to walk away, been really short and snappy with those I love most, and MIA from friends and family. Thanks for sticking by me and supporting me and listening to me whine and complain and encouraging me to push through it!! I've only gone through 2 bottles of wine and devoured one whole cake by myself. Now time to get back to the gym!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Big change

Sometimes life is boring and monotonous. And sometimes you just need to mix it up and make it feel crazy and new again. I needed a change of pace…I was craving it and longing for it and crying for it. When you're a stay at mom of 3, life gets HARD and change doesn't always come easily. You can't change the husband, the house, the kids, the job. You can't change much about your appearance either. Except -- HAIR.

So, that's what I did. I went drastic. I loved my long hair. But it became a hassle! An inconvenience and most days I just threw it in a pony tail. Even when I fixed it, it was in a pony tail after an hour.

I went big. Go big or go home, that's what they say, right? I understand that some won't like my decision. But it's still MY hair. :) I'm glad I did it and am liking the change so far. If you don't like it, I'll kindly ask you to just smile and move on. With respect, of course. Because the negative comments really do hurt. FYI.

Okay. The before:


 Look at all that HAIR!!!

The finished product!

 Woke up like this!

All in all, it's a HUGE adjustment seeing this in the mirror. But so far I'm loving it! 

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Home Renovations

We have been in our beautiful new home now for almost 18 months. It's easy for me to remember that because we moved in on March 21-23 and had Easton March 24. I can't decide if that was the best or worst decision for how and when to move…on the upside, I didn't have to help; on the downside, I didn't get to help. Ha! 

We purchased what is considered a "cookie cutter" home. It has taken over a year, but we are finally starting to make it our own. Some things we have already done are add a backsplash to the kitchen, and add some bead board under the bar. Here are some pictures of the backsplash: 

The completed look.
I did most of the work on this one. 

Of course we've done little things like get some fun furniture: 

My favorite space. 

And paint some furniture, too. 
This was a piece rebuilt and refurbished by my mom -- very special and sentimental to me…so rather than just discard it, I gave it a makeover!

But making this place OURS has definitely been a slow moving process. Marc and I are both very impulsive. The projects pictured above all came about after one of us mentioned in passing that we wanted them to happen, we decided to go to the store "just to look and check out prices" and then we upped and decided to start them THAT DAY. Ha! 
So it was no different for the actual projects that inspired this blog post. (Nevermind that I haven't blogged in 8 months. ;) ) A sweet friend of mine, Jen, texted me a picture of her "mudroom" that her step-father had built for her. It was pretty much EXACTLY what I wanted, only I wanted mine to be a permanent fixture that looked like it came with the house. So I pulled out the graph paper and drew a picture of what I wanted. 
I proposed my idea to Marc, and he thought I was crazy. I suggested we sell this piece that we had bought to go in that space that just wasn't working well, and use that money to pay for the project. He took the bait. ;) 
So we went to the store and got bead board, a window sill ledge (for the top shelf), a piece of crown molding to go under that, another piece of baseboard molding to go under that, and 4 pieces of white wood that were 7"x1"x8', and caulk. We decided to start at the bottom and work our way up. The cubbies at the bottom were the most difficult part, but we pieced them together with the long pieces of wood. When we cut the bench for the top, there was a large gap at the back, so we opted to get another piece of wood (10"x1"x8') for the bench, and cut it down to size. 

(Click the images to enlarge)

The final product!! It was lots of work and took a couple days to finish. We are in love with how it turned out! 

While we were in the middle of this project, my bestie Paige tagged me in a post on Facebook about a pallet wall to spruce up a small half bath. Turns out, just opposite this particular mudroom wall, there's a super plain-Jane half bath. The idea she posted was just a bit rustic for me. So I went to Pinterest and started searching. What I found had the same adorable vibe, but with a more clean-cut approach. Here are the two ideas:

I followed the instructions on the Pinned post (on the right) and went to Lowe's and got some untreated furring wood. They used 1x4s but when I got to looking at the wood, I reeeeally liked the look of the thinner pieces. So we went with 1x2s instead. We measured our wall (9'x3'1.5") and mathematically decided how much wood we'd need (36 pieces). Then we picked out 2 colors of stain that I thought I would like. We also decided to paint the bathroom, so we chose a look/color and ran with it. I wasn't sure how it would all come together, but it's PERFECT! 

Furring wood has lots of imperfections, which makes for a perfectly imperfect pallet wall. Using two cans of stain, we made several gorgeous pieces of wood, and no two pieces were the same. Some we would paint very heavy, some were shiny, some were very "furred", some look weathered because we just used the tiny amount left over from the brush from the piece before. We mixed the colors some and layered in others. At first, I really thought the green stain we chose was TOO green…and the blue wall we had painted was a lot more blue than I anticipated. But once they were paired together, they coordinate so beautifully! 

The hardest part was piecing the puzzle together so that it looked totally random. I didn't want any patterns or anything too repetitive. I'm pretty random, and that's how I wanted this wall to be. :) 
I still feel like it needs something…some kind of decoration for the space. Marc disagrees, but it can't stay super plain in there. The wall is too pretty for plain. Any suggestions? This was a super easy 2-day project. So, do you think you will try it as well? 

Both of these projects together cost maybe $150-200. And Marc and I had lots of fun doing them together. :) 

Monday, January 12, 2015

The Monday Intentional

Sometimes intentional living means deleting a game off of your phone because you can't quit playing it. 

Sometimes it means throwing away most of the 2L bottle of Dr. Pepper because you keep turning it up for "just one more swig." 

Sometimes it means hugging your child when they're driving you nuts instead of hiding in the closet for five minutes while you stuff your face with chocolate. 

Sometimes it means almost doubling the grocery bill to buy foods without GMOs in hopes of bringing your family back to optimal health. 

Sometimes it even means going to the gym and getting on the scale in front of another person, then letting that person pinch your fat, take your measurements,  and hold you accountable for your new intentional commitment to fitness. 

Sometimes intentional living is harder than I want it to be. Sometimes I'm not great at it. I find myself repeating this prayer over and over and over throughout each day: 
"Lord, teach me to be intentional in this moment, because I'm really struggling with how."

Or this one:
"Lord, give me the strength to be intentional in this moment, because I really would rather do it my way."

Or this one: 
"Lord, forgive me for not being intentional in that moment. Help me to see more quickly in the future all the ways in which I can make intentional choices."

Now that I'm concentrating on purposely, consciously, and intentionally making choices, I'm seeing just how selfish I am and have been, all my life really, but especially in these last few years. 

What are you doing today to live with purpose and intention? 

Colossians 3:23-24
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Verse of the Year

Day 3 of 2015

Day 230 of my 32nd year

Day 11,918 of my life

If I live another ten years, that's only 3,652 days. 
That isn't very many days. 
And I'm not promised a single one of them. 

Oh, Lord, teach me to number my days, so that I may gain a heart of wisdom! 

:: Intentional ::


It's my word for 2015. 

:: Intentional ::

Over the past 3 years, I've been anything but intentional about my life. Sure, I've had good intentions, but the follow-through was lacking. 
* Going through the motions. Numb. Surviving. *
These are words that classify the last three years of my life. There have been MANY ups, happy times, smiles, blessings, laughter, and I am beyond grateful. But looking back, none of that was intentional

The lines have blurred and many of the memories have faded from the last few years. I haven't documented in pictures from my own camera or writings beyond Facebook. 

Housework has fallen by the wayside, and not because I'm too busy enjoying my children. I wish that were the reason. I haven't even been able to decorate our new home to make it "ours". 

The television consumes far too much of my children's lives. It has been a crutch for me. Daily the thought goes through my head: if I can just survive this sickness…this grief…this pregnancy…this newborn phase…this terrible two phase…this life…then we will not watch TV ever again. (Which is not how I feel about it at ALL…it's certainly okay in moderation.) 

Food is mundane. Cooking and grocery shopping are things I've enjoyed in the past. We eat out several times a week and my children eat the same, monotonous meals day in and day out. 

The Lord has graciously given me the desire to be intentional this year. 
We will be intentional about:
Family time
Meal Planning
Making Memories 
Documenting Memories

You might see a few more posts from me this year. So far in 2015, I've read more, prayed more, been sweeter to my children, joined the Y, and blogged more. Not because I'm so good, but because He has given me the desire to live life intentionally

In the next few days, I will travel to Ohio to join my family as we lay to rest my Aunt Brenda. She was a beautiful, soft-spoken yet strong woman who fought cancer tooth and nail. She and my mom were the same age. If their deaths have taught me anything, it's that we are not promised tomorrow. I don't know if I will be here with my family next Christmas. So I will live each day intentionally, so my husband and children know where they stand with me. 

In the next few weeks, I'll be writing my goals and intentions for the new year. I plan to make SMART goals that I can follow and check in with as the year progresses. Maybe I should've done this already, but truthfully, on December 31st, I didn't even want to make new goals or resolutions. So I'm grateful for this new desire. 

Here's to an intentional 2015! 

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